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The Maids Tragedy

The Maids Tragedy by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

The Maids Tragedy by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

Beaumont and Fletcher’s The Maid’s Tragedy is a sensational Jacobean sex tragedy. When gentleman soldier Melantius returns to Rhodes, he finds his dear friend Amintor is recently married – but not to his troth-plight love Aspatia (the maid of the title). Instead, the King has arranged a match between Amintor and Melantius’ sister, the beautiful Evadne. On his wedding night, Amintor finds that his new wife has married him under false pretenses – and this unleashes a torrent of dire consequences, sexual, emotional, and ultimately political.

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Master Flea

Master Flea by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Master Flea by E. T. A. Hoffmann

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, better known by his pen name E.T.A. Hoffmann (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann), was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist. Hoffmann’s stories were very influential during the 19th century, and he is one of the major authors of the Romantic movement.
He is the subject and hero of Jacques Offenbach’s famous but fictional opera The Tales of Hoffmann, and the author of the novelette The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the famous ballet The Nutcracker is based. The ballet Coppelia is based on two other stories that Hoffmann wrote. Also Schumann’s Kreisleriana is based on one of Hoffmann’s characters.
(Introduction by Wikipedia)

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Vixen – Volume 1

Vixen - Volume 1 by M. E. Braddon

Vixen – Volume 1 by M. E. Braddon

This is an exquisite and heartbreaking love story. Violet Tempest and Roderick Vawdrey, otherwise known to each other as Vixen and Rorie, are childhood sweethearts. However, Rorie’s family wants him to marry elsewhere. You may think it is the old story all over again, but nothing in this novel is what it seems. It is far too realistic for that. Many books talk about falling in love. This book starts after that stage, and speaks about the harder stage of a relationship: loving earnestly but understanding that love – even in the truest and purest sense – is not everything in life. There are duties to fulfil, and they might have nothing to do with love. Family life plays a large role in this novel, and it is not always warm and good. Many of the characters are strong and complicated. The novel has some feminist ideas, but they have boundaries, and are presented side by side with the conventional ideas of the times. But the signs of change are there… loud and clear.

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Why Marry?

Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams

Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams

Why Marry? is a comedy, which “tells the truth about marriage”. We find a family in the throes of proving the morality of marriage to a New Age Woman. Can the family defend marriage to this self-supporting girl? Will she be convinced that marriage is the ultimate sacredness of a relationship or will she hold to her perception that marriage is the basis of separating two lovers.

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The Antiquary

The Antiquary  by Sir Walter Scott

The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott

Illegitimacy, false identity, and bankruptcy are the major elements of Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Antiquary. Set in the period of the French Revolution, the novel’s hero, Lovel, struggles to gain repute and the hand of his beloved despite his uncertain parentage. During these pursuits, he befriends the title’s antiquary, Johnathan Oldbuck, who finds Lovel a captive audience to his scholarly studies and a tragic likeness to his own disappointments in love. Readers will discover whether Lovel’s acts of bravery and courage ultimately earn him the birth and fortunes of a nobleman.

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The Melting of Molly

The Melting of Molly by Maria Thompson Daviess

The Melting of Molly by Maria Thompson Daviess

Meet Molly: a quirky, spirited twenty-five-year old, widowed for 6 years, living in picturesque Hillsboro with her aunt amidst gossipy neighbors, on a strict diet, and in serious boy trouble. There’s Arthur, her childhood sweetheart; then, there’s the enigmatic, charming Judge Wade; and of course, there’s her cousin Tom; and then, her infuriating neighbor, John Moore… But who will melt her heart?

It is Arthur’s return, and his seemingly simple request of wanting to see her in the same blue dress she wore when he left, that throws everything into turmoil…

Sometimes, one can only find some solace in one’s garden.

Narrated in a refreshingly modern and playful style by none other than Molly herself, this book is the British magazine version; there’s a significantly different American novel version.

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Chance

Chance by Joseph Conrad

Chance by Joseph Conrad

Apparently a two part story about a Damsel and a Knight, perhaps a damsel who depends upon the kindness of strangers. The book itself was the biggest commercial success for Conrad up until that time. It allowed Conrad for the first time to settle his financial affairs. The author’s disdain for people who live on the land is apparent. A new understanding of the word “enthusiastic” is promulgated. And it is a love story.

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Marcella

Marcella by Mrs. Humphry Ward

Marcella by Mrs. Humphry Ward

Mary Augusta Ward was a very popular author at the end of the 19th century. The arrival of Marcella was discussed a lot in the London news papers. This popular novel tells about Marcella Boyce, a beauty of the 1880s, who thinks she truly believes in the values of socialism. A 21-year-old art student, she lives in a boarding house in Kensington until her father inherits Mellor Park, the family estate which is located in the Midlands. She unwillingly leaving her studies, all the things she loves and wants to do, and her friends, and starts her new life at Mellor Park, determined to help the poor people she sees around her. Then Aldous Raeburn, Tory candidate for Parliament and heir to Lord Maxwell’s estate, falls in love with her. But Marcella is torn between her “love of power” and her “power to love.” But she’ll have to learn in the hard way that high morals are apt to clash with reality.

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Pygmalion

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw based on the Greek myth of the same name. It tells the story of Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics (based on phonetician Henry Sweet), who makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he can successfully pass off a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, as a refined society lady by teaching her how to speak with an upper class accent and training her in etiquette. In the process, Higgins and Doolittle grow close, but she ultimately rejects his domineering ways and declares she will marry Freddy Eynsford-Hill – a young, poor, gentleman.

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The Money Moon: A Romance

The Money Moon: A Romance by Jeffery Farnol

The Money Moon: A Romance by Jeffery Farnol

The Money Moon is a light-hearted romance. Jilted in love, our American millionaire hero, George Bellow, takes a walking tour of the Kent countryside to overcome the “Haunting Spectre of the Might Have Been”. Along the way he makes friends with a young boy out to discover a fortune to save his Aunt Anthea from having to sell the family estate and George discovers his ideal “Arcadia” and true love.

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