The Survivors of the Chancellor

The Survivors of the Chancellor

Jules Verne

This is the 13th book in the Extraordinary Voyages Series. The book is about the final voyage of a British sailing ship, the Chancellor, told from the perspective of one of its passengers (in the form of a diary). At the beginning of its voyage, the Chancellor carried 28 people, but by the end, only eleven people remain.

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The Fur Country

The Fur Country

Jules Verne

This is the 10th book in the Extraordinary Voyages Series. In 1859 Lt. Jasper Hobson and other members of the Hudson’s Bay Company travel through the Northwest Territories of Canada to Cape Bathurst on the Arctic Ocean on the mission to create a fort at 70 degrees, north of the Arctic Circle. The area they come to is very rich with wildlife and natural resources. Hobson and his party establish a fort, but when an earthquake…

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From the Earth to the Moon

From the Earth to the Moon

Jules Verne

This is the 4th book in the Extraordinary Voyages Series. From the Earth to the Moon tells the story of the Baltimore Gun Club, a post-American Civil War society of weapons enthusiasts, and their attempts to build an enormous Columbiad space gun and launch three people (the Gun Club’s president, his Philadelphian armor-making rival, and a French poet) in a projectile, with the goal of a moon landing.

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The Field of Ice

The Field of Ice

Jules Verne

This is the 2nd part of the 2nd book in the Extraordinary Voyages Series. The story describes the adventures of a British expedition led by Captain John Hatteras to the North Pole. Hatteras is convinced that the sea around the pole is not frozen and he has an obsession to reach the place no matter what. Mutiny by the crew results in destruction of their ship but Hatteras, with a few men, continues on the expedition.

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The English at the North Pole

The English at the North Pole

Jules Verne

This is the 1st part of the 2nd book in the Extraordinary Voyages Series. The story describes the adventures of a British expedition led by Captain John Hatteras to the North Pole. Hatteras is convinced that the sea around the pole is not frozen and he has an obsession to reach the place no matter what. Mutiny by the crew results in destruction of their ship but Hatteras, with a few men, continues on the expedition.

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The Gambler

The Gambler

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Gambler is a short novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky about a young tutor in the employment of a formerly wealthy Russian general. The novella reflects Dostoevsky’s own addiction to roulette, which was in more ways than one the inspiration for the book: Dostoevsky completed the novella under a strict deadline to pay off gambling debts.

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The New Race of Devils

The New Race of Devils

John Bernard

A fiction book written after the end of WWI, which basically demonises the German people. The gist of the story is mad German scientists who want to create a race of ‘new devils’. Looking at the Preface, it seems that whoever wrote it really did believe that the Germans were at the cusp of creating this new breed. Ok then. More from the Preface: ‘To-day tests are being carried out in this country with startling results. But these…

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Armadale

Armadale

Wilkie Collins

Armadale first appeared as a serialisation in the Cornhill Magazine, issued in twenty monthly instalments from November 1864 to June 1866. It tells the story of two distant cousins both named Allan Armadale; the father of one has murdered the father of the other (the two fathers are also named Allan Armadale). The story starts with a deathbed confession by the murderer in the form of a letter which is to be…

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The Fifth Queen Trilogy

The Fifth Queen Trilogy

Ford Madox Ford

This edition consists of three novels; The Fifth Queen, And How She Came to Court (1906); Privy Seal (1907); and, The Fifth Queen Crowned (1908); all of which present a highly fictionalised account of Katharine Howard’s arrival at the Court of Henry VIII, her eventual marriage to the king, and her death.

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A Romance of Two Worlds

A Romance of Two Worlds

Marie Corelli

A Romance of Two Worlds was Marie Corelli’s first novel, published in 1886. It referenced the contemporary debate between creationism and evolution, as well as supernatural themes, overlaid with elements of science fiction. It starts with a young heroine, in first person, telling her story of a debilitating illness that includes depression and thoughts of suicide. Her doctor is unable to help her and sends her off on a holiday…

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Nineteen Eighty-Four

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four, often published as 1984, is a dystopian novel set in Airstrip One, formerly Great Britain, a province of the superstate Oceania, whose residents are victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. Oceania’s political ideology, euphemistically named English Socialism (shortened to “Ingsoc” in Newspeak, the government’s invented language that will replace English or Oldspeak)…

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A Clergyman’s Daughter

A Clergyman’s Daughter

George Orwell

Intimidated by her father, the rector of Knype Hill, Dorothy performs her submissive roles of dutiful daughter and bullied housekeeper. Her thoughts are taken up with the costumes she is making for the church school play, by the hopelessness of preaching to the poor and by debts she cannot pay in 1930s Depression England. Suddenly her routine shatters and Dorothy finds herself down and out in London. She is wearing silk stockings, has…

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Animal Farm

Animal Farm

George Orwell

Animal Farm is an allegorical novella reflecting events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was a critic of Joseph Stalin and hostile to Moscow-directed Stalinism. In the book, Old Major, the old boar on the Manor Farm, summons the animals on the farm together for a meeting, during which he refers to humans as…

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A Lodge in the Wilderness

A Lodge in the Wilderness

John Buchan

A Lodge in the Wilderness is a 1906 political quasi-novel by the Scottish author John Buchan. The book relates an imagined conference arranged by a multi-millionaire, Francis Carey, to discuss Empire. The guests are contemporary figures from the upper and professional classes, nine men and nine women who have in common superb articulateness, wide experience, and an interest in understanding how Empire might be a positive influence…

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Apache Devil

Apache Devil

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Shoz-Dijiji, or Black Bear, kidnapped by the Apaches from his white pioneer family as an infant and raised by Geronimo, is now a brave and accomplished Apache War Chief. In addition to the skills of hunting and warfare, he has also learned to hate the pin-dah-lickoyee (‘white eyes’) after witnessing their consistently horrific treatments of the Apaches: violation of treaties, forced imprisonment on reservations…

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