A collection of short stories that give a snapshot into the life of a legendary hero or an event in history. Hear how Alexander the Great tamed Bucephalus, the kindness of Doctor Goldsmith, William Tell, George Washington and his hatchet, King Alfred as well as many other interesting tales.
Jane Austen’s sparkling comedy of manners with wit and vivacity, and brings the characters to life. Mr. Woodhouse worries and frets, Miss Bates chatters on, and Emma blithely manipulates and misunderstands her friends and family until she finally learns her lesson!
This classic tale tells of an orphan, Pip, who through a series of strange circumstances first finds a trade as a blacksmith's apprentice and then learns that he has "great expectations" of a future inheritance from an anonymous benefactor. He soon learns to live the profligate life of a gentleman as he gradually sheds his associations with the gentle souls of his past, Joe (the blacksmith) and Biddy (a level-headed young lady). He throws his money at improving the prospects of his roommate and friend Herbert and his heart at an "ice princess" whose heart will never respond. But then an escaped convict from his distant past comes calling, and all Pip's hopes dissolve.
A Yankee engineer from Connecticut is accidentally transported back in time to the court of King Arthur, where he fools the inhabitants of that time into thinking he is a magician—and soon uses his knowledge of modern technology to become a "magician" in earnest, stunning the English of the Early Middle Ages with such feats as demolitions, fireworks and the shoring up of a holy well. He attempts to modernize the past, but in the end he is unable to prevent the death of Arthur and an interdict against him by the Catholic Church of the time, which grows fearful of his power.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) by Mark Twain is one of the truly great American novels, beloved by children, adults, and literary critics alike. The book tells the story of "Huck" Finn (first introduced as Tom Sawyer's sidekick in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer), his friend Jim, and their journey down the Mississippi River on a raft. Both are on the run, Huck from his drunk and abusive father, and Jim as a runaway slave.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (published 1876) is a very well-known and popular story concerning American youth. Mark Twain's lively tale of the scrapes and adventures of boyhood is set in St. Petersburg, Missouri, where Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn have the kinds of adventures many boys can imagine.
The $30,000 Bequest and Other Stories is a 1906 collection of 30 comic short stories by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. Published just 4 years before his death, this was the last time he chose works from throughout his career, in an effort to show the diversity of his style and the breadth and depth of his interests.
The Prince and the Pauper (1882) represents Mark Twain's first attempt at historical fiction. The book, set in 1547, tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court, London, and Prince Edward son of Henry VIII of England. Due to a series of circumstances, the boys accidentally replace each other, and much of the humor in the book originates in the two boys' inability to function in the world that is so familiar to the other (although Tom soon displays considerable wisdom in his decisions).
The classic vampire story by Bram Stoker revolves around a struggle between good and evil, tradition and modernity, and lust versus chastity. The author didn't invent vampires, but his novel has so captured the public's imagination that he is rightly considered their popularizer. Listen and you will meet not only the Count himself, but heroes Jonathan Harker and Abraham Van Helsing, plus an array of madmen, psychiatrists, and fair maidens who cross paths with the fanged menace.
Northanger Abbey is a hilarious parody of 18th century gothic novels. The heroine, 17-year old Catherine, has been reading far too many "horrid" gothic novels and would love to encounter some gothic-style terror -- but the superficial world of Bath proves hazardous enough.