Narrated by the wealthy, scatterbrained Bertie Wooster, this is a series of stories and novels from P.G. Wodehouse that recount the improbable and unfortunate situations in which Wooster and his friends find themselves and the manner in which his ingenious valet Jeeves is always able to extricate them. These are Wodehouse’s most famous stories and are a valuable compendium of pre-World War II English slang in use, perhaps most closely mirrored in American literature by the work of Damon Runyon.
Joseph Rouletabille is a fictional character created by Gaston Leroux, a French writer and journalist. Rouletabille is the nickname of 18-year-old journalist Joseph Josephin, who was raised in a religious orphanage in Eu, a small town near Fécamp.
Unfortunately only two English translations are currently in the Public Domain.
The Leatherstocking Tales is a series of novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper, set between 1740 and 1804. Each title featuring the main hero Natty Bumppo, known by European settlers as “Leatherstocking”, “The Pathfinder”, and “the trapper” and by the Native Americans as “Deerslayer”, “La Longue Carabine” and “Hawkeye”. The Natty Bumppo character is generally believed to have been inspired, at least in part, by the real-life Daniel Boone.
The Lensman series is a serial science fiction Space Opera by Edward Elmer “Doc” Smith. Set two billion years before the present time, the universe has few life-forms aside from the ancient Arisians, and few planets besides their native world. The peaceful Arisians have foregone physical skills in order to develop contemplative mental power. The underlying assumption for this series, based on theories of stellar evolution extant at the time of the books’ writing, is that planets form only rarely. (source: Wikipedia)
The three books of the Miss Billy series follow the adventures of Billy Neilson, an 18-year-old girl whose entire family has died. Her only hope is her late father’s best friend (William Henshaw), whom she writes and, without telling him she’s a girl, hopes he can take her in. Henshaw agrees, finding to his consternation that young Billy is a girl, who soon turns his world upside down with her ways.
A series of three books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Billy Byrne is a low class American born in Chicago’s ghetto and grows up a thief and a mugger. “Billy was a mucker, a hoodlum, a gangster, a thug, a tough”, he is not chivalrous nor kind, and has only meagre ethics - never giving evidence against a friend or leaving someone behind. He chooses a life of robbery and violence, disrespecting those who work for a living and has a deep hatred for wealthy society.
The Oz Books form a series that begins with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and relates the fictional history of the Land of Oz. Oz was created by author L. Frank Baum and went on to write fourteen full-length Oz Books. The first book was famously adapted to film by MGM in 1939, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy.
The Palliser novels are six novels, also known as the “Parliamentary Novels”, by Anthony Trollope. The common thread is the wealthy aristocrat and politician Plantagenet Palliser and (in all but the last book) his wife Lady Glencora. The plots involve British and Irish politics in varying degrees, specifically in and around Parliament. The Pallisers do not always play a major role; in The Eustace Diamonds they only comment on the main action. (source: Wikipedia)
Pellucidar is a fictional Hollow Earth milieu invented by Edgar Rice Burroughs for a series of action adventure stories. These initially involve the adventures of mining heir David Innes and his inventor friend Abner Perry after they use an “iron mole” to burrow 500 miles into the Earth’s crust (“At The Earth’s Core”). Later protagonists include indigenous cave man Tanar and additional visitors from the surface world, notably Tarzan, Jason Gridley, and Frederich Wilhelm Eric von Mendeldorf und von Horst.
Professor Challenger, is a fictional character in a series of science fiction stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Unlike Conan Doyle’s laid-back, analytic character, Sherlock Holmes, Professor Challenger is an aggressive, dominating figure. The first book in the series, “The Lost World” has been adapted many times to film and radio.
The Psammead Trilogy is a remarkable series of fantasy novels for children by an equally remarkable writer, Edith Nesbit, probably Nesbit’s best-known and most beloved books, with memorable comic moments, character-testing adventures, plausible child characters with real feelings and real limitations, and interesting and challenging thematic material. “Five Children and It”, the first book of a trilogy, has been adapted to both film and television.
Rupert Psmith is a recurring fictional character in several novels by British comic writer P. G. Wodehouse, being one of Wodehouse’s best-loved characters. The P in his surname is silent and was added by himself, in order to distinguish him from other Smiths. A member of the Drones Club, this monocle-sporting Old Etonian is something of a dandy, a fluent and witty speaker, and has a remarkable ability to pass through the most amazing adventures unruffled.
Major-General Sir Richard Hannay, KCB, OBE, DSO, Legion of Honour, is a fictional character created by Scottish novelist John Buchan. In his autobiography, Memory Hold-the-Door, Buchan suggests that the character is based, in part, on Edmund Ironside, from Edinburgh, a spy during the Second Boer War. (source: Wikipedia)
Ruth Fielding is a series of children’s novels written under the pseudonym of Alice B. Emerson. The series follows the life of Ruth Fielding from the time that she becomes an orphan, through her schooling and her first success as a moving picture writer, and finally to her success as the owner of her own company. It is considered an important series because it influenced several other major series that came later, including Nancy Drew, the Dana Girls, and _Beverly Gray. Ruth Fielding is a strong-willed young woman, just like Nancy Drew, and she is also a career woman like Beverly Gray.
Wodehouse published six novels with all the action set in public schools for boys, which include; St. Austin’s, Beckford College and Wrykyn. The school story is a fiction genre centering on older pre-adolescent and adolescent school life, at its most popular in the first half of the twentieth century.
Sherlock Holmes is a London-based “consulting detective” whose abilities border on the fantastic. Holmes is famous for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to adopt almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science skills to solve difficult cases. Traditionally, the canon of Sherlock Holmes consists of the 56 short stories and four novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Skylark is a four book Science Fiction Space Opera which describes the conflicts between protagonists Seaton and Crane, and antagonist DuQuesne. It tells the story of the progressively increasing scales of conflict (equalled by progressively-increased technology) between themselves, individually and collectively, and a series of non-humans bent on universal conquest. When forced to co-operate against an alien species, which had conquered one galaxy and was expanding into others, the characters conclude that the universe is large enough to allow peace.
The Solar Queen is a Science Fiction series by Andre Norton about Free Traders who have adventures on uncharted planets. Dane Thorson, “Apprentice Cargo-master, is caught in a quandry; on a world of perpetual night, how do you initiate trade with people who can’t seem to be found?”
Tales of my Landlord is a series of novels by Sir Walter Scott that form a subset of the so-called Waverley Novels, and were supposed to reflect aspects of Scottish regional life. They were so called, because they were supposed to be tales collected from the (fictional) landlord of the Wallace Inn at Gandercleugh, compiled by a “Peter Pattieson”, and edited and sent to the publisher by Jedediah Cleishbotham. This is gone into in great depth in the introduction to The Black Dwarf.
Tarzan (“…the Apeman”) is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungles by the Mangani “great apes”; he later experiences civilization only to largely reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer. Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan first appeared in the novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in twenty-five sequels, three authorized books by other authors, and innumerable works in other media, authorized and not. (source: Wikipedia)
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a series of adventure novels by Emma Orczy set during the Reign of Terror following the start of the French Revolution. The title character, Sir Percy Blakeney, represents the original “hero with a secret identity” that inspired subsequent literary creations such as Don Diego de la Vega (Zorro) and Bruce Wayne (Batman). Taking into account occasional discrepancies in the dates of events (real and fictional), this series is set out in approximate chronological order.
The Time Traders introduces the series’ premise, a confrontation between Western heroes, and the “Reds”, and a mysterious alien race that has used time travel to alter Earth. This novel alternates between present day and a trading tribal society in Britain, 2000 B.C. The series is part of Andre Norton’s “Forerunner” Universe. There are four volumes from the original series and three in collaboration with Pauline M. Griffin and Sherwood Smith.
The Trilogy is a series of three novels written by the Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz. The series follows dramatized versions of famous events in Polish history, weaving fact and fiction. The first novel, titled With Fire and Sword, chronicles the 17th century Cossack revolt known as the Chmielnicki Uprising. The second book, The Deluge, describes the Swedish invasion of Poland known as The Deluge. The final novel, Fire in the Steppe, follows wars between Poland and the Ottoman Empire in the late 17th century.
These eight stories follow the adventures of Tom Corbett, Astro, and Roger Manning, cadets at the Space Academy as they train to become members of the elite Solar Guard. The action takes place at the Academy in classrooms and bunkrooms, aboard their training ship the rocket cruiser Polaris, and on alien worlds, both within our solar system and in orbit around nearby stars.
Tom Swift is the central character in a series of early 20th century American Juvenile Adventure novels which emphasize science, invention and technology. In his various incarnations (usually in his teens) he’s inventive and science-minded, “Swift by name and swift by nature”. Each book focuses on Tom’s latest invention, and its role either in solving a problem or mystery, or in assisting him in feats of exploration or rescue. Often he must protect his new invention from villains “intent on stealing Tom’s thunder or preventing his success”, but he’s always successful in the end.
The Waverley Novels are a series of books by Sir Walter Scott, regarded as the first historical novels in the western tradition, and for nearly a century the most widely-read novels in Europe. As recommended by the New York Times, this epubBooks series is listed in “chronological order, that is, the oldest in date to begin with. No one novel is a sequel to another, but the scenes portrayed are fitting to the time in which they are laid, and many being historical, following in order of time is serviceable to fasten events in memory.”