Hornung wrote a series of twenty-six short stories and one novel about the adventures of Arthur J. Raffles, cricketeer and gentleman thief, and his chronicler, Harry “Bunny” Manders. The early adventures were published in The Amateur Cracksman and continued with The Black Mask after Raffles’s and Bunny’s exposure through to Raffles’s death. The last collection, A Thief in the Night, as well as the novel, Mr. Justice Raffles, tell of adventures previously withheld.
Allan Quatermain is the protagonist of H. Rider Haggard’s novel King Solomon’s Mines and its various prequels and sequels. Quatermain is an English-born professional big game hunter and occasional trader in southern Africa. He supports colonial efforts to spread civilization in the Dark Continent, and he also favours native Africans’ having a say in their affairs. Quatermain is also the inspiration behind Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones” movie trilogy.
Andrew Lang’s coloured Fairy Books constitute a twelve-volume series of fairy tale collections. Although Lang didn’t collect the stories from the oral tradition himself, he can make claim to the first English translation of many, which are often cited as inspiration to J.R. Tolken and his Middle-Earth novels.
Anne of Green Gables is a series is eight-book by L. M. Montgomery, about the character Anne Shirley, and later her children. Centred on Anne for the majority of the series, the collection is prized and loved by many. Located in a lovely spot in Prince Edward Island, Canada, the first two books are based in Avonlea, a quaint town that is based on the real-life town of Cavendish. Anne of the Island is set in Kingsport for the most part, a bustling city with a large college by the name of Redmond College. The fourth book is put in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, and Windy Poplars.
Arsène Lupin is a fictional gentleman thief who appears in a series of detective fiction and crime fiction novels by the French writer Maurice Leblanc. The character has also appeared in a number of non-canonical sequels and numerous film, television such as Night Hood, stage play and comic book adaptations. A contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Maurice Leblanc created the character of the gentleman thief who, in Francophone countries, has enjoyed a popularity as long-lasting and considerable as Sherlock Holmes in the English-speaking world.
Ayesha, an ageless and immortal sorceress, who is still beautiful even after more than two millennia, since immersing herself in a magical flame, and claims that the leader of an expedition to East Africa is the reincarnation of her long-dead beloved. Ayesha has been cited as a prototype by psychoanalysts as different as Sigmund Freud (in The Interpretation of Dreams) and Carl Jung.
The Barchester Chronicles is a series of six novels by the English author Anthony Trollope, set in the fictitious English county of Barsetshire (located approximately where the real Dorset lies) and its cathedral town of Barchester. The novels concern the dealings of the clergy and the gentry, and the political, amatory, and social manœuvrings that go on among and between them. Of the six novels, the second in the series, Barchester Towers, is generally the best known. (source: Wikipedia)
Barsoom is a fictional representation of the planet Mars created by American pulp fiction author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The first novel, A Princess of Mars , is followed by ten sequels over a period of three decades, further extending his vision of Barsoom and adding many other characters. The worlds of Burroughs are often cited as inspiration on films such as Avatar, Babylon 5 and Star Wars.
A series of books told from the perspective of Oswald Bastable, whose style owes greatly to that of Julius Caesar. Oswald. through a cunning use of the third person, is able to establish his marked superiority over others. He is a delightful narrator and the stories he tells are among Nesbit’s best. As is usual with Nesbit, she takes a family of children and involves them in many adventures, with them having to deal with scrapes the children get into while searching for treasure in familiar surroundings, and coping as sensibly as possible with the contrary world of grown-ups.
The Betty Gordon books were an early Stratemeyer Syndicate series, published under the pseudonym Alice B. Emerson. Edward Stratemeyer created the series and wrote plot outlines, but the books themselves were written by a number of ghostwriters.
The upper-class inhabitants of the fictional Blandings Castle, including the eccentric Lord Emsworth, obsessed by his prize-winning pig, the “Empress of Blandings”, are the subject of eleven novels and nine short stories, written between by P.G. Wodehouse.
The Katy series is a set of novels by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, writing under the pen-name of Susan Coolidge. The first in the series was What Katy Did followed a year later by What Katy Did at School and then What Katy Did Next. Two further novels, Clover and In the High Valley, were also written but these focused upon other members of the eponymous character’s family. In a survey in 1995, What Katy Did was voted as one of the top-10 books for 12-year-old girls.
Caprona (also known as Caspak) is a fictitious island in the literary universe of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Caspak Trilogy. Described as a land mass near Antarctica, Caprona was first reported by the (fictitious) Italian explorer Caproni in 1721, the location of which was subsequently lost. The island is ringed by high cliffs, making it inaccessible to all but the most intrepid explorers. Other stories in the series include The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot, and Out of Time’s Abyss, each of which has been adapted to film.
Set in the fictional realm of Narnia, a fantasy world of magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals, the series narrates the adventures of various children who play central roles in the unfolding history of that world. Except in The Horse and His Boy, the protagonists are all children from the real world, magically transported to Narnia, where they are called upon by the lion Aslan to protect Narnia from evil and restore the throne to its rightful line. The Chronicles of Narnia is considered a classic of children’s literature and has sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages.
Clarissa is a tragic heroine, pressured by her unscrupulous family to marry a wealthy man she detests. She’s then tricked into fleeing with the witty and debonair Robert Lovelace, however, he proves himself to be an untrustworthy rake. And yet, she finds his charm alluring, her scrupulous sense of virtue tinged with unconfessed desire. Clarissa is considered “the first book in the world for the knowledge it displays of the human heart” and most critics agree that it is one of the greatest European novels.
Drifting into Khauran, Conan becomes captain of the Queen’s guard; A Witch Shall be Born. While wandering the city in The Devil In Iron he reflects that its spaced-out inhabitants remind him of Xuthal (The Slithering Shadow). After riding West to ransom a precious ring to the Queen of Ophir, Conan goes south to Koth. After trying to create an army from local outlaws, the empire’s government feels obligated to smash them, leaving Conan to flee to Vendhya. In The People Of The Black Circle, Conan tries to organize the local mountain tribes into an army.
Conan the Cimmerian is a fictional Sword & Sorcery hero (by Robert E. Howard), that originated in pulp fiction magazines and has since been adapted to books, comics, several films (Conan the Barbarian/Conan the Destroyer), TV programs (cartoon and live-action), video games, role-playing games and other media. An exact reading order isn’t necessary, but for those who like to read in chronological order, I’m going to use Joe Marek’s: The Coming of Conan, Conan the Barbarian, The Sword of Conan, King Conan, Conan The Conqueror.
The d’Artagnan Romances (The Three Musketeers) are a set of novels by Alexandre Dumas telling the story of the musketeer d’Artagnan from his humble beginnings in Gascony to his death as a marshal of France in the Siege of Maastricht in 1673. The life and character of d’Artagnan is based upon the 17th-century captain of musketeers Charles de Batz-Castelmore, Comte d’Artagnan.
Deathworld is a series of science fiction novels by Harry Harrison including the books Deathworld, Deathworld 2 and Deathworld 3, plus the short story “The Mothballed Spaceship”. Jason dinAlt, a professional gambler who uses his erratic psionic abilities to tip the odds in his favor, is he central hero of Deathworld who becomes involved with colonists of an extremely hostile planet.
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a non-fiction history book written by English historian Edward Gibbon, published between 1776 and 1789. Covering the history of the Roman Empire, Europe, and the Catholic Church between 98 to 1590, it discusses the decline of the Roman Empire in the East and West. Because of its relative objectivity and heavy use of primary sources, at the time, its methodology became a model for later historians. This led to Gibbon being called the first “modern historian of ancient Rome.” This is the revised 1845 Rev. H. H. Milman edition.
The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321 and is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. (Hell, Purgatory, Paradise) It’s widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem’s imaginative and allegorical vision of the afterlife is a culmination of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church. These volumes include many illustrations.
Doctor John Dolittle is the central character of a series of children’s books by Hugh Lofting starting with the The Story of Doctor Dolittle. He is a doctor who shuns human patients in favour of animals, with whom he can speak in their own languages. He later becomes a naturalist, using his abilities to speak with animals to better understand nature and the history of the world. Doctor Dolittle first saw light in the author’s illustrated letters to children, written from the trenches during World War I when actual news, he later said, was either too horrible or too dull.
Drew Rennie is an adventure western rebels series written by American science fiction and fantasy writer, Andre Norton, from 1961-62.
The Extraordinary Voyages (Voyages Extraordinaires) was a publishing title affixed to the novels and non-fictional writings of French author and science fiction pioneer Jules Verne. According to Verne’s publisher, Jules Hetzel, the intention of the Voyages was “to outline all the geographical, geological, physical, and astronomical knowledge amassed by modern science and to recount, in an entertaining and picturesque format … the history of the universe.”
Father Brown is a fictional character created by English novelist G. K. Chesterton, who stars in 52 short stories, and is based on Father John O’Connor, a parish priest in Bradford, UK, who was involved in Chesterton’s conversion to Catholicism in 1922. Father Brown is a short, stumpy Catholic priest, “formerly of Cobhole in Essex, and now working in London”, with shapeless clothes and a large umbrella, and uncanny insight into human evil. Author Ralph McInerny used Father Brown as the spiritual inspiration for The Father Dowling Mysteries, a TV series that ran in the U.S. from 1987–1991.
Dr. Fu Manchu is a fictional character introduced in a series of novels by British author Sax Rohmer during the first half of the 20th century. The character was also featured extensively in cinema, television, radio, comic strips and comic books for over 90 years, and has become an archetype of the evil criminal genius while lending the name to the Fu Manchu moustache.
The Glad Books series by Eleanor H. Porter is about a young orphan, Pollyanna, who goes to live in 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), which consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation. Pollyanna has been adapted for film several times, with the best known being Disney’s 1960 version starring child actress Hayley Mills, who won a special Oscar for the role.
Hopalong Cassidy is a fictional cowboy hero created by the author Clarence E. Mulford, who wrote a series of popular short stories and many novels based on the character. In his early writings, Mulford portrayed the character as rude, dangerous, and rough-talking. Later he would revise and republish his earlier works to be more consistent with the character’s new, polished on-screen persona.
A novel in seven volumes, recounting the experiences of the Narrator while growing up, participating in society, falling in love, and learning about art. Prousts most prominent work, known for its theme of involuntary memory, the most famous example being the “episode of the madeleine.” The novel began to take shape in 1909 with Proust working on it until his final illness in 1922. The last three volumes contain oversights and fragmentary or unpolished passages as they existed in draft form at the death of the author; the publication of these parts was overseen by his brother Robert.
Inspector Gabriel Hanaud is a fictional French policeman depicted by the British writer A. E. W. Mason. He was modelled on two real-life heads of the Paris Sûreté, Macé and Goron and has been described as the “first major fiction police detective of the Twentieth Century”. The inspector has been seen as one of a number of influences on the creation of Agatha Christie’s Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.