When Dirk Waaijen, master of the Voorne, was five days out from the island of Celebes, a strange thing happened.
For nearly a week the Dutchman had idled along with a cargo of cocoa, jaggaree, trepang, some Manado coffee, a few bags of nutmegs and other products of the Archipelago, but without an incident worth logging; when suddenly, an odd looking cask, with mast and streamer, was seen floating in the waters ahead, and all hands became alive with excitement.
Ben Jonson came of the stock that was centuries after to give to the world Thomas Carlyle; for Jonson's grandfather was of Annandale, over the Solway, whence he migrated to England. Jonson's father lost his estate under Queen Mary, "having been cast into prison and forfeited." He entered the church, but died a month before his illustrious son was born, leaving his widow and child in poverty.More info →
Adam Bede, novel written by George Eliot, published in three volumes in 1859. The title character, a carpenter, is in love with an unmarried woman who bears a child by another man. Although Bede tries to help her, he eventually loses her but finds happiness with someone else.More info →
A secret pact between four convicts and two prison guards over the division of buried treasure can only lead to one thing: murder and another case for Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. The Sign of the Four is the second Sherlock Holmes novel and in many ways presents a more human side to the great detective. For instance the reader finds out about his drug habit and we discover that Holmes is not as omnipotent as we might imagine. And for the fortunate Dr Watson there is the opportunity to meet a person who will change his life forever. This edition includes “An Introduction to Sherlock Holmes” by J. S. Williams.More info →
Barchester Towers concerns the leading clergy of the cathedral city of Barchester. The much loved bishop having died, all expectations are that his son, Archdeacon Grantly, will succeed him. Owing to the passage of the power of patronage to a new Prime Minister, a newcomer, the far more Evangelical Bishop Proudie, gains the see. His wife, Mrs. Proudie, exercises an undue influence over the new bishopMore info →
When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. She had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin light hair and a sour expression. Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another. Her father had held a position under the English Government and had always been busy and ill himself, and her mother had been a great beauty who cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people. She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah, who was made to understand that if she wished to please the Mem Sahib she must keep the child out of sight as much as possible. So when she was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also. She never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of her Ayah and the other native servants, and as they always obeyed her and gave her her own way in everything, because the Mem Sahib would be angry if she was disturbed by her crying, by the time she was six years old she was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived. The young English governess who came to teach her to read and write disliked her so much that she gave up her place in three months, and when other governesses came to try to fill it they always went away in a shorter time than the first one. So if Mary had not chosen to really want to know how to read books she would never have learned her letters at all.More info →
Doctor Thorne remains indisputably one of Trollope’s greatest achievements. Paradoxically, it was not a favourite with its author, but then, as so often, he was a poor judge of his own work. Interestingly, the plot was devised not by the author but by his brother Tom with whom he was staying in Florence when, as he confessed, ‘I was cudgelling my brain for a plot’.More info →
Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem, Cogitat, ut speciosa dehine miracula promat.
The aim of this little work is, therefore, limited to the gathering of such facts and phenomena as may serve to throw light upon the nature of the magic powers with which man is undoubtedly endowed. Its end will be attained if it succeeds in showing that he actually does possess powers which are not subject to the general laws of nature, but more or less independent of space and time, and which yet make themselves known partly by appeals to the ordinary senses and partly by peculiar phenomena, the result of their presume, the double griefat being separated from the body, with which it has so long been closely connected, and at the sins it has committed during life.More info →
"Sometimes, when I have watched the bright beginning of a love story, when I have seen a common feeling exalted into beauty by imagination, generosity, and the flaming courage of youth, I have heard again that strange complaint breathed by a dying woman into the stillness of night, like a confession of the soulMore info →