David Copperfield, like all of Dickens' novels, is filled with many memorable characters (because they are hyperbolic representations of character types) from all members of society. Here we have, for example, the virtuous, but relatively poor, Mr. Peggotty beside the grasping and greedy and vengeful and more middle-class Heep, but also beside Julia Mills whose only desire is also for money, which she possesses to excess (alluding to the capitalistic aggrandizement of European exploitation of foreign nations). And David Copperfield, like other of Dickens' works, emphasizes thematically that love and sacrifice are better than greed and arrogance. But this novel is more autobiographical than his others (obviously the title is an indication, Charles Dickens (C D) becomes David Copperfield (D C), and, of course, David becomes a famous writer, in fact, known worldwide, like Charles Dickens. Finally, it should be mentioned that David Copperfield probably more than in any of his other novels emphasizes the power and joy of family, and part of that is his exposure as evil all that and those that would subvert it.
Maugham, W. Somerset
The Moon and Sixpence is a 1919 short novel by William Somerset Maugham based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. The story is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland, a middle aged English stock broker who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist.
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables is all grown up and married, and this is the story of her daughter “Rilla”, named for the indomitable Marilla Cuthbert of Anne’s childhood. The young Rilla will need all her strength for the dark days ahead, as her coming of age will be in the midst of World War I. Her brothers and sweetheart will go to war, and not all of them will come back. Her sisters will become nurses, but Rilla herself is too young. What can she do back home to support the war effort? How can she be involved in doing good in her own backyard? What difference can one person’s ‘keeping the faith’ make in the titanic struggle of world events?
LM Montgomery, in this final installment of the Anne of Green Gables books, takes us through the terror, the suspense and the sacrifices of ‘The Great War’ as told through the eyes of Rilla. Of course, as in any girl’s diary, there are also chronicled the romances of Miranda, Gertrude, Mary and Rilla herself. At the same time, the small details of everyday life lighten the drama with humorous stories of the antics of the Ingleside cat, the putting on of a wedding with one day’s notice and ‘that prayer meeting’ which will forever go down in the local lore of little Glen St Mary!
First published in 1766, the loveable and innocent Dr Primrose and his family have given pleasure to all that have read it.The story opens with the vicar losing his fortune and moving to another parish. What follows is a tale of love,deceit,betrayal,humour and a hidden hero…..It was one of Charles Dickens favourite books and a source of inspiration to him. No further recommendation is needed. Enjoy.
Childhood, published in 1852, is the first novel in Leo Tolstoy’s autobiographical trilogy, which also includes Boyhood, and Youth. Published when Tolstoy was twenty-three, the book gained immediate notice among Russian writers including Ivan Turgenev, and heralded the young Tolstoy as a major figure in Russian letters. Childhood is an expressionist exploration of the internal life of a young boy, Nikolenka, and was a new form in Russian writing, mixing fact, fiction and emotions to render the moods and reactions of the narrator. Childhood is Tolstoy’s first published work.
Childhood is the first published novel by Leo Tolstoy, released under the initials L. N. in the November 1852 issue of the popular Russian literary journal The Contemporary. It is the first in a series of three novels and is followed by Boyhood and Youth. Published when Tolstoy was just twenty-three years old, the book was an immediate success, earning notice from other Russian novelists including Ivan Turgenev, who heralded the young Tolstoy as a major up-and-coming figure in Russian literature. Childhood is an exploration of the inner life of a young boy, Nikolenka, and one of the books in Russian writing to explore an expressionistic style, mixing fact, fiction and emotions to render the moods and reactions of the narrator.
Recollections of the life of Axel Heyst, one-time manager of the liquidated Tropical Belt Coal Company in a fictitious island in the Pacific. After retreating from society in response to his professional failures, the misanthrope is drawn back by a romantic affair.
Rudyard Kipling published Stalky and Co. in 1899. Set at an English boarding school in a seaside town on the North Devon coast. (The town, Westward Ho!, is not only unusual in having an exclamation mark, but also in being itself named after a novel, by Charles Kingsley.)
The book is a collection of linked short stories, with some information about the eponymous Stalky's later life. Beetle, one of the main trio, is said to be based on Kipling himself, while Stalky may be based on Lionel Dunsterville.
The stories have elements of the macabre (dead cats), bullying and violence, and hints about sex, making them far from the childish or idealised world of the typical school story. Edmund Wilson, critic, in The Wound and the Bow, was both shocked and uncomprehending.
Adapted by Tim Bulkeley from the Wikipedia entry.
Arnim, Elizabeth von
Elizabeth and Her German Garden is a novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, first published in 1898; it was very popular and frequently reprinted during the early years of the 20th century. The story is a year's diary written by the protagonist Elizabeth about her experiences learning gardening and interacting with her friends. It includes commentary on the beauty of nature and on society, but is primarily humorous due to Elizabeth's frequent mistakes and her idiosyncratic outlook on life. She looked down upon the frivolous fashions of her time writing "I believe all needlework and dressmaking is of the devil, designed to keep women from study.' The book is the first in a series about the same character. It is noteworthy for being published without a named author.
Travel along as Mike Vendetti aka miketheauctioneer narrates an outstanding true account of a trip made in 1909 by Zane Grey and a plainsman, Buffalo Jones, through the Grand Canyon to lasso a cougar. That’s right lasso. Throw a rope around. That’s equivalent to catching one by the tail.
As I narrated this book, I found fact to be as exciting as fiction. This part of the west was relatively wild and untamed at this time. Wolves, wild horses, buffalo and other wildlife were quite prevalent, and the Indians were not that friendly.
This adventure would never make it to “Animal Planet”, or as a National Geographic special, because there is quite a lot of what we would consider cruelty to animals, but this is a true story, and life as it was at the turn of the last century. Parts of this story will offend the sensibilities of some, but it is a glimpse into a world that no longer exists. I was definitely drawn into this story, as I hope the listener will be.
William Makepeace Thackeray
In Pendennis, William Makepeace Thackeray skillfully shows the coming of age of Arthur Pendennis, a young gentleman trying to make his way in the world. Pen's difficulties in finding his place in the difficult maze of social obstacles are created to some extent by his being raised in the country and being from an ancient though impoverished family. We follow his course from the village in which he was raised via Oxbridge to London, meeting the most memorable characters, falling in and out of love, navigating the difficulties of society, and hopefully finally arriving at a happy end.
Boyhood is the second in Tolstoy's trilogy of three autobiographical novels, including Childhood and Youth, published in a literary journal during the 1850s.
Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev
An old man, accused of having murdered his family as a young man, spends a lifetime in prison. With brilliant psychological insight so characteristic of Leonid Andreyev's work, we follow this man telling his story about his obsession with truth and lies and his religion of the iron grate, tinged with madness, and not necessarily reliable..
Bangs, John Kendrick
A satirical look at early biblical events from the point of view of someone who was there to witness most of them: the oldest man in recorded history.
McGregor, Mary Esther Miller
A fictionalized biography of George Mackay (1844-1901), an influential Presbyterian missionary in northern Taiwan.
Nancy 'Nance' Olden, a young and very pretty woman, is an accomplished liar and thief. Raised in a horrific orphanage, called the Cruelty by its occupants, Nance and her criminal boyfriend, Tom Dorgan, are pulling a con when the book begins. The results of their act propel Nance into a series of events that she could never have imagined. This was Miriam Michelson's first novel and it was considered a 'blockbuster' in its day. Ranked fourth on the list of bestsellers of 1904 by "Publishers Weekly," Michelson's book was a source of controversy due to the dubious ethics and morals of its heroine.
Herbert George Jenkins
Herbert Jenkins' most popular fictional creation was Mr. Joseph Bindle, who first appeared in a humorous novel in 1916 and in a number of sequels. In the preface to the books, T. P. O'Connor said that "Bindle is the greatest Cockney that has come into being through the medium of literature since Dickens wrote Pickwick Papers". The stories are based on the comedic drama of life at work, at home and all the adventures that take place along the way. Bindle leaves a path of good-natured destruction behind him and walks away unscathed every time. He is not above embellishing and loves the joke. He refers to jokes as the anesthetic that allows him to endure the operation of life. When he sets about fixing things, they had better well stay fixed or they'll have him to deal with. Indeed, he is a sort of superhero of the Everyman. Let the hilarity begin!
In this Asian/Canadian perspective on "foreignness," Marion (the protagonist) eventually leaves the cruelty of racial discrimination in Quebec and moves to New York in pursuit of her dream to become an artist. In New York not only does she continue to confront racial discrimination, but also objectification as a woman. Unable to support herself as an artist, she becomes an artist's model. This is a story of "passing," racial identity, and gender during the turn of the 20th century in New York.
Bosher, Kate Langley
"My name is Mary Cary. I live in the Yorkburg Female Orphan Asylum. You may think nothing happens in an Orphan Asylum. It does. The orphans are sure enough children, and real much like the kind that have Mothers and Fathers; and that’s why I am going to write this story." So begins Mary’s diary, which she fills with her various doings and misadventures at the Asylum in Virginia and her sharp observations about life and human nature. She loathes Miss Bray, the head of the Asylum, who is not above telling bald-faced lies to the Board to further her own selfish ends. She loves Miss Katherine, the Asylum’s resident nurse, who has befriended Mary and serves as a gentle role model for the child. As for Martha, she is Mary’s "other self" who speaks out—and sometimes acts out—in spite of Mary’s better nature. When she unexpectedly discovers her family background, Mary writes a letter to her uncle that leads to some surprising results on the way to a happy ending.
The Chicago Record-Herald of March 12, 1910 stated, "Let’s be glad for books like Mary Cary. It isn’t so much what Mary Cary does, however, as what she is, bless her! that warms the cockles of the chilliest, most snugly corseted heart."
George Payne Rainsford James
The Hundred Years' War: a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the House of Valois, rulers of the Kingdom of France, over the succession to the French throne. It was a time of intrigue, plot, murder and romance. Agnes Sorel, aged 20, became the favorite mistress of the King of France, wielding much influence over him and earning many enemies. Her untimely death at the age of 28, just days after bearing him a fourth child, was blamed on dysentery. In this novel, we follow the trials of Jean Charost, secretary to the Duke of Orleans and brother of the king; and see how his life was entwined with that of the beautiful Agnes.
"The death of a patriarch, unexpected inheritance of a second son, dark and stormy castle, faithful retainers, scary governess who never speaks, star-crossed lovers -- I could go on, but that would involve spoilers! All you'd want and expect from a Gothic romance. One more thing -- real men do cry!"
Horatio Alger, Jr.
Helping Himself, or Grant Thornton's Ambition deals with the grit and determination of Grant, a 15 year old farmer's boy whose father is dead and in order to pay his minister father's debts, and to help his mother deal with their abject poverty young Grant postpones his college education to take a job as a Wall Street broker's clerk. The first step is to deal with the avaricious and greedy man who is keeping them from obtaining the meager amount due them and which will at least allow them to eat. Grant's wits, pluck and sheer determination are tested time and time again and each time he rises to the occasion. Read of his struggle to feed his mother and himself and then to rise in the world despite great odds. I can say with great confidence that in the end, he might succeed!
P. G. Wodehouse
Freddie Threepwood and his uncle are in difficulties. Freddie wants a thousand pounds to start a bookmaker’s business and to marry Eve, while his uncle wants to raise three thousand pounds, unbeknown to his wife, to help a runaway daughter. Freddie persuades his uncle to steal his wife’s necklace and sees Psmith’s advertisement in a daily paper. Freddie enlists the services of Psmith to steal the necklace. There are plots and counterplots. This is the fourth book in the "PSmith" series, following on from "Mike and PSmith", "PSmith in the City" and "PSmith, Journalist". (From the publisher's blurb)
I am Roderick Random. This is the contemporary story of my struggle against the adversity of orphan-hood, poverty, press gangs, bloody duels, rival fortune hunters, and the challenge to be well-dressed through it all. In the course of recounting my adventures to you, dear reader, I will give you a front row seat to the characters of English eighteenth century life including highway robbers, womanizing monks, debt-laden gallants, lecherous corrupt officials, effeminate sea captains, bloodthirsty surgeons, and my dear friend Miss Williams, a reformed prostitute. Educated in the classics, armed with a confident conscientious attitude and my long-suffering sidekick, Strap, I fight the good fight staying, on the whole, morally upstanding throughout. Today, if there be such a thing as true happiness on earth, I enjoy it -- and without having spent a fortune on college either. After hearing me out, I expect you'll be as wonderfully transported as one dear wealthy gentleman who listened to my whole story and then blessed God for the adversity I had undergone, which, he said, enlarged the understanding, improved the heart, steeled the constitution, and qualified a young man for all the duties and enjoyments of life much better than any education which affluence could bestow
James Weldon Johnson
The story of a biracial man living in the deep south after the reconstruction era. He is young and talented. Yet, in order for him to avoid stigma, he has to pass as white. But would his sense of belonging and solidarity to the black community of the time catch up with him at the end? "It is very likely that the Negroes of the United States have a fairly correct idea of what the white people of the country think of them, for that opinion has for a long time been and is still being constantly stated; but they are themselves more or less a sphinx to the whites. It is curiously interesting and even vitally important to know what are the thoughts of ten millions of them concerning the people among whom they live. In these pages it is as though a veil had been drawn aside: the reader is given a view of the inner life of the Negro in America, is initiated into the "freemasonry," as it were, of the race.These pages also reveal the unsuspected fact that prejudice against the Negro is exerting a pressure which, in New York and other large cities where the opportunity is open, is actually and constantly forcing an unascertainable number of fair-complexioned colored people over into the white race.In this book the reader is given a glimpse behind the scenes of this race-drama which is being here enacted,—he is taken upon an elevation where he can catch a bird's-eye view of the conflict which is being waged." (from the preface by the publisher and Stav Nisser.)
Washington Irving's Old Christmas tells of an American's travels through England during the Christmas season. Through a chance meeting with an old friend he is able to experience Christmas in a stately manor house. Through his eyes as a houseguest he glimpses the uniquely British customs and celebrations of Christmas as it would have been experienced during the Middle Ages, rather than in the early 19th century.
William Henry Hudson
In W.H. Hudson’s first novel, an Englishman wandering on horseback across the pampas finds adventure and romance in Uruguay. The full title became: “The Purple Land: Being the Narrative of One Richard Lamb's Adventures in The Banda Oriental, in South America, as Told By Himself”. In the preface to "The Sun Also Rises", President Teddy Roosevelt said that everyone should read "The Purple Land."
This sequel to Dumas' “Marguerite de Valois” begins four years after the sudden death of King Charles IX and succession of his brother Henry III. The reign of King Henry III was plagued with rebellion and political intrigue due to the War of the Three Henries, where his regency was challenged by King Henry of Navarre (leader of the Huguenots) and Henry I, Duke of Guise (leader of the Catholic League). Dumas weaves two main storylines through this turbulent backdrop: one of the love ignited between le Comte de Bussy and la Dame de Monsoreau, and another of the friendship between King Henry III and his truly unique jester, Chicot (Jean-Antoine d'Anglerais).
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
This novella by the acclaimed Elizabeth Gaskell follows the reminiscences and life of aristocratic Lady Ludlow, told through the eyes of one of her charges, the young Margaret Dawson. Lady Ludlow epitomizes the unwillingness of the old English gentry to accept the progression of social reform and technology, such as education for the poor and religious leniency. She reminisces about her friends in the French revolution and tries to protect and guide the numerous young ladies she has taken under her care.
Can the dead of different ages and spaces meet in the afterlife? This is a thought that has occupied a number of writers throughout literature, George Lyttleton being one of them. He allows Plato to discourse with Fenelon, allows a native American warrior to explain the barbarity of the custom of duels among gentlemen to a victim of such a duel, and he has William Penn clash with Fernando Cortez over Cortez's cruelty in Mexico. The characters of the conversations are as different as the subjects, drawing not only on Lyttleton's rich historical knowledge, but also on his experience as a statesman.
The author Sir Richard Steele, who was one of the writers for The Spectator, gets the opportunity to spend a month in Sir Roger de Coverley's house. (Elijah Fisher)
Within these pages find passages from the "lost diaries" of a wide range of people: royal, regular, famous, infamous, historical, and fictional.
Lucas Malet is the pen name of Mary Kingsley, daughter of Charles Kingsley. She became a hugely successful Victorian novelist, rivalling Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Hardy and Henry James. “The History of Sir Richard Calmady “ topped the best seller’s list of Publishers’ Weekly, receiving rave reviews and was considered “the best novel of the season”.
The story follows the life of Richard, the disabled heir to a noble and wealthy family, but one which seems to be cursed through the generations. It is at heart a story of love in all its aspects – a mother’s love, (both selfish and selfless), love carnal and platonic, worldly and spiritual. After following the lines of Hogarth’s " Rake’s Progress" , it is ultimately a story of self-awareness, hope and redemption.
Summary by Stav Nisser and Anne Fletcher.
Best described as a fictional autobiography, Clark Johnson authored the following adventure to promote the sale of his brand of Homeopathic elixir or commonly known as "Snake Oil".
Using the fictitious hero's, Edwin Eastman and his wife, Mr. Johnson penned the hair raising tale of a pioneer family wandering off the wagon trail and straight into the heart of hostile Indian country. All but he and his wife were struck down in the ensuing battle. Captured, Edwin and Mrs. Eastman survived only to be imprisoned by the Comanche Nation with Mrs. Eastman eventually being sold to the Apache's. Edwin, lives among the Comanches for seven long and torturous years.
Demonstrating courage and tenacity, Edwin was taken in by the great medicine Chief Watkometkla. Allowed to live, Mr. Eastman gained valuable knowledge in the art of Homeopathic medicine and the Comanche way of life.
Through the adventure of his captivity, Mr. Johnson describes Edwin's life in detail. The Native American culture. The rise of new leaders. The preparation for war. Scenes of great battles. Habits, lifestyle and so on.
Mr. Johnson's knowledge of these various traits were unfortunately 'borrowed' from a previous novel published in 1854 and written by T.D. Bonner. The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth.
Joyce, John A.
A fictitious account of a "friend" of William Shakespeare, who accompanies him from his birth to his death and beyond, chronicling Shakespeare's life, adventures, speeches, and impromptu bursts of poetry.
Henry C. Barkley
This book is often described as an instruction manual on the subject of rat-catching. It does indeed contain a good deal about rats, ferrets and dogs, but it is much more than that. Barkley fills the book with humour, sharp observation, and his sheer joy of living in the countryside. The framework of the book is indeed a course by fictional rat-catcher Bob Joy, who suggests that rat-catching might be a suitable alternative career for boys at Eton, Harrow and the other major English public schools. We follow Bob as he takes us through some typical days working at both rat catching and rabbit catching using dogs and ferrets.
Barkley adds in more sly digs at the public school system, stories about dogs, stories about country folk, and more stories about dogs. A glorious hodge-podge of a book. (Clive Catterall)
J. M. Barrie
This book continues Sentimental Tommy, also in the Librivox catalogue. Tommy grows up and marries Grizel. But life is not only roses and rainbows. This book has all the elements of a good love story, but it is also a book about growing up and finding out your distinct voice in the world.
This is the fictional diary of a young Japanese woman, first published in installments before being published in a single volume. The book describes Morning Glory's preparations, activities and observations as she undertakes her transcontinental American journey with her uncle, a wealthy mining executive.
"Swann's Way" is the first of the seven parts of Marcel Proust's great autobiographical novel "In Search of Lost Time." From the very first page the reader is drawn into the many facets of memory, memory as prompted by all the human senses. "Swann's Way (Du côté de chez Swann, sometimes translated as The Way by Swann's) (1913) was rejected by a number of publishers, including Fasquelle, Ollendorff, and the Nouvelle Revue Française (NRF). André Gide was famously given the manuscript to read to advise NRF on publication, and leafing through the seemingly endless collection of memories and philosophizing or melancholic episodes, came across a few minor syntactic errors, which made him decide to turn the work down in his audit. Proust eventually arranged with the publisher Grasset to pay the cost of publication himself. When published it was advertised as the first of a three-volume novel (Bouillaguet and Rogers, 316-7). Du côté de chez Swann is divided into four parts: "Combray I" (sometimes referred to in English as the "Overture"), "Combray II," "Un Amour de Swann," and "Noms de pays: le nom." ('Names of places: the name'). A third-person novella within Du côté de chez Swann, "Un Amour de Swann" is sometimes published as a volume by itself. As it forms the self-contained story of Charles Swann's love affair with Odette de Crécy and is relatively short, it is generally considered a good introduction to the work and is often a set text in French schools. "Combray I" is also similarly excerpted; it ends with the famous madeleine cake episode, introducing the theme of involuntary memory. In early 1914, André Gide, who had been involved in NRF's rejection of the book, wrote to Proust to apologize and to offer congratulations on the novel. "For several days I have been unable to put your book down.... The rejection of this book will remain the most serious mistake ever made by the NRF and, since I bear the shame of being very much responsible for it, one of the most stinging and remorseful regrets of my life."
William Makepeace Thackeray
First published as a serial in Fraser's Magazine in 1844 as The Luck of Barry Lyndon, The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq is a picaresque novel, narrated (occasionally charmingly, always unreliably) by a member of the 18th-century Irish gentry. Redmond Barry, later Barry Lyndon, describes his rise to - and inevitable fall from - the top of the English aristocracy. Romantic, military and political intrigue, as well as satire and pathos, follow. Editorial notes, courtesy of Thackeray's fictitious alter ego, G. S. FitzBoodle, interject further levels of irony, humour and detachment.
Thackeray, who based the novel in part on the life and exploits of the Anglo-Irish rake and fortune-hunter Andrew Robinson Stoney, among other historical sources, significantly revised and reissued the book in 1856 under its current title.
Its unreliable, morally dubious narrator, metafictional editor, and multiple layers of interpretive possibility make it a fascinating precursor to the modern novel, while Thackeray's characteristic interest in the specifics of 18th-century life ensures a rich and engaging backdrop.
In 1975, Stanley Kubrick adapted the book for his film Barry Lyndon, since widely regarded as one of the finest films ever made.
This audiobook was read from a 1902 edition edited by Walter Jerrold, who provides a brief introduction.
The tales of King Arthur and his Knights are of Celtic origin. The Celts were the people who occupied Britain at the time when the history of the country opens, and a few words are necessary to explain why the characters in the stories act and speak as though they belonged to a later age. These stories are adapted from the Book of Romance by ANDREW LANG.
It is believed that King Arthur lived in the sixth century, just after the Romans withdrew from Britain, and when the Britons, left to defend themselves against the attacks of the marauding Saxons, rose and defeated them at Mount Badon, securing to themselves peace for many years. It was probably about this time that King Arthur and his company of Knights performed the deeds which were to become the themes of stories and lays for generations afterwards.
In olden times, it was the custom of minstrels and story-tellers to travel through the land from court to court, telling of tales of chivalry and heroism, and for many centuries the tales of King Arthur formed the stock from which the story-teller drew.
In this way the stories came to be handed down from father to son, in Brittany (whose people are of the same family as the Welsh) as well as in Wales and England, and by this means alone were they prevented from being lost. But in the reigns of Henry II. and Richard I., they were set down on paper, and so became literature. Before this, however, a British writer had written out some of the tales, and from him as well as from the lips of the bards and story-tellers of their own generation, the writers in the time of Henry II. were able to collect their information. One of the most famous of the books compiled by old English writers was the “Historia Britonum,” which was written (in Latin) by Geoffrey, Bishop of Asaph. It contained an account of a war which King Arthur waged in Western Europe, but made no mention of the Holy Grail.
From this and other books of romances compiled in England, and very largely, too, from books of French romances, Sir Thomas Malory obtained the material for his “Morte d’Arthur,” which was written in 1470. This is the most famous of the early books of Arthurian legend, and it is from the “Morte d’Arthur” that most of the stories in this book are taken. Some, however, are taken from the “High History of the Holy Graal,” translated from the French by Dr. Sebastian Evans. The language throughout has been modified with a view to making the legends more easy of study.
An early example of a psychological mystery and modern crime fiction, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner details the experience of its criminal anti-hero. It is set in Scotland within a world where angels, devils, and demonic possession exist. The book was a response against the antinomian society, or a society that does not believe in laws or moral norms (in a Christian sense one believes that they do not have to follow the Ten Commandments because of the principle of salvation by divine forgiveness), that was growing on the borders of Scotland at the time.
James Weldon Johnson
Johnson's only novel, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, was originally published anonymously in 1912. It is a fictional novel written as a memoir of an unnamed biracial narrator who grew up in the South during the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras. It is a story in which the narrator relates how as a young boy he initially assumed that he was white, and how his notions of racial identity were suddenly turned upside down one day—how from that moment on he was inclined to view himself and the world about him from the perspective of blackness. The novel received very little notoriety until Johnson republished it in 1927, this time taking full credit as its author.
"In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower" (bowdlerized by Scottish translator Scott Moncrieff as "Within a Budding Grove") is the second volume of Proust's heptalogy, "In Search of Lost Time" (called after a Shakespeare line "Remembrance of Things Past" by Scott Moncrieff). Shadow insightfully deals with adolescent longing, and continues Proust's profound meditation on the nature of memory. The original French version was awarded the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1919.
NOTE: This book contains language that would have been considered appropriate at the time and which may not be appropriate today.
"One of the most inspired chronicles written in English" was the verdict of William Butler Yeats on the novel Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth which was first published in 1800. It is recognised as the first true historical novel in English as well as the first Big-House novel. Written at the time when there was much debate about the Act of Union which proposed to unite Great Britain with Ireland, the book satirised the mismanagement of their Irish estates by Anglo-Irish landlords. Maria Edgeworth's writing is wonderful - informative, entertaining and amusing by turns. Just before publication, extensive footnotes, a glossary and a preface were added, to counteract any negative impact that the Edgeworth family feared it might have on The Act of Union. This 1895 Edition includes a wonderful Introduction by Anne Thackeray Ritchie.
The novel is set in early 1780's Ireland and is narrated by Honest Thady, loyal steward to generations of the Rackrent family. These are: The generous Sir Patrick, the tight fisted Sir Murtagh (married into the Skinflint family), the cruel Sir Kit who locked his wealthy wife up in her room for seven years and the amiable spendthrift Sir Condy, who has no head for business and a fondness for whisky punch. Together, they have run the estate into debt and disaster. Jason Quirk, Thady's astute son sorts everything out in the end to his satisfaction but much to Thady's dismay.
William Makepeace Thackeray
The Newcomes: Memoirs of a Most Respectable Family was written in serial form in 1854- 1855 by the author of such works as Vanity Fair, The Book Of Snobs. It tells the story of a few generations of the Newcome family: their rise to respectability, marriages, love, and the culture in which they lived. The novel teaches the reader what it was like to live in Victorian England
Harriet E. Wilson
Frado is a colored girl, living in the USA a few years before the Civil War. She is abandoned by her own white mother in the house of the Bellmont's- where she is treated badly. This is a sad book, but Frado's cheerfulness and dignity will make you love her until the end.
The central character, Jean-Christophe Krafft, is a German musician of Belgian extraction, a composer of genius whose life is depicted from cradle to grave. He undergoes great hardships and spiritual struggles, balancing his pride in his own talents with the necessity of earning a living and taking care of those around him. Tormented by injustices against his friends, forced to flee on several occasions as a result of his brushes with authority and his own conscience, he finally finds peace in a remote corner of Switzerland before returning in triumph to Paris a decade later.
G. A. Henty
G A Henty takes us on a variety of adventures in this collection:A daring rescue on rough seas, a military action against Chinese pirates, hunting down a tiger in India, and even a calamity in a camp of gold miners in California!With each new encounter, you'll thrill at the daring of our heroes in the face of imminent danger.
Isaac Bickerstaff Esq. was a pseudonym used by Jonathan Swift as part of a hoax to predict the death of then famous Almanac-maker and astrologer John Partridge. In 1709, Richard Steele bolstered the release of his new satirical paper The Tatler by naming the fictitious Isaac Bickerstaff Esq. as editor. These are fictional essays/memoirs of Bickerstaff, written by Steele. Isaac writes from his time, and his personal things on what was going on. Bickerstaff, or rather Richard Steele, talks mostly about Mr. Bickerstaff's friends, his family, and the many different entertainments that Bickerstaff goes through. Bickerstaff also gets many opportunities to talk to people who are in trouble with their spouse or maybe looking for a partner, and so Bickerstaff plays the role of a father, giving advice to many characters throughout the book.