Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - - The maple-bordered street was as still as a country Sunday; so quiet that there seemed an echo to my footsteps. It was four o'clock in the morning; clear October moonlight misted through the thinning foliage to the shadowy sidewalk and lay like a transparent silver fog upon the house of my admiration, as I strode along, returning from my first night's work on the "Wainwright Morning Despatch." I had already marked that house as the finest (to my taste) in Wainwright, though hitherto, on my excursions to this metropolis, the state capital, I was not without a certain native jealousy that Spencerville, the county-seat where I lived, had nothing so good. Now, however, I approached its purlieus with a pleasure in it quite unalloyed, for I was at last myself a resident (albeit of only one day's standing) of Wainwright, and the house - though I had not even an idea who lived there - part of my possessions as a citizen. Moreover, I might enjoy the warmer pride of a next-door-neighbor, for Mrs. Apperthwaite's, where I had taken a room, was just beyond.
Set in the Midwest in the early twentieth century--the dawn of the automobile age--the novel begins by introducing the richest family in town, the Ambersons. Exemplifying aristocratic excess, the Ambersons have everything money can buy--and more. But George Amberson Minafer--the spoiled grandson of the family patriarch--is unable to see that great societal changes are taking place, and that business tycoons, industrialists, and real estate developers will soon surpass him in wealth and prestige. Rather than join the new mechanical age, George prefers to remain a gentleman, believing that "being things" is superior to "doing things." But as his town becomes a city, and the family palace is enveloped in a cloud of soot, George's protectors disappear one by one, and the elegant, cloistered lifestyle of the Ambersons fades from view, and finally vanishes altogether.
Penrod Schofield was neither overwhelmingly bad nor the complete little gentleman. He was an ordinary 12-year-old boy growing up in early twentieth-century America. With his gang members Sam, Herman, and Verman and his long-suffering dog Duke, he romps through adventures and misadventures.
Industrialist James Sheridan, Sr., once a laborer, insists on moulding the careers of his three sons; however, he loses James, Jr., in a flood disaster, and Roscoe suffers a mental breakdown. Realizing his mistake, he begins to insure the happiness of the third son, Bibbs, by bringing him together with Mary, the girl he loves.