Searching for: "Peter Yearsley"

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    I sing the Song of Hiawatha, Brave of heart and strong of arm. Daughter's son of old Nokomis, Fathered by the harsh West Wind. With its regular, beating rhythm, the Song of Hiawatha has often been parodied, but in truth, it is a powerful, emotional epic; a hero's life, his loves and suffering. The legends and traditions of the North American Indian swirl together through the tale like a mountain stream, tumbling white over the rocks, and caressing the mossy tree roots. (Summary by Peter Yearsley) [introduction by Woodrow...read more

  • Frederick Boyle

    This is not a manual of instruction for orchid growers; though there are many hints on cultivation, and a few paragraphs on how to hybridize. The author is just an enthusiastic amateur orchid lover. He takes the reader on a wander through the dangers and consequences of hunting orchids in the tropical jungles of the nineteenth century, and chats about the extreme peculiarities of orchid growth, behaviour and structure, colouring the essays with his own experiences and with his delight in cultivating these beautiful plants. Beware! A new hobby beckons! (Summary by Peter...read more

  • Ambrose Bierce

    Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914?), satirist, critic, poet, short story writer and journalist. His fiction showed a clean economical style often sprinkled with subtle cynical comments on human behaviour. Nothing is known of his death, as he went missing while an observer with Pancho Villa's army in 1913/14. (Summaries by Peter Yearsley) The Ways of Ghosts: Stories of encounters with the ghosts of the dead and dying. The spirits of the dead reach out to the living, to pass on a message or to pursue a killer. Contents (with beginning...read more

  • Jack London

    Jack London lived for a time within the grim and grimy world of the East End of London, where half a million people scraped together hardly enough on which to survive. Even if they were able to work, they were paid only enough to allow them a pitiful existence. He grew to know and empathise with these forgotten (or ignored) people as he spoke with them and tasted the workhouse, life on the streets, ... and the food, which was cheap, barely nutritious, and foul. He writes about his experiences in a fluid and narrative style, making it very clear what he thinks of the social structures which created the Abyss, and of the millionaires who live high on the labours of a people forced to live...read more

  • Allan Fea

    "Secret Chambers and Hiding Places" is a collection of concealments and their uses, almost all within England, although a very few passages and chambers in continental Europe are mentioned, Jacobite hidey holes in Scotland, while the final chapter of the book covers Bonnie Prince Charlie's wanderings around Scotland, among caves and other hiding places. Most chapters are devoted to historical events; such as the the seventeenth century persecution of roman catholics (with many large houses having specially constructed "priests' holes"), or various unpopular monarchs and their hiding places. The text is scattered with legends and true stories, with occasional skeletons found, still hiding,...read more

  • Lewis Carroll

    "Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do ..." .. and from that moment onward we drift with Alice into another world. When she sees a White Rabbit as it runs through the tall grass (looking worriedly at the watch it takes from its waist-coat pocket), she runs after it and drops into a strange dream. The world is full of chatty animals, from a rather stand-offish hookah-smoking caterpillar to the friendly Cheshire Cat which only sometimes goes to the bother of having a body. And everyone seems to be ordering her about ... or telling her to recite poetry! ... and all those verses that she once knew so well seem strangely...read more

  • Edith Nesbit

    A collection of gentle stories that draw us into that hidden world where fear is just around the next corner, and where loving hands can touch across the boundaries of death. (Summary by Peter...read more

  • Edwin Benson

    A short and gentle overview of mediaeval life in a large city. It lightly covers the class structure of society, local government, guilds, pageantry and punishment. The author has an easy, rhythmic style which leaves the reader wanting to find out more. (Summary by Peter...read more

  • M.R. James

    The Five Jars is the only novel written by James, who is best known for his ghost stories. It is a peculiarly surreal fantasy apparently written for children. While he is out walking, the narrator is drawn to a remote pool, and finds a small box that has been hidden since Roman times. He gradually learns how to use its contents, fighting off a series of attempts to steal it, and becomes aware of a strange world hidden from our own. (Summary by Peter...read more

  • M. M. Pattison Muir

    A light journey through the history of chemistry, from its start in the obscure mysteries of alchemy to what was, for the author, the cutting edge of the development of modern atomic theory ... and whose developing blind ends we can now see with the advantage of hind sight. (Summary by Peter...read more

  • Robert W. Chambers

    Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933) studied art in Paris in the late 80's and early 90's, where his work was displayed at the Salon. However, shortly after returning to America, he decided to spend his time in writing. He became popular as the writer of a number of romantic novels, but is now best known as the author of "The King In Yellow". This is a collection of the first half of this work of short stories which have an eerie, other-worldly feel to it; but the stories in the second half are essentially love stories, strongly coloured by the author's life as an artist in France. Only the first half of the collection of stories is presented here: the earlier stories are all coloured by the...read more

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Mostly a collection of story-telling poems told by a group of friends in a tavern late one night. "Tales" includes the famous Paul Revere's ride, together with poems of many tales, countries and styles. (Summary by Peter...read more

  • Gilbert White

    The Reverend Gilbert White was the curate of the village of Selborne, a village in Hampshire, from 1784 to his death in 1793, living most of his life in the village. The book is in the form of a collection of letters to two friends, discussing the natural history of the areas that he knew, and natural history in general. White's intense curiosity and his love for the world about him flow through his simple, straightforward style, and a gentle sense of humour colours many of his anecdotes. (Summary by...read more

  • Edd Mcnair

    A classic short story by Edgar Allan...read more

  • H.P. Lovecraft

    A Classic short story by H. P....read more

  • M.R. James

    Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936) was a medieval scholar; Provost of King's College, Cambridge. He wrote many of his ghost stories to be read aloud in the long tradition of spooky Christmas Eve tales. His stories often use rural settings, with a quiet, scholarly protagonist getting caught up in the activities of supernatural forces. The details of horror are almost never explicit, the stories relying on a gentle, bucolic background to emphasise the awfulness of the otherworldly...read more

  • Henry Sherman Adams

    A short look at building a rock garden, right from the rocks themselves and how to arrange them, to choosing and placing the plants, touching wall and bog gardens, too. In this little monograph, the author is trying to draw the eyes of U.S. gardeners in to the intimate beauty of this neglected hobby. (The original work has a number of attractive and useful photographs and...read more

  • Ambrose Bierce

    Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914?), best known as journalist, satirist and short story writer. Cynical in outlook, economical in style; Bierce vanished while an observer with Pancho Villa's...read more

  • Jerome K. Jerome

    Some time after "Three Men in a Boat", George, Harris and Jerome decided to go on a cycling holiday through...read more

  • G. S. Street

    Nothing spooky or supernatural, but a very personal gathering of gossip, letters, and fragments of biography of famous people who have lived in Piccadilly (in London, England) ... and of some of the buildings, now long gone. "If any part of any city deserves a book to itself, it is Piccadilly. We shall stand before some house in the hours when the traffic is stilled, and I shall tell of its history, of the men and women who dwelt there, and talked and loved and gambled and lived and died. I shall follow the lines of my temperament and tastes rather than those of completeness and impartiality: it is likely that I shall be voluble about Byron and reticent about Macaulay." (From the...read more