The story is set in Hungary and the scene is laid in a village close to the Maros. On this particular fourteenth of September it is Andor's turn to go unwillingly into the army for three years. On the eve preceding it, at the village merrymaking, as the whole population spends its last happy hours trying to forget t…Read More »
The seemingly peaceful country village of Hayslope is the setting for this ambitious first novel by one of the nineteenth century's great novelists. With sympathy, wit, and unflinching realism, Adam Bede tells a story that would have been familiar to Eliot's first readers: the seduction of a pretty farm girl by the …Read More »
A Journal of the Plague Year is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in March 1722. The novel is a fictionalised account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the Great Plague struck the city of London. The book is told roughly chronologically, though without sections or chapter headings. (source: …Read More »
Marian Forrester is the symbolic flower of the Old American West. She draws her strength from that solid foundation, bringing delight and beauty to her elderly husband, to the small town of Sweet Water where they live, to the prairie land itself, and to the young narrator of her story, Neil Herbert. All are bewitche…Read More »
Kat Howard–intelligent, beautiful, naively outspoken, and passionately idealistic–catches the eye of Henry VIII and improbably becomes his fifth wife. A teenager who has grown up far from court, she is wholly unused to the corruption and intrigue that now surround her. It is a time of great upheaval, as unscrupulo…Read More »
Peyton Farquhar, a confederate sympathizer, stands to be hanged for his role in a plot to demolish Owl Creek Bridge. As he awaits death, Farquhar considers the possibility of escape; the chances of slipping his bonds, swimming to safety, and returning to his family. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge recounts the f…Read More »
Small-town physician, Martin Arrowsmith, is a dedicated worker whose efforts lead him to a promising career in the medical research field. A breakthrough discovery in treating the plague promises wealth and power – but the death of his wife causes him to rethink his priorities. Arrowsmith is arguably the earliest…Read More »
May 1810, seventeen years deep into the Napoleonic Wars. Captain Horatio Hornblower is newly in command of his first ship of the line, the seventy-four-gun HMS Sutherland, which he deems 'the ugliest and least desirable two-decker in the Navy List.' Moreover, she is 250 men short of a full crew, so Hornblower must…Read More »
The "two cities" are Paris in the time of the French Revolution, and London. Dr. Manette, a French physician, having been called in to treat a young peasant and his sister, realizes that they have been cruelly abused by the Marquis de St. Evremonde and his brother. To ensure Dr. Manette's silence, the Marquis has hi…Read More »
Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle - an experience that leads to the deaths of many. Due to her courageous spirit and abi…Read More »
Barchester Towers is the second of the six Chronicles of Barsetshire, the work in which, after a ten years' apprenticeship, Trollope finally found his distinctive voice. In this his most popular novel, the chronicler continues the story of Mr. Harding and his daughter Eleanor, begun in The Warden, adding to his …Read More »
Set against the backdrop of the Gordon Riots of 1780, Barnaby Rudge is a story of mystery and suspense which begins with an unsolved double murder and goes on to involve conspiracy, blackmail, abduction and retribution. Through the course of the novel fathers and sons become opposed, apprentices plot against their m…Read More »
Set in late 18th century Europe the adventures and mis-adventures of a minor member of the Irish gentry trying to better himself. Redmond Barry of Bally Barry is a clever young man, who learns the manners of a gentleman. This serves him well, for the next few decades he meanders through Europe, as a soldier, mercena…Read More »
After their recent defeat, the hamlets and villages of Derbyshire are no longer ringing with the wild shouts of Bonny Prince Charlie's Highland Brigade; instead troops loyal to King George are looking for those accused of high treason and are offering a reward of twenty guineas for the death of any traitor or rebel….Read More »
Set against a backdrop of pre-Renaissance Italy (a larger than life time, with swaggering condottieri, Machiavellian plotting, and high stakes in politics and war) convent-bred orphan Bellarion is sidetracked almost immediately upon setting out on a journey from the monastery at Cigliano to study at Pavia. The adven…Read More »
Judah Ben-Hur lives as a rich Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century. His old friend Messala arrives as commanding officer of the Roman legions. They become bitter enemies. Because of an unfortunate accident, Ben-Hur is sent to slave in the mines while his family is sent to lepro…Read More »
The invasion of Britain by the Roman legionaries is the setting for this story. Beric, a boy-chief of a British tribe, takes a prominent part in the insurrection against Rome under Boadicea. These efforts are useless against the might Roman army. For a short time, Beric and his companions continue the fight but are …Read More »
Charles Ryder, a lonely student at Oxford, is captivated by the outrageous and decadent Sebastian Flyte. Invited to Brideshead, Sebastian’s magnificent family home, Charles welcomes the attentions of its eccentric, artistic inhabitants the Marchmains, becoming infatuated with them and the life of privilege they inha…Read More »
Set in Egypt, Caesar and Cleopatra, is a drama in which the 50-year-old Roman general meets the childish young Queen and exerts a fatherly influence on her.
With 'Can You Forgive Her?' Trollope begins his masterful series of Parliamentary novels, but here he is concerned with the politics of love and the demands of society. Alice Vavasor, lovely, intelligent and just a bit prudish, is torn between two men – the upright if plodding John Gray, and the evasive yet all…Read More »
Set during the Revolutionary War in Broadalbin; the hero is the ward of Sir William Johnson. He is sent to stop an Indian war planned by Walter Buttler who wants to turn the Indians against the rebels.
Mr. Hector Ratichon-onetime aide to Robespierre and confidant of Napoleon Bonaparte-is a rascal and rogue of the highest order. Nevertheless, his service to France and his resulting adventures make entertaining reading.
Catriona (David Balfour) is the sequel to Kidnapped, and starts at the exact moment that Robert Louis Stevenson's more famous book ends - with Balfour in Edinburgh, standing cold and remorseful outside the offices of the British Linen Company. From there begins a ro…Read More »
Learn about some of the most infamous criminals from around Europe in this massive compilation from one of the foremost writers of historical fiction, Alexandre Dumas. In often-chilling detail, Dumas recounts murders, heists, and all manner of malfeasance from centuries of European history. This collection of 18 ess…Read More »
For most readers this book will have a double interest, the interest attaching to a picture of Polish life, and the general human interest inseparable from characters like those presented in the narrative of Pan Stanislavs fortunes. The Poles form a part of the great Slav race, which has played so important a role i…Read More »
The heroic story of the King Arthur, or the Roland, of the Spaniards, less mythical but no less interesting. Robert Southey's "Chronicle of the Cid" is all translation from the Spanish, but is not translation from a single book. Its groundwork is that part of the Cronica General de Espana, the most ancient of the Pr…Read More »
A fictionalized story of the rescue of Maria Clementina Sobieska from imprisonment so that she could wed James Francis Edward Stuart, also known as Prince James, Prince of Wales (also known as The Old Pretender or The Old Chevalier).
Haggard tells the story of Cleopatra from the viewpoint of an Ancient Egyptian priest who is given the responsibility of overthrowing the supposed impostor Cleopatra. Haggard, who often employed hints of adventure and exoticism, portrayed Cleopatra as witty and devious, and she has an overwhelming presence that all …Read More »
Sir Walter Scott was a master of diverse talents. He was a man of letters, a dedicated historian and historiographer, a well-read translator of foreign texts, and a talented poet. Deriving most of his material from his native Scotland, its history and its legends, Scott invented and mastered what we know today as th…Read More »
A portrait of the residents of an English country town in the mid nineteenth century, Cranford relates the adventures of Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, two middle-aged spinster sisters striving to live with dignity in reduced circumstances. Through a series of vignettes, Elizabeth Gaskell portrays a community governed…Read More »