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2 B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut. 0.00
2BR02B is a science fiction short story by Kurt Vonnegut, published in 1962, and collected in Vonnegut's Bagombo Snuff Box (1999). The title is pronounced "2 B R naught 2 B", referencing the famous phrase "to be, or not to be" from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. In this story, the title refers to the telephone number one dials to schedule an assisted suicide with the Federal Bureau of Termination. Vonnegut's 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater describes a story by this name, attributing it to his recurring character Kilgore Trout, although the plot summary... (+) given is closer in nature to the eponymous tale from the short-story collection Welcome to the Monkey House. The setting is a society in which aging has been cured, individuals have indefinite lifespans, and population control is used to limit the population of the United States to forty million. This is maintained through a combination of infanticide and government-assisted suicide - in short, in order for someone to be born, someone must first volunteer to die. As a result, births are few and far between, and deaths occur primarily by accident. The scene is a waiting room at the Chicago Lying-In Hospital, where Edward K. Wehling, Jr. is faced with the situation that his wife is about to give birth to triplets, but he has found only one person - his maternal grandfather - who will volunteer to die. A painter on a stepladder is redecorating the room with a mural depicting famous doctors and nurses - in particular, Dr. Benjamin Hitz, the hospital's Chief Obstetrician. Leora Duncan, from the Service Division of the Federal Bureau of Termination, arrives to pose for the mural. The mural is a picture of a garden that's well taken care of. It is a metaphor for the United States at that time. Later, Dr. Hitz enters the scene, conversing with everyone but the painter of the mural.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 0.00
It is Christmas Eve 1843, and a miserly company owner (Ebenezer Scrooge) is visited by four ghosts (his deceased business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come), who remind Scrooge of the importance of being good to others. Transformed, Scrooge spends Christmas morning with family and anonymously sends a prize turkey to the home of Bob Cratchit, his underpaid clerk, whose crippled son Tiny Tim would die--Scrooge knew from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come--unless Scrooge changed his ways.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain. 0.00
The story begins when the "yankee," a skilled mechanic in a 19th century New England arms factory, is struck on the head during a quarrel, and awakens to find himself being taken as a prisoner to the Camelot of 528 A. D. With his 19th century know-how, the "yankee" sets out to modernize the Kingdom, opposed by the court magician. The story turns humorous but Twain's humor is also serious social satire.
A Fair Barbarian by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
A Fair Barbarian (1881) was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924). The setting is a small English village in the 19th century. A quiet spinster, Miss Belinda Bassett, finds her life turned upside down, when her niece, Octavia Basset, shows up on her doorstep unexpectedly, and unannounced, from America.
A House Party, Don Gesuldo, and A Rainy June by Ouida. 0.00
A House Party is a 1902 novel by Ouida, the pseudonym of the English novelist Maria Louise Ramé. This edition also includes the additional novels Don Gesualdo, and A Rainy June. A House Party is set during a fortnight before the shooting season at an English manor in which a number of guests engage in various conversation.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
A Little Princess (1905) is a children's novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is a revised and expanded version of Burnett's 1888 serialized novel entitled Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin's Boarding School. According to Burnett, she discovered that she had missed a great deal of things when writing the novella. The publisher asked her to publish a new, revised story of the novella, producing the novel. Sara Crewe is a very intelligent, polite, and creative young girl. Born to a wealthy soldier in India, Sara was brought all the way to London in Victorian-era England... (+) for a formal education. At the upscale boarding school, Sara is forced to tolerate the haughty, disdainful headmistress, Miss Minchin. Unfortunately, things only get worse for Sara when her father's bankruptcy and death leave her impoverished and at the mercy of the jealous Miss Minchin. Sara undergoes numerous trials as she humbly allows herself to be subjected to servitude, but with the help of several dear friends (both seen and unseen), she remains as proud and unwavering and imaginative as ever, proving to all that she is, as the title says, "a little princess." Then, thanks to one of her father's friends, the Crewe family fortune is recovered, and Sara is rescued from the flabbergasted Miss Minchin's cruelty.
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 0.00
First in the Barsoom series, with elements of adventure, romance, fantasy, and science fiction, this book tells of a veteran of the U.S. Civil War, John Carter, who finds himself inexplicably transplanted to Mars. In this early science fiction adventure, there is a nomadic tribe of four-armed green Martians, the Tharks, and a humanoid group of red Martians. When the princess of the title, Dejah Thoris, Princess is captured by the Tharks, Carter sets out to rescue her.
A Simple Heart (a.k.a. A Simple Soul) by Gustave Flaubert. 0.00
A Simple Heart is a work by Gustave Flaubert that was originally published in French in 1877. Also called "Un Coeur Simple" or "Le Perroquet", it is a story about a servant girl named Felicité. After her one and only love Théodore purportedly marries a well-to-do woman to avoid conscription, Felicité quits the farm she works on and heads for Pont l'Évèque where she immediately picks up work in a widow's house as a servant. She is very loyal, and easily lends her affections to the two children of her mistress, Mme Aubain. She gives entirely to others, and although many take... (+) advantage of her she is unaffected. She is the epitome of a selfless character, and Flaubert shows how true altruism – the reality of being truly selfless – is the reward in itself. Whatever comes her way she is able to deal with it. She has no husband, no children, and no property, and is reliant on her mistress to keep her; she is uneducated, which bars her visits to the Church; her death is virtually unnoticed. Despite her life being seemingly pointless, she has within her the power to love, which she does even when she does not receive it in return. She also carries within her a yearning, a majestic quasi-religious sensibility which finds its apotheosis in the deification, as she dies, of her pet parrot who floats above her deathbed masquerading as the Holy Ghost, the love she shows to the parrot being symbolic of her altruism. She lives a bestial, unexamined life. In the end, however, she feels love and spiritual awakening.
A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift. 0.00
A Tale of a Tub was the first major work written by Jonathan Swift, composed between 1694 and 1697 and published in 1704. It is arguably his most difficult satire, and perhaps his most masterly. The Tale is a prose parody which is divided into sections of "digression" and a "tale" of three brothers, each representing one of the main branches of western Christianity. The "tale" presents a consistent satire of religious excess, while the digressions are a series of parodies of contemporary writing in literature, politics, theology, Biblical exegesis, and medicine. The overarching... (+) parody is of enthusiasm, pride, and credulity. A Tale of a Tub "effectively disbarred its author from proper preferment within the church," but is considered one of Swift's best allegories, even by himself. It was enormously popular, but Swift believed it damaged his prospect of advancement in the Church of England. The "tale," or narrative, is an allegory that concerns the adventures of three brothers, Peter, Martin, and Jack, as they attempt to make their way in the world. Each of the brothers represents one of the primary branches of Christianity in the West. Peter (named for Saint Peter) stands in for the Roman Catholic Church. Jack (named for John Calvin) represents the various Dissenting Protestant churches such as Baptists, Presbyterians, Quakers, Congregationalists, or Anabaptists. The third brother, middle born and middle standing, is Martin (named for Martin Luther), whom Swift uses to represent the middle way of the Church of England. The brothers have inherited three wonderfully satisfactory coats from their father, and they have his will to guide them. Although the will says that the brothers are forbidden from making any changes to their coats, they do nearly nothing but alter their coats from the start. In as much as the will represents the Bible, and the coats represents the practice of Christianity, the allegory of the narrative is supposed to be an apology for the Anglican church's refusal to alter its practice in accordance with Puritan demands and its continued resistance to alliance with the Roman church. A Tale of a Tub is an enormous parody with a number of smaller parodies within it. Robert Hendrickson notes in his book British Literary Anecdotes that "Swift was always partial to his strikingly original The Tale of a Tub. On reading the work again in later years, he exclaimed 'Good God! What a genius I had when I wrote that book!'"
A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain. 0.00
A Tramp Abroad is a work of non-fiction travel literature by American author Mark Twain, published in 1880. The book details a journey by the author, with his friend Harris (a character created for the book, and based on his closest friend, Joseph Twichell), through central and southern Europe. While the stated goal of the journey is to walk most of the way, the men find themselves using other forms of transport as they traverse the continent. The book is the third of Mark Twain's five travel books and is often thought to be an unofficial sequel to the first one, The Innocents... (+) Abroad. As the two men make their way through Germany, the Alps, and Italy, they encounter situations made all the more humorous by their reactions to them. The narrator (Twain) plays the part of the American tourist of the time, believing that he understands all that he sees, but in reality understanding none of it. The first half of the book covers their stay in south-western Germany (Heidelberg, Mannheim, a trip on the Neckar river, Baden-Baden and the Black Forest). The second part describes his travels through Switzerland and eastern France (Lucerne, Interlaken, Zermatt, Chamonix and Geneva). The end of the book covers his trip through several cities in northern Italy (Milan, Venice and Rome). Several other cities are touched and described during their travels, as well as mountains such as Matterhorn, the Jungfrau, the Rigi-Kulm and Mont-Blanc. Interleaved with the narration, Mark Twain inserted also stories not related to the trip, such as Bluejay Yarn, The Man who puts up at Gasby's and others; as well as many German Legends, partly invented by the author himself. Six Appendices are included in the book. They are short essays dedicated to different topics. The role of The Portier in European hotels and how they make their living, a description of Heidelberg Castle, an essay on College Prisons in Germany, The Awful German Language, a humorous essay on German language, a short story called The legend of the Castle and finally a satirical description of German Newspapers.
Aaron's Rod by D. H. Lawrence. 0.00
Aaron's Rod is a novel by D. H. Lawrence, started in 1917 and published in 1922. The protagonist of this picaresque novel, Aaron Sisson, is a union official in the coal mines of the English Midlands, trapped in a stale marriage. He is also an amateur, but talented, flautist. At the start of the story he walks out on his wife and two children and decides on impulse to visit Italy. His dream is to become recognised as a professional musician. During his travels he encounters and befriends Rawdon Lilly, a Lawrence-like writer who nurses Aaron back to health when he is taken ill... (+) in post-war London. Having recovered his health, Aaron arrives in Florence. Here he moves in intellectual and artistic circles, argues about politics, leadership and submission, and has an affair with an aristocratic lady. The novel ends with an anarchist or fascist explosion that destroys Aaron’s instrument. Many incidents in the novel have direct parallels with events in Lawrence's own life. Aaron’s Rod is in places a hastily written text some critics have argued with a bitter view of humanity, especially the relationships between men and women. But in recent years its brilliance has been accepted by many critics. Many critics group it with other political or leadership novels by Lawrence, such as Kangaroo and The Plumed Serpent that show a tendency toward some form of authoritarianism or fascism.
Across the Years by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Active Service by Stephen Crane. 0.00
Active Service (1899), a novella based on Stephen Crane's war correspondence experience, was published to mixed reviews. The New York Times reviewer in particular questioned "whether the author of 'Active Service' himself really sees anything remarkable in his newspapery hero. Crane's second to last novel, Active Service, revolves around the Greco-Turkish War of 1897. Although noted for its satirical take on the melodramatic and highly passionate works that were popular of the nineteenth century, the novel was not successful. It is generally accepted by critics that Crane's... (+) work suffered at this point due to the speed which he wrote in order to meet high expenses.
Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. 0.00
The Adventures of Pinocchio is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi, written in Florence. The first half was originally a serial released between 1881 and 1883, and then later completed as a book for children in February 1883. It is about the mischievous adventures of Pinocchio, an animated marionette, and his poor father, a woodcarver named Geppetto. It is considered a classic of children's literature and has spawned many derivative works of art, such as Disney's 1940 animated movie of the same name, and commonplace ideas such as a liar's long nose.
Against the Grain by Joris-Karl Huysmans. 0.00
Against the Grain (1884) is a novel by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans. Its narrative concentrates almost entirely on its principal character, and is mostly a catalogue of the tastes and inner life of Jean Des Esseintes, an eccentric, reclusive aesthete and antihero, who loathes 19th century bourgeois society and tries to retreat into an ideal artistic world of his own creation. Against the Grain contains many themes which became associated with the Symbolist aesthetic. In doing so, it broke from naturalism and became the ultimate example of "decadent" literature. Jean... (+) Des Esseintes is the last member of a powerful and once proud noble family. He has lived an extremely decadent life in Paris which has left him disgusted with human society. Without telling anyone, he absconds to a house in the countryside. He fills the house with his eclectic art collection (which notably consists of reprints of paintings of Gustave Moreau). Drawing from the theme of Gustave Flaubert's Bouvard and Pecuchet, Des Esseintes decides to spend the rest of his life in intellectual and aesthetic contemplation. Throughout his intellectual experiments, he recalls various debauched events and love affairs of his past in Paris. He studies Moreau's paintings, he tries his hand at inventing perfumes, he creates a garden of poisonous flowers. In one of the book's most surrealistic episodes, he has gemstones set in the shell of a tortoise. The extra weight on the creature's back causes its death. In another episode, he decides to visit London after reading the novels of Dickens. He dines at an English restaurant in Paris while waiting for his train, and is delighted by the resemblance of the people to his notions derived from literature. He then cancels his trip and returns home, convinced that only disillusion would await him if he were to follow though with his plans. Eventually, his late nights and idiosyncratic diet take their toll on his health, requiring him to return to Paris or to forfeit his life. In the last lines of the book, he compares his return to human society to that of a nonbeliever trying to embrace religion.
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. 0.00
Agnes Grey is the debut novel of English author Anne Brontë, first published in December 1847, and republished in a second edition in 1850. The novel follows Agnes Grey, a governess, as she works in several bourgeois families. Scholarship and comments by Anne's sister Charlotte Brontë suggest the novel is largely based on Anne Brontë's own experiences as a governess for five years. Like her sister Charlotte's novel Jane Eyre, it addresses what the precarious position of governess entailed and how it affected a young woman. The choice of central character allows Anne to deal... (+) with issues of oppression and abuse of women and governesses, isolation and ideas of empathy. An additional theme is the fair treatment of animals. Agnes Grey also mimics some of the stylistic approaches of bildungsromans, employing ideas of personal growth and coming to age, but representing a character who in fact does not gain in virtue. Agnes Grey is the daughter of a minister, whose family comes to financial ruin. Desperate to earn money to care for herself, she takes one of the few jobs allowed to respectable women in the early Victorian era, as a governess to the children of the wealthy. In working with two different families, the Bloomfields and the Murrays, she comes to learn about the troubles that face a young woman who must try to rein in unruly, spoiled children for a living, and about the ability of wealth and status to destroy social values. After her father's death Agnes opens a small school with her mother and finds happiness with a man who loves her for herself. By the end of the novel they have three children, Edward, Agnes and Mary.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. 0.00
A bored girl named Alice is sitting on a riverbank when a white rabbit runs by. He carries a pocket watch and declares he is late. When Alice follows, events get even stranger. She shrinks, she grows, and she meets many strange beings, including a Cheshire cat and a mad Hatter.
Amelia by Henry Fielding. 0.00
Amelia is a sentimental novel written by Henry Fielding and published in 1751. It was the fourth and final novel written by Fielding, and it was printed in only one edition while the author was alive. Amelia follows the life of Amelia and Captain William Booth after they are married. It contains many allusions to classical literature and focuses on the theme of marriage and feminine intelligence, but Fielding's stance on gender issues cannot be determined because of the lack of authorial commentary discussing the matter. Although the novel received praise from many writers and... (+) critics, it received more criticism from Fielding's competition, possibly resulting from the "paper war" in which the author was involved. Amelia is a domestic novel taking place largely in London during 1733. Against her mother's wishes, Amelia marries Captain William Booth, a dashing young army officer. The couple run away to London. In Book II, William is unjustly imprisoned in Newgate, and is subsequently seduced by Miss Matthews. During this time, it is revealed that Amelia was in a carriage accident and that her nose was ruined. Although this brings about jokes at Amelia's behalf, Booth refuses to regard her as anything but beautiful. Amelia, by contrast, resists the attentions paid to her by several men in William's absence and stays faithful to him. She forgives his transgression, but William soon draws them into trouble again as he accrues gambling debts trying to lift the couple out of poverty. He soon finds himself in debtors' prison. Amelia then discovers that she is her mother's heiress and, the debt being settled, William is released and the couple retires to the country.
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. 0.00
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1890) is a short story by American author Ambrose Bierce. The story, which is set during the Civil War, is famous for its irregular time sequence and twist ending. Peyton Farquhar is a Confederate sympathizer condemned to death by hanging from Owl Creek Bridge. At the beginning of the story, the protagonist stands bound at the bridge's edge. It is later revealed that after a disguised Union scout enlisted him to attempt to demolish the bridge, he was caught in the act. In the first part of the story, a gentlemanly planter in his mid-30s is... (+) standing on a railroad bridge in Alabama. Six military men and a company of infantry men are present. The man is to be hanged. As he is waiting, he thinks of his wife and children. Then he is distracted by a tremendous noise. He can not identify this noise, other than that it sounds like the clanging of a blacksmith's hammer on the anvil. He cannot tell if it was far away or nearby. He finds himself apprehensively awaiting each strike, which seem to grow further and further apart. It is revealed that this noise is the ticking of his watch. Then, an escape plan flashes through his mind: "throw off the noose and spring into the stream. By diving I could evade the bullets and, swimming vigorously, take to the woods and get away home." His thoughts stray back to his wife and children. The soldiers drop him down. The story flashes back in time: Peyton Farquhar lives in the South and is a major Confederate supporter. He goes out of his way to perform services to support and help the Confederate side. One day, a gray-clad soldier appears at his house and tells Farquhar that Union soldiers in the area have been repairing the railroads, including the one over Owl Creek Bridge. Interested, Farquhar asks if it is possible to sabotage the bridge, to which the soldier replies that he could burn it down. When the soldier leaves, it is revealed that he is a Union scout who has lured Farquhar into a trap, as anyone caught interfering with the railroads would face the noose. When he is hanged, the rope breaks. Farquhar falls into the water. While underwater, he seems to take little interest in the fact that his hands, which now have a life of their own, are freeing themselves and untying the rope from around his neck. Once he finally reaches the surface, he realizes his senses are superhuman. He can see the individual blades of grass and the colors of bugs on the leaves of trees, despite the fact that he is whirling around in a river. Realizing that the men are shooting at him, he escapes and makes it to dry land. He travels through an uninhabited and seemingly-unending forest, attempting to reach his home 30 miles away. During his journey through the day and night, he is fatigued, footsore, and famished, urged on by the thought of his wife and children. He begins experiencing strange physiological events, hearing unusual noises from the wood, and believes he has fallen asleep while walking. He wakes to see his perfectly preserved home, with his beautiful and youthful wife outside. As he runs forward to reach her, he suddenly feels a searing pain in his neck; a white light flashes, and everything goes black.
Andersen's Fairy Tales by H. C. Andersen. 0.00
During 1835 Hans Christian Andersen published the first installment of his immortal Fairy Tales. The quality of these eighteen stories were not immediately recognized, and they sold poorly. The collection includes such now famous tales as The Emperor's New Clothes, The Bell, The Little Match Girl, and The Red Shoes.
Anna Karenina by graf Leo Tolstoy. 0.00
Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877. Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fiction, Tolstoy considered Anna Karenina his first true novel, when he came to consider War and Peace to be more than a novel. The character of Anna was likely inspired, in part, by Maria Hartung, the elder daughter of the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. Soon after meeting her at dinner, Tolstoy began reading Pushkin's prose and once had a fleeting daydream of "a bare exquisite aristocratic elbow", which proved to be the first... (+) indication of Anna's character. Fyodor Dostoevsky declared it to be "flawless as a work of art". His opinion was shared by Vladimir Nabokov, who especially admired "the flawless magic of Tolstoy's style", and by William Faulkner, who described the novel as "the best ever written". Anna Karenina is the tragedy of married aristocrat and socialite Anna Karenina and her affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. The story starts when she arrives in the midst of a family broken up by her brother's unbridled womanizing – something that prefigures her own later situation, though with less tolerance for her by others.
Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery. 0.00
Anne of Avonlea is a novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery. It was first published in 1909. Following Anne of Green Gables (1908), the book covers the second chapter in the life of Anne Shirley. Anne, a young orphan from Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia, finds herself on Prince Edward Island. This book follows Anne from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school. It includes many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, as well as new ones like Mr. Harrison, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora and Davy. Anne is about to start her first... (+) term teaching at the Avonlea school, although she will still continue her studies at home with Gilbert, who is teaching at the nearby White Sands School. The book soon introduces Anne's new and problematic neighbor, Mr. Harrison, and his foul-mouthed parrot, as well as the twins, Davy and Dora.
Anne of Greene Gables by L. M. Montgomery. 0.00
Anne of Green Gables (1908) is a bestselling novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Set in 1878, it was written as fiction for readers of all ages, but in recent decades has been considered a children's book. Anne, a young orphan from Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia, finds herself on Prince Edward Island, after shuttles between families and even the orphanage. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their fifties who live together at Green Gables, their Avonlea farmhouse on Prince Edward Island, decide to adopt a boy from the orphan asylum in Nova Scotia to help Matthew run... (+) their farm. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne Shirley. Anne is bright and quick, eager to please and talkative, and extremely imaginative. She does not see herself as beautiful, but is interesting-looking, with a pale countenance dotted with freckles, and long braids of red hair. When asked her name, Anne asks Marilla to call her Cordelia, which Marilla refuses; Anne then insists that if you are to call her Anne, it must be spelled with an e, as that spelling is "so much more distinguished." Marilla insists that the girl will have to go back to the orphanage, but after a few days, she decides that Anne may stay.
Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery. 0.00
Anne of the Island (1915) is the third book in the Anne of Green Gables series, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery about Anne Shirley. In the continuing story of Anne Shirley, Anne leaves Green Gables and her work as a teacher in Avonlea to pursue her original dream (which she gave up in Anne of Green Gables) of taking further education at Redmond College in Kingsport, Nova Scotia. Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane enroll as well, as do Anne's friends from Queen's Academy, Priscilla Grant and Stella Maynard. During her first week of school, Anne befriends Philippa Gordon, a beautiful... (+) girl whose frivolous ways charm her. Philippa (Phil for short) also happens to be from Anne's birthplace of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia.
Anthem by Ayn Rand. 0.00
Anthem is a dystopian fiction novella by Ayn Rand, written in 1937 and first published in 1938 in England. It takes place at some unspecified future date when mankind has entered another dark age characterized by irrationality, collectivism, and socialistic thinking and economics. Technological advancement is now carefully planned (when it is allowed to occur at all) and the concept of individuality has been eliminated.
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. 0.00
Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days. The story starts in London on October 2, 1872. Phileas Fogg is a rich English gentleman and bachelor living in solitude at Number 7 Savile Row, Burlington Gardens. Despite his wealth, lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about Mr. Fogg's social life other than that he is a member of the... (+) Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Forster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F instead of 86 °F, Mr Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout, as a replacement. Later, on that day, in the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Morning Chronicle, stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000 from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Monsieur Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on October 2, 1872, and thus is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, on December 21.
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald. 0.00
At the Back of the North Wind (1871) is a children's book by George MacDonald. It is a fantasy centered around a boy named Diamond and his adventures with the North Wind. Diamond travels together with the mysterious Lady North Wind through the nights. Diamond is a very sweet little boy who makes joy everywhere he goes. He fights despair and gloom and brings peace to his family. One night, as he is trying to sleep, Diamond repeatedly plugs up a hole in the loft (also his bedroom) wall to stop the wind from blowing in. However, he soon finds out that this is stopping the North... (+) Wind from seeing through her window. Diamond befriends her, and North Wind lets him ride on her back, taking him on several adventures. Though the North Wind does good deeds and helps people, she also does seemingly terrible things. On one of her assignments, she must sink a ship. Yet everything she does that seems bad leads to something good. The North Wind seems to be a representation of Pain and Death working according to God's will for something good. On their adventures, North Wind brings Diamond to the country she lives in, a country without pain and death. Yet, he is brought only to a shadow of the real country at the back of the North Wind. The real country is open for him only after his death. At the end of the book, Diamond dies, finally able to see the country.
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis. 0.00
Babbitt, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity. The book takes its name from the principal character, George F. Babbitt, a middle-aged partner, with his father-in-law, in a real-estate firm. When the story begins, in April 1920, Babbitt is 46 years old. He has a wife, Myra; three children; and a well-appointed house in the prosperous Floral Heights neighborhood of “Zenith,” a fictitious city... (+) in the equally fictitious state of “Winnemac.” Zenith's chief virtue is conformity, and its religion is “boosterism.” Prominent boosters in Zenith include Vergil Gunch, the coal-dealer; Sidney Finkelstein, the ladies'-ready-to-wear buyer for Parcher & Stein's department-store; Professor Joseph K. Pumphrey, owner of the Riteway Business College and “instructor in Public Speaking, Business English, Scenario Writing, and Commercial Law;” and T. Cholmondeley "Chum" Frink, a famous poet of dubious talent. Babbitt is professionally successful as a realtor. He lives with only the vaguest awareness of the lives and deaths of his contemporaries. The novel is divided roughly into thirds. Much of his energy in the beginning is spent on climbing the social ladder through booster functions, real estate sales, and making good with various dignitaries. The first seven chapters follow Babbitt closely through a typical workday, from his restless dreaming before he awakens in the morning to his struggle to fall asleep that night. The middle third of the novel reveals Babbitt in various settings: on vacation, attending a business convention, campaigning for the conservative mayoral candidate, giving dinner parties, giving speeches, attempting to climb socially, serving as a member of the Sunday School Advisory Committee of the Chatham Road Presbyterian Church, and so on. The final third of the novel reprises the pattern of Babbitt's midlife crisis: He rebels, is “punished,” and “repents,” but, toward the end of the story, the possibility of redemptive change is implied in the rebelliousness of Babbitt's son. Lewis paints humorous scenes of Babbitt foolishly bartering for illegal Prohibition liquor, hosting dinner parties, and taking clients to view property. All of this is juxtaposed against backdrops of Babbitt's incessant materialism and his growing discontent.
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope. 0.00
Barchester Towers, published in 1857, is the second novel in Anthony Trollope's series known as the "Chronicles of Barsetshire". It is possibly Trollope's best known work. Among other things it satirizes the then raging antipathy in the Church of England between High Church and Evangelical adherents. Barchester Towers concerns the leading citizens of the imaginary cathedral city of Barchester. The much loved bishop having died, all expectations are that his son, Archdeacon Grantly, also a clergyman, will gain the office in his place. Instead, owing to the passage of the power... (+) of patronage to a new Prime Minister, a newcomer, the far more Evangelical Bishop Proudie, gains the see. His wife, Mrs Proudie, exercises an undue influence over the new bishop, making herself unpopular with right-thinking members of the clergy and their families. Her interference in the reappointment of the universally popular Mr Septimus Harding (protagonist of Trollope's earlier novel, The Warden) as warden of the hospital is not well received, even though she gives the position to a needy clergyman, Mr Quiverful, with fourteen children to support. Even less popular than Mrs Proudie is the bishop's newly appointed chaplain, the hypocritical and sycophantic Mr Obadiah Slope, who takes a fancy to Harding's wealthy widowed daughter, Eleanor Bold. Summoned by the local clergy to assist in the war against the Proudies and Mr Slope is another clergyman, the brilliant Mr Francis Arabin. Mr Arabin is a considerable scholar, fellow of Lazarus College at Oxford. A massive misunderstanding occurs between Eleanor and her father, brother-in-law, sister and Mr Arabin: that she might be entertaining thoughts of marrying the oily chaplain Mr Slope. Mr Arabin is genuinely attracted to Eleanor but the efforts of Archdeacon Grantly and his wife to stop her marrying Slope also interfere with any relationship that might develop. Finally, at the Ullathorne garden party, matters come to a head. Mr Slope proposes to Mrs Bold and is slapped for his presumption, Bertie proposes and is refused with good grace and the Signora has a chat with Mr Arabin. Mr Slope's double-dealings are now revealed and he is dismissed by Mrs Proudie and the Signora. The Signora drops a delicate word in several ears and with the removal of their misunderstanding Mr Arabin and Eleanor become engaged. The old Dean of the Cathedral having died it seems obvious that Mr Arabin should become the new Dean, with a beautiful house in the Close, 15 acres of garden and an income even greater than his wife's. With the help of Mr Harding and the archdeacon this arrangement is finally made. With the Stanhopes' return to Italy, life in the Cathedral Close returns to its previous quiet and settled ways and Mr Harding continues his life of gentleness and music.
Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville. 0.00
Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street is a short story by the American novelist Herman Melville (1819–1891). It first appeared anonymously in two parts in the November and December 1853 editions of Putnam's Magazine. Bartleby is a kind of clerk, a copyist, "who obstinately refuses to go on doing the sort of writing demanded of him." During the spring of 1851, Melville felt similarly about his work on Moby Dick. Thus, Bartleby can be seen to represent Melville’s frustration with his own situation as a writer, and the story itself is “about a writer who forsakes... (+) conventional modes because of an irresistible preoccupation with the most baffling philosophical questions.”
Beatrice Boville and Other Stories by Ouida. 0.00
Beatrice Boville and Other Stories is an 1868 collection of stories by Ouida, the pseudonym of the English novelist Maria Louise Ram. The title story features Beatrice Boville, the fiancée of Earlscourt, an English politican. Beatrice describes Earlscourt in one of the opening passages as follows: I should have thought you would rather have asked how could I, or any other woman whom he stooped to notice, fail to love him? There are few hearts and intellects so noble: he is as superior to you ball-room loungers, you butterfly flutterers, as the stars to that chandelier.
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare (1907) was written by Edith Nesbit. Nesbit retells twenty of Shakespeare's plays in lively prose. The author makes the complex language of Shakespeare's greatest plays accessible to young children by relating the stories that form the core of the plays. Her graceful, vivid retellings are the perfect introduction to Shakespeare's works. Nesbit reproduces the entertaining stories in a form so simple that children can understand and enjoy them. Nesbit pens in her Preface: The writings of Shakespeare have been justly termed "the richest, the purest,... (+) the fairest, that genius uninspired ever penned." But Shakespeare wrote for grown-up people, for men and women, and in words that little folks cannot understand. Hence this volume.
Bebee by Ouida. 0.00
Bébée, or Two Wooden Shoes is an 1874 novel by Ouida, the pseudonym of the English novelist Maria Louise Ram. Bébée lives in the Brabant in Belgium and inherits a small hut and plot of land from Old Antoine, who has cared for her since he found her as an orphan. Upon his death, six of her neighbors visit and vie for Bébée's attentions, for though they were good neighbors at all times, each, in this matter, was hungry for the advantages to be got out of old Antoine's plot of ground. They were very poor; they toiled in the scorched or frozen fields all weathers, or spent from dawn to
Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant. 0.00
Bel Ami is French author Guy de Maupassant's second novel, published in 1885. The story chronicles journalist Georges Duroy's corrupt rise to power from a poor ex-NCO to one of the most successful men in Paris, most of which he achieves by manipulating a series of powerful, intelligent, and wealthy mistresses. The novel is set in Paris in the upper-middle class environment of the leading journalists of the newspaper La Vie Française and their friends. It tells the story of Georges Duroy, who has spent three years of military service in Algeria. After six months working as a... (+) clerk in Paris, an encounter with his former comrade, Forestier, enables him to start a career as a journalist. From a reporter of minor events and soft news, he gradually climbs his way up to chief editor. Duroy initially owes his success to Forestier’s wife who helps him write his first articles and, when he later starts writing lead articles, she adds an edge and poignancy to them. At the same time, she uses her connections among leading politicians to provide him with behind the scenes information which allows him to become actively involved in politics. Duroy is also introduced to many politicians in Madame Forestier’s drawing-room. Duroy becomes the lover of Forestiers' friend Mme de Marelle, another influential woman. Duroy later tries to seduce Madeleine Forestier to get even with her husband, but she repulses Duroy’s sexual advances and offers that they become true friends without ulterior motives instead. In a few months, Charles Forestier’s health deteriorates and he travels to the south of France to regain it. Soon afterwards, Duroy receives a letter from Madeleine imploring him to come to join her and help her bear the last moments of her husband’s life. As Forestier dies, Duroy asks Madeleine to marry him. After a few weeks to consider, she agrees. In the last two chapters Duroy's ascent to power continues. Duroy, now a single man, makes use of his chief’s daughter's infatuation with him, and arranges an elopement with her. The parents then have no other choice but to grant their assent to the marriage. The last chapter shows Duroy savouring his success at the wedding ceremony at which 'all those who figured prominently in society' were present. His thoughts, however, chiefly belong to Mme de Marelle who, when wishing him all the best, indicates that she has forgiven him for his new marriage and that their intimate meetings can be taken up again.
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. 0.00
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ is a novel by Lew Wallace published in 1880 by Harper & Brothers. Considered "the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century", it was the best-selling American novel from the time of its publication, superseding Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852). It remained at the top until the publication of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind (1936). Following release of the 1959 MGM film adaptation of Ben Hur, which was seen by tens of millions and won 11 Academy Awards, during the 1960s, book sales surpassed Gone with the Wind.... (+) Blessed by Pope Leo XIII, the novel was the first work of fiction to be so honored. The story recounts the adventures of Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century. Ben-Hur's childhood friend Messala returns home as an ambitious commanding officer of the Roman legions. They come to realize that they have changed and hold very different views and aspirations. During a military parade, a tile falls from the roof of Judah's house and barely misses the Roman governor. Although Messala knows that they are not guilty, he condemns the Ben-Hur family. Without trial, Judah is sent to work until death as a Roman galley slave; his mother and sister are imprisoned and all the family property is confiscated. Through good fortune, Judah survives and returns to Jerusalem, where he seeks revenge against his one-time friend and redemption for his family. Running in parallel with Ben-Hur's narrative is the unfolding story of Jesus, who comes from the same region and is a similar age. The two reflect themes of betrayal, conviction and redemption. With the Crucifixion, Ben-Hur recognizes that the Christ stands for a different goal than revenge, and he becomes Christian, turning to supporting the new religion with money which he has inherited, inspired by love and the talk of keys to a greater kingdom than any on earth. The name "Ben Hur" derives from the Hebrew for "Son of white linen".
Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick. 0.00
Originally published in Planet Stories in 1951, here is Philip K. Dick's classic tale of humanity's discovery of a strange alien race . . . the Wub. Peterson, a crew member of a spaceship visiting Mars buys an enormous pig-like creature known as a "wub" from a native just before departure. Franco, his captain, is worried about the extra weight, but seems more concerned about its taste. However, after takeoff, the crew realizes that the wub is a very intelligent creature, capable of telepathy and maybe even mind control.
Beyond the Door by Philip K. Dick. 0.00
First published in 1954, the text is not usually found in collections of Philip K. Dick’s writings. Did you ever wonder at the lonely life the bird in a cuckoo clock has to lead -- that it might possibly love and hate just as easily as a real animal of flesh and blood? Philip Dick used that idea for this brief fantasy tale. We're sure that after reading it you'll give cuckoo clocks more respect.
Bimbi by Ouida. 0.00
Bimbi (1882) is a collection of children's stories from Italy and the Tyrol, including "The Nurnberg Stove," "The Ambitious Rose Tree," "Lampblack," "The Child of Urbino," and "Findelkind." In "The Child of Urbino," the child is Raphael, who assists an older companion in a competition to create a beautiful piece of pottery. "The Nurnberg Stove" tells the tale of a child who hides in the valued stove of the title when his father sells it, staying in it till he winds up in the palace of a king. The stories are infused with romanticism and old world pathos.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. 0.00
Black Beauty is an 1877 novel by English author Anna Sewell. It was composed in the last years of her life, during which she remained in her house as an invalid. The novel became an immediate bestseller, with Sewell dying just five months after its publication, long enough to see her first and only novel become a success. With fifty million copies sold, Black Beauty is one of the best-selling books of all time. While forthrightly teaching animal welfare, it also teaches how to treat people with kindness, sympathy, and respect. Black Beauty became a forerunner to the pony book... (+) genre of children's literature. The story is narrated in the first person as an autobiographical memoir told by a horse named Black Beauty — beginning with his carefree days as a colt on an English farm with his mother, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness. Each short chapter recounts an incident in Black Beauty's life containing a lesson or moral typically related to the kindness, sympathy, and understanding treatment of horses, with Sewell's detailed observations and extensive descriptions of horse behavior lending the novel a good deal of verisimilitude.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens. 0.00
Set in England sometime between 1827 and 1842, this novel satirizes the then-deficiencies of the English Chancery court system (wills, estates, and uses of private property) by following events pursuant to the death of a man who wrote several last wills and testaments, resulting in questions as to his true final intent. Most of the narration is done by Esther Sommerson, the main protagonist. Many characters develop numerous subplots that thread through the main plot in this book, considered possibly Dickens' best novel.
Born in Exile by George Gissing. 0.00
Born in Exile is a novel by George Gissing first published in 1892. It deals with the themes of class, religion, love and marriage. The premise of the novel is drawn from Gissing's own early life — an intellectually superior man born into a socially inferior milieu, though the story arc diverges significantly from the actuality. The main protagonist, Godwin Peak, is a star student at Whitelaw College, which he won a scholarship to attend. He wins many academic prizes and his future seems promising. Then his Cockney uncle arrives intending to open an eating-house adjacent to... (+) the college. Godwin is mortified of being associated with 'trade' and leaves the college rather than face the scorn he expects to receive from his upper-class fellow students. This is indicative of his social aspirations (upwards) and snobbery (downwards). He moves to London where he abhors the social mores of the lower orders and pines to be accepted into high society where he believes his intellect should place him. He sees writing as a possible entry and pens a fiercely critical article on the Church of England and its attitude to Darwinism. It is published anonymously but not before word of its true authorship has spread within his small circle of friends. These include Christian Moxey, who has an idealised romantic fixation on a married woman (ultimately found to be unrequited), Moxey's sister Marcella has a likewise unrequited crush on Godwin Peak, and Malkin - a flighty Bohemian who has an idea of training an adolescent girl to be a wife worthy of his radical views, and who has formed a relationship with Mrs. Jacox and her daughters to further this plan (ultimately successful). Ultimately,once denied his aspiration to marry into society Peak goes on a tour of Europe where he contracts Malaria and dies alone in a Viennese boarding-house. Thus Peak was born, lived and died in Exile.
Bouvard and Pécuchet by Gustave Flaubert. 0.00
Bouvard and Pécuchet is an unfinished satirical work by Gustave Flaubert, published in 1881 after his death in 1880. Bouvard and Pécuchet details the adventures of two Parisian copy-clerks, François Denys Bartholomée Bouvard and Juste Romain Cyrille Pécuchet, of the same age and nearly identical temperament. They meet one hot summer day in 1838 by the canal Saint-Martin and form an instant, symbiotic friendship. When Bouvard inherits a sizable fortune, the two decide to move to the countryside. They find a 94-acre property near the town of Chavignolles in Normandy, between... (+) Caen and Falaise, and 100 miles west of Rouen. Their search for intellectual stimulation leads them, over the course of years, to flounder through almost every branch of knowledge. Flaubert uses their quest to expose the hidden weaknesses of the sciences and arts, as nearly every project Bouvard and Pécuchet set their minds on comes to grief. Their endeavours are interleaved with the story of their deteriorating relations with the local villagers; and the Revolution of 1848 is the occasion for much despondent discussion. The manuscript breaks off near the end of the novel. According to one set of Flaubert's notes, the townsfolk, enraged by Bouvard and Pécuchet's antics, try to force them out of the area, or have them committed. Disgusted with the world in general, Bouvard and Pécuchet ultimately decide to "return to copying as before", giving up their intellectual boundering. The work ends with their eager preparations to construct a two-seated desk on which to write. This was originally intended to be followed by a large sample of what they copy out: possibly a sottisier (anthology of stupid quotations), the Dictionary of Received Ideas (encyclopedia of commonplace notions), or a combination of both.
Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton. 0.00
Bunner Sisters is a 1916 novel by Edith Wharton. Like “The Age of Innocence”, it is set in 1870s New York, however the lives of Ann Eliza and Evelina Bunner reflect impoverished New York. The sisters run a “very small shop, in a shabby basement, in a sidestreet already doomed to decline.” Shabby as it is, the sisters are happy in their small orderly community of supportive women. The story tells of the destruction of this life, and how the once content sisters are thrown into the world outside of their little shop.
Candide by Voltaire. 0.00
Candide is a French satire first published in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. It begins with a young man, Candide, who is living a sheltered life in an Edenic paradise and being indoctrinated with optimism by his mentor, Pangloss. The work describes the abrupt cessation of this lifestyle, followed by Candide's slow, painful disillusionment as he witnesses and experiences great hardships in the world. Voltaire concludes with Candide, if not rejecting optimism outright, advocating an enigmatic precept, "we must cultivate our garden".
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling. 0.00
Captains Courageous is an 1897 novel, by Rudyard Kipling, that follows the adventures of fifteen-year-old Harvey Cheyne Jr., the arrogant and spoiled son of a railroad tycoon. The novel originally appeared as a serialization in McClure's, beginning with the November 1896 edition. The book's title comes from the ballad "Mary Ambree", which starts, "When captains courageous, whom death could not daunt". Washed overboard from a transatlantic steamship and rescued by fishermen on the Grand Banks, the young Harvey cannot persuade them to take him ashore, nor convince them of his... (+) wealth. However, the Captain of the We're Here, Disko Troop, offers him a job as part of the crew until they return to port. With no other choice, Harvey accepts. There follows a series of trials and adventures where the boy learns to adjust to his rough new life, and with the help of his friend, the captain's son, Dan Troop, he makes fine progress. Eventually, the schooner returns to port and Harvey wires his parents. They rush to the fishing town (Gloucester, Massachusetts) and find to their amazement that their child has become an industrious, serious and considerate young man.
Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth. 0.00
Castle Rackrent, a short novel by Maria Edgeworth published in 1800, is often regarded as the first historical novel, the first regional novel in English, the first Anglo-Irish novel, the first Big House novel and the first saga novel. It is also widely regarded as the first novel to use the device of a narrator who is both unreliable and an observer of, rather than a player in, the actions he chronicles. Kirkpatrick suggests that it "both borrows from and originates a variety of literary genres and subgenres without nearly fitting into any one of them". William Butler Yeats... (+) pronounced Castle Rackrent "one of the most inspired chronicles written in English". The novel is set prior to the Constitution of 1782 and tells the story of four generations of Rackrent heirs through their steward, Thady Quirk. The heirs are: the dissipated spendthrift Sir Patrick O'Shaughlin, the litigious Sir Murtagh Rackrent, the cruel husband and gambling absentee Sir Kit Stopgap, and the generous but improvident Sir Condy Rackrent. Their sequential mismanagement of the estate is resolved through the machinations - and to the benefit - of the narrator's astute son, Jason Quirk. It satirises Anglo-Irish landlords and their overall mismanagement of the estates they owned at a time when the English and Irish parliaments were working towards formalising their union through the Acts of Union. Through this and other works, Edgeworth is credited with serving the political, national interests of Ireland and the United Kingdom the way Sir Walter Scott did for Scotland. It is a dialogic novel, comprising a preface and conclusion by an editor bookending a first person narrative proper.
Civil Disobediance by Henry David Thoreau. 0.00
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience is an 1849 essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War. Thoreau asserts that because governments are typically more harmful than helpful, they therefore cannot be justified. Democracy is no cure for this, as majorities... (+) simply by virtue of being majorities do not also gain the virtues of wisdom and justice. The judgment of an individual's conscience is not necessarily inferior to the decisions of a political body or majority, and so it "is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right... Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice." The government, according to Thoreau, is not just a little corrupt or unjust in the course of doing its otherwise-important work, but in fact the government is primarily an agent of corruption and injustice. Because of this, it is "not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize." Because the government will retaliate, Thoreau says he prefers living simply because he therefore has less to lose. "I can afford to refuse allegiance to Massachusetts…. It costs me less in every sense to incur the penalty of disobedience to the State than it would to obey. I should feel as if I were worth less in that case." He was briefly imprisoned for refusing to pay the poll tax, but even in jail felt freer than the people outside. He considered it an interesting experience and came out of it with a new perspective on his relationship to the government and its citizens. (He was released the next day when "someone interfered, and paid that tax.") "The progress from an absolute to a limited monarchy, from a limited monarchy to a democracy, is a progress toward a true respect for the individual.… Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly." An aphorism sometimes attributed to either Thomas Jefferson or Thomas Paine, "That government is best which governs least", actually was first found in this essay. Thoreau was paraphrasing the motto of The United States Magazine and Democratic Review: "The best government is that which governs least."
Clover by Susan Coolidge. 0.00
Clover (1888) is the first novel in the Clover series by Susan Coolidge. It is a sequel to the Katy Carr series, which relates the adventures of Katy's younger sister, Clover Carr, and her four still younger siblings. Katy Carr is a twelve-year-old girl whose family lives in the fictional lakeside Ohio town of Burnet in the 1860s. Katy is a tall untidy tomboy, forever getting into scrapes but wishing to be beautiful and beloved.
Cornelli by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Cornelli is a 1920 novel by Johanna Spyri, author of Heidi. Cornelli was translated into English by Elisabeth P. Stork. A lively young girl loses her cheerful nature when her widowed father departs on a trip and leaves Cornelli in the care of his strict cousin.
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell. 0.00
Cranford is one of the better-known novels of the 19th century English writer Elizabeth Gaskell. It was first published in 1851 as a serial in the magazine Household Words, which was edited by Charles Dickens. The fictional town of Cranford is closely modelled on Knutsford in Cheshire, which Mrs Gaskell knew well. The book has little in the way of plot and is more a series of episodes in the lives of Mary Smith and her friends, Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two spinster sisters. The "major" event in the story is the return to Cranford of their long-lost brother, Peter, which... (+) in itself is only a minor portion of the work, leaving the rest of the novel at a low-key tone.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 0.00
In St. Petersburg in the 1860s, in Czarist Russia, Raskolnikov murders a local pawnbroker in her apartment. When her sister walks in, he murders her too. He is an impoverished law student who believes that the world is divided into the ordinary and the extraordinary, and that he is among the latter. In the end, however, he cannot escape his conscience, and a police inspector patiently closes in on him.
Daisy Miller by Henry James. 0.00
Daisy Miller is an 1878 novella by Henry James. It portrays the courtship of the beautiful American girl Daisy Miller by Winterbourne, a sophisticated compatriot of hers. Daisy Miller and Winterbourne first meet in Vevey, Switzerland, where Winterbourne is vacationing from his alleged studies. They are introduced by Randolph Miller, Daisy's 9-year old brother. Randolph considers their hometown of Schenectady, New York, to be absolutely superior to all of Europe. Daisy, however, is absolutely delighted with the continent, especially the high society which she wishes to enter.... (+) Winterbourne's pursuit of her is hampered by her own flirtatiousness, which is frowned upon by the other expatriates they meet in Switzerland and Italy. Winterbourne is at first confused by her attitude, although greatly impressed by her beauty, but soon determines that she is nothing more than a young flirt. He continues his pursuit of Daisy in spite of the disapproval of his snobbish aunt Mrs. Costello. Winterbourne then informs Daisy that he must go to Geneva the next day. Daisy feels disappointment and chaffs him, eventually asking him to visit her in Rome later that year. In Rome, Winterbourne and Daisy meet unexpectedly in the parlor of Mrs. Walker, an American expatriate. Winterbourne learns of Daisy's increasing intimacy with a young Italian of questionable society, Giovanelli, as well as the growing scandal caused by the pair's behavior. Daisy is undeterred by the open disapproval of the other Americans in Rome, and her mother seems quite unaware of the underlying tensions. Winterbourne and Mrs. Walker attempt to persuade Daisy to separate from Giovanelli, but she refuses any help that is offered.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. 0.00
This may be the most autobiographical of all Dickens' novels. It begins with young Copperfield's birth in 1820 and includes subsequent life stages of being sent to boarding school (Salem House), working in a factory, running away, and finding his only remaining living relative, who takes him in. Famous characters in the novel include David's mentor Micawber and the untrustworthy Uriah Heep.
Dawn by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol. 0.00
Dead Souls is an 1842 novel by Nikolai Gogol, widely regarded as an exemplar of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an "epic poem in prose", and within the book as a "novel in verse". Despite supposedly completing the trilogy's second part, Gogol destroyed it shortly before his death. Although the novel ends in mid-sentence (like Sterne's Sentimental Journey), it is usually regarded as complete in the extant form. In the Russian Empire, before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners were entitled to own serfs to farm their land. Serfs were for... (+) most purposes considered the property of the landowner, and could be bought, sold or mortgaged, as any other chattel. To count serfs (and people in general), the measure word "soul" was used: e.g., "six souls of serfs". The plot of the novel relies on "dead souls" (i.e., "dead serfs") which are still accounted for in property registers. The story follows the exploits of Chichikov, a gentleman of middling social class and position. Chichikov arrives in a small town and quickly tries to make a good name for himself by impressing the many petty officials of the town. Despite his limited funds, he spends extravagantly on the premise that a great show of wealth and power at the start will gain him the connections he needs to live easily in the future. He also hopes to befriend the town so that he can more easily carry out his bizarre and mysterious plan to acquire "dead souls." He merely tells the prospective sellers that he has a use for them, and that the sellers would be better off anyway, since selling them would relieve the present owners of a needless tax burden. Although the townspeople Chichikov comes across are gross caricatures, they are not flat stereotypes by any means. Instead, each is neurotically individual, combining the official failings that Gogol typically satirizes (greed, corruption, paranoia) with a curious set of personal quirks.
Donald and Dorothy by Mary Maples Dodge. 0.00
Donald and Dorothy is an 1883 novel by Mary Mapes Dodge, also author of Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates. Donald and Dorothy is the story of a brother and sister, who though unwavering in their mutual affection, are nearly separated by the evil plotting of the novel's villain, Eben Slade.
Dracula by Bram Stoker. 0.00
Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham van Helsing. The novel touches on themes such as the role of women in Victorian culture, sexual conventions, immigration, colonialism, and post-colonialism. The novel is told in epistolary format, as a series of letters, diary entries, ships' log entries, and so forth. The main writers... (+) of these items are also the novel's protagonists. The tale begins with Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, journeying by train and carriage from England to Count Dracula's crumbling, remote castle situated in the Carpathian Mountains. The purpose of his mission is to provide legal support to Dracula for a real estate transaction overseen by Harker's employer, Peter Hawkins, of Exeter in England. At first enticed by Dracula's gracious manner, Harker soon discovers that he has become a prisoner in the castle.
Dubliners by James Joyce. 0.00
Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. They were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. The stories were written when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They centre on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character experiences self-understanding or illumination. Many of the... (+) characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce's novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by child protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence, and maturity.
Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished by Robert Michael Ballantyne. 0.00
Dusty Diamonds Cut and Polished, A Tale of City Arab Life and Adventure is a popular 1884 novel by R.M. Ballantyne. As so often with Ballantyne there are two concurrent stories in this book. In one of these we meet two little stray and homeless boys in the vicinity of Whitechapel in the East-End of London. These two are rescued from the streets, trained up and sent to Canada to live as part of a farmer's family there. The other story concerns the mother of one of the boys, with too many children, a drink-habit, and a wife-beating and criminal husband: plainly there's not much... (+) going for her, but her eldest daughter manages to bring life together for the family. The bad father, on his release from jail, deserts his wife, which is no bad thing; the wife takes the Blue Ribbon and gives up drinking; a couple of well-to-do gentlemen take an interest in the family; and finally they all emigrate to Canada and live happily ever after.
Emily Fox-Seton by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
Emily Fox-Seton is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. First published in 1901 as The Making of a Marchioness followed by its sequel The Methods of Lady Walderhurst, the two novels were combined into Emily Fox-Seton who is the two works' primary character. The story follows thirty-something Emily who lives alone, humbly and happily, in a tiny apartment and on a meager income. She is the one that everyone counts on but no one goes out of their way to accommodate. Her fortune changes, however, and the second half chronicles her adaptation to her new life and the dangers that arise... (+) from those who stand to lose most from her new circumstances.
Emma by Jane Austen. 0.00
A novel about the comedies and perils of misconstrued romance. Before writing the novel, Ms. Austen wrote: "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich." Emma is also: spoiled; greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives; and, often mistaken about the meanings of others' actions.
Erick and Sally by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
This children's novelette was written by Johanna Spyri in German, and translated and published in English in 1921. Sally is the daughter of a pastor and lives with two brothers Ritz and Edi, as well as her parents and aunt. The town is subdivided by schools and neighborhoods; Upper Wood, Lower Wood and Middle Lot. The subdivisions create rivalries, and many of the children look upon their neighbors as teams to root against and get up to mischief. The community becomes much excited when a well known older woman, Marianne, gives board to two strangers, Erick and his mother, both... (+) of whom wear fancy clothes and entail much mystery.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. 0.00
Ethan Frome is a novel published in 1911 by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Edith Wharton. It is set in the fictitious town of Starkfield, Massachusetts, where an unnamed narrator tells the story of his encounter with Ethan Frome, a man with dreams and desires that end in an ironic turn of events. The narrator tells the story based on an account from observations at Frome's house when he had to stay there during a winter storm. Frome is described as “the most striking figure in Starkfield”, “the ruin of a man” with a “careless powerful look…in spite of... (+) a lameness checking each step like the jerk of a chain”. The narrator fails to get many details from the townspeople. However, the narrator hires him as his driver for a week. A severe snowstorm forces Frome to take the narrator to his home one night for shelter. Just as the two are entering Frome's house, the first chapter ends. The second chapter flashes back twenty years; the narration switches from the first-person narrator of the first chapter to an omniscient third-person narrator. Ethan is waiting outside a church dance for Mattie, his wife’s cousin, who lives with Ethan and his wife Zeena (Zenobia) to help around the house since Zeena is sickly. Mattie is given the occasional night off to entertain herself in town as partial recompense for taking care of the Frome family without pay, and Ethan has fallen into the habit of walking her home. It is made clear that Ethan has deep feelings for Mattie, and it is equally clear that Zeena suspects these feelings and does not approve. Zeena informs Ethan that she plans to send Mattie away and hire a more efficient girl to replace her, as her health is failing even more rapidly. Ethan returns to the farm, picking up Mattie to go to the train station. They stop at a hill upon which they had once proposed to go sledding, and they decide to go through with the sledding despite the dangers of the trees. After their first run, Mattie suggests a suicide pact; that they run themselves into a tree so they may spend their last moments together. Ethan resists the notion, but then finally agrees, and they take the ride down together. On the way down, a vision of Zeena's face makes Ethan try to turn aside at the last moment, but he recovers and hits the elm tree. Instead of both of them being killed, Ethan regains consciousness after the accident and, dazed and confused, finds Mattie lying beside him fully paralyzed and moaning in pain. Additionally, Ethan is partially paralyzed, finding movement to be difficult. This was the so-called "smash-up" introduced at the beginning of the novel. The final chapter switches back to the first-person narrator point of view of the first chapter, as Frome and the narrator walk into the Frome household two decades later. The tables are turned; Mattie's personality has "soured" and Zeena now must care for her and Ethan.
Eugenie Grandet by Honore Balzac. 0.00
Eugénie Grandet is an 1833 novel by Honoré de Balzac about miserliness, and how it is bequeathed from the father to the daughter, Eugénie, through her unsatisfying love attachment with her cousin. As is usual with Balzac, all the characters in the novel are fully realized. Balzac conceived his grand project, The Human Comedy, while writing Eugénie Grandet and incorporated it into the Comédie by revising the names of some of the characters in the second edition. Eugénie Grandet is set in the town of Saumur. Eugénie's father Felix is a former cooper who has become wealthy... (+) through both business ventures and inheritance (inheriting the estates of his mother-in-law, grandfather-in-law and grandmother all in one year). However, he is very miserly, and he, his wife, daughter and their servant Nanon live in a run-down old house which he is too miserly to repair. His banker des Grassins wishes Eugénie to marry his son Adolphe, and his lawyer Cruchot wishes Eugénie to marry his nephew President Cruchot des Bonfons, both parties eyeing the inheritance from Felix. The two families constantly visit the Grandets to get Felix's favour, and Felix in turn plays them off against each other for his own advantage. On Eugénie's birthday, in 1819, Felix's nephew Charles Grandet arrives from Paris unexpectedly at their home having been sent there by his father Guillaume. Charles does not realise that his father has gone bankrupt and is planning to takes his own life. Guillaume reveals this to his brother Felix in a confidential letter which Charles has carried.
Evelina, Or, the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World by Fanny Burney. 0.00
Evelina or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World is a novel written by English author Frances Burney and first published in 1778. It was first published anonymously, but its authorship was revealed by the poet George Huddesford in what Burney called a "vile poem." In this 3-volume epistolary novel, title character Evelina is the unacknowledged but legitimate daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat, thus raised in rural seclusion until her 17th year. Through a series of humorous events that take place in London and the resort town of Hotwells, near Bristol,... (+) Evelina learns to navigate the complex layers of 18th-century society and earn the love of a distinguished nobleman. This sentimental novel, which has notions of sensibility and early romanticism, satirizes the society in which it is set and is a significant precursor to the work of Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth, whose novels explore many of the same issues. The novel opens with a distressed letter from Lady Howard to her longtime acquaintance, the Reverend Arthur Villars, in which she reports that Mme. Duval, the grandmother of Villars' ward, Evelina Anville, intends to visit England to renew her acquaintance with her granddaughter Evelina. 18 years earlier, Mme. Duval had broken off her relationship with her daughter Caroline, Evelina's mother, and has never acknowledged Evelina. Reverend Villars fears Mme. Duval's influence could lead Evelina to an untimely, shameful death similar to that of her mother Caroline. To keep Evelina from Mme. Duval, the Reverend lets her visit Howard Grove, Lady Howard's home, on an extended holiday. While she is there, the family learns that Lady Howard's son-in-law, naval officer Captain Mirvan, is returning to England after a 7-year absence. Desperate to join the Mirvans on their trip to London, Evelina entreats her guardian to let her attend them, promising that the visit will last only a few weeks. The Reverend reluctantly consents. In London, Evelina's beauty and ambiguous social status attract unwanted attention and unkind speculation. Ignorant of the conventions and behaviours of 18th-century London society, she makes a series of humiliating (but humorous) faux pas that further expose her to societal ridicule. She soon earns the attentions of 2 gentlemen: Lord Orville, a handsome and extremely eligible peer and pattern-card of modest, becoming behavior; and Sir Clement Willoughby, a baronet with duplicitous intentions. Evelina's untimely reunion with her grandmother and the Branghtons, her long-unknown extended family, along with the embarrassment their boorish, social-climbing antics cause, soon convince her that Lord Orville is completely out-of-reach.
Eyebright by Susan Coolidge. 0.00
Eyebright, A Story, is an 1889 novel by Susan Coolidge. The lead character is Isabella Bright, eleven years old, and a student at
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. 0.00
Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) is Thomas Hardy's fourth novel and his first major literary success. It originally appeared anonymously as a monthly serial in Cornhill Magazine, where it gained a wide readership. Critical notices were plentiful and mostly positive. The protagonist, Gabriel Oak, is a young shepherd. With the savings of a frugal life, he has leased and stocked a sheep-farm. He falls in love with a newcomer eight years his junior, Bathsheba Everdene, a proud beauty who arrives to live with her aunt, Mrs. Hurst. She comes to like him well enough, and even saves... (+) his life once, but when he makes her an unadorned offer of marriage, she refuses; she values her independence too much and him too little. Gabriel's blunt protestations only serve to drive her to haughtiness. After a few months, she moves to Weatherbury, a village some miles off. When next they meet, their circumstances have changed drastically. An inexperienced new sheep dog drives Gabriel's flock over a cliff, ruining him. After selling off everything of value, he manages to settle all his debts, but emerges penniless. He seeks employment at a work fair in the town of Casterbridge (a fictionalised version of Dorchester). When he finds none, he heads to another fair in Shottsford, a town about ten miles from Weatherbury. On the way, he happens upon a dangerous fire on a farm and leads the bystanders in putting it out. When the veiled owner comes to thank him, he asks if she needs a shepherd. She uncovers her face and reveals herself to be none other than Bathsheba. She has recently inherited the estate of her uncle and is now a wealthy woman. Though somewhat uncomfortable, she hires him. Further complications ensue.
Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Five Tales by John Galsworthy. 0.00
This 1918 book, The Five Tales, consists of five short stories or novelettes by John Galsworthy. They are The First and Last (1914), A Stoic, The Apple Tree (1916), The Juryman, and Indian Summer of a Forsyte (1918). This last tale became part of the trilogy, The Forsyte Saga.
Frank Mildmay by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
Frank Mildmay, or the Naval Officer (1829) was Captain Frederick Marryat's first novel. Captain Marryat was a midshipman under Lord Cochrane during the Napoleonic Wars -- and Lord Cochrane is the real life inspiration for many fictional naval heroes from Horatio Hornblower to Jack Aubrey. Marryat's first novel was widely believed to be autobiographic, and is an exquisitely detailed portrait of life at sea and the coming of age of a young rascal, Frank Mildmay. Marryat dwells on the small details of nautical life, dismissing large actions, such as the Battle of Trafalgar with... (+) "but everybody knows what happened there." Instead he focuses on the small actions, such as the etiquette of naval combat meant that battleships did not fire upon frigates unless fired upon first. Numerous incidents, comic, tragic, and lascivious, are detailed as young Frank succumbs to vice but eventually reforms himself. To listen to this novel is like sitting over a tankard of ale listening to sailor's tales -- some of which might actually be true.
Frankenstein by Mary Wollestonecraft Shelley. 0.00
Frankenstein is a novel written by Mary Shelley about an experiment that produces a monster. Shelley started writing the story when she was eighteen, and the novel was first published anonymously in 1818 when she was twenty-one. Mary Shelley was talking with her future husabnd, Percy, and two other writer-colleagues, Lord Byron, and John Polidori, and they decided they would have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. After thinking for weeks about what her possible storyline could be, Shelley dreamt about a scientist who created life and was horrified by... (+) what she had made. Frankenstein is written in the form of a frame story that starts with Captain Robert Walton writing letters to his sister. In his letters, he tells Victor Frankenstein's story, which includes the monster's story. By doing so, Shelley creates a nesting doll effect that allows the readers to see the three characters' perspective of the one larger story.
Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton. 0.00
“The Glimpses of the Moon” is a romance by Edith Wharton published in 1922. Nick and Susy Lansing are the main characters and have no money. They belong to a society of wealthy people, and they plan to get married to better themselves financially from the wedding with the gifts they will receive. The novel starts: It rose for them -- their honey-moon -- over the waters of a lake so famed as the scene of romantic raptures that they were rather proud of not having been afraid to choose it as the setting of their own. "It required a total lack of humour, or as great a gift... (+) for it as ours, to risk the experiment," Susy Lansing opined, as they hung over the inevitable marble balustrade and watched their tutelary orb roll its magic carpet across the waters to their feet. "Yes--or the loan of Strefford's villa," her husband emended, glancing upward through the branches at a long low patch of paleness to which the moonlight was beginning to give the form of a white house-front. "Oh, come when we'd five to choose from. At least if you count the Chicago flat." "So we had -- you wonder!" He laid his hand on hers, and his touch renewed the sense of marvelling exultation which the deliberate survey of their adventure always roused in her.... It was characteristic that she merely added, in her steady laughing tone: "Or, not counting the flat -- for I hate to brag -- just consider the others: Violet Melrose's place at Versailles, your aunt's villa at Monte Carlo--and a moor!"
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. 0.00
Phillip Pirip, nicknamed Pip, is the main character in this novel about ambition, conscience, and self-improvement. Pip's torturous development to maturity and happiness begins when, as an orphan, he is being raised by a hateful sister and her good husband (Joe). Two early events pave the way for six-year-old Pipa's future to play out: He helps an escaped convict (Magwich) and he is befriended by a rich, eccentric old woman (Miss Havisham) and her adopted daughter (Estella).
Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm. 0.00
Children's and Household Tales is a collection of German fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. In the English-speaking world, the collection is commonly known today as Grimms' Fairy Tales. This partial collection of 62 tales includes such famous stories as: The Golden Bird, The Frog-Prince, Rapunzel, Hansel And Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Tom Thumb, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Golden Goose.
Gritli's Children by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Gritli's Children, A Story of Switzerland was authored by Johanna Spyri, and translated into English by Louise Brooks. It follows the youth of Nora, an invalid girl growing up in a handsome stone villa set in a beautiful garden on the banks of the Rhine. She lives with her mother, Mrs. Stanhope, and Clarissa, an elderly woman -- "a woman who looked so exquisitely neat that one would have thought that she had no other business in life than that of keeping in perfect order her gray hair, with its snow-white cap, and her simple, spotless dress; but, on the contrary, she was the... (+) house-keeper, and had the whole charge of the big house, with all its complicated domestic arrangements." After several failed attempts to broaden Nora's social circle, Nora forms a tight friendship with a neighboring girl Elsli. The book tracks the progression of both Nora's condition, and their friendship.
Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun. 0.00
The Growth of the Soil is the 1917 novel by Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun which won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. It is the life story of a man in the wilds, the genesis and gradual development of a homestead, the unit of humanity, in the unfilled, uncleared tracts that still remain in the Norwegian Highlands. It is an epic of earth; the history of a microcosm. Its dominant note is one of patient strength and simplicity; the mainstay of its working is the tacit, stern, yet loving alliance between Nature and the Man who faces her himself, trusting to himself and her... (+) for the physical means of life, and the spiritual contentment with life which she must grant if he be worthy. Modern man faces Nature only by proxy, or as proxy, through others or for others, and the intimacy is lost. In the wilds the contact is direct and immediate; it is the foothold upon earth, the touch of the soil itself, that gives strength. The story is epic in its magnitude, in its calm, steady progress and unhurrying rhythm, in its vast and intimate humanity. The author looks upon his characters with a great, all-tolerant sympathy, aloof yet kindly, as a god. A more objective work of fiction it would be hard to find—certainly in what used to be called "the neurasthenic North."
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. 0.00
Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), is a novel by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travellers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. The book begins with a very short preamble in which Lemuel Gulliver, in the style of books of the time, gives a brief outline of his life and history prior to his voyages. He enjoys travelling, although it is that love of travel that is his downfall. During the first part, Gulliver is washed ashore after... (+) a shipwreck and finds himself a prisoner of a race of tiny people, less than 6 inches high, who are inhabitants of the island country of Lilliput. After giving assurances of his good behaviour, he is given a residence in Lilliput and becomes a favourite of the court. From there, the book follows Gulliver's observations on the Court of Lilliput. He is also given the permission to roam around the city on a condition he not harm their subjects. Gulliver assists the Lilliputians to subdue their neighbours, the Blefuscudians, by stealing their fleet. However, he refuses to reduce the island nation of Blefuscu to a province of Lilliput, displeasing the King and the court.
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates by Mary Maples Dodge. 0.00
Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates: A Story of Life in Holland is an 1865 novel by American author Mary Mapes Dodge. The novel takes place in the Netherlands, and is a colorful fictional portrait of early nineteenth-century Dutch life, as well as a tale of youthful honor. The title of the book refers to the beautiful silver skates to be awarded to winner of the ice-skating race Hans Brinker hopes to enter. In Holland, poor-but-industrious and honorable 15-year-old Hans Brinker and his younger sister Gretel, yearn to participate in December's great ice-skating race on the canal.... (+) They have little chance of doing well on their handmade wooden skates, but the prospect of the race and the prize of the Silver Skates excite them and fire their dreams. Hans' father is sick and amnesiac, with violent episodes, because of a fall from a dike and cannot work. Mrs. Brinker, Hans and Gretel must work to support the family and are looked down upon in the community because of their low income and poor status. Hans and Gretel learn that a famous surgeon, Dr. Boekman, might be able to treat their father, but the doctor is expensive, and gruff in nature following the loss of his wife and son. Eventually, Dr. Boekman is persuaded to examine the Brinkers' father. He diagnoses pressure on the brain, which can be cured by a risky and expensive operation involving trephining. Hans offers his own money, saved in the hope of buying steel skates, to the doctor to pay for his father's operation. Touched by this gesture, Dr. Boekman provides the surgery for free. Hans is able to buy good skates and skate in the race. Gretel wins the girls' race, but Hans lets a friend — who needs it more — win the precious prize, the Silver Skates, in the boys' race. Mr. Brinker's operation is successful, and he is restored to health and memory. Dr. Boekman is also changed, losing his gruff ways. The Brinker parents live a long life. Dr. Boekman helps Hans go to medical school and Hans becomes a successful doctor.
Hard Times by Charles Dickens. 0.00
Organized in three parts, titled 'Sowing' 'Reaping' and 'Garnering' this novel describes a dystopian English society and economy in the mid-1800s. Bad factory working conditions in fictional manufacturing Coketown provide the setting for this book about the mechanizing effect of industrialization. The prosperous characters in the novel are portrayed as morally corrupt. The opposition of fact and fancy is a major theme; the positive effects of fancy, or imagination, soften the harshness of facts alone. Main characters Gradgrind and Bounderby are focused on fact, treating people... (+) as emotionless objects.
Harding's Luck by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Hardings Luck (1909) is the second novel in the the House of Arden series by Edith Nesbit. The first novel in the series, The House of Arden, was published in 1908. Harding's Luck is a rather unusual Nesbit, in that it tells of an only child -- Dickie Harding, living on sufferance with an uncaring woman who injured him so badly as a child that he needs a crutch to walk. With no bantering siblings to lighten things up, and real poverty, as opposed to the struggling intelligentsia found in many of her books, Nesbit has set her sights on a more serious book than her others. Dickie... (+) sows some seeds and finds that one has grown into a moonflower. The seeds of the flower, combined with the silver rattle that is his one personnel possession, will take Dickie far from London. The moonflower's time-traveling magic takes Dickie back three hundred years in time, to a life where he is loved, privileged, and no longer lame. There he meets two other children from modern times -- Elfrida and Edred Arden (as also told in The House of Arden), whom he will later meet in the present as well. Yet back in London his "father" is waiting for him, along with all the poverty and physical pain of Dickie's real life. Dickie strikes a balance between past and present, always forcing himself home to see that the man he has adopted is making progress on the path to the settled, uncriminal life that Dickie wants for him. But this balance is disrupted when Dickie learns that he himself has a place in the present time that can give him as much happiness as the past does -- he just has to push aside new friends to claim it.
He Knew He was Right by Anthony Trollope. 0.00
He Knew He Was Right is an 1869 novel written by Anthony Trollope which describes the failure of a marriage caused by the unreasonable jealousy of a husband exacerbated by the stubbornness of a willful wife. As is common with Trollope's works, there are also several substantial subplots. Trollope makes constant allusions to Shakespeare's Othello throughout the novel. Trollope considered this work to be a failure; he viewed the main character as unsympathetic, and the secondary characters and plots much more lively and interesting. In the story, a wealthy young English gentleman,... (+) Louis Trevelyan, visits the fictional Mandarin Islands, and becomes smitten with Emily Rowley, the eldest daughter of the governor, Sir Marmaduke Rowley. The Rowleys accompany Trevelyan to London, where he marries Emily. The marriage is initially a happy one and the couple has a baby boy. Then a seemingly minor matter undermines their marriage. Colonel Osborne, an old friend of Sir Marmaduke's, visits Emily much too frequently for her husband's taste. Though nothing improper occurs, Trevelyan overreacts and orders his wife to avoid the man in future. Emily resents his lack of trust and makes no attempt to hide it. Their relationship deteriorates to the point that they separate. Trevelyan departs England to escape the shame he feels. During his aimless wanderings, he meets Mr Glascock, who is on his way to Italy to visit his father. While there, Trevelyan receives word that Colonel Osborne has dared to visit Emily once again. While Osborne had not been permitted to see Emily, Trevelyan doesn't believe it and has the boy taken away from his mother by deception; he takes his son back to Italy, where he descends further into madness. Eventually, he is tracked down by his wife and friends. Emily persuades him first to give her their son, then to return with her to England; he dies, however, shortly after their return. In his dying moments, Emily, asking Louis if she had been faithful to him, begs him to kiss her hand in agreement. Whether or not he does is unclear, but Emily believes "the verdict of the dying man had been given in her favour."
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. 0.00
A novella the story centers on Charles Marlow, an Englishman, who narrates most of the book and who takes a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a river-boat captain in Africa. The story reveals the dark side of Belgian colonization while exploring the three levels of darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, encounters: the darkness of the Congo wilderness, the darkness of the Belgians' cruel treatment of the African natives, and the unfathomable darkness within every human being for committing heinous acts of evil.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Heidi is a Swiss work of fiction about the events in the life of a young girl in her grandfather's care, in the Swiss Alps. It was written as a book "for children and those who love children" in 1880 by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. This 1915 version was translated into English by Elizabeth P. Stork. The Heidi book is among the best-known works of Swiss literature. Heidi is a girl who has been raised by her Aunt Dete in Maienfeld, Switzerland after the early deaths of her parents, Tobias and Adelheid. Dete brings 5-year-old Heidi to her grandfather, who has been at odds with the... (+) villagers for years and lives in seclusion on the alm. This has earned him the nickname Alp-Öhi. He at first resents Heidi's arrival, but the girl manages to penetrate his harsh exterior and Heidi subsequently has a delightful stay with him and her best friend, young Peter the goat-herd. Aunt Dete returns three years later to bring Heidi to Frankfurt as a companion of a 12-year-old girl named Klara Sesemann, who is regarded as an invalid. Heidi spends a year with Klara, conflicting with the Sesemanns' strict housekeeper Fraulein Rottenmeier and becoming more and more homesick. Her one diversion is learning to read and write, motivated by her desire to go home and read to Peter's blind grandmother. Heidi's increasingly failing health, and several instances of sleepwalking that cause hysteria in the household, prompt Klara's doctor to send Heidi home to her grandfather. Her return prompts the grandfather to descend to the village for the first time in years, marking an end to his seclusion. Heidi and Klara continue to contact each other. A visit by the doctor to Heidi and her grandfather convinces him to recommend Klara to visit Heidi. Meanwhile, Heidi teaches Peter to read and write. Klara makes the journey the next season and spends a wonderful summer with Heidi. Klara becomes stronger on goat's milk and fresh mountain air, but Peter, feeling deprived of Heidi's attention, pushes Klara's wheelchair down the mountain to its destruction. Without her wheelchair, Klara attempts to walk and is gradually successful. Klara's grandmother and father are amazed and overcome with joy to see Klara walking. Klara's wealthy family promises to provide a shelter for Heidi, in case her grandfather will no longer be able to do so.
Hidden in Plain Sight, Revised 2nd Edition: Getting to the Bottom of Puzzling Emotions by Barry Grosskopf. (368 pages, 6.2 hrs) 9.95
Become the conscious author of your own healing story by knowing your forebears' pain. A sorrow that had origins in your grandparent's childhood may silently be influencing how you conduct your life. ♦ Publisher's Web Site
His Grace of Osmonde by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
Frances Hodgson Burnett's His Grace of Osmonde (1897) is a melodramatic sequel to her popular novel A Lady of Quality. In this tale about English aristocracy, Clorinda Wildairs and her husband are the central figures. The story portrays their adventurous life, tragic secrets, and marriage. Exploring the English nobility and society of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, this historical novel also addresses the concerns of the handicapped.
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding. 0.00
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, often known simply as Tom Jones, is a comic novel by the English playwright and novelist Henry Fielding. First published in 1749, Tom Jones is among the earliest English prose works describable as a novel. The novel is divided into 18 smaller books, each preceded by a discursive chapter, often on topics totally unrelated to the book itself. Tom Jones is a foundling discovered on the property of a very kind, wealthy landowner, Squire Allworthy, in Somerset in England's West Country. Tom grows into a vigorous and lusty, yet honest and kind-hearted,... (+) youth. He develops affection for his neighbour's daughter, Sophia Western. On one hand, their love reflects the romantic comedy genre that was popular in 18th-century Britain. However, Tom's status as a bastard causes Sophia's father and Allworthy to oppose their love; this criticism of class friction in society acted as a biting social commentary. The inclusion of prostitution and sexual promiscuity in the plot was also original for its time, and the foundation for criticism of the book's "lowness." The main theme of the novel is the contrast between Tom Jones' good nature, flawed but eventually corrected by his love for virtuous Sophia Western, and his half-brother Blifil's hypocrisy.
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. 0.00
The House of Mirth (1905), is a novel by Edith Wharton. Although The House of Mirth is written in the style of a novel of manners, set against the backdrop of the 1890s New York ruling class, it is a text considered to be part of American literary Naturalism. Wharton places her tragic heroine, Lily Bart, in a society that she describes as a "hot-house of traditions and conventions." The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, a woman who is torn between her desire for luxurious living and a relationship based on mutual respect and love. She sabotages all her possible chances... (+) for a wealthy marriage, loses the esteem of her social circle, and dies young, poor, and alone. Lily is initially of good social standing and rejects several offers of advantageous marriage. She then damages her standing by accepting an invitation to Lawrence Selden's private rooms. Lily's social standing erodes further when her friend Judy Trenor's husband Gus gives Lily a large sum of money. Lily innocently accepts the money, believing that it is the return on investments he supposedly made for her. The rumors of this transaction, and of her mysterious visit to Gus in his city residence crack her social standing further. To escape the rumors and gossip, she accepts an invitation from Bertha Dorset to join her and her husband, George, on a cruise of Europe aboard their yacht the Sabrina. Unfortunately, while aboard the yacht, Bertha accuses Lily of adultery with George in order to shift societal attention from Bertha's own infidelity with poet Ned Silverton. The ensuing scandal ruins Lily, leading her friends to abandon her and Aunt Peniston to disinherit her. Lily descends the social strata, working as a personal secretary until Bertha sabotages her position by turning her employers against her. Lily then takes a job as social secretary for a disreputable woman, but resigns after Selden comes to rescue her from complete infamy. She then works in a millinery, but produces poorly and is let go at the end of the season. Simon Rosedale, the Jewish suitor who had proposed marriage to her when she was higher on the social scale tries to rescue her, but she is unwilling to meet his terms: to use love letters she bought which prove the affair Bertha Dorset and Selden had years earlier. Lily refrains for sake of Selden's reputation, and secretly burns the letters when she visits Selden for one last time. Eventually Lily receives her $10,000 inheritance, which she uses to pay her debt to Trenors. Lily dies from an overdose, possibly accidental, of the sleeping draught to which she had become addicted. Hours later Selden comes to propose to her, but finds she has died. Only then is he able to be close to her in a way he never was able to when she was living and admit his true love for her.
Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates by Howard Pyle. 0.00
Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1912) is a series of stories of fiction, fact and fancy concerning the buccaneers and marooners of the Spanish Main. Pirates, Buccaneers, Marooners, those cruel but picturesque sea wolves who once infested the Spanish Main, all live in present-day
Hunger by Knut Hamsun. 0.00
Hunger is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. The novel has been hailed as the literary opening of the 20th century and an outstanding example of modern, psychology-driven literature. It hails the irrationality of the human mind in an intriguing and sometimes humorous novel. Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890. Set in late 19th century Kristiania, the novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man... (+) whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis. While he vainly tries to maintain an outer shell of respectability, his mental and physical decay are recounted in detail. His ordeal, enhanced by his inability or unwillingness to pursue a professional career, which he deems unfit for someone of his abilities, is pictured in a series of encounters which Hamsun himself described as "a series of analyses." In many ways, the protagonist of the novel displays traits reminiscent of Raskolnikov, whose creator, Fyodor Dostoevsky, was one of Hamsun's main influences. The influence of naturalist authors such as Emile Zola is apparent in the novel, as is his rejection of the realist tradition.
Husbands and Wives All These Years: From Caring to Caretaking by Lillian S. Hawthorne. (160 pages, 2 hrs) 9.95
Along with the author's descriptions of patterns that emerge from studying couples in long-term marriages, the book includes brief interviews with over 20 couples and results in a heartfelt look at the realities of aging in long-term marriages. ♦ Publisher's Web Site
Hyperion by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 0.00
Hyperion: A Romance is one of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's earliest works, published in 1839. It is a prose romance which was published alongside his first volume of poems, Voices of the Night. Hyperion follows a young American protagonist named Paul Flemming as he travels through Germany. The character's wandering is partially inspired by the death of a friend. The author had also recently lost someone close to him. Longfellow's first wife, Mary Storer Potter, died in Rotterdam in the Netherlands after a miscarriage in 1836; Longfellow was deeply saddened by her death and noted... (+) in his diary: "All day I am weary and sad ... and at night I cry myself to sleep like a child." Hyperion was inspired in part by his trips to Europe as well as his then-unsuccessful courtship of Frances Appleton, daughter of businessman Nathan Appleton. In the book, Flemming falls in love with an Englishwoman, Mary Ashburton, who rejects him.
In a Glass Darkly by John Sheridan Le Fanu. 0.00
In a Glass Darkly is a collection of five short stories by Sheridan Le Fanu, first published in 1872, the year before his death. The second and third stories are revised versions of previously published stories, and the fourth and fifth are long enough to be called novellas. The five stories are: Green Tea, The Familiar, Mr Justice Harbottle, The Room in the Dragon Volant, and Carmilla. This is the first of three volumes. The stories, which belong to the gothic horror and mystery genres, are presented as selections from the posthumous papers of the occult detective Dr Martin... (+) Hesselius. The following three stories are contained in the first volume. Green Tea -- An English clergyman named Jennings confides to Hesselius that he is being followed by a demon in the form of an ethereal monkey, invisible to everyone else, which is trying to invade his mind and destroy his life. Hesselius writes letters to a Dutch colleague about the victim's condition, which gets steadily worse with time as the creature steps up its methods, all of which are purely psychological. The title refers to Hesselius's belief that green tea was what unsealed Jennings's "inner eye" and led to the haunting. Emanuel Swedenborg's book Arcana Coelestia (1749) is cited on the power of demons. The Familiar -- A revised version of The Watcher (1851). A sea captain, living in Dublin, is stalked by "The Watcher", a strange dwarf who resembles a person from his past. He starts to hear accusatory voices all about him, and eventually his fears solidify in the form of a sinister bird, a pet owl owned by his fiancée, Miss Montague. Mr Justice Harbottle -- A revised version of An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street (1853). A cruel judge in the Court of Common Pleas, Elijah Harbottle, finds himself under attack by vengeful spirits, and in a disturbing dream he is condemned to death by a monstrous doppelgänger. The story is set between 1746 and 1748, and is retold by a Londoner called Anthony Harman from the account given in letters by an elderly friend.
In Connection with the De Willoughby Claim by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
In Connection with The De Willoughby Claim is an 1899 novel by France Hodgson Burnet. The plot revolves around a kindly oaf named Tom De Willoughby who gets cast out of his aristocratic good looking family for being a bit fat and clumsy. He sets up a general store a few towns away where nobody knows him; in pre Civil War North Carolina no one travels more than ten minutes from their own front door. In the new locale, Tom becomes well loved. One day a stranger turns up in town with a suspicious looking wife and then something nasty happens in the woodshed, and before we know... (+) it Uncle Tom has adopted a poor motherless baby, and her ‘father’ has fled. The plot then switches to another group of people in a town not far from Boston who rave about a wonderful angelic girl called Margery who tragically died of ‘consumption’ in Italy. Her brother Reverend Latimer is prostrate with grief until he makes a friend of the Reverend John Baird and they become inseparable. Time moves on and Uncle Tom brings up the motherless baby into a beautiful and wonderful girl called Sheba whom everyone loves. Then the Civil War arrives and imposes great hardship on all of North Carolina society. After the war, a claim system is established which helps families who lost land and property during the Civil War reclaim their losses from the government, but they have to go to Washington and fight their case. Rupert DeWilloughby from Tom's original aristocratic family comes and finds Tom to tell him about the claim system. As there is a lot of De Willougby land to be claimed, Tom, Rupert and Sheba travel to Washington to claim their money. Rupert and Sheba fall in love; there are complications as to Sheba’s parenthood, but eventually, it all ends happily ever after.
In the Closed Room by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
In the Closed Room (1904) by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a mystic sort of tale of the tenements of New York, wherein a strange human flower blossoms and fades all too soon. This short story concerns a working class couple, Jem and Jane Foster and their otherworldly young daughter, Judith. Judith is imaginative and solitary, she frequently dreams of her Aunt Hester, who died quietly at a very young age. Judith and her parents live in a hot, airless flat near the City's noisy Elevated Railroad. The father is offered the temporary position of caretaker at large house by the Park.... (+) The small family relocates to the beautiful deserted mansion. Judith and her mother discover a locked room on the fourth floor of the house. Judith forms a friendship with a young playmate who is actually a ghost, in the locked room in the house.
In the High Valley by Susan Coolidge. 0.00
In the High Valley (1889) is a novel by Susan Coolidge. It is the second novel in the Clover series which relate the adventures of Clover Carr, Katy Carr's younger sister, and her four still younger siblings. Clover (1888) is the first novel in the series. Both are sequels to the well-known Katy Carr series, which relates the adventures of Katy Carr, a twelve-year-old girl whose family lived in the fictional lakeside Ohio town of Burnet in the 1860s. Katy is a tall untidy tomboy, forever getting into scrapes but wishing to be beautiful and beloved.
In the Year 2889 by Jules & Michael Verne. 0.00
In the Year 2889 (1889) is a short story written by Jules Verne. In 1885, James Gordon Bennett, Jr., owner of the New York Herald (the same man who sent Stanley to Africa to find Livingstone) asked Jules Verne to write a short story about life in the United States a thousand years hence. Ironically, the resulting tale was not printed until 1889 -- and not in the New York Herald. It is an unusual work in every way. Verne wrote few short stories, and no others first published in English. In contrast to his conservative, plodding science fiction novels, "In the Year 2889" dashes... (+) wildly from one fanciful extrapolation to another. Experts believe Jules' son Michel may have authored part of the story. Many of the predictions for the year 2889 have already come true. Verne's dystopian concept of one man brought to vast power and wealth through widely distributed intellectual property brings to mind names like Samuel Newhouse and Bill Gates. There are also glimmerings of later science fiction themes, including suspended animation and turning the moon around a la Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End (1953). Of course Verne also made mistakes, and some of his predictions simply have not come to pass. But give them time: there are nearly nine centuries left before the year 2889.
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. 0.00
Ivanhoe is a historical fiction novel by Sir Walter Scott in 1819. Ivanhoe is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the English nobility was overwhelmingly Norman. It follows the Saxon protagonist, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who is out of favour with his father for his allegiance to the Norman king, Richard I of England. The story is set in 1194, after the failure of the Third Crusade, when many of the Crusaders were still returning to Europe. King Richard, who had been captured by the Duke of Saxony on his way back, was believed to still be in the arms... (+) of his captors. The legendary Robin Hood, initially under the name of Locksley, is also a character in the story, as are his "merry men." The character that Scott gave to Robin Hood in Ivanhoe helped shape the modern notion of this figure as a cheery noble outlaw.
Jacob Faithful by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
Jacob Faithful (1834) is a novel by Captain Frederick Marryat. Much of the action takes place on lighters in the Port of London, traveling up and down the tidal Thames. Jacob loses both his parents in dramatic circumstances, and is brought up by the owner of the wharf where Jacob's family lighter was based. There is another old lighterman, Tom, with a son, also Tom, and a dog, also Tom, and Jacob becomes very friendly with this trio. Another major character is the schoolmaster, or dominie, who kept the school Jacob was sent to, and who had some very dominating habits, such as... (+) loudly blowing his nose, and constantly adding dog-Latin tags to his every speech.
Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf. 0.00
Jacob's Room is the third novel by Virginia Woolf, first published in 1922. The novel centers, in a very ambiguous way, around the life story of the protagonist Jacob Flanders, and is presented entirely by the impressions other characters have of Jacob. Thus, although it could be said that the book is primarily a character study and has little in the way of plot or background, the narrative is constructed as a void in place of the central character, if indeed the novel can be said to have a 'protagonist' in conventional terms. Motifs of emptiness and absence haunt the novel... (+) and establish its elegiac feel. Jacob is described to us, but in such indirect terms that it would seem better to view him as an amalgamation of the different perceptions of the characters and narrator. He does not exist as a concrete reality, but rather as a collection of memories and sensations. Set in pre-war England, the novel begins in Jacob's childhood and follows him through college at Cambridge, and then into adulthood. The story is told mainly through the perspectives of the women in Jacob's life, including the repressed upper-middle-class Clara Durrant and the uninhibited young art student Florinda, with whom he has an affair. His time in London forms a large part of the story, though towards the end of the novel he travels to Italy, then Greece.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. 0.00
Told in the first person by the title character, this spellbinding tale describes orphan Jane's difficult childhood and heartbreaks during her quest for independence and love as she matures. She falls in love with Edward Rochester, her employer when she is governess at Thornfield Hall, but she chooses self-respect over a relationship that would require her to give up on certain ideals. With dignity intact, Jane takes a job with another family. She nearly marries but is drawn to return to Thornfield Hall, and what she finds there changes everything.
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding. 0.00
Joseph Andrews, or The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adams, was the first published full-length novel of the English author and magistrate Henry Fielding, and indeed among the first novels in the English language. Published in 1742 and defined by Fielding as a ‘comic epic poem in prose’, it is the story of a good-natured footman's adventures on the road home from London with his friend and mentor, the absent-minded parson Abraham Adams. The novel represents the coming together of the two competing aesthetics of eighteenth-century... (+) literature: the mock-heroic and neoclassical (and, by extension, aristocratic) approach of Augustans such as Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift; and the popular, domestic prose fiction of novelists such as Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson. The novel draws on a variety of inspirations. Written "in imitation of the manner of Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote", the work owes much of its humour to the techniques developed by Cervantes, and its subject-matter to the seemingly loose arrangement of events, digressions and lower-class characters to the genre of writing known as picaresque. In deference to the literary tastes and recurring tropes of the period, it relies on bawdy humour, an impending marriage and a mystery surrounding unknown parentage, but conversely is rich in philosophical digressions, classical erudition and social purpose. As becomes apparent from the first few chapters of the novel, the real germ of Joseph Andrews is Fielding’s objection to the moral and technical limitations of the popular literature of his day. But while Fielding's Shamela started and finished as a sustained subversion of a rival work, in Joseph Andrews Fielding merely uses the perceived depravation of popular literature as a springboard to conceive more fully his own philosophy of prose fiction. The novel begins with the affable, intrusive narrator outlining the nature of our hero. Joseph Andrews is the brother of Richardson’s Pamela and is of the same rustic parentage and patchy ancestry. At the age of ten years he found himself tending to animals as an apprentice to Sir Thomas Booby. It was in proving his worth as a horseman that he first caught the eye of Sir Thomas’s wife, Lady Booby, who employed him (now seventeen) as her footman.
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. 0.00
Jude the Obscure, the last of Thomas Hardy's novels, began as a magazine serial and was first published in book form in 1895. The book was burned publicly by William Walsham How, Bishop of Wakefield, in that same year. Its hero, Jude Fawley, is a working-class young man who dreams of becoming a scholar. The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest. The themes in the novel revolve around issues of class, education, religion, and marriage. Hardy began making notes for the story in 1887. The novel develops multiple intertwined themes.... (+) Most controversially, during England's Victorian era, Hardy criticized revered institutions like marriage and Christianity. He also criticizes the bourgeois values associated with marriage through the tragedy of his star-crossed lovers, Jude and Sue, whose attempts to defy social conventions for the sake of love lead to their misery. The novel tells the story of Jude Fawley, a village stonemason in the southern English region of Wessex who yearns to be a scholar at "Christminster", a city modeled on Oxford. In his spare time while working in his aunt's bakery, he teaches himself Greek and Latin. Before he can try to enter the university, the naïve Jude is manipulated, through a process he later calls erotolepsy, into marrying a rather coarse and superficial local girl, Arabella Donn, who deserts him within two years. By this time, he has abandoned the classics altogether. After Arabella leaves him, Jude moves to Christminster and supports himself as a mason while studying alone, hoping to be able to enter the university later. There, he meets and falls in love with his free-spirited cousin, Sue Bridehead. Jude shortly introduces Sue to his former schoolteacher, Mr. Phillotson, whom she later marries. Sue is satisfied by the normality of her married life, but quickly finds the relationship an unhappy one; in addition to being in love with Jude, not her husband, she is physically disgusted by her spouse, and, apparently, by sex in general. Sue eventually leaves Phillotson for Jude. Sue and Jude spend some time living together without any sexual relationship; they are both afraid to get married because their family has a history of tragic unions, and think that being legally bound to one another might destroy their love. Jude eventually convinces Sue to sleep with him and, over the years, they have two children together. They are also bestowed with a child "of an intelligent age" from Jude's first marriage to Arabella, whom Jude did not know about earlier. He is named Jude and nicknamed "Little Father Time" because of his intense seriousness and moroseness. Little Father Time's moroseness eads to further complications.
Just David by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Eleanor H. Porter, the author of the well known book for girls, Pollyanna, also penned a lessor known but just as memorable book for boys called Just David in 1915. Centering on the mountains, music, his violin, and of course the young boy David, this treasure is ideal for anyone willing to be haunted by goodness for the rest of their life. It is definitely unforgettable.
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. 0.00
The Just So Stories for Little Children were written by British author Rudyard Kipling. The stories, first published in 1902, are pourquoi stories, fantastic accounts of how various phenomena came about. The Just So Stories have a typical theme of a particular animal being modified from an original form to its current form by the acts of man, or some magical being. For example, the Whale has a tiny throat from a swallowed mariner who tied a raft in there to block the whale from swallowing others. The Camel has a hump given to him by a djinn as punishment for the camel refusing... (+) to work (the hump allows the camel to work longer between eating). The Leopard has spots painted on him by an Ethiopian (after the Ethiopian painted himself black). The Kangaroo gets its powerful hind legs, long tail, and hopping gait after being chased all day by a dingo, who was sent after the Kangaroo by a minor god whom the Kangaroo had asked to make him different from all other animals.
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. 0.00
Kidnapped is a historical fiction adventure novel by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. First published in the magazine Young Folks in 1886, the novel has attracted the praise and admiration of writers as diverse as Henry James, Jorge Luis Borges, and Seamus Heaney. As historical fiction, it is set around 18th-century Scottish events, notably the "Appin Murder", which occurred near Ballachulish in 1752 in the aftermath of the Jacobite Rising. Many of the characters, and one of the principals, Alan Breck Stewart, were real people. The central character and narrator is... (+) a young man named David Balfour, whose parents have recently died and who is out to make his way in the world. He is given a letter by the minister of Essendean, Mr. Campbell, to be delivered to the House of Shaws in Cramond, where David's uncle, Ebenezer Balfour, lives. David arrives at the ominous House of Shaws and is confronted by his paranoid Uncle Ebenezer, armed with a blunderbuss. His uncle is also niggardly, living on "parritch" and small ale, and indeed the House of Shaws itself is partially unfinished and somewhat ruinous. David is allowed to stay, and soon discovers evidence that his father may have been older than his uncle, thus making himself the rightful heir to the estate.
Kim by Rudyard Kipling. 0.00
Kim is a picaresque novel by Rudyard Kipling. It was first published serially in McClure's Magazine from 1900 to 1901. The story unfolds against the backdrop of The Great Game, the political conflict between Russia and Britain in Central Asia. Kim is the orphaned son of an Irish soldier and a poor white mother who have both died in poverty. Living a vagabond existence in India under British rule in the late 19th century, Kim earns his living by begging and running small errands on the streets of Lahore. He occasionally works for Mahbub Ali, a Pashtun horse trader who is one... (+) of the native operatives of the British secret service. Kim is so immersed in the local culture, few realise he is a white child, though he carries a packet of documents from his father entrusted to him by an Indian woman who cared for him. The book presents a vivid picture of India, its teeming populations, religions, and superstitions, and the life of the bazaars and the road.
King Solomon's Mines by Henry Rider Haggard. 0.00
King Solomon's Mines (1885) is a popular novel by the Victorian adventure writer and fabulist Sir H. Rider Haggard. It tells of a search of an unexplored region of Africa by a group of adventurers led by Allan Quatermain for the missing brother of one of the party. It is the first English adventure novel set in Africa, and is considered to be the genesis of the Lost World literary genre. Allan Quatermain, an adventurer and white hunter based in Durban, in what is now South Africa, is approached by aristocrat Sir Henry Curtis and his friend Captain Good, seeking his help finding... (+) Sir Henry's brother, who was last seen travelling north into the unexplored interior on a quest for the fabled King Solomon's Mines. Quatermain has a mysterious map purporting to lead to the mines, but had never taken it seriously. He has little hope they will return alive, but reasons that he has already outlived most people in his profession.
Lilith by George MacDonald. 0.00
Lilith (1895) is a fantasy novel written by Scottish writer George MacDonald. Its importance was recognized in its later revival in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fifth volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in September 1969. Lilith is considered among the darkest of MacDonald's works, and among the most profound. It is a story concerning the nature of life, death, and salvation. In the story, MacDonald mentions a cosmic sleep that heals tortured souls, preceding the salvation of all. MacDonald was a Christian universalist, believing that all will eventually... (+) be saved. However, in this story, divine punishment is not taken lightly, and salvation is hard-won. Mr. Vane, the protagonist of Lilith, owns a library that seems to be haunted by the former librarian, who looks much like a raven from the brief glimpses he catches of the wraith. After finally encountering the supposed ghost, the mysterious Mr. Raven, Vane learns that Raven had known his father; indeed, Vane's father had visited the strange parallel universe from which Raven comes and goes and now resides therein. Vane follows Raven into the world through a mirror. Inside the world, Vane learns of a house of beds where the dreamers sleep until the end of the world. Vane's grandfather refused to sleep there and is, instead, forced to do battle with skeletons in a haunted wood. After a treacherous journey through a valley, Mr. Vane meets the Little Ones, children who never grow up, only get bigger and dumber, turning into "bags" or bad giants. After conversing with Lona, the eldest of the children, Mr. Vane decides to help them, and sets off to gather more information, although the Raven has warned Mr. Vane that he needs to sleep along with the dreamers before he can really help them. While on his journey, he meets Lilith, the princess of Bulika. Vane, although nearly blinded by Lilith's beauty and charms, eventually leads the Little Ones in a battle against Bulika. Lona, Vane's love, turns out to be Lilith's daughter, and is killed by her own mother. Lilith, however, is captured and brought to Adam and Eve at the house of death, where they struggle to make her open her hand, fused shut, in which she holds the water the Little Ones need to grow. Only when she gives it up can Lilith join the sleepers in blissful dreams, free of sin. After a long struggle Lilith bids Adam cut her hand from her body; it is done, Lilith sleeps, and Vane is sent to bury the hand; water flows from the hole and washes the land over. Vane is then allowed to join the Little Ones, already asleep, in their dreaming. He takes his bed, next to Lona's, and finds true life in death.
Little Country Girl by Susan Coolidge. 0.00
A Little Country Girl is an 1875 children's novel by Susan Coolidge, the author best known for her Katy series. Newport serves as the setting. The book opens with Candace Arden, a young girl alone on board a ferry bound for Newport. The Captain notices her, and inquires where she is bound. Candace reveals that she is going to stay with her cousin Mrs. Courtenay Gray. The whole scene was like enchantment to Candace, who had lived all her life among the hills of Connecticut, and had never till that day seen the ocean.
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Francis Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886) is the first children's novel written by English playwright and author Frances Hodgson Burnett. In a "shabby" "New York side street" in the mid-1880s, young American Cedric Errol lives with his mother (never named, known only as Mrs. Errol or "Dearest") in genteel poverty after his father, Captain Errol, dies. They receive a visit from Havisham, an English lawyer with a message from young Cedric's grandfather, the Earl of Dorincourt. With the deaths of his father's elder brothers, Cedric is now Lord Fauntleroy and heir to the Earldom and a vast... (+) estate. The Earl wants Cedric to live with him and learn to be an English aristocrat. The Earl despises America and was deeply disappointed with Captain Errol, his favorite son, for marrying an American. So he offers Mrs. Errol a house and income, yet refuses to meet or have anything to do with her, even after she declines the offer of the money. However, the crusty Earl is impressed by the appearance and intelligence of his young American grandson, and charmed by his innocent nature. Cedric, a trusting child, believes his noble grandfather to be a great benefactor, and the Earl cannot bear to disappoint his loving grandson. Thus, the Earl acts as a benefactor to his tenants (as the local populace notices to their delight). A pretender to Cedric's inheritance appears, his mother claiming that he is the son of the Earl's eldest son, but the claim is investigated and disproved with the assistance of Cedric's loyal friends in New York, one of whom — a bootblack called Dick — recognizes the mother as the missing wife of his brother Ben, and her son (the alleged heir) as his own nephew. The Earl is reconciled to his son's American widow after meeting with the other boy's mother, recognizing that, despite his preconceptions and prejudices, "Dearest" is a far superior woman to the alternative. The Earl had intended to teach his grandson how to be an aristocrat; however, Cedric inadvertently teaches his grandfather that an aristocrat should practice compassion towards persons who are dependent on him. The Earl becomes the kind and good man Cedric always innocently believed him to be. Cedric's mother is invited by the Earl to live in the ancestral castle, and Cedric's old friend Mr. Hobbs, the New York City grocer, who came to England to help investigate the false claim, decides to stay to help look after Cedric.
Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. 0.00
Little Men, or Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys (1871) is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott. The novel reprises characters from Little Women and is considered by some the second book of an unofficial Little Women trilogy, which is completed with Alcott's 1886 novel Jo's Boys, and How They Turned Out: A Sequel to "Little Men". The book was inspired by the death of Alcott's brother-in-law, which reveals itself in one of the last chapters, when a beloved character from Little Women passes away. Little Men follows the life of Jo Bhaer and the students who live and learn... (+) at Plumfield School that she runs with her husband, Professor Bhaer. Jo inherited the estate from her Aunt March. The mischievous children, whom she loves and cares for as her own, learn valuable lessons as they grow to adulthood. While the story focuses mainly on Jo, her husband, and the pupils, characters from Little Women continue to appear. Meg is now married to John Brooke, with twins at the school; Amy is married to Laurie, and occasionally visits with her small daughter, though Laurie makes more regular appearances. The story begins with the arrival of Nat Blake, a shy young orphan with a talent for playing the violin and a penchant for telling fibs. Through his eyes we are introduced to the majority of the characters, from the Bhaers' children to other classmates. We follow Nat's life from April through Thanksgiving, meeting new students and playing games and having adventures throughout. Nat is the eleventh boy to arrive at the school. The twelve boys do not include Jo's own sons Rob and Teddy, since they are significantly younger than the others and do not attend formal lessons, nor do they include the two girls. The youngest of the twelve are Dick and Dolly who are eight years old, and the oldest is Professor Bhaer's nephew, Franz, who is sixteen. Franz's younger brother, Emil, is also at the school, and so are Meg's twins, Daisy and Demi. Nat realizes immediately that the school is not run on conventional lines, as he arrives during the Saturday night pillow-fight, which Mrs. Bhaer not only permits but even joins. All the children have their own gardens and their own pets, and spend time on these as well as in regular lessons. Discipline is also unusual; Nat is ordered to strike Professor Bhaer's hand with the ruler, rather than being struck himself, as a punishment for telling lies. There are two further new arrivals shortly afterwards, both of which significantly alter the character of the school. The Bhaers are concerned that Daisy, the only girl, except for the occasional visits from Laurie and Amy's tiny daughter, Bess, is regularly left out by the boys. Jo and Laurie set up a miniature kitchen for her, but this is time-consuming for Jo and does not provide Daisy with companionship. They therefore decide to make the school more co-educational and to invite Nan to join them. Nan is a tomboy after Jo's own heart and becomes friends equally, though very differently, with prim Daisy Brooke and chaotic Tommy Bangs. The other new arrival and twelfth new student, Dan, is introduced by Nat, who believes that the school will manage to accept and reform his rough-mannered friend. Dan, however, decides the other boys are "molly-coddles" and leads them in experiments with fighting, drinking, smoking, swearing and playing cards, which results in his being temporarily removed from the school. He returns eventually with an injured foot, and redeems himself by standing up for Nat when Nat is falsely accused of theft by the other boys. He also becomes curator of the school's natural history museum. Each student has his or her own struggles: Nat lies; Demi, although adored by his mother and sister, is so naïve that he finds it hard to live in the real world, but swears that he will be like 'papa' after John Brooke, Meg's husband, dies; Emil has a bad temper; Dan is rebellious and rude; Tommy is careless, once stetting the house afire; Nan is too rambunctious; Daisy is too prim and even weak-willed, etc. They all learn to cope with their faults as they grow into young men and women.
Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories (1890) is a collection of four lovely stories for children by Francis Hodgson Burnett. In addition to the title story, the book also includes: The Story of Prince Fairyfoot, The Proud Little Grain of Wheat, and The White Brick. Little Saint Elizabeth features the rather-too-good-to-be-true Elizabeth, brought up by a rigidly religious aunt in France and then, on the aunt's death, transferred to the luxurious home of her uncle in America. Elizabeth is determined, naively, to help the poor of her neighborhood and runs into danger. The other... (+) three stories are fairytales: The Story of Prince Fairyfoot is about a prince whose feet are too small, who meets some fairies, but ultimately has to deny who he is in order to be accepted by his family; The Proud Little Grain of Wheat is about a proud grain of wheat who (so to speak) eventually meets his just desserts; and The White Brick is about a girl who imagines exploring the chimney.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. 0.00
Follow from childhood into adulthood the four daughters in the March family: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The father, Mr. March, is a Union chaplain during the Civil War and away much of the book, while Marmee, the mother, continues raising the girls. The daughters have different personalities and goals, and each is a strong character.
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad. 0.00
Lord Jim (1900) is a novel by Joseph Conrad. Jim, a young British seaman, becomes first mate on the Patna, a ship full of pilgrims travelling to Mecca for the hajj. Jim joins his captain and other crew members in abandoning the ship and its passengers. A few days later, they are picked up by a British ship. However, the Patna and its passengers are later also saved, and the reprehensible actions of the crew are exposed. The other participants evade the judicial court of inquiry, leaving Jim to the court alone.
Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore. 0.00
Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor (1869) is a novel by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. It is a romance based on a group of historical characters and set in the late 17th century in Devon and Somerset, particularly around the East Lyn Valley area of Exmoor. The book is set in the 17th century in the Badgworthy Water region of Exmoor in Devon and Somerset, England. John Ridd is the son of a respectable farmer who was murdered in cold blood by one of the notorious Doone clan, a once noble family, now outlaws, in the isolated Doone Valley. Battling his desire for revenge, John also... (+) grows into a respectable farmer and takes good care of his mother and two sisters. He falls hopelessly in love with Lorna, a girl he meets by accident, who turns out to be not only the granddaughter of Sir Ensor Doone, but destined to marry the impetuous, menacing, and now jealous heir of the Doone Valley, Carver Doone. Carver will let nothing get in the way of his marriage to Lorna, which he plans to force upon her once Sir Ensor dies and he comes into his inheritance. Sir Ensor dies, and Carver becomes lord of the Doones. John Ridd helps Lorna escape to his family's farm, Plover's Barrows. Since Lorna is a member of the hated Doone clan, feelings are mixed toward her in the Ridd household, but she is nonetheless defended against the enraged Carver's retaliatory attack on the farm. A member of the Ridd household notices Lorna's necklace, a jewel that she was told by Sir Ensor belonged to her mother. During a visit from the Counselor, Carver's father and the wisest of the Doone family, the necklace is stolen from Plover's Barrows. Shortly after its disappearance, a family friend discovers Lorna's origins, learning that the necklace belonged to a Lady Dugal, who was robbed and murdered by a band of outlaws. Only her daughter survived the attack. It becomes apparent that Lorna, being evidently the long-lost girl in question, is in fact heiress to one of the largest fortunes in the country, and not a Doone after all (although the Doones are remotely related, being descended from a collateral branch of the Dugal family). She is required by law, but against her will, to return to London to become a ward in Chancery. Despite John and Lorna's love for one another, their marriage is out of the question. King Charles II dies, and the Duke of Monmouth (the late king's illegitimate son) challenges Charles's brother James for the throne. The Doones, abandoning their plan to marry Lorna to Carver and claim her wealth, side with Monmouth in the hope of reclaiming their ancestral lands. However, Monmouth is defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor, and his associates are sought for treason. John Ridd is captured during the revolution. Innocent of all charges, he is taken to London by an old friend to clear his name. There, he is reunited with Lorna (now Lorna Dugal), whose love for him has not diminished. When he thwarts an attack on Lorna's great-uncle and legal guardian Earl Brandir, John is granted a pardon, a title, and a coat of arms by the king and returns a free man to Exmoor. In the meantime, the surrounding communities have grown tired of the Doones and their depredations. Knowing the Doones better than any other man, John leads the attack on their land. All the Doone men are killed, except the Counselor (from whom John retrieves the stolen necklace) and his son Carver, who escapes, vowing revenge. When Earl Brandir dies and Judge Jeffreys is awarded guardianship of Lorna, she is granted her freedom to return to Exmoor and marry John. During their wedding, Carver bursts into the church at Oare. He shoots Lorna and flees. Distraught and filled with blinding rage, John pursues and confronts him. A struggle ensues in which Carver is left sinking in a mire. Exhausted and bloodied from the fight, John can only pant as he watches Carver slip away. He returns to discover that Lorna is not dead, and after a period of anxious uncertainty, she survives to live happily ever after.
Lost Illusions by Honore Balzac. 0.00
Lost Illusions (Illusions Perdues) was written by the French writer Honoré de Balzac between 1837 and 1843. It consists of three parts, starting in the provinces, thereafter moving to Paris, and finally returning to provincial France. Thus it resembles another of Balzac’s greatest novels, The Black Sheep (La Rabouilleuse), in that it is set partly in Paris and partly in the provinces. It is, however, unique among the novels and short stories of the Comédie humaine by virtue of the even-handedness with which it treats both geographical dimensions of French social life. Lucien... (+) Chardon, the son of a lower middle-class father and an impoverished mother of remote aristocratic descent, is the pivotal figure of the entire work. Living at Angoulême, he is impoverished, impatient, handsome and ambitious. His widowed mother, his sister Ève and his best friend, David Séchard, do nothing to lessen his high opinion of his own talents, for it is an opinion they share. Even as Part I of Lost Illusions begins, Lucien has already written a historical novel and a sonnet sequence, whereas David is a scientist. But both, according to Balzac, are "poets" in that they creatively seek truth. Theirs is a fraternity of poetic aspiration, whether as scientist or writer: thus, even before David marries Ève, the two young men are spiritual brothers. Lucien is introduced into the drawing-room of the leading figure of Angoulême high society, Mme de Bargeton, who rapidly becomes infatuated with him. It is not long before the pair flee to Paris where Lucien adopts his maternal patronymic of de Rubempré and hopes to make his mark as a poet. Mme de Bargeton, on the other hand, recognises her mésalliance and, though remaining in Paris, severs all ties with Lucien, abandoning him to a life of destitution. In Part II, Lucien is contrasted both with the journalist Lousteau and the high-minded writer Daniel d’Arthez. Jilted by Mme de Bargeton for the adventurer Sixte du Châtelet, he moves in a social circle of high-class actress-prostitutes and their journalist lovers: soon he becomes the lover of Coralie. As a literary journalist he prostitutes his talent. But he still harbours the ambition of belonging to high society and longs to assume by royal warrant the surname and coat of arms of the de Rubemprés. He therefore switches his allegiance from the liberal opposition press to the one or two royalist newspapers that support the government. This act of betrayal earns him the implacable hatred of his erstwhile journalist colleagues, who destroy Coralie’s theatrical reputation. In the depths of his despair he forges his brother-in-law’s name on three promissory notes. This is his ultimate betrayal of his integrity as a person. After Coralie’s death he returns in disgrace to Angoulême, stowed away behind the Châtelets’ carriage: Mme de Bargeton has just married du Châtelet, who has been appointed prefect of that region. Meanwhile, at Angoulême David Séchard is betrayed on all sides but is supported by his loving wife. He invents a new and cheaper method of paper production: thus, at a thematic level, the commercialization of paper-manufacturing processes is very closely interwoven with the commercialization of literature. Lucien’s forgery of his brother-in-law’s signature almost bankrupts David, who has to sell the secret of his invention to business rivals. Lucien is about to commit suicide when he is approached by a sham Jesuit priest, the Abbé Carlos Herrera: this, in another guise, is the escaped convict Vautrin whom Balzac had already presented in Le Père Goriot. Herrera takes Lucien under his protection and they drive off to Paris, there to begin a fresh assault on the capital.
Lousiana by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
Louisiana is an 1880 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Louisiana Rogers lives in the mountains of rural North Carolina with her father Lew. Pa Rogers wants his daughter to become cultured so he sends her to the city to get an education. Her old-fashioned ways charm the townsfolk, especially playwright Laurence Ferol. Ferol is in North Carolina gathering color for a play and he goes to Louisiana's home to visit and to meet her father. She is embarrassed by her uncivilized surroundings, and when Ferol makes some uncomfortable jokes, she angrily sends him away. He returns to apologize,... (+) but one of Louisiana's old suitors has it in for him. Louisiana saves Ferol from the man's wrath and they reunite.
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. 0.00
Charles Bovary, a good citizen and kindhearted doctor, marries Emma Rouault, the daughter of a patient. Emma becomes disillusioned with married life and starts to think of Charles as clumsy and boring. Having a daughter gives her no joy. She dreams of more, spends money she doesn't have, and has affairs with two men, both of which leave her heartbroken. She tries religion, but that doesn't help. In the end Emma's despair has disastrous consequences for herself, Charles, and their daughter.
Maezli by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Maezli, A Story of Swiss Valleys is the third novel by Madame Johanna Spyri, translated into English by Elisabeth P Stork. The following preface for the 1921 English translation is a great summary of the novel. -- For many years the author was known almost entirely for her Alpine classic, "Heidi". The publication of a second story, "Cornelli", during the past year was so favorably received as to assure success for a further venture. "Maezli" may be pronounced the most natural and one of the most entertaining of Madame Spyri's creations. The atmosphere is created by an old Swiss... (+) castle and by the romantic associations of the noble family who lived there. Plot interest is supplied in abundance by the children of the Bergmann family with varying characters and interests. A more charming group of young people and a more wise and affectionate mother would be hard to find. Every figure is individual and true to life, with his or her special virtues and foibles, so that any grown person who picks up the volume will find it a world in miniature and will watch eagerly for the special characteristics of each child to reappear. Naturalness, generosity, and forbearance are shown throughout not by precept but by example. The story is at once entertaining, healthy, and, in the best sense of a word often misused, sweet. Insipid books do no one any good, but few readers of whatever age they may be will fail to enjoy and be the better for Maezli. It may save trouble to give here a summary of the Bergmann household. The mother is sometimes called Mrs. Rector, on account of her being the widow of a former rector of the parish, and sometimes Mrs. Maxa, to avoid confusion with the wife of the present rector. It is as if there were two Mrs. John Smiths, one of whom is called Mrs. Helen; Maxa being, of course, a feminine Christian name. Of the five children the eldest is the high-spirited, impulsive Bruno, who is just of an age to go away to a city school. Next comes his sister Mea, whose fault is that she is too submissive and confiding. Kurt, the second boy, is the most enterprising and humorous of the family; whereas, Lippo, another boy, is the soul of obedience and formality. Most original of all is Maezli, probably not over six, as she is too young to go to school. The writer of this preface knows of one family -- not his own, either -- which is waiting eagerly for another book by the author of "Heidi" and "Cornelli." To this and all families desirous of a story full of genuine fun and genuine feeling the present volume may be recommended without qualification.
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane. 0.00
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is an 1893 novel by American author Stephen Crane. Often called a novella because of its short length, it was Crane's first published book of fiction. Because the work was considered too risqué by publishers, Crane, who was 21 years old at the time, had to finance the publication of the novel himself. The novel takes place in the Bowery, a New York neighborhood in lower Manhattan. The story opens with Jimmie, at this point a young boy, trying to fight a gang of boys from an opposing neighborhood all by himself. He is saved by his father, and comes... (+) home to his sister Maggie, his toddling brother Tommie, his brutal and drunken father and mother, Mary Johnson. The parents terrify the children until they are shuddering in the corner. Years pass, the father and Tommie die, and Jimmie hardens into a sneering, aggressive, cynical youth. He gets a job as a teamster. Maggie begins to work in a shirt factory, but her attempts to improve her life are undermined by her mother's drunken rages. Maggie begins to date Jimmie's friend Pete, who has a job as a bartender and seems a very fine fellow. He takes her to the theater and the museum. One night Jimmie and Mary accuse Maggie of "Goin to deh devil." Jimmie goes to Pete's bar and picks a fight with him (even though he himself has ruined other boys' sisters). As the neighbors continue to talk about Maggie, Jimmie and Mary decide to join them in badmouthing her instead of defending her. Later, Nellie, a "woman of brilliance and audacity" convinces Pete to leave Maggie, whom she calls "a little pale thing with no spirit." Thus abandoned, Maggie tries to return home but is rejected by her mother and scorned by the entire tenement. In a later scene, a prostitute, implied to be Maggie, wanders the streets, moving into progressively worse neighborhoods until, reaching the river, she is followed by a grotesque and shabby man. The next scene shows Pete drinking in a saloon with six fashionable women "of brilliance and audacity." He passes out, whereupon one, possibly Nellie, takes his money. In the final chapter, Jimmie tells his mother that Maggie is dead. The mother exclaims, ironically, as the neighbors comfort her, "I'll forgive her!"
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. 0.00
Main Street: The Story of Carol Kennicott is a satirical novel written by Sinclair Lewis, and published in 1920. Carol Kennicott is a liberal, free-spirited young woman, reared in the metropolis of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She marries Will Kennicott, a doctor, who is a small-town boy at heart. When they marry, Will convinces her to live in his home-town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota (a town modeled on Sauk Centre, Minnesota, the author's birthplace). Carol is appalled at the backwardness of Gopher Prairie. But her disdain for the town's physical ugliness and smug conservatism compels... (+) her to reform it. She speaks with its members about progressive changes, joins women's clubs, distributes literature, and holds parties to liven up Gopher Prairie's inhabitants. Despite her friendly, but ineffective efforts, she is constantly derided by the leading cliques. She finds comfort and companionship outside her social class. These companions are taken from her one by one. In her unhappiness, Carol leaves her husband and moves for a time to Washington, D.C., but she eventually returns. Nevertheless, Carol does not feel defeated: "I do not admit that Main Street is as beautiful as it should be! I do not admit that dish-washing is enough to satisfy all women!"
Man and Maid by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Man and Maid (1906) is a novel by Edith Nesbit. Here we have the author of "The Treasure-Seekers" grown up, and in many moods, for man and maid are revealed by her in thirteen separate stories.
Man on the Ocean by Robert Michael Ballantyne. 0.00
Man on the Ocean, A book about boats and ships (1863) is a non-fiction book by the noted author Robert Michael Ballantyne. Chapter One opens: "There is, perhaps, no contrivance in the wide world more wonderful than a ship -- a full-rigged, well-manned, gigantic ship!" Ballantyne will conduct you as pleasantly and profitably as he can from a ship's cradle, through all her stormy existence, to her grave.
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. 0.00
The coming of age story of Fanny Price, an impoverished young girl dependent on the benevolence of her aristocratic relatives. Fanny becomes the moral center of a family gone astray and restores peace to her adoptive home. This work offers an entertaining study of the interplay between manners, education, ethics, and socio-economic classes in early 19th century England.
Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens. 0.00
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit is a novel by Charles Dickens, considered the last of his picaresque novels. It was originally serialized between 1843–44. Dickens thought it to be his best work, but it was one of his least popular novels. Like nearly all of Dickens' novels, Martin Chuzzlewit was released to the public in monthly installments. Early sales of the monthly parts were disappointing, compared to previous works, so Dickens changed the plot to send the title character to America. This allowed the author to portray the United States (which he had visited... (+) in 1842) satirically as a near wilderness with pockets of civilization filled with deceptive and self-promoting hucksters. The main theme of the novel, according to a preface by Dickens, is selfishness, portrayed in a satirical fashion using all the members of the Chuzzlewit family. The novel is also notable for two of Dickens' great villains, Seth Pecksniff and Jonas Chuzzlewit. The main characters of the story are the members of the extended Chuzzlewit family. The first to be introduced is Seth Pecksniff, a widower with two daughters, who is a self-styled teacher of architecture. He believes that he is a highly moral individual who loves his fellow man, but mistreats his students and passes off their designs as his own for profit. He seems to be a cousin of Old Martin Chuzzlewit. Mr. Pecksniff's rise and fall follows the novel's plot arc. Next we meet his two daughters, Charity and Mercy Pecksniff. They are also affectionately known as Cherry and Merry, or as the two Miss Pecksniffs. Charity is portrayed throughout the book as having none of that virtue after which she is named, while Mercy, the younger sister, is at first silly and girlish in a manner that's probably inconsistent with her numerical age. Later events in the story drastically change her personality. Old Martin Chuzzlewit, the wealthy patriarch of the Chuzzlewit family, lives in constant suspicion of the financial designs of his extended family. At the beginning of the novel he has aligned himself with Mary, an orphan, in order to have a caretaker who is not eyeing his estate. Later in the story he makes an apparent alliance with Mr. Pecksniff, who, he believes, is at least consistent in character. His true character is revealed by the end of the story. Young Martin Chuzzlewit is the grandson of Old Martin Chuzzlewit. He is the closest relative of Old Martin and has inherited much of the stubbornness and selfishness of the old man. Young Martin is the protagonist of the story. His engagement to Mary is the cause of estrangement between himself and his grandfather. By the end of the story he becomes a reformed character, realizing and repenting of the selfishness of his previous actions. Martin Chuzzlewit was raised by his grandfather and namesake. Years before, Martin senior takes the precaution of raising an orphaned girl, Mary. She is to be his nursemaid, with the understanding that she would be well cared for only for as long as he lived. She would thus have great motivation to care for his well-being, in contrast to his relatives, who only want to inherit his money. However, his grandson Martin, falls in love with Mary and wishes to marry her, ruining senior Martin's plans. When Martin refuses to give up the engagement, his grandfather disinherits him.
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell. 0.00
Mary Barton is the first novel by English author Elizabeth Gaskell, published in 1848. The story is set in the English city of Manchester during the 1830s and 1840s and deals heavily with the difficulties faced by the Victorian lower class. The novel was subtitled "A Tale of Manchester Life." It begins in that city, where we are introduced to the Bartons and the Wilsons, two working-class families. John Barton is a great questioner of the distribution of wealth and the relations between rich and poor. Soon his wife dies -- he blames it on her grief over the disappearance of... (+) her sister Esther -- leaving him and his daughter Mary to cope in the harsh world. Having already lost his son Tom at a young age, Barton now falls into depression and begins to involve himself in the Chartist, trade-union movement. Having taken up work at a dress-maker's (her father having objected to her working in a factory), Mary becomes subject to the affections of hard-working Jem Wilson and Harry Carson, son of a wealthy mill owner. She fondly hopes, by marrying Carson, to secure a comfortable life for herself and her father, but immediately after refusing Jem's offer of marriage she realizes that she truly loves him. She therefore decides to evade Carson, planning to show her feelings to Jem in the course of time. Jem believes her decision to be final, though this does not change his feelings for her. Meanwhile, Esther, a "street-walker," returns to warn John Barton that he must save Mary from becoming like her. He simply pushes her away, however, and she's sent to jail for a month on the charge of vagrancy. Upon her release she talks to Jem with the same purpose. He promises that he will protect Mary and confronts Carson, eventually entering into a fight with him, which is witnessed by a policeman passing by.
Mary Marie by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Mary Marie (1920) is by the well-known American novelist, Eleanor Hodgman Porter. She mostly wrote juvenile literature and elucidated on the behavior of the young. Mary Marie is about a young girl facing her parents' divorce with dread. One parent calls her Mary, the other Marie. Living with two different personalities so as to accommodate the wishes of both her parents, she makes the best of her time and eventually succeeds in bringing her parents together. But the clash of her own personality is destined to threaten her own happiness and married bliss.
Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson. 0.00
The Master of Ballantrae: A Winter's Tale is a book by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, focusing upon the conflict between two brothers, Scottish noblemen whose family is torn apart by the Jacobite rising of 1745. The novel is presented as the memoir of one Ephraim Mackellar, steward of the Durrisdeer estate in Scotland. The novel opens in 1745, the year of the Jacobite Rising. When Bonnie Prince Charlie raises the banner of the Stewarts the Durie family — the Laird of Durrisdeer, his older son James Durie (the Master of Ballantrae) and his younger son Henry Durie—decide... (+) on a common strategy: one son will join the uprising while the other will join the loyalists. That way, whichever side wins, the family's noble status and estate will be preserved. Logically, the younger son should join the rebels, but the Master insists on being the rebel (a more exciting choice) and contemptuously accuses Henry of trying to usurp his place, comparing him to Jacob. The two sons agree to toss a coin to determine who goes. The Master wins and departs to join the Rising, while Henry remains in support of King George II. The Rising fails and the Master is reported dead. Henry becomes the heir to the estate, though he does not assume his brother's title of Master. Some years pass, during which Henry is unfairly vilified by the townspeople for betraying the rising. He is treated with complete indifference by his family, since his wife and his father both spend their time mourning the fallen favourite. In April 1749, however, a messenger appears, one Colonel Francis Burke, an Irishman who had been out with the Prince. He bears letters from the Master, who is still alive and living in France. At this point the narrator, Mackellar, introduces a story within the story: it is the memoir of Colonel Burke, from which Mackellar extracts the sections that deal with the Master. From Burke's memoir it appears that the Master was attached to the Prince solely for the chance of money and high station, and was a quarrelsome hindrance, always favouring whatever he thought the Prince wanted to hear. He abandoned the Rising as soon as it looked sure to fail and, in company with Burke, took ship for France, refusing to wait in case they might be able to rescue the Prince. However, the ship was old and unseaworthy, and commanded by an incompetent captain. After being capturede by pirates, the Master eventually succeeds in becoming the new captain. Eventually he steers the ship to the coast of North Carolina, where he abandons it and its crew, while he escapes with Burke and two confederates, carrying all the ship's treasure between them. Then they strike out across land for Canada, where they hope to find sanctuary among the French, who supported the Rising. But, the pair become hopelessly lost. For some days the Master navigates his way through the wilderness by tossing a coin, saying, "I can think of no better way to express my scorn of human reason." In the end they bury the treasure. Burke records that the Master blamed his younger brother for all his troubles.
Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin. 0.00
Melmoth the Wanderer is a gothic novel published in 1820, written by Charles Robert Maturin (uncle of Jane Wilde, Oscar Wilde's mother). The central character, Melmoth (a Wandering Jew type), is a scholar who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 150 extra years of life; he spends that time searching for someone who will take over the pact for him. The novel actually takes place in the present, but this backstory is revealed through several nested stories-within-a-story that work backwards through time. The story opens in 1816: John Melmoth, a student in Dublin, visits... (+) his dying uncle. He sees a portrait of his namesake dated '1646' and catches glimpse of 'the Traveller'. At his unlce's funeral, Biddy Brannigan tells John the family story. A stranger called Stanton arrived looking for the Traveller, and left behind a manuscript. Later, John finds Stanton's manuscript. In the manuscript, Stanton's story opens in Spain in the 1670's. Stanton encounters the Traveller laughing at the sight of two lovers who have been blasted by lightning. An old Spanish woman tells him the story of the Cardoza wedding at which the Traveller was an uninvited guest. The bride died on her wedding night and the bridegroom went mad. Stanton pursues and finds the Traveller in a theatre in London. The Traveller tells him they will meet again. Stanton's obsession with the Traveller is judged madness and he is tricked into a madhouse. There, the Traveller appears and offers to free him if he .... but Stanton refuses. Somehow, Stanton does eventually escape and goes to look for him in Ireland, but never meets the Traveller again. Following his uncle's wish, John burns the portrait, but later that night dreams he is visited by his ancestor. The following stormy night, John witnesses a shipwreck and sees the Traveller looking on laughing and saying 'Let them all perish!' John tries to approach him, but slips and falls into the sea. John recovers from near drowning, saved by a Spaniard, the sole survivor of the wreck. Alonzo Monçada begins to tell him the next nested story, set in Spain, which in turn has further nested stories.
Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. 0.00
Men of Iron (1891) is a novel by the American author Howard Pyle. Set in the 15th century, it is a juvenile "coming of age" work in which a young squire, Myles Falworth, becomes a knight. In Chapter 24 the knighthood ceremony is presented and described as it would be in a non-fiction work concerning knighthood and chivalry. Descriptions of training equipment are also given throughout. It was made into a movie in 1954, The Black Shield of Falworth. The story begins in 1400, the year after the abdication of Richard II of England and accession of Henry IV. Lord Gilbert Reginald... (+) Falworth is attainted for being King Richard's councilor, who strongly advised him to resist his cousin Henry's movement to seize the throne, and for protecting Sir John Dale, a fictional conspirator against the succeeding King Henry. Falworth is blinded in a trial by combat with William Bushy Brookhurst, later created Earl of Alban, whom young Myles remembers brutally killing Sir John Dale in the hall of Falworth castle where he lived with his parents. Lord Falworth, his wife, Myles, and Diccon Bowman go into hiding in Crosbey-Dale on the estates of the Priory of St. Mary, under the protection of the elderly Prior Edward. Most of the action of the novel is in Derbyshire, England where a city of Mackworth actually exists near Derby. Diccon Bowman undertakes the physical training of young Myles, and Prior Edward performs the academic training. Lady Falworth teaches him the French language. Myles is a champion wrestler, defeating a man a head taller than he. Later in the novel the reader learns that Myles as a child took a dangerous ride on a country windmill. In 1408 when Myles is 16 years old he is taken to Devlen castle, the seat of the Earl of Mackworth, kinsman to Lord Falworth. There he is enrolled as a squire by Sir James Lee, an old friend of his father's and Diccon Bowman. Sir James advises Myles to be discreet about matters concerning his family since his father had been attainted as a traitor to the king. Another squire, Francis Gascoyne, became Myles's good friend, who defended him in his struggle against the head-squires (the bachelors) led by Walter Blunt. There had been a pecking order established by which the bachelors forced the younger squires to serve them. Myles, Francis, and eighteen other lads formed what they called the "Twenty Knights of the Rose" as a fellowship to promote justice among the squires and end the hierarchy established by the bachelors. The "Knights of the Rose" met in a hideout discovered by Myles and Francis at the top of the oldest part of the castle, known as the "Brutus Tower," which they called their Eyry. After two fights with Walter Blunt, Myles and his "knights" win a skirmish with the bachelors in which Blunt is gravely wounded by Myles for the second time. The bachelor's routine is ended. Walter Blunt is made a gentleman-in-waiting by the Earl Mackworth, and he is no longer mentioned in the novel. When retrieving a ball he had used in play with his friends, Myles makes his way over a wall into the "privy garden" used by the Countess Mackworth and her household, and meets Anne, the earl's daughter and Alice, the earl's niece. Anne is a few years older than Myles, but Alice is just his age so he begins to consider her his lady fair and a possible wife. Seven times he climbs over the wall to meet with the girls to tell them about his exploits. The last time Earl Mackworth himself sees him trespassing and puts a stop to it. The reader is told later that Myles's father had his mother write Mackworth to advise him to do this. Myles escapes being severely punished for his actions as two other young men had been for venturing into this forbidden area. Unknown to Myles, his father and Earl Mackworth, who also was an enemy to the Earl of Alban, plan to have Myles knighted by the king as a Knight of the Bath to make him eligible to champion and exonerate his father on the field of battle in trial by combat. This is done during a royal visit to Devlen castle in 1411 in order to have Myles oppose the French jousting champion of the Compte de Vermoise, Sieur de la Montaigne. Sir Myles succeeds in unhorsing this knight fairly in a joust. Sir Myles with his chosen squire and friend Francis Gascoyne accompany the Earl Mackworth's brother Lord George Beaumont into France for military maneuvers in the French Dauphin's service. After six months he is recalled to London by Earl Mackworth to oppose the Earl of Alban. To further facilitate this Sir Myles is transferred from Mackworth's household to that of Henry, Prince of Wales. Myles's parents are brought to London to join their son before the king as their grievances are presented to him. Myles throws down his gauntlet before the Earl of Alban, initiating trial by combat. The ailing King Henry suspends these proceedings until the "High Court of Chivalry" can render a decision about the legality of the matter. After two months they find that Sir Myles Falworth may justly fight Alban. The battle is set for September 3, 1412. Sir Myles shows himself a more chivalrous knight than Earl Alban had been by giving his opponent quarter three times. This almost costs him his life, but in the end Sir Myles prevails in conquering his enemy. The king refuses to restore all the estates of Lord Falworth, but with the accession of his son, King Henry V of England, the following January the fortunes of Falworth and Mackworth are secured. Sir Myles marries the Lady Alice and lives in Falworth castle as his home with Sir Francis Gascoyne and Sir James Lee.
Men, Women and Boats by Stephen Crane. 0.00
Editor Vincent Starrett stated in his introduction to this 1921 collection of Crane's work entitled Men, Women and Boats that the author keeps "down the tone where another writer might have attempted 'fine writing' and have been lost." "The Open Boat" is the most well-known of the stories in this collection. Like other major works by Stephen Crane, "The Open Boat" contains numerous examples of symbolism, imagery and metaphor. Vibrant descriptions of color, combined with simple, clear writing, are also apparent throughout, and humor in the form of irony serves in stark opposition... (+) to the dreary setting and desperate characters. The story was based on Crane's experience of surviving a shipwreck off the coast of Florida in 1897 while traveling to Cuba to work as a newspaper correspondent. Crane was stranded at sea for thirty hours when his ship, the SS Commodore, sank after hitting a sandbar. He and three other men were forced to navigate their way to shore in a small boat; one of the men, an oiler named Billie Higgins, drowned after the boat overturned. This adaptation is told from the point of view of an anonymous correspondent, Crane's fictional doppelgänger, and the action closely resembles the author's experiences after the shipwreck. H. G. Wells considered "The Open Boat" to be "beyond all question, the crown of all [Crane's] work".
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. 0.00
The Metamorphosis is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely studied in colleges and universities across the western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into a monstrous insect-like creature. Gregor briefly examines his new body, but wonders only momentarily about what has happened to him. His attention quickly switches to observing his room, which he finds very ordinary but a bit small, and a framed magazine... (+) clipping of a woman in fur hanging up on the wall. Since he cannot turn on his side, Gregor cannot fall asleep, so instead he begins thinking about his job. He is a traveling salesman, and he hates traveling because he dislikes worrying and getting up early. Gregor wants to get up to go to work, but suddenly realizes that he is already late and must have missed the alarm.
Middlemarch by George Eliot. 0.00
George Eliot, the pen name for Mary Anne Evans, portrays in this novel a richly textured community of people in the fictitious English town of Middlemarch. The characters, their relationships and personal destinies, and the nature of the times drive the storyline and deliver a strong picture of English provincial life before the Reform Bill of 1832. Major characters include idealistic Dorothea Brooke, scholarly Casaubon, reformist doctor Lydgate, beautiful Rosamond, and banker Bulstrode, all playing out their lives in ways that are shaped by and shape the community.
Miss Billy by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Miss Billy by Eleanor Porter (1911) is the first of a three book series: Miss Billy, Miss Billy’s Decision and Miss Billy Married. Porter absolutely cannot resist a romantic misunderstanding, especially if it involves some noble (on a small scale) self-sacrifice. The premise of Miss Billy is that Billy’s father, annoyed to find himself with a daughter instead of a son, insisted on naming her after his childhood best friend William Henshaw anyway. Billy’s parents both died when she was a child, and when the book opens she is eighteen and the aunt she has been living with... (+) ever since her parents’ deaths has just died too. She’s alone in the world, so the family lawyer suggests that she invite herself to her namesake’s house. William lives in a house in Boston with his younger brothers Cyril and Bertram. He used to be married, but his wife died. Bertram calls their house the Strata; each brother has his own floor and his own interests, and keeps to himself. Cyril is the austere, musical one, William is the kindly collector of everything from spiders to teapots, and Bertram is an artist whose paintings are all entitled “Face of a Girl”. So, Billy writes to William, and of course William fails to realize that she’s a girl until she shows up at the train station and he has to quickly telephone to his sister to be a temporary chaperone. The sister, Kate, is annoying, though, so they only have her stay until they can get an old friend called Aunt Hannah to come on a more permanent basis. Billy settles in. She makes friends with all three brothers, and involves herself in all of their activities; she helps William catalog his collections, she’s pretty enough that Bertram often wants to paint her, and when Cyril discovers that she has a very good ear for music, he becomes less cranky and starts giving her piano lessons. The levels of the Strata begin to mix together more, and everything seems good, which of course means that something bad is going to happen. Kate tells Billy that she’s messing up the Henshaw brothers’ nice, quiet lives. So Billy takes Aunt Hannah and goes to her old home, and to Europe, and pretty much everywhere but to the Strata. Every time Billy is nearby, the brothers all try to see her, and they can’t understand why she’s so elusive. Everyone is tense and unhappy. When Billy finally comes back to Boston to stay, she sets up her own household with Aunt Hannah. The Henshaw brothers visit a lot, but over the two or three years since she’s moved out of the Strata, she’s made new friends, too. The most important are a poor young music teacher named Marie Hawthorn, and Hugh Calderwell, a young man who is also friends with the Henshaws. Marie, while she loves music, is not a great musician and only teaches to support herself. She’d much rather be a housewife. Billy invites Marie to stay with her and make puddings a lot. Hugh Calderwell is in love with Billy, and asks her to marry him repeatedly. She keeps saying no, but he doesn’t seem to get it. The book continues with further social flare-ups.
Miss Billy – Married by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Miss Billy Married by Eleanor Porter (1914) is the third of a three book series: Miss Billy, Miss Billy’s Decision and Miss Billy Married. Porter absolutely cannot resist a romantic misunderstanding, especially if it involves some noble (on a small scale) self-sacrifice. The premise of the Miss Billy series is that Billy’s father, annoyed to find himself with a daughter instead of a son, insisted on naming her after his childhood best friend William Henshaw anyway. The ambiguous name Miss Billy leads to inevitable complications. At the opening to this second sequel to Miss... (+) Billy, we find Bertram and Billy finally at the altar. Will wedded bliss ensue and are the patter of little feet on the horizon? Or is misunderstanding and heartache in the cards again?
Miss Billy's Decision by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Miss Billy's Decision by Eleanor Porter (1912) is the second of a three book series: Miss Billy, Miss Billy’s Decision and Miss Billy Married. Porter absolutely cannot resist a romantic misunderstanding, especially if it involves some noble (on a small scale) self-sacrifice. The premise of the Miss Billy series is that Billy’s father, annoyed to find himself with a daughter instead of a son, insisted on naming her after his childhood best friend William Henshaw anyway. The ambiguous name Miss Billy leads to inevitable complications. When the first book in this three part... (+) series closed, Miss Billy and Bertram were happily engaged. In this first sequel to Miss Billy, will the path to wedded bliss run smooth or will misunderstandings and heartache cross their path?
Moby Dick, or, the Whale by Herman Melville. 0.00
Moby-Dick was written by American author Herman Melville and first published in 1851. It is considered to be one of the Great American Novels and a treasure of world literature. The story tells the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab has one purpose on this voyage: to seek out a specific whale--Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg, which now drives Ahab to take revenge. "Call me Ishmael,"... (+) Moby-Dick begins, in one of the most recognizable opening lines in Western literature.
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe. 0.00
The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (commonly known simply as Moll Flanders) is a novel written by Daniel Defoe in 1721, after his work as a journalist and pamphleteer. By 1721, Defoe had become a recognized novelist, with the success of Robinson Crusoe in 1719. His political work was tapering off at this point, due to the fall of both Whig and Tory party leaders with whom he had been associated. The full title is: "The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders, etc. Who was Born in Newgate, and during a Life of continu'd Variety for Threescore... (+) Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums." Moll's mother is a convict in Newgate Prison in London who is given a reprieve by "pleading her belly", a reference to the custom of staying the executions of pregnant criminals. Her mother is eventually transported to America, and Moll Flanders (not her birth name, she emphasizes, taking care not to reveal it) is raised until adolescence by a goodly foster mother, and then gets attached to a household as a servant where she is loved by both sons, the elder of whom convinces her to "act like they were married" in bed, yet eventually unwilling to marry her, he convinces her to marry his younger brother. She then is widowed, leaves her children in the care of in-laws, and begins honing the skill of passing herself off as a fortuned widow to attract a man who will marry her and provide her with security. The first time she does this, her husband goes bankrupt and flees to the Continent, leaving her on her own with his blessing to do the best she can and forget him. The second time, she makes a match that leads her to Virginia with a kindly man who introduces her to his mother. After three children (one dies), Moll learns that her mother-in-law is actually her biological mother, which makes her husband her half-brother. She dissolves their marriage and after continuing to live with her brother for three years, travels back to England, leaving her two children behind, and goes to live in Bath to seek a new husband. Again she returns to her con skills and develops a relationship with a man in Bath whose wife is elsewhere confined due to insanity. Their relationship is at first platonic, but eventually develops into Moll becoming something of a "kept woman" in Hammersmith, London. They have three children (one lives), but after a severe illness he repents, breaks off the arrangement, and commits to his wife. Moll, now 42, resorts to another beau, a banker, who while still married to an adulterous wife (a "whore"), proposes to Moll after she entrusts him with her money. While waiting for the banker to divorce, Moll pretends to have a great fortune in order to attract another wealthy husband. She becomes involved with some Roman Catholics in Lancashire that try to convert her, and she marries one of them, a supposedly rich man. She soon realizes he expected to receive a great dowry which she denies having, leading him to admit that he has cheated her into marriage, having himself lied about having money that he does not possess. He is in fact a ruined gentleman and discharges her from the marriage, telling her nevertheless that she should inherit any money he might ever get (finally, she mentions his name). Although now pregnant again, Moll lets the banker believe she is available, hoping he returns. She gives birth and the midwife gives a tripartite scale of the costs of bearing a child, with one value level per social class. Moll's son is born when the banker's wife commits suicide following their divorce, and Moll leaves her newborn in the care of a countrywoman in exchange for the sum of £5 a year. Moll marries the banker now, but realizes "what an abominable creature am I! and how is this innocent gentleman going to be abused by me!" They live in happiness for five years before he becomes bankrupt and dies of despair, the fate of their two children left unstated. Truly desperate now, Moll begins a career of artful thievery, which, by employing her wits, beauty, charm, and femininity, as well as hard-heartedness and wickedness, brings her the financial security she has always sought. Only here does she take the name Moll Flanders and is known thereby. On the downside, she stoops to robbing a family in their burning house, then a lover to whom she becomes a mistress, and is sent to Newgate Prison (like the book's author 20 years prior). In Newgate she is led to her repentance. At the same time, she reunites with her soulmate, her "Lancashire husband", who is also jailed for his robberies (before and after they first met, he acknowledges). Moll is found guilty of felony, but not burglary, the second charge; still, the sentence is death in any case. Yet Moll convinces a minister of her repentance, and together with her Lancashire husband is sent to the Colonies to avoid hanging, where they live happily together (she even talks the ship's captain into not being with the convicts sold upon arrival, but instead in the captain's quarters). Once in the colonies, Moll learns her mother has left her a plantation and that her own son (by her brother) is alive, as is her brother/husband. Moll carefully introduces herself to her brother and their son, in disguise. With the help of a Quaker, the two found a farm with 50 servants in Maryland. Moll reveals herself now to her son in Virginia and he gives her her mother's inheritance, a farm for which he will now be her steward, providing £100 a year income for her. In turn, she makes him her heir and gives him a (stolen) gold watch. At last, her life of conniving and desperation seems to be over. When her brother/husband is dead, Moll tells her (Lancashire) husband the entire story and he is "perfectly easy on that account... For, said he, it was no fault of yours, nor of his; it was a mistake impossible to be prevented". Aged 69 (in 1683), the two return to England to live "in sincere penitence for the wicked lives we have lived".
Moni the Goatboy by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Moni the Goat-Boy (1914) is a novel by Johanna Spyri, author of Heidi. Moni is the goat boy who takes care of all the goats belonging to the people of Fideris, Switzerland. He loves to sing, yodel, and whistle while he romps with the goats all day long on the mountains. His favorite is a young kid named Mäggerli. One day Moni comes across a serious situation where he must keep a deceitful secret in order to protect Mäggerli from being killed. Will Moni risk the life of Mäggerli and tell the truth? This delightful short story teaches children that to trust God and do right... (+) is always better than being deceitful.
Moonfleet by J Meade Falkner. 0.00
Moonfleet (1898) is a tale of smuggling by the English novelist J. Meade Falkner. The book was extremely popular among children worldwide up until the 1970s, mostly for its themes of adventure and gripping storyline. It remains a popular story widely read and is still sometimes studied in schools. In 1757, Moonfleet is a small village near the sea in the south of England. It gets its name from a formerly prominent local family, the Mohunes whose coat of arms included a symbol shaped like a capital 'Y'. John Trenchard is an orphan who lives with his aunt, Miss Arnold. Other notable... (+) residents are the sexton Mr Ratsey who is friendly to John, Parson Glennie, the local clergyman who also teaches in the village school, Elzevir Block, the landlord of the local inn, called the Mohune Arms but nicknamed the Why Not? because of its sign with the Mohune 'Y', and Mr Maskew, the unpopular local magistrate and his beautiful daughter, Grace. Village legend tells of the notorious Colonel John "Blackbeard" Mohune who is buried in the family crypt under the church. He is reputed to have stolen a diamond from King Charles I and hidden it. His ghost is said to wander at night looking for it and the mysterious lights in the churchyard are attributed to his activities. As the main part of the story opens, Block's son has just been killed by Maskew during an attack by the authorities on a smuggling boat. One night a bad storm hits the village and there is a flood. While attending the Sunday service at church, John hears strange sounds from the crypt below. He thinks it is the sound of the coffins of the Mohune family. The next day, he finds Elzevir and Ratsey against the south wall of the church. They claim to be checking for damage from the storm. Later John finds a large sinkhole has opened in the ground by a grave. He follows the passage and finds himself in the crypt with coffins on shelves and casks on the floor. He realities his friends are smugglers and this is their hiding place. He has to hide behind a coffin when he hears Ratsey and Elzevir coming. When they leave, they fill in the hole trapping him. John finds a locket in a coffin which holds a piece of paper with verses from the Bible. John eventually passes out after drinking too much of the wine while trying to quench his thirst, having not eaten or drunk for days. Later he wakes up in the Why Not? Inn. He tries to go back to his aunt but after his long absence and staying at the inn, she does not want him there so he lives in the inn with Block. When Block's lease on the Why Not? comes up for renewal, Maskew bids against him in the auction and wins. Block must leave the inn and Moonfleet but plans one last smuggling venture. John says goodbye to Grace Maskew, his love, and gets his mother's prayer book. The excisemen and Maskew are aware of the run but do not know exactly where it will occur. During the landing Maskew appears and is caught by the smugglers. Elzevir demands vengeance for his son by killing Maskew and while the rest land the cargo and leave, he and John watch Maskew. Just as Block prepares to shoot Maskew the excisemen attack and Maskew is killed by them and John is wounded. Block carries John away to safety and they hide in some old quarries. While there, John with a clue from Ratsey realizes the locket verses are a code telling where Blackbeard Mohune's diamond is hidden. Once John's wound heals, he and Block decide to recover the diamond from Carisbrooke Castle. They succeed and escape to Holland where they try and sell it to a Jewish diamond merchant. The merchant cheats them and when they try and get back the diamond by burglary, they are arrested and sentenced to prison. John curses the merchant for his lies. Block and John go to prison for many years until they are transported to Batavia. On the voyage, their ship runs aground near Moonfleet. Block helps John to get ashore through the surf but he drowns, and John ends up in the bar of the Why Not? with Ratsey. John meets Grace again. She is still in love with him and is a rich young lady after her father's death. John tells her about the diamond and his life in prison. He regrets having lost everything, but then Parson Glennie tells him that the Jewish diamond merchant fell under John's curse, and to try to remove the curse, left John all the money he got from the diamond. John gives the money to the village, new almshouses are built. The school and the church are renovated and John marries Grace. They have three children and never leave the village.
Mother by Maksim Gorky. 0.00
The Mother is a 1906 novel by Maxim Gorky. The novel suggests that to become a good mother involves more than just complaining about the price of soup; rather, one must struggle against it, not only for her and her family's sake, but for the sake of all working families. The title character, the mother Pelagea Vlassova, journeys through a series of vignettes, the death of her son, and her own impending illness, fighting illiteracy while constantly filled with good humor and wily activism. The moment in October 1917 when she becomes free to carry and raise her own Red Flag on... (+) the eve of the czar's overthrow proves momentous.
Mr Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
Mr. Midshipman Easy is an 1836 novel by Frederick Marryat, a retired Captain in the 19th century Royal Navy. The novel is set during the Napoleonic Wars, in which Marryat himself served with distinction. Easy is the son of foolish parents, who spoiled him. His father, in particular, regards himself as a philosopher, with a firm belief in the "rights of man". As he is a rich man, his belief, which the novel presents as very foolish, is never seriously contradicted. By the time he is a teenager Easy has adopted his father's point of view, to the point where he no longer believes... (+) in private property. Easy joins the navy, becomes friendly with a lower deck seaman named Mesty, an escaped slave, who had been a prince in Africa. Mesty is sympathetic to Easy's philosophizing. Even though Marryat tries to render Mesty's speech in dialect, he portrays him sympathetically, allowing him dignity. Easy becomes a competent officer, despite his notions. By the end of the novel both Easy and Mesty have come to a more conventional view of rights, and private property. This book adapted twice into films in 1916 and in 1935 as Midshipman Easy.
My Antonia by Willa Cather. 0.00
My Ántonia (1918) is considered one of the greatest novels by American writer Willa Cather. It is the final book of her "prairie trilogy" of novels, the companion volumes being O Pioneers! and The Song of the Lark. The book's narrator, Jim Burden, arrives in the town of Black Hawk, Nebraska, on the same train as the Shimerdas, when he goes to live with his grandparents after his parents have died. Jim develops strong feelings for Ántonia, something between a crush and a filial bond, and the reader views Ántonia's life, including its attendant struggles and triumphs, through... (+) that lens. The novel is divided into five books, some of which incorporate short stories Cather had previously written, based on her own life growing up on the Nebraska prairies. The volumes correspond roughly to the stages of Ántonia's life up through her marriage and motherhood, although the third volume, "Lena Lingard," focuses more on Jim's time in college and his affair with Lena, another childhood friend of his, who is also Ántonia's friend. The five books, in order, are: The Shimerdas - It covers Jim's early years spent on his grandparents' farm, out on the prairie, The Hired Girls - It covers Jim's time in town, when he spends time with Ántonia and the other country girls who work in town, Lena Lingard - this chronicles Jim's time at the university, and the period in which he becomes reacquainted with Lena Lingard, The Pioneer Woman's Story - Jim visits the Harlings and hears about Ántonia's fateful romance with Larry Donovan, and Cuzak's Boys - Jim goes to visit Ántonia and meets her new family, her children and husband.
My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse. 0.00
My Man Jeeves is a collection of short stories by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in the United Kingdom in May 1919 by George Newnes. Of the eight stories in the collection, half feature the popular characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, while the others concern Reggie Pepper, an early prototype for Wooster. The first story in the book, "Leave it to Jeeves", describes Jeeves' arrival in his master's life, as a replacement for Wooster's previous, thieving valet, and features Lady Florence Craye, as well as a passing mention of Lord Emsworth and Blandings Castle. Several of the... (+) other stories are set in New York, and the book includes appearances by regular characters Bingo Little, Aunt Dahlia, Anatole, and Sir Roderick Glossop.
New Chronicles of Rebecca by Kate Douglas Wiggin. 0.00
New Chronicles of Rebecca (----) is a companion piece by Kate Douglas Wiggin to the classic American children's novel, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1903) that tells the story of Rebecca Rowena Randall and her two stern aunts in the village of Riverboro, Maine. New Chronicles of Rebecca is neither a prequel nor a sequel, but rather a "flash sideways". The new chronicles fill in the timeline gaps in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. The story opens with twelve year old Rebecca and enlarges on her activities and life in Riverboro, Maine. Sunnybrook Farm, the main stage for Rebecca of... (+) Sunnybrook Farm, and Rebecca's two aunts have but a peripheral presence. There are also several chronicles that don't relate to Rebecca either, such as the story of the Prophet and the Cow. One chapter is a quick review of Rebecca's time at college. The book concludes when Rebecca is 18 and in possession of the brick house at Sunnybrook Farm. Perhaps the best line in the book, which also reflects the interrelationship between the two novels, is "There is a kind of magicness about going far away and then coming back all changed."
New Grub Street by George Gissing. 0.00
New Grub Street is a novel by George Gissing published in 1891, which is set in the literary and journalistic circles of 1880s London. The story deals with the literary world that Gissing himself had experienced. Its title refers to the London street, Grub Street, which in the 18th century became synonymous with hack literature; by Gissing's time, Grub Street itself no longer existed, though hack-writing certainly did. Its two central characters are a sharply contrasted pair of writers: Edwin Reardon, a novelist of some talent but limited commercial prospects, and a shy, cerebral... (+) man; and Jasper Milvain, a young journalist, hard-working and capable of generosity, but cynical and only semi-scrupulous about writing and its purpose in the modern (i.e. late Victorian) world. New Grub Street opens with Milvain, an “alarmingly modern young man” driven by pure financial ambition in navigating his literary career. He accepts that he will “always despise the people [he] write[s] for,” networks within the appropriate social circle to create opportunity, and authors articles for popular periodicals. Reardon, on the other hand, prefers to write novels of a more literary bent and refuses to pander to contemporary tastes until, as a last-gasp measure against financial ruin, he attempts a popular novel. At this venture, he is of course too good to succeed, and he's driven to separate from his wife, Amy Reardon, who cannot accept her husband’s inflexibly high standards -- and consequent poverty.
New Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Edith Nesbit's The New Treasure Seekers (1904) takes us back to the start of the last century and the six Bastable children who get into scrapes by always trying to be good. The six children fill their free time with entertainments that don't always turn out as they plan. But whether telling fortunes at a party, unwittingly assisting an elopement, reforming their nasty cousin Archibald, or even getting arrested, it is all good fun, and usually for a good cause. Older children will sympathize with the senior Bastables as their younger siblings create havoc - while all listeners... (+) will chuckle at their Just William-type antics. This Bastable book, although it stands on its own, is the last in a three part series which also contains The Treasure Seekers and The Wouldbegoods.
News from Nowhere, or, an Epoch of Rest by William Morris. 0.00
News from Nowhere (1890) is a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction written by the artist, designer and socialist pioneer William Morris. In the book, the narrator, William Guest, falls asleep after returning from a meeting of the Socialist League and awakes to find himself in a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems. This agrarian society functions... (+) simply because the people find pleasure in nature, and therefore they find pleasure in their work. The book explores a number of aspects of this society, including its organisation and the relationships which it engenders between people. Morris cleverly fuses Marxism and the romance tradition when he presents himself as an enchanted figure in a time and place different from Victorian England. As Morris the romance character, quests for love and fellowship - and through them for a reborn self, he encounters romance archetypes in Marxist guises. Old Hammond is both the communist educator who teaches Morris the new world and the wise old man of romance. Dick and Clara are good comrades and the married lovers who aid Morris in his wanderings. The journey on the Thames is both a voyage through society transformed by revolution and a quest for happiness. The quests goal, met and found though only transiently, is Ellen, the symbol of the reborn age and the bride the alien cannot win. Ellen herself is a multidimensional figure; a working class woman emancipated under socialism, she is also a benign nature spirit as well as the soul in the form of a woman. The book offers Morris' answers to a number of frequent objections to socialism, and underlines his belief that socialism will entail not only the abolishment of private property but also of the divisions between art, life, and work. In the novel, Morris tackles one of the most common criticisms of socialism; the supposed lack of incentive to work in a communistic society. Morris' response is that all work should be creative and pleasurable. This differs from the majority of Socialist thinkers, who tend to assume that while work is a necessary evil, a well-planned equal society can reduce the amount of work needed to be done by each worker. News From Nowhere was written as a Libertarian socialist response to an earlier book called Looking Backward, a book that epitomizes a kind of State Socialism that Morris abhorred.
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. 0.00
The title character wishes to support his mother and sister, Kate, after the father's death, but Nicholas' Uncle Ralph doesn't think he can. Ralph sends Nicholas to work at a Yorkshire boarding school (Dotheboys Hall) run by Wackford Squeers, a lazy, cruel man. Nicholas befriends Smike, a boy ill-treated by Squeers. Nicholas and Smike escape after Nicholas thrashes Squeers, and they return to London. Subsequent events see more conflicts. By the end, Smike dies, Uncle Ralph (who has learned Smike was his son) commits suicide, and Nicholas and Kate marry people they love.
Night and Day by Virginia Woolf. 0.00
Night and Day (1919) is a novel by Virginia Woolf. Set in Edwardian London, Night and Day contrasts the daily lives and romantic attachments of two acquaintances, Katharine Hilbery and Mary Datchet. The novel examines the relationships between love, marriage, happiness, and success.
Nine Little Goslings by Susan Coolidge. 0.00
Nine Little Goslings was first published in 1875, and was written by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, who was an American children's author who wrote under the pen name Susan Coolidge. Woolsey was born January 29, 1835 into the wealthy, influential New England Dwight family, in Cleveland, Ohio. The opening lines of the book are: When a little girl is six and a little boy is six, they like pretty much the same things and enjoy pretty much the same games. She wears an apron, and he a jacket and trousers, but they are both equally fond of running races, spinning tops, flying kites, going... (+) down hill on sleds, and making a noise in the open air. But when the little girl gets to be eleven or twelve, and to grow thin and long, so that every two months a tuck has to be let down in her frocks, then a great difference becomes visible. The boy goes on racing and whooping and comporting himself generally like a young colt in a pasture; but she turns quiet and shy, cares no longer for rough play or exercise, takes droll little sentimental fancies into her head, and likes best the books which make her cry. Almost all girls have a fit of this kind some time or other in the course of their lives; and it is rather a good thing to have it early, for little folks get over such attacks more easily than big ones.
North and South by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell. 0.00
North and South is an Industrial novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. It was published as a book, in two volumes, in 1855. The novel is set in the fictional town of Milton-Northern, in the industrial-era North of England. The heroine, Margaret Hale, is a new arrival in the town. She remembers her former home in the South as a rural paradise, and is critical of industrialism. Her opinions are challenged through her relationships with mill-owner John Thornton and the working class Higgins family. Besides including scenes of industrial strife, North and South is a courtship-and-marriage... (+) story with richly complex elements including class conflict, religious doubts, maternal struggles, and naval mutiny.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. 0.00
Seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland is invited by family friends, Mr. and Mrs. Allen, to accompany them in visiting Bath for the winter season of theatre and other social delights. It is her first visit to Bath and while pleasing and pretty, she lacks social experience. An avid reader of Gothic novels she sometimes sees herself as the heroine in real life Gothic situations. Catherine soon learns at her personal cost that Gothic novels are just fiction, and not necessarily reality.
Nostromo,a tale of the Seaboard by Joseph Conrad. 0.00
Nostromo is a 1904 novel by Polish-born British novelist Joseph Conrad, set in the fictitious South American republic of "Costaguana." Conrad set his novel in the mining town of Sulaco, an imaginary port in the occidental region of the imaginary country of Costaguana. The book has more fully developed characters than any other of his novels, but two characters dominate the narrative: Señor Gould and the eponymous anti-hero, the "incorruptible" Nostromo. Señor Gould is a native Costaguanero of English descent who owns the silver-mining concession in Sulaco. He is tired of the... (+) political instability in Costaguana and its concomitant corruption, and puts his weight behind the Ribierist project, which he believes will finally bring stability to the country after years of misrule and tyranny by self-serving dictators. Instead, the silver mine and the wealth it has generated become a bone for the local warlords to fight over, plunging Costaguana into a new round of chaos. Among others, the revolutionary Montero invades Sulaco; Señor Gould, adamant that his silver should not become spoil for his enemies, entrusts it to Nostromo, the trusted "capataz de los cargadores" (head longshoreman). Nostromo is an Italian expatriate who has risen to that position through his daring exploits. ("Nostromo" is Italian for "shipmate" or "boatswain", but the name could also be considered a corruption of the Italian phrase "nostro uomo," meaning "our man.") Nostromo's real name is Giovanni Battista Fidanza — Fidanza meaning "trust" in archaic Italian. Nostromo is a commanding figure in Sulaco, respected by the wealthy Europeans and seemingly limitless in his abilities to command power among the local population. He is, however, never to that society, but rather viewed by the rich as their tool. Some would say that he was also what would today be called a shameless self-publicist. He is believed by Señor Gould to be incorruptible, and for this reason is entrusted with removing a treasure of silver from Sulaco to keep it from the revolutionaries. In the end, the silver is "lost" in a manner such that only Nostromo knows where it is hidden and not, in fact, lost at all. Nostromo's power and fame continues, as he daringly rides to summon the army which saves Sulaco's powerful leaders from the revolutionaries. In Conrad's universe, however, almost no one is incorruptible. The exploit does not bring Nostromo the fame he had hoped for, and he feels slighted and used. Feeling that he has risked his life for nothing, he is consumed by resentment, which leads to his corruption and ultimate destruction.
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather. 0.00
O Pioneers! is a 1913 novel by American author Willa Cather. The book is number 83 on the American Library Association's list of most frequently banned or challenged books. O Pioneers! tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish immigrants in the farm country near the fictional town of Hanover, Nebraska, at the turn of the 20th century. The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inherits the family farmland when her father dies, and she devotes her life to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time when other immigrant families are giving up and leaving the prairie.... (+) The novel is also concerned with two romantic relationships, one between Alexandra and family friend Carl Linstrum and another between Alexandra's brother Emil and the married Marie Shabata. The book is divided into five parts, each of which has numerous chapters. Part I - The Wild Land - On a windy day in Hanover, Nebraska, Alexandra Bergson is with her five-year-old brother Emil. Emil's little kitten has climbed a telegraph pole and is afraid to come down. Alexandra finds her neighbor and friend Carl Linstrum, who retrieves the kitten. Alexandra's father is dying, and he wishes that she run the farm after he is gone. After visiting villages downwards to see how they are getting on, she talks her brothers Oscar and Lou into mortgaging the farm to buy more land, in hopes of ending up as rich landowners. Part II - Neighboring Fields - Sixteen years later, the farms are now prosperous. Alexandra and her brothers have divided up their inheritance, and Emil has just returned from college. The Linstrum farm has failed, and Marie, now married to Frank Shabata, has bought it. During a Bergson family get-together, Carl Linstrum shows up, having failed in a job in Chicago. He is on his way to Alaska, but decides to stay with Alexandra for a while. There is a growing flirtatious relationship between Emil and Marie, which Carl notices. Lou and Oscar suspect that Carl wants to marry Alexandra, and are resentful that they had to work hard for their farms, but he thinks he can marry into a farm. Then Carl, recognizing a problem, decides to leave for Alaska. Part III - Winter Memories - Alexandra spends the winter alone, except for occasional visits from Marie, whom she visits with Mrs. Lee. She also begins to have mysterious dreams. Part IV - The White Mulberry Tree - Emil returns from Mexico City. His best friend, Amédée, is now married with a young son. At a fair at the French church, Emil and Marie kiss for the first time. They later confess their illicit love, and Emil determines to leave for law school in Michigan. Before he leaves Amédée dies from a ruptured appendix, and as a result both he and Marie realize what they value most. Before leaving he stops by Marie's farm to say one last goodbye, and they fall into a passionate embrace beneath the white mulberry tree. They stay there for several hours, until Marie's husband, Frank, finds them, and shoots them. He goes off to Omaha. Ivar discovers Emil's abandoned horse, leading him to search for the boy and discover the bodies. Part V - Alexandra - Alexandra has gone off in a rainstorm. Ivar goes looking for her and brings her back home, where she sleeps fitfully and dreams about death. While in town she walks by Emil's university campus, comes upon a polite young man, and feels better. She then receives a telegram from Carl, saying he is back. They decide to marry, unconcerned with her brothers' approval.
Oh, Money! Money! by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Oh Money! Money! is a novel by Eleanor H. Porter, well-known author of Pollyanna. First published in 1918, this novel will keep you laughing. Characters are richly built in this story of a millionaire who gives a portion of his money to unknown cousins and then goes to live nearby and observe them incognito to see how they spend it. Who will be worthy of the rest of his millions? Will his disguise really work? Listen to this funny, thoroughly entertaining novel to find out.
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. 0.00
Orphan Oliver Twist is sent to a workhouse and receives deplorable treatment. After a stint with an undertaker, he escapes to London, where he meets the Artful Dodger, an older boy who reports to Fagin, a criminal who runs street gangs and tries to make a pickpocket of Oliver as well. Oliver, helped by the testimony of a witness, is taken home by near-victim Mr. Brownlow, who becomes his benefactor. Fagin doesn't let go of Oliver that easily and has him kidnapped back, but the story has a happy ending.
On Secret Service by William Nelson Taft. 0.00
On Secret Service is a compilation of 24 Detective-Mystery short stories by William Nelson Taft based on real cases solved by government agents. It was first published in 1921. A Flash in the Night, the first of the stories starts: We were sitting in the lobby of the Willard, Bill Quinn and I, watching the constant stream of politicians, pretty women, and petty office seekers who drift constantly through the heart of Washington. Suddenly, under his breath, I heard Quinn mutter, "Hello!" and, following his eyes, I saw a trim, dapper, almost effeminate-looking chap of about twenty-five... (+) strolling through Peacock Alley as if he didn't have a care in the world. "What's the matter?" I inquired. "Somebody who oughtn't to be here?" "Not at all. He's got a perfect right to be anywhere he pleases, but I didn't know he was home. Last time I heard of him he was in Seattle, mixed up with those riots that Ole Hanson handled so well." "Bolshevist?" "Hardly," and Quinn smiled. "Don't you know Jimmy Callahan? Well, it's scarcely the province of a Secret Service man to impress his face upon everyone ... the secret wouldn't last long."
Oswald Bastable and Others by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Oswald Bastable and Others is a 1905 story collection by Edith Nesbit. The first four chapters reprise stories of Oswald Bastable and some of the other Bastable children from the three part Bastable series, consisting of The Story of the Treasure Seekers (1899), The Wouldbegoods (1901), and The New Treasure Seekers (1904). The Bastable children get into scrapes by always trying to be good. The children fill their free time with entertainments that don't always turn out as they plan. The last eight chapters (Others) follow the stories of other characters.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. 0.00
Our Mutual Friend (written in the years 1864–65) is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining psychological insight with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life" but is also about human values. In the opening chapters a body is found in the Thames and identified as John Harmon, a young man recently returned to London to receive his inheritance. Were he alive, his father's will would require him to marry Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary... (+) girl whom he had never met. Instead, the money passes to the working-class Boffins, and the effects spread into various corners of London society. The Boffins take the disappointed bride of the drowned heir, Miss Wilfer, into their household, and treat her as their pampered child and heiress. They also accept an offer from Julius Handford, now going under the name of John Rokesmith, to serve as confidential secretary and man of business, at no salary. He uses this position to watch and learn everything about the Boffins, Miss Wilfer, and the aftershock of the drowning of the heir John Harmon. A one-legged ballad seller, Silas Wegg, is engaged to read to Mr Boffin in the evenings, and he tries to take advantage of his position and Mr Boffin's good heart to obtain other advantages from the wealthy dustman. One of the most prevalent symbols in Our Mutual Friend is that of the River Thames, which becomes part of one of the major themes of the novel, rebirth and renewal. Water is seen as a sign of new life. Characters like John Harmon and Eugene Wrayburn end up in the waters of the river, and come out reborn as new men. Wrayburn emerges from the river on his deathbed, but is ready to marry Lizzie to save her reputation. Of course, he surprises everyone, including himself, when he survives and goes on to have a loving marriage with Lizzie. John Harmon also appears to end up in the river through no fault of his own, and when Gaffer pulls his “body” out of the waters, he adopts the alias of John Rokesmith. This alias is for his own safety and peace of mind; he wants to know that he can do things on his own, and does not need his father’s name or money to make a good life for himself.
Pepper and Salt by Howard Pyle. 0.00
Pepper & Salt, or, Seasoning for Young Folk, was prepared by Howard Pyle, and published in 1913. It is a collection of humorous fairy tales told in the style of a wandering minstrel. The included tales are: The Skillful Huntsman, Claus and his Wonderful Staff, How Dame Margery Twist saw more than was good for her, Clever Peter and the two bottles, Hans Hecklemann's luck, Farmer Grigg's boggart, The bird in the linden tree, and The apple of contentment.
Persuasion by Jane Austen. 0.00
Seven years prior to the novel's beginning, Anne Elliot had fallen in love with a young naval officer named Frederick Wentworth. Anne's family persuade her to reject Wentworth as being poor and socially inappropriate for the Elliot family. Anne, 27 and still unmarried, re-encounters her former fiance when his sister and brother-in-law, the Crofts, lease Kellynch, the Elliot family estate. Wentworth, now a Royal Navy captain, is wealthy from wartime victories and prize-moneys for capturing enemy ships. However he hasn't forgiven Anne's rejection.
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. 0.00
Tells the story of PeterPan, a mischievous little boy who can fly, and his adventures on the island of Neverland with Wendy Darling and her brothers, the fairy Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, the Indian princess Tiger Lily, and the pirate Captain Hook.
Peter Simple by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
Peter Simple is an 1834 novel written by Frederick Marryat about a young British midshipman during the Napoleonic wars. The novel is an insight into the naval career of a young gentleman during the period of British Mastery of the seas in the early 19th century. The hero of the title is introduced as 'the fool of the family', son of a parson and heir presumptive to the influential Lord Privilege. This forms a sub plot among several others that run alongside the main narrative which mainly concerns the young man's journey from adolescent to adulthood amidst a backdrop of war... (+) at sea, and paints at firsthand a detailed picture of the people and character of that period. One of the key components of the tale is Peter's relationship with the various shipmates he meets, mainly that of an older officer who takes young Simple under his wing and proves invaluable in his sea education, and also includes a post captain who suffers from Munchausen syndrome among others. The whole is a series of adventures and encounters that shape Peter and suck the reader into his world of privileges and hardships, courage and cowardice and generally steals time as effectively as a modern bestseller with the added bonus of being written by an experienced and noted sea officer of the period.
Phantastes, a Faerie Romance for Men and Women by George MacDonald. 0.00
Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women (1858) is a fantasy novel written by George MacDonald. One of George MacDonald's most important works, Phantastes is the story of a young man named Anotos and his long dreamlike journey in Fairy Land. It is the fairy tale of deep spiritual insight as Anotos makes his way through moments of uncertainty and peril and mistakes that can have irreversible consequences. This is also his spiritual quest that is destined to end with the supreme surrender of the self. When he finally experiences the hard-won surrender, a wave of joy overwhelms... (+) him. His intense personal introspection is honest as he is offered the full range of symbolic choices -- great beauty, horrifying ugliness, irritating goblins, nurturing spirits. Each confrontation in Fairy Land allows Anotos to learn many necessary lessons. As he continues on the journey, many shadowy beings threaten his spiritual well-being and compel him to sing. The songs are irresistible to a beautiful White Lady who is freed from inside a statue by the music, and Anotos remains captivated by her for a long time. He sees the world more objectively; his trek invites a natural descent into feelings of pride and egotism. But his losses and sorrows coalesce themselves into things of grace, and these experiences help his spiritual growth.
Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope. 0.00
Phineas Finn is a novel by Anthony Trollope and the name of its leading character. The novel was first published as a monthly serial in St Paul's Magazine in 1867 and 1868. It is the second of the "Palliser" series of novels. Its sequel, Phineas Redux, is the fourth novel in the series. It deals with both British parliamentary politics of the 1860s, and Finn's romances with women of fortune, which would secure his financial future. Finn is the only son of a successful Irish doctor, who sends him to London to become a lawyer. He proves to be a lackadaisical student, but being... (+) pleasant company and strikingly handsome to boot, he makes many influential friends. One of them, a fellow Irishman and politician, suggests for him to stand for Parliament in the coming election. At first, the idea seems absurd. Finn is supported solely by a modest allowance from his father, but a stroke of luck clears his path. One of his father's patients is Lord Tulla, a nobleman who controls a little borough that can be contested cheaply. Lord Tulla has had a falling out with his brother, the long-time officeholder. As a result, while the staunchly Tory lord will not support the Whig Finn, neither will he hamper him. Convincing his sceptical father to provide the funds needed, Finn wins his seat by a small margin. Finn's parliamentary career gets off to a rocky start. Overawed by his august surroundings, he delivers a somewhat incoherent maiden speech. Eventually, however, he becomes accustomed to his situation and grows adept at parliamentary proceedings. All is not smooth sailing however. When new elections are called, Finn is in a dilemma. Lord Tulla has reconciled with his brother and Finn has no chance of re-election. Fortune favours him once again. Late one night, Finn and Mr. Kennedy, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, depart Parliament at the same time. When they go their separate ways, Finn notices two men nearby who follow his colleague. Suspicious, he takes a shortcut and arrives in time to foil an attempt to garrotte and rob Kennedy. In gratitude for saving the life of his son-in-law, Lord Brentford offers him the seat for the pocket borough of Loughton. With the nobleman's support, the election is a forgone conclusion. In the meantime, Finn makes the acquaintance of a charming, clever foreigner, Madame Max Goesler, the young and beautiful widow of a rich Jewish banker. Finn finds himself opposed to his own party on a particularly thorny issue; his scruples force him to resign his office. With his political career in shambles, Finn seeks consolation from Madame Max. In an unexpected development, she offers him her hand and her wealth in marriage. Finn is greatly tempted but finally returns to Ireland to marry his faithful, long-time sweetheart, Mary Flood Jones. As a parting reward for his hard work, his party obtains a comfortable sinecure for him in the Irish government.
Pierre and Jean by Guy de Maupassant. 0.00
Pierre et Jean is a naturalist or psycho-realist work written by Guy de Maupassant in Étretat in his native Normandy in 1887. This was Maupassant’s shortest novel. It appeared in three instalments in the Nouvelle Revue and then in volume form in 1888, together with the essay “Le Roman” [“The Novel”]. Pierre et Jean is a realist work, notably so by the subjects on which it treats, including knowledge of one's heredity (whether one is a legitimate son or a bastard), the bourgeoisie, and the problems stemming from money. Pierre and Jean are the sons of Gérôme Roland,... (+) a jeweller who has retired to Le Havre, and his wife Louise. Pierre works as a doctor, and Jean is a lawyer. It recounts the story of a middle-class French family whose lives are changed when Léon Maréchal, a deceased family friend, leaves his inheritance to Jean. This provokes Pierre to doubt the fidelity of his mother and the legitimacy of his brother. This investigation sparks violent reactions in Pierre, whose external appearance vis a vis his mother visibly changes. In his anguish, most notably shown during family meals, he tortures her with allusions to the past that he has now uncovered. Meanwhile, Jean's career and love life improve over the course of the novel while Pierre's life gets significantly worse. Provoked by his brother's accusations of jealousy, Pierre reveals to Jean what he has learned. However, unlike Pierre, Jean offers his mother love and protection. The novel closes with Pierre’s departure on an oceanliner. Thus the novel is organised around the unwelcome appearance of a truth (Jean’s illegitimacy), its suppression for the sake of family continuity and the acquisition of wealth, and the expulsion from the family of the legitimate son.
Pirate City by Robert Michael Ballantyne. 0.00
The Pirate City: An Algerine Tale () is an historical novel by Robert Michael Ballantyne. Ballantyne spent time in Algiers and dressed himself as an Arabian while researching material for his book so that he might portray his characters and the story's setting with the greatest accuracy possible. In this tale, set during the heyday of the pirates, a merchant and his sons Mariano and Lucien are captured aboard their trading vessel and taken as prisoners to the pirate capital of Algiers. They are enslaved, and during their many exciting adventures, we learn of the way of life... (+) in the pirate city. Follow their adventures as they rescue other prisoners, experience life in the pirate city, and attempt to escape from their captors. Forced to endure slavery as Christian dogs before their Muslim captors, the heroes rely on Providence to bring their deliverance. Our main characters behave nobly, rise and fall in favor with the Deys (title of the king of Algiers), and eventually make their escape when all the slaves in Algiers were freed by the British.
Po-No-Kah by Mary Maples Dodge. 0.00
Po-no-kah: An Indian Tale of Long Ago‎ (1903, juvenile) is a novel by Mary Mapes Dodge, most famous for her novel Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates. The Hedden family lives in a pioneer settlement clustered on the banks of a bend in the Ohio River. The Hedden's farm stretches further into the wilderness than the neighbors'. They plant and gather their crops year after year, despite annoyances from the Indians, who rob their fields, and from bears, who sometimes maul their farm stock. The family has lived in security so long that, the wife sings at her work, and the little... (+) ones shout at their play as merrily as though New York or Boston were within a stone's throw. Sometimes, too, the children whisper together of the fate of poor Annie Green, who, a few years before had been found killed in the forest. And then one day the children are out playing alone; looking up, the frightened party sees three hideous faces peering at them over the bushes! "The Indians! the Indians!" screams the younger daughter Bessie. The children are captured, and the rest of the novel follows the two separate stories of the children with the Indians, and the parents still on the farm, but forever searching for their offspring.
Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Pollyanna is a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter that is now considered a classic of children's literature, with the title character's name becoming a popular term for someone with the same optimistic outlook. The book was such a success, that Porter soon produced a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up (1915). Pollyanna has been adapted for film several times. Some of the best-known include Disney's 1960 version starring child actress Hayley Mills, who won a special Oscar for the role, and the 1920 version starring Mary Pickford. The title character is named Pollyanna Whittier,... (+) a young orphan who goes to live in Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern Aunt Polly. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game", an optimistic attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things — in this case, to be glad about the crutches because "we didn't need to use them!" With this philosophy, and her own sunny personality and sincere, sympathetic soul, Pollyanna brings so much gladness to her aunt's dispirited New England town that she transforms it into a pleasant place to live. 'The Glad Game' shields her from her aunt's stern attitude: when Aunt Polly puts her in a stuffy attic room without carpets or pictures, she exults at the beautiful view from the high window; when she tries to "punish" her niece for being late to dinner by sentencing her to a meal of bread and milk in the kitchen with the servant, Nancy, Pollyanna thanks her rapturously because she likes bread and milk, and she likes Nancy. Soon, Pollyanna teaches some of Beldingsville's most troubled inhabitants to 'play the game' as well, from a querulous invalid named Mrs. Snow to a miserly bachelor, Mr. Pendleton, who lives all alone in a cluttered mansion. Aunt Polly, too — finding herself helpless before Pollyanna's buoyant refusal to be downcast — gradually begins to thaw, although she resists the glad game longer than anyone else. Eventually, however, even Pollyanna's robust optimism is put to the test when she is struck down by a motorcar while crossing a street and loses the use of her legs. At first she doesn't realize the seriousness of her situation, but her spirits plummet when she accidentally overhears an eminent specialist say that she'll never walk again. After that, she lies in bed, unable to find anything to be glad about. Then the townspeople begin calling at Aunt Polly's house, eager to let Pollyanna know how much her encouragement has improved their lives; and Pollyanna decides she can still be glad that she has legs. The novel ends with Aunt Polly marrying her former lover Dr. Chilton and Pollyanna being sent to a hospital where she learns to walk again and is able to appreciate the use of her legs far more as a result of being temporarily disabled.
Pollyanna Grows Up by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
Pollyanna Grows Up is a 1915 children's novel by Eleanor H. Porter. It is the first of many sequels to Porter's best-selling Pollyanna (1913), but is the only one written by Porter herself; the numerous later additions to the Pollyanna franchise were the work of other authors. Pollyanna, now cured of her crippling spinal injury, spends her time teaching the "glad game" to a new town, and a very bitter woman, Mrs. Carew. Along the way she makes new friends, such as Sadie and Jamie: Jamie is a delicate literary genius whose withered legs compel him to rely on a wheelchair and... (+) crutches. Six years later, Pollyanna and her Aunt fall upon hard times. Following the death of Dr. Chilton, as a means of making money, Pollyanna and her Aunt are forced to take in the friends Pollyanna made six years earlier as boarders. However, there are many skeletons lurking in people's closets, causing numerous misunderstandings and many revelations, including how old childhood friend Jimmy 'Bean' Pendleton ended up alone.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 0.00
Elizabeth Bennet copes with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education and marriage among landed gentry in early 19th-century England. She is the second-born in a family of five daughters of a country gentleman, living near London. Circumstances require her to seek a marriage of convenience for economic security, but she wishes to marry for love. She is her father's favorite, and least favored in her mother's eyes after Elizabeth refuses a marriage proposal from the proud and wealthy Mr. Collins.
Pussy and Doggy Tales by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Pussy and Doggy Tales (1899) is a collection of charming short stories for children by Edith Nesbit, consisting of seven "pussy tales" and six "doggy tales".
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. 0.00
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is a classic American 1903 children's novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin that tells the story of Rebecca Rowena Randall and her two stern aunts in the village of Riverboro, Maine. Rebecca's joy for life inspires her aunts, but she faces many trials in her young life, gaining wisdom and understanding. Wiggin later wrote a sequel: New Chronicles of Rebecca. The story opens with Rebecca's journey to Riverboro, to live with her two aunts, Miranda and Jane Sawyer. Until this time, she has lived on the family farm. Rebecca is the second eldest of seven children.... (+) Most of the children have fanciful names, such as Marquis and Jenny Lind, influenced by the father's artistic background (Rebecca is named after both the heroines in Ivanhoe). The family is quite poor, due to the number of children, Mr. Randall's inability to stick to a job, and the farm being mortgaged. At the beginning of the novel, he has been dead for three years and the family are barely scraping by. Therefore, Rebecca's stay with her aunt is both a chance to improve her opportunities in life and to make things easier, as there is one less mouth to feed. Despite her impoverished background, Rebecca is an imaginative and charming child, often composing little poems and songs to express her feelings or to amuse her younger brothers and sisters. It is she who names their farm "Sunnybrook". Miranda and Jane had wanted Hannah, the eldest sister, due to her pragmatic nature and household skills, but as these skills are also greatly valued by her mother, Rebecca is sent instead. Miranda is unimpressed by Rebecca's imagination and sallow complexion, saying that she is the image of her shiftless father, Lorenzo DeMedici Randall. Miranda determines to do her duty and train Rebecca to be a proper young lady, so she will not shame the Sawyer name. Jane takes on the role of Rebecca's protector, acting as a buffer between her niece and her sister, and teaches Rebecca to sew, cook and be a proper little housekeeper. In return, Rebecca's liveliness and curiosity brighten Jane's life and refresh her spirit. Although Rebecca strives to win Miranda's approval, she finds it hard to live up to the older aunt's high standards, as she has to fight against Miranda's view of her as "all Randall and no Sawyer". The middle part of the novel is taken up with describing the life of Riverboro and the people who live there. Important characters include Jeremiah Cobb, who is the first resident to encounter Rebecca and be charmed by her; Sarah Cobb, his wife; Rebecca's best friend, Emma Jane Perkins, and Adam Ladd, a young businessman, who first meets Rebecca when she and Emma Jane are selling soap for charity. Rebecca nicknames him "Mr Aladdin", as he gave her and Emma Jane a lamp as a present. Rebecca proves to be a good student, especially in English, and goes on to attend the high school in Wareham. During the last part of the book, she matures into a young lady, but still retains her high spirits and develops her talent for writing. She applies for a teaching place at Augusta, but her mother falls ill and Rebecca has to return to take care of her and the farm. While Rebecca is away from Riverboro, Miranda dies, having willed the Sawyer house to Rebecca. A railway company will buy Sunnybrook Farm in order to build on the land, giving the Randall family enough to live on. Thanks to Miranda's will, Rebecca now has enough money to become an independent woman and help her brothers and sisters. The novel ends with her exclaiming, "God bless Aunt Miranda! God bless the brick house that was! God bless the brick house that is to be!"
Relativity: the Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein. 0.00
Relativity: The Special and General Theory (1916) by Albert Einstein. This is an introduction to Einstein’s space-bending, time-stretching theory of Relativity, written by the master himself. Special and General Relativity explain the structure of space time and provide a theory of gravitation, respectively. Einstein’s theories shocked the world with their counterintuitive results, including the dissolution of absolute time. In this book he brings a simplified form of his profound understanding of the subject to the layperson. In the words of Einstein: “The present book... (+) is intended, as far as possible, to give an exact insight into the theory of Relativity to those readers who, from a general scientific and philosophical point of view, are interested in the theory, but who are not conversant with the mathematical apparatus of theoretical physics.” The book is challenging at times but, when approached patiently, proves itself one of the most lucid explanations of Relativity to be found anywhere.
Rico and Wiselli by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Rico and Wiseli (1886) was published in a single volume, but consists of two stories by Johanna Spyri, author of Heidi. The two stories are: Rico and Stineli and How Rico Found a Home, and How Wiseli Was Provided For. Both were translated by Louise Brooks. Rico and Stineli is the story of nine year old Rico, and his attraction to his schoolmate Stineli, and how their romance evolves. Both Rico and Stineli lived in the mountains high above St. Moritz. How Wiseli Was Provided For relates the story of Wiseli, the youngest of six siblings. Her five older siblings have all died,... (+) and her mother Wisi is dying of tuberculosis. The true colors of neighbors and family come to light as the community resolves how to provide for Wiseli following her mother's death.
Right Ho, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse. 0.00
Right Ho, Jeeves is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse, the second full-length novel featuring the popular characters Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, after Thank You, Jeeves. It was first published in 1934. It is mostly set at Brinkley Court, the home of Bertie's Aunt Dahlia. Bertie returns to London from several weeks in Cannes spent in the company of his Aunt Dahlia and her daughter Angela. In Bertie's absence, Jeeves has been advising Bertie's old school friend, Gussie Fink-Nottle, who is in love with Madeline Bassett. Gussie is too timid to speak to her. Madeline, a friend of Bertie's... (+) cousin Angela, is staying at Brinkley Court. Bertie himself is expected at Brinkley Court to deliver the school prizes at the local grammar school, which he considers a fearful task. Bertie sends Gussie to Brinkley Court so that he will have the chance to woo Madeline, but also so that Gussie will be forced to take on the job of distributing the prizes.
Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. 0.00
"Rip Van Winkle" is a short story by the American author Washington Irving published in 1819, as well as the name of the story's fictional protagonist. Written while Irving was living in Birmingham, England, it was part of a collection entitled The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon. Although the story is set in New York's Catskill Mountains, Irving later admitted, "When I wrote the story, I had never been on the Catskills." The story of Rip Van Winkle is set in the years before and after the American Revolutionary War. In a pleasant village, at the foot of New York's "Kaatskill"... (+) Mountains, lives the kindly Rip Van Winkle, a colonial British-American villager of Dutch descent. Rip is an amiable though somewhat hermitic man who enjoys solitary activities in the wilderness, but is also loved by all in town. However, a tendency to avoid all gainful labor, for which his nagging wife (Dame Van Winkle) chastises him, allows his home and farm to fall into disarray due to his lazy neglect. One autumn day, Rip is escaping his wife's nagging, wandering up the mountains with his dog, Wolf. Hearing his name being shouted, Rip discovers that the speaker is a man dressed in antiquated Dutch clothing, carrying a keg up the mountain, who requires Rip's help. Without exchanging words, the two hike up to an amphitheatre-like hollow in which Rip discovers the source of previously-heard thunderous noises: there is a group of other ornately-dressed, silent, bearded men who are playing nine-pins. Although there is no conversation and Rip does not ask the men who they are or how they know his name, he discreetly begins to drink some of their liquor, and soon falls asleep. He awakes in unusual circumstances: it seems to be morning, his gun is rotted and rusty, his beard has grown a foot long, and Wolf is nowhere to be found. Rip returns to his village where he finds that he recognizes no one. Asking around, he discovers that his wife has died and that his close friends have died in a war or gone somewhere else. He immediately gets into trouble when he proclaims himself a loyal subject of King George III, not knowing that the American Revolution has taken place. Rip is also disturbed to find another man is being called Rip Van Winkle (though this is in fact his son, who has now grown up). Rip is told that he has been away from the village for twenty years. An old local recognizes Rip and Rip's now-adult daughter takes him in. Rip resumes his habitual idleness, and his tale is solemnly taken to heart by the Dutch settlers, with other hen-pecked husbands, after hearing his story, wishing they could share in Rip's good luck, and have the luxury of sleeping through the hardships of war.
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott. 0.00
Rob Roy (1817) is a historical novel by Walter Scott. The story takes place just before the 1715 Jacobite Rising, with much of Scotland in turmoil. Frank Osbaldistone, the narrator, quarrels with his father and is sent to stay with an uncle, Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, in Northumberland. Frank falls in love with Diana Vernon, Sir Hildebrand's niece, whose father has been forced to go into hiding because of his Jacobite sympathies. Subsequently, Frank travels to the Scottish Highlands to collect a debt stolen from his father. On the way he encounters the larger-than-life title... (+) character of Rob Roy MacGregor. Though Rob Roy is not the lead character, his personality and actions are key to the development of the novel. There is much confusion as the action shifts to the beautiful mountains and valleys around Loch Lomond. A British army detachment is ambushed and there is bloodshed. All Sir Hildebrand's sons but Rashleigh are killed in the Jacobite Rising, and Rashleigh too meets a bloody end. Following this, Frank inherits Sir Hildebrand's property and marries Diana. The plot has been criticised as disjointed; Robert Louis Stevenson, however, regarded Rob Roy as the best novel of the greatest of all novelists. The novel is a brutally realistic depiction of the social conditions in Highland and Lowland Scotland in the early 18th century. The Highlanders were compared with American Indians, as regards to their primitive, isolated lifestyle. Some of the dialogue is in broad Scottish, and the novel includes a glossary of Scottish words.
Robin by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
Robin (1922) by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a sequel to The Head of the House of Coombe. The Head of the House of Coombe follows the relationships between a group of pre–World War One English nobles and commoners. It also offers both some interesting editorial commentary on the political system in prewar Europe that Burnett feels bears some responsibility for the war and some surprisingly pointed social commentary. Lord Coombe is considered to be the best-dressed man in London. He is also a man whose public reputation, despite his formidable intellect and observant eye, is... (+) one of unmitigated wickedness. During one of his social forays, he meets a selfish young woman named 'Feather' with the face of an angel. Fascinated by her, he slowly drifts into her circle. When her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her alone and desolate in London, he ends up taking her under his wing. Feather has a daughter named Robin, of whom she takes little notice. Robin hates Coombe, having heard a conversation that blamed him for the loss of her first friend. This friend was a little boy named Donal who was in fact Coombe's heir. Burnett's sequel Robin completes the story of Robin, Lord Coombe, Donal and Feather.
Rose 'O the River by Kate Douglas Wiggin. 0.00
Rose 'O the River (1905) is a novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin, most famous for penning Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Stephen Waterman, a lumberjack from northern Maine, fresh from his dip in the Saco River, scrambles up the hillside one morning from the outhouse. Far, far down on the opposite bank of the river is the hint of a brown roof, and the tip of a chimney that sends a slender wisp of smoke into the clear air. The little brown roof could never have revealed itself to any but a lover's eye. The pinkish speck that Stephen Waterman has spied from his side of the river is Rose... (+) Wiley, or sometimes Rose of the river. She had not only some of the sweetest attributes of the wild rose, but the parallel might have been extended as far as the thorns, for she had wounded her scores, -- hearts, be it understood, not hands. The wounding was, on the whole, very innocently done; and if fault could be imputed anywhere, it might rightly have been laid at the door of the kind powers who had made her what she was, since the smile that blesses a single heart is always destined to break many more.
Round Dozen by Susan Coolidge. 0.00
A Round Dozen (1883) is a compilation of a thirteen short stories by children's author Susan Coolidge. The twelve short stories are: The Little White Door, Little Karen and Her Baby, Helen's Thanksgiving, At Fiesole, Queen Blossom, A Small Beginning, The Secret Door, The Two Wishes, Blue and Pink, A Fortunate Misfortune, Toinette and the Elves, Jean's Money and What it Bought, and How the Storks Came and Went.
Royal Children of English History by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Royal Children of English History (1897) by Edith Nesbit is a collection of historical tales for children about the childhoods of Alfred the Great, Prince Arthur, Henry the Third, The First Prince of Wales, Edward the Black Prince, and Henry the Fifth and the Baby King
Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie. 0.00
In this, her second published mystery, the author introduces Tommy Beresford and Prudence Tuppence Cowley, two characters who subsequently appear in a few other of her novels. Here, Tommy and Tuppence, old friends, reunite after the war (WWI) and decide to start a detective firm, which they name Young Adventures, Ltd. For their first case they set out to find a girl named Jane Finn, who disappeared during the sinking of the RMS Lusitania with a draft treaty in hand that had never been found.
Seeing Beyond the Wrinkles: Stories of Ageless Courage, Humor, and Faith by Charles Tindell. (201 pages, 2.3 hrs) 9.95
In his award-winning book, Charles Tindell makes it clear that there is no reason why we should fear aging. His collection of real-life short stories about people's feelings and experiences will give you a greater understanding of not only the fears but also the joys associated with aging. ♦ Publisher's Web Site
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. 0.00
The novel setting is southwest England in 1792 through 1797 and portrays the life and loves of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, daughters of their father Henry's second wife, Mrs. Dashwood. Starkly different, Elinor exudes prudence and self-control, while Marianne embodies emotion and enthusiasm. They and a younger sister, Margaret, face reduced circumstances when their father dies and his estate passes to their half-brother, John. The young ladies move to a meager cottage courtesy of a distant relative. They experience love, romance and heartbreak.
Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner. 0.00
Seven Little Australians (1894) is a classic Australian children's novel by Ethel Turner. Set mainly in Sydney in the 1880s, it relates the adventures of the seven mischievous Woolcot children, their stern army father Captain Woolcot and flighty stepmother Esther. In 1994 the novel was the only book by an Australian author to have been continuously in print for 100 years. The book's protagonists are the seven Woolcot children, from oldest to youngest: Meg (real name Margaret), 16, naive, romantic sixteen-year-old eldest sister and sometime surrogate mother to the younger children.... (+) Pip (real name Philip), 14, eldest brother, handsome, intelligent but badly-behaved. Judy (real name Helen), 13, imaginative and lively, often leads the others into mischief and Pip's partner in crime. Nell (real name Elinor), 10, beautiful and slightly wistful child. Bunty (real name John), 6, described as 'fat and very lazy'. Baby (real name Winifred), 4, is the most well behaved out of the lot, was only a baby when her mother died. 'The General' (real name Francis Rupert Burnand) - the baby and the only natural child of Esther, who is stepmother to the other children. The seven children of the title live in 1880s Sydney with their father, an army Captain who has little understanding of his children, and their twenty year-old stepmother Esther who can exert little discipline on them. Accordingly they wreak havoc wherever possible, for example by interrupting their parents while they entertain guests and asking for some of their dinner (implying to the guests that the children's own dinner is inadequate).
She by Henry Rider Haggard. 0.00
She, subtitled A History of Adventure, is a novel by Henry Rider Haggard, first published in 1887. "She" is one of the classics of imaginative literature, and with over 83 million copies sold in 44 different languages, one of the best-selling books of all time. Extraordinarily popular upon its release, She has never been out of print. The story is a first-person narrative that follows the journey of Horace Holly and his ward Leo Vincey to a lost kingdom in the African interior. There, they encounter a primitive race of natives and a mysterious white queen, Ayesha, who reigns... (+) as the all-powerful "She", or "She-who-must-be-obeyed". In this work, Rider Haggard developed the conventions of the Lost World sub-genre, which many later authors emulated.
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. 0.00
Shirley is an 1849 social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Brontë. It was Brontë's second published novel after Jane Eyre (originally published under Brontë's pseudonym Currer Bell). The novel is set in Yorkshire in the period 1811–12, during the industrial depression resulting from the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. The novel is set against a backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry. The novel's popularity led to Shirley becoming a woman's name. The title character was given the name that her father had intended to give a son. Before... (+) the publication of the novel, Shirley was an uncommon - but distinctly male - name and would have been an unusual name for a woman. The novel is set in a fictional part of Yorkshire, comprising the parishes of Briarfield and Nunneley. The main town of the district is Stillborough. The Keeldar family home in Shirley is called Fieldhead. Robert Moore is a mill owner noted for apparent ruthlessness toward his employees - more than any other mill owner in town. He has laid off many of them, apparently indifferent to their resulting poverty. But in fact he has no choice, since the mill is deep in debt. As the novel opens, Robert awaits delivery of new labor-saving machinery to the mill. The new machinery will let him lay off additional employees. The machinery is destroyed on the way by angry millworkers. Robert's business difficulties continue, due in part to the continuing labor unrest, but even more so to the Napoleonic Wars and the accompanying Orders in Council which forbid British merchants from trading in American markets. Robert is very close to Caroline Helstone. Caroline worships Robert and he likes her too. Caroline is penniless, and this leads Robert to keep his distance from her, since he cannot afford to marry for pleasure or love. He has to marry for money if he is to get his mill going again. Caroline realizes that Robert is growing increasingly distant and withdraws into herself. Caroline cheers up a great deal, however, when she meets Shirley. Shirley is a landowner, an independent heiress whose parents are dead and who lives with Mrs. Pryor, an old governess. Shirley is lively, cheerful, full of ideas about how to use her money and how to help people, and very interested in business concerns. Caroline and Shirley soon become very close friends. As Caroline gets closer to Shirley, she notices that Shirley and Robert get along very well, which makes her think that they would end up marrying each other. Shirley likes Robert, is very interested in his work, and is concerned about him and the threats he gets from laid-off millworkers. Shirley uses her money to help the poorest of the lot, but she is also motivated by the desire to prevent any attack on Robert, a motive that makes Caroline both happy and unhappy. One night, Caroline and Shirley conclude from the behavior of Robert and others that an attack is imminent. They go the mill together to warn Robert. They come too late and have to hide near the mill. But Robert is already prepared and he mounts a counter-attack. He defeats the attackers and gets the ring leaders arrested, the whole encounter being witnessed by Shirley and Caroline from their hiding place. After this incident, the whole neighborhood is convinced that Robert and Shirley shall wed. The anticipation of this causes Caroline to fall sick. Mrs. Pryor comes to look after her, and realizes that Caroline is pining away. Robert leaves for London without any concrete reason. Caroline feels that she has ‘nothing left to live for’ since there is no one who cares whether she lives or dies. Mrs. Pryor then reveals to Caroline that she is Caroline's mother. She had little money; when her brother-in-law offered to bring up the child, she accepted it, took up the family name of Pryor and went off to become a governess. Caroline now has a reason to live - her ‘mamma’. She begins to recover slowly, since she knows that she can go and live with her mother. Robert returns one dark night, Robert had proposed to Shirley before he left for London. But Shirley had at first laughed, thinking that he was not serious, and cried when she discovered that he was. She had told him that she knew that he did not love her, that he asked for her hand not for her but for her money and this decreased her respect for him. When Robert had argued that Shirley had shown concern for him, been open with him from the very beginning and discussed his business matters at length with him, she had said that she had esteem and affection for him, but not love and now even that esteem and affection were in danger. Robert walked away from that room filled with a sense of humiliation, even as he knew that she was right - that he had ignored his affection for Caroline and sought out Shirley primarily for her money. This self-disgust drove Robert away to London and he realized while there that restoring the family name was not as important as self-respect and he had returned home, determined to close the mill if he had to. Just as Robert finishes his narration, his friend hears a gunshot and Robert falls from his horse - the laid-off workers are finally avenged. The friend takes Robert to his own home and looks after him, and after a turn for the worse, Robert slowly gets better. A visit from Caroline revives him but she has to come secretly, hiding from her uncle and his friend and his family. Robert soon moves back to his house and persuades his sister that the very thing the house needs to cheer it up is a visit by Caroline. Robert asks for Caroline’s forgiveness and tries to tell her what had happened with Shirley, but she stops him and tells him that she has forgiven him. She also predicts that Shirley is in love too, and that she is not ‘master of her own heart’. The novel ends with Caroline and Shirley marrying the two brothers, Robert and Louis, respectively.
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. 0.00
Siddhartha is a novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of an Indian man named Siddhartha during the time of the Buddha. The book, Hesse's ninth novel (1922), was written in German, in a simple, powerful, and lyrical style. The story begins by painting a picture of Siddhartha as a perfect son: smart, athletic, obedient, and handsome. However, he eventually sees the limitations of the Brahmin life, and leaves his home to join the ascetics with his companion Govinda. The two set out in the search of enlightenment. After seeing the limitation of asceticism,... (+) the two journey to meet the Buddha. Govinda is immediately impressed and takes refuge in the Buddha. Siddhartha respects the Buddha's enlightenment, but realizes that no teaching, not even the Buddha's, can capture enlightenment. The story takes place in ancient India around the time of Gotama Buddha (likely between the fourth and seventh centuries BCE.
Silas Marner by George Eliot. 0.00
Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe is a dramatic novel by George Eliot. Her third novel, it was first published in 1861. An outwardly simple tale of a reclusive weaver, in its strong realism it represents one of Eliot's most sophisticated treatments of her attitude to religion.
Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald. 0.00
Sir Gibbie (1879) is a psychological history by George MacDonald. Whether as the poor dumb waif in Glasgow, whose heart is full of love for all men, or as Sir Gibbie the social reformer, the hero is a beautiful and interesting character. The inquiry, "What would Jesus do?" is answered by more than one person here, for instance, by the lonely cottar's wife, to whom the unseen is more real than the seen.
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser. 0.00
Sister Carrie (1900) is a novel by Theodore Dreiser about a young country girl who moves to the big city where she starts realizing her own American Dream by first becoming a mistress to men that she perceives as superior and later as a famous actress. It has been called the "greatest of all American urban novels." Dissatisfied with life in her rural Wisconsin home, 18-year-old Caroline "Sister Carrie" Meeber takes the train to Chicago, where her older sister Minnie, and her husband Sven Hanson, have agreed to take her in. On the train, Carrie meets Charles Drouet, a traveling... (+) salesman, who is attracted to her because of her simple beauty and unspoiled manner. They exchange contact information, but upon discovering the "steady round of toil" and somber atmosphere at her sister's flat, she writes to Drouet and discourages him from calling on her there.
Some Christmas Stories by Charles Dickens. 0.00
Some Christmas Stories (1911) by Charles Dickens is a classic collection of short Christmas stories written by Charles Dickens. Dickens presents a galaxy of beautiful characters and the branches of a Christmas tree as ladders which one climbs in the journey from childhood to youth. Going through the book evokes the sweet memories of childhood. The six Christmas stories are: A Christmas Tree, What Christmas is as we Grow Older, The Poor Relation's Story, The Child's Story, The Schoolboy's Story, and Nobody's Story.
Something's Not Right: One Family's Struggle with Learning Disabilities by Nancy Lelewer. (185 pages, 2.7 hrs) 9.95
Fast-paced, compelling true story of a dyslexic mother's determination to get her own learning-disabled children a good education. Learn some of the warning signs and where to go for help. Parents' Choice Approval. ♦ Publisher's Web Site
Sons and Lover by D. H. Lawrence. 0.00
Sons and Lovers is a 1913 novel by the English writer D. H. Lawrence. The Modern Library placed it ninth on their list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century. The third published novel of D. H. Lawrence, taken by many to be his earliest masterpiece, tells the story of Paul Morel, a young man and budding artist. When you have experienced Sons and Lovers you have lived through the agonies of the young Lawrence striving to win free from his old life. Generally, it is not only considered as an evocative portrayal of working-class life in a mining community, but also an intense... (+) study of family, class and early sexual relationships. The refined daughter of a "good old burgher family," Gertrude Coppard meets a rough-hewn miner at a Christmas dance and falls into a whirlwind romance characterized by physical passion. But soon after her marriage to Walter Morel, she realizes the difficulties of living off his meagre salary in a rented house. The couple fight and drift apart and Walter retreats to the pub after work each day. Gradually, Mrs. Morel's affections shift to her sons beginning with the oldest, William. As a boy, William is so attached to his mother that he doesn't enjoy the fair without her. As he grows older, he defends her against his father's occasional violence. Eventually, he leaves their Nottinghamshire home for a job in London, where he begins to rise up into the middle class. He is engaged, but he detests the girl's superficiality. He dies and Mrs. Morel is heartbroken, but when Paul catches pneumonia she rediscovers her love for her second son. Both repulsed by and drawn to his mother, Paul is afraid to leave her but wants to go out on his own, and needs to experience love. Gradually, he falls into a relationship with Miriam, a farm girl who attends his church. The two take long walks and have intellectual conversations about books but Paul resists, in part because his mother looks down on her. At Miriam's family's farm, Paul meets Clara Dawes, a young woman with feminist sympathies who has separated from her husband, Baxter. Paul leaves Miriam behind as he grows more intimate with Clara, but even she cannot hold him and he returns to his mother. When his mother dies soon after, he is alone.
Stolen Treasure by Howard Pyle. 0.00
Stolen Treasure (1907) is a collection of four pirate adventure stories by Howard Pyle. Part I: With The Buccaneers, Being an Account of Certain Adventures that Befell Henry Mostyn under Captain H. Morgan in the Year 1665-66. Part II: Tom Chist and the Treasure-Box, An Old-time Story of the Days of Captain Kidd. Part III: The Ghost of Captain Brand, Being a Narrative of Certain Extraordinary Adventures that Befell Barnaby True, Esquire, of the Town of New York, in the Year 1753. Part IV: A True History of the Devil at New Hope, being a story between the years 1740 and 1742 of... (+) how the devil came to inhabit the wooden ruins of a disused church, known throughout those parts as the Old Free Grace Meeting-house.
Summer by Edith Wharton. 0.00
Summer is a novel by Edith Wharton published in 1917 by Charles Scribner's Sons. The story is one of only two novels by Wharton to be set in New England; Wharton was best known for her portrayals of upper class New York society. The novel details the sexual awakening of its protagonist, Charity Royall, and her cruel treatment by the father of her child, and shares many plot similarities with Wharton's better known novel, Ethan Frome. Only moderately well-received when originally published, Summer has had a resurgence in critical popularity since the 1960s. Eighteen-year-old... (+) Charity Royall is bored in the small town of North Dormer. She is a librarian and ward of North Dormer’s premier citizen, Lawyer Royall. While working at the library, Charity meets visiting architect Lucius Harney. On a trip to Nettleton, Harney kisses Charity for the first time, and buys her a present, a brooch. Afterwards they run into a drunken Mr. Royall, accompanied by prostitutes. Mr. Royall verbally abuses Charity, and Charity becomes overwhelmed with shame. Charity and Harney begin a sexual relationship after the trip to Nettleton. During North Dormer’s Old Home Week, Charity sees Harney with Annabel Balch, a society girl she envies. After the dance, Charity as usual goes to the small house where she meets up with Harney. Mr. Royall suddenly shows up and, when Harney arrives, Mr. Royall asks him if that is where he intends to live after he marries Charity. After an angry Mr. Royall leaves, Harney promises Charity that he is going to marry her, but that he has to go away for awhile first. After Harney has left, Charity’s friend Ally lets slip that she saw Harney leave town with Annabel Balch. Charity writes a letter to Harney telling him to do the right thing and marry Annabel. Charity has been feeling unwell, so she goes to Dr. Merkle, who confirms her suspicion that she is pregnant. Charity makes her way to the mountain, intending to look for her mother. On the way she sees the minister, Mr. Miles, and her friend Liff Hyatt. They are on their way up the mountains because Charity’s mother is dying. When they arrive, Charity’s mother has already died, and they bury her. Charity stays on the mountain overnight, where she sees the abject poverty and resolves not to raise her child there. She decides that she is going to be a prostitute, and with the money she earns she will hire someone to take care of her child. En route, she meets Mr. Royall, who has come to pick her up. Mr. Royall offers to marry her. After Charity marries Mr. Royall in Nettleton, she realizes that he knows she is pregnant, and that is why he married her. He gives her forty dollars to buy clothes, and she goes to Dr. Merkle to get her brooch back. Dr. Merkle has heard of her marriage to Mr. Royall, and refuses to return the brooch for less than forty dollars. Rather than paying the money, Charity quickly grabs the brooch and rushes from the office. She returns to Lawyer Royall's and writes to Harney, telling him that she has married Mr. Royall and has returned to North Dormer.
T. Tembarom by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
T. Tembarom (1913) is one of Frances Hodgson Burnett's lesser known novels but highly worth the read. Young Tembarom suddenly comes into a large inheritance and a large estate in Great Britain. His American way of life contrasts sharply, but he keeps his chin up the entire time. His love of his life, whom he met before coming into money, refuses to have him unless he still wants her after staying for a full year among the posh of British society. As part of the deal, he agrees not to see her, and to surround himself with beautiful higher class women (with funny results). Old... (+) friends are found, and new friends made and a ten year old mystery is solved by T. Tembarom. This is a typical Horatio Alger style book with a woman's touch and far older characters than you usually associate with a children's author.
Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 0.00
Tanglewood Tales for Boys and Girls (1853) is a book by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, a sequel to A Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys. It is a re-writing of well-known Greek myths in a volume for children. The book includes the myths of: Theseus and the Minotaur, Antaeus and the Pygmies, Dragon's Teeth, Circe's Palace, Proserpina, Ceres, Pluto, and the Pomegranate Seed, and Jason and the Golden Fleece (Chapter: "The Golden Fleece"). Hawthorne wrote the book while renting a small cottage in the Berkshires, a vacation area for industrialists during the Gilded Age. The owner... (+) of the cottage, a railroad baron, renamed the cottage "Tanglewood" in honor of the book written there. Later, a nearby mansion was renamed Tanglewood, where outdoor classical concerts were held, which became a Berkshire summer tradition.
Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol. 0.00
Taras Bulba is a romanticized historical novel by Nikolai Gogol. It tells the story of an old Zaporozhian Cossack, Taras Bulba, and his two sons, Andriy and Ostap. Taras’ sons studied at the Kiev Academy and return home. The three men set out on an epic journey to Zaporizhian Sich located in Ukraine, where they join other Cossacks and go to war against Poland. Taras Bulba is Gogol’s longest short story. Ostap is the more adventurous son, whereas Andriy has the deeply romantic feelings of an introvert. While in Kiev, he fell in love with a young Polish noble girl, the daughter... (+) of the Governor of Dubno, but after a few meetings, he stopped seeing her when her family returned home. Taras Bulba gives his sons the opportunity to go to war. They reach the Cossack camp at the Zaporozhian Sich, where there is much merrymaking. Taras attempts to rouse the Cossacks to go into battle. They soon have the opportunity to fight the Poles, who rule all Ukraine west of the Dnieper River. The Poles are accused of atrocities against Orthodox Christians, in which they are aided by Jews. After killing many of the Jewish merchants at the Sich, the Cossacks set off on a campaign against the Poles. They besiege Dubno Castle. Surrounded by the Cossacks and short of supplies, the inhabitants begin to starve. One night a Tatar woman comes to Andriy and rouses him. He finds her face familiar and then recalls she is the servant of the Polish girl he was in love with. She advises him that all are starving inside the walls. He accompanies her through a secret passage starting in the marsh that goes into the monastery inside the city walls. Andriy brings loaves of bread with him for the starving girl and her mother. He is horrified by what he sees and in a fury of love, forsakes his heritage for the Polish girl.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 0.00
The infant son of an English couple marooned in Africa is adopted by a she-ape, Kala, after the infant's parents die. Kala calls him Tarzan, and he grows up wondering why he's so different from his peers, who are apes. He discovers his parents' books and teaches himself to read. When Jane Porter, the first white woman he has ever seen, is marooned years later, he befriends her. After she is rescued , Tarzan learns how to live in human society and goes to find her in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ten Days that Shook the World by John Reed. 0.00
Ten Days that Shook the World (1919) is a book by American journalist and socialist John Reed about the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 which Reed experienced firsthand. Reed followed many of the prominent Bolshevik leaders, especially Grigory Zinoviev and Karl Radek, closely during his time in Russia. John Reed died in 1920, shortly after the book was finished, and he is one of the few Americans buried at the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow, a site normally reserved only for the most prominent Soviet leaders. To quote Reed, "This book is a slice of intensified history... (+) — history as I saw it. It does not pretend to be anything but a detailed account of the November Revolution, when the Bolsheviki, at the head of the workers and soldiers, seized the state power of Russia and placed it in the hands of the Soviets. Although Reed states that he had "tried to see events with the eye of a conscientious reporter, interested in setting down the truth" during the time of the event, he stated in the preface that "in the struggle my sympathies were not neutral". George F. Kennan, an American diplomat and historian who had no love for Bolshevism and is best known as "the father of containment," praised the book: "Reed's account of the events of that time rises above every other contemporary record for its literary power, its penetration, its command of detail" and would be "remembered when all others are forgotten." Kennan saw it as "a reflection of blazing honesty and a purity of idealism that did unintended credit to the American society that produced him, the merits of which he himself understood so poorly." On March 1, 1999, The New York Times reported New York University's "Top 100 Works of Journalism" list, which placed Ten Days that Shook the World at #7. Project director Mitchell Stephens explains the reasoning behind the judges' decision: Perhaps the most controversial work on our list is the seventh, John Reed’s book, "Ten Days That Shook the World," reporting on the October revolution in Russia in 1917. Yes, as conservative critics have noted, Reed was a partisan. Yes, historians would do better. But this was probably the most consequential news story of the century, and Reed was there, and Reed could write. The magnitude of the event being reported on and the quality of the writing were other important standards in our considerations. But not all responses were positive. Joseph Stalin argued in 1924 that Reed was misleading in regards to Leon Trotsky. The book portrays Trotsky (head of the Red Army) as a man who co-led the revolution with Lenin and mentions Stalin only twice — one of them being only in the recitation of a list of names, as both Lenin and Trotsky were internationally known, whereas the activities of other Bolshevik militants were virtually unknown. Russian writer Anatoly Rybakov elaborates on Stalinist Soviet Union's ban on Ten Days that Shook the World: "The main task was to build a mighty socialist state. For that, mighty power was needed. Stalin was at the head of that power, which mean that he stood at its source with Lenin. Together with Lenin he led the October Revolution. John Reed had presented the history of October differently. That wasn't the John Reed we needed."
Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. 0.00
Tess of the d'Urbervilles is a novel by Thomas Hardy, first published in 1891. It is Hardy's penultimate novel, followed by Jude the Obscure. Though now considered an important work of English literature, the book received mixed reviews when it first appeared, in part because it challenged the sexual mores of Hardy's day. The novel is set in impoverished rural Wessex during the Long Depression. Tess is the eldest child of John and Joan Durbeyfield, uneducated rural peasants. One day, Parson Tringham informs John that he has noble blood. Tringham, an amateur genealogist, has... (+) discovered that "Durbeyfield" is a corruption of "D'Urberville", the surname of a noble Norman family, now extinct. The news immediately goes to John's head. Overjoyed with learning of his noble lineage, he gets too drunk to drive to market that night, so Tess undertakes the journey herself and agrees, against her better judgement, to visit Mrs. d'Urberville, a wealthy widow who lives in the nearby town of Trantridge, and "claim kin." She is unaware that in reality, Mrs. d'Urberville's husband, Simon Stoke, purchased the baronial title and adopted the new surname, and so is not related to the d'Urbervilles.
That Lass O'Lowries by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
That Lass O'Lowries (1877) is Frances Hodgson Burnett's first novel. Joan Lowrie works as a pit girl in a Lancashire mining town and, along with being the only person to come to the rescue of a ruined girl who has come to town with her baby, she must navigate the interest of two men out of her class, the local curate and a mining engineer.
The Absentee by Maria Edgeworth. 0.00
The Absentee is a novel by Maria Edgeworth, published in 1812 in Tales of Fashionable Life, that expresses the systemic evils of the absentee landlord class of Anglo-Irish and the desperate condition of the Irish peasantry. Just before coming of age, Lord Colambre, the sensitive hero of the novel, finds that his mother Lady Clonbrony's attempts to buy her way into the high society of London are only ridiculed, while his father, Lord Clonbrony, is in serious debt as a result of his wife's lifestyle. Colambre falls in love with his mother's companion, his supposed cousin, Grace... (+) Nugent. Colambre travels incognito to Ireland to see the country that he still considers his home. Along the way he is briefly ensnared by a cold hearted adventuress who wants him to marry her daughter and who informs him that his beloved Grace is not Mr. Nugent's daughter at all, but rather an illegitimate child! This is confirmed by letter by his mother, who while a social climber and generally frivolous, is very loving to Grace and has never told her about her parentage. Colambre is heart broken and feels he can never love a woman with such a heritage. He visits his family estate and discovers that his father's agents are oppressing the local peasantry and probably cheating his father as well. He reveals himself to the evil agents, and there is a race back to London, Colambre trying to stop his father from signing documents that would ruin some of the good peasants, the agent's agent trying to get the papers signed. Colambre makes it back just in time to stop his father from ruining the people, and he then assists his father in paying off his debts, on condition that the Clonbrony family return to live in Ireland. The final section concerns Colambre's love for Grace and how it is discovered that she is -- yes!-- both legitimate and an heiress! There are many turns of plot and lots of information about Ireland as well as Irish dialect and details of shallow London fashionable life, and the egregious results of the propertied classes treating their Irish lands as a resource to be exploited rather than as a relationship among classes and with the land.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. 0.00
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), a novel by Mark Twain, is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The work is among the first in major American literature to be written in the vernacular, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer. The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Satirizing a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing... (+) look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism. The story begins in fictional Langlem, Missouri, on the shore of the Mississippi River, sometime between 1835 (when the first steamboat sailed down the Mississippi) and 1845. Two young boys, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, have each come into a considerable sum of money as a result of their earlier adventures. Huck is a boy about thirteen or fourteen. He has been brought up by his father, the town drunk, and has a hard time fitting into society. Widow Douglas is the kind old lady who has taken him in after he and Tom come across the money. She tries her best to civilize Huck, believing it is her Christian duty. The widow’s cousin, a tough old spinster called Miss Watson, also lives with them. She is pretty hard on Huck, causing him to resent her a good deal. Huck’s friend, Tom Sawyer, the main character of other Twain novels and the leader of the town boys in adventures, is “the best fighter and the smartest kid in town”. Huck’s father, "Pap" Finn, is the town drunk. He is often angry at Huck and resents him getting any kind of education. One of the main characters in the novel is Jim, the widow's big, mild-mannered slave to whom Huck becomes very close in the novel. Mrs. Judith Loftus seemingly plays a small part in the novel - being the kind and perceptive woman whom Huck talks to in order to find out about the search for Jim. The Grangerfords, the prominent family of Col. Grangerford, take Huck in until most of them are killed in a feudal skirmish with another family. After the Grangerfords, Huck and Jim take aboard two con artists who call themselves the Duke and the King. Joanna, Mary Jane and Susan are the three young women whose wealthy uncle and caretaker recently died. When Huck goes after Jim, he meets Tom's Aunt Sally and Uncle Silas Phelps. She is a loving but high strung lady, and he a plodding old man. Huck has been placed under the guardianship of the Widow Douglas, who, together with her sister, Miss Watson, is attempting to civilize him. Huck appreciates their efforts, but finds civilized life confining. His spirits are raised somewhat when Tom Sawyer helps him to escape one night past Miss Watson's slave Jim, to meet up with his gang of self-proclaimed "robbers". However, when the gang's exploits turn out to be nothing worse than disrupting Sunday School outings and stealing paltry items like hymn books (which the Sunday School teacher forces them to return anyway), Huck is again downcast. However, his life is changed by the sudden reappearance of his shiftless father "Pap", an abusive parent and drunkard. Although Huck is successful in preventing him from acquiring his fortune (he gives all $6,000 to Judge Thatcher), Pap forcibly gains custody of him and moves him to his backwoods cabin. Though Huck prefers this to his life with the widow, he resents his father's drunken violence and his habit of keeping him locked inside the cabin. During one of his father's absences Huck escapes, elaborately fakes his own murder and sets off down the Mississippi River.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. 0.00
Mark Twain's story of a boy's life in a small town on the Mississippi River is a delightful read. It's just plain fun being full of many amusing adventures, such as the famous white-washing incident. The children's imaginations are fully engaged in a world without movies, radio, or recorded music. There is also a dark side to this world, as exemplified by the murderer Injun Joe and the many superstitions of the children.
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. 0.00
The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton's 12th novel, published in 1920. The story is set in upper-class New York City in the 1870s. The Age of Innocence centers on an upper-class couple's impending marriage, and the introduction of a woman plagued by scandal whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assumptions and morals of 1870s' New York society, it never devolves into an outright condemnation of the institution. In fact, Wharton considered this novel an "apology" for her earlier, more brutal and critical novel, The House of Mirth. Not to be... (+) overlooked is Wharton's attention to detailing the charms and customs of the upper caste. The novel is lauded for its accurate portrayal of how the 19th-century East Coast American upper class lived, and this, combined with the social tragedy, earned Wharton a Pulitzer Prize in 1921 — the first Pulitzer awarded to a woman.
The Ambassadors by Henry James. 0.00
The Ambassadors is a 1903 novel by Henry James. This dark comedy, one of the masterpieces of James's final period, follows the trip of protagonist Lewis Lambert Strether to Europe in pursuit of Chad, his widowed fiancée's supposedly wayward son; he is to bring the young man back to the family business, but he encounters unexpected complications. The third-person narrative is told exclusively from Strether's point of view.
The Arabian Nights Entertainments by Andrew Lang. 0.00
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights Entertainment. This collection was compiled by Andrew Lang in 1898. The main frame story concerns a Persian king and his new bride. He is shocked to discover that his brother's wife is unfaithful; discovering his own wife's infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her executed: but in his bitterness and grief decides that all women are the same. The king, Shahryar, begins... (+) to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonor him. Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion, postpones her execution once again. So it goes on for 1,001 nights.
The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin. 0.00
The Awakening is a novel by Kate Chopin, first published in 1899. Set in New Orleans and the Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the nineteenth century, the plot centers around Edna Pontellier and her struggle to reconcile her increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood with the prevailing social attitudes of the turn-of-the-century South. It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women's issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism. The novel's blend of realistic narrative, incisive social commentary,... (+) and psychological complexity makes The Awakening a precursor of American modernism; it prefigures the works of American novelists such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway and echoes the works of contemporaries such as Edith Wharton and Henry James. It can also be considered among the first Southern works in a tradition that would culminate with the modern masterpieces of Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Katherine Anne Porter, and Tennessee Williams.
The Betrothed by Alesandro Manzoni. 0.00
The Betrothed is an Italian historical novel by Alessandro Manzoni, first published in 1827, in three volumes. It has been called the most famous and widely read novel of the Italian language. Set in northern Italy in 1628, during the terrible, oppressive years under Spanish rule, it is sometimes seen as a veiled attack on Austria, which controlled the region at the time the novel was written. The Betrothed was inspired by Walter Scott's Ivanhoe and was the first Italian historical novel. It deals with a variety of themes, from the cowardly, hypocritical nature of a priest (Don... (+) Abbondio) and the heroic sainthood of others (Padre Cristoforo, Federico Borromeo), to the unwavering strength of love (the relationship between Renzo and Lucia and the struggle of these betrothed to finally meet again and get married), and offers some keen insights into the meanderings of the human mind. As the novel starts, Renzo and Lucia, a couple in an unnamed Lombard village near Lake Como, are planning to wed in 1628. The parish priest, Don Abbondio, is walking home on the previous evening when he is met by a pair of thugs who tell him he is not to perform the marriage, as the local baron (Don Rodrigo)forbids it. The next day, Renzo is amazed when he turns up at Don Abbondio's home to hear that the marriage is to be postponed (he didn't have the courage to tell the truth). A long argument ensues and Renzo succeeds in extracting from the priest the name of Don Rodrigo. It turns out that Don Rodrigo has his eye on Lucia. From there, further complications ensue.
The Big Trip Up Yonder by Kurt Vonnegut. 0.00
This 1954 short story by Kurt Vonnegut is set in 2158 A.D., after the discovery of a drug called anti-gerasone, a mixture of mud and dandelions which halts the aging process. Anti-gerasone allows people to unnaturally control when death from old age occurs. Due to the discovery of this drug, America suffers from over-population.
The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin. 0.00
The Birds' Christmas Carol (1889) is Kate Douglas Wiggin's first literary effort. Wiggin wrote the initial humble paper-covered volume so that it could be sold for the benefit of the Silver Street Kindergarten in San Francisco, the first free kindergarten west of the Rocky Mountains. The book begins with the birth of a child, Carol Bird. Carol has a slight physical infirmity. She radiates good will, but her influence is quite unconscious. She seems a normal, laughter-loving child. Though fragile, she does not look unhealthy or feeble. She uses her crutch so nimbly that there... (+) is no sense of weariness or effort. Carol is one of those children who come to earth "trailing clouds of glory," and who depart, like heavenly visitants, leaving the world, not sadder, but brighter. Many amateur dramatizations have been based on The Birds' Christmas Carol, and in 1914 Kate Wiggin extended this short story into a dramatic play.
The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 0.00
The Blithedale Romance (1852) is Nathaniel Hawthorne's third major romance. In Hawthorne (1879), Henry James called it "the lightest, the brightest, the liveliest" of Hawthorne's "unhumorous fictions." The novel takes place in the utopian community of Blithedale, presumably in the mid-1800s. The main character, Miles Coverdale, embarks on a quest for betterment of the world through the agrarian lifestyle and community of the Blithedale Farm. The story begins with Coverdale's chat with a character named Old Moodie, who reappears throughout the story. The legend of the mysterious... (+) Veiled Lady is introduced; she is a popular clairvoyant who disappears unannounced from the social scene. Coverdale then makes the voyage to Blithedale, where he is introduced to such characters as Zenobia and Mr. and Mrs. Silas Foster. At their first community dinner they are interrupted by the arrival of Hollingsworth, a previous acquaintance of Coverdale's, who is carrying a frail, pale girl. Though Hollingsworth believes the girl (whose age is never clarified) is an expected guest, none of the Blithedale citizens recognize her. She immediately develops a strong attachment to Zenobia, and reveals her name to be Priscilla. Soon after, Coverdale becomes severely ill and is bedridden. Hollingsworth takes care of him, as does Zenobia, and he returns to health shortly. However, during his sickness, he believes he is on the brink of death and develops a closeness with Hollingsworth due to their anxiety-ridden situation and discussion of worldly ideals. As he recovers and spring comes, the residents of the community begin to work the land successfully and prove to their neighbors the plausibility of their cause. Priscilla starts to open up, and relationships between the other characters develop as well. Tension in the friendship between Coverdale and Hollingsworth intensifies as their philosophical disagreements continue. Meanwhile, Zenobia and Hollingsworth become close and rumor flies they might build a house together. Mr. Moodie makes a reappearance and asks about Priscilla and Zenobia for reasons to be revealed later.
The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. 0.00
Andrew Lang's Fairy Books — also known as Andrew Lang's "Colored" Fairy Books or Andrew Lang's Fairy Books of Many Colors — are a series of twelve collections of fairy tales, published between 1889 and 1910. The Blue Fairy Book (1889) was the first one published. Although Andrew Lang did not collect the stories himself from the oral tradition, the extent of his sources, who had collected them originally — with the notable exception of Madame d'Aulnoy — made them an immensely influential collection, especially as he used foreign-language sources, giving many of these... (+) tales their first appearance in English. As acknowledged in the prefaces, although Lang himself made most of the selections, his wife and other translators did a large portion of the translating and retelling of the actual stories. The series was immensely popular, helped by Lang's reputation in folklore, and by the packaging device of the uniform books. The series proved of great influence in children's literature, increasing the popularity of fairy tales over tales of real life. The Blue Fairy Book assembled a wide range of tales, with seven from the Brothers Grimm, five from Madame d'Aulnoy, three from the Arabian Nights, and four Norse stories, among other sources.
The Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 0.00
This is a story of patricide and the four sons (one illegitimate) who each had a motive to kill the cruel father. Set in nineteenth-century Russia, this is a compelling, complex, and brilliant work by a great novelist. The brothers are Dmitry, Ivan, Alyosha, and Smerdyakov, and each character represents a different approach to the world. A gripping courtroom drama ends the story.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London. 0.00
The Call of the Wild is a novel by American writer Jack London. The plot concerns a previously domesticated dog named Buck, whose primordial instincts return after a series of events leads to his serving as a sled dog in the Yukon during the 19th-century Klondike Gold Rush, in which sled dogs fetched generous prices. Buck learns from his experiences and becomes a pack-dominating feral beast. He learns lessons and relies on resurgent behaviors inherited from his wild predecessors, helping him to survive adversity as a ferocious animal.
The Cannibal Islands by Robert Michael Ballantyne. 0.00
The Cannibal Islands, Captain Cook's Adventures in the South Seas (1869) was written by Robert Michael Ballantyne, a Scottish juvenile fiction writer. Ballantyne was part of a famous family of printers and publishers. Travel back with author Ballantyne to the late eighteenth century and join Captain James Cook on his scientific expeditions to such exotic places as Tierra del Fuego, the islands of Tahiti and New Zealand, and the scene of the closing of his great career as navigator and discoverer. Learn from Cook’s own observations and Ballantyne’s detailed, yet tasteful... (+) and true explanations of the habitations, customs, and encounters with unusual peoples, many of whom were so addicted to the eating of human flesh that their homelands were once called the Cannibal Islands.
The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde. 0.00
The Canterville Ghost is a popular short story by Oscar Wilde, widely adapted for the screen and stage. It was the first of Wilde's stories to be published, appearing in the magazine The Court and Society Review in February 1887. The story of the Canterville Ghost takes place in an old English country house, Canterville Chase, which has all the accoutrements of a traditional haunted house. Descriptions of the wainscotting, the library paneled in black oak, and the armor in the hallway characterize the Gothic setting and help Wilde clash the Old World with the New. Wilde’s... (+) Gothic setting helps emphasize the contrast between cultures — setting modern Americans in what could arguably be a classic symbol of British history — and underscores the "modern" thinking of the house's mismatched residents, the Otises. The story begins when Mr Otis's family shifted to Canterville Chase, despite warnings from Lord Canterville that the house is haunted. The Otis family includes Mr. and Mrs. Otis, their daughter Virginia, twin boys (often referred to as "Stars and Stripes") and their eldest son Washington. At the onset of the tale, not one member of the Otis family believes in ghosts, but shortly after they move in, none of them can deny the presence of Sir Simon (The Ghost).
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. 0.00
The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally regarded as the first gothic novel, initiating a literary genre which would become extremely popular in the later 18th century and early 19th century. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension is arguably the forerunner to such authors as Charles Robert Maturin, Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and Daphne du Maurier. The Castle of Otranto tells the story of Manfred, lord of the castle, and his family. The book begins on the wedding-day of his sickly son Conrad and princess Isabella. Shortly before... (+) the wedding, however, Conrad is crushed to death by a gigantic helmet that falls on him from above. This inexplicable event is particularly ominous in light of an ancient prophecy "That the castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it." Manfred, terrified that Conrad's death signals the beginning of the end for his line, resolves to avert destruction by marrying Isabella himself while divorcing his current wife Hippolita, whom he feels has failed to bear him a proper heir. However, as Manfred attempts to marry Isabella, she escapes to a church with the aid of a peasant named Theodore. Manfred orders Theodore's death while talking to the Friar Jerome, who ensured Isabella's safety in the church. When Theodore removes his shirt to be killed, Jerome recognizes a marking below his shoulder and identifies Theodore as his own son. Jerome begs for his son's life, but Manfred says Jerome must either give up the princess or his son's life. They are interrupted by a trumpet and the entrance of knights from another kingdom who want to deliver Isabella. This leads the knights and Manfred to race to find Isabella. Theodore, having been locked in a tower by Manfred, is freed by Manfred's daughter Matilda. He races to the underground church and finds Isabella. He hides her in a cave and blocks it to protect her from Manfred and ends up fighting one of the mysterious knights. Theodore badly wounds the knight, who turns out to be Isabella's father, Frederic. With that, they all go up to the castle to work things out. Frederic falls in love with Matilda and he and Manfred begin to make a deal about marrying each other's daughters. Manfred, suspecting that Isabella is meeting Theodore in a tryst in the church, takes a knife into the church, where Matilda is meeting Theodore. Thinking his own daughter is Isabella, he stabs her. Theodore is then revealed to be the true prince of Otranto and Matilda dies, leaving Manfred to repent. Theodore becomes king and eventually marries Isabella because she is the only one who can understand his true sorrow.
The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 0.00
Fifth in the Barsoom series, the hero this time is the daughter of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, whose name is Tara. Dejah was Princess of Helium, one of the city states on Mars, and now Tara is Princess of Helium. Another city state on Mars in Gathol, and its gallant prince, Gahan, wants to marry Tara. They and another are captured and forced to participate in a live board game similar to chess, which involves a duel to the death.
The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
The Children of the New Forest (1847) is a children's novel by Captain Frederick Marryat. It is set in the time of the English Civil War and the Commonwealth. The children of Colonel Beverley, a Cavalier officer killed at the Battle of Naseby, are believed to have died in the flames when their house, Arnwood, is burned by Roundhead soldiers. However, they escape and are raised by Jacob Armitage, a gamekeeper in his cottage in the New Forest. The story describes how the children adapt from an aristocratic lifestyle to that of simple foresters. The children are concealed as the... (+) grandchildren of Armitage. Eventually after Armitage's death, Edward Beverley leaves and works as a secretary for the sympathetic Puritan placed in charge of the Royal land in the New Forest. He then joins the army of the future King Charles II and after the Royalist defeat at the Battle of Worcester, he escapes to France and lives in exile until the Restoration. His sisters are sent to be brought up as ladies and his brother continues to live in the New Forest until they are reunited on the King's return. The story was made into a BBC television movie in 1998.
The Coral Island by Robert Michael Ballantyne. 0.00
The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean is an 1857 novel by Robert Michael Ballantyne. The story opens with the shipwreck on a Pacific Island of three young English boys, Ralph Rover, Jack Martin and Peterkin Gray. Despite the pleasurable presence of delicious breadfruit, coconuts, and succulent oysters, the intrepid trio are not alone and they soon witness a battle between rival bands of cannibals led by 'Bloody Bill'. Their lives are placed in serious peril from which only courage and determined pluck can save them. An enormously popular adventure since its publication... (+) in 1857, it provoked William Golding to write Lord of the Flies, offering an alternative view of how English boys would behave when released from the constraints of civilization.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. 0.00
The story begins in 1815 with the return of a merchant sailor, Edmond Dantes, to Marseille to marry his fiance. A series of events results in Dantes being imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. After 14 years he escapes, finds the money a prisoner-friend told him about, buys the island it was on (Monte Carlos), and buys the title of Count from the Tuscan government. With his new identity, he returns to take revenge on those responsible for his false imprisonment.
The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett. 0.00
The Country of the Pointed Firs is an 1896 short story sequence by Sarah Orne Jewett which is considered by some literary critics to be her finest work. Henry James described it as her "beautiful little quantum of achievement." Because it is loosely structured, many critics view the book not as a novel, but a series of sketches; however, its structure is unified through both setting and theme. The novel can be read as a study of the effects of isolation and hardship experienced by the inhabitants of the decaying fishing villages along the Maine coast. Sarah Orne Jewett, who... (+) wrote the book when she was 47, was largely responsible for popularizing the regionalism genre with her sketches of the fictional Maine fishing village of Dunnet Landing. Like Jewett, the narrator is a woman, a writer, unattached, genteel in demeanor, intermittently feisty and zealously protective of her time to write. The narrator removes herself from her landlady's company and writes in an empty schoolhouse, but she also continues to spend a great deal of time with Mrs. Todd, befriending her hostess and her hostess's family and friends.
The Crystal Crypt by Philip K. Dick. 0.00
The Crystal Crypt is a 1952 science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick in which the last Terran ship from Mars finds terrorists aboard. The story is set in the distant future where Earth and Mars are on the verge of war. The last spaceship to leave Mars headed for Earth is suddenly stopped by Martian soldiers, looking for three saboteurs who destroyed a Martian city. They don't find them, and the ship continues towards Earth. On board the space ship, a business man by the name of Thacher meets a young woman and two men, who tell him that they're in fact the people the Martians... (+) are looking for, and proceed to tell Thacher the story of how they did it, how they didn't destroy the Martian city, but used a device to reduce the entire city to fit in a tiny globe, which they smuggled on board the ship. The city was to be used as a bargain chip against Mars in the upcoming war, but at the end, Thacher reveals that he's in fact a Martian secret agent, and several of the passengers on board are Martian police.
The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper. 0.00
The Deerslayer, or The First Warpath (1841) was the last of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking tales to be written. Its 1740-1745 time period makes it the first installment chronologically. The novel's setting on Otsego Lake in central, upstate New York, is the same as that of The Pioneers, the first of the Leatherstocking tales to be published. Fenimore Cooper begins his work by relating the astonishing advance of civilization in New York State, which is the setting of four of his five Leatherstocking tales. This novel introduces Natty Bumppo as "Deerslayer", a young frontiersman... (+) in early 18th-century New York. He is contrasted to other frontiersmen and settlers in the novel who have no compunctions in taking scalps in that his natural philosophy is that every living thing should follow "the gifts" of its nature, which would keep European Americans from taking scalps.
The Diary of a Goose Girl by Kate Douglas Wiggin. 0.00
The Diary of a Goose Girl (1902) is a cheerful tale penned by Kate Douglas Wiggin with masterly skill. The whole book revolves around a young girl who raises geese. The book starts: "In alluding to myself as a Goose Girl, I am using only the most modest of my titles; for I am also a poultry-maid, a tender of Belgian hares and rabbits, and a shepherdess; but I particularly fancy the role of Goose Girl, because it recalls the German fairy tales of my early youth, when I always yearned, but never hoped, to be precisely what I now am." All of Wiggin's descriptions are captivating and amazing.
The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams. 0.00
The Education of Henry Adams records the struggle of Bostonian Henry Adams (1838–1918), in his later years, to come to terms with the dawning 20th century, so different from the world of his youth. It is also a sharp critique of 19th century educational theory and practice. This Hnery Adams autobiography won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize. The Modern Library placed it 1st in a list of the top 100 English-language nonfiction books of the twentieth century. The Education is much more a record of Adams's introspection than of his deeds. It is an extended meditation on the social, technological,... (+) political, and intellectual changes that occurred over Adams's lifetime. Adams concluded that his traditional education failed to help him come to terms with these rapid changes; hence his need for self-education. The organizing thread of the book is how the "proper" schooling and other aspects of his youth, was time wasted; thus his search for self-education through experiences, friendships, and reading. Many aspects of the contemporary world emerged during the half-century between the Civil War and World War I, a half-century coinciding with Adams's adult life. An important theme of The Education is its author's bewilderment and concern at the rapid advance in science and technology over the course of his lifetime, sometimes now called Second Industrial Revolution but incarnated in his term "dynamo." The Education mentions the recent discovery of x-rays and radioactivity, and shows a familiarity with radio waves in his citation of Marconi and Branly. Adams purchased an automobile as early as 1902, in order to make better use of a summer in France researching Mont Saint Michel and Chartres. He correctly predicted that the 20th century would see even more explosive changes. Adams repeatedly laments that his formal education, grounded in the classics, history, and literature, as was then the fashion, did not give him the scientific and mathematical knowledge needed to grasp the scientific breakthroughs of the 1890s and 1900s. Two aspects set The Education apart from the common run of autobiographies. First, it is narrated in the third person; second, it is frequently sarcastic and humorously self-critical. The Education repeatedly mentions two long-standing friends of Adams, the scientific explorer of the Far West, Clarence King, and the American diplomat, John Milton Hay. Henry Adams' life story is rooted in the American political aristocracy that emerged from the American Revolution. He was the grandson of the American President John Quincy Adams and great-grandson of President and Founding Father John Adams. His father, Charles Francis Adams, had served as ambassador to the United Kingdom during the American Civil War, and had been elected to the United States House of Representatives. His brother Brooks Adams was also a historian and social critic of note. Henry Adams had received the finest formal education available in America, enjoying many other advantages as well. It is this social context that makes The Education so important. But the trappings of success did not mean much to a restless individualist such as Adams. Rather than take advantage of his patrician name, he sized up this and other advantages and found them wanting.
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. 0.00
"The Fall of the House of Usher" is an 1839 short story by Edgar Allen Poe. "The Fall of the House of Usher" is considered the best example of Poe's "totality", where every element and detail is related and relevant. The tale opens with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him complaining of an illness and asking for his help. It is revealed that Roderick's twin sister, Madeline, is also ill and falls into cataleptic, death-like trances. The narrator is impressed with Roderick's paintings, and attempts... (+) to cheer him up by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions. Roderick sings "The Haunted Palace", then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be sentient. Roderick later informs the narrator that his sister has died and insists that she be entombed for two weeks in a vault in the house before being permanently buried. The narrator helps Roderick put the body in the vault, and he notes that Madeline has rosy cheeks, as some do after death. The narrator attempts to calm Roderick by reading aloud The Mad Trist, a novel involving a knight named Ethelred who breaks into a hermit's dwelling in an attempt to escape an approaching storm, only to find a palace of gold guarded by a dragon. He also finds hanging on the wall a shield of shining brass of which is written a legend: that the one who slays the dragon wins the shield. With a stroke of his mace, Ethelred kills the dragon, who dies with a piercing shriek; the shield falls to the floor with an unnerving clatter. As the narrator reads of the knight's forcible entry into the dwelling, cracking and ripping sounds are heard somewhere in the house. When the dragon is described as shrieking as it dies, a shriek is heard, again within the house. As he relates the shield falling from the wall, a reverberation, metallic and hollow, can be heard. Roderick becomes increasingly hysterical, and as only Poe can relate, further macabre events ensue.
The Forsyte Saga: Volume I: The Man of Property by John Galsworthy. 0.00
The Forsyte Saga chronicles the vicissitudes of the leading members of an upper-middle-class British family, similar to Galsworthy's own. Only a few generations removed from their farmer ncestors, the family members are keenly aware of their status as "new money".
The Forsyte Saga: Volume II by John Galsworthy. 0.00
The Forsyte Saga chronicles the vicissitudes of the leading members of an upper-middle-class British family, similar to Galsworthy's own. Only a few generations removed from their farmer ncestors, the family members are keenly aware of their status as "new money".
The Forsyte Saga: Volume III by John Galsworthy. 0.00
The Forsyte Saga chronicles the vicissitudes of the leading members of an upper-middle-class British family, similar to Galsworthy's own. Only a few generations removed from their farmer ncestors, the family members are keenly aware of their status as "new money".
The Fortunate Mistress by Daniel Defoe. 0.00
Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress is a 1724 novel by Daniel Defoe. The novel concerns the story of an unnamed "fallen woman", the second time Defoe created such a character (the first was a similar female character in Moll Flanders). In Roxana, a woman who takes on various pseudonyms, including "Roxana," describes her fall from wealth thanks to abandonment by a "fool" of a husband and movement into prostitution upon his abandonment. Roxana moves up and down through the social spectrum several times, by contracting an ersatz marriage to a jeweler, secretly courting a prince, being... (+) offered marriage by a Dutch merchant, and is finally able to afford her own freedom by accumulating wealth from these men. The novel examines the possibility of eighteenth century women owning their own estate despite a patriarchal society. The novel further draws attention to the incompatibility between sexual freedom and freedom from motherhood. Roxana becomes pregnant many times due to her sexual exploits, and it is one of her children who comes back to expose her, years later, by the closing scenes in the novel. The character of Roxana can be described as a proto-feminist because she carries out her actions of prostitution for her own ends of freedom, but before a feminist ideology was fully formed.
The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield. 0.00
The Garden Party is a 1922 short story by Katherine Mansfield. The Sheridan family is preparing to host a garden party. Laura is supposed to be in charge, but has trouble with the workers who appear to know better, and her mother (Mrs. Sheridan) has ordered lilies to be delivered for the party without Laura's approval. Her sister Jose tests the piano, and then sings a song in case she is asked to do so again later. After the furniture is rearranged, they learn that their neighbor Mr. Scott has died. While Laura believes the party should be called off, neither Jose nor their... (+) mother agrees. The party is a success, and later Mrs. Sheridan decides it would be good to bring a basket full of leftovers to the Scotts' house. She summons Laura to do so. Laura is shown into the poor neighbors' house by Mrs. Scott's sister, then sees the widow and her late husband's corpse. She is enamored of the young man, finding him beautiful and compelling, and when she leaves to find her brother waiting for her she is unable to complete the sentence, "Isn't life..."
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. 0.00
"The Gift of the Magi" is a short story written by O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. As a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving, it has been a popular one for adaptation, especially for presentation during the Christmas season. The plot and its "twist ending" are well-known, and the ending is generally considered an example of situational irony. It was allegedly written at Pete's Tavern on Irving Place in New... (+) York City. Mr. James Dillingham Young ("Jim") and his wife, Della, are a couple living in a modest flat. They each have one possession in which they take pride. The story ends with the narrator comparing the pair's mutually sacrificial Christmas gifts of love with those of the Biblical Magi. "And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house. But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi."
The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 0.00
Second in the Barsoom series, this story brings John Carter back from an unwilling ten-year absence from Mars. This book adds two more races to the planet (we were introduced to the green Tharks and the red Martians in book one). In this book two we meet the white-skinned Therns and the black-skinned First Born. We also meet Carthoris, son of Dejah and John Carter, who is noble, ferocious, and intelligent.
The Golden Bowl by Henry James. 0.00
The Golden Bowl is a 1904 novel by Henry James. Set in England, this complex, intense study of marriage and adultery completes what some critics have called the "major phase" of James' career. The Golden Bowl explores the tangle of interrelationships between a father and daughter and their respective spouses. The novel focuses deeply and almost exclusively on the consciousness of the central characters, with sometimes obsessive detail but also with powerful insight. The title is a quotation from Ecclesiastes 12:6, "…or the golden bowl be broken, …then shall the dust return... (+) to the earth as it was". Prince Amerigo, an impoverished but charismatic Italian nobleman, is in London for his marriage to Maggie Verver, only child of the fabulously wealthy American financier and art collector, Adam Verver. While there, he re-encounters the American Charlotte Stant, a former mistress of his from his days in Rome, in Mrs. Assingham's drawing room; Maggie and Charlotte have been dear friends since childhood, although Maggie doesn't know of Charlotte and Amerigo's past relationship. Charlotte and Amerigo go shopping for a wedding present for Maggie. They find a curiosity shop where the shopkeeper offers them an antique gilded crystal bowl. But the Prince declines to purchase the bowl because he suspects it contains a hidden flaw. After Maggie's marriage she is afraid that her father has become lonely. She persuades him to propose to Charlotte, unaware of the past relationship between Charlotte and Amerigo. Adam's proposal is accepted, and soon after the wedding, Charlotte and the Prince find themselves thrown together because their respective spouses seem more interested in their father-daughter relationship than in their marriages. The Prince and Charlotte finally consummate an adulterous affair. Maggie eventually begins to suspect Amerigo and Charlotte. This suspicion is intensified when she accidentally meets the shopkeeper and buys the golden bowl. Uncomfortable with the high price she paid for the bowl, the shopkeeper visits Maggie and confesses to overcharging her. At Maggie's home he sees photographs of Amerigo and Charlotte. He tells Maggie of the pair's shopping trip on the eve of her marriage and their intimate conversation in his shop. Maggie now confronts Amerigo, and then begins a secret campaign to separate the Prince and Charlotte while never letting her father know of their affair. She lies to Charlotte about not having anything to accuse her of, and she gradually persuades her father to return to America with his wife. Amerigo appears impressed by Maggie's delicate diplomacy, after he had previously regarded her as rather naive and immature. The novel ends with Mr. and Mrs. Verver about to depart for America, while Amerigo says he can see nothing but Maggie and embraces her.
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford. 0.00
The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion is a 1915 novel by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It is set just before World War I and chronicles the tragedy of Edward Ashburnham, the soldier to whom the title refers, and his own seemingly perfect marriage and that of two American friends. The novel is told using a series of flashbacks in non-chronological order, a literary technique that formed part of Ford's pioneering view of literary impressionism. Ford employs the device of the unreliable narrator, to great effect as the main character gradually reveals a version of events that... (+) is quite different from what the introduction leads you to believe. The novel was loosely based on two incidents of adultery and on Ford's messy personal life. The novel’s original title was The Saddest Story, but after the onset of World War I, the publishers asked Ford for a new title. Ford suggested (sarcastically) The Good Soldier, and the name stuck. The Good Soldier is narrated by the character John Dowell, half of one of the couples whose dissolving relationships form the subject of the novel. Dowell tells the stories of those dissolutions as well as the deaths of three characters and the madness of a fourth. The novel opens with the famous line, “This is the saddest story I have ever heard.” Dowell explains that for nine years he, his wife Florence and their friends Captain Edward Ashburnham (the “good soldier” of the book’s title) and his wife Leonora had an ostensibly normal friendship while Edward and Florence sought treatment for their heart ailments at a spa in Nauheim, Germany. As it turns out, nothing in the relationships or in the characters is as it first seems. Florence’s heart ailment is a fiction she perpetrated on John to force them to stay in Europe so that she could continue her affair with an American thug named Jimmy. Edward and Leonora have a loveless, imbalanced marriage broken by his constant infidelities (both of body and heart) and Leonora’s attempts to control Edward’s affairs (both financial and romantic). Dowell is a fool and is coming to realize how much of a fool he is, as Florence and Edward had an affair under his nose for nine years without John knowing until Florence was dead.
The Gun by Philip K. Dick. 0.00
"The Gun" is a science fiction short story by Philip K. Dick, first published in the September 1952 issue of Planet Stories, and later published in Beyond Lies the Wub in 1984. The plot centers around a group of space explorers who investigate a planet which appears deserted. However, they are shot down and crash land on the planet. While repairing their ship, a team of explorers sets out to survey the surrounding area, where they discover the ruins of an ancient city. Upon further investigation, it is revealed that the gun which shot them down is in the city, and is programmed... (+) to shoot anything down which enters the airspace above the city. They examine the gun and discover that it is protecting a tomb directly underneath it -- a tomb which contains artifacts, film and photographs of a lost civilization. In order to prevent themselves from being shot down by the same gun while attempting to leave the planet, they destroy the gun and take the artifacts with them. As they leave the ship, hoping to return one day, it is revealed that several automatized machines begin to repair and erect the gun again: this time it's loaded with nuclear warheads.
The Hand of Ethelberta by Thomas Hardy. 0.00
The Hand of Ethelberta is a novel by Thomas Hardy, published in 1876. It was written, in serial form, for the Cornhill Magazine, which was edited by Leslie Stephen, a friend and mentor of Hardy's. At the beginning of the book, we are told that Ethelberta was raised in humble circumstances but, through her work as a governess, married well at the age of eighteen. Her husband died two weeks after the wedding and, now twenty-one, Ethelberta lives with her mother-in-law, Lady Petherwin. In the three years that have elapsed since the deaths of both her husband and father-in-law,... (+) Ethelberta has been treated to foreign travel and further privilege by her benefactress, but restricted from seeing her poor family.
The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde. 0.00
The Happy Prince and Other Tales is a collection of stories for children by Oscar Wilde first published in May 1888. It contains five stories, "The Happy Prince", "The Nightingale and the Rose", "The Selfish Giant", "The Devoted Friend", and "The Remarkable Rocket". It is most famous for its title story, "The Happy Prince". A swallow meets the statue of the late "Happy Prince", which houses the soul of the original prince, who in reality had never experienced true happiness. The statue inspires the swallow to selfless acts.
The Head of the House of Coombe by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
The Head of the House of Coombe is a 1922 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Head of the House of Coombe follows the relationships between a group of pre–World War One English nobles and commoners. It also offers both some interesting editorial commentary on the political system in prewar Europe that Burnett feels bears some responsibility for the war and some surprisingly pointed social commentary. Burnett also wrote a 1922 sequel to The Head of the House of Coombe called Robin which completes the story of Robin, Lord Coombe, Donal and Feather. Lord Coombe is considered... (+) to be the best-dressed man in London. He is also a man whose public reputation, despite his formidable intellect and observant eye, is one of unmitigated wickedness. During one of his social forays, he meets a selfish young woman named 'Feather' with the face of an angel. Fascinated by her, he slowly drifts into her circle. When her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her alone and desolate in London, he ends up taking her under his wing. Feather has a daughter named Robin, of whom she takes little notice. She treats Robin with shocking neglect and once Coombe takes over responsibility for the household's finances, Feather readily abandons poor Robin to the less-than-kindly ministrations of her nurse. In fact, Robin doesn't even know Feather is her mother for her first six years, calling her 'The Lady Downstairs'. Robin also hates Coombe, having heard a conversation that blamed him for the loss of her first friend. This was a little boy named Donal who was in fact Coombe's heir. Donal's mother disapproves both of Coombe and Feather and when she discovers that her son has been playing with Robin, she whisks him away, leaving Robin heartbroken. However, Coombe does not return this dislike and in fact makes a point of serving as her guardian, albeit without Robin's knowledge. As Robin grows, he builds her a set of rooms, engages a loving nurse for her, and eventually secures a reputable governess for her, while her mother continues to behave with the selfish freedom of a wanton child. As Robin grows, she becomes a lovely and intelligent though innocent, girl. Feather's circle includes some unsavory characters, one of whom, a German nobleman, tries to make Robin into his plaything. This caricature of Imperial German stereotypes uses Robin's desire to support herself to trap her in a house of ill repute. His plan fails mainly through the actions of Coombe, but the after-effects leave Robin crushed. One of Coombe's few true confidants is a dowager Duchess - a woman of both great intellect and great understanding who has recently lost her long-time lady companion. After Robin's experiences with the German, Coombe suggests Robin as a suitable replacement. The Duchess is the one person who knows the secret of Coombe's determination to watch over Robin and why he is willing to tolerate the activities of her mother. This secret is finally communicated to the reader as well during one of Coombe's talks with the Duchess. The Duchess does indeed take in Robin and befriends her. Robin is introduced to the Duchess' children and their friends and finally sponsors a small dance for Robin. At the dance, Robin meets Donal again as Coombe and the Duchess learn that an Austrian Archduke has just been assassinated in Serbia.
The History of Sandford and Merton by Thomas Day. 0.00
The History of Sandford and Merton (1783) is a didactic romance novel by Thomas Day. Little Tommy Merton was a headstrong, ill-tempered, and weak lad when he returned with his family to England from Jamaica. His first years had been spent in the company of slaves who pampered his whims, and his mother, who could see no wrong in her child, condoned everything he said or did. The child had no inclination to study, and so he could not read, write, or do arithmetic when he arrived in England. Mr. Merton, who was very wealthy, wished to improve his son, but he was at a loss to know where to begin.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 0.00
The third of four crime novels featuring detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serialized (August 1901 to April 1902, The Strand Magazine) it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound.
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 0.00
The House of the Seven Gables is a Gothic novel written in 1851 by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne and published the same year by Ticknor and Fields of Boston. Hawthorne explores themes of guilt, retribution, and atonement in a New England family and colors the tale with suggestions of the supernatural and witchcraft. The story was inspired by a gabled house in Salem belonging to Hawthorne's cousin Susanna Ingersoll and by those of Hawthorne's ancestors who played a part in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. The book was well received upon publication and later had a strong... (+) influence on the work of H. P. Lovecraft. The novel is set in the mid-19th century, with glimpses into the history of the house, which was built in the late 17th century. The primary interest of this book is in the subtle and involved descriptions of character and motive. The house of the title is a gloomy New England mansion, haunted from its foundation by fraudulent dealings, accusations of witchcraft, and sudden death. The current resident, the dignified but desperately poor Hepzibah Pyncheon, opens a shop in a side room to support her brother Clifford, who is about to leave prison after serving thirty years for murder. She refuses all assistance from her unpleasant wealthy cousin Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon. A distant relative, the lively and pretty young Phoebe, turns up and quickly becomes invaluable, charming customers and rousing Clifford from depression. A delicate romance grows between Phoebe and the mysterious attic lodger Holgrave, who is writing a history of the Pyncheon family.
The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson. 0.00
The House on the Borderland is a 1908 supernatural horror novel by British fantasist William Hope Hodgson. Two good friends, Tonnison and Berreggnog, travel to the remote village of Kraighten in rural Ireland. On the third day of their trip, they stumble upon the ruins of a strangely-shaped house bordering a large lake. They discover the mouldering journal of the Recluse, an unidentified man who recorded his last days in the house before its destruction. The Journal's torn pages seem to hint at an evil beyond anything that existed on this side of the curtains of impossibility.... (+) The Recluse begins his journal with descriptions of how he acquired the house, along with his daily life with his sister and his faithful dog, Pepper. He confides that he is starting the diary to record the strange experiences and horrors that were occurring in and around the house. Tonnison and Berreggnog search for information on the man and his circumstances. They find that the only knowledge of the house was that it was a place long of evil repute and had mysteriously fallen into the chasm. This is a classic novel that worked to slowly bridge the gap between the British fantastic and supernatural authors of the later 19th century and modern horror fiction. Noted American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft lists this and other works by Hodgson among his greatest influences.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo. 0.00
Notre-Dame de Paris, later titled The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, is a novel by Victor Hugo published in 1831. The story begins on Epiphany, 1482, the day of the 'Feast of Fools' in Paris, France. Quasimodo, the deformed hunchback bell-ringer of Notre Dame, is introduced by his crowning as King of Fools. Esmeralda, a beautiful Gypsy with a kind and generous heart, captures the hearts of many men, including those of a Captain Phoebus, but especially those of Quasimodo and his adoptive father, Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame. Frollo is torn between his obsessive love... (+) and the rules of the church. He orders Quasimodo to kidnap her, but the hunchback is suddenly captured by Phoebus. Quasimodo is sentenced to be flogged and turned on the pillory for one hour. He calls for water. Esmeralda, seeing his thirst, offers him a drink. It saves him, and she captures his heart.
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 0.00
Trusting and naive Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, twenty-six years old, returns to Russia (St. Petersburg) after four years in a Swiss sanatorium for his epilepsy. He knows only one person in St. Petersburg, a distant relative, and her family puts him up awhile. A daughter, Aglaya, becomes a love interest, but so does Nastasya Filippovna, a kept woman who is the object of obsession by Rogozhin, a rich merchant's son. The prince is drawn into a struggle for which he is ill-equipped in a society that revolves around money and power.
The Incomplete Amorist by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
The Incomplete Amorist (1906) penned by Edith Nesbit, is a romance centering on an English art student in Paris, three additional main characters and their romantic interactions. Betty Desmond is a pretty, naive girl ready to get into all sorts of trouble and cause her step-father and aunt endless worry. Then there's Eustace Vernon, the amorist himself, who means no harm but goes to great lengths to win the ladies just to appease his vanity. Nesbit mixes things up with Lady St. Craye, one of the amorist's many jilted lovers. And lastly Mr. Temple, who makes a clumsy first impression... (+) and is not very interesting or threatening...or is he? If you're looking for a typical romance where you can see the end coming from miles away, you might just be frustrated by this one. The beauty of this novel is that you think you know what's going to happen, and several characters in fact lead you on in the wrong direction most unfairly. But keep in mind Nesbit has her own plans, and they're not necessarily bad or unpleasant ones.
The Inferno by Henri Barbusse. 0.00
The Inferno is a 1908 French novel by Henri Barbusse, in which the unnamed narrator peers into a hole in the wall of his hotel room. From the other side, he witnesses lesbianism, adultery, incest, and death. It is only when he feels he has uncovered all the secrets of life that he decides to leave the room for good. But, as he attempts to leave, he is overcome with backache and blindness. Colin Wilson gave considerable attention to Barbusse's novel in his influential work The Outsider. L'Enfer has been translated into English twice, first as The Inferno by Edward J. O'Brien... (+) for Boni and Liveright in 1918 in an abridged form, and then in full as Hell by Robert Baldick for Chapman and Hall in 1966. This is the abridged O'Brien translation.
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. 0.00
Seemingly timeless points about travel, written in 1869. As a humorist and story-teller, the book takes on the quality of listening to a series of stories read aloud. Twain takes nothing seriously, not himself, his fellow travelers, or the places they visit. Sometimes adventurous, other times serious, leavened with belly-laughing stories. This will prime you to undertake a trip to just about anywhere, just for fun and awe.
The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. 0.00
The Invisible Man is a science fiction novella by H.G. Wells published in 1897. The Invisible Man of the title is Griffin, a scientist who has devoted himself to research into optics and invents a way to change a body's refractive index to that of air so that it absorbs and reflects no light and thus becomes invisible. He successfully carries out this procedure on himself, but fails in his attempt to reverse the procedure. The narrative opens in the English village of Iping, West Sussex, with the arrival during a snowstorm of a mysterious stranger at the local inn. The stranger... (+) wears a long-sleeved, thick coat, and gloves, his face hidden entirely by bandages, large blue goggles and a wide-brimmed hat. He becomes the talk of the village (one of the novel's most charming aspects is its portrait of small-town life in southern England, which the author knew from first-hand experience).
The Iron Heel by Jack London. 0.00
The Iron Heel is a dystopian novel by American writer Jack London, first published in 1908. It chronicles the rise of an oligarchic tyranny in the United States. It is arguably the novel in which Jack London's socialist views are most explicitly on display. A forerunner of soft science fiction novels and stories of the 1960s and 1970s, the book stresses future changes in society and politics while paying much less attention to technological changes. The book is uncommon among London's writings in being a first-person narrative of a woman protagonist written by a man. The novel... (+) is based on the fictional "Everhard Manuscript" written by Avis Everhard which she hid and which was subsequently found centuries later. In addition, this novel has an introduction and series of often lengthy footnotes written from the perspective of scholar Anthony Meredith. Meredith writes from around 2600 AD or 419 B.O.M. (the Brotherhood of Man). Jack London thus writes at two levels, often having Meredith condescendingly correcting the errors of Everhard yet, at the same time, exposing the often incomplete understanding of this distant future perspective. The Manuscript itself covers the years 1912 through 1932 in which the Oligarchy (or "Iron Heel") arose in the United States. In Asia, Japan conquered East Asia and created its own empire, India gained independence, and Europe became socialist. Canada, Mexico, and Cuba formed their own Oligarchies and were aligned with the U.S. In North America, the Oligarchy maintains power for three centuries until the Revolution succeeds and ushers in the Brotherhood of Man. During the years of the novel, the First Revolt is described and preparations for the Second Revolt are discussed. From the perspective of Everhard, the imminent Second Revolt is sure to succeed but, from the distant future perspective of Meredith, we readers realize that Everhard's hopes were to be crushed for centuries to come.
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells. 0.00
The Island of Doctor Moreau is an 1896 science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells, who called the novel "an exercise in youthful blasphemy." The text of the novel is the narration of Edward Prendick, a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat who is left on the island home of Dr. Moreau, who creates sentient beings from animals via vivisection. The novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including pain and cruelty, moral responsibility, human identity, and human interference with nature. The Island of Doctor Moreau is the account of one Edward Prendick, an Englishman... (+) with a scientific education, who is shipwrecked. A passing ship takes him aboard. Prendick is supposed to stay with the ship, but when the captain, whom Prendick has insulted, forces him off the ship, he is forced to go ashore with Dr. Moreau. Curious about what Moreau is up to on the island, Prendick remembers that he has heard of Moreau, formerly an eminent physiologist in London whose gruesome experiments in vivisection had been publicly exposed.
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. 0.00
The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by journalist Upton Sinclair. Sinclair wrote the novel with the intention of portraying the life of the immigrant in the United States, but readers were more concerned with the large portion of the book pertaining to the corruption of the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, and the book is now often interpreted and taught as a journalist's exposure of the poor health conditions in this industry. The novel depicts in harsh tones poverty, absence of social programs, unpleasant living and working conditions, and hopelessness... (+) prevalent among the working class, which is contrasted with the deeply-rooted corruption on the part of those in power. Sinclair portrays an extended family of 12 that emigrates from Lithuania to the United States, settling in Chicago. From the beginning, they have to make compromises and concessions to survive. Due partly to illiteracy in English, they quickly make a series of bad decisions that cause them to go deep into debt and fall prey to con men. The most devastating decision comes when, in hopes of owning their own home, the family falls victim to a predatory lending scheme that exhausts all their remaining savings on the down-payment for a sub-standard slum house that (by design) they cannot possibly afford. The family is evicted and their money taken, leaving them truly devastated.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. 0.00
The Jungle Book (1894) is a collection of stories by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling. The stories were first published in magazines in 1893–94. The tales in the book are fables, using animals in an anthropomorphic manner to give moral lessons. The verses of The Law of the Jungle, for example, lay down rules for the safety of individuals, families and communities. The best-known of them are the three stories revolving around the adventures of an abandoned "man cub" Mowgli who is raised by wolves in the Indian jungle. The most famous of the other stories are probably... (+) "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi", the story of a heroic mongoose, and "Toomai of the Elephants", the tale of a young elephant-handler.
The King of the Golden River by John Ruskin. 0.00
The King of the Golden River or The Black Brothers: A Legend of Stiria by John Ruskin was originally written in 1841 for the twelve-year-old Effie (Euphemia) Gray, whom Ruskin later married. The richness of the Treasure Valley, high in the mountains of Stiria or Styria, southeastern Austria, is lost through the evil of the owners, the two elder, "Black Brothers," Hans and Schwartz, who in their foolishness mistreat Southwest Wind, Esquire, who in turn floods their valley, washing away their "liquid assets," and turning their valley into a dead valley of red sand. This personified... (+) wind has the power to keep things this way through his influence with other winds that had caused the valley's unique fertility. Forced into a trade other than farming Hans and Schwartz become goldsmiths. They cruelly melt their younger brother Gluck's prize heirloom, a golden mug, which consists of the head of a golden bearded man. This action releases the King of the Golden River for Gluck to pour out of the crucible as a finely dressed little golden dwarf. The Golden River is one of the high mountain cataracts, that surround the Treasure Valley. Gluck fancies that it would be good if that high majestic river would actually be what it appears in the setting sun, a river of gold. The dwarfish king disagrees with Gluck, but offers a proposition: if someone were to climb up to the source of the river and throw into it at least three drops of "holy water," it would become for that person only a river of gold. That person must do it on his first and only attempt or be overwhelmed by the river to become a black stone.
The King's Own by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
The King's Own (1830) is a novel by Captain Frederick Marryat. The novel shows many of the horrors of naval warfare at close range. It is an interesting and special tale about the son of a man who was hanged after the mutiny at Nore, was left without parents, and was adopted by a seaman on a navy ship. He advances from ship's boy, becomes midshipman, and finally lieutenant. We follow him through his many challenges - engagements at sea with smugglers, pirates, and the French. However, the little boy is also, unbeknownst to himself, the grandson of an admiral and the heir to... (+) a huge estate. So there are two stories that run parallel to one another. The King's Own is a strange tale; a tale full of pain and sorrow. In addition to the naval warfare, there are several hard scenes in the book, involving torture before a hanging, amputations, and shark attacks.
The Land of the Blue Flower by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
The Land of the Blue Flower (1904) is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The first few lines of the novel are: The Land of the Blue Flower was not called by that name until the tall, strong, beautiful King Amor came down from his castle on the mountain crag and began to reign. Before that time it was called King Mordreth's Land, and as the first King Mordreth had been a fierce and cruel king this seemed a gloomy name. Hoping to dispel dark thoughts and evil from his corrupt kingdom, young King Amor proclaims an unconventional law and watches for the expected transformation.
The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope. 0.00
The Last Chronicle of Barset is the final novel in Anthony Trollope's series known as the "Chronicles of Barsetshire", first published in 1867. The Last Chronicle of Barset concerns an indigent but learned clergyman, the Reverend Josiah Crawley, the curate of Hogglestock, as he stands accused of stealing a cheque. The novel is notable for the non-resolution of a plot continued from the previous novel in the series, The Small House at Allington, involving Lily Dale and Johnny Eames. Its main storyline features the courtship of the Rev. Mr Crawley's daughter, Grace, and Major... (+) Henry Grantly, son of the wealthy Archdeacon Grantly. The Archdeacon, although allowing that Grace is a lady, doesn't think her of high enough rank or wealth for his widowed son; his position is strengthened by the Reverend Mr Crawley's apparent crime. Almost broken by poverty and trouble, the Reverend Mr Crawley hardly knows himself if he is guilty or not; fortunately, the mystery is resolved just as Major Grantly's determination and Grace Crawley's own merit force the Archdeacon to overcome his prejudice against her as a daughter-in-law. As with Lucy Robarts in Framley Parsonage, the objecting parent finally invites the young lady into the family; this new connection also inspires the Dean and Archdeacon to find a new, more prosperous, post for Grace's impoverished father. Through death or marriage, this final volume manages to tie up more than one thread from the beginning of the series. One subplot deals with the death of Mrs. Proudie, the virago wife of the Bishop of Barchester, and his subsequent grief and collapse. Mrs. Proudie, upon her arrival in Barchester in Barchester Towers, had increased the tribulations of the gentle Mr. Harding, title character of The Warden; he dies of a peaceful old age, mourned by his family and the old men he loved and looked after as Warden.
The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. 0.00
Published in 1719 the book is a fictional autobiography of the title character a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.
The Light Princess and Other Fairy Stories by George MacDonald. 0.00
The Light Princess (1864) is a fairy tale by George MacDonald. A king and queen, after some time, have a daughter. The king invites everyone to the christening, except his sister Princess Makemnoit, a spiteful and sour woman. She arrives without an invitation and curses the princess to have no gravity. Whenever the princess accidentally moves up in the air, she has to be brought down, and the wind is capable of carrying her off. As she grows, she never cries, and never can be brought to see the serious side of anything. The court philosophers, when consulted, are unable to propose... (+) any cure that the king and queen will suffer to be used. She passionately loves swimming, and when she swims, she regains her gravity. This leads to the proposal that if she could be brought to cry, it might break the curse. But nothing can induce her to cry. A prince from another country sets out to find a wife, but finds fault in every princess he finds. He had not intended to seek out the light princess, but, upon becoming lost in a forest, he finds the princess swimming. Thinking she is drowning, he "rescues" her, ending up with her in the air, with her scolding him. He falls instantly in love and, upon her demand, puts her back in the water, and goes swimming with her. Days pass, and the prince learns that her manner is changed between the water and the land, and he can not marry her as she is on land. Princess Makemnoit, meanwhile, discovers that the princess loves the lake and sets out to dry it up. The water is drained from the lake, the springs are stopped up, and the rain ceases. Even babies no longer cry water. As the lake dries up, they discover that the only way to stop it is to block up the hole the water is flowing from, and the only thing that will block it is a living man, who would die in the deed. The prince volunteers, on the condition that the princess keep him company while the lake fills. The lake fills up. When the prince has almost drowned, the princess frantically drags his body from the lake to take it to her old nurse, who is a wise woman. They tend him through the night, and he wakes at dawn. The princess falls to the floor and cries. After the princess masters the art of walking, she marries the prince. Princess Makemnoit's house is undermined by the waters and falls in, drowning her. The light princess and her prince have many children, none of whom ever lose their gravity.
The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
The Lost Prince (1915) is a novel by British-American author Frances Hodgson Burnett. The book is about Marco Loristan, his father, and his friend, a street urchin named The Rat. Marco's father, Stefan, is a Samavian patriot working to overthrow the cruel dictatorship in the kingdom of Samavia. Marco and his father come to London where Marco strikes up a friendship with a crippled street urchin known as The Rat. The friendship occurs when Marco overhears The Rat shouting in military form. Marco discovers he has stumbled upon a strangely militia-like club known as the Squad.... (+) Stefan, realizing that two boys are less likely to be noticed, entrusts them with a secret mission to travel across Europe giving the secret sign: 'The Lamp is lighted.' Marco is to go as the Bearer of the sign while Rat goes as his Aide-de-Camp. This brings about a revolution which succeeds in overthrowing the old regime and re-establishing the rightful king. When Marco and The Rat return to London, Stefan has already left for Samavia. They wait there with his father's faithful bodyguard, Lazarus, until Stefan calls. The book ends in a climactic scene as Marco realizes his father is the descendant of Ivor Fedorovitch and thus the rightful king of Samavia.
The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 0.00
The novel describes an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon basin of South America where prehistoric animals (dinosaurs and other extinct creatures) still survive. It was originally published serially in the popular Strand Magazine during the months of April 1912-November 1912. The character of Professor Challenger was introduced in this book. The novel also describes a war between Native Americans and a tribe of vicious ape-like creatures.
The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales by Bret Harte. 0.00
"The Luck of Roaring Camp" is the lead short story in this collection of writings by American author Bret Harte. This 1897 Riverside Edition consists of a uniform and orderly presentation of the results of more than thirty years of Harte's literary activity, and in addition to The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales includes Condensed Novels, Spanish and American Legends and Earlier Papers. The Luck of Roaring Camp was first published in the August 1868 issue of the Overland Monthly and helped push Harte to international prominence. The short story is about a small struggling... (+) mining town located in the foothills of the California mountains at the time of the gold rush. The camp is suffering from a long string of bad luck. With only one woman in their midst, it seems as though the miners have no future. However, the tide turns when a small boy is born. The boy's mother, Cherokee Sal, dies in childbirth, so the men of Roaring Camp must raise it themselves. Believing the child to be a good luck charm, the miners christen the boy Thomas Luck. Afterwards, they decide to refine their behavior and refrain from gambling and fighting. The miners become cheerful, foliage begins to grow; there's talk of building a hotel to attract outsiders. Unfortunately, the hope is wiped out by the sudden death of Luck in flash flood that strikes the camp. Water brought gold to the gulches, giving miners their first glimmer of hope, and water takes away what seems their last glimmer -- Luck. The flood theme may have come from the Great Flood of California, witnessed by Harte in 1862, which resulted from weeks of torrential rains throughout the entire state, combined with warming temperatures in mid January that melted the snowpack.
The Madman and the Pirate by Robert Michael Ballantyne. 0.00
The Madman and the Pirate (1883) is a novel by Robert Michael Ballantyne. The Madman, Antonio Zeppa, is abandoned on Ratinga, an island in the Pacific, where there later appears a miserable ex-pirate called Richard Rosco. The two start up a sort of love-hate relationship. The natives put Rosco on a fire to burn him at the stake, but he is rescued by Zeppa, who carries him up to his cave in the mountains, and tends to his injured feet. Eventually a vessel calls at the island, with Zeppa's son on board. From then on the story winds to an end, with everyone who belongs there safely... (+) back home in Britain.
The Magic City by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
The Magic City (1910) is a children's book by Edith Nesbit. After Philip's older sister and sole family member Helen marries, he goes off to live with his new step sister Lucy. He has trouble adjusting at first, thrown into a world different from his previous life and abandoned by his sister while she is on her honeymoon. To entertain himself he builds a giant model city from things around the house: game pieces, books, blocks, bowls, etc. Then through some magic he finds himself inside the city, and it is alive with the people he has populated it with. Some soldiers find him... (+) and tell him that two outsiders have been foretold to be coming: a Deliverer and a Destroyer. Mr. Noah, from a Noah's Ark playset, tells Philip that there are seven great deeds to be performed if he wants to prove himself the Deliverer. Lucy, too, has found her way into the city and joins Philip as a co-Deliverer, much to his chagrin.
The Magic World by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
The Magic World (1912) is an influential collection of twelve short stories by E. Nesbit. The stories, previously printed in magazines, are typical of Nesbit's arch, ironic, clever fantasies for children. The twelve stories in the collection are: "The Cat-hood of Maurice" — a boy abuses the family cat, and learns to see things from the feline point of view. "The Mixed Mine" — two boys find a magic spyglass, and use it to make their fortunes. "Accidental Magic" — Quentin falls asleep on the altarstone at Stonehenge, and wakes in Atlantis. "The Princess and the Hedge-pig"... (+) — King Ozymandias and Queen Eliza plan a secret christening for their Princess Ozyliza, to avoid a wicked fairy's curse. Things go awry. "Septimus Septimusson" — he is the seventh son of a seventh son, who can see fairies and hear the beasts speak; and he must seek his fortune. "The White Cat" — a boy finds a china ornament in the attic; it proves to be a magic talisman. "Belinda and Bellamant" — they are a princess and prince suffering curses; a talking bat helps resolve their problems. "Justnowland" — Elsie visits a magic land of giant crows, and a dragon. "The Related Muff" — a sensitive boy, dismissed as a "muff" by his cousins, proves himself a hero in a crisis. "The Aunt and Amabel" — a girl enters a magic world through a wardrobe. "Kenneth and the Carp" — unjustly accused, a boy transforms into a fish and redeems his honor. "The Magician's Heart" — an evil magician distributes curses at royal christenings. Complications ensue. The story "The Aunt and Amabel" has received attention as a precursor of C. S. Lewis's first Narnia novel, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. "Accidental Magic" has been seen as exerting an influence on J. R. R. Tolkien. Conversely, Nesbit's "Justnowland" displays the influence of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Nesbit's little girls tend to get in trouble over their efforts at gardening. Elsie in "Justnowland" uproots turnip plants she mistakes for weeds; Amabel cuts chrysanthemum blossoms from a greenhouse and tries to plant them in a flower bed. Stories in the collection feature talking animals and human/animal transformation, with implications regarding animal welfare and avoidance of mistreatment. The opening story is the most explicit in its message against cruelty to animals.
The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas. 0.00
With this novel, author Dumas concludes the adventures of his three Muskateers (Athos, Porthos, and Aramis) and their friend D'Artagnan. Now about thirty-five years since they all first bonded, there is some strain in the friendship. Aramis plans to depose King Louis XIV and put a heretofore unknown twin brother, Philip, on the throne instead. There is a climactic scene that is a fitting end to the saga of the Musketeers.
The Man Who Was Thursday, a nightmare by G. K. Chesterton. 0.00
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare is a novel by G. K. Chesterton, first published in 1908. The book is sometimes referred to as a metaphysical thriller. In Edwardian era London, Gabriel Syme is recruited at Scotland Yard to a secret anti-anarchist police corps. Lucian Gregory, an anarchistic poet, lives in the suburb of Saffron Park. Syme meets him at a party and they debate the meaning of poetry. Gregory argues that revolt is the basis of poetry. Syme demurs, insisting that the essence of poetry is not revolution, but rather law. Like most of Chesterton's fiction, the story... (+) includes some Christian allegory. Chesterton claimed that he wrote this book as an unusual affirmation that goodness and right were at the heart of every aspect of the world.
The Man with Two Left Feet by P. G. Wodehouse. 0.00
The Man With Two Left Feet, and Other Stories is a collection of short stories by P. G. Wodehouse, first published in 1917. All the stories had previously appeared in periodicals, usually the Strand in the UK and the Red Book magazine or the Saturday Evening Post in the US. It is a fairly miscellaneous collection — most of the stories concern relationships, sports and household pets, and do not feature any of Wodehouse's regular characters; one, however, "Extricating Young Gussie", is notable for the first appearance in print of two of Wodehouse's best-known characters, Jeeves... (+) and his master Bertie Wooster (although Bertie's surname isn't given and Jeeves's role is very small), and Bertie's fearsome Aunt Agatha.
The Mantle and Other Stories by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol. 0.00
The Mantle (also known as The Overcoat) is a the lead short story in this collection by Ukrainian-born Russian author Nikolai Gogol. The Mantle was published in 1842. The story and its author have had great influence on Russian literature thus spawning Melchior de Vogüé's famous quote: "We all come out from Gogol's 'Overcoat'." The other short stories in this collection are The Nose, Memoirs of a Madman, A May Night, and The Viy. The Mantle centers on the life and death of Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin, an impoverished government clerk and copyist in the Russian capital of... (+) St. Petersburg. Akaky is dedicated to his job as a titular councillor, taking special relish in the hand-copying of documents, though little recognized in his department for his hard work. Instead, the younger clerks tease him and attempt to distract him whenever they can. His threadbare overcoat is often the butt of their jokes. Akaky decides it is necessary to have the coat repaired, so he takes it to his tailor, Petrovich, who declares the coat irreparable, telling Akaky he must buy a new overcoat. The cost of a new overcoat is beyond Akaky's meagre salary, so he forces himself to live within a strict budget to save sufficient money to buy the new overcoat. Meanwhile, he and Petrovich frequently meet to discuss the style of the new coat. During that time, Akaky's zeal for copying is replaced with excitement about his new overcoat, to the point that he thinks of little else. Finally, with the addition of an unexpectedly large holiday salary bonus, Akaky has saved enough money to buy a new overcoat.
The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 0.00
The Marble Faun: Or, The Romance of Monte Beni, also known as Transformation, was the last of the four major romances by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and was published in 1860. The Marble Faun, written on the eve of the American Civil War, is set in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is pursued by a mysterious, threatening man who is her "evil genius" through life; Hilda, an innocent copyist who is compared to the Virgin Mary and the white dove, and whose simple,... (+) unbendable moral principles can make her severe in spite of her tender heart; Kenyon, a sculptor, who represents rationalist humanism; and Donatello, the Count of Monte Beni, who is compared to Adam, and amazingly resembles the Faun of Praxiteles; the novel plays with the characters' belief that the count may be a descendant of the antique Faun, with Hawthorne withholding a definite statement even in the novel's concluding chapter. After writing The Blithedale Romance in 1852, Hawthorne, approaching fifty, turned away from publication and obtained a political appointment as American Consul in Liverpool, England, an appointment which he held from 1853 to 1857. In 1858, Hawthorne and his wife Sophia Peabody moved to Italy and became essentially tourists for a year and a half. In the spring of 1858, Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in the Palazzo Nuovo of the Capitoline Museum in Rome. The book was published simultaneously in America and England in 1860; the title for the British edition was Transformation: Or the Romance of Monte Beni. Both titles continue to be used today in the U.K. The climax comes less than halfway through the story, and Hawthorne intentionally failed to answer many questions about the characters and the plot. Complaints about this led Hawthorne to add a Postscript to the second edition.
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy. 0.00
The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), subtitled "The Life and Death of a Man of Character", is a tragic novel by British author Thomas Hardy. It is set in the fictional town of Casterbridge (based on the town of Dorchester in Dorset). The book is one of Hardy's Wessex novels, all set in a fictional rustic England. The novel is often considered one of Hardy's greatest works. At a country fair near Casterbridge, Wessex, a young hay-trusser named Michael Henchard overindulges in rum-laced furmity and quarrels with his wife, Susan. Spurred by alcohol, he decides to auction off his wife... (+) and baby daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, to a sailor, Mr. Newson, for five guineas. Once sober the next day, he is too late to recover his family, particularly since his reluctance to reveal his own bad conduct keeps him from conducting an effective search. When he realizes that his wife and daughter are gone, probably for good, he swears not to touch liquor again for as many years as he has lived so far (twenty-one). Eighteen years later, Henchard, now a successful grain merchant, is the eponymous Mayor of Casterbridge, known for his staunch sobriety. He is well respected for his financial acumen and his work ethic, but he is not well liked. Impulsive, selfish behavior and a violent temper are still part of his character, as are dishonesty and secretive activity. All these years, Henchard has kept the details surrounding the "loss" of his wife a secret. The people in Casterbridge believe he is a widower, although he never explicitly says that his first wife died. He lies by omission instead, allowing other people to believe something false. Over time he finds it convenient to believe Susan probably is dead. While traveling to the island of Jersey on business, Henchard falls in love with a young woman named Lucette Le Sueur, who nurses him back to health after an illness. The book implies that Lucette and Henchard have a sexual relationship, and Lucette's reputation is ruined by her association with Henchard. When Henchard returns to Casterbridge he leaves Lucette to face the social consequences of their fling. In order to rejoin polite society she must marry him, but there is a problem: Henchard is already technically married. Although Henchard never told Lucette exactly how he "lost" his wife to begin with, he does tell her he has a wife who "is dead probably dead, but who may return". Besotted, Lucette develops a relationship with him despite the risk. Yet just as Henchard is about to send for Lucette, Susan unexpectedly appears in Casterbridge with her daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, who is now fully grown. Susan and Elizabeth-Jane are both very poor. Newson appears to have been lost at sea, and without means to earn an income Susan is looking for Henchard again. Susan, who is not a very intelligent or sophisticated woman, believed for a long time that her "marriage" to Newson was perfectly legitimate. Only recently, just before Newson's disappearance, had Susan begun to question whether or not she was still legally married to Henchard. Further complications ensue.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 0.00
The brilliant London-based detective, Sherlock Holmes is famous for his prowess at using logic and astute observation to solve cases. Created by Sir Arthur's pen, Holmes may be the most famous fictional detective in the world of literature, and indeed one of the best known and most universally recognizable literary characters. This book contains eleven episodic stories featuring Holmes and Dr. Watson.
The Monastery by Sir Walter Scott. 0.00
The Monastery: a Romance (1820) is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott. Along with The Abbot, it is one of Scott's Tales from Benedictine Sources and is set in the time of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Elizabethan period. The action is centred around the Monastery of Kennaquhair, probably based on Melrose Abbey in south east Scotland, on the River Tweed. At this time, circa 1550, the Scottish Reformation is just beginning, and the monastery is in peril. A love story is interwoven as the Glendinning boys fall in love with Mary Avenel. Edward ends up becoming a monk, and Halbert... (+) finally marries Mary, after service with the Earl of Murray. In the many conflicts between England and Scotland the property of the Church had hitherto always been respected; but her temporal possessions, as well as her spiritual influence, were now in serious danger from the spread of the doctrines of the Reformation, and the occupants of the monasteries were dependent on the military services of their tenants and vassals for protection against the forays of Protestant barons and other heretical marauders. Dame Elspeth's husband Simon had fallen in the battle of Pinkie (1547), and the hospitality of her lonely tower had been sought by the widow of the Baron of Avenel and her daughter Mary, whose mansion had been seized and plundered by invaders, and subsequently taken possession of by her brother-in-law Julian. While confessing the baroness on her death-bed, Father Philip discovered that she possessed a Bible, and as he was carrying it to the Lord Abbot, it was, he declared, taken from him by a spectral White Lady. Disbelieving the sacristan's tale, the sub-prior visited the tower, where he met Christie of the Clinthill, a freebooter, charged with an insolent message from Julian Avenel, and learnt that the Bible had been mysteriously returned to its owner. Having exchanged it for a missal, he was unhorsed on his return by the apparition; and, on reaching the monastery, the book had disappeared from his bosom, and he found the freebooter detained in custody on suspicion of having killed him. The White Lady was next seen by Elspeth's son Halbert, who was conducted by her to a fairy grotto, where he was allowed to snatch the Bible from a flaming altar. Mary Avenel, meanwhile, in the midst of her grief at the supposed death of her lover, was visited by the White Lady, who comforted her by disclosing the place where he had hidden the Bible, which she had secretly read with her mother. Ultimately, the monks were allowed to retain their monastery and lands on condition of being laid under contribution; while Edward, who had sought another interview with the White Spirit, was told that the knot of fate was tied, and impressed with the belief that the marriage of his brother with Mary Avenel might prove fatal to both of them.
The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis. 0.00
The Monk: A Romance is a Gothic novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis, published in 1796. It was written before the author turned 20, in the space of 10 weeks. Leonella and her niece, Antonia, visit a Spanish church to hear the sermon of a celebrated priest, Ambrosio. Ambrosio is an extremely devout monk about 30 years old. He was found left at the Abbey doorstep when he was too young to tell his tale. While waiting, the two women tell their story to two young men, Don Lorenzo and Don Christoval. Leonella has come to Spain to convince the Marquis’ son, Raymond de las Cisternas,... (+) to resume their pension, which has been cut off. As the story is told, Lorenzo falls in love with Antonia. The mysterious priest, who was left at the abbey as a child, delivers the sermon, and Antonia is fascinated with him. Agnes is Don Lorenzo's younger sister and Don Raymond's lover. She is a virtuous young lady who intends to marry Don Raymond but her parents want her to become a nun, so she decides to run away with him. Their plans are foiled and, thinking Don Raymond has abandoned her forever, she enters the convent. However, Don Raymond discovers her location and disguises himself as a gardener to get in and see her. In a moment of heated passion, she breaks her vow of chastity, and later discovers she is carrying his child. Lorenzo vows to win the hand of Antonia, but must visit Agnes, who is now a nun at the nearby abbey. Having fallen asleep in the church, Don Lorenzo awakens to find someone delivering a letter for his sister from Raymond de las Cisternas. On the way home, a gypsy warns Antonia that she is about to die, killed by someone who appears to be honorable.
The Monster and Other Stories by Stephen Crane. 0.00
The Monster and Other Stories is the last collection of Stephen Crane's work to be published during his lifetime. The title story, The Monster, is an 1898 novella. The story takes place in the small, fictional town of Whilomville, New York. An African-American coachman named Henry Johnson, who is employed by the town's physician, Dr. Trescott, becomes horribly disfigured after he saves Trescott's son from a fire. When Henry is branded a "monster" by the town's residents, Trescott vows to shelter and care for him, resulting in his family's exclusion from the community. The fictional... (+) town of Whilomville, which is used in 14 other Crane stories, was based on Port Jervis, New York, where Crane lived with his family for a few years during his youth. It is thought that he took inspiration from several local men who were similarly disfigured, although modern critics have made numerous connections between the story and the 1892 lynching in Port Jervis of an African-American man named Robert Lewis. The novella is a study of prejudice, fear and isolation in a small town. Both the novella and collection received mixed reviews from critics, although The Monster is now considered one of Crane's best works.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. 0.00
Generally considered the first detective novel in the English language, it was originally serialized in Charles Dickens' magazine All the Year Round. The Moonstone and The Woman In White are considered Wilkie Collins' best novels. The Moonstone also reflected Collins' enlightened social attitudes in his treatment of the Indians and the servants in the novel.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. 0.00
This, Christie's first published mystery, introduces the inspector now beloved the world over: Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The murder in this novel is the coffee-laced-with-strychnine poisoning of Emily Inglethorp, the wealthy mistress of Styles Court. Suspects are numerous, including her husband and stepson among others, and there are many enjoyable plot twists.
The Nurnberg Stove by Ouida. 0.00
The Nurnberg Stove (1892) is a long short story by Ouida, the pseudonym of Maria Louise Ramé. When poor August's father is forced to sell a magnificent stove created by Augustin Hirschvogel, August hides inside the stove on the trip to the royal palace so he is not parted from it.
The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett. 0.00
The Old Wives' Tale is a novel by Arnold Bennett, first published in 1908. It deals with the lives of two very different sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, following their stories from their youth, working in their mother's draper's shop, into old age. It is generally regarded as one of Bennett's finest works. It covers a period of about 70 years from roughly 1840 to 1905, and is set in Burslem and Paris. The book is broken up into four parts. The first section, "Mrs Baines" details the adolescence of both Sophia and Constance, and their life in their father's shop and house... (+) (a combined property). The father is ill and bedridden, and the main adult in their life is Mrs Baines, their mother. By the end of the first book, Sophia (whose name reflects her sophistication, as opposed to the constant Constance) has eloped with a travelling salesman. Constance meanwhile marries Mr Povey, who works in the shop. The second part, "Constance", details the life of Constance from that point forward up until the time she is reunited with her sister in old age. Her life, although outwardly prosaic, is nevertheless filled with personal incident, including the death of her husband, Mr Povey, and her concerns about the character and behaviour of her son. The third part, "Sophia", carries forward the story of what happened to Sophia after her elopement. Abandoned by her husband in Paris, Sophia eventually becomes the owner of a successful pensione. The final part, "What Life Is", details how the two sisters are eventually reunited. Sophia returns to England and the house of her childhood, where Constance still lives.
The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life by Francis Parkman. 0.00
The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life (also published as The California & Oregon Trail) is a book written by Francis Parkman. It was originally serialized in twenty-one installments in Knickerbocker's Magazine (1847-49) and subsequently published as a book in 1849. The book is a breezy, first-person account of a 2 month summer tour in 1846 of the U.S. states of Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas. Parkman was 23 at the time. The heart of the book covers the three weeks Parkman spent hunting buffalo with a band of Oglala Sioux. The book was reviewed... (+) favorably by Herman Melville, although he complains that it demeaned American Indians and that its title was misleading (the book covers only the first third of the trail).
The Phantom Ship by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
The Phantom Ship (1839) is a Gothic novel by Frederick Marryat which explores the legend of the Flying Dutchman. The plot concerns the quest of Philip Vanderdecken of Terneuzen, Holland to save his father. After his father made a rash oath to heaven and slew one of the crew whilst attempting to sail round the Cape of Good Hope, he has been doomed to sail for eternity as Captain of the Phantom Ship. Philip Vanderdecken’s dying mother tells him of the curse upon his father, for whom he is named. En route to India, Captain Vanderdecken, the father, swore that he would round the... (+) Cape of Good Hope if it took him until Judgment Day. As a result, he and his crew are cursed to sail the seas in nautical limbo until then. The only way to break the spell is for a family member to present him with the relic of the Holy Cross that his son Philip now wears round his neck. The son Philip sails around the world in a number of ships, in the employ of the Dutch East India Company. His quest, however, brings him into conflict with earthly and unearthly powers as the sight of the Flying Dutchman brings doom to all who encounter her.
The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
The Phoenix and the Carpet is a fantasy novel for children, written in 1904 by Edith Nesbit. It is the second in a trilogy of novels that began with Five Children and It (1902), and follows the adventures of the same five protagonists – Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and the Lamb. Their mother buys the children a new carpet to replace the one from the nursery that was destroyed in an accidental fire. The children find an egg in the carpet which hatches into a talking Phoenix. The Phoenix explains that the carpet is a magical one that will grant them three wishes per day. The... (+) five children go on many adventures which eventually wears out their magical carpet. One aspect of The Phoenix and the Carpet that is atypical for children's fantasy fiction is the fact that, in this story, the magical companion does not treat all the children equally. The Phoenix insists on favoring Robert - the child who actually put his egg in the fire, albeit by accident - over his brother Cyril and their sisters. This is a mixed privilege, as Robert is lumbered with the duty of smuggling the Phoenix past their parents at inconvenient moments. The adventures of the children are continued and conclude in the third book of the trilogy, The Story of the Amulet (1906).
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. 0.00
With humorously memorable characters, this novel describes how the main character, Samuel Pickwick, forms a club to research aspects of life as demonstrated by people and events in places remote from London. The members travel the English countryside by coach and report back on what they have seen. Many adventures ensue, in the process providing a good feel for English country inns and way of life in the 1800s.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. 0.00
The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde. The novel tells of a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and becomes infatuated with him, believing his beauty is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enthralled by Lord Henry's world view. Espousing a new hedonism, Lord Henry suggests the only things worth pursuing in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade,... (+) Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than he. Dorian's wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement of his form, or through a sign of aging.
The Pirate, and the Three Cutters by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
From the Father of Modern Nautical Fiction Frederick Marryat, The Pirate, and The Three Cutters were both produced in 1836, and are almost always published together. Both delightful, light-hearted, books, it's as though Marryat wanted to serve us a few appetizers before he got to his literary masterpiece, Snarleyyow, which was published the following year. The Pirate is about two brothers - twins who are separated in childhood. One becomes a pirate, the other a naval officer. Eventually the one renounces the pirate life, and meets up with his twin. The good news is that, together,... (+) they go off in search of the pirates. The bad news is that they find them. The Three Cutters is one of the first, if not the first, nautical fiction story based on yachting. A nobleman attempts to assist a revenue boat in the apprehension of a smuggler. Instead, the smuggler commandeers the yacht, and assumes the yachtsman's identity. With that as a cover, can he now continue his smuggling mission? If so, what's he supposed to do about the woman he finds aboard the yacht? These are two short but very entertaining stories.
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. 0.00
The Portrait of a Lady is a novel by Henry James, first published as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly and Macmillan's Magazine in 1880-81 and then as a book in 1881. It is one of James's most popular long novels, and is regarded by critics as one of his finest. The Portrait of a Lady is the story of a spirited young American woman, Isabel Archer, who "affronts her destiny" and finds it overwhelming. She inherits a large amount of money and subsequently becomes the victim of Machiavellian scheming by two American expatriates. Like many of James's novels, it is set in Europe,... (+) mostly England and Italy. Generally regarded as the masterpiece of James's early period, this novel reflects James's continuing interest in the differences between the New World and the Old, often to the detriment of the former. It also treats in a profound way the themes of personal freedom, responsibility, and betrayal. Isabel Archer, originally from Albany, New York, is invited by her maternal aunt, Lydia Touchett, to visit Lydia's rich husband Daniel at his estate near London, following the death of Isabel's father. There, she meets her cousin Ralph Touchett, a friendly invalid, and the Touchetts' robust neighbor, Lord Warburton. Isabel later declines Warburton's sudden proposal of marriage. She also rejects the hand of Caspar Goodwood, the charismatic son and heir of a wealthy Boston mill owner. Although Isabel is drawn to Caspar, her commitment to her independence precludes such a marriage, which she feels would demand the sacrifice of her freedom. The elder Touchett grows ill and, at the request of his son, leaves much of his estate to Isabel upon his death. With her large legacy, Isabel travels the Continent and meets an American expatriate, Gilbert Osmond, in Florence. Although Isabel had previously rejected both Warburton and Goodwood, she accepts Osmond's proposal of marriage. She is unaware that this marriage has been actively promoted by the accomplished but untrustworthy Madame Merle, another American expatriate, whom Isabel had met at the Touchetts' estate. Portrait of a Lady was published in two volumes. This is Volume 1.
The Possessed (The Devils) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 0.00
The Possessed (also known as The Devils or Demons) is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. An extremely political book, The Possessed is a testimonial of life in Imperial Russia in the late 19th century. As the revolutionary democrats begin to rise in Russia, different ideologies begin to collide. Dostoyevsky casts a critical eye on both the left-wing idealists, portraying their ideas and ideological foundation as demonic, and the conservative establishment's ineptitude in dealing with those ideas and their social consequences. This form of intellectual conservativism tied to... (+) the Slavophile movement of Dostoyevsky's day, called Pochvennichestvo, is seen to have continued on into its modern manifestation in individuals like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Dostoyevsky's novels focus on the idea that utopias and positivist ideas, in being utilitarian, were unrealistic and unobtainable. The book has five primary ideological characters: Verkhovensky, Shatov, Stavrogin, Stepan Trofimovich, and Kirilov. Through their philosophies, Dostoyevsky describes the political chaos seen in 19th century Russia. Nikolai Vsevolodovich Stavrogin is the central character of the novel but a highly ambiguous figure and often an observer or secondary participant in the novel's key events compared to the younger Verkhovensky, who drives much of the action and repeatedly attempts to involve Stavrogin in his schemes with limited success. A complex figure, he has many anti-social traits that mark him as a manipulative personality, but he is not ultimately the sociopath he sometimes seems to be in light of the overriding guilt he ultimately succumbs to. In a scene in the first part of the novel he seems ready to be gunned down at a duel without defending himself. His acceptance of his guilt for his multiple sins is also notable in his allowing Shatov, whose wife Stavrogin has had an affair with, to punch him in the face without responding, a seemingly shameful reaction for a nobleman to a former serf (this takes place in perhaps the best scene of a type seen often in Dostoyevsky's work — most of the major characters are gathered together and then all hell breaks loose in a way that is puzzling until the novel later fills in the back story).
The Pretty Sister of Jose by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
The Pretty Sister of Jose (1889) is a romance set in Spain. The novel was penned by Frances Hodgson Burnett, an author better known for such British-based fare as Little Lord Fauntleroy. In this pretty tale of Spanish love and romance, a beautiful country girl and one of Spain's most popular bullfighters are the two principal characters. The pride, imperious temper, and wonderful beauty of the heroine, and the almonst tragic results of her practice of heartless coquetry upon the hero, are sketched in a remarkably clear manner. The Pretty Sister of Jose is the daughter of a philandering... (+) Spanish aristocrat. Soured on all men because of her father's behavior, the heroine spurns every one of her suitors. That the "right man" eventually comes along is as inevitable as the sun rising in the East. This is a story sweet and tender in feeling, intensely dramatic in development, and told with winning simplicity.
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. 0.00
A beggar, Tom Canty, and a prince, Edward Tudor, who look so alike as to be twins, meet and swap clothes for a lark. An accident of judgment transforms the lark into an adventure, and the adventure into a nightmarish struggle of life and death, honor and dishonor. Hasn't everyone wished to be royalty some time? The story is a grand, yet fearful, adventure, superbly detailed and believable. One of Twain's best.
The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald. 0.00
The Princess and Curdie (1883) is a children's classic fantasy novel by George MacDonald. The book is the sequel to The Princess and the Goblin. The adventure continues with Princess Irene and Curdie a year or two older, and having to overthrow a set of corrupt ministers who are poisoning Irene's father, the king. Irene's grandmother also reappears and gives Curdie a strange gift, and a monster called Lina to help his quest. Princess Irene and her father go to Gwyntystorm, while Curdie, the princess's friend and a miner boy, stays home with his mother and father. As the years... (+) go by, Curdie begins to hunt for pleasure and slowly begins doubting Irene's story of her great-great grandmother. One day, he shoots down a white pigeon. Curdie then remembers Irene's tale of her grandmother's pigeons and assumes the one he shot down was one of them and becomes aware of his folly. A light is seen at the roof of the castle, and Curdie follows it. There, Curdie meets the Grand Old Princess, who now appears small and withered. She gently tells Curdie of the errors of his ways and he confesses. Curdie is then told to keep his bow and arrows and use them for good instead of bad.
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. 0.00
The Princess and the Goblin (1872) is a children's classic fantasy novel by George MacDonald. The book precedes The Princess and the Curdie in this two part series. When a peaceful kingdom is menaced by an army of monstrous goblins, a brave and beautiful princess joins forces with a resourceful peasant boy to rescue the noble king and all his people. The lucky pair must battle the evil power of the wicked goblin prince armed only with the gift of song, the miracle of love, and a magical shimmering thread.
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope. 0.00
The Prisoner of Zenda is an adventure novel by Anthony Hope, published in 1894. The king of the fictional country of Ruritania is drugged on the eve of his coronation and thus unable to attend his own coronation. Political forces are such that in order for the king to retain his crown his coronation must go forward. An English gentleman on holiday who fortuitously resembles the monarch, is persuaded to act as his political decoy in an attempt to save the situation. The unconscious king is abducted and imprisoned in a castle in the small town of Zenda. There are complications,... (+) plots, and counter-plots, among them the schemes of Michael's mistress, Antoinette de Mauban, and those of his dashing but villainous henchman Count Rupert of Hentzau. Rassendyll falls in love with Princess Flavia, the King's betrothed, but cannot tell her the truth. He determines to rescue the king and leads an attempt to enter the castle of Zenda.
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg. 0.00
The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner is a novel by the Scottish author James Hogg, published anonymously in 1824. Considered by turns part-gothic novel, part-psychological mystery, part-metafiction, part-satire, part-case study of totalitarian thought, it can also be thought of as an early example of modern crime fiction in which the story is told, for the most part, from the point of view of its criminal anti-hero. The action of the novel is located in a historically definable Scotland with accurately observed settings, and simultaneously infers a pseudo-Christian... (+) world of angels, devils, and demonic possession. Many of the events of the novel are narrated twice. First by the 'editor', who gives his account of the facts as he understands them to be, and then in the words of the 'sinner' himself. The 'Editor's Narrative' starts in 1687 with the marriage of Rabina Orde to the much older George Colwan, the Laird of Dalcastle. Rabina disapproves of her new husband because he lacks her religious beliefs, dances and drinks alcohol, leading to the couple soon separating. However, Rabina Colwan gives birth to two children. The first, George, is the son of the Laird. It is strongly implied, though never absolutely confirmed, that her second son, Robert, was fathered by the Reverend Wringhim, Rabina’s spiritual adviser. George, raised by the Laird, becomes a friendly young man who enjoys sports and the company of his friends. Robert, educated by his mother and adoptive father Wringhim, is brought up to follow Wringhim’s radical sect of Calvinism, which holds that only certain elect people are predestined to be saved by God. These chosen few will have a heavenly reward regardless of how their lives are lived. The two brothers meet, as young men, in Edinburgh where Robert starts following George through the town, mocking and provoking him and disrupting his life. He appears to have the ability of appearing wherever George is. When on a hill-top, George sees a vision of his brother in the sky and turns to find him behind him, preparing to throw him off a cliff. Robert rejects any friendly or placatory advances from his brother. The second part of the novel consists of Robert's account of his life. It is, supposedly, a document, some of it handwritten, and some printed, which was found after his death. It recounts his childhood, under the influence of the Rev Wringhim, and goes on to explain how he becomes in thrall to an enigmatic companion who says his name is Gil-Martin. This stranger, who could be seen to be the devil, appears after Wringhim has declared Robert to be a member of 'the elect' and so predestined to eternal salvation. Gil-Martin, who is able to transform his appearance at will, soon directs all of Robert’s pre-existing tendencies and beliefs to evil purposes, convincing him that it is his mission to “cut sinners off with the sword”, and that murder can be the correct course of action. The novel concludes with a return to the 'Editor's Narrative' which explains how the sinner's memoir was discovered.
The Privateersman by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
The Privateersman (1846) was Frederick Marryat's last nautically oriented novel. Unlike his prior novels, Privateersman is written as a first person narrative from the hero's perspective. Privateers were essentially legalized pirates. The Privateersman is set in the early 1700s and gives us a keen insight into the world of privateering. Combine that insight with nonstop action and Marryat's unique dry wit, and you have a tremendously entertaining read. All the standard Marryat archetypes are present: the young hero with an aristocratic background; the potential inheritance;... (+) the girl he must overcome great odds to marry, etc. The one significant difference, is that the hero does not serve in the Royal Navy, but as a sailor on a Letter of Marque (aka Privateer) a privately owned warship given government sanction to commit acts of piracy against enemy nations. The first third of the book accounts for the hero's adventures serving on board a privateer. The second third has him trying to leave this less-than-honorable lifestyle in favor of an honest living and finding circumstances against him. By now, our hero has been falsely imprisoned, stranded thousands of miles from home, and without a ship. The last portion of the book covers the hero's oddyssian endeavors to return home to the girl he loves.
The Prussian Officer by D. H. Lawrence. 0.00
The Prussian Officer (1914) is an early short story by D. H. Lawrence. The Prussian Officer tells the narrative of the captain and his orderly. Having wasted his youth with gambling, the captain has been left with only his military career, and though he has taken on mistresses throughout his life, he remains single. His young orderly is involved in a relationship with a young woman, and the captain, feeling sexual tension with regards to the young man, prevents the orderly from engaging in the relationship by taking up his evenings. These evenings lead to the captain abusing... (+) his orderly and leaving large, painful bruises on his thighs, making it hard for the orderly to walk. Whilst isolated in a forest during manoeuvres, the orderly takes out murderous revenge on the captain, but finds himself in a daze seemingly due both to the pain of the bruises and thirst. The orderly eventually collapses and dies in the hospital shortly thereafter. The corpses of the two men lay side by side.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell. 0.00
The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists is a novel by Robert Tressell first published in 1914 after his death in 1911. An explicitly political work, it is widely regarded as a classic of working-class literature. Robert Tressell was the nom-de-plume of Robert Noonan, a house painter. Although born in Dublin (and baptised with the surname Croker), Noonan settled in England after living in South Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century. Based on his own experiences of poverty, exploitation, and his terror that he and his daughter Kathleen — whom he was raising alone —... (+) would be consigned to the workhouse if he became ill, Noonan embarked on a detailed and scathing Marxist analysis of the relationship between working-class people and their employers. The "philanthropists" of the title are the workers who, in Noonan 's view, acquiesce in their own exploitation in the interests of their bosses. The novel is set in the fictional town of Mugsborough, based on the southern English coastal town of Hastings, where Noonan lived, although its geographical location is described in the book and is well away from the actual town of Hastings. The original title page of the book carried the subtitle: "Being the story of twelve months in Hell, told by one of the damned, and written down by Robert Tressell." The hero of the book, Frank Owen, is a socialist who believes that the capitalist system is the real source of the poverty he sees all around him. In vain he tries to convince his fellow workers of his world view, but finds that their education has trained them to distrust their own thoughts and to rely on those of their "betters". Much of the book consists of conversations between Owen and the others, or more often of lectures by Owen in the face of their jeering; this was presumably based on Tressell's own experiences.
The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Edith Nesbit’s novel "The Railway Children" tells the story of the trials and adventures of a middle class Edwardian family living in the suburbs of London at the turn of the century. The story is set during the spring, summer and autumn months of 1903. The family consists of three children: Roberta, known as "Bobbie" who at 11 years old, is the eldest of the three, followed by Peter, who wants to be an engineer when he grows up, and Phyllis, the youngest, who means well! Then there is Mother and Father, Mother writes poetry and stories to keep the children amused, and Father... (+) works for the government in the Foreign Office. Edith Nesbit describes them as being "just perfect". The family live in a red brick house called Edgecombe Villa, which has all the modern conveniences, as the estate agents say. One evening after dinner when Father is enjoying his after-dinner cigar, the family are discussing the possibility of mending Peter’s toy steam engine, which has suffered an unfortunate accident, there comes a knock at the front door. The Maid calls Father into his study. Although the children cannot hear what is being said, they can hear voices that are raised in anger. When the shouting finally stops, Father leaves the house with two official looking gentlemen, and their Mother looks extremely worried. Mother tells the children that Father has had to go away on business and that she does not know when he will be coming home again. There follows some weeks of misery and anxiety for the children. Mother is almost always out, coming home late and tired. The children make a promise to each other to be on their best behavior and not to ask Mother any questions about her obvious sadness. One morning, Mother seems to be more cheerful and tells the children that they are going to move to a "darling little house" in the country. The children are relieved to see Mother in a happier mood, but are still aware that something is very wrong. Mother and the three children move to "Three Chimneys", an isolated cottage deep in the sleepy countryside. Mother cannot afford to send the children to school, and so the children find themselves with a whole summer of freedom to look forward to. Mother tells the children that they will have to play at being poor. Mother always seems to be busy now, she is writing stories to sell to the magazines of the day. After living in the hustle and bustle of London, and with the countryside being so quiet, the children naturally enough find themselves being attracted towards the only real source of interest around, and that is the railway. They come to know, and make friends with the porter at the station. His name is "Perks" and the children spend many a happy afternoon in the porter’s office drinking tea and chatting to him about the railway. As the story unfolds, the children find themselves being caught up in many exciting adventures involving the railway and also the nearby canal. They make new friends at the station and in the nearby village. Every morning the children wave at the 9:15 train, they call this train "The Green Dragon" and they send their love to Father by it. They make one particular new friend; an old gentleman that rides on the "Green Dragon" every day, he turns out to be a rather special old gentleman, and he holds the solution to Father’s mysterious disappearance and eventual happy reunion with his family.....
The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence. 0.00
The Rainbow is a 1915 novel by British author D. H. Lawrence. It follows three generations of the Brangwen family living in Nottinghamshire, particularly focusing on the sexual dynamics of, and relations between, the characters. Lawrence's frank treatment of sexual desire and the power it plays within relationships as a natural and even spiritual force of life, though perhaps tame by modern standards, caused The Rainbow to be prosecuted in an obscenity trial in late 1915, as a result of which all copies were seized and burnt. After this ban it was unavailable in Britain for... (+) 11 years, although editions were available in the USA. The Rainbow was followed by a sequel in 1920, Women in Love. Although Lawrence conceived of the two novels as one, considering the titles The Sisters and The Wedding Ring for the work, they were published as two separate novels at the urging of his publisher. However, after the negative public reception of The Rainbow, Lawrence's publisher opted out of publishing the sequel. This is the cause of the five-year gap between the two novels. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Rainbow 48th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. 0.00
An American Civil War novel about Henry Fleming, a young private in the Union Army, who flees from the field of battle. Ashamed he longs for a wound -- a "red badge of courage" -- to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment again faces the enemy, Henry acts as standard bearer. Crane, born after the war, had not at the time experienced battle firsthand, but the novel is known for its realism.
The Red Room by August Strindberg. 0.00
The Red Room is a Swedish novel by August Strindberg that was first published in 1879. A satire of Stockholm society, it has frequently been described as the first modern Swedish novel. A young idealistic civil servant, Arvid Falk, leaves the drudgery of bureaucracy to become a journalist and author. As he explores various social activities — politics, publishing, theatre, philanthropy, and business — he finds more hypocrisy and corruption than he thought possible. He takes refuge with a group of "bohemians", who meet in a red dining room in Berns Salonger to discuss these matters.
The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 0.00
The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 13 Sherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1903-1904, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This was the first Holmes collection since Holmes had "died" in The Adventure of the Final Problem. The first story opens in 1894 and has Holmes returning to London and explains the period from 1891-94, a period called "The Great Hiatus" by Sherlockian enthusiasts. Holmes recounts the death of Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls: "I slipped through his grip, and he with a horrible scream kicked madly for a few seconds, and clawed the... (+) air with both his hands. But for all his efforts he could not get his balance, and over he went. With my face over the brink, I saw him fall for a long way. Then he struck a rock, bounded off, and splashed into the water."
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. 0.00
The Return of the Native is Thomas Hardy's sixth published novel. It first appeared in the magazine Belgravia, a publication known for its sensationalism, and was presented in twelve monthly installments from January to December 1878. Because of the novel's controversial themes, Hardy had some difficulty finding a publisher; reviews, however, though somewhat mixed, were generally positive. In the twentieth century, The Return of the Native became one of Hardy's most popular novels. The novel takes place entirely in the environs of Egdon Heath, and, with the exception of the... (+) epilogue, Aftercourses, covers exactly a year and a day. The narrative begins on the evening of Guy Fawkes Night as Diggory Venn drives slowly across the heath, carrying a hidden passenger in the back of his van. When darkness falls, the country folk light bonfires on the surrounding hills, emphasizing -- not for the last time -- the pagan spirit of the heath and its denizens. Venn is a reddleman; he travels the country marking flocks of sheep with a red mineral called "reddle", a dialect term for red ochre. Although his trade has stained him red from head to foot, underneath his devilish colouring he is a handsome, shrewd, well-meaning young man. His passenger is a young woman named Thomasin Yeobright, whom Venn is taking home. Earlier that day, Thomasin had planned to marry Damon Wildeve, a local innkeeper known for his fickleness; however, a minor change in disposition as regards to Wildeve delayed the marriage. Thomasin, in distress, ran after the reddleman's van and asked him to take her home. Venn himself is in love with Thomasin, and unsuccessfully wooed her a year or two before. Now, although he knows Wildeve is unworthy of her love, he is so devoted to her that he is willing to help her secure the man of her choice.
The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells. 0.00
The Rise of Silas Lapham is a realistic novel written by William Dean Howells in 1885 about the materialistic rise of Silas Lapham from rags to riches, and his ensuing moral susceptibility. Silas earns a fortune in the paint business, but he lacks social standards, which he tries to attain through his daughter's marriage into the aristocratic Corey family. Silas's morality does not fail him. He loses his money but makes the right moral decision when his partner proposes the unethical selling of the mills to English settlers. Howells is known to be the father of American realism,... (+) and a denouncer of the sentimental novel. The love triangle of Irene Lapham, Tom Corey, and Penelope Lapham highlights Howells' views of sentimental novels as unrealistic and deceitful.
The Road to Understanding by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
The Road to Understanding (1917) is a novel by Eleanor H. Porter. The first few line of the book starts: "If Burke Denby had not been given all the frosted cakes and toy shotguns he wanted at the age of ten, it might not have been so difficult to convince him at the age of twenty that he did not want to marry Helen Barnet." Later Porter relates: "Of course the inevitable happened. However near two roads may be at the start, if they diverge ever so slightly and keep straight ahead, there is bound to be in time all the world between them. In the case of Burke and Helen, their... (+) roads never started together at all: they merely crossed; and at the crossing came the wedding. They were miles apart at the start — miles apart in tastes, traditions, and environment. In one respect only were they alike: undisciplined self-indulgence — a likeness that meant only added differences when it came to the crossing; and that made it all the more nearly impossible to merge those two diverging roads into one wide way leading straight on to wedded happiness." This all sounds complicated. This complicated situation is conveyed to us by the couple and some of their friends. However, more complications arise when a daughter is caught in the middle - a clever and wonderful girl who has to endure a sad and bitter life: live with her abnormal mother and be employed by her father, without knowing it's him. Her parents know what's best for her, but does Betty know what's best for herself? Will Betty be able to forgive her parents?
The Rose of Paradise by Howard Pyle. 0.00
The Rose of Paradise (1887) is a novel by the American illustrator and writer Howard Pyle. The Rose of Paradise is a detailed first person account of certain adventures that happened to Captain John Mackra, in connection with the famous pirate, Edward England, in the year 1720, off the Island of Juanna in the Mozambique Channel.
The Ruby of Kishmoor by Howard Pyle. 0.00
The Ruby of Kishmoor (1908) is an historical novel by Howard Pyle. The unsuspecting protagonist of the tale, Jonathon Rugg, is embroiled in the hunt for the ruby after an encounter with a veiled lady. Pyle blends vivacious characters with surprising twists in the plot to produce an animated narrative. One of the world's greatest gems, nefarious pirates and other mysterious characters contribute to the exhilarating adventures throughout this marvelous book,
The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 0.00
Boston, a puritan village, 1600's. Hester Pyrrne, a woman whose husband is yet to arrive, has committed adultery and borne a child out of wedlock. She refuses to reveal the father. Villagers seek to shame her making her wear a scarlet letter A for adultereru on her chest. Her husband, learning her fate, arrives under a different name, takes separate lodging, seeks to discover the father, and take revenge. A story still popular today.
The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. 0.00
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a play and adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution. The story is a precursor to the "disguised superhero" tales such as Zorro and Batman. Marguerite St. Just, a beautiful Frenchwoman, is the wife of wealthy English fop Sir Percy Blakeney, a baronet. Before their marriage, Marguerite took revenge upon the Marquis de St. Cyr, who had ordered her brother to be beaten for his romantic interest in the Marquis' daughter, with the unintended consequence of the Marquis and his sons... (+) being sent to the guillotine. When Percy found out, he became estranged from his wife. Marguerite, for her part, became disillusioned with Percy's shallow, dandyish lifestyle. Meanwhile, the "League of the Scarlet Pimpernel", a secret society of 20 English aristocrats, "one to command, and nineteen to obey", is engaged in rescuing their French counterparts from the daily executions. Their leader, the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, takes his nickname from the drawing of a small red flower with which he signs his messages. Despite being the talk of London society, only his followers and possibly the Prince of Wales know the Pimpernel's true identity. Like many others, Marguerite is entranced by the Pimpernel's daring exploits.
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad. 0.00
The novel is set in London in 1886 and deals largely with the life of Mr. Verloc and his job as a spy. The novel is also notable as it is one of Conrad's later political novels, which move away from his typical tales of seafaring.. The novel deals broadly with the notions of anarchism, espionage, and terrorism. It portrays anarchist or revolutionary groups before many of the social uprisings of the twentieth century.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
This classic story for children ages 6 to 12 tells the tale of young Mary Lennox, whose parents have died of cholera in India, and is sent to be the ward of an uncle she has never met in England. There she meets an intriguing boy named Dickon and a sickly cousin named Colin. One day she discovers a severely neglected walled and locked garden on her uncle's property. The three friends find their own spirits improving as the garden reawakens around them.
The Settlers in Canada by Frederick Marryat. 0.00
Settlers in Canada (1844) is a children's novel written by Frederick Marryat. It was Marryat's twenty-first book, and is set in the wilderness of Upper Canada in the 1790s. The story is centered around a reasonably well off family (the Campbells) who lose their estate and decide to emigrate to Canada. It begins after they have inherited the family estates, and have settled down there. Their eldest son has gone to college and the second son is in the navy. One day a claimant to the estate appears. His claim proves to be true and the Campbells must give up the estate. Mr. Campbell... (+) had given up his business to take over the estate and with the legal costs as well they have very little money left. They just have enough to journey to Canada, and take up a settlement near Lake Ontario. The family is united in their troubles and they pull together to make their farm a success, in the process, dealing with the weather, hostile Indians and forest fires. Eventually a letter arrives to say that the relative who had taken the estate, has died, and it is now theirs once again. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell travel home and the rest of the family go their separate ways.
The Shadow Line, a Confession by Joseph Conrad. 0.00
The Shadow-Line is a short novel based at sea by Joseph Conrad; it is one of his later works, being written from February to December 1915. It was first published in book form in 1917. The novella depicts the development of a young man upon taking a captaincy in the Orient, with the shadow line of the title representing the threshold of this development. The novella is notable for its dual narrative structure. The full, subtitled title of the novel is The Shadow-Line, A Confession, which immediately alerts the reader to the retrospective nature of the novella. The ironic constructions... (+) following from the conflict between the 'young' protagonist (who is never named) and the 'old' drive much of the underlying points of the novella, namely the nature of wisdom, experience and maturity. Conrad also extensively uses irony by comparison in the work, with characters such as Captain Giles and the ship's 'factotum' Ransome used to emphasise strengths and weaknesses of the protagonist. The novella has often been cited as a metaphor of the First World War, given its timing and references to a long struggle, the importance of camaraderie, etc. This viewpoint may also be reinforced by the knowledge that Conrad's elder son, Borys, was wounded in the First World War. Others however see the novel as having a strong supernatural influence, referring to various plot-lines in the novella such as the 'ghost' of the previous captain potentially cursing the ship, and the madness of first mate Mr Burns. Conrad himself, however, denied this link in his 'Author's Note', claiming that although critics had attempted to show this link, "The world of the living contains enough marvels and mysteries as it is."
The Shunned House by H. P. Lovecraft. 0.00
"The Shunned House" is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft in the horror fiction genre. Written in 1924, it was first published in the October 1937 issue of Weird Tales. The Shunned House of the title is based on an actual house in Providence, Rhode Island, built around 1763 and still standing at 135 Benefit Street. For many years the unnamed first person protagonist and his uncle, Dr. Elihu Whipple, have nurtured a fascination with an old, abandoned house on Benefit Street. Dr. Whipple has made extensive records tracking the mysterious, yet apparently coincidental sickness and... (+) death of many who have lived in the house for over one hundred years. They are also puzzled by the strange weeds growing in the yard, as well as the unexplained foul smell and whitish, phosphorescent fungi growing in the cellar.
The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
The Shuttle (1907) is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Shuttle is a study of the time period when so many American heiresses crossed the Atlantic to marry destitute British nobility. Burnett's descriptions of the English countryside are amazingly vivid; you can hear the beat of the horses hoofs and practically feel the rain! Sweet, innocent Rosalie, daughter of a wealthy American financier, marries bullying Sir Nigel Anstruthers, who takes her back to his crumbling estate and begins to systematically dismantle Rosalie's life and self-esteem. Little sister Bettina - only... (+) eight when her sister married - has planned for twelve years to rescue her big sister. Now Bettina is 20, brilliant and beautiful and her father's favorite, and she is ready to put her plans into action. Betty is devastatingly clever and a surprisingly subtle planner - but Nigel is pure evil. Who will win?
The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 0.00
A deep melancholy has descended on Sherlock Holmes, who sits in a cocaine-induced haze at 221B Baker Street. His mood is lifted by a visit from a distressed young woman Mary Morstan, whose father vanished ten years before. Four years later she began to receive a large, lustrous pearl every year. Now she has had an intriguing invitation to meet her unknown benefactor and urges Holmes and Watson to accompany her. In the ensuing investigation a wronged woman, a stolen hoard of Indian treasure, a wooden-legged ruffian, a helpful dog, and a love affair moves even the jaded Holmes... (+) to exclaim, Isn't it gorgeous!
The Social Cancer by Jose Rizal. 0.00
The Social Cancer (1912) is a novel by Filipino polymath and national hero José Rizal. It was first published under the title Noli Me Tangere in 1887 in Berlin. Jose Rizal, a Filipino nationalist and medical doctor, conceived the idea of writing a novel that would expose the ills of Philippine society after reading Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. The novel opens with young Juan Crisóstomo Ibarra y Magsalin's return to the Philippines after a 7-year absence. In his honor, Don Santiago de los Santos, a family friend commonly known as Captain Tiago, throws a get-together... (+) party, which is attended by friars and other prominent figures. One of the guests, former San Diego curate Fray Dámaso Vardolagas belittles and slanders Ibarra. Ibarra brushes off the insults and takes no offense; he instead politely excuses himself and leaves the party because of an allegedly important task.
The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. 0.00
The Story of King Arthur and his Knights by Howard Pyle. 0.00
Howard Pyle was an American illustrator and author, primarily of books for young people. His 1883 classic publication The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood remains in print, and his other books, frequently with medieval European settings, include this four-volume set on King Arthur. Pyle's Arthurian legends are comprised of: The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903), The Story of the Champions of the Round Table (1905), The Story of Launcelot and His Companions (1907), and The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur (1910). This first book in the series, The Story of... (+) King Arthur and His Knights recounts the thrilling and timeless legend. It introduces the story of the incomparable Arthur, the lovely Guinevere, the wicked Morgana le Fey, and the magical Merlin who has enthralled and delighted readers for centuries.
The Story of the Amulet by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
The Story of the Amulet is a fantasy novel for children, written in 1906 by Edith Nesbit. It is the third in a trilogy of novels which follow the adventures of the same five protagonists – Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and the Lamb. The series begins with Five Children and It (1902). The adventures of the children are continued in the second book of the trilogy, The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904), and conclude in The Story of the Amulet. In this third book in the trilogy, the children re-encounter the Psammead — the "it" in Five Children and It. As it no longer grants wishes... (+) to the children, however, its capacity is mainly advisory in relation to the children's other discovery, the Amulet, thus following a formula successfully established in The Phoenix and the Carpet. In the course of the novel the Amulet transports the children and the Psammead to times and places where the Amulet has previously existed, in the hope that — somewhen in time — the children can find the Amulet's missing half. Among the ancient realms they visit are Babylon, Egypt, the Phoenician city of Tyre, a ship to "the Tin Islands" (ancient Cornwall), and Atlantis just before the flood. In one chapter, they meet Julius Caesar on the shores of Gaul, just as he has decided that Britain is not worth invading. Jane's childish prattling about the glories of England persuades Caesar to invade after all.
The Story of the Champions of the Round Table by Howard Pyle. 0.00
Howard Pyle was an American illustrator and author, primarily of books for young people. His 1883 classic publication The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood remains in print, and his other books, frequently with medieval European settings, include this four-volume set on King Arthur. Pyle's Arthurian legends are comprised of: The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (1903), The Story of the Champions of the Round Table (1905), The Story of Launcelot and His Companions (1907), and The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur (1910). This second book in the series, The Story of... (+) the Champions of the Round Table tells the story of King Arthur, the knights of the Round Table, and how the magician Merlin was betrayed to his undoing by Vivian the sorceress.
The Story of the Treasure Seekers by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
The Story of the Treasure Seekers is a novel by Edith Nesbit. First published in 1899, it tells the story of Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and Horace Octavius (H. O.) Bastable, and their attempts to assist their widowed father and recover the fortunes of their family; its sequels are the The Wouldbegoods (1899) and The New Treasure Seekers (1904). The novel's complete name is The Story of the Treasure Seekers: Being the Adventures of the Bastable Children in Search of a Fortune. The six children fill their free time with entertainments that don't always turn out as they... (+) plan. The story is told from a child's point of view. The narrator is Oswald, but on the first page he announces: "It is one of us that tells this story - but I shall not tell you which: only at the very end perhaps I will. While the story is going on you may be trying to guess, only I bet you don't." However, his occasional lapse into first person, and the undue praise he likes to heap on himself, makes his identity obvious to the attentive reader long before he reveals it himself.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. 0.00
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson published in 1886. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend and client, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the misanthropic Edward Hyde. As the story begins, Utterson is on a walk with his relative Richard Enfield, who proceeds to tell him of an encounter he had seen some months ago while coming home late at night. Enfield describes a sinister figure named Mr Hyde who tramples a young girl, disappears into a... (+) door on the street, and re-emerges to pay off her relatives with 10 pounds in gold and a cheque for 100 pounds signed by a respectable gentleman, Dr Henry Jekyll. Utterson is disturbed and concerned about this development, and makes an effort to seek out Hyde.
The Sunbridge Girls at Six Star Ranch by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
The Sunbridge Girls at Six Star Ranch (1913) is a novel for children by Eleanor H. Porter, originally released under her pseudonym Eleanor Stuart. Eleanor Porter is best known for her Pollyanna novels. Genevieve Hartley, who has been in Sunbridge, New Hampshire, for her schooling has formed a club called 'The Happy Hexagons.' The story is mainly a narration of a vacation which these six young girls spend in Texas at the 'Six Star Ranch,' at the invitation of Mr. Hartley, its owner. Eleanor H. Porter knows how to write for young people. Her knowledge of outdoor life, her understanding... (+) of girls' ambitions, foibles, and daily problems help to fill the story with inspiration.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. 0.00
The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902) is the first in a series of tales by Beatrix Potter. The Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter includes eighteen of the tales, six of which include Peter Rabbit. The rabbits in Potter's stories are anthropomorphic and wear human clothes; Peter wears a jacket and shoes. Peter, his mother, Mrs. Josephine Rabbit, and his sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail live in a rabbit hole that has a human kitchen, human furniture, and a shop where Mrs. Rabbit sells various items. Peter's relatives are Cousin Benjamin Bunny and Benjamin's father Mr. Benjamin... (+) Bunny. In the first tale, Peter disobeys his mother's orders and sneaks into Mr. McGregor's garden, eating as many vegetables as he can before Mr. McGregor spots him and chases him about. Peter manages to escape, but not before losing his jacket and shoes, which Mr. McGregor uses to dress a scarecrow. Peter returns home weary and ill and is put to bed with a dose of chamomile tea. In The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, first published in 1904, Peter's cousin Benjamin Bunny brings him back to Mr. McGregor's garden and they retrieve the clothes Peter lost in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. But after they gather onions to give to Peter's mother, they are captured by Mr. McGregor's cat. Benjamin's father arrives and rescues them, but also reprimands Peter and Benjamin for going into the garden by whipping them with a switch. In this tale, Peter displays some trepidation about returning to the garden. In The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, first published in 1909, Peter has a small role and appears only briefly. He is grown up and his sister Flopsy is now married to his cousin Benjamin Bunny. The two are the parents of six little Flopsy Bunnies. Peter and his mother keep a nursery garden and the bunnies come by asking him for spare cabbage. In The Tale of Mr. Tod, first published in 1912, Benjamin and Flopsy's children are kidnapped by notorious badger Tommy Brock. Peter helps Benjamin chase after Brock, who hides out in the house of the fox Mr. Tod. Mr. Tod finds Brock sleeping in his bed and as the two get into a scuffle, Peter and Benjamin rescue the children. Peter makes cameo appearances in two other tales. In The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, first published in 1905, Peter and Benjamin are customers of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, a hedgehog washerwoman. In The Tale of Ginger and Pickles, first published in 1909, Peter and other characters from Potter's previous stories make cameo appearances.
The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. 0.00
Set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, the story highlights how the demoralization by the French aristocracy of the peasantry led to extreme brutality toward aristocrats at the start of the revolution. Main characters include Charles Darnay, a virtuous former aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a British barrister who loves Darney's wife and tries to atone for his own misspent youth. Many additional characters bring out the complexities of a revolutionary time.
The Tangled Threads by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
The Tangled Threads (1919) is a collection of short stories for children by Eleanor H. Porter. All of the stories had been previously published in various periodicals. Among the twenty short stories are: A Delayed Heritage, The Folly of Wisdom, The Apple of her Eye, Millionaire Mike's Thanksgiving, The Elephant's Board and Keep, and When Polly Ann Played Santa Claus.
The Temptation of Saint Anthony by Gustave Flaubert. 0.00
The Temptation of Saint Anthony is a book which the French author Gustave Flaubert spent practically his whole life fitfully working on, in three versions he completed in 1849, 1856 and 1872 before publishing the final version in 1874. It takes as its subject the famous temptation faced by Saint Anthony the Great in the Egyptian desert, a theme often repeated in medieval and modern art. It is written in the form of a play script. It details one night in the life of Anthony the Great where Anthony is faced with great temptations, and it was inspired by the painting, which he... (+) saw at the Balbi Palace in Genoa.
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. 0.00
It is 1914 and Europe is preparing for war. In London, an ordinary man named Richard Hannay learns that a freelance spy has uncovered a plot by a German group called the Black Stone to steal British plans for the war. Over the next few days, two men are killed in Hannay's building, including the spy, and Hannay goes on the run, certain that the police will accuse him of the murders. Hannay enters a race against time to uncover the plot before he is caught or the plan succeeds.
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. 0.00
The Time Machine is a science fiction novella by H. G. Wells, published in 1895 for the first time and later adapted into at least two feature films of the same name, as well as two television versions, and a large number of comic book adaptations. It indirectly inspired many more works of fiction in many media. This 32,000 word story is generally credited with the popularisation of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The term "time machine", coined by Wells, is now universally used to refer to such a vehicle.... (+) The book's protagonist is an English scientist and gentleman inventor living in Richmond, Surrey, identified by a narrator simply as the Time Traveller. The narrator recounts the Traveller's lecture to his weekly dinner guests that time is simply a fourth dimension, and his demonstration of a tabletop model machine for travelling through it. He reveals that he has built a machine capable of carrying a person, and returns at dinner the following week to recount a remarkable tale, becoming the new narrator.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. 0.00
The Turn of the Screw is a novel written by Henry James. Originally published in 1898, it is ostensibly a ghost story. Many critics have tried to determine the exact nature of the evil hinted at by the story. An unnamed narrator listens to a male friend reading a manuscript written by a former governess whom the friend claims to have known and who is now dead. The manuscript tells the story of how the young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after the death of their parents. He lives mainly in London and is not interested in... (+) raising the children himself. The boy, Miles, is attending a boarding school, while his younger sister, Flora, is living at a country estate in Essex. She is currently being cared for by the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose. The governess's new employer, the uncle of Miles and Flora, gives her full charge of the children and explicitly states that she is not to bother him with communications of any sort. The governess travels to her new employer's country house and begins her duties. Miles soon returns from school for the summer just after a letter arrives from the headmaster stating that he has been expelled. Miles never speaks of the matter, and the governess is hesitant to raise the issue. She fears that there is some horrid secret behind the expulsion, but is too charmed by the adorable young boy to want to press the issue. Soon thereafter, the governess begins to see around the grounds of the estate the figures of a man and woman whom she does not recognize. These figures come and go at will without ever being seen or challenged by other members of the household, and they seem to the governess to be supernatural. She learns from Mrs. Grose that her predecessor, Miss Jessel, and another employee, Peter Quint, had had a sexual relationship with each other and had both died. It is also implied that Quint was a molester, who molested Miles and the others members of the household. Prior to their deaths, they spent much of their time with Flora and Miles, and this fact has grim significance for the governess when she becomes convinced that the two children are secretly aware of the presence of the ghosts.
The Turn of the Tide by Eleanor H. Porter. 0.00
The Turn of the Tide, the Story of How Margaret Solved her Problem (1908) is a novel for children by Eleanor H. Porter, best known for her children's book Pollyanna. The Turn of the Tide is the second book in the two part Margaret series. The first book in the series, Cross Currents, was written in 1907. As the story starts, Margaret has just returned to her home, and at nine years old is re-acquainting herself with her mother. It was not long before all Houghtonsville knew the story, and there was not a man, woman, or child in the town that did not take the liveliest interest... (+) in the little maid at Five Oaks who had passed through so amazing an experience. To be lost at five years of age in a great city, to be snatched from wealth, happiness, and a loving mother's arms, only to be thrust instantly into poverty, misery, and loneliness; and then to be, after four long years, suddenly returned.
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith. 0.00
The Vicar of Wakefield is a novel by Irish author Oliver Goldsmith. It was written in 1761 and 1762, and published in 1766, and was one of the most popular and widely read 18th-century novels among Victorians. In the novel, Dr Primrose, his wife Deborah and their six children live an idyllic life in a country parish. The vicar is wealthy due to investing an inheritance he received from a deceased relative, and the vicar donates the £34 that his job pays annually to local orphans and war veterans. On the evening of his son George's wedding to wealthy Arabella Wilmot, the vicar... (+) loses all his money through the bankruptcy of his merchant investor who left town with his money.
The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley. 0.00
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby (1863) is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. The book was extremely popular in England during its day, and was a mainstay of British children's literature for many decades. The protagonist is Tom, a young chimney sweep, who falls into a river after encountering an upper-class girl named Ellie and being chased out of her house. There he dies and is transformed into a "water baby", as he is told by a caddis fly — an insect that sheds its skin — and begins his moral education. The story is thematically concerned... (+) with Christian redemption, though Kingsley also uses the book to argue that England treats its poor badly, and to question child labour, among other themes. Tom embarks on a series of adventures and lessons, and enjoys the community of other water babies once he proves himself a moral creature. Weekly, Tom is allowed the company of Ellie, who had fallen into the river after he did. Grimes, his old master, drowns as well, and in his final adventure, Tom travels to the end of the world to attempt to help the man where he is being punished for his misdeeds. Tom helps Grimes to find repentance, and Grimes will be given a second chance if he can successfully perform a final penance. By proving his willingness to do things he does not like, if they are the right things to do, Tom earns himself a return to human form, and becomes "a great man of science" who "can plan railways, and steam-engines, and electric telegraphs, and rifled guns, and so forth". He and Ellie are united, although the book claims that they never marry.
The Waters of Edera by Ouida. 0.00
The Waters of Edera (1900) is a novel by Ouida. Ouida was the pseudonym of the English novelist Maria Louise Ramé. The novelist G. K. Chesterton remarked of this 1900 novel, "Though it is impossible not to smile at Ouida, it is equally impossible not to read her." The river Edera runs through bucolic farmland outside of Rome. When a plan arises to dam the river for a hydroelectric plant, the local farmers and peasants violently resist.
The White People by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
The White People (1917) is a children's novel about life after death told with the backdrop of a mist filled Scottish moor. The book begins with: "Perhaps the things which happened could only have happened to me. I do not know. I never heard of things like them happening to any one else. But I am not sorry they did happen." This lovely novella, written by the author of the ever-popular Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden, is a classic dealing with life after death. After her first son's untimely death, Burnett delved into spiritualism and found this a great comfort... (+) in dealing with her grief. Life after death was a subject she was interested in for the rest of her life. During World War I, Burnett finally got a chance to put her beliefs about what happens after death into writing. The story involves a young woman with unusual insight living as a semi-recluse in the Scottish Highlands finding the love of her life. The White People is very evocative of life in the Highlands and is also a fictionalized validation of life after death. This is an old-fashioned, innocent tale that will warm your heart.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. 0.00
The Wind in the Willows (1908) is a classic of children's literature by Kenneth Grahame. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animal characters in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames valley. At the start of the book, it is spring time: the weather is fine, and good-natured Mole loses patience with spring cleaning. He flees his underground home, heading up to take in the air. He ends up at the river,... (+) which he has never seen before. Here he meets Ratty (a water rat), who at this time of year spends all his days in, on and close by the river. Rat takes Mole for a ride in his rowing boat. They get along well and spend many more days boating, with Rat teaching Mole the ways of the river. One summer day shortly thereafter, Rat and Mole find themselves near the grand Toad Hall and pay a visit to Toad. Toad is rich (having inherited wealth from his father): jovial, friendly and kind-hearted but aimless and conceited, he regularly becomes obsessed with current fads, only to abandon them as quickly as he took them up. Mole also wants to meet the respected but elusive Badger, who lives in deep in the Wild Wood, but Rat - knowing that Badger does not appreciate visits - refuses to take him, telling Mole to be patient and wait and Badger will pay them a visit himself. Nevertheless, on a snowy winter's day, whilst the seasonally somnolent Ratty dozes unaware, Mole impulsively goes to the Wild Wood to explore, hoping to meet Badger.
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James. 0.00
The Wings of the Dove is a 1902 novel by Henry James. This novel tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her impact on the people around her. Some of these people befriend Milly with honorable motives, while others are more self-interested. Kate Croy and Merton Densher are two betrothed Londoners who desperately want to marry but have very little money. Kate is constantly put upon by family troubles, and is now living with her domineering aunt, Maud Lowder. Into their world comes Milly Theale, an enormously rich young American... (+) woman who had previously met and fallen in love with Densher, though she didn't reveal her feelings. Her travelling companion and confidante, Mrs. Stringham, is an old friend of Maud's. Kate and Aunt Maud welcome Milly to London, and the American heiress enjoys great social success. With Kate as a companion, Milly goes to see an eminent physician, Sir Luke Strett, because she's afraid that she is suffering from an incurable disease. The doctor is noncommittal but Milly fears the worst. Kate suspects that Milly is deathly ill. After the trip to America where he had met Milly, Densher returns to find the heiress in London. Kate wants Densher to pay as much attention as possible to Milly, though at first he doesn't quite know why. Kate has been careful to conceal from Milly that she and Densher are engaged. With the threat of serious illness hanging over her, Milly decides to travel to Venice with Mrs. Stringham. At a party Milly gives in her Venice palazzo, Kate finally reveals her complete plan to Densher: he is to marry Milly so that, after her presumably soon-to-occur death, Densher will inherit the money they can marry on. Densher had suspected this was Kate's idea, and he demands that she consummate their affair before he'll go along with her plan.
The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy. 0.00
The Woodlanders (1887) is a novel by Thomas Hardy. The story takes place in a small woodland village called Little Hintock, and concerns the efforts of an honest woodsman, Giles Winterborne, to marry his childhood sweetheart, Grace Melbury. Although they have been informally betrothed for some time, her father has made financial sacrifices to give his adored only child a superior education and no longer considers Giles good enough for her. When the new doctor – a well-born and handsome young man named Edred Fitzpiers – takes an interest in Grace, her father does all he can... (+) to make Grace forget Giles, and to encourage what he sees as a brilliant match. Grace has more awe than love for Fitzpiers, but marries him nonetheless. After the honeymoon, the couple take up residence in an unused wing of Melbury's house. Soon, however, Fitzpiers begins an affair with a rich widow named Mrs. Charmond, takes to treating Grace coldly, and finally deserts her one night after he accidentally reveals his true character to his father-in-law. Melbury tries to procure a divorce for his daughter so she can marry Giles after all, but in vain. When Fitzpiers quarrels with Mrs. Charmond and returns to Little Hintock to try to reconcile with his wife, she flees the house and turns to Giles for help. He is still convalescing from a dangerous illness, but nobly allows her to sleep in his hut during stormy weather, whilst he insists on sleeping outside. As a result, he dies. Grace later allows herself to be won back to the at least temporarily repentant Fitzpiers, thus sealing her fate as the wife of an unworthy man. No one is left to mourn Giles except a courageous peasant girl named Marty South, who all along has been the overlooked but perfect mate for him, and who has always loved him.
The Wouldbegoods by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
The Wouldbegoods is a novel for children by Edith Nesbit. First published in 1901, it is part of the three part Bastable series that tells the story of Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel, and Horace Octavius (H. O.) Bastable, and their attempts to assist their widowed father and recover the fortunes of their family. The first book in the series is The Treasure Seekers (1899), followed by The Wouldbegoods (1901), with The New Treasure Seekers (1904) being the final volume. While living in London, the six children fill their free time with entertainments that don't always turn out... (+) as they plan. In the Wouldbegoods they are sent away to the country after a particularly unruly episode. The well-meaning but wayward Bastable children solemnly vow to reform their behavior, but their grand schemes for great and virtuous deeds lead to just as much mayhem as their ordinary games, and sometimes more.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. 0.00
The Yellow Wallpaper (1892) is a short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It is regarded as an important early work of American feminist literature, illustrating attitudes in the nineteenth century toward women's physical and mental health. The story also has been classified as Gothic fiction and horror fiction. The Yellow Wallpaper is written in epistolary style, specifically as a collection of first person journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has confined her to the upstairs bedroom of a house that he has rented for the summer. The... (+) story details the unreliable narrator's descent into madness. The protagonist's husband, John, believes that it is in the narrator's best interest to go on a rest cure after the birth of their child. She may be suffering from what would now be called postpartum psychosis. She is forbidden from working, and has to hide her journal entries from him, so that she can recuperate from what he calls a "temporary nervous depression — a slight hysterical tendency," a diagnosis common to women in that period. Her husband controls her access to the rest of the house. A key locks the door. The story depicts the effect of confinement on the narrator's mental health, and her descent into psychosis. With nothing to stimulate her, she becomes obsessed by the pattern and color of the wallpaper. "It is the strangest yellow, that wall-paper! It makes me think of all the yellow things I ever saw — not beautiful ones like buttercups, but old foul, bad yellow things. But there is something else about that paper — the smell! … The only thing I can think of that it is like, is the color of the paper! A yellow smell." In the end, she imagines that there are women creeping around behind the patterns of the wallpaper, and comes to believe that she is one of them. She locks herself in the room, now the only place where she feels safe, refusing to leave when the summer rental is up. "For outside you have to creep on the ground, and everything is green instead of yellow. But here I can creep smoothly on the floor, and my shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall, so I cannot lose my way."
Theo by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
Theo (1877) is a short romance novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Burnett is one of the most charming among American writers. Theo is one of the masterpieces of Burnett's genius; a love story of the brightest, happiest and most entertaining description; a lively, cheerful love story in which the shadow cast is infinitesimally small compared with the stretch of sunlight; and the interest is always maintained at full head without apparent effort and without resorting to the conventional and hackneyed devices of most novelists, devices that the experienced reader sees through at... (+) once. Few characters in modern fiction are as lovable as the noble, warmhearted, impulsive girl, from whom this novel takes its name. She dares everything for the man she loves, with a self-sacrifice that, for once at least, has its reward. No more sprightly novel than "Theo" could be desired. Everybody should read these exceptionally bright, clever and fascinating novelettes, for they occupy a niche by themselves in the world's literature and are decidedly the most agreeable, charming and interesting books that can be found anywhere.
Theresa Raquin by Emile Zola. 0.00
Thérèse Raquin (1867) is the title of a novel by the French writer Émile Zola. Thérèse Raquin tells the story of a young woman, unhappily married to her first cousin by an overbearing aunt who may seem to be well-intentioned but in many ways is deeply selfish. Therese's husband, Camille, is sickly and egocentric, and when the opportunity arises, Thérèse enters into a turbulent and sordidly passionate affair with one of Camille's friends, Laurent. In his preface, Zola explains that his goal in this novel was to "study temperaments and not characters" and he compares the... (+) novel to a scientific study. Because of this detached and scientific approach, Thérèse Raquin is considered an example of Naturalism. Thérèse Raquin is the daughter of a French captain and an Algerian mother. After the death of her mother, her father brings her to live with her aunt, Madame Raquin, and her sickly son, Camille. Because her son is so ill, Madame Raquin dotes on Camille to the point where he is selfish and spoiled. Camille and Thérèse grow up side-by-side, and Madame Raquin marries them together when Thérèse is 21. Shortly thereafter, Camille decides that the family should move to Paris so he can pursue a career. Thérèse and Madame Raquin set up shop in the Passage du Pont Neuf to support Camille while he searches for a job. Camille eventually begins working for the Orléans Railroad Company, where he meets up with a childhood friend, Laurent. Laurent visits the Raquins and decides to take up an affair with the lonely Thérèse, mostly because he cannot afford prostitutes anymore. However, this soon turns into a torrid love affair. Thérèse and Laurent conspire to drown Camille while out on a boat trip. This enables them to marry, but their guilt comes between them. They imagine they see the dead man in their bedroom every night, preventing them from touching each other and quickly driving them insane. Laurent, who is an artist, cannot paint a picture which does not in some way resemble the dead man. They also have to look after Madame Raquin, who suffered a stroke after Camille's death. Madame Raquin suffers a second stroke and becomes completely paralyzed except for her eyes, after which Therese and Laurent accidentally reveal their guilt in her presence during an argument. During an evening's game of dominoes with friends, she manages to move her finger with an extreme effort of will to trace words on the table: "Thérèse and Laurent k..." The complete sentence was intended to be "Thérèse and Laurent killed Camille". At this point her strength gives out, and the words are interpreted as "Thérèse and Laurent look after me very well". Eventually, Thérèse and Laurent find life together intolerable and plot to kill each other. At the climax of the novel, the two are about to kill one another when each of them realizes the plans of the other. They each then break down sobbing and reflect upon their miserable lives. After having embraced one last time, they each commit suicide by taking poison, all in front of the watchful gaze of Madame Raquin.
Three Lives by Gertrude Stein. 0.00
Three Lives (1909) was Gertrude Stein's first published work. The book is separated into three stories, "The Good Anna," "Melanctha," and "The Gentle Lena." The three stories are independent of each other, but all are set in the fictional town of Bridgepoint. "The Good Anna" is a novella about Anna Federner, a servant of "solid lower middle-class south german stock." Part I describes Anna’s happy life as housekeeper for Miss Mathilda and her difficulties with unreliable under servants and "stray dogs and cats." Part II, "The Life of the Good Anna," fills in the background... (+) of Anna's earlier life. Born in Germany, in her teens Anna emigrates to "the far South," where her mother dies of consumption. She moves to Bridgepoint near her brother, a baker, and takes charge of the household of Miss Mary Wadsmith and her young nephew and niece, who are orphans. Following Jane's marriage, Anna goes to work for Doctor Shonjen, a hearty bachelor, with whom she gets along. Part III, “The Death of the Good Anna”, chronicles her last years. Anna continues to live in the house Miss Mathilda has left her and takes in boarders, but charges too little to make ends meet. Stein’s “Melanctha,” the second and longest of the Three Lives stories, is an unconventional novella that focuses upon the distinctions and blending of race, sex, gender, and female health. The main character Melanctha, who is the daughter of a black father and mixed-race mother in segregated Bridgepoint, goes throughout the novella on a quest for knowledge and power, as she is dissatisfied with her role in the world. Her thirst for wisdom causes her to undergo a lifelong journey filled with unsuccessful self-fulfillment and discovery as she attaches herself to family members, lovers, and friends that each represents physical, emotional, and knowledgeable power. "The Gentle Lena," the third of Stein's Three Lives, follows the life and death of the titular Lena, a German girl brought to Bridgepoint by a cousin. Lena begins her life in America as a servant girl, but is eventually married to Herman Kreder, the son of German immigrants. Both Herman and Lena are marked by extraordinary passivity, and the marriage is essentially made in deference to the desires of their elders. During her married life, Lena bears Herman three children, all the while growing increasingly passive and distant. Neither Lena nor the baby survives her fourth pregnancy, leaving Herman "very well content now...with his three good, gentle children."
Three Men and a Maid by P. G. Wodehouse. 0.00
Three Men and a Maid (1922) is a novel by P. G. Wodehouse. The book was released in the United Kingdom under the title The Girl on the Boat. The maid of the title is red-haired, dog-loving Wilhelmina "Billie" Bennet, and the three men are Bream Mortimer, a long-time friend and admirer of Billie, Eustace Hignett, a lily-livered poet who is engaged to Billie at the opening of the tale, and Sam Marlowe, Eustace's dashing cousin, who falls for Billie at first sight. All four find themselves on an ocean liner headed for England together, along with a capable young woman called Jane... (+) Hubbard who is smitten with Eustace, and typically Wodehousian romantic shenanigans ensue. A film adaptation was made in 1961, starring Norman Wisdom as Marlowe, Richard Briers as Eustace, Philip Locke as Bream Mortimer and Millicent Martin as Billie.
Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. 0.00
In this swashbuckling novel, an aspiring Musketeer, D'Artagnan, joins the three already in place: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. They are guards to the King and their motto is all for one and one for all. A conspiracy by Cardinal Richelieu and his spy, Lady de Winter, sets the stage for the action. This is a story of betrayal, lies, and friendship with one action scene after another.
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. 0.00
Where a deck of cards underpins Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the game of chess does so here. Alice is a pawn, and the characters she meets represent other pieces. Famous characters include Tweedledum and Tweedledee (with their poem 'Jabberwocky' and Humpty Dumpty (celebrating his unbirthday). As Alice makes her way across the giant chessboard, she often has to cross a brook, the line between chess squares. This story has some of the same characters as in Wonderland, but the stories are not dependent on each other.
Thuvia Maid of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 0.00
Fourth in the Barsoom series, this book follows the son of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, whose name is Carthoris, prince of the Martian city state Helium. He falls in love with Thuvia, princess of Ptarth, another city state, but she is promised to another man. When Thuvia is kidnaped, Carthoris gets his chance to rescue her. He gets blamed, however, for the kidnaping and must clear his name while preventing a war from erupting between the red nations of Mars (Barsoom).
Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes. 0.00
Tom Brown's School Days (1857) is a novel by Thomas Hughes. The story is set at Rugby School, a public school for boys, in the 1830s; Hughes attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842. Tom Brown's School Days was tremendously influential on the genre of British school novels, which began in the 19th century, and led to St. Trinians, Billy Bunter's Greyfriars, Mr Chips' Brookfield, and Hogwarts. It is one of the few still in print from its time. A sequel, Tom Brown at Oxford, was published in 1861 but is not as well known. Tom's principal enemy at Rugby is the bully Flashman. Tom... (+) Brown is energetic, stubborn, kind-hearted, and athletic more than intellectual. He acts according to his feelings and the unwritten rules of the boys around him more than adults' rules. The early chapters of the novel deal with his childhood at his home in the Vale of White Horse (including a nostalgic picture of a village feast). Much of the scene setting in the first chapter is deeply revealing of Victorian England's attitudes towards society and class, and contains an interesting comparison of so-called Saxon and Norman influences on England. This part of the book, when young Tom wanders the valleys freely on his pony, serves as a sort of Eden with which to contrast the later hellish experiences in his first years at school. His first school year is at a local school. His second year starts at a private school, but due to an epidemic of fever in the area, all the school's boys are sent home, and Tom is transferred mid-term to Rugby School, where he makes acquaintance with the adults and boys who live at the school and in its environs. On his arrival, the eleven-year-old Tom Brown is looked after by a more experienced classmate, Harry "Scud" East. Soon after, Tom and East become the targets of a bully named Flashman. The intensity of the bullying increases, and, after refusing to hand over a sweepstake ticket for the favorite in a horse race, Tom is deliberately burned in front of a fire. Tom and East eventually defeat Flashman with the help of a kind (though comical) older boy. In their triumph they become unruly. In the second half of the book, Dr. Thomas Arnold, the historical headmaster of the school at the time, gives Tom the care of George Arthur, a frail, pious, academically brilliant, gauche, and sensitive new boy. A fight that Tom gets into to protect Arthur, and Arthur's nearly dying of fever, are described in loving detail. Tom and Arthur help each other and their friends develop into young gentlemen who say their nightly prayers, do not cheat on homework, and play in a cricket match. An epilogue shows Tom's return to Rugby and its chapel when he hears of Arnold's death.
Toni, the Little Woodcarver by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Toni, the Little Wood-carver (1920) was written by Johanna Spyri, author of Heidi. The novel for children was translated from German into English by Helen B. Dole. It is the story of a little boy who lived in a little stone house among the mountains. Toni had some very trying experiences but finally his great desire is realized.
Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells. 0.00
Tono-Bungay (1909), by H. G. Wells, is a realist semi-autobiographical novel. It is narrated by George Ponderevo, a science student who is drafted in to help with the promotion of Tono-Bungay, a harmful stimulant disguised as a miraculous cure-all, the creation of his ambitious uncle Edward. The quack remedy Tono-Bungay seems to have been based upon the patent medicines Carter's Little Liver Pills and Dr. Williams' Pink Pills for Pale People, marketed by John Morgan Richards. As the tonic prospers, George experiences a swift rise in social status, elevating him to riches and... (+) opportunities that he had never imagined, nor indeed desired. The novel displays Edward's social climbing satirically, and also George's discomfort at rising in social class. The hero's personal life is also narrated with unusual frankness for an Edwardian novel, from his unsuccessful marriage to Marion, to his affair with the liberated Effie to his doomed relationship with the Hon. Beatrice Normandy, whom he had known since childhood. True to its name ("Ton o' Bunk, Eh?"), the Tono-Bungay empire eventually over-extends itself and then collapses. George tries to prop up his uncle's finances by stealing the radioactive compound quap from an island near Africa, but the expedition is unsuccessful. He helps his uncle escape from England in the aeroplane that he has invented, but Edward dies in France of fever. The novel ends with George finding a new occupation: designing destroyers for the highest bidder.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. 0.00
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, published in 1883, narrating a tale of "pirates and buried gold". Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, Treasure Island is an adventure tale known for its atmosphere, characters and action, and also as a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality — as seen in Long John Silver — unusual for children's literature then and now. It is one of the most frequently dramatized of all novels. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perceptions of pirates is enormous, including treasure... (+) maps marked with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen carrying parrots on their shoulders.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. 0.00
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus as seen from the perspective of Professor Pierre Aronnax. As the story begins in 1866, a mysterious sea monster, theorized by some to be a giant narwhal, is sighted by ships of several nations; an ocean liner is also damaged by the creature. The United States government finally assembles an expedition in New York City to track down and destroy the menace. Professor Aronnax, a noted French marine... (+) biologist is issued a last-minute invitation to join the expedition, and he accepts.
Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 0.00
Twice-Told Tales is a short story collection in two volumes by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The first was published in the spring of 1837, and the second in 1842. The stories had all been previously published in magazines and annuals, hence the name. The title, Twice-Told Tales, was based on a line from William Shakespeare's The Life and Death of King John (Act 3, scene 4): "Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale, / Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man." The book was published by the American Stationers' Company on March 6, 1837; its cover price was one dollar. Hawthorne wrote that... (+) the stories "may be understood and felt by anybody, who will give himself the trouble to read it, and will take up the book in a proper mood." About a week after the publication of the book, Hawthorne sent a copy to his fellow classmate from Bowdoin College, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Hawthorne wrote to him, "We were not, it is true, so well acquainted at college, that I can plead an absolute right to inflict my 'twice-told' tediousness upon you; but I have often regretted that we were not better known." In his 14-page critique in the April issue of the North American Review, Longfellow praised the book as a work of genius. "To this little book", Longfellow wrote, "we would say, 'Live ever, sweet, sweet book.' It comes from the hand of a man of genius." He noted that Hawthorne's writing "is characterized by a large proportion of feminine elements, depth and tenderness of feeling, exceeding purity of mind." He referred to the collection's "The Gentle Boy" as "on the whole, the finest thing he ever wrote".
Twilight Land by Howard Pyle. 0.00
Twilight Land is a collection of stories written and illustrated by Howard Pyle. They were first published serial fashion in Harper’s Young People and then gathered together and published in book form by Harper and Brothers in 1894. They are dedicated to his daughter Phoebe, who was then eight years old. In the introduction, Pyle starts: I found myself in Twilight Land. How I ever got there I cannot tell, but there I was in Twilight Land. What is Twilight Land? It is a wonderful, wonderful place where no sun shines to scorch your back as you jog along the way, where no rain... (+) falls to make the road muddy and hard to travel, where no wind blows the dust into your eyes or the chill into your marrow. Where all is sweet and quiet and ready to go to bed. Where is Twilight Land? Ah! that I cannot tell you. You will either have to ask your mother or find it for yourself. The stories in the collection are: The Stool of Fortune, The Talisman of Solomon, Ill-Luck and the Fiddler, Empty Bottles, Good Gifts and a Fool's Folly, The Good of a Few Words, Woman's Wit, A Piece of Good Luck, The Fruit of Happiness, Not a Pin to Choose, Much Shall Have More and Little Shall Have Less, Wisdom's Wages and Folly's Pay, The Enchanted Island, All Things are as Fate Wills, Where to Lay the Blame, and The Salt of Life.
Two Years before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana. 0.00
Two Years Before the Mast is a book by the American author Richard Henry Dana, Jr., published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage starting in 1834. The term "before the mast" refers to the quarters of the common sailors. Dana did not set out to write Two Years Before the Mast as a sea adventure, but to highlight how poorly common sailors were treated on ships. In the book, which takes place between 1834 and 1836, Dana gives a vivid account of "the life of a common sailor at sea as it really is". He sails from Boston to South America and around Cape Horn... (+) to California. Dana's ship was on a voyage to trade goods from the United States. They traded at the ports in San Diego Bay, San Pedro Bay, Santa Barbara Channel, Monterey Bay, and San Francisco Bay. Dana arrived in Alta California when it was a remote province of independent Mexico, and no longer Spanish colonial Las Californias. He spent a season on the San Diego shore preparing hides for shipment to Boston, and his journey home. Dana also makes a tellingly accurate prediction of San Francisco's future growth and significance. On the return trip around Cape Horn in the middle of the Antarctic winter he describes terrifying storms and incredible beauty, giving vivid descriptions of icebergs, and the scurvy that afflicts members of the crew.
Uncle Silas by John Sheridan Le Fanu. 0.00
Uncle Silas is a Victorian Gothic mystery-thriller novel by the Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu. It is notable as one of the earliest examples of the locked room mystery subgenre. It is not a novel of the supernatural, but does show a strong interest in the occult and in the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish scientist, philosopher and Christian mystic. The novel is a first person narrative told from the point of view of the teenaged Maud Ruthyn, an heiress living with her sombre, reclusive father Austyn Ruthyn in their mansion at Knowl. She gradually becomes aware of the... (+) existence of Silas Ruthyn, a black sheep uncle whom she has never met, who was once an infamous rake and gambler but is now apparently a reformed Christian. Silas's past holds a dark mystery, which she gradually learns from her father and from her worldly, cheerful cousin Lady Monica: the suspicious suicide of a man to whom Silas owed an enormous gambling debt, which took place within a locked, apparently impenetrable room in Silas's mansion at Bartram-Haugh. Austyn is firmly convinced of his brother's innocence; Maud's attitude to Uncle Silas wavers repeatedly between trusting in her father's judgment, and growing fear and uncertainty. Austyn Ruthyn obscurely asks Maud if she is willing to undergo some kind of "ordeal" to clear Silas's name. She assents, and shortly thereafter her father dies. It turns out that he has added a codicil to his will: Maud is to stay with Uncle Silas until she comes of age. If she dies while in her minority, the estate will go to Silas. Despite the best efforts of Lady Monica and Austyn's executor, Maud is forced to spend the next three and a half years of her life at Bartram-Haugh. Life at Bartram-Haugh is initially strange but not unpleasant, despite ominous signs such as the uniformly unfriendly servants and a malevolent factotum of Silas's, the one-legged Dickon Hawkes. Silas himself is a sinister, soft-spoken man who is openly contemptuous of his two children, the loutish Dudley and the untutored but friendly Milly. Silas is subject to mysterious catatonic fits which are attributed by his doctor to his massive opium consumption. Gradually, however, the trap closes around Maud: it is clear that Silas is attempting to coax or force her to marry Dudley. When that plan fails, and as the time-limit of three-and-a-half years begins to shrink, it becomes clear that more violent methods may be used to ensure that Silas gains control of the Ruthyn estate....
Uncle Titus and his Visit to the Country by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Uncle Titus in the Country (1926) by Johanna Spyri, translated by Clement W. Coumbe. Spyri is the Swiss writer whose story for children, Heidi, is known all over the world. Her psychological insight into the child mind, her humor, and her ability to enter into childish joys and sorrows give her books attraction and lasting value. The book begins: The daily promenaders who moved slowly back and forth every afternoon under the shade of the lindens on the eastern side of the pretty town of Karlsruhe were very much interested in the appearance of two persons who had lately joined... (+) their ranks. It was beyond doubt that the man was very ill. He could only move slowly and it was touching to see the care with which his little companion tried to make herself useful to him. He supported himself with his right hand on a stout stick, and rested his left upon the shoulder of the child at his side, and one could see that he needed the assistance of both.
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. 0.00
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War". Uncle Tom is a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings. Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century. The book opens with a Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby facing... (+) the loss of his farm because of debts. Even though he and his wife Emily Shelby believe that they have a benevolent relationship with their slaves, Shelby decides to raise the needed funds by selling two of them — Uncle Tom, a middle-aged man with a wife and children, and Harry, the son of Emily Shelby’s maid Eliza — to a slave trader. Emily Shelby is averse to this idea because she had promised her maid that her child would never be sold; Emily's son, George Shelby, hates to see Tom go because he sees the man as his friend and mentor.
Under Fire by Henri Barbusse. 0.00
Under Fire: The Story of a Squad (1916) by Henri Barbusse, was one of the first novels about World War I to be published. Although it is fiction, the novel was based on Barbusse's experiences as a French soldier on the Western Front. The novel takes the form of journal-like anecdotes which the unnamed narrator claims to be writing to record his time in the war. It follows a squad of French volunteer soldiers on the Western front in France after the German invasion. The book opens and ends with broad visions shared by multiple characters but beyond these the action of the novel... (+) takes place in occupied France. The anecdotes are episodic, each with a chapter title. The best-known chapter, "The Fire" describes a trench assault from the Allied (French) trench across No-Man's Land into the German trench. In contrast to many war novels which came before it, Under Fire describes war in gritty and brutal realism. It is noted for its realistic descriptions of death in war and the squalid trench conditions. Barbusse wrote Under Fire while he was a serving soldier. He claimed to have taken notes for the novel while still in the trenches; after being injured and reassigned from the front, he wrote and published the novel while working at the War Office in 1916. The novel was first published in French in December 1916 and soon after translated into English by Fitzwater Wray in June 1917, published by J. M. Dent & Sons.
Under Two Flags by Ouida. 0.00
Under Two Flags (1867) is the first and the best of the Foreign Legion romances which have consistently enthralled readers and cinema audiences, as well as Ouida's best-known and most imitated work. In order to shield his younger brother, and to protect the name of the "titled and wedded" Lady Guenevere, the Hon. Bertie Cecil enlists in the second regiment of the Chasseurs d'Afrique, condemning himself to years of danger and hardship under the blazing Algerian sun. His salvation takes the shape of the two women who love him: the camp-follower Cigarette and the Princess Venetia.... (+) Out of the triangle formed by the nonchalant hero and his passionate admirers, Ouida created a romance which set the tone for a hundred years of novels and films.
Vagabondia by Frances Hodgson Burnett. 0.00
Vagabondia (1889) is a romance novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Burnett portrays an utterly ridiculous and thus utterly delightful vision of an artistic family living a Bohemian London life, with as much of a relationship to the real thing as Elizabethan pastorals had to actually being a shepherd. It has good moral lessons about not being a flirt and not being too fond of finery, and the narrator constantly reminds the reader not to judge too harshly the disorder of her Bohemian household. You will love the frothy absurdity of it all.
Veronica by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
Veronica and Other Friends, Two Stories for Children (1886) was written by Johanna Spyri, best known for her work Heidi, and translated by Louise Brooks.
Villette by Charlotte Bronte. 0.00
Villette is a novel by Charlotte Brontë, published in 1853. After an unspecified family disaster, protagonist Lucy Snowe travels to the fictional city of Villette to teach at an all-girls school where she is unwillingly pulled into both adventure and romance. The novel is celebrated not so much for its plot as its acute tracing of Lucy's psychology, particularly Brontë's use of Gothic doubling to represent externally what her protagonist is suffering internally. Villette begins with its famously passive and secretive protagonist, Lucy Snowe, age 14, observing her godmother,... (+) Mrs. Bretton, Mrs. Bretton's son, Graham, and a young visitor, Paulina Home. Polly is a peculiar little thing and soon develops a deep devotion for the older Graham, who showers her with attention until her stay is cut short when her father comes to take her away. Lucy leaves the house soon after the child's departure, and after some initial hesitation, she is hired as a caregiver by Miss Marchmont, a rheumatic crippled woman. Soon she becomes accustomed to her new career and host, and starts feeling content with the quiet lifestyle. However, in an evening with dramatic weather changes, Miss Marchmont magically regains all her energies and feels young again. Miss Marchmont shares her sad love story of thirty years ago with Lucy, and then concludes that she should try to treat Lucy better. The very next morning, Lucy finds Miss Marchmont peacefully lifeless in bed.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau. 0.00
Walden (first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is an American book written by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self reliance. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years in a cabin he built near Walden Pond, amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, near Concord, Massachusetts. By immersing himself in nature, Thoreau hoped to gain a more objective understanding of... (+) society through personal introspection. Simple living and self-sufficiency were Thoreau's other goals, and the whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, a central theme of the American Romantic Period. As Thoreau made clear in his book, his cabin was not in wilderness but at the edge of town, about two miles from his family home. As Thoreau explains "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
War and Peace by graf Leo Tolstoy. 0.00
War and Peace is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. It is regarded as Tolstoy's finest literary achievement, along with his other major prose work Anna Karenina. War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to the French invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families. Tolstoy himself, somewhat enigmatically, said of War and Peace that it was... (+) "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less an historical chronicle." He went on to elaborate the best of Russian literature usually do not conform to standard norms.
War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. 0.00
The War of the Worlds (1898), a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, is the first-person narrative of an unnamed protagonist's adventures in London and the countryside southwest of London as Earth is invaded by Martians. The War of the Worlds has two parts, Book One: The Coming of the Martians and Book Two: The Earth under the Martians. The narrator, a philosophically inclined author, struggles to return to his wife while seeing the Martians lay waste to southern England. Book One also imparts the experience of his brother, again unnamed, who describes events in the capital... (+) and escapes the Martians by boarding a ship near Tillingham on the coast sixty-five miles northeast of London and is not mentioned again. The War of the Worlds has been both popular (it has never gone out of print) and influential, spawning half a dozen feature films, radio dramas, various comic book adaptations, a television series, and sequels or parallel stories by other authors.
Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 0.00
Third in the Barsoom series, this ties up the trilogy portion. It is the most ferocious and swashbuckling of the first three books. Continuing where book two left off, John Carteras wife, Dejah Thoris, is imprisoned in the Temple of the Sun. She and two other female prisoners are spirited away by antagonists of John Carter's, and he follows them into the north polar regions of Mars, where he encounters more strange creatures and races. By overcoming them in battle, Carter earns the title "Warlord of Barsoom"
Washington Square by Henry James. 0.00
Washington Square is a short novel by Henry James. Originally published in 1880 as a serial in Cornhill Magazine and Harper's New Monthly Magazine, it is a structurally simple tragicomedy that recounts the conflict between a dull but sweet daughter and her brilliant, domineering father. The plot of the novel is based upon a true story told to James by his close friend, British actress Fanny Kemble. The book is often compared to Jane Austen's work for the clarity and grace of its prose and its intense focus on family relationships. Dr. Austin Sloper, a rich and intelligent widower,... (+) lives in Washington Square, New York, with his only surviving child, Catherine, a sweet-natured woman who is a great disappointment to her father, being physically plain and, he believes, mentally dull. Sloper's beloved wife, along with a promising young son, died many years before. His silly busybody sister, the widowed Lavinia Penniman, is the only other member of the doctor's household. One day, Catherine meets the charming Morris Townsend at a party and is swept off her feet. Morris courts Catherine, aided by Mrs. Penniman, who loves melodrama. Dr. Sloper strongly disapproves, believing him to be after Catherine's money alone. When Catherine and Morris announce their engagement, he checks into Morris's background and finds him to be penniless and parasitic. The doctor forbids his daughter to marry Townsend, and the loyal Catherine cannot bring herself to choose between her father and her fiancé.
What are Old People For?: How Elders will Save the World by William H. Thomas. (370 pages, 6 hrs) 9.95
Written by a specialist in aging, this book draws upon popular culture, history, science, and literature to create a strong vision for a future in which old age becomes a healing force in our society. Dr. Thomas shows us how we can abolish today's version of nursing homes and develop the capacity for peacemaking and wisdom giving that grows within older people. Green Houses, communities where older people live together intentionally, bring meaning and worth to the last half of life. ♦ Publisher's Web Site
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge. 0.00
What Katy Did is a children's book written by Susan Coolidge, the pen name of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, which was published in 1872. It follows the adventures of a twelve-year-old American girl, Katy Carr, and her family who live in the fictional lakeside Ohio town of Burnet in the 1860s. Katy is a tall untidy tomboy, forever getting into scrapes but wishing to be beautiful and beloved. When a terrible accident makes her an invalid, her illness and four-year recovery gradually teach her to be as good and kind as she has always wanted. Two sequels follow Katy as she grows up -... (+) What Katy Did at School and What Katy Did Next. Two further sequels relate the adventures of Katy's younger siblings, Clover and In the High Valley. Twelve-year-old Katy Carr lives with her widowed father and her five brothers and sisters in a small midwestern town called Burnet. Her father, a doctor, is very busy and works long hours. The children are mostly cared for by their paternal Aunt Izzie, who is very particular, and something of a scold. Under these circumstances Katy, a bright, headstrong, hasty girl, can hardly avoid getting into mischief almost daily; however, she is unfailingly remorseful afterward. She dreams of someday doing something "grand" with her life - painting famous pictures, saving the lives of drowning people or leading a crusade on a white horse. At the same time, she wants to be "beautiful, of course, and good if I can". When her mother died four years earlier, Katy promised to be a little mother to her siblings; however, she leads them into all sorts of exciting adventures and is sometimes impatient and cross with them. When her Cousin Helen, an invalid, comes to visit, Katy is so enchanted by her beauty and kindness that on the day of Helen's departure she resolves to model herself on Helen ever afterward. The very next day, however, Katy wakes in an ill humor, quarrels with her aunt and pushes her little sister so hard that she falls down half a dozen steps. Afterwards, sulky and miserable, Katy decides to try out the new swing in the woodshed although Aunt Izzie has, for some reason, forbidden it. The swing is unsafe because one of the staples supporting it is cracked. Had Aunt Izzie explained this, "all would have been right," but she believes that children should obey their elders without question. Katy swings as high as she can and, as she tries to graze the roof with her toes, the staple gives way. She falls hard, bruising her spine. The lively Katy is now bedridden, suffering terrible pain and bitterness. Her room is dark, dreary and cluttered with medicine bottles; when her brothers and sisters try to comfort her, she usually drives them away. However, a visit from Cousin Helen shows her that she must either learn to make the best of her situation or risk losing the love of her family. Helen tells Katy that she is now a student in the "School of Pain" where she will learn lessons in patience, cheerfulness, hopefulness, neatness and making the best of things. With Cousin Helen's help she makes her room tidy and nice to visit and gradually all the children gravitate to it, always coming in to see Katy whenever they can. She becomes the heart of the home, beloved by her family for her unfailing kindness and good cheer. After two years Aunt Izzie dies and Katy takes over the running of the household. At the end of four years, in a chapter called "At Last", she learns to walk again.
What Katy Did at School by Susan Coolidge. 0.00
What Katy Did at School (1873) is a children's book by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, working under the pen name Susan Coolidge. As part of the Katy Carr series, it follows What Katy Did (1872), and precedes What Katy Next (1886) and tells the adventures of Katy Carr. It follows the adventures of a twelve-year-old American girl, Katy Carr, and her family who live in the fictional lakeside Ohio town of Burnet in the 1860s. Katy is a tall untidy tomboy, forever getting into scrapes but wishing to be beautiful and beloved. What Katy Did at School follows Katy's adventures with Rose Red... (+) Browne, Mary Silver, Esther Dearbon, Ellen Gray, and Alice Gibbons at "The Nunnery" a school in Hillsover, overlooking the Connecticut River.
What Maisie Knew by Henry James. 0.00
What Maisie Knew (1897) is a novel by Henry James. The story of the sensitive daughter of divorced and irresponsible parents, What Maisie Knew has great contemporary relevance as an unflinching account of a wildly dysfunctional family. The book is also a masterly technical achievement by James, as it follows the title character from earliest childhood to precocious maturity. When Beale and Ida Farange are divorced, the court decrees that their only child, the very young Maisie, will shuttle back and forth between them, spending six months of the year with each. The parents are... (+) immoral and frivolous, and they use Maisie to intensify their hatred of each other. Beale Farange marries Miss Overmore, Maisie's pretty governess, while Ida marries the likeable but weak Sir Claude. Maisie gets a new governess, the frumpy, more than a little ridiculous, but devoted Mrs. Wix. Both Ida and Beale soon busy themselves with other lovers besides their spouses. In return those spouses — Sir Claude and the new Mrs. Beale — begin an affair with each other. Maisie's parents essentially abandon her in heartbreaking scenes, and she becomes largely the responsibility of Sir Claude. Eventually, Maisie must decide if she wants to remain with Sir Claude and Mrs. Beale. In the book's long final section set in France, the older Maisie struggles to choose between them and Mrs Wix, and concludes that her new parents' relationship will likely end as her biological parents' did. She leaves them and goes to stay with Mrs. Wix, her most reliable adult guardian.
What Samie Sings with the Birds by Johanna Spyri. 0.00
What Sami Sings with the Birds was written by Johanna Spyri, the well-known author of Heidi. It was translated by Helen B. Dole and first published in English in 1917. Sami comes from a long male line of men who run away from trouble and tragedy, always moving to the next valley when a loved one dies. Shortly into the book, he marries his sweetheart Marietta; she dies in childbirth, but his new son little Sami survives. Sami flees across the ocean, and leaves Sami with his mother Mary Ann. Some years later, Mary Ann dies, and Sami needs to travel alone back to the original village... (+) that his father and grandmother had left years before he was born. He is reluctantly accepted by a distant cousin with three work-shirking boys. After a few years, Sami again moves on, always singing to the birds, and eventually returning to the village of his father's birth. Since his grandmother's death, no one had shown the slightest pleasure in his presence; on the contrary everywhere he had felt as if he were tolerated only out of pity, and now he was received with loud rejoicing by the children of a house to which he had been more attracted than anywhere else before, and where his grandmother would be glad to see him; of that he was sure. His heart was so overflowing with joy that he wanted to sing aloud and give praise and thanksgiving evermore like the finch: "Trust! Trust! Only trust the dear Lord!"
White Fang by Jack London. 0.00
White Fang is a novel (1906) by American author Jack London. The story takes place in Yukon Territory, Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th-century, and details a wild wolfdog's journey to domestication. White Fang is a companion novel (and a thematic mirror) to London's best-known work, The Call of the Wild, which concerns a kidnapped, domesticated dog turning into a wild animal. Much of the novel is written from the view-point of his canine character, enabling London to explore how animals view their world and how they view humans. White Fang examines... (+) the violent world of wild animals and the equally violent world of humans. The book also explores complex themes including morality and redemption. The story begins before the three-quarters wolf-dog hybrid is born, with two men and their sled dog team. The men, Bill and Henry, are stalked by a large pack of starving wolves over the course of several days. Finally, after all of their dogs and Bill have been eaten, four more teams find Henry trying to escape from the wolves; the wolf pack scatters when they hear the large group of people coming. The story then follows the pack, which has been robbed of its last prey.
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. 0.00
Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life is a 1919 short story cycle by the American author Sherwood Anderson. The work is structured around the life of protagonist George Willard, from the time he was a child to his growing independence and ultimate abandonment of Winesburg as a young man. It is set in the fictional town of Winesburg, Ohio (not to be confused with the actual Winesburg), which is based loosely on the author's childhood memories of Clyde, Ohio. The book consists of twenty-two stories, with the first story, "The Book of the Grotesque", serving... (+) as an introduction. Each of the stories shares a specific character's past and present struggle to overcome the loneliness and isolation that seems to permeate the town. Stylistically, because of its emphasis on the psychological insights of characters over plot, and plain-spoken prose, Winesburg, Ohio is known as one of the earliest works of Modernist literature. The major themes of Winesburg, Ohio largely concern the interaction between the individual citizens of Winesburg and the world around them. As each of the book's stories focuses primarily (though not exclusively) on one character, the narrator develops these themes continuously, sometimes adding new insights about previously introduced characters (Elizabeth Willard's relationship with Dr. Reefy in "Death", for example, was never alluded to when she was first introduced in "Mother".). Because George Willard is a fixture in much of the book, his character arc becomes just as important a theme of Winesburg, Ohio as that of the rest of town's inhabitants.
Wings and the Child by Edith Nesbit. 0.00
Wings and the Child, or the Building of Magic Cities (1913) is an unusual novel by Edith Nesbit. She had so many requests for a book explaining the process of building magic cities such as are featured in her children's novel The Magic City, that Nesbit dedicated a whole book to elaborating on the science of building of magic cities. To quote just a brief passage: To the child, from the beginning, life is the unfolding of one vast mystery; to him our stalest commonplaces are great news, our dullest facts prismatic wonders. To the baby who has never seen a red ball, a red ball... (+) is a marvel, new and magnificent as ever the golden apples were to Hercules. You show the child many things, all strange, all entrancing; it sees, it hears, it touches; it learns to co-ordinate sight and touch and hearing. You tell it tales of the things it cannot see and hear and touch, of men 'that it may never meet, of lands that it shall never see'; strange, black and brown and yellow people, whose dress is not the dress of mother and nurse—strange glowing yellow lands, where the sun burns like fire, and flowers grow that are not like the flowers in the fields at home. You tell it that the stars, which look like pin-holes in the floor of heaven, are really great lonely worlds, millions of miles away; that the earth, which the child can see for itself to be flat, is really round; that nuts fall from the trees because of the force of gravitation, and not, as reason would suggest, merely because there is nothing to hold them up. And the child believes; it believes all the seeming miracles. Then you tell it of other things, no more miraculous, and no less; of fairies, and dragons, and enchantments, of spells and magic, of flying carpets and invisible swords. The child believes in these wonders likewise, why not? If very big men live in Patagonia, why should not very little men live in flower-bells? If electricity can move unseen through the air, why not carpets? The child's memory becomes a storehouse of beautiful and wonderful things which are, or have been, in the visible universe, or in that greater universe, the mind of man. Life will teach the child soon enough to distinguish between the two. But there are those who are not as you and I. These say that all the enchanting fairy romances are lies, that nothing is real that cannot be measured and weighed, seen or heard or handled. Such make their idols of stocks and stones, and are blind and deaf to the things of the spirit. These hard-fingered materialists crush the beautiful butterfly wings of imagination, insisting that pork and pews and public-houses are more real than poetry; that a looking glass is more real than love, a viper than valor. These Gradgrinds give to the children the stones, which they call facts, and deny to the little ones the daily bread of dreams.
Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum. 0.00
A tornado grabs a farmhouse in Kansas with young Dorothy and her dog Toto in it, and lands them in Munchkin Country. The falling house kills a witch whose shoes are given to Dorothy to protect her as she and Toto travel along a yellow brick road to the Emerald City to ask a wizard for help getting home. Along the way they are joined by a scarecrow, a woodsman, and a lion and they do battle with the Wicked Witch of the West.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. 0.00
This is a gothic novel about a tormented man, Heathcliff, who lost Catherine, the love of his life, years before the novel opens. A visitor to Heathcliff's home on the moors, a manor called Wuthering Heights, learns the story of Heathcliff's suffering from a housekeeper where the visitor is staying. She tells him of Heathcliff and Catherine's love for each other and how many others in the family were hurt when that unresolved, passionate love was thwarted.