One of the most popular of Hardy's novels, this charming pastoral idyll is a lightly humorous depiction of life in an early Victorian rural community. The story delicately balances the concerns of the Mellstock parish choir with a romance between a member of the choir and the village schoolmistress.
Under the Lilacs is a children fiction novel about two girls (Bab and Betty Moss), Miss Celia, a circus runaway (Ben Brown) and his dog (Sancho). When two young girls decide to have a tea party with their dolls and a mysterious dog comes and eats their prized cake, they end up finding a circus run-away in their play…Read More »
Lucy Watson, a young schoolteacher, is appointed welfare instructor in a community of isolated backwoods folk. She quickly overcomes their fears, and achieves popularity by the practical results of her work. She is especially successful with a strong, uncouth bee-hunter. Zane Grey's handling of these primitive chara…Read More »
Bomb-throwing assassins, political repression and revolt, emigre revolutionaries infiltrated by a government spy: much of Under Western Eyes is more topical than we would wish. Set in Czarist Russia and in Geneva, and told through the Western eyes of Conrad's English narrator, we are given a somber but not entirely …Read More »
For William, Lord Dawlish, it seemed the realization of his dreams. He could marry the girl he loved. Of course, things are not quite so simple. The famous Wodehouse humour, which has no equal, sees to that, in a transatlantic cocktail of breathtaking ingenuity.
90-year-old General Fentiman was definitely dead, but no one knew exactly when he had died – and the time of death was the determining factor in a half-million-pound inheritance. Lord Peter Wimsey would need every bit of his amazing skills to unravel the mysteries of why the General's lapel was without a red poppy …Read More »
Taurus Antinor loved her, that she knew. The last four days had made a woman of her: she had tasted of and witnessed every passion that rends a human heart, love, ambition, cruelty, hatred! The man whom she loved, loved her with an intensity at least equal to that which even now made her heart throb at the memory of…Read More »
A closely argued assault on the science of political economy, which dominated the Victorian period. Ruskin was a profoundly conservative man who looked back to the Middle Ages as a Utopia, yet his ideas had a considerable influence on the British socialist movement. And in making his powerful moral and aesthetic cas…Read More »
One of a series of plays set at Christmas time intended for young boys and girls. It is intended, not only for acting, but also for reading. What sort of a Christmas play do the boys and girls like, and in what sort do we like to see them take part? It should be a play, surely, in which the dialogue is simple and na…Read More »
One of the most influential books in the Western philosophical and literary tradition, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia appeared in 1516. The formidable Henry VIII had recently assumed the throne in England, and conflicting ideas about religion were fuelling the Reformation throughout Europe. A scathing satire, Utopia w…Read More »
'A pair of lunatics, you two,' observed Harrison. He squinted through the port at the gray gloom of the Mare Cimmerium. 'There comes the sun.' He paused. 'Listen, Dick–you and Leroy take the other auxiliary rocket and go out and salvage those films.'
Deep in an unexplored jungle, Brian Raft sought the secret of the legendary VALLEY OF THE FLAME. Somewhere there was a radioactive fire that could perform miracles of super-science. Somewhere there was a place where cat-people prowled, where time was altered, and incredible mysteries held their secrets of power and …Read More »
The tall, young Texan had gambled, fought, and killed in every town from Montana to Mexico. He'd been in plenty of places where there was no law, but this little hellhole was the worst. Jard Hardman and his son Dick were the law. They owned the marshal and used him to rob the town blind. These were the men Panhandle…Read More »
The setting of the story is San Francisco in the 1890s. Vandover, fresh out of college and the son of a wealthy owner of slum properties, has dreams of being an artist but lacks the discipline to fulfill them. His seduction of a young woman results in her suicide and the death of his own father. Cheated by false fri…Read More »
The fourth and final volume of the Herries Chronicles is a love story of 'effortless brilliance' which starts with the triumph of Judith Paris's hundredth birthday in the 1870's and then moves to the tragic disillusionment of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Set, predominantly, as before, amidst the grandeu…Read More »
No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the social ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia, however, longs for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawd…Read More »
Imagine friends and family believed you were dead from the Cholera- Imagine being buried alive and awakening in your coffin - Now, imagine a frantic escape from the rotting crypt only to discover something worse waiting in store…. Thus begins Marie Corelli's suspense-thriller, Vendetta. Awakening to find he has be…Read More »
Monsieur le Vicomte is a remarkable man - not least because, for all concerned, he had been guillotined along with numerous French aristocrats. Yet by some twist of fate he managed to escape and seek refuge in Turin, out of the jurisdiction of the French authorities. But by an even more perverse twist of fate, he is…Read More »
Axel Heyst, a dreamer and a restless drifter, believes he can avoid suffering by cutting himself off from others. Then he becomes involved in the operation of a coal company on a remote island in the Malay Archipelago, and when it fails he turns his back on humanity once more. But his life alters when he rescues a y…Read More »
George Bernard Shaw combined ironic wit with weighty commentary on a variety of social issues, advocating for the working class, whom he felt was badly exploited. In Village Wooing Shaw portrays the relationship of a domineering woman with a man whom they are pursuing in marriage. Will she be happy with her conquest?
Charlotte Brontë's final masterpiece powerfully portrays a woman struggling to reconcile love, jealousy, and a fierce desire for independence. Having fled a harrowing past in England, Lucy Snowe begins a new life teaching at a boarding school in the great capital of a foreign country. There, as she tries to achieve …Read More »
Turgenev was the first writer who was able, having both Slavic and universal imagination enough for it, to interpret modern Russia to the outer world, and Virgin Soil was the last word of his greater testament. It was the book in which many English readers were destined to make his acquaintance about a generation …Read More »
Originally published anonymously, ostensibly by a so-called "man of fashion", the first part caused a considerable sensation in London society. Contemporary reviewers, suspicious of the numerous solecisms contained within the text, eventually identified the young Disraeli (who did not move in high society) as the …Read More »
From Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth to Rudy Rucker's The Hollow Earth, subterranean worlds have been a source of both fascination and fear for the literary imagination, and The Coming Race is no exception. An evolutionary fantasy first published in 1871, the story draws upon ideas of Darwinis…Read More »
In 1845 Henry David Thoreau left his pencil-manufacturing business and began building a cabin on the shore of Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. This lyrical yet practical-minded book is at once a record of the 26 months Thoreau spent in withdrawal from society – an account of the daily minutiae of building, …Read More »
In this essay, first published in 1862 and vital to any appreciation of the great man's work, Thoreau explores: the joys and necessities of long afternoon walks; how spending time in untrammeled fields and woods soothes the spirit; how Nature guides us on our walks; the lure of the wild for writers and artists; why …Read More »
There were nine major planets in the Solar System, and it was within their boundaries that man first set up interplanetary commerce and began trading with the ancient Martian civilization. And then they discovered a tenth planet – a maverick!
This tenth world, if it had an orbit, had a strange one, for it was he…Read More »
The most famous—and perhaps greatest—novel of all time, Tolstoy’s War and Peace tells the story of five families struggling for survival during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.Among its many unforgettable characters is Prince Andrey Bolkonsky, a proud, dashing man who, despising the artifice of high society, joins t…Read More »
The Holy Grail mysteriously surfaces in an obscure country parish becoming a sacramental object to protect, or a vessel of power to exploit. Williams gives a contemporary setting to the traditional Grail quest, examining the distinction between magic and religion. War in Heaven is an eerily disturbing book, one th…Read More »