The year 1866 was marked by a unique incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, and rumors agitated the maritime population and excited the public mind, especially seafaring men. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.
Julio Desnoyers, a wealthy young Spanish American, tries to escape the dirt, blood, and horror of World War I. Why should he fight on foreign soil for a country that is his father's land and not his own? But everywhere he turns, war and its ravages follow Julio, changing everything. His lover Marguerite no longer desires their old life of abandoned intimacy, and his father has no use for his cowardly, profligate son. When Julio finally decides to fight, the world and his family know him for a different man.
It was one of the most traumatic events in maritime history, and Archibald Gracie was probably among the last to leave the sinking Titanic on that cold April night in 1912. In this unique account, he describes his personal experiences and remarkable escape from death in the icy waters of the Atlantic, painting a vivid picture of what it was like on board the Titanic in its final hours.
The Brothers Karamazov tells the stirring tale of four brothers: the pleasure-seeking, impatient Dmitri; the brilliant and morose Ivan; the gentle, loving, and honest Alyosha; and the illegitimate Smerdyakov: shy, silent, and cruel. The four unite in the murder of one of literature's most despicable characters - their father. This was Dostoevsky's final and best work.
Wodehouse weaves his wit through a wide collection of terrifying aunts, miserly uncles, love-sick friends, and unwanted fiancés. Bertie gets into a bit of trouble when one of his pals, Bingo Little, starts to fall in love with every second girl he lays his eyes on. But the soup gets really thick when Bingo decides to marry one of them and enlists Bertie's help. Luckily, he has the inimitable Jeeves to pull him out of it.
Generally considered to be his masterpiece, Vanity Fair is Thackeray's resplendent social satire that exposes the greed and corruption raging in England during the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars. Subtitled "A Novel Without a Hero", it traces the changing fortunes of two unforgettable women: the scheming opportunist Becky Sharp, one of literature's most resourceful, engaging, and amoral heroines, and her foil, the faithful, naive Amelia Sedley.
Twenty years later, time has weakened the resolve of the Musketeers and dispersed their loyalties. But treasons and stratagems still cry out for justice: civil war endangers the throne of France, while in England, Cromwell threatens to send Charles I to the scaffold. Dumas brings his immortal quartet out of retirement to cross swords with time, the malevolence of men, and the forces of history. But their greatest test is a titanic struggle with the son of Milady, who wears the face of Evil.
Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is clearly seen in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle, all of them fully realized and equally memorable.
Set in the Parisian underworld and plotted like a detective story, Les Miserables follows Jean Valjean, originally an honest peasant, who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister's starving family. A hardened criminal upon his release, he eventually reforms, becoming a successful industrialist and town mayor. Despite this, he is haunted by an impulsive former crime and is pursued relentlessly by the police inspector Javert.
In this carefully crafted novel, Dickens reveals the complexity of London society in the enterprising 1840s as he takes the listener into the business firm and home of one of its most representative patriarchs, Paul Dombey.
Set amid the riot, intrigue, and pageantry of medieval Paris, Victor Hugo's masterful tale of heroism and adventure has been a perennial favorite since its first publication in 1831. It is the story of Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer of the Notre Dame Cathedral, who falls in love with the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda. When Esmeralda is condemned as a witch by Claude Frollo, the tormented archdeacon who lusts after her, Quasimodo attempts to save her; but his intentions are misunderstood.
"For many days we had been tempest-tossed...the raging storm increased in fury until on the seventh day all hope was lost." So begins this delightful adventure story. The Robinson family, a Swiss pastor, his wife, and four sons, will emerge alive from this terrible storm, bringing to land two dogs and a shipload of livestock: hens, pigeons, and geese.
Wealthy and old, Martin Chuzzlewit, Sr. is surrounded by greedy relatives hoping to obtain a portion of his estate upon his death. Of his two descendants, born and bred in the same heritage of selfishness, one, Martin Jr., has the good fortune to transform, while the other, Jonas, does not and receives a fatal penalty.
For plain and pure imaginative delight, Treasure Island is unsurpassed. From the moment narrator Jim Hawkins meets the blind pirate Pew at the Admiral Benbow Inn until the spirited battle for hidden treasure on a tropic island, the novel spawns unforgettable scenes and characters that have thrilled readers young and old since its original publication in 1883.
Giovanni Boccaccio, Dante, and Petrarch were the leading lights in a century that is considered the beginning of the Italian Renaissance. The Decameron, or Ten Days' Entertainment, is his most famous work, a collection of stories considered representative of the Middle Ages, as well as a product of the Renaissance.
The Civilization of the Middle Ages incorporates current research, recent trends in interpretation, and novel perspectives, especially on the foundations of the Middle Ages and the Later Middle Ages of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. A sharper focus on social history, Jewish history, women’s roles in society, and popular religion and heresy distinguish the book.
From the coral reefs of Barbados to the jungles and fabled cities of the Orinoco and on to the great sea battle with the Spanish Armada, this vibrant novel captures the daring spirit of Elizabethan adventurers who sailed with Sir Francis Drake.
In this seminal story of naval life during the Napoleonic wars, Frederick Marryat's young hero embarks upon a life at sea and finds it to be a rough school indeed. Simple's trials and triumphs, with his faithful mentor, Terence O'Brien, at his side, mirror Marryat's personal experiences. Among the exciting events depicted are the hand-to-hand combat of "cutting-out" missions, the devastating hurricane off St. Pierre, and a mutiny aboard the Rattlesnake.
Marcus, a Roman officer in Nero's army, risks his career, his family, and even his life when he falls in love with a Christian woman named Callina. In order to win Callina's love, Marcus must come to understand the true meaning of her religion, even as Rome sinks under the excesses of Nero and Christians are thrown to the lions. Quo Vadis brims with passion and life as it explores one of the turning points in history.
During the reign of Richard I, Wilfred of Ivanhoe earns his father's disapproval by falling in love with Rowena, his father's ward. His father had planned to wed her himself, and reestablish the Saxon line.