Eight years ago, Anne Elliot fell in love with a poor but ambitious young naval officer, Frederick Wentworth. The Elliots were dissatisfied with Anne's choice, feeling he was not distinguished enough for their family, and her older friend and mentor, Lady Russell, acting in place of Anne's deceased mother, persuaded her to break off the match. Now 27 and considered a spinster, Anne re-encounters her former fiance, now a captain, as he courts her spirited young neighbour, Louisa Musgrove. The self-interested machinations of Anne's older sister Elizabeth, of Elizabeth's friend Mrs. Clay, and of Anne's father's heir, William Elliot, constitute an important subplot.
Notes from Underground is an 1864 novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Notes is considered by many to be the first existentialist novel. It presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man) who is a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg. The first part of the story is told in monologue form, or the underground man's diary, and attacks emerging Western philosophy, especially Nikolay Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done?. The second part of the book is called "Àpropos of the Wet Snow," and describes certain events that, it seems, are destroying and sometimes renewing the underground man, who acts as a first person, unreliable narrator.
Kate Chopin's 1899 novella The Awakening is about the personal, sexual, and artistic awakening of a young wife and mother, Edna Pontellier. While on vacation at Grand Isle, an island in the Gulf of Mexico, Edna befriends the talented pianist Mlle. Reisz and the sympathetic Robert Lebrun, both of whom will influence her startling life choices. Chopin's novel created a scandal upon its original publication and effectively destroyed her writing career. Now, however, it is considered one of the finest American novels of the 19th century.
The Mysterious Stranger-A Romance- is the final novel attempted by Mark Twain. It was worked on periodically from roughly 1890 up until 1910. The body of work is a serious social commentary by Twain addressing his ideas of the Moral Sense and the "damned human race".
Originally published by the Norwegian-American economist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago in 1898, the Theory of the Leisure Class is considered one of the great works of economics as well as the first detailed critique of consumerism. In the book, Veblen argues that economic life is driven not by notions of utility, but by social vestiges from pre-historic times.
The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. It is generally held to be 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 Ann Radcliffe, Bram Stoker, Daphne du Maurier, and Stephen King.
'The Beast in the Jungle' is a 1903 novella by Henry James, first published as part of the collection, The Better Sort. Almost universally considered one of James' finest short narratives, this story treats appropriately universal themes: loneliness, fate, love and death. The parable of John Marcher and his peculiar destiny has spoken to many readers who have speculated on the worth and meaning of human life.
The man with the surprise endings: that was O. Henry's trademark. This is the second published collection of short stories by O. Henry originally released in 1906. There are twenty five stories of various lengths including several of his best known works such as "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Cop and the Anthem". The book's title refers to the then population of New York City where many of the stories are set. Some society snobs has the opinion that there were only 'Four Hundred' people in New York City who were really worth noticing. But O. Henry felt that every person in New York was worth noticing and had their own story which is explains the title of this collection little stories of the 'Four Million.'" To O. Henry, everyone in New York counted. And everyone had a story.
Patterson, John Henry
In 1898, during the construction of river-crossing bridge for the Uganda Railway at the Tsavo River, as many as 135 railway workers were attacked at night, dragged into the wilderness, and devoured by two male lions.
The Man-Eaters of Tsavo is the autobiographical account of Royal Engineer Lt. Col. J.H. Patterson's African adventures. Among them, his hunt for the two man-eaters.
This book was the basis for the 1996 film The Ghost and the Darkness.
In a world where a gentleman’s life is defined more “by being, rather than by doing,” a family’s reputation can be compromised if it is not guarded carefully, and the sole heir of the Amberson family is proving himself to be a difficult person. Expected by the family to carry on its proud traditions, George Amberson Minafer is trusted implicitly. But though rich relatives provide the elegant suits, the handsome young man who wears them is filled with little but appearances. And this happens in spite of, or perhaps, because of, his mother’s selfless love that places him above her own happiness.
As George’s uncle perceptively remarks, “life and money both behave like loose quicksilver in a nest of cracks.” With the new automobile industry transforming fortunes and coal heat transforming city air into sooty clouds, anything that stands still is apt to be run over, or at least begrimed.
What is magnificent about the Ambersons is their faithful reliance on old money and old ways in a world changing rapidly around them. Or perhaps it is the magnificence of the train-wreck created when George’s relatives, with the best intentions, shield him from the new realities and defer to all his wishes.
Booth Tarkington’s most popular novel, “The Magnificent Ambersons”, will continue to draw readers for its well-crafted portraits of what existed for just a short while – the MidWestern aristocracy.
Stacpoole, H. De Vere
Two shipwrecked children grow up on a South Pacific island. This beautiful story of adventure and innocent love was H.D. Stacpoole’s most popular work.
Parents who may have seen the Hollywood film need not be anxious about the book's suitability for kids -- the author's treatment of adolescent sexuality is almost mystical and very mild. The story of The Blue Lagoon (1908) continues in The Garden of God (1923) and The Gates of Morning (1925). A ship’s doctor, Henry De Vere Stacpoole (1863–1951) published over 90 works of fiction, poetry, autobiography, and translation.
Named a "prophet of British imperialism" by the young George Orwell, and born in Bombay, India, Rudyard Kipling had perhaps the clearest contemporary eye of any who described the British Raj. According to critic Douglas Kerr: "He is still an author who can inspire passionate disagreement and his place in literary and cultural history is far from settled. But as the age of the European empires recedes, he is recognised as an incomparable, if controversial, interpreter of how empire was experienced. That, and an increasing recognition of his extraordinary narrative gifts, make him a force to be reckoned with." This force shines in THE PLAIN TALES FROM THE HILLS. -- MH .
Henty, G. A.
G.A. Henty’s “tale of ancient Egypt” tells the story of Amuba, prince of the Rebu, who is taken captive when his people are conquered by the Egyptians, and then becomes the servant and companion of Chebron, son of the high priest of Osiris. A mystery unfolds as the lads find evidence of a murderous conspiracy within the ranks of the priesthood; but they must then flee for their lives when they unintentionally kill the cat selected as the successor to the Cat of Bubastes, one of the most sacred animals of Egypt. Amuba and Chebron are strong, courageous, and resourceful – but will this be enough to carry them beyond the long reach of the power of Egypt?
Haggard, H. Rider
"A Tale of Three Lions" is an Allan Quatermain adventure. In this tale, Quatermain and his son Harry try their hand at gold mining in South Africa. After a successful find, Quatermain and his companions Jim-Jim and Pharaoh battle lions that terrorize their camp.
Alcott, Louisa May
Fans of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women will remember the elaborate plays which the March sisters loved to perform. This volume, published after Alcott's death, is a compilation of the real plays written by her and her sisters, which were fictionalized in Little Women.
“When a man weighs anchor in a little ship or a large one he does a jolly thing! He cuts himself off and he starts for freedom and for the chance of things. He pulls the jib a-weather, he leans to her slowly pulling round, he sees the wind getting into the mainsail, and he feels that she feels the helm. He has her on a slant of the wind, and he makes out between the harbour piers.” (quotation from Hilaire Belloc)
The small Midwestern town of Freeport was scandalized years ago when Ruth Holland, then a young girl, ran away to the West with a married man. Now that she's returned home to take care of her dying father, she faces some hard truths about who her true friends are and where her life is headed.
Locke, William John
Set during WWI in England, The Red Planet is a rich tale about the life in a little English town from the point of view of Major Duncan Meredyth, a disabled veteran of the Boer Wars. As he struggles to keep his life and the lives of those he cares for in harmony, he must also shelter a dark secret regarding one of the village's favorite sons.
The Red Planet was the third bestselling novel in the United States for 1917.
A funny collection of poems about bad children.
All the excitement, danger, heartbreaks and triumphs of this well known story, but without the big words. Lucy Aikin, an accomplished writer and writing as Mary Godolphin, accomplishes this with apparent ease in this little book. The story of a plucky family ship wrecked on a desolate island, saving what they can from the ship, is well known. The entire family, under the leadership of an intrepid father and mother works together to not only survive in this island, but actually prosper. This work would seem an excellent one for non-English native readers to try their skill at.
Shaw, George Bernard
The Admirable Bashville is a product of the British law of copyright. As that law stands at present, the first person who patches up a stage version of a novel, however worthless and absurd that version may be, and has it read by himself and a few confederates to another confederate who has paid for admission in a hall licensed for theatrical performances, secures the stage rights of that novel, even as against the author himself; and the author must buy him out before he can touch his own work for the purposes of the stage...As a good Socialist I do not at all object to the limitation of my right of property in my own works to a comparatively brief period, followed by complete Communism: in fact, I cannot see why the same salutary limitation should not be applied to all property rights whatsoever; but a system which enables any alert sharper to acquire property rights in my stories as against myself and the rest of the community would, it seems to me, justify a rebellion if authors were numerous and warlike enough to make one."
"A complete exposé of the modus operandi of fire eaters, heat resisters, poison eaters, venomous reptile defiers, sword swallowers, human ostriches, strong men, etc.", [by Harry Houdini, from the subtitle].
Ledscha, living in ancient Egypt, has lost her betrothed and all hope of love. But the gods see otherwise. She now loves a Greek sculptor, who only wanted her for a model, but even that will not happen. She has been replaced by another woman for the statue of Arachne. Who do the gods see her with? Is it the Greek, or someone else?
This work is the last written and published in German by Georg Ebers before he died in 1898. He wrote many novels set it ancient Egypt, which sparked the general interest in and popularity of Egyptology that still thrives today. This book was translated into English also in 1898.
Jane Austen, WB Yeats, Chesterton, Shaw... these are personal and intelligent short essays on a selection of great (and great-ish) writers: some well known, and some a bit more obscure to the average reader today. Robert Lynd (1879 – 1949) is best known as a literary essayist and Irish nationalist. He published many essays, all written in an easy, conversational style. Lynd was an essayist after the manner of Charles Lamb, and deserves to be better known.
Bangs, John Kendrick
"It was before the Idiot's marriage, and in the days when he was nothing more than a plain boarder in Mrs. Smithers-Pedagog's High-class Home for Single Gentlemen, that he put what the School-master termed his "alleged mind" on plans for the amelioration of the condition of the civilized." This humorous story by the editor of Puck magazine describes how the Idiot sets out to improve the lot of civilized man through his inventions - the lot of barbarian man already being well tended to by missionaries and other do-gooders.
Bruce, Mary Grant
An Australian childrens' classic about life on a ranch around the same time of A Little Florida Lady, with a similarly plucky tomboy heroine. Also, like the latter story, expect some racial stereotyping of Asian and Aboriginal characters.
Ada Cambridge (November 21, 1844 - July 19, 1926), later known as Ada Cross, was an English born Australian writer. While she gained recognition as Australia’s first woman poet of note, her longer term reputation rests on her novels. Overall she wrote more than twenty-five works of fiction, three volumes of poetry and two autobiographical works. Many of her novels were serialised in Australian newspapers, and were never published in book form.
The story pans over three - four decades revolving the four Pennycuick sisters.
Henry James considered The Ambassadors his best, or perhaps his best-wrought, novel. It plays on the great Jamesian theme of the American abroad, who finds himself in an older, and some would say richer, culture that that of the United States, with its attractions and dangers. Here the protagonist is Lambert Strether, a man in his fifties, editor of a small literary magazine in Woollett, Massachusetts, who arrives in Europe on a mission undertaken at the urging of his patron, Mrs. Newsome, to bring back her son Chadwick. That young man appears to be enjoying his time in Paris rather more than seems good for him, at least to those older and wiser. The novel, however, is perhaps really about Strether's education in this new land, and one of his teachers is the city of Paris -- a real Paris, not an idealized one, but from which Strether has much to learn. Chad Newsome, of course is there too, and so are a scattering of other Americans, his old friend Waymarsh and his new acquaintance Maria Gostrey among them. Had Strether his life to live over again, knowing what he has now learned,. how different would it be? and what are the lessons he takes home with him?
Ostensibly a love story, the novel really revolves around a highly mythologized version of the Johnson County War in 1890's Wyoming ... The novel takes the side of the large ranchers, and depicts the lynchings as frontier justice, meted out by the protagonist, who is a member of a natural aristocracy among men.
Chesterton, G. K.
Another delightful and sharply pointed excursion into the topics of the day, and of this day as well, with Gilbert Keith Chesterton. These reprinted magazine articles are filled with his good natured wit, his masterful use of paradox, and devastating ability to use reductio ad absurdum to destroy the popular myths that drive a society driving full-speed into secular humanism. You will come away with a whole new collection of wonderful quotes.
- Ray Clare
Paterson, Andrew Barton "Banjo"
A collection of poems by Australian poet Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson, picturesque glimpses into life in the Bush. From the preface: "A number of these verses are now published for the first time, most of the others were written for and appeared in 'The Bulletin' (Sydney, N.S.W.), and are therefore already widely known to readers in Australasia."
Mencken, H. L.
Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken (1880 – 1956) was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a student of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the 20th century. Mencken is perhaps best remembered today for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States, and for his satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he named the "Monkey" trial."
Plunkitt, George Washington
"I seen my opportunities and I took 'em.", George Washington Plunkitt of Tamminy Hall. There's good graft and bad graft according to Plunkitt. Listen to this candid discourse from a 19th century politician, and decide for yourself if things have changed.
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim
G.E. Lessing, widely regarded by students of theater as the world's first dramaturg, was also one of the first proponents of the German bourgeois tragedy. Miss Sara Sampson, in which a young woman runs off with a ne'er-do-well who is still entangled with his former mistress, was a reaction against the Voltarian verse drama popular in the eighteenth century.
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
The hero, Etienne Gerard, is a Hussar in the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars. Gerard's most notable attribute is his vanity - he is utterly convinced that he is the bravest soldier, greatest swordsman, accomplished horseman and gallant lover in all France. Gerard is not entirely wrong since he displays notable bravery on many occasions, but his self-satisfaction undercuts this quite often. Obsessed with honour and glory, he is always ready with a stirring speech or a gallant remark to a lady. (Introduction from Wikipedia)
In the High Valley" is the fifth and last book of the popular "What Katy did" series by Susan Coolidge.
The story starts out with Lionel Young and his sister, Imogen who set out for the picturesque but remote High Valley (America), leaving their hometown Devonshire (England) behind.
Lionel wants to take the share in Geoffrey Templestowe's cattle business.
Imogen, owing to her prejudices against America and the American way of life, finds it hard to adjust to life over there.
Clover Templestowe, now happily married and living in the High Valley, at first finds it very trying to get on with Imogen.
A lot of events ensure in the course of which we meet again with Rose Red, get news from Cousin Helen and of course meet Katy again... until it all finally ends in a lovely double wedding!
When Sylvia Tebrick, the 24-year-old wife of Richard Tebrick, suddenly turns into a fox while they are out walking in the woods, Mr. Tebrick sends away all the servants in an attempt to keep Sylvia's new nature a secret. Both then struggle to come to terms with the problems the change brings about.
The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print. The author says in the preface " I have endeavored as far as possible to avoid hard and technical expressions, and I cannot but think that the mere fact of the brevity of the words must be a great attraction to beginners of all ages.
Tom Corbett - Space Cadet was one of the first multimedia sensations. In the 1950s the character had his own radio show, TV series, comic book, breakfast cereal, and a line of young-adult novels. A cross between "Tom Brown's School Days" and Horatio Hornblower (and loosely based upon Robert A. Heinlein's novel "Space Cadet"), the books follow the adventures of Tom and his friends Roger Manning and Astro as they work their way through Space Academy to become officers of the Solar Guard. Along the way they tangle with space pirates, smugglers, and the threat of demerits for breaking the rules.
The authorship of the novels remains unknown -- the credited name, "Carey Rockwell" was a pseudonym created by the publisher -- although the most likely candidates are Joseph Greene (who created the character) and Richard Jessup (who wrote for the TV and radio shows).
Piper, H. Beam
The Terro-Human Future History is Piper's detailed account of the next 6000 years of human history. 1942, the year the first fission reactor was constructed, is defined as the year 1 A.E. (Atomic Era). In 1973, a nuclear war devastates the planet, eventually laying the groundwork for the emergence of a Terran Federation, once humanity goes into space and develops antigravity technology.
The story "The Edge of the Knife" (collected in Empire) occurs slightly before the war, and involves a man who sees flashes of the future. It links many key elements of Piper's series.
A classic style western written by one of the first female western writers. Caroline Lockhart was a rancher, writer and possibly the first woman to go over Glacier National Parks Swiftcurrent Pass.
A tragic but very captivating tale of a monk in the 17th century. There were actually two authors: Ambrose Bierce and Adolph de Castro.
The Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, is a work of enormous proportions. Setting out with the simple goal of offering "American households a mass of good reading", the editors drew from literature of all times and all kinds what they considered the best pieces of human writing, and compiled an ambitious collection of 45 volumes (with a 46th being an index-guide). Besides the selection and translation of a huge number of poems, letters, short stories and sections of books, the collection offers, before each chapter, a short essay about the author or subject in question. In many cases, chapters contemplate not one author, but certain groups of works, organized by nationality, subject or period; there is, thus, a chapter on Accadian-Babylonian literature, one on the Holy Grail, and one on Chansons, for example.
The result is a collection that holds the interest, for the variety of subjects and forms, but also as a means of first contact with such famous and important authors that many people have heard of, but never read, such as Abelard, Dante or Lord Byron. According to the editor Charles Dudley Warner, this collection "is not a library of reference only, but a library to be read."
This third volume contains chapters from "Augier" to "Bancroft".
Jerome, Jerome K.
As the New York Times said in 1903, this lesser-known work by Jerome K. Jerome does not display "the wit of Congreve or even the glittering sort Mr. Jerome employs in some of his other books."
It takes the form of imaginary conversations between the writer and a number of un-named characters at the afternoon tea table. The Woman of the World, the Old Maid, the Girton Girl, the Philosopher and the Minor Poet wax lyrical on subjects like marriage, art, society and politics. Frequently they appear to prefer the sound of their own voice to that of others.
Although I couldn't agree with the NY Times that it is the Baedeker guide to conversation, it is certainly an eye-opening glimpse into this now almost extinct art. The participants are already bemoaning the lack of invigorating conversation in society: "Conversation has become a chorus; or, as a writer wittily expressed it, the pursuit of the obvious to no conclusion."
The Fortunes of Philippa is based on the author's mother, Angelica Brazil, who had grown up in Rio de Janeiro and attended an English boarding school at the age of 10, finding the English culture, school life and climate confronting.
This begins with an odd inheritance at the end of a honeymoon, both parties being inexperienced. Then someone comes to visit, then another, until we've got a chaotic bedlam of New England's tragically off the wall odd-ball relations. Our protagonists may not communicate efficiently at first but at least they've got a sense of humours. The humourous style keeps up as well as some moments of lustre and rich feeling about the printed word itself.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.