An Evil Motherhood

A young man declared insane by the machinations of his own mother. This book sows the seeds of stream of consciousness writing and of all that was to come in the best of twentieth-century fiction.  It is deliberately experimental – and quite genuinely ‘impressionist’. The young author died only weeks after its publication.

At the Sign of the Cat and Racket

The novella opens in Paris on the Rue Saint-Denis with a description of a very old house. Opposite the house, a young man stands in the pouring rain. He stares at the house, waiting for a glimpse of a young girl. In this story, Balzac examines how class differences impact the relationship between men and women and asks… Read more »

The Seven Who Were Hanged

Andreyev depicts the fates of five failed leftist revolutionaries and two common peasants who have received death sentences. The condemned await execution by hanging. In prison, each of the prisoners deals with his fate in his or her own way. This is the book that inspired a group of Bosnian revolutionaries to assassinate Archduke Franz… Read more »

Lady Macbeth of the Mzinsk District

Katerina is stifled by her loveless marriage to a bitter man twice her age, whose family are cold and unforgiving. When she embarks on a passionate affair with a young worker on her husband’s estate, a force is unleashed inside her, so powerful that she will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Leskov’s… Read more »

Cross-eyed Lefty and the Steel Flea

Tsar Alexander I of Russia, while visiting England with his servant Platov is shown a number of impressive modern inventions. Platov insists that things in Russia are much better but then they are shown a mechanical flea as small as a crumb with a key to wind it up that can only be seen through… Read more »

The Journey to the East

In Journey to the East “H.H.” becomes a member of “The League”, a timeless religious sect whose members include famous fictional and real characters, such as Plato, Mozart, Pythagoras, Paul Klee, Don Quixote, Puss in Boots, Tristram Shandy, Baudelaire, Goldmund  and the ferryman Vasudeva. A branch of the group goes on a pilgrimage to the… Read more »


This classic novel of self-discovery has inspired generations of seekers. With parallels to the enlightenment of the Buddha, Hesse’s Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin’s quest for the ultimate reality. His quest takes him from the extremes of indulgent sensuality to the rigors of ascetism and self-denial. At last he learns that wisdom… Read more »

The Dead

The Dead is one of the twentieth century’s most beautiful pieces of short literature.  The story centres on Gabriel Conroy, a teacher and part-time book reviewer, and explores the relationships he has with his family and friends. The story ends “… snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their… Read more »

History of Australian Bushrangers & The Jerilderie Letter

History of Australian Bushrangers George Boxall was born in England, and came to Australia as a boy during the gold rushes. One of his ealiest memories was of watching the bushranger Frank McCallum, alias Captain Melville, being paraded in irons after his capture. His book is now regarded as the best-researched and most detailed history… Read more »

The Turgot-Bretez Map of Paris

The Turgot map was published in 1739 as an atlas of sectional bird’s-eye view maps (at a scale of approximately 1/400) in isometric perspective. The atlas covers an area approximately corresponding to the first eleven of the modern-day arrondissements. If the sectional maps are assembled, the composite is 250.5 cm high x 322.5 cm wide…. Read more »