And then Alice follows a rabbit – and fells "down, down, down."
1832 – 1898
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
"Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank ...
... and of having nothing to do."
These are the first words of the most famous children book of all times.
And then Alice follows a rabbit – and fells "down, down, down."
She fells in a fantastical place: Animals talk, Mad Hatter's throws tea partys, and the Queen plays croquet ...
get it from amazon:
Down the Rabbit-Hole
Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversation?’
So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy- chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself: ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late! (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
In another moment down went, Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.
The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.
Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled ORANGE MARMELADE, but to her great disappointment it was empty; she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it ...
One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it ... it was the black kitten’s fault entirely.
Through the Looking Glass – and what Alice found there
"One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it ... it was the black kitten’s fault entirely." These are the first words of Through the Looking Glass - and what Alice found there, the sequel of the most famous children's book of all times: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Alice walks through a mirror into the Looking-Glass House. There she founds herself immediately in a mysterious game of chess. Again Alice meets a variety of characters - some of them we know very well ...
get it from amazon:
One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it; – it was the black kitten’s fault entirely. For the white kitten had been having its face washed by the old cat for the last quarter of an hour (and bearing it pretty well, considering); so you see that it couldn't have had any hand in the mischief.
The way Dinah washed her children’s faces was this: first she held the poor thing down by its ear with one paw, and then with the other paw she rubbed its face all over, the wrong way, beginning at the nose, and just now, as I said, she was hard at work on the white kitten, which was lying quite still and trying to purr – no doubt feeling that it was all meant for its good.
But the black kitten had been finished with earlier in the afternoon, and so, while Alice was sitting curled up in a corner of the great arm-chair, half talking to herself and half asleep, the kitten had been having a grand game of romps with the ball of worsted Alice had been trying to wind up, and had been rolling it up and down till it had all come undone again; and there it was, spread over the hearth-rug, all knots and tangles, with the kitten running after its own tail in the middle.
‘Oh, you wicked, wicked little thing!’ cried Alice, catching up the kitten, and giving it a little kiss to make it understand that it was in disgrace. ‘Really, Dinah ought to have taught you better manners! You ought, Dinah, you know you ought!’ she added, looking reproachfully at the old cat, and speaking in as cross a voice as she could manage – and then she scrambled back into the arm-chair, taking the kitten and the worsted with her, and began winding up the ball again. But she didn’t get on very fast, as she was talking all the time, sometimes to the kitten, and sometimes to herself. Kitty sat very demurely on her knee, pretending to watch the progress of the winding, and now and then putting out one paw and gently touching the ball, as if it would be glad to help if it might.
‘Do you know what tomorrow is, Kitty?’ Alice began. ‘You’d have guessed if you’d been up in the window with me – only Dinah was making you tidy, so you couldn’t. I was watching the boys getting in sticks for the bonfire – and it wants plenty of sticks, Kitty! Only it got so cold, and it snowed so, they had to leave off. Never mind, Kitty, we’ll go and see the bonfire tomorrow.’ Here Alice wound two or three turns of the worsted round the kitten’s neck, just to see how it would look; this led to a scramble, in which the ball rolled down upon the floor, and yards and yards of it got unwound again ...
1835 – 1910
The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Tom Sawyer, an impetuous and rascal lad growing up along the Mississippi River, lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother Sid. Throughout the novel Tom is always busy to avoid visiting school. Besides that Tom falls in love with Becky Thatcher, is thought to be dead, becomes a pirate, and together with his friend Huckleberry Finn witnesses a murder – and much, much more ...
get it from amazon
"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You Tom!"
The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not service – she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear:
"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll –––"
She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.
"I never did see the beat of that boy!"
She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted:
There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.
"There! I might 'a' thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?"
"Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What is that?"
"I don't know, aunt."
"Well, I know. It's jam – that's what it is. Forty times I've said if you didn't let that jam alone I'd skin you. Hand me that switch."
The switch hovered in the air – the peril was desperate –––
"My! Look behind you, aunt!"
The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger. The lad fled on the instant, scrambled up the high board-fence, and disappeared over it.
His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.
You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
"You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft ..." says Huckleberry Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer. "Huck Finn" is a impetuous and rascal lad, growing up along the Mississippi River. But he has the heart on the right place.
For thousands and one reasons, Huck Finn climb aboard a raft with Jim, a runaway slave. Together they drift along the Mississippi – the beginning of a voyage full of adventures, self-discovery, and a deep friendship between a boy and Jim, the slave ...
get it from amazon:
You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There were things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly--Tom's Aunt Polly, she is--and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.
Now the way that the book winds up is this: Tom and me found the money that the robbers hid in the cave, and it made us rich. We got six thousand dollars apiece--all gold. It was an awful sight of money when it was piled up. Well, Judge Thatcher he took it and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar a day apiece all the year round-- more than a body could tell what to do with. The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back.
The widow she cried over me, and called me a poor lost lamb, and she called me a lot of other names, too, but she never meant no harm by it. She put me in them new clothes again, and I couldn't do nothing but sweat and sweat, and feel all cramped up. Well, then, the old thing commenced again. The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table you couldn't go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn't really anything the matter with them,--that is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better.
1876 – 1916
Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean towards each other, black and ominous, in the fading light ...
The harsh and freezing cold nature of the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories of Canada is the setting of the novel. "White Fang" – half dog, half wolf – is forced to survive while the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush.
Somewhere deep inside the heart of this not domesticated creature are memories of love and trust. Will White Fang throw off his independence and his impetuous wildness and start a journey to domestication ...?
get it from amazon:
THE TRAIL OF THE MEAT
Dark spruce forest frowned on either side the frozen waterway. The trees had been stripped by a recent wind of their white covering of frost, and they seemed to lean towards each other, black and ominous, in the fading light. A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of a laughter more terrible than any sadness – a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.
But there was life, abroad in the land and defiant. Down the frozen waterway toiled a string of wolfish dogs. Their bristly fur was rimed with frost. Their breath froze in the air as it left their mouths, spouting forth in spumes of vapour that settled upon the hair of their bodies and formed into crystals of frost. Leather harness was on the dogs, and leather traces attached them to a sled which dragged along behind. The sled was without runners. It was made of stout birch-bark, and its full surface rested on the snow. The front end of the sled was turned up, like a scroll, in order to force down and under the bore of soft snow that surged like a wave before it. On the sled, securely lashed, was a long and narrow oblong box. There were other things on the sled-blankets, an axe, and a coffee-pot and frying-pan; but prominent, occupying most of the space, was the long and narrow oblong box.
In advance of the dogs, on wide snowshoes, toiled a man. At the rear of the sled toiled a second man. On the sled, in the box, lay a third man whose toil was over, – a man whom the Wild had conquered and beaten down until he would never move nor struggle again. It is not the way of the Wild to like movement. Life is an offence to it, for life is movement; and the Wild aims always to destroy movement. It freezes the water to prevent it running to the sea; it drives the sap out of the trees till they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly of all does the Wild harry and crush into submission man – man who is the most restless of life, ever in revolt against the dictum that all movement must in the end come to the cessation of movement.
But at front and rear, unawed and indomitable, toiled the two men who were not yet dead. Their bodies were covered with fur and soft-tanned leather. Eyelashes and cheeks and lips were so coated with the crystals from their frozen breath that their faces were not discernible. This gave them the seeming of ghostly masques, undertakers in a spectral world at the funeral of some ghost. But under it all they were men, penetrating the land of desolation and mockery and silence, puny adventurers bent on colossal adventure, pitting themselves against the might of a world as remote and alien and pulseless as the abysses of space ...
1812 – 1870
Bah! said Scrooge, Humbug!
A Christmas Carol
"Bah!" said Scrooge, "Humbug!"
For the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge is to wish a Merry Christmas "Humbug!" On a fateful Christmas Eve the old miser is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Marley. The ghost announces the visit of three haunting guests, representing Scrooge's past, present, and future.
The three ghosts keep in mind that the time has come for Ebenezer Scrooge to change his way of life – before it is too late ...
get it from amazon:
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don't know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain.
The mention of Marley's funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot – say Saint Paul's Churchyard for instance – literally to astonish his son's weak mind.
Scrooge never painted out Old Marley's name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley, but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him.
Robert Louis StevensON
1850 – 1894
Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest –
and a bottle of rum
Young Jim Hawkins and his friends set sail for Treasure Island hoping to find the buried loot of Captain Flint – fiercest of all the pirates. But, unknown to them, the crew of their own ship is made up of Flint's former crew.
Once on the island Jim and his friends must find the buried treasure and escape before the pirates capture them. ...
get it from amazon:
THE OLD SEA-DOG AT THE BENBOW INN
Mr. Trelawney, Dr. Livesey and the rest of these gentlemen have asked me to write down the whole story of Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back. I therefore take up my pen in the year 1760, and go back to the time when my father kept the Benbow Inn, and the brown old seaman, with the sword-cut, first took up his lodging under our roof. I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came to the Inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a hand-cart; a tall, strong, heavy, brown man; his knot of hair falling over the shoulders of his soiled blue coat; his hands hard and tom, with black, broken nails; and the sword-cut across one cheek, a dirty, blue-white mark. I remember him looking round the bay and whistling to himself as he did so, and then breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterward:
Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest –
and a bottle of rum!
in the high, old shaking voice. Then he knocked on the door with a bit of stick, and, when my father appeared, called roughly for a glass of rum. He drank the rum slowly, dwelling upon the taste of it, and still looking about him at the cliffs and up at our sign-board.
“This is a nice bay,” said he at last; “and a pleasantly placed inn. Do you have much company?”
My father told him no – very little company, the more was the pity.
“Weil, then,” said he, "this is the place for me. Here you, young fellow,” he cried to the man who pushed the hand-cart, "come over here and help up my chest. I’ll stay here a bit. What may you call me? You may call me ‘captain.’ Oh, I see what you’re at – there!” And he threw down three or four gold pieces on the floor. “You can tell me when I’ve worked through that,” said he, looking very fierce.” ...
1667 – 1745
Whenever Gulliver steps on a ship, bad luck seems to find him: He is marooned, abandoned, mutinied, and – last but not least – shipwrecked ..
Whenever Gulliver steps on a ship, bad luck seems to find him: He is marooned, abandoned, mutinied, and – last but not least – shipwrecked ... each time he lands in a strange and curious world.
First he discovers the kingdom of the six-inch-tall "Lilliputians". The second adventure leads him to the country of the giant "Brobdingnagians". Then he explores the island of the academic "Laputans", which floats in the sky. And finally he gets in contact with the noble realm of the horselike "Houyhnhnms" ...
get it from amazon:
The author gives some account of himself and family: his first inducements to travel. He is shipwrecked, and swims for his life; gets safe on shore in the country of Lilliput; is made a prisoner, and carried up the country.
My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the third of five sons. He sent me to Emanuel college in Cambridge, at fourteen years old, where I resided three years, and applied myself close to my studies; but the charge of maintaining me, although I had a very scanty allowance, being too great for a narrow fortune, I was bound apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continued four years; and my father now and then sending me small sums of money, I laid them out in learning navigation, and other parts of the mathematicks, useful to those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be, some time or other, my fortune to do. When I left Mr. Bates, I went down to my father; where, by the assistance of him and my uncle John, and some other relations, I got forty pounds, and a promise of thirty pounds a year to maintain me at Leyden; there I studied physick two years and seven months, knowing it would be useful in long voyages.
Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recommended by my good master, Mr. Bates, to be surgeon to the Swallow, Captain Abraham Pannell, commander; with whom I continued three years and a half, making a voyage or two into the Levant, and some other parts. When I came back, I resolved to settle in London; to which Mr. Bates, my master, encouraged me, and by him I was recommended to several patients. I took part of a small house in the Old Jewry; and being advised to alter my condition, I married Mrs. Mary Burton, second daughter to Mr. Edmund Burton, hosier, in Newgate-street, with whom I received four hundred pounds for a portion ...
Lucy Maud Montgomery
1874 – 1942
For pity's sake hold your tongue, said Marilla. You talk entirely too much for a little girl!
Anne of Green Gables
Just arrived at Green Gables, eleven-year-old orphan Anne Shirley should be sent right back. Her foster parents, the middle-aged brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, expected a boy to help them on their farm. And there is another reason: Anne talks too much ...
Set in a marvelous landscape on Prince Edward Island in Canada, the novel tells the countless adventures of Anne: How she makes her way - with new friends, in school, in the neighbourhood, and how she becomes familiar with Matthew and Marilla.
get it from amazon:
MRS. RACHEL LYNDE IS SURPRISED
Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
There are plenty of people, in Avonlea and out of it, who can attend closely to their neighbours' business by dint of neglecting their own; but Mrs. Rachel Lynde was one of those capable creatures who can manage their own concerns and those of other folks into the bargain. She was a notable housewife; her work was always done and well done; she "ran" the Sewing Circle, helped run the Sunday-school, and was the strongest prop of the Church Aid Society and Foreign Missions Auxiliary. Yet with all this Mrs. Rachel found abundant time to sit for hours at her kitchen window, knitting "cotton warp" quilts – she had knitted sixteen of them, as Avonlea housekeepers were wont to tell in awed voices – and keeping a sharp eye on the main road that crossed the hollow and wound up the steep red hill beyond. Since Avonlea occupied a little triangular peninsula jutting out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with water on two sides of it, anybody who went out of it or into it had to pass over that hill road and so run the unseen gauntlet of Mrs. Rachel's all-seeing eye.
1820 – 1878
The first place that I can well remember, was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Some shady trees leaned over it, and rushes and water-lilies grew at the deep end.
Black Beauty is told by its hero: A remarkable black horse born with one white foot and a white star on his forehead. The autobiography begins with the first memories of idyllic country pastures – and ends with his work on cobblestoned streets in London. Black Beauty tells us about his experiences with cruel treatment, and how he finally finds love, peace and happiness ...
get it from amazon:
My Early Home.
The first place that I can well remember, was a large pleasant meadow with a pond of clear water in it. Some shady trees leaned over it, and rushes and water-lilies grew at the deep end. Over the hedge on one side we looked into a ploughed field, and on the other we looked over a gate at our master's house, which stood by the roadside; at the top of the meadow was a plantation of fir trees, and at the bottom a running brook overhung by a steep bank.
Whilst I was young I lived upon my mother's milk, as I could not eat grass. In the day time I ran by her side, and at night I lay down close by her. When it was hot, we used to stand by the pond in the shade of the trees, and when it was cold, we had a nice warm shed near the plantation.
As soon as I was old enough to eat grass, my mother used to go out to work in the day time, and came back in the evening.
There were six young colts in the meadow beside me, they were all older than I was; some were nearly as large as grown-up horses. I used to run with them, and had great fun; we used to gallop all together round and round the field, as hard as we could go. Sometimes we had rather rough play, for they would frequently bite and kick as well as gallop.
One day, when there was a good deal of kicking, my mother whinnied to me to come to her, and then she said,
"I wish you to pay attention to what I am going to say to you. The colts who live here are very good colts; but they are cart-horse colts, and of course, they have not learned manners. You have been well bred and well born; your father has a great name in these parts, and your grandfather won the cup two years at the Newmarket races; your grandmother had the sweetest temper of any horse I ever knew, and I think you have never seen me kick or bite. I hope you will grow up gentle and good, and never learn bad ways; do your work with a good will, lift your feet up well when you trot, and never bite or kick even in play."
I have never forgotten my mother's advice; I knew she was a wise old horse, and our master thought a great deal of her. Her name was Duchess, but he often called her Pet ...
1771 – 1832
Come, trowl the brown bowl to me,
Bully boy, bully boy,
Come, trowl the brown bowl to me:
Ho! jolly Jenkin, I spy a knave in drinking,
Come, trowl the brown bowl to me.
The historical adventure-romance Ivanhoe is set in England and at the close of the 12th century. The novel describes the adventures of the heroic Wilfred of Ivanhoe in winning the hand of virtuous Lady Rowena.
There are combats, tournaments, Kings and honorable Knights. Furthermore "Ivanhoe" is packed with a whole bunch of characters, like Wamba and Gurth, Cedric of Rotherwood, the fierce Templar knight or Sir Brian de Bois-Gilbert.
The legendary Robin Hood is also a character in the Middle Age action-story.
get it from amazon:
In that pleasant district of merry England which is watered by the river Don, there extended in ancient times a large forest, covering the greater part of the beautiful hills and valleys which lie between Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster. The remains of this extensive wood are still to be seen at the noble seats of Wentworth, of Warncliffe Park, and around Rotherham. Here haunted of yore the fabulous Dragon of Wantley; here were fought many of the most desperate battles during the Civil Wars of the Roses; and here also flourished in ancient times those bands of gallant outlaws, whose deeds have been rendered so popular in English song.
Such being our chief scene, the date of our story refers to a period towards the end of the reign of Richard I., when his return from his long captivity had become an event rather wished than hoped for by his despairing subjects, who were in the meantime subjected to every species of subordinate oppression. The nobles, whose power had become exorbitant during the reign of Stephen, and whom the prudence of Henry the Second had scarce reduced to some degree of subjection to the crown, had now resumed their ancient license in its utmost extent; despising the feeble interference of the English Council of State, fortifying their castles, increasing the number of their dependants, reducing all around them to a state of vassalage, and striving by every means in their power, to place themselves each at the head of such forces as might enable him to make a figure in the national convulsions which appeared to be impending.
The situation of the inferior gentry, or Franklins, as they were called, who, by the law and spirit of the English constitution, were entitled to hold themselves independent of feudal tyranny, became now unusually precarious. If, as was most generally the case, they placed themselves under the protection of any of the petty kings in their vicinity, accepted of feudal offices in his household, or bound themselves by mutual treaties of alliance and protection, to support him in his enterprises, they might indeed purchase temporary repose; but it must be with the sacrifice of that independence which was so dear to every English bosom, and at the certain hazard of being involved as a party in whatever rash expedition the ambition of their protector might lead him to undertake. On the other hand, such and so multiplied were the means of vexation and oppression possessed by the great Barons, that they never wanted the pretext, and seldom the will, to harass and pursue, even to the very edge of destruction, any of their less powerful neighbours, who attempted to separate themselves from their authority, and to trust for their protection, during the dangers of the times, to their own inoffensive conduct, and to the laws of the land.
Lyman Frank Baum
1856 – 1919
Suddenly uncle Henry stood up:
There's a cyclone coming ...
The wonderful wizard of Oz
A Cyclone, magic silver shoes, a yellow brick road, and a marvelous country called "Oz"; – Dorothy and Toto, her dog, must find their way home. But at first the girl needs to find the Emerald City, where the all-powerful "Wizard of Oz" lives.
During her dangerous journey, Dorothy make friends: The Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion ...
get it from amazon:
Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor and a roof, which made one room; and this room contained a rusty looking cookstove, a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one corner, and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was no garret at all, and no cellar – except a small hole dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap door in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into the small, dark hole.
When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.
When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. The sun and wind had changed her, too. They had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a sober gray; they had taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were gray also. She was thin and gaunt, and never smiled now. When Dorothy, who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled by the child's laughter that she would scream and press her hand upon her heart whenever Dorothy's merry voice reached her ears; and she still looked at the little girl with wonder that she could find anything to laugh at.
Uncle Henry never laughed. He worked hard from morning till night and did not know what joy was. He was gray also, from his long beard to his rough boots, and he looked stern and solemn, and rarely spoke ...
1660 – 1731
I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull.
"I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull ...", says the protagonist at the beginning of one of the most famous novels ever written.
Having been cast on shore by shipwreck, Robinson Crusoe is damned to live all alone in an uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere for more than 20 years. During this time he has to fight against himself, harsh weather conditions – and cannibals ...
get it from amazon:
Start in Life
I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, though not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull. He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterwards at York, from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but, by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now called – nay we call ourselves and write our name – Crusoe; and so my companions always called me.
I had two elder brothers, one of whom was lieutenant-colonel to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards. What became of my second brother I never knew, any more than my father or mother knew what became of me.
Being the third son of the family and not bred to any trade, my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts. My father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent share of learning, as far as house-education and a country free school generally go, and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea; and my inclination to this led me so strongly against the will, nay, the commands of my father, and against all the entreaties and persuasions of my mother and other friends, that there seemed to be something fatal in that propensity of nature, tending directly to the life of misery which was to befall me.
My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject. He asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving father's house and my native country, where I might be well introduced, and had a prospect of raising my fortune by application and industry, with a life of ease and pleasure.
disclosure statement: As an amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases. You will have no disadvantages or obligations by clicking on an amazon affiliate link. Doing so you will support us steadily working on this website. Thank you.
Ocean of Minds Media House Ltd.
R.R. #2, River Denys
Nova Scotia B0E 2Y0
Consulting | Corporate Books | Book Production