Complete with a Life & Times section for each author, which offers insights into their lives, works and the time of publication, and a handy glossary adapted from the Collins English Dictionary, this Collins Classics Collection will enhance your reading experience.
DRACULA: This dark, brooding and powerfully atmospheric novel is a classic of gothic literature, casting light on the darkness of the human psyche, and exploiting our deepest fears.
TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION: Including Poe’s most terrifying, grotesque and haunting short stories, Tales of Mystery and Imagination is the ultimate collection of the infamous author’s macabre works.
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE: Stevenson's quintessential novella of the Victorian era epitomizes the conflict between psychology, science and religious morality, but is fundamentally a triumphant study of the duality of human nature.
FRANKENSTEIN: In the most famous gothic horror story ever told, Shelley confronts the limitations of science, the nature of human cruelty and the pathway to forgiveness with rich language and evocative imagery.
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Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". First published as a book on 23 May 1883, it was originally serialized in the children's magazine Young Folks between 1881 and 1882 under the title Treasure Island or, the mutiny of the Hispaniola with Stevenson adopting the pseudonym Captain George North.
The novel opens in the seaside village of Black Hill Cove in south-west England (to Stevenson, in his letters and in the related fictional play Admiral Guinea, near Barnstaple, Devon) in the mid-18th century. Stevenson deliberately leaves the exact date of the novel obscure, the narrator, James "Jim" Hawkins, the young son of the owners of the Admiral Benbow Inn, writing that he takes up his pen "in the year of grace 17—." An old drunken seaman named Billy Bones arrives at the inn singing "that old sea-song"
"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"
Bones becomes a long-term lodger at the inn, only paying for about the first week of his stay. Jim quickly realizes that Bones is in hiding, and that he particularly dreads meeting an unidentified seafaring man with one leg. Some months later, Bones is visited by a mysterious sailor named Black Dog. Their meeting turns violent, Black Dog flees and Bones suffers a stroke. While Jim cares for him, Bones confesses that he was once the mate of a notorious late pirate, Captain Flint, and that his old crewmates want Bones' sea chest. Some time later, another of Bones' crew mates, a blind man named Pew, appears at the inn and forces Jim to lead him to Bones. Pew gives Bones a paper. After Pew leaves, Bones opens the paper to discover it is marked with the Black Spot, a pirate summons, with the warning that he has until ten o'clock to meet their demands. Bones drops dead of apoplexy (in this context, a stroke) on the spot. Jim and his mother open Bones' sea chest to collect the amount due to them for Bones' room and board, but before they can count out the money that they are owed, they hear pirates approaching the inn and are forced to flee and hide, Jim taking with him a mysterious oilskin packet from the chest. The pirates, led by Pew, find the sea chest and the money, but are frustrated that there is no sign of "Flint's fist". Customs men approach and the pirates escape to their vessel (all except for Pew, who is accidentally run down and killed by the agents' horses).
THE CALL OF THE WILD, by Jack London
TREASURE ISLAND, by Robert Louis Stevenson
KIDNAPPED, by Robert Louis Stevenson
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, by Johann David Wyss
FIVE CHILDREN AND IT, by E. Nesbit
TOM SWIFT AND THE VISITOR FROM PLANET X, by Victor Appleton II
TOM SWIFT AND THE ELECTRONIC HYDROLUNG, by Victor Appleton II
TARZAN OF THE APES, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
THE RETURN OF TARZAN, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
DAVE DAWSON AT DUNKIRK, by R. Sidney Bowen
DAVE DAWSON WITH THE R.A.F., by R. Sidney Bowen
DAVE DAWSON ON THE RUSSIAN FRONT, by R. Sidney Bowen
DAVE DAWSON ON GUADALCANAL, by R. Sidney Bowen
DAVE DAWSON AT CASABLANCA, by R. Sidney Bowen
DAVE DAWSON AT TRUK, by R. Sidney Bowen
DAVE DASHAWAY AND HIS HYDROPLANE, by Roy Rockwood
ADRIFT IN THE WILDS: THE ADVENTURES OF TWO SHIPWRECKED BOYS, by Edward S. Ellis
AMONG MALAY PIRATES, by G. A. Henty
KIM, by Rudyard Kipling
THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, by Alexandre Dumas
And don't forget to search your favorite ebook store for more entries in Wildside Press's Megapack series, ranging from science fiction and fantasy to westerns, mysteries, ghost stories -- and much, much more!
The work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often called "split personality", referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr. Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.
There have been many audio recordings of the novella, with some of the more famous readers including Tom Baker, Roger Rees, Christopher Lee, Anthony Quayle, Martin Jarvis, Tim Pigott-Smith, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Gene Lockhart.
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The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses is an 1888 novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is both an historical adventure novel and a romance novel. It first appeared as a serial in 1883 with the subtitle "A Tale of Tunstall Forest" beginning in Young Folks; A Boys' and Girls' Paper of Instructive and Entertaining Literature, vol. XXII, no. 656 (Saturday, June 30, 1883) and ending in the issue for Saturday, October 20, 1883
The Black Arrow tells the story of Richard (Dick) Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: how he becomes a knight, rescues his lady Joanna Sedley, and obtains justice for the murder of his father, Sir Harry Shelton. Outlaws in Tunstall Forest organized by Ellis Duckworth, whose weapon and calling card is a black arrow, cause Dick to suspect that his guardian Sir Daniel Brackley and his retainers are responsible for his father's murder. Dick's suspicions are enough to turn Sir Daniel against him, so he has no recourse but to escape from Sir Daniel and join the outlaws of the Black Arrow against him. This struggle sweeps him up into the greater conflict surrounding them all.
In the reign of "old King Henry VI" (1422–1461, 1470–1471) and during the Wars of the Roses (1455–1487) the story begins with the Tunstall Moat House alarm bell being rung to begin mustering troops for its absent lord Sir Daniel Brackley, who intends to join the Battle of Risingham. It is then that the "fellowship" known as "The Black Arrow" headquartered in Tunstall Forest begins to strike with its "four black arrows" for the "four black hearts" of Brackley and three of his retainers: Nicholas Appleyard, Bennet Hatch, and Sir Oliver Oates, the parson. The rhyme that is posted in connection with this attack gets the protagonist Richard Shelton, ward of Sir Daniel, to become curious about the fate of his father Sir Harry Shelton. Having been dispatched to Kettley, where Sir Daniel was quartered, and sent to Tunstall Moat House by return dispatch, he falls in with a fugitive from Sir Daniel, Joanna Sedley, disguised as a boy and going by the alias of John Matcham. She is an heiress kidnapped by Sir Daniel, who wanted to obtain guardianship over her. Coincidentally, Sir Daniel was intending to marry Joanna to Dick himself; and, in her male disguise, Joanna brings up the matter to Dick, affording her the opportunity of feeling him out on the subject. Dick says he is not interested, but he does ask her if his intended bride is good-looking and of pleasant disposition.
While making their way through Tunstall Forest, Joanna tries to persuade Dick to turn against Sir Daniel in sympathy with the Black Arrow outlaws, whose camp they discover near the ruins of Grimstone manor. The next day they are met in the forest by Sir Daniel himself disguised as a leper and making his way back to the Moat House after his side was defeated at the Battle of Risingham. Dick and Joan then follow Sir Daniel to the Moat House. Here Dick changes sides when he finds out that Sir Daniel is the real murderer of his father and escapes injured from the Moat House. He is rescued by the outlaws of the Black Arrow with whom he throws in his lot for the rest of the story.
The second half of the novel, Books 3-5, tells how Dick rescues his true love Joanna from the clutches of Sir Daniel with the help of both the Black Arrow fellowship and the Yorkist army led by Richard Crookback, the future Richard III of England.
The novel is set around 18th-century Scottish events, notably the "Appin Murder", which occurred near Ballachulish in 1752 in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745. Many of the characters were real people, including one of the principals, Alan Breck Stewart. The political situation of the time is portrayed from different viewpoints, and the Scottish Highlanders are treated sympathetically.
I SET OFF UPON MY JOURNEY TO THE HOUSE OF SHAWS
I will begin the story of my adventures with a certain morning early in the month of June, the year of grace 1751, when I took the key for the last time out of the door of my father's house. The sun began to shine upon the summit of the hills as I went down the road; and by the time I had come as far as the manse, the blackbirds were whistling in the garden lilacs, and the mist that hung around the valley in the time of the dawn was beginning to arise and die away.
Mr. Campbell, the minister of Essendean, was waiting for me by the garden gate, good man! He asked me if I had breakfasted; and hearing that I lacked for nothing, he took my hand in both of his and clapped it kindly under his arm.
"Well, Davie, lad," said he, "I will go with you as far as the ford, to set you on the way." And we began to walk forward in silence.
It was in the late September of 1814 that I first made acquaintance with David Mackenzie. A wound received in the battle of SalamancaÑa shattered ankleÑhad sent me home invalided, and on my partial recovery I was appointed to command the 2nd Battalion of my Regiment, then being formed at Inverness. To this duty I was equal; but my ankle still gave trouble (the splinters from time to time working through the flesh), and in the late summer of 1814 I obtained leave of absence with my step-brother, and spent some pleasant weeks in cruising and fishing about the Moray Firth. Finding that my leg bettered by this idleness, we hired a smaller boat and embarked on a longer excursion, which took us almost to the south-west end of Loch Ness.
We were eleven inside the omnibus when it pulled up at Charing Cross, so that legally there was room for just one more. I had travelled enough in omnibuses to know my fellow-passengers by heart— a governess with some sheets of music in her satchel; a minor actress going to rehearsal; a woman carrying her incurable complaint for the hundredth time to the hospital; three middle-aged city clerks; a couple of reporters with weak eyes and low collars; an old loose-cheeked woman exhaling patchouli; a bald-headed man with hairy hands, a violent breast-pin, and the indescribable air of a matrimonial agent. Not a word passed. We were all failures in life, and could not trouble to dissemble it, in that heat. Moreover, we were used to each other, as types if not as persons, and had lost curiosity. So we sat listless, dispirited, drawing difficult breath and staring vacuously. The hope we shared in common—that nobody would claim the vacant seat—was too obvious to be discussed.
But at Charing Cross the twelfth passenger got in—a boy with a stick, and a bundle in a blue handkerchief. He was about thirteen; bound for the docks, we could tell at a glance, to sail on his first voyage; and, by the way he looked about, we could tell as easily that in stepping outside Charing Cross Station he had set foot on London stones for the first time. When we pulled up, he was standing on the opposite pavement with dazed eyes like a hare's, wondering at the new world—the hansoms, the yelling news-boys, the flower-women, the crowd pushing him this way and that, the ugly shop-fronts, the hurry and stink and din of it all. Then, hailing our 'bus, he started to run across—faltered—almost dropped his bundle—was snatched by our conductor out of the path of a running hansom, and hauled on board. His eyelids were pink and swollen; but he was not crying, though he wanted to. Instead, he took a great gulp, as he pushed between our knees to his seat, and tried to look brave as a lion.
The luggage belonged to the middle-aged man at the window: the boat was to carry him down the river to the Albemarle, East Indiaman, anchored in the roads with her Surat cargo aboard. She would sail that night for Bombay and thence away for England.
He was ready; dressed for his journey in a loose white suit, which, though designed for the East, was almost aggressively British. A Cheapside tailor had cut it, and, had it been black or gray or snuff-coloured instead of white, its wearer might have passed all the way from the Docks to Temple Bar for a solid merchant on 'ChangeÑa self-respecting man, too, careless of dress for appearance' sake, but careful of it for his own, and as part of a habit of neatness. He wore no wig (though the date was 1723), but his own gray hair, brushed smoothly back from a sufficiently handsome forehead and tied behind with a fresh black ribbon. In his right hand he held a straw hat, broad-brimmed like a Quaker's, and a white umbrella with a green lining. His left fingered his clean-shaven chin as he gazed on the river.
The ceremonies of leave-taking were done with and dismissed; so far as he could, he had avoided them. He had ever been a hard man and knew well enough that the clerks disliked him. He hated humbug. He had come to India, almost forty years ago, not to make friends, but to make a fortune. And now the fortune was made, and the room behind him stood ready, spick and span, for the Scotsman who would take his chair to-morrow. Drawers had been emptied and dusted, loose papers and memoranda sorted and either burnt or arranged and docketed, ledgers entered up to the last item in his firm handwriting, and finally closed. The history of his manhood lay shut between their covers, written in figures terser than a Roman classic: his grand coup in Nunsasee goods, Abdul Guffere's debt commuted for 500,000 rupees, the salvage of the Ramillies wreck, his commercial duel with Viltul Parrak . . . And the record had no loose ends. He owed no man a farthing.
I feel comfortably sure, Gentlemen, that in a previous course of lectures "On the Art of Writing", unlike Aeschylus, I divulged no mysteries: but I am troubled with speculations over that man and the catapult, because I really was trying to tell you how the thing worked; and Aristotle, with a reticence which (as Horace afterwards noted) may lend itself to obscurity, tells us neither what happened to that exponent of ballistics, nor to the engine itself, nor to the other person. My discharge, such as it was, at any rate provoked another Professor (emeritus, learned, sagacious, venerable) to retort that the true business of a Chair such as this is to instruct young men how to read rather than how to write. Well, be it so. I accept the challenge.
I propose in this and some ensuing lectures to talk of the Art and Practice of Reading, particularly as applied to English Literature: to discuss on what ground and through what faculties an and his Reader meet: to enquire if, or to what extent, Reading of the best Literature can be taught; and supposing it to be taught, if or to what extent it can be examined upon; with maybe an interlude or two, to beguile the way.
Of his parents' circumstances he knew very little, except that they were poor, and that his father was a clergyman attached to the parish church. As a matter of fact, the Reverend Samuel Raymond was senior curate there, with a stipend of ninety-five pounds a year. Born at Tewkesbury, the son of a miller, he had won his way to a servitorship at Christ Church, Oxford; and somehow, in the course of one Long Vacation, had found money for travelling expenses to join a reading party under the Junior Censor. The party spent six summer weeks at a farmhouse near Honiton, in Devon. The farm belonged to an invalid widow named Venning, who let it be managed by her daughter Humility and two paid labourers, while she herself sat by the window in her kitchen parlour, busied incessantly with lace-work of that beautiful kind for which Honiton is famous. He was an unassuming youth; and although in those days servitors were no longer called upon to black the boots of richer undergraduates, the widow and her daughter soon divined that he was lowlier than the others, and his position an awkward one, and were kind to him in small ways, and grew to like him. Next year, at their invitation, he travelled down to Honiton alone, with a box of books; and, at twenty-two, having taken his degree, he paid them a third visit, and asked Humility to be his wife. At twenty-four, soon after his admission to deacon's orders, they were married. The widow sold the small farm, with its stock, and followed to live with them in the friary gate-house; this having been part of Humility's bargain with her lover, if the word can be used of a pact between two hearts so fond.
Bearing this in mind, the reader will perhaps excuse certain small vivacities, sallies that meet fools with their folly, masking the main attack. That, we will see, is serious enough; and others will carry it on, though my effort come to naught.
It amounts to thisÑLiterature is not a mere Science, to be studied; but an Art, to be practised. Great as is our own literature, we must consider it as a legacy to be improved. Any nation that potters with any glory of its past, as a thing dead and done for, is to that extent renegade. If that be granted, not all our pride in a Shakespeare can excuse the relaxation of an effortÑhowever vain and hopelessÑto better him, or some part of him. If, with all our native exemplars to give us courage, we persist in striving to write well, we can easily resign to other nations all the secondary fame to be picked up by commentators.
In the thick of these scents and sounds, and within a cool doorway, before which the shadow of a barber's pole rested on the cobbles, reclined Captain John BarkerÑa little wry-necked gentleman, with a prodigious hump between his shoulders, and legs that dangled two inches off the floor. His wig was being curled by an apprentice at the back of the shop, and his natural scalp shone as bare as a billiard-ball; but two patches of brindled grey hair stuck out from his brow above a pair of fierce greenish eyes set about with a complexity of wrinkles. Just now, a coating of lather covered his shrewish underjaw.
The dress of this unlovely old gentleman well became his rank as captain of his Majesty's frigate the Wasp, but went very ill with his figureÑbeing, indeed, a square-cut coat of scarlet, laced with gold, a long-flapped blue waistcoat, black breeches and stockings. Enormous buckles adorned the thick-soled shoes which he drummed impatiently against the legs of his chair.