Northanger Abbey (FULL Audio Book) by Jane Austen (1775-1817) Northanger Abbey follows Catherine Morland and family friends Mr. and Mrs. Allen as they visit Bath, England. Seventeen year-old Catherine spends her time visiting newly-made friends, such as Isabella Thorpe, and going to balls. Catherine finds herself pursued by Isabella's brother John Thorpe (Catherine's brother James's friend from university), and by Henry Tilney. She also becomes friends with Eleanor Tilney, Henry's younger sister. Read more [...]
Jane Austen's Juvenilia by Jane Austen (1775-1817) Before becoming the author of such classics as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma, Jane Austen experimented with various writing styles as a teenager in the early 1790s. This is a collection of her juvenilia, including the epistolary novels Love and Freindship, Lesley Castle, and Lady Susan, as well as her comic History of England and some shorter pieces. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)     Read more [...]
Emma (FULL Audio Book) by Jane Austen (1775 - 1817) Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters. Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the very first sentence she introduces the Read more [...]
The Pastor's Wife (FULL Audio Book) by Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941) Written by an author born in Australia, grew up in England, married in Germany, and then flew to the United States. A tale about a young woman, freed up from the bonds of her family life, to wonder all around in search of all things feminist. The story seems somewhat autobiographical, surrounded in disillusionment and humor. Written on the eve of World War I and just back from married life in Germany. (Summary by JCarson)     Read more [...]
Four Girls at Chautauqua (FULL Audio Book) by Isabella Alden (November 3, 1841 -- August 5, 1930) Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name "Pansy." First in the Chautauqua Girls series. Four friends -- spoiled, quirky Ruth; fun-loving and mischievous Eurie; poor, independent and brainy Marion; and meek, approval-seeking Flossy -- attend Chautauqua on a lark, and their lives are changed forever. (Chautauqua is an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late Read more [...]
Ester Ried Yet Speaking (FULL Audio Book) by Isabella M. Alden (1841-1930) Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name "Pansy." Fourth in the Chautauqua Girls series. Alfred Ried (brother of Ester Ried from that series) wants to help the hundreds of poor street boys in his city to come to faith and improve their conditions, but is discouraged and overwhelmed with the task. Enter Flossy (Shipley) Roberts, a willing worker who focuses on 7 such boys and especially on one. (Summary by TriciaG)     Read more [...]
Ester Ried (FULL Audio Book) by Isabella Alden (1841-1930) Authored by Isabella M. Alden under the pen name "Pansy." Ester Ried's life is a dull monotony of toiling at her family's boardinghouse. She's overworked, jealous and cranky, a poor example of a Christian to her family and associates. She awakens to a new attitude and commitment due to an extended visit with her cousin. (Summary written by Tricia G)     Read more [...]
Eight Cousins (FULL Audio Book) by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) This is the story of Rose Campbell, a rich but lonely and sickly girl who has been recently orphaned and sent to live with her maiden aunts. When Rose's guardian, Uncle Alec, returns from abroad he takes over her care. Through his unorthodox theories about child-rearing and her exposure to the exploits of her seven male cousins and numerous aunts, Rose becomes happier and healthier. At the end of a year, she is given a choice of Read more [...]
Rookwood (FULL Audio Book) by William Harrison Ainsworth (1805-1882) A rich and complex Gothic-Romance centring on the murky deeds of an ancient family. It is a wonderfully atmospheric piece that combines narrative, poetry, song, and descriptive writing to great effect. The character of Dick Turpin that we know today -- the dashing highwaymen and unmatched horseman -- can be said to stem directly from this novel, as the most famous part of the book (often published on its own in the past), Turpin's Read more [...]
Flatland (FULL Audio Book): A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 science fiction novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott. As a satire, Flatland offered pointed observations on the social hierarchy of Victorian culture. However, the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions; in a foreword to one of the many publications of the novella, noted science writer Isaac Asimov described Flatland Read more [...]
Queen Lucia by E. F. Benson (1867-1940) E. F. Benson (1867-1940) was born at Wellington College in Berkshire, where his father, who later went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, was the first Headmaster. He wrote 105 books in all. Queen Lucia (first published in 1920) was the first of Benson's 'Mapp and Lucia' novels of which there were six. This first book is a comedy of manners based in the provincial village of Riseholme, where Emmeline Lucas (the Queen Lucia of the title) presides Read more [...]
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1862-1937) In an era before the advent of electric lights, telephones or motor vehicles, there exists a small cluster of aristocratic "old revolutionary stock" families that rule New York's social life. Under the rules of this society, "being things" is better than "doing things" and reputation and outward appearances come at the exclusion of everything else. In this Gilded Age, when America's expansion and increased industrialism produce a group of newly Read more [...]
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 his wife Lady Glencora. The plots usually involve English politics in varying degrees, specifically in and around Parliament. The books are: Can You Forgive Her? (1864) Phineas Finn (1869) The Eustace Diamonds (1873) Phineas Redux (1874) The Prime Minister (1876) The Duke's Children (1879)   "Can Read more [...]
The Chronicles of Barsetshire (or, in more recent UK usage, 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 thegentry, and the political, amatory, and social man?uvrings that go on among and between them. The novels in the series are: The Warden (1855) Barchester Read more [...]
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy   Anna Karenina, Book by Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)Translated by Constance Garnett (1861-1946) Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage to follow her heart and must endure the hypocrisies of society. (Summary by Mary Anderson)   Widely regarded as a pinnacle in realist fiction, Tolstoy consideredAnna Karenina his Read more [...]