From time to time we feature a special one of our texts. This is the full list of all previously featured texts.
Penrod Jashber is the story of an 11-year-old middle-class boy in a small Midwest city and his dream to become a detective. Penrod Schofield decides to become detective George Jashber and with his friends sets up a detective agency. He and his gang spend a great deal of effort sleuthing and getting into all kinds of boy mischief as they try to prove to themselves that “their man” really is a horse thief. When reality confronts them and exposes Penrod’s fantasy world for what it is, Penrod discards his alias “Jashber”, closes the agency, and he and the gang return to their boyhood activities.
Initially serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine before being published in 1929, Penrod Jashber was preceded by Penrod and Penrod and Sam, (both available at Gutenberg.org.) which were collections of short stories about Penrod and his friends. Penrod Jashber is a complete novel taking place in what could be Tarkington’s own home town, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Booth Tarkington (July 29, 1869—May 19, 1946) grew up in Indianapolis and wrote about the places and people he was familiar with. His idyllic settings made his novels and plays popular with the public and represented an idyllic life that many people wanted for themselves and for their families. During the 1910’s and 1920’s, Tarkington was a bestseller author and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction (Alice Adams and The Magnificent Ambersons).
We currently have 14 Booth Tarkington titles at this site with more to come. Readers who enjoy Booth Tarkington’s style of fiction writing might also enjoy Mary’s Neck, The Fighting Littles, or The Heritage of Hatcher Ide. If you are interested in helping us make more notable books of this kind available to readers, then come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
To celebrate the beginning of a new decade, let’s read through the twenties, the 1920s, that is. Here is a sampling of the books that grabbed people’s attention 90-100 years ago and are still loved today.
All of these books are available here at Faded Page. If you would like to help us provide more public-domain titles like these, then come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth is the perfect book to read as we head toward the new year. Wealthy businessman James Paradine gathers his family members for the traditional New Year’s Eve dinner and declares that one of them has betrayed the family without revealing the name of the accused. Soon after the clock strikes twelve, Paradine dies and one of the household is a murderer. Retired governess and private detective Miss Maud Silver is called in to help the police solve this classic English country house mystery.
Patricia Wentworth (1877-1961) is the pseudonym of Dora Amy Elles. She was a prolific novelist and best known for her Miss Silver series of detective novels. The 32 stories in this series are great examples of the British Golden Age mysteries and often feature romantic elements as well as clever plots. Miss Silver is often compared to Agatha Christie’s Miss Jane Marple; both frequently figure out the solutions to the mysteries with knitting needles in hand.
We have almost all the Miss Silver novels, as well as a number of other works, in our Patricia Wentworth Special Collection. If you would like to help us provide more public-domain titles like these, then come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Parmi les ouvrages français offerts sur notre site Web sont les 6 premiers tomes du “roman-fleuve” Les Thibault, de Roger Martin du Gard. Les Thibault étaient si populaire que M. du Gard a remporté le prix Nobel pour la littérature avant d’avoir terminé le cycle. Le cycle traite de deux familles, les Thibault et les Fontanin, au début du 20e siècle et pendant la Première Guerre mondiale. Sa traduction anglaise est hors print pendant des décennies; sa réception était meilleure en Europe qu’en Amérique du Nord. En France, on a fait deux adaptations télévisées du cycle (en 1972 et en 2003).
Les tomes qui se trouvent sur Faded Page sont les suivants : Le cahier gris, Le pénitencier, La belle saison, La consultation, La sorellina, and La mort du père. Si vous désirez nous aider à faire disponible les deux derniers tomes du cycle, joignez-vous à nous et corriger quelques pages. Pour plus d’informations, veuillez vous rendre à notre site Web associé, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Our French offerings on Faded Page include the first six volumes of the Les Thibault sequence of novels by Roger Martin du Gard. Du Gard won the Nobel Prize for Literature even before he’d finished writing this sequence, it was considered that good! The novels focus on two families, the Thibaults and the Fontanins, at the beginning of the 20th century and during the First World War. The English translation has been out of print for decades; it was better received in Europe than in North America. In France, the novels have been adapted twice for television (in 1972 and in 2003).
The Thibault novels available on Faded Page are as follows (in French only): Le cahier gris, Le pénitencier, La belle saison, La consultation, La sorellina, and La mort du père. If you want to help us make the last two volumes available on our site, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Hi, my name is John but I go by the moniker Atrian42. I have been a volunteer with Distributed Proofreaders Canada, the organization that provides public-domain e-books to Faded Page, since August 2016. Since then I have been involved in many aspects of the DPC community and recently started contributing new content. When you participate in DPC you get exposed to a wide range of books and publications. My own tastes are varied but I especially like books that tell a good story and you can find them anywhere. Here are some of my recommendations of books in the Faded Page catalogue.
The Sojourner, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
A tale of an American pioneer who works a farm in the American Midwest. The book chronicles his life and his love of the land and the people he meets along the way. He copes with difficult family members and children but they can’t break his deep connection to the land and his odd assortment of friends ... a great story.
Peace River Country, by Ralph Allen.
A book about the Canadian prairies and a family who travels to escape from an alcoholic father. They meet many people along the way and their semi-mythical goal: the Peace River Country of northern Alberta always seems to be right around every corner. An endearing tale for Canada’s western lands.
Hornblower and the Hotspur, by C.S. Forester.
I read some of the Horatio Hornblower series as a teenager but could only find two or three of the series at my local library. Faded Page brings you the complete series of 11 books. I worked on several of the novels and I especially liked this entry. A rip-roaring adventure novel telling the story of Forester’s hero as he battles the French during the Napoleonic Wars.
Peyton Place, by Grace Metalious
Peyton Place is an engrossing story of three women living in a small New England town as they confront issues of sexual abuse, murder and racism. Metalious weaves a splendid narrative that encapsulates the flavour of small town life in 1950s America.
The Gathering Storm, by Winston Churchill
Volume I of a six volume series presents the Second World War from the perspective of one of the great men of our time. A massive chronicle, Churchill offers a first person view of the events of that critical era that nearly ripped the entire world asunder. Included in his writing is much of the correspondence he wrote which gives a unique behind the scenes look at what was happening as the allies confronted the menace to the free world. Can’t wait for the rest of the series which Faded Page will eventually host.
The General, by C. S. Forester, chronicles the career of Herbert Curzon as he rises through the ranks during the Boer War and the first few years of the First World War. Curzon is a relatively ordinary man but becomes fully part of the machine of war, believing it is his duty to adhere to the same old tactics, even when they patently do not work. It has a sharp satirical edge (“Men who stopped to think about their chances of being killed were a nuisance to their superior officers”) and highlights especially well the futility of so many people dying at Ypres, Passchendaele, and the Somme.
You may recognize C. S. Forester as the author of the Hornblower series. Some of his other books include The Captain from Connecticut, which is set at the tail end of the Napoleonic Wars, and Hunting the Bismarck, which tells of how the British navy took down one of the German navy’s most ferocious battleships in the Second World War.
If you like what we do here on Faded Page and want to help us add even more public-domain books to the site, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
A photographer’s freak accident in the dark room produces a chemical concoction causing him and his dog to randomly switch back and forth between normal and skeleton versions of themselves. Much drinking and cavorting ensues, as he finds people able to see beyond his appearance and appreciate him for who he is, while inadvertently terrifying others.
James Thorne Smith, Jr. (March 27, 1892 – June 21, 1934) was an American writer of humorous supernatural fantasy fiction under the byline Thorne Smith. He is best known today for his two Topper novels and comic fantasy fiction involving sex, much drinking and supernatural transformations. With racy illustrations, these sold millions of copies in the 1930s and were equally popular in paperbacks of the 1950s. His most popular work, Topper, was not only a favorite book, but it was also adapted into a successful movie with two sequels, a top radio program and a popular TV series.
Thorne’s impact can be felt in the writings of authors as diverse as Robert Bloch, Neil Gaiman, and James Thurber. Other works influenced by him include the cartoons Beetle Bailey, Sad Sack and Casper the Friendly Ghost and the TV shows Bewitched, Mr. Ed, and I Dream of Jeannie.
Readers who enjoy Thorne Smith’s humor might also enjoy his books Turnabout, The Stray Lamb, or Topper here at Faded Page. More titles are currently in the proofing rounds. We invite you to come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
The World’s Best Humorous Anecdotes was compiled by James Gilchrist Lawson and published in 1923. It has over 1400 anecdotes -- enough humour to read four a day for a year! It is similar to some humour found in Reader’s Digest.
Here’s a Canadian example:
“Where are you from?”
“That’s a bad cold you got, neighbor.”
Lawson published another humorous book, The World’s Best Conundrums and Riddles of all Ages. We do not yet have that title or any others of his typically religious books, but there are many other eBooks Fadedpage has in a humorous vein. We have a mixture of Canadian books, many by Stephen Butler Leacock, and ones from elsewhere. Feel free to search around and look forward to a few chuckles or laughs!
James Gilchrist Lawson (1874-1946) was an American evangelist and hymn writer who compiled several best-selling books of Christian biography and poetry, as well as the humorous books mentioned above.
If you are interested in helping us make more notable books of this kind available to readers, then come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
The Man Who Went Back is a story about a modern man who is injured in an auto accident and mysteriously wakes up in Roman times in England. Only after he is killed in a battle does he wake up again in the present. Readers who enjoy time travel, Arthurian legend, romance with strong heroine characters, and journeys through the British countryside will enjoy this Warwick Deeping novel.
Published in hardback on three continents in 1940, it also appeared in its entirety in “Amazing Adventures” science fiction magazine in the 1940s under the same title. Deeping’s early work is dominated by historical romances and this novel includes romance, historical ties and adds a science fiction time travel element.
Warwick Deeping (28 May 1877 – 20 April 1950) was an English novelist and short story writer. He abandoned medical practice to write full time and became one of the best-selling authors of the 1920s and 1930s, with seven novels making the bestseller list. Deeping was a prolific writer of short stories which appeared in such British magazines as Cassell’s, The Story-Teller, and The Strand. Well over 200 of these original short stories and essays were never seen in book form. His later novels usually dealt with modern life and were critical of many tendencies of twentieth-century civilization, often dealing with controversial issues such as alcoholism and medicine in the slums. His standpoint was generally that of passionate individualism, distrustful both of ruling elites and of the lower classes, who were often presented as a threat to his embattled middle-class protagonists.
We currently have thirty-four Warwick Deeping titles at this site with more to come. Readers who enjoy Warwick Deeping’s style of fiction writing might also enjoy Kitty, The Woman at the Door, or Old Pybus. If you are interested in helping us make more notable books of this kind available to readers, then come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
If you’re in need of a book where everything works out exactly as you’d hope, and everyone gets their just deserts, look no further than The Blue Castle. Valancy Stirling is one of the most deserving heroines out there, and it’s sheer delight to see everything working out for her.
This is one of the few L.M. Montgomery books not set in Prince Edward Island. If you want to see what other works of hers we have available, check out the special collection on Faded Page. And if you want to see more of her works or those of her contemporaries, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
The Edge of the Sea is for those laypersons interested in the various creatures that inhabit the shoreline at low and high tide. It focuses on the plants and invertebrates surviving in the Atlantic zones from Newfoundland to the Florida Keys. As a conclusion to Rachel Carson’s “Sea Trilogy” that begins with Under the Sea-wind and follows with her famous The Sea Around Us, her third book delves into the nature of life at the boundaries of sea and land. Poetically written, this book still serves as a good introduction to marine biology even though it was published in 1955. Carson also discusses the human impact on the shoreline, pollution, and quality of the ocean water itself. The book’s Appendix and Index make it a great reference tool for those interested in plant and animal life around tidepools.
Rachel Carson was a writer, scientist, and ecologist who earned her MA in zoology from Johns Hopkins University. For fifteen years she worked as a scientist and became Editor-in-Chief of all publications for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service before devoting herself full-time to writing books and articles on the environment.
We have the complete “Sea Trilogy” including Under the Sea-wind, The Sea Around Us, and The Edge of the Sea in addition to Carson’s seminal work, Silent Spring. If you like these books and want to see more on Faded Page, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Metal fatigue in an airplane may not sound like a thrilling subject, but in Nevil Shute’s No Highway, it could be a matter of life and death. In this story, the brand-new Reindeer aircraft is the pride of the transatlantic route between the UK and Canada; however, the tailplane, which is of a unique design, may be vulnerable to failure at only 1400 flying hours. The plane has already been involved in one crash where this issue may have been a factor, and engineer Theodore Honey is on his way to Canada to validate the hypothesis. And then he realizes that he is travelling on a Reindeer…and it’s dangerously close to the possible failure point. Can the existence of this fatigue problem be found in time, and will Theodore arrive in Canada without mishap?
Nevil Shute, as an aeronautical engineer, really knows his stuff; his books are often populated with engineers or other intellectual types, and the details ring true. Faded Page has 23 copies of Shute’s books available for your enjoyment.
If you like what we do here on Faded Page and want to help us add even more public-domain books to the site, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
— from The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
A Handful of Dust takes on the same theme of a decaying civilization as Eliot’s poem. With its isolated characters representing a civilization in decline, Waugh presents a story laced with cynicism and truth satirizing the gentry class of English life between world wars. The main characters, Tony and Brenda Last, have wealth but are lacking in other qualities. The plot is a series of absurd situations in which the Lasts and their friends ignore the most sensible course and sail into the rocky reef completely oblivious to the fact that they will most likely crash.
Made into a movie of the same name in 1988, A Handful of Dust is #34 on the Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels list.
We currently have seven Evelyn Waugh titles at this site with more to come. Readers who enjoy Evelyn Waugh’s brand of satire and characteristic black humor in lampooning various features of British society might also enjoy Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Put Out More Flags, or Brideshead Revisited.
To celebrate Canada Day on July 1, we take a look at one of Canada’s most renowned artists, Emily Carr (1871-1945). Carr is particularly well known for her paintings inspired by Aboriginal Canadians and their environment. She was also a writer, and Klee Wyck is a memoir consisting of short pieces describing her experiences interacting and occasionally living among the Aboriginals.
“Klee Wyck” was a name given to Carr by the Ucluelet people and it means “Laughing One”. It is an appropriate name, as the stories are full of humour, warmth and interesting observations, and in them, Carr’s love and admiration for the Aboriginal people are apparent. In Klee Wyck, Carr describes in detail the many totem poles she tried to preserve in her artwork. The accompanying image is of Kitwancool, one such painting.
Klee Wyck won the Governor General’s Award in 1941. Be sure to browse the list of Governor General’s Award winners that we have available here at Faded Page. If you are interested in helping us make more notable books of this kind available to readers, then come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Mystery in the Channel by Freeman Wills Crofts
In Freeman Wills Crofts’ Mystery in the Channel, the master of a passenger ferry running from Newhaven, England, to Dieppe, France, observes a yacht drifting in the channel. Two men are found dead on board. Inspector French of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate and becomes involved in the world of high-powered banking and international intrigue. It is a satisfyingly boaty mystery and recommended for those who like their Golden Age detective fiction with a touch of the nautical.
This is #7 in the Inspector French series. Faded Page currently has five books in the series available (including #11, The 12:30 from Croydon). If you’d like to see more of them on the site, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Set in west Texas after the Civil War, The Searchers is a classic western story in which Amos Edwards and his adopted nephew, Martin Pauley, search to find 10-year-old Debbie Edwards. Debbie has been abducted by Comanche Indians in a murder raid that left the remainder of her family dead.
The Searchers is loosely based on the story of Cynthia Ann Parker who was abducted by Comanches in Texas in 1836 when she was about 10 years of age. She remained a captive for over 20 years until she was reintegrated back into white society. While living with the Comanches, she was pursued by several family members but to no avail. She had several children during her captivity, and her oldest, Quannah, became a legendary Comanche chief and oversaw the transition of the tribe to reservation living. The book was made into a movie of the same name in 1956 and directed by John Ford with John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter and Natalie Wood playing lead roles. Although the movie uses much of the original dialogue from the book, it finishes with a different ending.
Alan Le May (June 3, 1899 – April 27, 1964) was an American novelist best known for his two western novels, The Searchers and The Unforgiven. Le May also wrote numerous short stories, short story collections and screenplays during the 1940s and 1950s.
In addition to The Searchers, we also have the collection of short stories, The Bells of San Juan and we will soon have The Unforgiven. If you like these books and want to see more westerns like these on Faded Page, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
If you’re in the mood for a book about transportation, Faded Page has a variety of books about planes, trains, and automobiles for you to try.
Fans of the Hardy Boys may wish to try a Ted Scott Flying Story. This series was produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate from 1927 to 1943 and was written under the Franklin W. Dixon pseudonym. The hero is a daring young aviator very much in the style of Charles Lindbergh, and the books are illustrated with pictures of those classic wooden-frame biplanes that marked the early days of aviation. Faded Page currently has three of the Ted Scott stories on offer: Across the Pacific, Over the Rockies with the Air Mail, and Lost at the South Pole.
If a mystery set on a train (particularly the ever-so-romantic steam train) is more your speed, Faded Page has some mysteries from the Golden Age of detective fiction that might be of interest. Miles Burton’s Death in the Tunnel is one such example. Sir Wilfred Saxonby is travelling alone in a locked compartment on the 5 o’clock train. The train enters a tunnel, and by the time the train exits the tunnel, Saxonby is dead—shot through the heart. Was it suicide? Or was it murder?
Automobile enthusiasts who want a fun children’s story, meanwhile, need look no further than Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. This is the classic story by Ian Fleming about a magical car that can drive by itself, fly, and even float, and is the vehicle by which Caractacus Potts and his family have a wide range of adventures. If you’ve seen the movie and want to read the original book, now’s your chance.
If you like these books and want to see more transportation-related stories on Faded Page, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Clouds of Witness, the second book in the Peter Wimsey series, is close to home for our favourite Piccadilly-based amateur sleuth. His brother, the Duke of Denver, is on trial for the murder of their sister's fiancé. Peter is determined to clear the family name, but for some reason the Duke is stubbornly refusing to cooperate. How could Peter's detecting be more embarrassing than the Duke's potentially hanging?
Clouds of Witness is one of several books by Sayers hosted on Faded Page. Check out the special collection of her works to see what we have available and what’s under development.
If you’d like to help us make more books by Sayers and her crime fiction peers of the Golden Age available on our website, come join us and proofread a few pages. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
We are actively scanning Sayer’s book Hangman’s Holiday. This book contains four Lord Peter stories, and six Montague Egg stories. If you sign up now, you can be one of the privileged few selected to help prepare this volume for publication on the fadedpage.com site!
If you are thinking of visiting a national park in Canada, then you might want to take a look at one of our Canadian National Park guidebooks issued by The Geological Survey of Canada. Not only do these guidebooks highlight the roadside lookouts and stops, but they describe in detail the geological aspects of each park. Written by David McCurdy Baird, a Canadian geologist, photographer, and academic, these timeless guidebooks are illustrated and are perfect as an annotated drive through each of the parks.
Our feature guidebook, Jasper National Park, describes in some detail the general aspects of the geology of Jasper National Park: where it is, how the mountains there originated, the rocks of the region and where they came from, and the different shapes of mountains related to the structures of the rocks composing them. The last part comprises a series of notes on what is to be seen at each of the lookouts and roadside stops along the main travel routes. With four different routes annotated, numerous illustrations, and a fully linked index, this guidebook is typical of what you will find in other guidebooks in this series.
We currently have ten titles here at Faded Page, including Kootenay National Park, Prince Edward Island National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, Yoho National Park, Banff National Park, Rocks and Scenery of Fundy National Park, National Parks in Ontario, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and The Nakimu Caves, Glacier Dominion Park, B. C..
We invite you to come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Precious Bane, published in 1924, is set in the Shropshire region of England in the 1800’s. It tells the story of Prue Sarn, a young woman afflicted with a harelip. Despite her condition and the tragedies that befall her family, Prue manages to survive her hardships and find love, through her own strength and the beauty of her character. The title comes from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and refers both to the love of money, which contributes to Prue’s family’s misfortunes, and her affliction, which is a source of her inner strength.
Mary Webb (1881-1927) was an English novelist and poet who set many of her stories in the Shropshire countryside. Much of her work had fallen out of print until the feminist publisher Virago reprinted several of her novels, including Precious Bane, in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, as part of their Virago Modern Classics imprint. Precious Bane has been adapted many times, for film, television and even musical theatre.
We encourage you to browse through the works of Mary Webb that we have available here at our site. Please consider joining us and proofing a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
C. S. Forester’s The Good Shepherd is a WWII suspense thriller that was acclaimed as one of the best novels of the year upon publication in 1955. It is the basis for the soon to be released motion picture, Greyhound, which was filmed in the Atlantic off the coast of Canada.
Forester’s central character is George Krause, an American destroyer commander in his mid-40s in command of a supply convoy with a four-ship escort. Krause is a professional sailor who has been at sea for thirteen years in a twenty-year career, and who is encountering naval combat for the first time. He’s a religious man, and his thinking is studded with biblical references, but the references are all highly descriptive of his situation and integral to his character. The mission of Commander George Krause of the United States Navy is to protect a convoy of thirty-seven merchant ships making their way across the icy North Atlantic from America to England. There, they will deliver desperately needed supplies, but only if they can make it through the wolfpack of German submarines that awaits and outnumbers them in the perilous seas. For forty-eight hours Krause will play a desperate cat-and-mouse game against the submarines, combating exhaustion, hunger, and thirst.
We currently have 27 C. S. Forester titles here at Faded Page including the Horatio Hornblower series, with more to come. We invite you to come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
The Zimiamvian Series by Eric Rücker Eddison
This fantasy series begins with The Worm Ouroboros, first published in 1922. The book describes the protracted war between the domineering King Gorice of Witchland and the Lords of Demonland in an imaginary world that appears mainly medieval and partly reminiscent of Norse sagas. Ouroboros refers to the snake or dragon that swallows its own tail and therefore has no terminus. Like the Ouroboros, the story ends at the same place as it begins, when the heroes realize that their lives have little meaning without the great conflict and wish that it could continue, and their wish is granted.
The work is slightly related to Eddison’s later Zimiamvian Trilogy: Mistress of Mistresses, A Fish Dinner in Memison and The Mezentian Gate. Collectively all four are referred to as the Zimiamvian Series. The Worm Ouroboros and the Trilogy share references to one character, Lessingham. This is the same Lessingham character who appears in the first chapter of The Worm Ouroboros as a sort of ghost or immaterial astral being and thereafter discreetly disappears and an apparently identical character in Mistress of Mistresses which then becomes much more fully described in A Fish Dinner in Memison. Another character, also called Lessingham, is a main character in Mistress of Mistresses, but the Lessingham of Zimiamvia and the Lessingham of Earth, though connected, are two different people. In The Worm Ouroboros, Lord Juss describes Zimiamvia. The Zimiamvia of the Trilogy fits this description in the sense that it seems to be a world specially created for an incarnation or avatar of Lessingham.
Eddison’s books are written in a meticulously recreated Jacobean prose style, seeded throughout with fragments, acknowledged but often directly copied from his favorite authors and genres. These include Homer and Sappho, Shakespeare and Webster, Norse sagas and French medieval lyric poems.
We offer all four titles described above. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available on our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”
Named for John Newbery, an 18th-century English publisher of juvenile books, the Newbery was proposed by Publishers Weekly editor Frederic G. Melcher in 1921, making it the first children’s book award in the world. The medal was designed by Rene Paul Chambellan and depicts an author giving his work (a book) to a boy and a girl to read.
In 1923 the award went to Hugh Lofting’s The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle, the second Doctor Doolittle book in which the Doctor meets Tommy Stubbins, the young son of the local cobbler, who becomes his new assistant. Tommy learns how to speak animal languages and becomes involved in the Doctor’s quest to find Long Arrow, the greatest naturalist in the world.
In 1924 the award went to Charles Boardman Hawes’ The Dark Frigate, a rousing tale with bloody battles, brutal buccaneers, and a bold, spirited hero, to enthrall young listeners in search of seafaring adventure.
Charles Finger won the award in 1925 for Tales from Silver Lands, a collection of nineteen folktales from the native populations of Central and South America.
The 1927 award went to Dhan Gopal Mukerji’s Gay-Neck, The Story of a Pigeon. For a pigeon, life is a repetition of two activities: a quest for food and avoidance of attacks by its enemies. If the hero in this story repeats his escapes from attacks by hawks, it is because that is the sort of mishap that becomes chronic in the case of pigeons.
In 1932 the award went to Laura Adams Armer’s Waterless Mountain, the story of a Navajo Indian living in Arizona in the 1920s who wishes to follow in the footsteps of his uncle and become a medicine man.
In addition to these titles currently at Faded Page, more Newbery Award titles are coming. We invite you to come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
This month, we feature Ulysses to commemorate the birthday of James Joyce on February 2. Ulysses is a notorious book. First published in 1922, it describes the intertwined lives of several people, most notably Leopold Bloom, Molly Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, in thought and action throughout a single day 16 June 1904, in Dublin, Ireland. The New York Times has described Ulysses as “the most prominent landmark in modernist literature”. Both the Modern Library and The Guardian place it in their top 100 novels lists. It has not always received such praise. Its explicit sexuality shocked, and so the US Post Office declared it obscene, a decision not overturned until 1933. Modern readers will find the explicit sexuality less shocking, but they will be more aware of the casual sexism and racism portrayed, and saddened by the degree of anti-semitism that Joyce’s characters encounter.
So, why is the book so highly regarded? Joyce was a sculptor of words but, unlike those who work in stone or clay, he resembled more the mixed media artist who constructs using a range of materials. This has given him a reputation as a “difficult” author. He depicted life’s complexities through exploring multiple narrative styles, using wide-ranging cultural and social references, and applying playful language and dialogue. Like life, it’s complicated. And, as you might expect from a foremost author, he pushed the boundaries of literary practice, innovating in the use of stream of consciousness and interior monologue to great effect.
In Joyce’s last book, Finnegans Wake, his exploration of language and structure is taken to a new level. Thought by some to be a recreation of the dream world, it uses stream of consciousness, wide-ranging linguistic and cultural allusions, and playful language. It perhaps achieved a peak of innovative writing that few scale or appreciate.
James Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish writer who, in his early twenties, left with his partner, Nora Barnacle, for self-imposed exile in Europe. They spent most of his life in Zurich, Trieste and Paris. Nevertheless, his writings were all based in Dublin. In their early years in Europe, he supported them through language teaching. As his reputation as an avant-garde writer rose, he gained financial support from wealthy patrons, which continued to the end of his days. Joyce suffered chronic eye problems and mental illness. He died following abdominal surgery. His literary legacy is celebrated each year on 16 June, now known as Bloomsday.
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Peyton Place is a 1956 novel describing how three women are forced to come to terms with their identity, both as women and as sexual beings, in a small, conservative, gossipy New England town. Considered scandalous at the time of its release, the story is filled with recurring themes of hypocrisy, social inequities and class privilege in a tale that includes incest, abortion, adultery, lust and murder.
The novel remained on the New York Times best seller list for 59 weeks and spawned a franchise that would run through four decades: a 1957 movie, a follow-up novel, Return to Peyton Place, filmed in 1961, and a 1964 TV series which ran for 5 years.
The fictional Peyton Place setting appears to be a composite of several New Hampshire towns: Gilmanton, Gilford, Laconia, Manchester and Plymouth, where some of the work was written. The novel originally had the working title The Tree and the Blossom, but Grace considered it too long. She and her husband, George, first considered Potter Place (a real community near Andover, New Hampshire). Realizing their town should have a fictional name, they looked through an atlas and found Payton (a real town in Texas). They combined that with Place and changed the “a” to an “e”. Thus, Peyton Place was created.
Grace Metalious (September 8, 1924 – February 25, 1964) was born Marie Grace DeRepentigny into poverty and a broken home in the mill town of Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduation from high school, she married George Metalious and became a housewife and mother. At the age of 30, she began work on a manuscript about the dark secrets of a small New England town. She found a literary agent and Peyton Place, her first novel, became an immediate bestseller. Her other novels sold well but never achieved the same success. Suffering from cirrhosis of the liver from years of heavy drinking, she died at age 39.
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Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (1878 – 1957) was a prolific Anglo-Irish writer of novels, short stories and plays. His most well-known work is in the fantasy genre and he published under the name of Lord Dunsany. Plunkett was also an avid chess player and invented a variant called “Dunsany’s Chess” in which one side has the standard chess pieces while the other has 32 pawns.
The Jest of Hahalaba is a one-act play set in the final hours of 1928. Sir Arthur Strangways enlists an alchemist to summon the unpredictable and mischievous spirit of Laughter. Though the alchemist warns of possible dire consequences, Sir Arthur’s greed leads him to invoke the spirit and receive a shocking surprise as the New Year arrives.
Here at Faded Page, we have a number of Lord Dunsany’s works, including his popular high-fantasy novel, The King of Elfland’s Daughter. If you would like to help us add more works like this to the public domain, come join us and proofread a few pages. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
If your Christmas tastes tend to the heartwarming and sentimental, you may wish to try a couple of short stories by Lucy Maud Montgomery that are set during the Christmas season: “A Christmas of Long Ago” and “Ted’s Double: A Christmas Folly”. At 7 and 12 pages respectively, they can be easily tucked into the short spaces between tree-trimming, carolling, shopping, and other holiday-related tasks and events. They are best served with a roaring fire, hot cocoa, and a cosy blanket.
These are just two of many Montgomery short stories (and novels) available on Faded Page and listed on Montgomery’s Special Collections page. If you’d like to help us add more of her work to the public domain, come join us and proofread a few pages. Your contribution is very much appreciated. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmès est la deuxième volume d’histoires mettant en vedette le gentleman-cambrioleur Arsène Lupin. Dans cette volume, Lupin s’oppose au détective londonien célèbre Sherlock… oups, on veut dire HERLOCK Sholmès. Ce détective est effectivement une copie transparente du détective le plus reconnu du monde. En effet, Maurice Leblanc (l’écrivain qui a créé le personnage d’Arsène Lupin) et sir Arthur Conan Doyle ont vécu des carrières semblables, ayant créé tous les deux des personnages qui étaient devenus impossibles à tuer.
Si vous aimeriez voir plus de livres, romans, nouvelles, etc. en français sur la site Web de FadedPage, joignez-vous à nous et corriger quelques pages. Vous serez les bienvenus! Si faire du bénévolat avec nous vous intéresse, vous pouvez vous en informer sur notre site Web associé, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Arsène Lupin contre Herlock Sholmès is the second collection of stories featuring gentleman-thief Arsène Lupin. In this collection, Lupin faces off against celebrated London detective Sherlock…oops, I mean HERLOCK Sholmes. Sholmes is quite clearly a copy of the best-known detective in the world. Both Maurice Leblanc (the creator of Arsène Lupin) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had similar careers, in that they both created characters that ended up becoming impossible to kill off.
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Destry Rides Again is the story of Harrison Destry’s quest for revenge against the 12 jurors whose personal malice leads them to wrongfully convict him of robbery. When he gets out on good behavior, he plans his revenge. He does not murder any of them, though he kills some in self-defense. Instead, he systematically sets about ruining each of the jurors’ lives.
As one of Max Brand’s most famous works, it remained in print 70 years after its first publication. Destry Rides Again was first published in 1930, in a series of installments under the title “Twelve Peers” in Western Story Magazine. It was republished as a paperback later that year under the title Destry Rides Again. The word “again” in the title refers to Destry’s renewed freedom to ride after being let out of prison, not to any previous story; this novel was the Destry character’s fiction debut. This title was later made into 3 films starring Tom Mix and Jimmy Stewart, a Broadway musical and a TV series.
Frederick Schiller Faust (May 29, 1892 – May 12, 1944) was an American author known primarily for his thoughtful and literary Westerns under the pen name Max Brand. Faust’s other pseudonyms include Frank Austin, George Owen Baxter, Walter C Butler, George Challis, Evan Evans, Frederick Faust, John Frederick, Frederick Frost, David Manning, Peter Henry Morland, and Peter Ward. Faust (as Max Brand) also created the popular fictional character of young medical intern Dr. James Kildare in a series of pulp-fiction stories which later became a popular TV series. Wanting to write a good war novel, Faust in late 1944 got an assignment with Harper’s Magazine as a war correspondent. While in Italy traveling with American soldiers, he was mortally wounded by shrapnel.
We currently have 43 Frederick Faust titles here at Faded Page with more to come. We invite you to come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on November 11, we present Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae's In Flanders Fields and Other Poems. The most notable work in this collection, the poem “In Flanders Fields”, was written while he was waiting for the wounded to arrive at his dugout in Flanders, Belgium. It was inspired particularly by the death of a friend on May 2, 1915. Published in the London magazine Punch in December 1915, it rapidly became the most popular English-language poem of the war. The poem has made the poppy the enduring symbol of the war dead of the British empire and a lasting symbol of self-sacrifice in war. This book contains most of the poems that he wrote and submitted to various publications over the years of his medical career. There is also a biographical essay by Sir Andrew Macphail.
On January 28, 1918, McCrae died of pneumonia and meningitis; he was 45 years old. He was buried with full military honours in the cemetery at Wimereux, France. The Dictionary of Canadian Biography website contains more information on John McCrae. There is also a commemorative vignette that was created by Historica Canada for their Heritage Minutes Collection. There are several museums in Canada that commemorate John McCrae's life. In 1946, John McCrae was declared a Person of National Historic Significance by the Government of Canada.
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For Halloween, we bring you the ultimate haunted-house story. The Haunting of Hill House is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar; Theodora, his assistant; Eleanor, a friendless fragile acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the heir of Hill House. Unexplained events occur and the house seems to become a living organism. Within a few days, the guests come to believe that Hill House will take one of them as its own. Using complex relationships between the events in the house and the characters’ psyches, the novel relies on terror rather than horror to elicit emotion in the reader.
Stephen King said, “Shirley Jackson’s Hill House is as nearly perfect a haunted-house tale as I have ever read.” It is widely regarded by many critics as the greatest haunted-house story ever written. The story has been made into two full feature films and a brand new TV series was just released.
Shirley Jackson (1916-1965) was an American writer known for her works in gothic horror and mystery. She produced over 200 short stories, six novels, and 2 memoirs during her lifetime. Her most famous story “The Lottery” won the 1949 O. Henry Prize and has been filmed three times.
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The Battles That Changed History, published in 1956, explains in one volume the political and social context of sixteen conflicts that changed the history of the world. From the time of Alexander the Great at Arbela to the Campaign Against Quebec to the Battle of Midway, each of the conflicts represent a pivotal situation-a scenario in which a different outcome would have resulted in a radically altered world. With over 25 maps, Pratt explains the political and social context of each battle or campaign, gives a detailed account of the battle, and then explains why it was decisive in history.
Fletcher Platt (1897-1956) was an established science fiction and fantasy writer who was also a noted author on naval history and Civil War history. Wargamers know Pratt as the inventor of a set of rules for civilian naval wargaming before the Second World War known as the “Naval War Game”. He authored 36 other biography and war history titles on the War of 1812, World War II, the American Civil War, and the Napoleonic Wars.
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Flatland, first published in 1884, is an explanation of multiple space dimensions, with illustrations, in the form of a story that satirizes Victorian conventions. Loved by both mathematicians and non-specialists, this classic has been adapted to short films several times and referenced frequently in popular culture. The narrator of the story, A Square, lives in a flat two-dimensional world in which women are simple lines while men are polygons whose numbers of sides increase with status. A Square’s life changes when he is visited by A Sphere, who comes from a three-dimensional world.
At the time of publication, some criticized Abbott’s depiction of women, but as a reply, he wrote that the portrayal was meant to satirize existing viewpoints. Abbott (1838-1926) had a distinguished career as a schoolmaster, theologian and writer, and he wrote a number of other scholarly works. One of these is a textbook on the English language, How to Parse, subtitled An Attempt to Apply the Principles of Scholarship to English Grammar.
We invite you to come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Arthur Ransome (1884-1967) was an English author and journalist. He is best known for writing the Swallows and Amazons series of children’s books about the school-holiday adventures of children in the Lake District and the Norfolk Broads. He also wrote about the literary life of London, with biographies on Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde, and about Russia before, during, and after the revolutions of 1917. He had initially moved to Russia in 1913 to study Russian folklore but when war broke out, he covered the Eastern Front as a foreign correspondent.
Ransome began writing Swallows and Amazons in 1929 when he moved to the English Lake District, an area he was familiar with from childhood memories of regular family holidays. His familiarity with the area and his yacht sailing experience provide the geographic and sailing details for his stories, although many of the story locations are invented. Swallows and Amazons and 4 sequels, Swallowdale, Winter Holiday, Pigeon Post and The Picts and the Martyrs are set in the Lake District. When he moved to East Anglia, he began using actual existing landscape locations: Coot Club and The Big Six in the Norfolk Broads, and We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea and Secret Water in coastal Suffolk and Essex.
Swallows and Amazons tells the story of the Walker children, who sail a dinghy named Swallow, and the Blackett children, who sail a dinghy named Amazon. The Walkers consider themselves explorers, while the Blacketts declare themselves pirates. The children meet on an island in the lake and have a series of adventures that weave imaginative tales of pirates and exploration into everyday life in inter-war rural England. In subsequent adventures, the children change roles and become explorers in the Lake District, East Anglia and abroad.
Here at Faded Page we have all twelve Swallows and Amazons titles. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
After making his fortune, James Lessiter returns to his home village to reclaim the family estate, but few of the villagers are happy to see his return. When he is found murdered, a number of suspects with various motives emerge. Luckily, Maud Silver, visiting an old friend in the village, is on hand to unravel the mystery...
Miss Silver is the creation of crime novelist Dora Amy Elles (1878-1961), better known as Patricia Wentworth. She is frequently compared to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, another clever elderly spinster who considers the puzzles put before her while busily engaged with her knitting needles. However, Maud Silver, a former governess and teacher, is more of a professional, no-nonsense character, often working closely with Scotland Yard.
Wentworth wrote 32 Miss Silver mysteries, as well as 34 other books, many of them standalone mystery novels. Most of her books are available in our Patricia Wentworth Special Collection. If you would like to help us work toward completing this collection and adding other books like these to Faded Page, please consider volunteering at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Earl Derr Biggers (1884-1933) was an American novelist and playwright who is best known for his creation of the Chinese American detective character, Charlie Chan. Biggers began as a newspaper journalist in Ohio, but with his first novel, Seven Keys to Baldpate, in 1913, he became a public success with a Broadway play and 5 film versions to follow over the next 30 years. When the financial rewards made it possible for him to take, in his words, a “little trip to Honolulu,” the concept of the Charlie Chan character and series of detective novels was born.
In the first novel of this series, The House Without a Key, detective Charlie Chan of the Honolulu Police Department works to solve a murder committed at a beach house in Honolulu. In the story, John Quincy Winterslip, a young Bostonian, provides the romantic interest for the daughter of a prime suspect, as well as investigative assistance to Mr. Chan in solving the mystery murder.
The book title is named after the restaurant of the Halekulani Hotel on Waikiki Beach where Biggers stayed while writing the novel. Biggers claimed that the Charlie Chan character was inspired by the real-life Honolulu detective, Chang Apana.
In addition to four other Charlie Chan titles including Behind That Curtain and The Black Camel, we offer Fifty Candles, a mystery novella also set in Hawaii. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
In our effort to provide new and interesting titles of all genres, we at Faded Page introduce our first books with audio files. The audio files are in the form of MIDI (.mid) files included with the downloads, and they are used to enhance the text or provide an audio accompaniment to illustrated musical scores in the e-book. These .mid files can be heard by clicking on the [Listen] or [Play] box in the text using most major browsers and on most e-readers with audio capability.
We invite you to browse through our first audio e-books beginning with The Music of Bach: an Introduction by Charles Sanford Terry, a non-technical "guide" to the music of J. S. Bach, describing how his music was influenced by his surroundings and the times. Other titles with audio files are Shakespearean Music in the Plays and Early Operas by Sir Frederick Bridge, which includes a musical appendix containing .mid files and sheet music in .pdf format, and Whistling as an Art by Agnes Woodward, a handbook describing methods for the development of tone, technique and style in whistling.
Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available at our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Happy Canada Day!
June 24, 2018, is the 205th anniversary of the Battle of Beaver Dams, a battle during the War of 1812 that has become somewhat mythologized in Canada. The story runs that American troops billeted at the home of Laura and James Secord were discussing plans to ambush the British troops at Beaver Dams, and Laura, overhearing these plans, set out on a 20-mile (32 km) walk to warn the troops. Armed with this information, the British were able to defeat the Americans.
Among the Canadiana in Faded Page’s collection is Laura the Undaunted: A Canadian Historical Romance, by John Price-Brown. This story, published in 1930 by Ryerson Press, covers Laura’s early years and culminates in the War of 1812. Have some of Laura’s namesake chocolate while you enjoy this short novel (clocking in at 105 pages).
If you like this book and want to help make more Canadian public-domain novels available to enjoy, join us and proof a page or two. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site, Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (26 August 1875 to 11 February 1940), was a lawyer, journalist, novelist, and the 15th Governor General of Canada. Buchan wrote in a variety of genres: spy fiction, short stories, biography, and history. He also established the first proper library at Rideau Hall (the Governor General’s official residence) and founded the Governor General’s Literary Awards, which continue to this day as Canada’s premier literature award.
The Thirty-Nine Steps is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay and is Buchan’s best-known work. Hannay, a Scottish mining engineer, has come from Rhodesia to London to start a new life for himself. Within days, he’s found a man dead in his flat and himself on the run in southwestern Scotland as he tries to prevent the assassination of a visiting political leader. This book has been adapted several times, most notably in 1935 by Alfred Hitchcock, with Robert Donat portraying Hannay.
Here at Faded Page, we also have books 4 and 5 in the Richard Hannay series (The Three Hostages and The Island of Sheep), as well as examples of Buchan’s biographies (Sir Walter Scott), retellings of Scottish legends (Witch Wood), and his own memoir (Memory Hold-the-Door).
If you like these books, come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring even more public domain titles to Canada. For more information about how to volunteer, check out our companion site: Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Stephen Butler Leacock (1869-1944) was a teacher, writer, humourist and political scientist, whose works remain popular and widely read today. On June 9, the annual Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour will be presented to a Canadian writer for the best book of humour written in the past year. This is one of the oldest and most prestigious literary awards in Canada and the presentation is held in Leacock’s hometown of Orillia, Ontario.
We invite you to browse through our extensive special collection: The Works of Stephen Leacock. This includes very popular works such as Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, a collection of humorous short stories set in an Ontario town, as well as less readily available works such as Leacock’s doctoral thesis, The Doctrine of Laissez Faire: A Critical Essay on the Evolution of Theory and Practice in Reference to the Economic Functions of the Modern State.
Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis is a seven-book fantasy series with the first book released in 1950 and subsequent books published in each of the following years. Over 100 million copies have been sold in 47 languages worldwide, making it his best-known work.
The first book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, begins with four children who have been evacuated to the English countryside during WWII. They discover a wardrobe in the home of their host which leads to the land of Narnia. They meet Aslan, a talking lion, and help him save Narnia from an evil witch. They then become kings and queens, and they re-establish the magical realm.
C.S. Lewis hosted three girls outside Oxford during the War and acknowledges this experience as one of the primary influences on his Narnia story creation. Other influences include his early childhood home in Belfast that stimulated his imagination as a boy, his wide readings in medieval Celtic literature and cosmology, and his deep Christian beliefs, evident in his other writings, which are subtly introduced in Narnia.
We offer all seven titles of the series: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and his Boy, The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Here in Canada, Faded Page’s home, May marks the start of the gardening season for a good number of people. It thus seems timely to consider Old Herbaceous by Reginald Arkell (1882-1959). The novel presents a comic portrait of Bert Pinnegar, head gardener at a British country house. A humorous and gentle book, with bits of gardening wisdom throughout, this book will likely appeal to those who love the views of gardens in the television series Downton Abbey or descriptions of country manor gardens and their gardeners in Agatha Christie’s novels.
Reginald Arkell, born at Gloucestershire, England, was a scriptwriter, novelist and poet. He wrote a number of musical plays for London theatre. Here at Faded Page, we also have Green Fingers: a Present for a Good Gardener. This is a collection of poems, again with a gardening theme.
If bad weather prevents you from indulging your love of gardening or taking a walk through your favourite gardens, then do consider browsing through one of Arkell’s books or volunteering to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Mary Grant Bruce (1878-1958) was an Australian children’s author and journalist who began writing at the age of six. While spending most of her childhood on her grandfather’s cattle station in Victoria, she developed a love of horses and the Bush which is reflected in her books. Bruce is most famous for her Billabong series following the adventures of the Linton family on Billabong Station in Victoria and in England and Ireland during WWI.
In Billabong Riders, the final book of the Billabong series, the story revolves around a cattle drive in Queensland with electrical storms and cranky bulls stampeding the herd, cattle thieves, and a happy ending with all set to rights. As with most of Bruce’s 39 stories, common themes prevail: the Australian Bush values of independence, hard physical labour by all, mateship, ANZAC spirit, and Bush hospitality.
We offer 15 other books from the Billabong series, the Peter series, and other titles, with more Mary Grant Bruce books to come. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Edward Elmer (“Doc”) Smith (1890-1965) was an American lumberjack, farmer, streetcar operator, railroad worker, asphalt hauler, rock miner, food chemist, explosive engineer and writer. He pioneered the field of doughnut mixes and created the science fiction genre known as space opera with his first series beginning with The Skylark of Space. His most popular series, however, was the Lensman series.
Galactic Patrol was the first set of Lensman stories published in 1937 in the magazine Astounding Stories to be consolidated and to introduce the series in book format. Kimball Kinnison, the series hero, is introduced and carried forward into the books of the series which follow: Gray Lensman, Second Stage Lensmen and Children of the Lens. Kinnison and other Lensmen with psychic powers are participants in large-scale battles between Good and Evil, where alien races sort themselves into the allies (Civilization and their sponsors the Arisia) and the enemy (Boskone with their sponsors the Eddore). Each faction is the pawn of a different race of advanced aliens who each have a grand plan for the sentient beings of the universe.
After four books of the series were published, Smith was encouraged to expand the series and rewrote Triplanetary to be the first book of the Lensman series and wrote First Lensman as a link between Triplanetary and Galactic Patrol. Masters of the Vortex was written later as a sequel.
We offer 15 Doc Smith titles including the complete Lensman series and the complete Skylark series. Come join us and proof a few pages to help bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
As we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17, it is fitting to consider Irish novelist, short-story writer and poet James Joyce, one of the most important writers of the 20th century. He is best known for the colossal work Ulysses, written in a stream-of-consciousness style and considered by many to be among the greatest literary works of all time.
Finnegans Wake, written after Ulysses, takes Joyce’s experimental style even further, and it has been called one of the most difficult works of fiction in the English language. Anthony Burgess has praised the work as “a great comic vision” while Harold Bloom considers this work Joyce’s masterpiece. We hesitate to offer a plot summary here, as even literary experts cannot provide a common interpretation. Instead, we invite you to take a look at the work yourself, if you are up to the challenge!
Finnegan’s Wake was listed among Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels. A number of others are available here at Faded Page, including George Orwell’s 1984 and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Come join us and proof a few pages to help bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. Information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
James Hilton (1900-1954) was an English novelist who began his career as a journalist for the Manchester Guardian. He moved to Hollywood in the mid-1930’s and wrote numerous screenplays, winning an Academy Award in 1942 for Mrs. Miniver. However, he is best known for his books Lost Horizon and Good-by Mr. Chips.
Good-by Mr. Chips is a novella about the life a schoolteacher, Mr. Chipping. Mr. Chips, as the boys call him, is conventional in his beliefs and exercises firm discipline. His views and manner change when he marries Katherine. She subsequently charms students, teachers, and school governors. Mr. Chips is an effective teacher, highly regarded by students and governors and, in his later years, develops a sense of humor that pleases all. Hilton’s father, headmaster of Chapel End School, and W. H. Balgarmie, as master at The Leys school where Hilton attended, are both credited as the inspiration for the character Mr. Chips. The story became the basis for two movies and two television productions.
We offer other works by James Hilton, including Time and Time Again and The Meadows of the Moon. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Lester Bernard Dent (1904-1959) was an American pulp fiction writer best known as the creator and main author of the series about the superhuman scientist and adventurer, Doc Savage. Dent began as a telegrapher for Western Union and later the Associated Press where he started writing while working the graveyard shift. His first publication in 1929 got him noticed by pulp publishers and he was hired and moved to New York. Among authors, Dent is known for his “Lester Dent Formula”, a guide for writing a salable 6,000-word pulp story.
Under the house name, Kenneth Robeson, the first issue of the Doc Savage Magazine in March 1933 was The Man of Bronze with Walter Baumhofer as illustrator. In the story, Doc Savage engages in deadly combat with the red-fingered survivors of an ancient, lost civilization. With his amazing crew he journeys to the mysterious “lost valley” to search for a fabulous treasure and destroy the mysterious Red Death. The story became the basis for the 1975 movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.
We offer 12 other Doc Savage titles by Lester Dent, including The Mystic Mullah, Meteor Menace, and The Thousand-Headed Man. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, February 14, we feature The Lover’s Baedeker and Guide to Arcady by Carolyn Wells with illustrations by A. D. Blashfield. Written as a humorous travel guide for lovers, the author, through poetry, prose and illustrations, describes a fantasy land called Arcady in the country of Agapemone which is inhabited by lovers and cupids.
Carolyn Wells (1862-1942) began writing children’s books, humor, and poetry her first ten years as an author. Around 1910, she heard the reading of a mystery novel and from that point forward, she devoted her writing to the mystery genre. With over 170 books and newspaper articles to her credit, she is best known for her Fleming Stone (detective) series and Patty Fairfield series.
Faded Page has 23 other titles by Carolyn Wells including The Clue, The Curved Blades, and Patty’s Motor Car, with more titles to come. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Virginia Woolf is a celebrated novelist and essayist, who was one of the first of the Modernist writers to use the stream-of-consciousness technique. We celebrate Woolf’s birthday on January 25 by presenting Orlando: A Biography, first published on 11 October 1928. One of Woolf’s most popular novels, this story takes a satiric look at the history of English literature while featuring the adventures of Orlando, a poet who changes sex over the centuries. This book has an important place in feminist and transgender literature. It is inspired by Vita Sackville-West, a writer whose own poetry and novels we feature here at Faded Page and with whom Woolf had a romantic relationship.
We offer other works by Virginia Woolf, including the well-known feminist essay, “A Room of One’s Own”, the novel The Waves and the collection, A Haunted House and Other Short Stories. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?”
In the spirit of Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve, we feature a series of books on the life of Scottish national poet, Robert Burns (1759-1796). Burns is credited with bringing the words and song of “Auld Lang Syne” to countries around the world on December 31 each year.
The song has roots in an old Scottish ballad about a disappointed lover and a popular dance tune that evoked a country wedding. Robert Burns transformed the old song in 1788, but it was not printed until 1796 just after his death. Robert Burns is best known as the national poet of Scotland. As well as writing original compositions of poetry and verse, he also collected folk songs, often revising and adapting them. His birthday, January 25, is celebrated at Burns suppers world-wide where his poem “Address to the Haggis” is recited before the meal.
To celebrate the poet who created “Auld Lang Syne”, Faded Page offers the five-part Immortal Memory series by James William Barke on the life and loves of Robert Burns beginning with The Wind that Shakes the Barley. This is followed in sequence by The Song in the Green Thorn Tree, The Wonder of All the Gay World, The Crest of the Broken Wave and The Well of the Silent Harp. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870), at this time of year, is best known for his book A Christmas Carol. His other Christmas story, “A Christmas Tree”, first appeared in the weekly magazine, In Household Words, founded and edited by Dickens himself. This short story is considered an autobiographical piece portraying his lifelong fascination with Christmas and his fondness for his idyllic childhood Christmas memories.
The story told by an elderly Dickens reminisces of holidays past, beginning with the gifts and toys that surround and decorate the Christmas tree. Each ornament recalls a memory as he moves up the tree branch by branch. The story moves to a few ghost stories related to the various childhood haunts visited during holidays before ending back on a reflective note around the Christmas Tree.
To celebrate Christmas, Faded Page offers a number of Christmas short stories including Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “A Christmas of Long Ago”, John Felter’s “Happy Hearts” and Margery Allingham’s “Word in Season. A Story for Christmas”. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
December brings the beginning of cold, wintry weather, at least for those of us in the Northern hemisphere. We would like to suggest you sample one or more of the following books. It’s a perfect way to experience the chilly weather vicariously, perhaps in front of a warm fire with a hot drink at your side.
If you enjoy these books, then come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring even more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) was an American writer of science fiction, fantasy, westerns, and modern fiction, who is best known for his creations of the jungle hero Tarzan, the Mars adventurer John Carter, and the Venus adventurer Carson Napier. Against the advice of many experts, Burroughs was an early pioneer in syndication and syndicated comic strips, movies, TV shows, and merchandise around his newly created Tarzan character. With the Tarzan proceeds, he was able to buy his ranch, "Tarzana", now in the Los Angeles community of Tarzana, and develop other characters including the John Carter and Carson Napier characters of the Mars and Venus series.
In Pirates of Venus, the first of the five-part Venus or Amtor series, Carson Napier in attempting a solo mission to Mars, crash lands on Venus, known by the inhabitants as Amtor, and meets his first princess. During the course of the series, he meets various peoples, becomes a pirate, escapes the Room of the Seven Doors, is made a prince, and rescues princesses along the way.
Here at Faded Page we have the entire Amtor Series in individual volumes and as a specially compiled compendium, Chronicles of Amtor, along with nine other Burroughs Tarzan and western titles. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
November 11 is celebrated as Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day or Armistice Day in various parts of the world to commemorate the end of World War I. A fitting way to celebrate the day is to read Coningsby Dawson’s collection of wartime letters, edited and annotated by his father W. J. Dawson. In the introduction to this volume of letters, his father refers to them as a “record of how the dreadful yet heroic realities of war affect an unusually sensitive mind.”
Coningsby Dawson (1883-1959) was born in England and lived in the United States before he and his family moved to Canada. He served with the Canadian Army throughout World War I. Dawson was already an established writer of short stories, poetry and novels before the war and continued his writing career after his return.
Faded Page has a large number of works, both fiction and non-fiction, concerning the Great War, including In Flanders Fields and Other Poems by John McCrae, featured here previously. You are welcome to join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles like these to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
In the spirit of Hallowe’en, celebrated on October 31, the eve of All Saints’ Day, we have a collection of ghost stories by one of the master storytellers of this genre, a man admired even by H. P. Lovecraft.
Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936) was an English medievalist scholar and Provost of King’s College at Cambridge and Eton College who, under the pen name of M.R. James, is recognized as the originator of the “antiquarian ghost story”. He perfected his storytelling method in what is now known as the “Jamesian” method where each tale usually includes three elements: a setting in an English town, seaside village, abbey or country estate; a naive and indistinguishable gentleman-scholar as protagonist; and the discovery of an antiquarian object that attracts the unwelcome attention of a supernatural menace.
The Collected Ghost Stories is a compilation of four of James’s short-story volumes and includes 31 ghost stories including “Rats”, “The Haunted Dolls’ House”, and “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to you, My Lad”.
In addition to The Collected Ghost Stories, Faded Page also has 33 other titles by M.R. James including Madam Crowl’s Ghost and Other Tales of Mystery. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Nevil Shute Norway (1899-1960) was an English novelist, aeronautical engineer and pilot who spent his later years in Australia. Beginning in 1926 under his pen name Nevil Shute, he began publishing his novels centered around common themes including: the dignity of work; the bridging of social barriers of class, race or religion; and the newfound delights of an adopted country. Many of his books have been filmed or serialized for television and radio including A Town Like Alice.
In A Town Like Alice, the hero and heroine meet while both are prisoners of the Japanese in Malaya. After the war, they seek each other out and reunite in a small Australian town that would have no future if not for her plans to turn it into “a town like Alice.” This book was published as The Legacy in the United States.
Faded Page also has 19 other titles by Nevil Shute here including On the Beach and No Highway with more titles to come. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Elizabeth MacKintosh (1896-1952), better known as Josephine Tey, was a writer of mysteries, historical fiction, non-fiction and plays, some of which were published under a second pseudonym, Gordon Daviot. Her best known works are the books in the Inspector Alan Grant series. This includes The Daughter of Time, in which Grant digs deep into the past to determine whether King Richard III had indeed murdered his nephews.
The Man in the Queue, published in 1929, is the first in the Inspector Grant series. In this novel, a man standing in a queue for a popular theatre production is stabbed while surrounded by a crowd of fellow theatre-goers. The search for the victim’s and assailant’s identities sends Grant first through the streets of London and then to the Highlands of Scotland.
Here at Faded Page, we are proud to be able to offer all six of the Inspector Grant series and well as other notable works by MacKintosh. The complete list of available works can be found here. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Maurice Walsh (1879-1964) was an Irish-born novelist and best-selling author in Ireland during the 1930’s. In 1901, he began working as a revenue officer and was posted to Scotland. He started writing short stories and when the Irish Free State was formed in 1922, Walsh transferred to the excise service and moved to Dublin. As an Irish nationalist, he made one of his characters, Hugh Forbes, an active fighter against the Black and Tans in many of his novels.
Green Rushes is a collection of connected stories about the lives of a group of men and women who fight in the Black and Tan War. One story, “The Quiet Man”, was Walsh’s most famous story and later became the basis for the 1952 movie of that name starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara.
In addition to Green Rushes, Faded Page also has other titles by Maurice Walsh including The Small Dark Man and The Key Above the Door with more to come. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Raymond King Cummings (1887-1957) was an American science fiction author known as one of the founding fathers of the “science-fiction pulp” genre. He initially began working as a technical writer for Thomas Edison until 1919 when his first short story “The Girl in the Golden Atom” was published to became a full-size novel in 1922. Publishing over 750 novels and short stories under his name and various pen names including Ray King, Gabrielle Cummings and Gabriel Wilson, Cummings also anonymously scripted comic book stories for Timely Comics, the predecessor to Marvel Comics. He is best known for his quote, “Time . . . is what keeps everything from happening at once.” Time becomes the theme for many of his later novels and short stories.
In The Exile of Time, a girl is kidnapped in 1777 and brought into modern New York by a man and his mechanical servant. The strange man and his servant have been seen in other centuries, and a sinister plot on cities in the future unfolds.
In addition to The Exiles of Time, Faded Page also has 40 other titles by Ray Cummings including The Girl in the Golden Atom. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Karen Blixen (1885-1962) was born Karen Dinesen and came from a wealthy farming/merchant family in Denmark. She married the Baron Bror Blixen after following him to Kenya to start a 6000-acre farm near the Ngong Hills outside Nairobi. Although the marriage did not last, the farm, known as M’Bogani, became the focus of her life and writing for the next seventeen years while she remained in Kenya.
The book Out of Africa, originally published under the name Karen Blixen as well as under her pen name Isak Dinesen, recounts events on the farm and her observations of African customs and interactions with white colonists. Originally published in Denmark and the United Kingdom, it gained recognition after its U.S. publication debut and selection as a Book-of-the-Month Club choice. Readers’ imaginations were captured with the first line: “I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills.”
The book is divided into five sections. The first two sections focus on the Africans who lived on the farm or did business with the farm, while the third section describes the local characters and visitors to the farm. Section four is a collection of short vignettes and stories, each describing a particular event or happening on the farm, and the final section details the loss of Blixen’s farm and friends and her departure back to Denmark.
In addition to Out of Africa, other titles including Seven Gothic Tales will be appearing in the coming months. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more of these public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946) was a wildlife illustrator, writer of animal stories, founder of the Woodcraft League of America, and Chief Scout of the Boy Scouts of America. Although born in England to Scottish parents, he immigrated, with his family when he was six years old, to Canada where he flourished. A seven-year scholarship to study art in London at the Royal Academy of Art had him returning early to Canada to regain his health after only two years. Moving with a friend out to Manitoba, he began in earnest his drawings and paintings of wildlife and nature. His Birch Bark Roll of Woodcraft Indians sparked a friendship with Lord Baden-Powell which led to the forming of the Boy Scouts movement worldwide, with Seton as Chief Scout for the Boy Scouts of America. Some of Seton's painting and stories were controversial as they were written from the predators' point of view. Eventually these paintings were accepted for exhibition and he was appointed the Official Naturalist to the Government of Manitoba until his death in 1946.
Animal Heroes includes eight stories with over 200 illustrations, detailing the struggle for existence of a slum cat, a homing pigeon, a reindeer, two wolves, a lynx, a bull-terrier and a jack-rabbit.
In addition to Animal Heroes, Faded Page also has The Birch Bark Roll of Woodcraft Indians, Krag and Johnny Bear, and other Seton titles with more to come including The Birds of Manitoba. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
July 1, 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. Celebrate this momentous birthday with us by browsing through the 32-volume Chronicles of Canada, edited by George M. Wrong and H. H. Langton. This massive work, published between 1900 and 1905, was the first major project completed by Distributed Proofreaders Canada, the volunteer-run group that produces most of the public-domain works you find here at Faded Page.
Chronicles of Canada tells us about the major figures and events of Canadian history from the early Aboriginal beginnings up until Post-Confederation Canada. Its audience was young people and it is written in an engaging manner that makes it more exciting than mere "dry history". Its authors include the well-loved humourist Stephen Leacock, and numerous illustrations and maps can be found throughout its volumes.
We hope you enjoy the nation's Canada Day celebrations, perhaps with fireworks and birthday cake. Afterward, please consider joining our efforts to bring new public-domain titles, including works of historical importance such as that featured here, to readers by volunteering at Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Cyril M. Kornbluth (1923-1958) was an American science fiction author who began writing at the age of 7. After graduating high school at 13 and earning a Bronze Star in The Battle of the Bulge as a gunner, he returned to finish school and started writing for publication. Most of his writing was under various pen-names and written as collaborations with Frederick Pohl or Judith Merril. He also wrote several titles under his own name including The Syndic and Not This August. Known for his skill with language and the ability to write over a 1000 words an hour, he was always inserting new words and ideas into his works from his reading of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.
Not This August, also known as Christmas Eve, was published in 1955 and serialized in Maclean’s magazine. The title comes from Ernest Hemingway’s “Notes on the Next War”. In the story, it is 1965 and the U.S. and Canada have been at war with the Soviets and Chinese for 3 years. Europe and Latin America have fallen and Communist forces are approaching Texas. Things get worse when the U.S. capitulates. The Chicago Tribune’s review called it “The most shockingly realistic science fiction book since Orwell’s 1984.”
In addition to Not This August, Faded Page also has The Syndic, The Marching Morons, and 18 other Kornbluth titles, with more to come. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Lionel Shapiro (1908-1958) was a Canadian journalist, novelist and war correspondent for The Montreal Gazette. During World War II, he participated in the Allied invasion of Sicily, Salerno and Juno Beach on D-Day with the Canadian forces.
The Sixth of June, published in 1955, tells the story of Brad Parker, who joins the U.S. Army to fight in World War II, and Valerie Russell, the English girl he meets in London. Brad and Valerie fall in love despite their loyalties to wife and future husband. Certain as they are of their love and that it could overcome every obstacle, everything changes after the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944.
The Sixth of June was awarded the Governor General's Literary Award (GGLA) for English language fiction, and it was subsequently adapted into a Hollywood film. At Faded Page we have other GGLA titles including Stephen Leacock's My Discovery of the West, Alan Sullivan's Three Came to Ville Marie, Ringuet's Trente Arpents and George Hebert Sallan's Little Man. Future GGLA titles coming include Gwethalyn Graham's Swiss Sonata and Earth and High Heaven and Frederick Grove's In Search of Myself. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more of these public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
On Mother's Day, which has just passed, we celebrated all kinds of mothers, including grandmothers, stepmothers, biological mothers and adoptive mothers. Let's not forget the very important Fairy Godmother, who plays a significant role in the well-loved folk tale Cinderella, also known as The Little Glass Slipper.
You may find it interesting to compare the various versions available here at Faded Page. There is Turner and Fisher's The Admired Fairy Tale of Cinderella, featuring 9 engravings. Then there is the Brothers Dalziel's version of Cinderella, with 6 beautiful colour illustrations. For a different take on the classic fairy tale, we have J. M. Barrie's 1916 play, A Kiss for Cinderella, an adaptation that takes place during the First World War.
If you enjoy these works, look for other fairy-tale collections at Faded Page, such as our Brothers Grimm Special Collection, and consider joining us to help us bring other public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
James Grover Thurber (1894-1961) was an American cartoonist, author, and journalist best known for his cartoons and short stories in which he celebrated the comic frustrations of ordinary people. He began in 1921 as a reporter for Ohio's Columbus Dispatch and later for the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers while in Paris. After moving to New York in 1925, he joined as an editor for The New Yorker magazine with the help of E.B. White, his friend and fellow The New Yorker contributor. His cartoonist career began in 1930 after White discovered and submitted some of Thurber's drawings for publication. Thurber continued to publish stories and drawing in The New Yorker until the 1950's. Because he was blinded in one eye in a childhood accident, he drew on large sheets of paper in black crayon or black paper with white chalk. The result was distinctive line drawings of people and dogs which reflected his unique view on life.
In addition to My Life and Hard Times , Faded Page also has Lanterns & Lances, Let Your Mind Alone! and Further Fables for Our Time, with more titles to come. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more Thurber public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
A brand new adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables premiered on CBC March 19. This is only one of many film, stage, radio and television productions that have been made since the very first silent film starring Mary Miles Minter as Anne was released in 1919.
We have no way of knowing what Montgomery would have thought of this new adaptation or of some other hugely popular ones like Road to Avonlea, an award-winning television series that aired 1990-1996. However, we can read her thoughts on several early adaptations in “Is This My Anne?”, an article published in Chatelaine magazine in 1935, and speculate about her reactions to our modern-day interpretations of the characters she had created.
Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring even more public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
C.S. (Cecil Scott) Forester (1899-1966) was an English novelist known for writing tales of naval warfare such as the 11-book Horatio Hornblower saga, depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars. Two of the Hornblower books, A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours, were jointly awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction in 1938. His other works include The African Queen (adapted to film in 1951 by John Huston).
In Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, the first volume of the saga, we meet Horatio Hornblower, a young man of 17, beginning his career in January 1794 as an inexperienced midshipman in the British Navy fighting against Napoleon and his tyranny of Europe. Bullied and forced into a duel, he takes an even chance. Later, he has many more chances to show his skills and ingenuities: from sailing a ship full of wetted and swelling rice to imprisonment and saving the lives of shipwrecked sailors. Along the way, he fights galleys, feeds cattle, stays out of the way of the guillotine, and makes friends with a Duchess. He becomes a man and develops the strength of character which will make him a hero to his men, and to all England.
Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring the next 10 volumes of the Hornblower saga and 14 other Forester public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
March 17 is the Feast of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, and it is a perfect time to discover more about one of Ireland's most renowned writers, George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), winner of the 1925 Nobel Prize in Literature. Shaw was born in Dublin and moved to England in 1873, where he worked as a playwright, novelist, and music and theatre critic. He was also deeply involved with various political issues, some of them quite contentious and controversial.
Shaw’s most famous works are his plays, including Pygmalion, Man and Superman and Saint Joan. Pygmalion spawned many successful adaptations, including a film version that earned Shaw an Academy Award and the well-known musical My Fair Lady by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Canada’s annual Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake continues to celebrate his legacy by presenting a selection of his plays and those of his contemporaries every year.
The collection of essays Pen Portraits and Reviews, while not as well known as his plays, gives insight into Bernard Shaw the man. These essays cover a wide range of Shaw’s interests and concerns, including his thoughts on the works of Beethoven, Tolstoy, Ibsen, Keats and many others. Throughout the essays, his opinions on current social and political issues, as well as his views on the actions of many of his contemporaries, are evident.
We are very pleased to bring this public-domain work to you. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more public-domain titles to Canada. Information about volunteering with our organization is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Dashiell Hammett was an American author of detective crime fiction and short stories. As a young man he started his career at the Pinkerton Detective Agency as an operative. Hammett wrote most of his fiction while living in San Francisco in the 1920’s using street locations and characters based on people he knew personally. He is currently known as the dean of the “hard-boiled” school of detective fiction. Although his short writing career included 5 novels, 54 short stories, 18 published collections of short stories and 4 screenplays, his most popular and memorable characters are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse).
In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade is hired by Miss Wonderley to track down her sister who has eloped with a louse, Floyd Thursby. However, Miss Wonderley is in fact the treacherous Brigid O’Shaughnessy, and when Spade’s partner Miles is shot while on Thursby’s trail, Spade finds himself the hunter and the hunted. Can he track down a missing bird before the fat man finds him?
Here at Faded Page you can find, in addition to The Maltese Falcon, The Thin Man, The Dain Curse and The Adventures of Sam Spade and other Stories, with more Dashiell Hammett titles coming in the future. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more of these public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering with our organization is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell
February, the month for love and romance, is the perfect time to discover English and Australian novelist Angela Thirkell (1890-1961). Her Barsetshire novels, set in the fictional county of Barsetshire invented by Anthony Trollope, remain popular today and have inspired fans to maintain Angela Thirkell appreciation societies in several countries.
In Wild Strawberries, Mary Preston, a relation of the large Leslie family, spends her summer at their country home and finds herself drawn to two of the sons, each very different in temperament and life experience from the other. At the same time, she gets caught up in the complicated and often hilarious social affairs of the family. While romance plays a large part in this novel, it’s Thirkell’s skill with social satire that makes this such an entertaining story.
Here at Faded Page, we have a number of Angela Thirkell’s titles and are continuing our work to bring more of her books and other public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering with our organization is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951), American novelist, short story writer, playwright and winner of the 1930 Nobel Prize in Literature, is best known for his satirical works depicting social issues during the Depression years. His father and grandfather were both physicians and this background gave him the medical knowledge needed to write Arrowsmith. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith in 1925 but refused the award.
In the story, Martin Arrowsmith starts out in medicine at age 14 as an assistant to a drunken physician. He becomes a doctor and his wife urges him to leave the mundane small-town-doctor life in order to pursue his calling as a scientist and researcher. He heads for the West Indies with a serum to halt an epidemic but a tragic turn of events forces him to evaluate his career and personal life.
Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more of these public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering with our organization is available on our companion site Distributed Proofreaders Canada.
The Age of Innocence (1920) by Edith Wharton
The Age of Innocence is the story of an upper-class couple’s impending marriage, and the introduction of the bride’s cousin, plagued by scandal, whose presence threatens their happiness. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1921.
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was an American writer of 15 novels, 85 short stories, 7 novellas, 3 poetry books and 9 non-fiction books of travel and design. Although she was born and spent most of her early life in New England, she moved to Paris, France to help raise money to assist refugees during WWI. After the war, she remained in France living in Paris and southern France where she wrote The Age of Innocence.At Faded Page, we have 15 other titles of Edith Wharton including Ethan Frome, In Morocco, and Tales of Men and Ghosts. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more of these public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering is available on our companion site pgdpcanada.net.
Let’s welcome the new year with a classic mystery, The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers. Featuring her popular sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey, this novel published in 1934 starts on New Year’s Eve, when Wimsey finds himself stranded in the village of Fenchurch St. Paul after a car accident. Wimsey, along with his valet Bunter, gets involved in a murder investigation as well as the fascinating world of bell-ringing, when he offers to help with a nine-hour peal of bells to bring in the new year.
Dorothy Leigh Sayers (1893-1957) is well known for her crime novels, but she was also a poet, playwright and essayist. Here at Faded Page, you can browse The Works of Dorothy L. Sayers to see the growing collection of works we have made available to readers. If you would like to help us in our mission to provide high-quality e-book versions of Sayers’s works and other public-domain books, you can find information about volunteering with our organization on our companion site pgdpcanada.net.
With the coming of the Holiday Season, we think of Charles Dickens’s classic, A Christmas Carol. We have the original first-edition manuscript transcript with facsimile pages and illustrations by John Leech. The book was written when the British were examining their past and present Christmas traditions of Christmas cards and caroling. Dickens’s sources for the tale were derived from his childhood experiences in factory work with a father in debtor’s prison, as well as his lifelong sympathy for the poor, children living in poverty, and social justice issues related to child education and work conditions. After a three day visit to Manchester and a school for street children, he had the plot developed.
In the story, a bitter old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, transforms into a gentler, kinder man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The story is as popular today as it was when it was first published a few days before Christmas in 1843.
Other illustrated Charles Dickens titles at Faded Page include Bleak House with illustrations by “Phiz”; Dickens’ last unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood; and selections from Christmas Stories.
Please consider helping us in our mission to provide high-quality e-book versions of public domain books. More information about volunteering with our organization is available on our companion site pgdpcanada.net.
Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist, librettist, poet and illustrator best known for 14 comic operas produced with collaborator-composer Sir Arthur Sullivan. Together they produced such notable comic operas as The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, and in 1885, The Mikado. The Mikado is a story that allowed Gilbert & Sullivan to satirize British politics and institutions using a thinly disguised Japanese setting. It has become one of the most successful productions performed and has been translated into numerous languages and adaptations.
One such adaptation is The Story of The Mikado, Gilbert’s last literary work. It is a retelling of The Mikado, with various changes to simplify the language and make it more suitable for children, and includes color and B&W illustrations by Alice Bolingbroke Woodward (1862-1951). Woodward, a children’s book and magazine illustrator, illustrated The Story of Peter Pan: Retold from the Fairy Play, also available here at Faded Page.
Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more of these public domain titles to Canada. More information about volunteering with our organization is available on our companion site pgdpcanada.net.
This memoir about Ernest Hemingway’s time in Paris during the 1920’s includes his thoughts on his writing process, living in Paris, French food and drink, skiing, horse racing and many other things. Particularly interesting are his interactions with other writers such as Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald. This book is a beautifully written, easy read that makes the reader feel as if he or she were in France, and many of the food descriptions are mouth-watering. It wasn’t all pleasant for Hemingway, though. There were sad moments and even tragic ones. However, his love of life shows clearly during this period in which he and his wife were, as he put it, “very poor and very happy.” It’s a stark contrast to the image that is more prevalent, that of the older broken Hemingway who ends up taking his own life.
Here at Faded Page, we have a number of books and short story collections by Ernest Hemingway, including The Sun Also Rises, Men Without Women and The Old Man and the Sea. The last undoubtedly contributed to Hemingway’s being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1954.
Please consider helping us in our mission to provide high-quality e-book versions of public domain books. More information about volunteering with our organization is available on our companion site pgdpcanada.net.
As Remembrance Day, Veteran's Day and Armistice Day approach on November 11, thoughts turn to Peregrine Palmer Acland, a Canadian author and soldier who served with the 48th Highlanders, earned the Military Cross and was subsequently critically injured in the Battle of the Somme. His bestselling novel, All Else is Folly, subtitled "A Tale of War and Passion", depicts the Canadian experience during the First World War and portrays the terrors and hardships of trench warfare. Critics and commentators viewed it as a meditation on the nature of man and the idea of man as lover. This book was long out of print and we are happy to offer it to our readers here at fadedpage.com.
Other related fiction and non-fiction titles for this Remembrance Day currently available at Faded Page include: the Parade's End series by Ford Maddox Ford; The Dark Forest by Hugh Walpole; In Flanders Fields And Other Poems by Lt.-Col. John McCrae; Carry On--Letters in War-Time by Coningsby William Dawson; WAAC: The Woman's Story of the War by Anonymous; A Sub and a Submarine-The Story of H.M. Submarine R19 in the Great War by Percy Westerman; The Silent Watchers by Frederick Harcourt Kitchin; and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.
Future titles coming to Faded Page include Phillip Gibbs's Across the Frontier, the transcripts of the Nuremburg trials, and Winston Churchill's multi-volume memoirs beginning with The Second World War, Volume I: The Gathering Storm.
Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more of these public domain titles to Canada.
The perfect reading as we approach All Hallows' Eve is a volume of scary tales of the supernatural. In E. F. Benson's collection, Spook Stories, we encounter ghosts benevolent and evil, many of which reside in old haunted English houses in sleepy towns. For example, "Home Sweet Home" features a mysterious room in which an invisible pianist plays, "Spinach" recounts the strange events that befall two psychic mediums on holiday, while "The Face" describes a nightmare that turns into reality.
Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940) was a prolific writer of novels, short stories and non-fiction work. Television adaptations have been made from his popular Mapp and Lucia books, the most recent in 2014. A number of Benson's works are available here at Faded Page and we are currently working at bringing more to you. We welcome volunteers to help us with this effort. More information can be found here.
“All chess players think of opening on the Queen's side but never do. Life ends too soon.”
—S. Leacock, “Pawn to King's Four”
Stephen Butler Leacock (1869-1944), Canada's most famous humourist as well as a highly respected economist and educator, was a prolific writer of fiction and nonfiction. He travelled around the globe delivering speeches, usually on economic subjects in a witty and satirical style. With a Ph.D. in political economy from the University of Chicago, he lectured and chaired the economics department at McGill University until his retirement in 1936.
Happy Stories, Just to Laugh at is a collection of 24 short stories that was one of Stephen Leacock's last publications. Happy Stories, along with two other titles, My Remarkable Uncle and Wit & Humour, were also part of the specially published book collection of Armed Services Editions (ASEs) for troops and POWs during WWII. These light, paperback editions, the size of a serviceman's pocket, provided relief to many servicemen and POWs.
Happy Stories, Just to Laugh at is available at Faded Page here along with 35 other Leacock titles of humor and nonfiction including Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, The Boy I Left Behind Me, The Hohenzollerns in America, and 1937 Governor General's Award winner My Discovery of the West. We have many more Leacock titles under development at the current time, come join us and proof a few pages and help us bring more Stephen Leacock public domain titles to Canada.
William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) is a British playwright, novelist and short story writer. Born in Paris, he trained and qualified as a physician. While serving with the Red Cross in World War I, he was recruited into the British Secret Service in 1916. His medical knowledge and travel experiences after the war around the world influenced his later short stories and novels including The Painted Veil, written in 1935.
The title “The Painted Veil” is taken from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s sonnet which begins, “Lift not the painted veil which those who live call Life.” Set in England and China during the 1920’s, the story is told through Kitty Fane. When her husband, a bacteriologist, discovers her infidelity, he forces her to accompany him into a cholera epidemic in the interior of China. Stripped of all friends and society contact, Kitty is forced to reassess her life.
Find this and other W. Somerset Maugham titles here at Faded Page.
For many students in the northern hemisphere, the arrival of September coincides with the beginning of the new school year. The Abbey Girls Go Back to School by Elsie J. Oxenham (the pseudonym of Elsie Jeannette Dunkerley) is one of the 38-book Abbey series that tells the stories of students at a girls' school. The abbey that is featured in the books was inspired by Cleeve Abbey, a medieval monastery located in Somerset, England.
Dunkerley was born in 1880 in Southport, Lancashire but grew up and spent much of her life in Ealing, West London. She later moved to Worthing, where she died in 1960, after having had almost 90 titles published. One of Dunkerley's great interests was English folk dancing, which she herself taught. Many of these dances are described in detail in her books and they play an especially large role in The Abbey Girls Go Back to School.
The Abbey series is very popular among collectors and there exist several appreciation societies around the world. You are invited to browse our collection of Dunkerley's works, including a number of the Abbey Girls books, available here at Faded Page.
E. Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946) was a novelist who wrote 39 volumes of short stories and 116 novels mainly of suspense and international intrigue. He is generally regarded as the earliest writer of spy fiction as we know it today, and, invented the “Rogue Male” school of adventure thrillers that was later exploited by other authors like John Buchan.
In Ask Miss Mott, a collection of 10 short stories representing 10 cases, Lucie Mott solves two cases, helps rescue her uncle in a third case, and in five cases is saved from her own folly by a supposed criminal, Violet Joe, with whom she immediately falls in love. The final case ties them all together.
Ask Miss Mott is available at Faded Page HERE along with 56 other Oppenheim titles of suspense and short stories including The Spymaster, Murder at Monte Carlo, Last Train Out, and Mysterious Mr. Sabin. Future titles coming to Faded Page include The Stranger's Gate, Up the Ladder of Gold, and Matorni's Vineyard. Come join us and proof a few pages and help us bring more Phillips Oppenheim public domain titles to Canada.
Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908-1964) was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer in World War II where his wartime service and journalist career provided much of the the background detail of the James Bond novels. During the Second World War, Fleming was involved in planning Operation Goldeneye and in the planning and oversight of two intelligence units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force. Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker for most of his life and succumbed to heart disease in 1964 at the age of 56. Two Bond books were published posthumously.
In Goldfinger (Bond #7), Auric Goldfinger, the most phenomenal criminal Bond has ever faced, is an evil genius who likes his cash in gold bars and his women dressed only in gold paint. After smuggling tons of gold out of Britain into secret vaults in Switzerland, this powerful villain is planning the biggest and most daring heist in history-robbing all the gold in Fort Knox. That is, unless Secret Agent 007 can foil his plan. In one of Ian Fleming's most popular adventures, James Bond tracks this most dangerous foe across two continents and takes on two of the most memorable villains ever created-a human weapon named Oddjob and a luscious female crime boss named Pussy Galore.
In addition to James Bond titles such as Moonraker, From Russia With Love, and Live and Let Die, Fleming also wrote the children's story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two non-fiction works including The Diamond Smugglers, all available now at Faded Page here. Future titles coming to Faded Page include James Bond titles Dr. No, For Your Eyes Only, and Diamonds Are Forever. Come join us and proof a few pages to help us bring more James Bond public domain titles to Canada.
Charles Bernard Nordhoff and James Norman Hall began in 1929 their work on an historical novel dealing with the mutiny on board H.M.S. Bounty. Upon the advice of their publishers, English assistants researched the archives of the British Museum, rare-book shops, collections of prints and engravings in London, Bligh’s correspondence and the Admiralty records of the court-martial proceedings. Copies of the Bounty’s deck and rigging plans were also secured, with special reference to the alterations made for her breadfruit tree voyage. All this was forwarded to the home of Nordhoff and Hall in Tahiti.
The Bounty history divides itself naturally into three parts, and it was the plan of the authors, from the beginning, to deal with each of these in a separate volume. Mutiny on the Bounty, which opens the story, is concerned with the voyage of the vessel from England, the long Tahiti sojourn while the cargo of young breadfruit trees was being assembled, the departure of the homeward-bound ship, the mutiny, and the fate of those of her company who later returned to Tahiti, where they were eventually seized by H.M.S. Pandora and taken back to England for trial. The authors chose as the narrator of this story a fictitious character, Roger Byam, who tells it as an old man, after his retirement from the Navy. Byam had his actual counterpart in the person of Midshipman Peter Heywood on H.M.S. Bounty.
The second book of the trilogy, Men Against the Sea, the story of Captain Bligh and his fellow castaways, is also available here at Faded Page, and Pitcairn's Island, the story of Fletcher Christian and the mutineers, will be coming soon. If you would like to help make more titles available to the public, come join us in proofing additional titles such as The Hurricane and Lost Island, also from Nordhoff and Hall currently in the proofing rounds.
On Canada Day, it is fitting to showcase the work of one of Canada's earliest writers, Susanna Moodie. Born in England, Moodie immigrated to Upper Canada in 1832 and wrote Roughing it in the Bush as a guide for other British people moving to Canada. With its realistic portrayal of the hardships of a settler's life, this book is considered an important and historic part of Canadian literature. Moodie has inspired the work of celebrated writers Carol Shields and Margaret Atwood, including the latter's collection of poetry, The Journals of Susanna Moodie.
Blanc-Mange Strawberries, Curried Calf's Brain, Gruel, Sago Jelly, Disinfectant, Cure for Lumbago or Caustic Soap. This cookbook has whatever you could possibly want around the house. Anything a domestic person might require is here, from How to Purify Cistern Water, to Boot Polish; Apple Fritters to Boiled Beefsteak Pudding. Oysters appear to have been popular at this time, with more than a dozen recipes for them alone! There are not just obscurities, but many recipes which you might want today, from Salad to Lemon Pie; from Devilled Eggs to multiple recipes for Tomato Catsup.
Written at the turn of the 20th century, this is a truly comprehensive cookbook put together in the town of Galt, now amalgamated into Cambridge, Ontario. Each recipe names its contributor, and their home town: Preston, Woodstock, St. George, Fergus, Stratford... This book was the subject of a blog found at Cooking with the Galt Cook Book, where Carolyn Blackstock for a year cooked every day from this book!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
—William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I, ll. 203-206
Aldous Leonard Huxley, (July 26, 1894—November 22, 1963) was an English writer, novelist, philosopher, Hollywood screenwriter, and Oxford graduate in English Literature. He is best known for Brave New World and his social satires, essays, and non-fiction.
Set in London in the year A.D. 2540, Brave New World is a novel of ideas which takes place in a dystopian state where the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Written in 1932, Huxley’s fantasy of the future anticipates the developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning.
C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis (29 November 1898 - 22 November 1963) was a British novelist, poet, academic, lay theologian, literary critic, broadcaster, and medievalist. Lewis held academic positions at Oxford University and Cambridge University and is best known for his fictional work: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Space Trilogy, and The Screwtape Letters.
The Screwtape Letters takes the form of a series of letters. Screwtape, a senior demon, holds an administrative post in the bureaucracy (“Lowerarchy”) of Hell and acts as a mentor to his nephew Wormwood, the inexperienced tempter. In the body of the thirty-one letters, Screwtape gives Wormwood detailed advice on various methods of undermining faith and promoting sin to a British man, “the Patient”, interspersed with observations on human nature and Christian doctrine. Wormwood and Screwtape live in a peculiar morally reversed world, where individual benefit and greed are seen as the greatest good, and neither demon is capable of comprehending or acknowledging true human virtue when he sees it.
Find this and more than 30 other C.S. Lewis titles including volumes from The Chronicles of Narnia series and The Space Trilogy, as well as Christian essays such as “The Pilgrim’s Regress” and “The Problem of Pain”, here at Faded Page.
Our Young Folks contains much that would appeal to children and adults alike, including stories presented in serial form, poetry, challenging puzzles, and beautiful engravings like the one shown here. The May 1866 issue contains an article of particular interest on this date. “May-Day” describes the origins of the festival and the ways in which the English celebrated this event in earlier days, including the custom of raising the May-pole. The article also features the lyrics of songs that would have been heard during these celebrations.
“May, sweet May, again is come,
May, that frees the land from gloom;
Children, children, up and see
All her stores of jollity!”
William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury follows the lives of various members of the Compson family in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County of Mississippi. Published in 1929, this novel is presented in four parts, with different narrators for each. The Sound and the Fury is a challenging book to read, with its stream-of-consciousness style, unorthodox use of punctuation and nonlinear structure featuring sudden shifts in time. Yet, it is worth the effort, as it is considered by many to be one of the finest works of American literature. It was ranked 6th on the 1998 Modern Library’s list of the 100 best English-language novels of all time and was a significant part of the body of work that led to Faulkner’s winning the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. Many of Faulkner’s other novels and short stories also take place in Yoknapatawpha County and are among the most well-known examples of the Southern Gothic genre.
Edgar (Richard Horatio) Wallace, an English writer born into poverty in Greenwich, bought his way out of the army after joining at age 21 and, instead, became a war correspondent for Reuters and the Daily Mail during the Second Boer War. He left South Africa with a mountain of horse-racing debt and began writing thrillers to raise income. Over his lifetime he wrote 957 short stories, 18 plays, and over 170 novels and screenplays. He was hired on as a “script doctor” at RKO Studios in Hollywood, California and wrote the initial 110 page draft script for the producer’s ‘gorilla picture’ called “The Beast”. This movie script later became known as “King Kong”. He died of undiagnosed diabetes before the final movie script reached the screen.
His most popular writing genre, crime novels, include The Forger, published in 1927. In this story, forged notes have started to appear everywhere. Mr. Cheyne Wells of Harley Street has been given one. So has Porter. Peter Clifton is rich, but no one is quite certain how he acquired his money--not even his wife, the beautiful Jane Leith. One night someone puts a ladder to Jane’s window and enters her room. It is not her jewels they are after. Inspector Rouper and Superintendent Bourke are both involved in trying to solve this thrilling mystery.
More than nineteen other Edgar Wallace titles are available here at Faded Page.
Why not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by indulging your senses in the wonderful selection of short tales in Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland? Here is a sample of some of the treats awaiting you!
In “The Brewery of Egg-Shells”, a mother wonders if the child in its cradle is her own baby or a changeling (a bad fairy). A helpful neighbour suggests dunking the baby in a bath of boiling water and a dozen broken egg-shells to find out if it is her own boy or a fairy. Will she take the advice? (Don’t try this at home!)
“The Banshee” is a rather spooky tale of a forewarning of impending death. Mr. Bunworth was not dangerously ill but a man bringing him medicine was convinced that the Banshee was on the prowl. No-one would believe him. Would you? Read this to find out the truth but beware of a wailing woman with long white hair!
The last tale in the book, “The Giant’s Stairs”, tells the strange story of young Philip Ronayne who escaped the giant Mahon Mac Mahon. How did he outwit him and who helped him?
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is an environmental science book documenting the detrimental effects of pesticide aerial spraying on the environment and the long-term effects on animal and human health. Its publication led to a U.S. ban on DDT and inspired an environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Rachel Carson began as a marine biologist at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries writing copy for radio educational programs. She became a full-time writer after her 1951 best seller The Sea Around Us won her a National Book Award. During the 1940's she became concerned with the use of synthetic pesticides that had been developed initially through military funding programs and used in Europe at the end of the war. In 1957 the Department of Agriculture, as part of its Fire Ant Eradication program, began aerial spraying of DDT mixed with fuel oil over private land, despite public objection. This spurred Carson to research, investigation and the publication of Silent Spring in 1962, two years before she died of cancer.
Carson's main argument is that pesticides have detrimental effects on the environment and are more properly termed “biocides” because their effects are rarely limited to the target pest. She also accuses the chemical industry of intentionally spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically. The title, originally planned for the chapter on birds, was inspired by John Keats “La Belle Dame sans Merci” which contains the lines
“The sedge is wither’d from the lake,
And no birds sing.”
Albert Camus, journaliste, philosophe et écrivain lauréat du prix Nobel de littérature, publie L’Étranger en 1942. Il y décrit les fondements de sa philosophie: l’absurde.
L’Étranger est l’histoire d’un homme franco-algérien indifférent qui, après avoir assisté à l’enterrement de sa mère, tue dans un état apathique un Arabe qu’il connaît. Ce roman en deux parties, écrit à la première personne, restitue le paysage mental de l’assassin avant et après le meurtre.
Camus s’explique plus tard: « J’ai résumé L’Étranger, il y a longtemps, par une phrase dont je reconnais qu’elle est très paradoxale: “Dans notre société, tout homme qui ne pleure pas à l’enterrement de sa mère risque d’être condamné à mort.” Je voulais dire seulement que le héros du livre est condamné parce qu’il ne joue pas le jeu. »
Albert Camus, journalist, philosopher, and Nobel Prize winning author, wrote L’Étranger in 1942 as a representation of his philosophy known as “absurdism.”
The Stranger is the story of an indifferent French Algerian man who, after attending his mother’s funeral, apathetically kills an Arab man whom he knows. The two-part story is his first-person narrative view before and after the murder.
Camus later wrote: “I summarized The Stranger a long time ago, with a remark I admit was highly paradoxical: ‘In our society any man who does not weep at his mother’s funeral runs the risk of being sentenced to death.’ I only meant that the hero of my book is condemned because he does not play the game.”
Mazo de la Roche (pronounced may'zo and Rosh to rhyme with Foch), was born on January 15, 1879 in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada and is best known for her Jalna Series, otherwise known as the Whiteoak Chronicles. The series tells the story of one hundred years of the Whiteoak family covering from 1854 to 1954. Although the novels were not written in sequential order, each can be read as an independent story. Names of many of the characters were taken from gravestones in a Newmarket, Ontario cemetery and the author reportedly once told a friend that she “had the whole story in her head from beginning to end; all she had to do was write it down.” Mazo de la Roche died July 12, 1961 and is buried near Stephen Leacock, another Canadian author available here at Fadedpage, in Sutton, Ontario. The Jalna series has sold over eleven million copies worldwide in 193 English and 92 foreign editions.
In Mary Wakefield, published in 1949 and the third book of the Jalna series, a young English woman is hired by Ernest Whiteoak to be a governess to Phillip’s motherless children. When Phillip falls in love with her, his mother does all she can to prevent the marriage.
The poem “In Flanders Fields” was written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae while he was waiting for the wounded to arrive at his dugout in Flanders, Belgium. It was inspired particularly by the death of a friend on May 2, 1915. Published in the London magazine Punch in December 1915, it rapidly became the most popular English-language poem of the war. The poem has made the poppy the enduring symbol of the war dead of the British empire; it is a lasting symbol of self-sacrifice in war.
On January 28, 1918, McCrae died of pneumonia and meningitis; he was 45 years old. He was buried with full military honours in the cemetery at Wimereux, France.
This book contains most of the poems that he wrote and submitted to various publications over the years of his medical career. There is also a biographical essay by Sir Andrew Macphail.
The Dictionary of Canadian Biography website contains more information on John McCrae. There is also a commemorative vignette that was created by Historica Canada for their Heritage Minutes Collection. There are several museums in Canada that commemorate John McCrae's life. In 1946, John McCrae was declared a Person of National Historic Significance by the Government of Canada.
Are you feeling jaded after the excesses of Christmas and New Year, or perhaps you are still in a celebratory mood? This book might just revitalise your taste buds and spirits (of both kinds)!
There are some short histories of the meals of the day, such as breakfast, “luncheon” and dinner as well as information about the drinks and where they might have come from. There are plenty of recipes for you to try your shaky hands at!
How about a breakfast from India: parrot pie, cold buffalo hump, and grilled sheep's tail? That should set you up for the day! On the other hand, you might fancy luncheon in London and try out Ye Pudding stuffed with steak, kidney, oysters, mushrooms, and larks, or perhaps curried locusts are more to your taste. Grilled bones might be a tempting treat for supper.
Feeling thirsty? How about a Glasgow Punch, a Bosom Caresser or a Crimean Cup? I wonder which one you would enjoy most!
Be a bit reckless and download this book. It is sure to make you laugh!
In this classic Golden Age mystery, family and friends gather at a country manor for Christmas celebrations. The mood turns from joyful to chilling as the first murder occurs, and the guests are cut off from the outside world by a fierce snowstorm. This novel is a wonderful example of the traditional country-house mystery and the perfect book to read in snowy December. The author, Alfred Alexander Gordon Clark, better known as Cyril Hare, is the author of the Francis Pettigrew mystery stories, featuring a barrister as amateur sleuth. All of these, as well as other works by Hare, are available here at Faded Page.
Many know the story of Anne of Green Gables, the warm, precocious and spirited orphan girl adopted by the Cuthberts. Anne is known and loved by readers from all around the world and many of her fans have visited the attractions inspired by her story on Prince Edward Island.
But what happens to Anne after she settles in Green Gables? Her story continues in Anne of Avonlea, published in 1909, which describes Anne's experiences as a schoolteacher from age 16 and 18. There are 8 Anne books in all, and these can be found, along with many other works, in our Lucy Maud Montgomery special collection.
Autobiography of Matthew Scott, Jumbo's Keeper plus Jumbo's Biography, are found together in one volume. We are so used to the adjective jumbo that we forget that the term comes from Jumbo, a very famous large elephant. The first part of the book tells of the “peculiar and checkered” life of his keeper, Matthew Scott, who was born, one of seventeen children, in England in 1834. After having worked in the menagerie on the estate of Lord Derby, he eventually became a keeper at London Zoo. Later, he travelled to France, to bring Jumbo, the elephant, to London.
In the Biography of Jumbo we learn all about Jumbo's arrival in London and his life as a celebrity there. Due to his fame, Jumbo along with Matthew travelled by sea to America where he was exhibited by Barnum. The book gives a real insight into Jumbo's varied life.
We present Arthur Stringer's Shadowed Victory as we observe Remembrance Day in Canada and many other countries on November 11. In some countries, Armistice Day is observed, while in the United States, November 11 marks Veterans Day.
Arthur John Stringer, novelist, screenwriter and poet, was born in 1874 in Cedar Springs, Ontario. He is best known as a writer of crime fiction, wilderness adventures, numerous film scripts, and several books of poetry. His best known blank-verse drama is Sappho in Leucadia. In 1914, he attained fame as the first Canadian poet to use free verse with his Open Water book of verse. Seven years before he died in 1950, he published Shadowed Victory, a blank-verse poem about Canada during World War I.
In the poem, Stringer paints the story of Hugh, the young man who rushes to join and go to war, and his friend Clyde, the young man who stays behind to work the farm on the prairie to feed the troops. Each fights the enemy presented to them; one 'fighting the Hun' and the other fighting the drought and frost and the loss of his girl, Lynn, to the soldier. The war ends, but for Hugh, Clyde and Lynn, it is a shadowed victory.
Our collection includes short stories "Cool Air" and The Nameless City, which is considered the first of his well-known Cthulhu Mythos stories. The image above is Lovecraft's own sketch of the cosmic entity Cthulhu.
The Canadian Horticulturist is a periodical from the late 1800's and early 1900's that contains articles on all kinds of gardening and crops in Canada. Surprisingly, much of the information and advice given in the magazine is still relevant today. One of our readers found articles on the care of amaryllis and clematis particularly helpful. If you're a fruit farmer, you would benefit from reading this magazine. If you're a greenhouse owner, you will find tips here. If you want to grow potatoes or house plants, you will get plenty of useful information in the pages of this magazine. With the resurgence of interest in heirloom gardening, this century-old periodical is perfect for the current times!
This story by British naturalist John Coulson Tregarthen never fails to fascinate in its telling of the amazing life of a hare from its birth, its learning curve as a young leveret to its becoming an adult hare. It is told in an unsentimental way and features the animals and landscape of Cornwall in England. The book provides a vivid picture of a young animal coping with and overcoming the stresses of life around it. A number of photographs enhance this edition.
This story is about two bodies: one, an unknown man found wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez in a local architect’s bath tub, the other a well-known wealthy financier who is missing and who is definitely not the unknown man in the bath tub. Through various twists and turns—typical of all the Wimsey mystery stories—a surgeon at a local teaching hospital becomes the chief suspect.
You’ll have to read to story to discover the reasons ... I don’t want to spoil it for you ... but, be assured that, if you enjoy mysteries involving aristocratic amateur sleuths, you’ll having difficulty putting down the book until it’s finished ... then you’ll want to read the others.
Dorothy L. Sayers 1893-1957 is a renowned English crime writer, poet, playwright essayist, translator, Christian humanist, and more. She was a fairly prolific author and Faded Page has quite a few of her books with plans to add more; see Special Collection: The Works of Dorothy Leigh Sayers.
Lord Peter is a dilettante who solves mysteries—quite often murders—for his own amusement; he is an archetype for the British gentleman detective with a touch of mild satire for the British class system. Though he enjoys the “thrill of the chase”, he has ambiguous feelings about catching criminals for a hobby—especially if they could be hanged. Lord Peter occasionally suffers from “nervous” problems caused by wartime shell-shock—what we would now probably call PTSD—then it was termed “malingering”. He has an interest in rare books and collecting incunabula—which is usually used to refer to “the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything”. He considers himself an expert on food, wine, male fashion and classical music.
Whose Body?—which introduces many of the regular characters—is followed by ten other novels, interspersed with over 20 short stories, and followed by, at least, four books by Jill Paton Walsh—approved by the Sayers’ estate—with the first one being the completion of an unpublished manuscript. The stories begin in the 1920’s and follow Lord Peter through his life, and marriage, for the next 20 years; the books by Walsh take us further. Naturally, those books written by Walsh will not be in the public domain for many years yet, as she is still living, but you can probably find them at your local library.
Everyone—well, almost everyone—knows the story of “Winnie-the-Pooh” and his friends; if not the original stories by A.A. Milne, at least the Disney version. So I will relate how Winnie was “born”.
In August 1914, a Canadian veterinarian and soldier with the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps purchased as a female cub in White River, Ontario, Canada. Lt. Colebourn smuggled the bear cub into Britain as an unofficial regimental mascot. She was named for Lt. Colebourn's home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
When the regiment was ordered to France, Winnipeg (aka Winnie), was left at the London Zoo for the duration of the war. After the war was over, Colebourn decided to leave her at the London Zoo where she was much loved for her playfulness and gentleness. She lived at the zoo until her death in 1934.
One of Winnipeg's ardent fans was A.A. Milne's son Christopher Robin who regularly enticed his father into visiting the zoo. Christopher Robin changed the name of his own teddy bear from “Edward Bear” to “Winnie the Pooh” and so provided the inspiration for his father's stories about Winnie-the-Pooh and friends.
Historica Canada created the following heart-warming vignette about Winnie.
Please note that we were not able to include any of the original illustrations done by E.H. Shepard as they will not be in the Public Domain in Canada until 2027.
Ben Ide spends his time chasing wild horses in Northern California, accompanied by the wanderer, Nevada and his Indian companion, Modoc. Rather than catching horses, rumours circulate that he is a cattle rustler. But Ina Blaine, his childhood sweetheart, doesn't believe the rumours. She defends Ben against the suspicions of her newly-rich father and his unscrupulous associate, Les Setter, who has a previous connection to Nevada.
Looking toward the future, Ben Ide and his companions buy out a couple of ranchers in a severe drought and proceed to catch a lot of wild horses. He is after one in particular- California Red, whom Ina's father has promised as a present for her, if any man should catch him. Setter and Blaine set out to steal Ben's new land while he's off, and trouble follows.
Zane Grey writes from personal knowledge of northern California where he identifies Mt. Shasta, Tule Lake, and the landscape in and around Lava Beds National Monument. The "Forlorn River" represents the Lost River that flows through the Tule Lake area.
Although "Forlorn River" was first published in 1927, it was adapted to two motion pictures, one in 1926 starring Jack Holt and another in 1937 starring Buster Crabbe. It was also made a feature Dell comic in 1952. "Nevada", the sequel to "Forlorn River" is also available for download here at fadedpage.com. For more Zane Grey titles, see our Special Collection page.
To celebrate Independence Day in the United States on July 4, we feature "American Scenery Volume I & II" by Nathaniel Parker Willis with illustrations by William Henry Bartlett.
Bartlett, a Londoner, became one of the foremost illustrators of topography of his generation. In 1835, he first visited the United States in order to draw the buildings, towns and scenery of the northeastern states. The 118 finely detailed steel engravings Bartlett produced were published in 1840 uncolored and with a text by Nathaniel Parker Willis as "American Scenery; or Land, Lake, and River: Illustrations of Transatlantic Nature". Willis writes a travel dialogue for each engraving by addressing the reader as a prospective tourist visiting the Horseshoe Falls at Niagara, Yale College or Harper's Ferry. His use of historical vignettes and poems to express his views and add color to his writing may explain how he became the leading magazine writer of his time.
American Scenery was originally published in London in 30 monthly installments from 1837 to 1839 and later as bound editions beginning in 1840. Bartlett's impressions of Canada were collected in 1842 and he collaborated with Willis again using the same format. The result of their collaboration was published as "Canadian Scenery Volume I & II" and is also available here at fadedpage.com.
Early History of the C.P.R. Road by Walter Moberly
A History of the Canadian Pacific Railway by Harold Adams Innis
To celebrate Canada Day on July 1, we feature two works that tell the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada's first transcontinental railway. The C.P.R. was originally built between 1881 and 1885, with the goal of uniting the Eastern and Western parts of the country.
Walter Moberly was a civil engineer and surveyor who played a vital role in the development of British Columbia. He discovered Eagle Pass, through which the C.P.R eventually travelled. His 1909 monograph, Early History of the C.P.R., includes his reflections on the building of the railway.
Innis College at the University of Toronto is named for Harold Adams Innis, who was a professor of political economy there. A History of the Canadian Pacific Railway, published in 1923, was actually his Ph.D. thesis. It is a detailed and comprehensive volume that attempts, in the author's own words, "to trace the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway from an evolutionary and scientific point of view."
Trente Arpents by Ringuet
Afin de souligner la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, fête nationale du Québec le 24 juin, nous présentons un roman de 1938, écrit par Philippe Panneton dit Ringuet. Un des derniers romans du terroir (anti-roman du terroir pour certains), Trente Arpents dépeint l'essor et le déclin d'Euchariste Moisan, fermier québécois des Laurentides exilé aux États-Unis à la fin de sa vie. Le roman gagne des prix en France et au Québec et la traduction de Felix et Dorothea Walter, Thirty Acres, remporte le prix du Gouverneur général du Canada en 1940. À l'instar de Maria Chapdelaine et du Survenant, le roman est un classique de la littérature canadienne. Depuis 1997, le prix Ringuet est décerné chaque année à un auteur pour un roman, récit ou recueil de nouvelles qui est jugé de très grande qualité par l'Académie des lettres du Québec.
To celebrate St.-Jean-Baptiste Day or fête nationale in the Canadian province of Québec on June 24, we feature this 1938 book by French-Canadian writer Philippe Panneton, better known as Ringuet. This novel, one of the last examples of the roman du terroir (or an anti-roman du terroir for some), depicts the rise and fall of Quebec farmer Euchariste Moisan, born in the Laurentians but exiled to the United States at the end of his life. This novel won prizes in both France and Québec, and the English translation by Felix and Dorothea Walker, Thirty Acres, won the Governor General's Award for fiction in 1940. Like Maria Chapdelaine and Le Survenant, this novel is considered a classic of Canadian literature. Since 1997, the Prix Ringuet has been awarded each year by the Académie des lettres du Québec for an outstanding work of fiction.
Tom Swift and His Flying Boat by Victor Appleton
The Tom Swift series of novels make up what may be the most famous books concerning scientific inventors and inventions in all juvenile literature. Many of the inventions talked about, dreamed about, and built in the books are a reality today.
In this novel, Tom wants to improve seaplane technology and builds a new and large luxurious flying boat from scratch and in record time. In fact, it is done just in time to mount a rescue mission to the Arctic to save Mr. Damon and Mr. Nestor, who have been stranded on an iceberg after their schooner was wrecked. Agents of the USSR and foul weather are just a few of the obstacles hampering Tom's rescue efforts. Does Tom make it in time?
If you want to read more about Tom, Ned Newton, Mary Nestor, Mr. Damon and Patagonian giant Koku, then be sure to come back to the Faded Page site, as we will be adding more Tom Swift adventures in the coming months!
The Beckoning Hand: Olga Davidoff's Husband by Grant Allen
"Olga Davidoff’s Husband" is one of thirteen short stories of suspense in The Beckoning Hand series, each one full of twists and turns. This one starts off in Tobolsk, Siberia in 1873. Olga David is the twenty-year-old heiress of the family Davidoff who originally came from Wales but through the generations changed their name from David to Davidoff.
Olga, the belle of the city, meets the dashing, handsome Baron Niaz, a Russian with Tartar blood, and from then on her life takes a dramatic turn. The persuasive Baron proposes and after their marriage they set off for Siberia to his isolated stronghold up in the mountains. All goes well for many weeks and then things change. Olga cannot understand why her husband keeps disappearing for several days before returning. Where does his mysterious new watch with strange initials come from? Why does he stamp on it in the courtyard and destroy it?
Arctic Searching Expedition - A Journal of a Boat-Voyage, Vol. 1 (1851)
Arctic Searching Expedition - A Journal of a Boat-Voyage, Vol. 2 (1851)
by Sir John Richardson (1787-1865)
DPC recently completed, and have posted, their 2,000th and 2,001st projects.
This two volume set is a report of a voyage through Rupert's Land (central to northern interior of Canada) and the Arctic Sea, in search of the lost ships under the command of Sir John Franklin. This was the first voyage in search of Franklin and his ships.
These volumes include discussions of the journey and searching undertaken, along with the geography, people, plants, etc. found on the voyage. An extensive Appendix includes details on the geography, geology, climatology, distribution of plants and insect species, and vocabulary lists for a number of the aboriginal groups they met. There are also coloured illustrations and drawings of natives and locations visited.
In September 2014, a Parks Canada expedition discovered the remains of one of Franklin's ships. It was eventually determined that the ship found was the HMS Erebus. For those interested, here is the link to the Parks Canada website for The Franklin Expedition.
The Adventures of the Chevalier de la Salle
by John S. C. Abbott (1875)
This fascinating history of exploration, discovery and settlement along the great Missouri/Mississippi valley—the heart of the North American continent—features adventure, research, colonization and religious conversion amongst the native peoples and early settlers.
de la Salle was one of the explorers who opened up the continent, travelling by canoe and on foot. Over a period exceeding 30 years he and his colleagues met people, proselytized for the Catholic faith, recorded geographic and biologic discoveries, and establsihed trading posts and forts. In the long run, their last voyage proved fatal, when they attempted to settle near the mouth of the Mississippi.
And the book itself represents a bit of an exploration, too, as we set out on a program to "recapture" the early eBooks produced by DPC. They were posted to Project Gutenberg Canada. Now we propose to add them all to the FP catalogue. The program will take a lot of effort, as there are several hundred such eBooks. Once we have identified which eBooks need to be transferred to FP, their header files will need to be modified, the projects will have to be loaded to the FP database via FTP software, and an entry made in the FP catalogue.
Not much time for a single eBook, but multiplied by hundreds of entries, quite a task!! The resulting expansion in the FP catalogue of hundreds of additional titles will be well worth the effort.
Enjoy de la Salle!