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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,...


Richard III

by William Shakespeare

In Richard III, Shakespeare invites us on a moral holiday. The play draws us to identify with Richard and his fantasy of total control of self and domination of others. Not yet king at the start of the play,...


Master and Man

by Leo Tolstoy

A land owner named Vasili takes along one of his peasants, Nikita, for a short journey to the house of the owner of a forest. He is impatient and wishes to get to the town more quickly for business. They find...


Hadji Murad

by Leo Tolstoy

The story follows a separatist guerrilla Murat who falls out with his own commander and eventually sides with the Imperial Russian forces in hope of saving his family. Tolstoy collected material for this novel...


Tidings: A Novel

by Ernst Wiechert

One of Germany's literary giants, Ernst Emil Wiechert (1887-1950) was thrown into Buchenwald concentration camp for publicly backing anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemöller. His final novel, published posthumously,...


Dig Here!

by Gladys Allen

“But this aunt of yours, Sandy, what’s she like?” Eve asked. She was parked on the couch in my room. Hattie May Lewis, my roommate, stood before the mirror, trying to arrange her straight, straw-colored...


A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens

In October 1843, Charles Dickens ― heavily in debt and obligated to his publisher ― began work on a book to help supplement his family's meager income. That volume, A Christmas Carol, has long since become...


The Celestial Omnibus and Other Tales

by E.M. Forster

This compilation of short stories by one of the twentieth century's preeminent authors spotlights journal and magazine fiction from 1900 to 1911. These early tales exhibit the first traces of E. M. Forster's...


Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest

by W. H. Hudson

The curious call of an unseen bird lures a young European explorer deeper and deeper into the jungle, where he encounters the source of the siren song — a lovely, half-wild girl with mysterious powers. Thus...


The Tempest Thrift Study Edition

by William Shakespeare

Includes the unabridged text of Shakespeare's classic play plus a complete study guide that helps readers gain a thorough understanding of the work's content and context. The comprehensive guide includes scene-by-scene...


Childhood

by Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy's first novel which he completed at the age of twenty three, and which immediately propelled him into the ranks of notable young writers winning favourable reviews from the established names of Russian...


A Message To Garcia (Rediscovered Books): With linked Table of Contents

by Elbert Hubbard

A Message to Garcia is one of the most widely read inspirational stories of all time. Since its publication it has sold more than 40 million copies. This is the touching story of an American soldier who must...