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The Return of the Native

by Thomas Hardy

The beautiful and exotic Eustacia Vye feels trapped by her life in Egdon Heath, an area occupied mostly by simple rural folk, where superstition and the supernatural have taken root. As she tries to escape her...


Moonfleet

by J. Meade Falkner

John Trenchard, an orphan living with his aunt in the town of Moonfleet, hears rumours of a secret treasure hidden years before by the notorious thief Blackbeard. While exploring the town, John gets caught up...


Just So Stories

by Rudyard Kipling

Do you wonder how the camel got his humps or the leopard her spots? Rudyard Kipling’s classic Just So Stories tells the thrilling and mystical tales of how some of the most famous animals came to be.

Similar...


Billy Budd and Other Stories

by Herman Melville

Billy Budd and Other Stories is a collection of author Herman Melville’s most remarkable short stories. In the titular story, unfinished at the time of the author’s death, Billy Budd’s life takes an unexpected...


McTeague

by Frank Norris

Newly-married, McTeague and Trina Sieppe appear to have a bright future, especially in light of Trina’s $5,000 lottery win. But when McTeague is barred from practicing dentistry, and Trina’s money-hoarding...


Daisy Miller

by Henry James

While on a trip to Switzerland, Frederick Winterbourne is introduced to a young, beautiful American named Daisy Miller. Although Daisy has a reputation for being frivolous and flirtatious, Winterbourne is intrigued...


Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

by Lord Byron

Childe Harold is a disillusioned knight in training when he decides to leave his life of idle pleasure behind and travel the world, visiting exotic foreign lands in search of new adventures.

Lord Byron wrote...


Basil

by Wilkie Collins

When a young aristocrat negotiates a secret marriage to a seventeen-year-old girl, he assents to her father’s condition that they not live together for the first year. However, the consequences are tragic...


The Idiot

by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

When Prince Nikolayevich Myshkin returns to St. Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, he meets two very different women: the beautiful and headstrong Aglaya Yepanchin and Nastassya Filippovna, a woman with a questionable...


Aesop's Fables

by Aesop, Jack Zipes & Sam Pickering

"Kindness is seldom wasted."

-from "The Lion and the Mouse"

It is both amazing and wonderful that so much of the richness of our language and our moral education still owes a huge debt to a Greek slave who was...


The Railway Children

by E. Nesbit

When Father goes away with two strangers one evening, the lives of Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis are shattered. They and Mother have to move from their comfortable London home to go and live in a simple country...


The Usurper

by Judith Gautier

Night was nearly gone. All slept in the beautiful bright city of Osaka. The harsh cry of the sentinels, calling one to another on the ramparts, broke the silence, unruffled otherwise save for the distant murmur...


Henry VI Part 3

by William Shakespeare, Dr. Barbara A. Mowat & Paul Werstine

Henry VI, Part 3 is dominated by a struggle between two military forces, neither of which can achieve victory for long. Until the end, the Yorkists and Lancastrians strive for the English crown. The conflict...


Henry VI Part 2

by William Shakespeare, Dr. Barbara A. Mowat & Paul Werstine

Henry VI, Part 2 presents a kind of story that was popular before Shakespeare began writing, tracing the fall of powerful individuals to their untimely deaths. The first to go is the Duke of Gloucester, Lord...


Henry VI Part 1

by William Shakespeare, Dr. Barbara A. Mowat & Paul Werstine

Henry VI, Part 1 is an uncompromising celebration of early English nationalism that contrasts the English with the French, portrayed here as effeminate and scheming.

A boy king, Henry VI, is on the English throne,...


Romeo and Juliet

by William Shakespeare

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare creates a violent world, in which two young people fall in love. It is not simply that their families disapprove; the Montagues and the Capulets are engaged in a blood feud.

...


The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

In The Merchant of Venice, the path to marriage is hazardous. To win Portia, Bassanio must pass a test prescribed by her father's will, choosing correctly among three caskets or chests. If he fails, he may never...


Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

In 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne, becoming James I of England. London was alive with an interest in all things Scottish, and Shakespeare turned to Scottish history for material. He found...


Julius Caesar

by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare may have written Julius Caesar as the first of his plays to be performed at the Globe, in 1599. For it, he turned to a key event in Roman history: Caesar’s death at the hands of friends and fellow...


The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

Love and marriage are the concerns of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Lucentio’s marriage to Bianca is prompted by his idealized love of an apparently ideal woman. Petruchio's wooing of Katherine,...