A Confederate Girl's Diary audiobook by Sarah Morgan Dawson (1842-1909) Sarah Morgan Dawson was a young woman of 20 living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when she began this diary. The American Civil War was raging. Though at first the conflict seemed far away, it would eventually be brought home to her in very personal terms. Her family's loyalties were divided. Sarah's father, though he disapproved of secession, declared for the South when Louisiana left the Union. Her eldest brother, who became Read more [...]
Last Days of Pompeii audiobook by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803--1873) Last Days of Pompeii is a novel written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1834. Once a very widely read book and now relatively neglected, it culminates in the cataclysmic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The novel uses its characters to contrast the decadent culture of first-century Rome with both older cultures and coming trends. The protagonist, Glaucus, represents the Greeks who have Read more [...]
Unbeaten Tracks in Japan audiobook by Isabella L. Bird (1831 -- 1904) Isabella Lucy Bird (1831 -- 1904) was a 19th century English traveller, writer, and natural historian. She was a sickly child, however, while she was travelling she was almost always healthy. Her first trip, in 1854, took her to America, visiting relatives. Her first book, The Englishwoman in America was published anonymously two years later. Unbeaten Tracks in Japan is compiled of the letters she sent to her sister during Read more [...]
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains audiobook by Isabella L. Bird (1831-1904) Isabella Bird began travelling while in her early twenties to help alleviate illness that had plagued her since childhood. She was a single woman in her early forties when she made her treck through the Rocky Mountains. A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains details this fascinating account of her travels through a series of letters written to her sister, Henrietta. These letters are filled with beautiful, vivid descriptions Read more [...]
The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) The Man Who Would Be King tells the story of two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan. It was inspired by the exploits of James Brooke, an Englishman who became the "white Raja" of Sarawak in Borneo, and by the travels of American adventurer Josiah Harlan, who claimed the title Prince of Ghor. The story was first published in The Phantom Rickshaw and other Tales (Volume Five Read more [...]
The Prisoner of Zenda audiobook by Anthony Hope (1863-1933) The Prisoner of Zenda tells the story of Rudolf Rassendyll, an English gentleman on holiday in Ruritania, a country not a thousand miles from Bavaria. There, by reason of his resemblance to the King of Ruritania he becomes involved in saving the King's Life and his Throne from the King's dastardly brother and his allies. Woods, moated castles, pomp, swordplay, gallantry, villainy and a beautiful princess. What story could ask for more? Read more [...]
The Man in the Iron Mask audiobook by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870). Translation unattributed. In this, the last of the Three Musketeers novels, Dumas builds on the true story of a mysterious prisoner held incognito in the French penal system, forced to wear a mask when seen by any but his jailer or his valet. If you have skipped the novels between The Three Musketeers and this, a few notes will bring you into the story: On one side -- Aramis, now a bishop and secretly the Captain-General of Read more [...]
The Black Arrow; a Tale of Two Roses by Robert Louis Stevenson The Black Arrow tells the story of Richard (Dick) Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: how he becomes a knight, rescues his lady Joanna Sedley, and obtains justice for the murder of his father, Sir Harry Shelton. Outlaws in Tunstall Forest organized by Ellis Duckworth, whose weapon and calling card is a black arrow, cause Dick to suspect that his guardian Sir Daniel Brackley and his retainers are responsible for his father's murder. Read more [...]
The Scarlet Letter audiobook by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) The story begins in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, then a Puritan settlement. A young woman, Hester Prynne, is led from the town prison with her infant daughter, Pearl, in her arms and the scarlet letter "A" on her breast. The scarlet letter "A" represents the act of adultery that she has committed; it is to be a symbol of her sin for all to see. She will not reveal her lover's identity, however, and the scarlet letter, Read more [...]
Adam Bede audiobook by George Eliot (1819-1880) Adam Bede, the first novel written by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans), was published in 1859. It was published pseudonymously, even though Evans was a well-published and highly respected scholar of her time. The novel has remained in print ever since, and is used in university studies of 19th century English literature. The story's plot follows four characters rural lives in the fictional community of Hayslope—a rural, pastoral Read more [...]
The Three Musketeers audiobook by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870). Translated by W. Robson (1785-1863). The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, p?re. It recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a musketeer. D'Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are his friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis — inseparable friends who live by the motto, "One for all, and all for one". The Three Musketeers was Read more [...]
The Count of Monte Cristo audiobook by Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) The sailor Edmond Dant?s is wrongly accused of treason and imprisoned in the Ch?teau d'If. After twenty years, he manages to escape, and by direction of one of another prisoner finds a treasure on the island of Monte Cristo. Edmund becomes the Count of Monte Cristo, and it's time for revenge on those that betrayed him. (Summary by Kristingj)   The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas Author(s) Alexandre Read more [...]
A Tale of Two Cities audiobook by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With well over 200 million copies sold, it is among the most famous works of fiction. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats Read more [...]
Oliver Twist audiobook or The Parish Boy's Progress by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress is the second novel by Charles Dickens. The story is about an orphan Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin, naively unaware of their Read more [...]
Robinson Crusoe audiobook by Daniel Defoe (1659--1731) Shipwrecked and castaway, Daniel DeFoe's hard-luck character is still the standard for "growing where you're planted." Captured by pirates, he makes his break in a small boat and undergoes desperate adventures before winning his way back to civilization. But Crusoe proves willing to chance his luck a second time when, after sweating his way to prosperity as a planter in Brazil, he undertakes a voyage that isn't needful... and is marooned Read more [...]
Diary of a Nursing Sister on the Western Front 1914-1915 by Anonymous, attributed to Kathleen Luard (c.1872 -- ?) Published 1915 The title is, I think, self explanatory. The nurse in question went out to France at the beginning of the war and remained there until May 1915 after the second battle of Ypres when she went back to a Base Hospital and the diary ceases. Although written in diary form, it is clearly taken from letters home and gives a vivid if sometimes distressing picture of the Read more [...]
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) Translated by Louise Shanks Maude (1855-1939) and Aylmer Maude (1858-1938) War and Peace (Russian: Война и мир, Voyna i mir; in original orthography: Война и миръ, Voyna i mir") is an epic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russki Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy's two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well Read more [...]