In this children's classic, a girl named Alice follows falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy realm full of talking creatures. She attends a never-ending tea party and plays croquet at the court of the anthropomorphic playing cards.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a work of children's literature by the English mathematician and author, the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, written under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy realm populated by grotesque figures like talking playing cards and anthropomorphic creatures. The Wonderland described in the tale plays with logic in ways that have made the story of lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the most characteristic examples of the genre of literary nonsense. (Wikipedia)
In this classic novel, a young girl named Alice chases after a white rabbit down a rabbit hole. She discovers a place that rejects traditional reason, and only follows its own mad logic. Join Alice as she meets iconic characters like The Mad Hatter while she tries to navigate this strange new world.
Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. It introduced Count Dracula, and established many conventions of subsequent vampire fantasy. The novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and a woman led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.
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 expresses his desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than himself. 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. This reading uses the 20-chapter 1891 version of Wilde's novel.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only published novel by Oscar Wilde, appearing as the lead story in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine on 20 June 1890, printed as the July 1890 issue of this magazine. Wilde later revised this edition, making several alterations, and adding new chapters; the amended version was published by Ward, Lock, and Company in April 1891. 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 himself. 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 Picture of Dorian Gray is considered a work of classic gothic fiction with a strong Faustian theme.
A Christmas Carol (full title: A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas) is A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of one evening.
H. G. Wells
H.G. Wells' classic science fiction-fantasy story, in which a scientist known only as “The Time Traveller” tells the tale of his journey to the year 802,701 A.D. and beyond, where he witnesses the end of human civilization as we know it, as well as the beginning of the end of the world. This original time-travel story has been copied many times, but never improved upon.
H. G. Wells
The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells, first serialized in 1897 by Pearson's Magazine in the UK and by Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. The novel's first appearance in hardcover was in 1898 from publisher William Heinemann of London. Written between 1895 and 1897, it is one of the earliest stories to detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race. The novel is the first-person narrative of both an unnamed protagonist in Surrey and of his younger brother in London as southern England is invaded by Martians. The novel is one of the most commented-on works in the science fiction canon.
Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735), officially Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, is a novel by Jonathan Swift that is both a satire on human nature and a parody of the "travelers' tales" literary sub-genre. It is widely considered Swift's magnum opus and is his most celebrated work, as well as one of the indisputable classics of English literature.
The quiet Dutch community of Sleepy Hollow lay in the Adirondack mountains on the western shore of the mighty Hudson River in America’s colonial period. The solitude of the woods was breathtaking, and not even a schoolmaster was immune from the eerie miasma which everyone knew permeated the dense forest. Written in 1820, Washington Irving’s The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow has become a classic of American literature, and has been retold in many different ways. Here is the original, from Irving’s own hand.
Voltaire (Arouet, Franc¸ois Marie)
A sparkling 18th century satire by Voltaire
Come and hear the strange tail of The Boss Hank Morgan, a modern day (at the time of publication) Connecticut Yankee who inexplicably finds himself transported to the court of the legendary King Arthur (as the title of the book implies). Hank, or simply, The Boss, as he comes to be most frequently known, quickly uses his modern day knowledge and education to pass himself off as a great magician, to get himself out of all sorts of surprising, (and frequently amusing) situations, as well as to advance the technological and cultural status of the nation in which he finds himself.
In the rather un-subtle sub-text of the story, Twain uses The Boss to express a surprisingly pragmatic and frequently contradictory philosophy. The Boss explores the relative merits of Democracy, and Monarchy, he expresses his views on the “Nature v. Nurture” debate, he frequently speaks forcefully against an established Church, but just as strongly advocates for religion and a variety of churches (just not a compulsory one) and he devotes at least one afternoon to introducing his companions to the concept of inflation. In a far more subtle, yet no less forceful manner, the Boss shares with the reader some views about taxation, slavery (both literal and wage slavery), trade unions, the origins of the German language, the nature of marriage, and probably most powerfully, death.
It is a tall order for a relatively brief text, but Twain manages it all with surprising clarity. No one will agree fully with the Boss on all of these matters, and I would be surprised if Twain himself would. In fact the Boss’s views are so pragmatic, and often contradictory, the reader is left to wonder if Twain himself is alternately speaking through the Boss, and setting him up as a straw man. Either way it is a delightful story and a great piece of American Literature, to say nothing of an excellent argument for education.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world (Wonderland) populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, and its narrative course and structure, characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Part One of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Mars-Series. Easy, swank, pulp read about an omnipotent gentleman teleported to Mars, finding an outlandish society of ape-, tree- and lizardmen, red-, white-, yellowmen, brains on legs, strange bastions and curious apparatuses, where the strongest survives and women are needy beauties to be saved. How can something be so platitudinous and at the same time so imaginative and enthralling? Boys’ book for sure.
H. G. Wells
In this classic of H. G. Wells, Edward Prendick is shipwrecked on a beautiful island in the South Seas and is drawn into the wild and cruel world of Doctor Moreau, who aspires to play God with animals
Professor Pierre Aronnax is an academic whose thirst for knowledge carries him out of his ivory tower and on the trail of a mysterious sea beast. His curiosity at last is satiated when he finds himself in the belly of the beast-- that is, on board the incredible submarine the Nautilus, courtesy of its mysterious pilot Captain Nemo and in the company of his servant Conseil and sailor Ned Land.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society comprised entirely of Aryan women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order, free of war, conflict and domination. It first appeared as a serial in Perkin's monthly magazine Forerunner.
Old miser Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a major transformation after being visited by his deceased colleague Jacob Marley, who warns him to change his ways and has three spirits visit him on the night of Christmas Eve.
George MacDonald's fairy stories and fantasy have inspired a number of writers including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and of this popular fairy story, which as you might suspect concerns a little princess plotted against by a race of goblins, G.K. Chesterton said that it "made a difference to my whole existence."
Wells, H. G.
This story is of a time beyond the memory of man, before the beginning of history. . .
This is the handwritten book that Carroll wrote for private use before being urged to develop it later into Alice in Wonderland. It was generously illustrated by Carrol and meant to entertain his family and friends. When a sick child in a hospital enjoyed it so much, the mother wrote him saying it had distracted her for a bit from her pain and led eventually to Carroll expanding the story.
Very brief, well-crafted stories, many having surprise endings, all steeped in the dye of myth and calling to every reader's neglected imagination.
Lilith, written by the father of fantasy literature, George MacDonald, was first published in 1895. 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. Many believe MacDonald is arguing for Christian universalism, or the idea that all will eventually be saved.
Journey to the Interior of the Earth is an 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne (published in the original French as Voyage au centre de la Terre). The story involves a professor who leads his nephew and hired guide down a volcano in Iceland to the “center of the Earth”. They encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy.
Chesterton, G. K.
The Ball and the Cross is G. K. Chesterton's third novel. In the introduction Martin Gardner notes that it is a "mixture of fantasy, farce and theology." Gardner continues: "Evan MacIan is a tall, dark-haired, blue-eyed Scottish Highlander and a devout Roman Catholic.... James Turnbull is a short, red-haired, gray-eyed Scottish Lowlander and a devout but naive atheist.... The two meet when MacIan smashes the window of the street office where Turnbull publishes an atheist journal. This act of rage occurs when MacIan sees posted on the shop's window a sheet that blasphemes the Virgin Mary, presumably implying she was an adulteress who gave birth to an illegitimate Jesus. When MacIan challenges Turnbull to a duel to the death, Turnbull is overjoyed. For twenty years no one had paid the slightest attention to his Bible bashing. Now at last someone is taking him seriously! Most of the rest of the story is a series of comic events in which the two enemies wander about seeking a spot for their duel." MacIan and Turnbull become friends as they protect each other from interference from the modern world, which has trivialized their views over life's most important question (the existence of God) and outlawed their honorable duel. The irony is heightened when they both fall in love with ladies who happen to hold to their opponent's deepest convictions. Professor Lucifer and a Bulgarian monk also play important roles in this perennially relevant story.
Nesbit, E. (Edith)
Philip and Lucy discover that the city Philip has built using toys, books and household objects, has come alive. This is the account of their incredible adventures in those magical lands, where they meet characters from books and history, mythical beasts, and many other nice (and not so nice) people and creatures.
As with all Edith Nesbit's tales, The Magic City has generous helpings of humour, imagination and interesting ideas, as well as the over-arching story of how a boy and girl who have unwillingly become step-brother and sister eventually learn to like each other.
A story that works on many levels and will be equally enjoyed by adults and children.
This was the last story published by Twain, a few months before he died. The story follows Captain Elias Stormfield on his extremely long cosmic journey to heaven. It deals with the obsession of souls with the "celebrities" of heaven, like Adam and Moses, who according to Twain become as distant to most people in heaven as living celebrities are on Earth. Twain uses this story to show his view that the common conception of heaven is ludicrous and points out the incongruities of such beliefs.
A lot of the description of Heaven is given by the character Sandy McWilliams, a cranberry farmer who is very experienced in the ways of heaven. The heaven described by him is similar to the conventional Christian heaven, but includes a larger version of all the locations on Earth, as well as of everywhere in the universe. Once in heaven, the person spends eternity living as he thinks best, usually according to his true (sometimes undiscovered) talent. According to one of the characters, a cobbler who "has the soul of a poet in him won't have to make shoes here", implying that he would instead turn to poetry and achieve perfection in it.
As Stormfield proceeds through heaven, he learns that his pre-conceptions of "heaven" are all wrong and a good part of the fun of the tale comes from Twain's revealing the "true facts" about what heaven is and how it works.
De la Mare, Walter
Three monkey brothers, Thumb, Thimble, and Nod, are Mulla-mulgars or royal monkeys. As she dies, their mother gives them the enchanted Wonderstone for protection, and tells them to follow their father. They embark on a journey of fantastical adventure to find their father, who left years earlier in search of the kingdom of his brother, the Prince of the Valleys of Tishnar, promising to return for them after he had found the way.
Mystery of the Sea is a novel with elements of adventure, supernatural and romance. Archie Hunter goes on a holiday to relax but finds he sees unusual things like spirits and ghosts. An old woman claims she sees them too and that they are both seers. She convinces Archie to help her solve the mystery of the sea.
Dr. David Throckmartin’s scientific expedition to the South Sea Islands discovers among ancient ruins a portal into Muria, an unknown underground world. After the disappearance of Throckmartin, his wife and two companions, his old friend Dr. Walter Goodwin enters Muria with a rescue party, only to confront an fantastic world filled with incredible beings, astounding scientific advances, and the worship of the most evil of all creatures, The Dweller.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
In the previous novel, during the early days of World War I, Tarzan discovered that his wife Jane was not killed in a fire set by German troops, but was in fact alive. In this novel two months have gone by and Tarzan is continuing to search for Jane. He has tracked her to a hidden valley called Pal-ul-don, which means "Land of Men." In Pal-ul-don Tarzan finds a real Jurassic Park filled with dinosaurs, notably the savageTriceratops-like Gryfs, which unlike their prehistoric counterparts are carnivorous. The lost valley is also home to two different races of tailed human-looking creatures, the Ho-don (hairless and white skinned) and the Waz-don (hairy and black-skinned). Tarzan befriends Ta-den, a Ho-don warrior, and Om-at, the Waz-don chief of the tribe of Kor-ul-ja. In this new world he becomes a captive but so impresses his captors with his accomplishments and skills that they name him Tarzan-Jad-Guru (Tarzan the Terrible), which is the name of the novel
Raspe, Rudolf Erich
The stories about Münchhausen were first collected and published by an anonymous author in 1781. An English version was published in London in 1785, by Rudolf Erich Raspe, as Baron Munchhausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia, also called The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchhausen. It is not clear how much of the story material derives from the Baron himself; however, it is known that the majority of the stories are based on folktales that have been in circulation for many centuries before Münchhausen's birth.
Milne, A. A.
This version of the book is done as a Dramatic Reading with various people speaking each characters part.
When the King of Barodia receives a pair of seven-league boots as a birthday present, his habit of flying over the King of Euralia's castle during breakfast provokes a series of incidents which escalate into war. While the King of Euralia is away, his daughter Hyacinth tries to rule in his stead and counter the machiavellian ambitions of the king's favourite, the Countess Belvane. Ostensibly a typical fairytale, it tells the story of the war between the kingdoms of Euralia and Barodia and the political shenanigans which take place in Euralia in the king's absence. The book introduces us to a princess who is far from helpless; a prince who, whilst handsome, is also pompous and vain; an enchantment which is almost entirely humorous; a villain who is not entirely villainous and receives no real comeuppance; a good king who isn't always good; an evil king who isn't always evil, and so on. The result is a book which children may not enjoy as much as adults. The book was written by Milne partly for his wife, upon whom the character of the Countess Belvane was partially based.
This is not a real book. It does not deal with real people, nor should it be read by real people. But there are in the world so many real books already written for the benefit of real people, and there are still so many to be written, that I cannot believe that a little alien book such as this, written for the magically-inclined minority, can be considered too assertive a trespasser. -- Stella Benson (author)
Honath the Pursemaker is a heretic. He doesn’t believe the stories in the Book of Laws which claims giants created his tree-dwelling race. He makes his opinion known and is banished with his infidel friends to the floor of the jungle where dangers abound. Perhaps he’ll find some truth down there. – The Thing in the Attic is one of Blish’s Pantropy tales and was first published in the July, 1954 edition of If, Worlds of Science Fiction magazine.
Baum, L. Frank
The Scarecrow of Oz is the ninth book set in the Land of Oz written by L. Frank Baum. Published on July 16, 1915, it was Baum's personal favorite of the Oz books and tells of Cap'n Bill and Trot journeying to Oz and, with the help of the Scarecrow, overthrowing the cruel King Krewl of Jinxland.
Fouqué, Friedrich de la Motte
Undine is a novel by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué concerning Undine, a water spirit who marries a Knight named Huldebrand in order to gain a soul. It is an early German romance, which has been translated into English and other languages. The novel served as inspiration for two operas in the romantic style by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann and Albert Lortzing, respectively, and two ballets: the nineteenth century Ondine and the twentieth century Undine. An edition of the book was illustrated by Arthur Rackham. In The Fantastic Imagination, George MacDonald writes, "Were I asked, what is a fairytale? I should reply, Read Undine: that is a fairytale ... of all fairytales I know, I think Undine the most beautiful."
James, M. R.
The Five Jars is the only novel written by James, who is best known for his ghost stories. It is a peculiarly surreal fantasy apparently written for children. While he is out walking, the narrator is drawn to a remote pool, and finds a small box that has been hidden since Roman times. He gradually learns how to use its contents, fighting off a series of attempts to steal it, and becomes aware of a strange world hidden from our own.
This Marie Corelli novel falls in the realm of fantasy and science fiction with a steampunk element. The story centers around Morgana Royal, a powerful woman who invents an airship, and Roger Seaton, her love interest who has control of a destructive power. She explores her capacity to love, as well as his. Moreover, she questions whether she is of this world and this time, or some other realm altogether.
John Kendrick Bangs
The author has discovered for us in this volume the present stopping place of that famous raconteur of dear comic memory, the late Hieronymous Carl Friederich, sometime Baron Munchausen, and he transmits to us some further adventures of this traveler and veracious relater of merry tales. There are about a dozen of these tales, and, judging by Mr. Bangs' recital of them, the Baron's adventures on this mundane sphere were no more exciting than those he has encountered since taking the ferry across the Styx. Mr. Bangs proves himself well worthy of the task of reintroducing this merry old wag to modern fun-lovers, and in selecting from the tales the Baron has related to him he has chosen with an eye to the humorous which is unfailing in its clearness and keenness of perception. (Review from Book News, V. 20, 1902)
Lewis, Charlton Miner
Charlton Miner Lewis' version of Gawayne and the Green Knight, a late 14th century alliterative romance, is written in modern language telling the story of the Green Knight's challenge to Gawayne, and the romance between Sir Gawayne and Lady Elfinheart. The name Gawayne is often also spelled Gawain.
Holberg, Ludvig Baron
Niels Klim's Underground Travels, originally published in Latin as "Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum" (1741) is a satirical science-fiction/fantasy novel written by Ludvig Holberg, a Norwegian-Danish dramatist, historian, and essayist, born in Bergen, Norway. It was his first and only novel. It describes a utopian society from an outsider's point of view, and often pokes fun at diverse cultural and social topics such as moral, science, sexual equality, religion, governments, and philosophy.
Russell, W. Clark
Sailing adventure with storms, icebergs, shipwrecks, treasure, and the reawakening of a pirate frozen in suspended animation for nearly fifty years
"Old Ralph Rinkelmann made his living by comic sketches, and all but lost it again by tragic poems. So he was just the man to be chosen king of the fairies..."
George MacDonald (December 10, 1824 – September 18, 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Though no longer well known, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. The Shadows is one such fairy tale. The strange Shadows spend their existence casting themselves upon the walls and forming pictures of various sorts: mimicking evil actions of those who have done wrong in the hopes of causing their repentance, playing a comic dumb-show to inspire a playwright and dancing to inspire a musician, nudging a little girl to comfort her grandfather, and playing with a sick little boy as he waits for his mother to return home. The king privately pities the Shadows, for they cannot generally remember their deeds, acquaintances, or loves past a single night.
Henry Burr's fiance, Madeline, is seduced by another man. The guilt and painful memories she has as a result cause him to refer her to Dr. Heidenhoff, who has developed a method to remove such memories from people's brains so that they can live happy lives.
Fleming, May Agnes
May Agnes Fleming is renowned as Canada's first best-selling novelist. She wrote 42 novels, many of which have only been published posthumely.
The Midnight Queen is set in London, in the year of the plague 1665. Sir Norman Kingsley visits the soothsayer "La Masque" who shows him the vision of a beautiful young lady. Falling madly in love with her, he is astonished to find her only a short time later and saves her from being buried alive. He takes her home to care for her, but while he fetches a doctor, she disappears. Sir Kingsley and his friend Ormistan embark on an adventure to solve the mystery of the young lady - will they ever find her again?
Molesworth, Mary Louisa
The Palace in the Garden is the engaging story of three orphans sent to live in the mysterious country cottage of ROSEBUDS. The inquisitive children piece together the unexpected mystery of the Palace in the garden and all that goes with it. The story has a few twists. This book put me in mind of the Secret Garden.
This 2nd volume of the Marie Antoinette Romances continues the intrigues of "Balsamo, The Magician" and adds to them the schemes of philosophers and the stirrings of revolution. Balsamo (based on the real Count Alessandro di Cagliostro) carries on his occult tactics to weaponize the state secrets that he gained in the previous volume. A serious romance and illness takes root in the court of King Louis XV, convincing one of the leading philosophic minds of the era, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that “the breath of heaven will blast an age and a monarchy.”
Stewart Edward White
It started out as a nuisance--odd electrical problems in the Atlas building that cleared themselves up. But then it got worse, the problems becoming more and more peculiar and inexplicable. Scientist Percy Darrow has given himself the task of figuring out the who and the how, and maybe the why, as life turns strange and a little dangerous.