Iola Leroy, or Shadows Uplifted – Frances Harper

“Good mornin’, Bob; how’s butter dis mornin’?” “Fresh; just as fresh, as fresh can be.” “Oh, glory!” said the questioner, whom we shall call Thomas Anderson, although he was known among his acquaintances as Marster Anderson’s Tom. His informant regarding the condition of the market was Robert Johnson, who had been separated from his mother…

A Hilltop on the Marne – Mildred Aldrich

Well, the deed is done. I have not wanted to talk with you much about it until I was here. I know all your objections. You remember that you did not spare me when, a year ago, I told you that this was my plan. I realize that you—more active, younger, more interested in life,…

The Tenant of Windfell Hall – Anne Brontë

You must go back with me to the autumn of 1827. My father, as you know, was a sort of gentleman farmer in —shire; and I, by his express desire, succeeded him in the same quiet occupation, not very willingly, for ambition urged me to higher aims, and self-conceit assured me that, in disregarding its…

The Country of the Pointed Firs – Sarah Orne Jewett

There was something about the coast town of Dunnet which made it seem more attractive than other maritime villages of eastern Maine. Perhaps it was the simple fact of acquaintance with that neighborhood which made it so attaching, and gave such interest to the rocky shore and dark woods, and the few houses which seemed…

That Affair Next Door – Anna Katherine Green

I am not an inquisitive woman, but when, in the middle of a certain warm night in September, I heard a carriage draw up at the adjoining house and stop, I could not resist the temptation of leaving my bed and taking a peep through the curtains of my window. First: because the house was…

“The Atmosphere is Incandescent” -Rosalía de Castro

The atmosphere is incandescent; The fox explores an empty road; Sick grow the waters That sparkled in the clear arroyo, Unfluttered stands the pine Waiting for fickle winds to blow. A majesty of silence Overpowers the meadow; Only the hum of an insect troubles The spreading, dripping forest shadow, Relentless and monotonous As muffled rattle…

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex. Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. The late owner of this…

The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were– Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their Mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree. ‘Now my dears,’ said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, ‘you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t…

Poetry of Ho Xuan Huong

Gently Spring evening comes to the pavilion, Unclouded in the least by worldly sins. Three times the temple’s bell surges like a wave Unsettling the puddle where sky and water mingle. Truly the sea of Love cannot be emptied And the stream of Grace flows easily everywhere. Now, where, where is Nirvana? Nirvana’s here, nine…

Jacob’s Room – Virginia Woolf

“So of course,” wrote Betty Flanders, pressing her heels rather deeper in the sand, “there was nothing for it but to leave.” Slowly welling from the point of her gold nib, pale blue ink dissolved the full stop; for there her pen stuck; her eyes fixed, and tears slowly filled them. The entire bay quivered;…

“Ain’t I a Woman?” – Sojourner Truth

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and…

The Song of the Lark – Willa Cather

Dr. Howard Archie had just come up from a game of pool with the Jewish clothier and two traveling men who happened to be staying overnight in Moonstone. His offices were in the Duke Block, over the drug store. Larry, the doctor’s man, had lit the overhead light in the waiting-room and the double student’s…

Ruth Hall – Fanny Fern

The old church clock rang solemnly out on the midnight air. Ruth started. For hours she had sat there, leaning her cheek upon her hand, and gazing through the open space between the rows of brick walls, upon the sparkling waters of the bay, glancing and quivering ’neath the moon-beams. The city’s busy hum had…

Middlemarch – George Eliot

Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. Her hand and wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to Italian painters; and her profile as well as her stature and…

“Why I am a Pagan” – Zitkála-Šá

When the spirit swells my breast I love to roam leisurely among the green hills; or sometimes, sitting on the brink of the murmuring Missouri, I marvel at the great blue overhead. With half closed eyes I watch the huge cloud shadows in their noiseless play upon the high bluffs opposite me, while into my…

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families,…

The Clever Woman of the Family – Charlotte M. Yonge

“It is very kind in the dear mother.” “But—what, Rachel? Don’t you like it! She so enjoyed choosing it for you.” “Oh yes, it is a perfect thing in its way. Don’t say a word to her; but if you are consulted for my next birthday present, Grace, couldn’t you suggest that one does cease…

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.  We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door…

“Marshlands” – Emily Pauline Johnson

A thin wet sky, that yellows at the rim, And meets with sun-lost lip the marsh’s brim. The pools low lying, dank with moss and mould, Glint through their mildews like large cups of gold. Among the wild rice in the still lagoon, In monotone the lizard shrills his tune. The wild goose, homing, seeks…

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. “It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress. “I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff. “We’ve…

The Awakening – Kate Chopin

A green and yellow parrot, which hung in a cage outside the door, kept repeating over and over: “Allez vous-en! Allez vous-en! Sapristi! That’s all right!” He could speak a little Spanish, and also a language which nobody understood, unless it was the mocking-bird that hung on the other side of the door, whistling his…

St. Elmo – Augusta J. Evans

“He stood and measured the earth: and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow.” These words of the prophet upon Shigionoth were sung by a sweet, happy, childish voice, and to a strange, wild, anomalous tune—solemn as the Hebrew chant of Deborah, and fully as triumphant. A slender girl of twelve years’…

Poetry of Sarujini Naidu

Weavers, weaving at break of day, Why do you weave a garment so gay? . . . Blue as the wing of a halcyon wild, We weave the robes of a new-born child. Weavers, weaving at fall of night, Why do you weave a garment so bright? . . . Like the plumes of a…

Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

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…

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

I have just returned from a visit to my landlord—the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.  This is certainly a beautiful country!  In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society.  A perfect misanthropist’s heaven: and Mr. Heathcliff and…

The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman

It is very seldom that mere ordinary people like John and myself secure ancestral halls for the summer. A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house, and reach the height of romantic felicity—but that would be asking too much of fate! Still I will proudly declare that there is something queer…

Narrative of Sojourner Truth

HER BIRTH AND PARENTAGE: THE subject of this biography, SOJOURNER TRUTH, as she now calls herself-but whose name, originally, was Isabella-was born, as near as she can now calculate, between the years 1797 and 1800. She was the daughter of James and Betsey, slaves of one Colonel Ardinburgh, Hurley, Ulster County, New York. Colonel Ardinburgh…

“In Defense of Society” – Salomé Ureña

Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. (Isaiah 62:10) Creator spirit, fertile genius you who with inexhaustible activity scatter miracles from your sublime power, you who perennially shine in your good works,…

“A Man’s Requirements” – Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I Love me Sweet, with all thou art,    Feeling, thinking, seeing; Love me in the lightest part,    Love me in full being. II Love me with thine open youth    In its frank surrender; With the vowing of thy mouth,    With its silence tender. III Love me with thine azure eyes,    Made for earnest granting; Taking…

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe

Late in the afternoon of a chilly day in February, two gentlemen were sitting alone over their wine, in a well-furnished dining parlor, in the town of P——, in Kentucky. There were no servants present, and the gentlemen, with chairs closely approaching, seemed to be discussing some subject with great earnestness. For convenience sake, we…

The Secret Adversary – Agatha Christie

It was 2 p.m. on the afternoon of May 7, 1915. The Lusitania had been struck by two torpedoes in succession and was sinking rapidly, while the boats were being launched with all possible speed. The women and children were being lined up awaiting their turn. Some still clung desperately to husbands and fathers; others clutched their…

The Gates Ajar – Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

One week; only one week to-day, this twenty-first of February. I have been sitting here in the dark and thinking about it, till it seems so horribly long and so horribly short; it has been such a week to live through, and it is such a small part of the weeks that must be lived…

Poetry of Qiu Jin

Don’t tell me women are not the stuff of heroes, I alone rode over the East Sea’s winds for ten thousand leagues. My poetic thoughts ever expand, like a sail between ocean and heaven. I dreamed of your three islands, all gems, all dazzling with moonlight. I grieve to think of the bronze camels, guardians…

My Antonia – Willa Cather

As I wandered over those rough pastures, I had the good luck to stumble upon a bit of the first road that went from Black Hawk out to the north country; to my grandfather’s farm, then on to the Shimerdas’ and to the Norwegian settlement. Everywhere else it had been ploughed under when the highways…

Evelina – Fanny Burney

LADY HOWARD TO THE REV. MR. VILLARS Howard Grove, Kent. Can any thing, my good Sir, be more painful to a friendly mind, than a necessity of communicating disagreeable intelligence? Indeed it is sometimes difficult to determine, whether the relator or the receiver of evil tidings is most to be pitied. I have just had…

Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

To Mrs. Saville, England. St. Petersburgh, Dec. 11th, 17—. You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and increasing confidence in the success…

The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton

On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York. Though there was already talk of the erection, in remote metropolitan distances “above the Forties,” of a new Opera House which should compete in costliness and splendour with those of the great European…

A Poem by Zēb-un-Nisā

You with the dark curly hair and the breathtaking eyes, your inquiring glance that leaves me undone. Eyes that pierce and then withdraw like a blood-stained sword, eyes with dagger lashes! Zealots, you are mistaken – this is heaven. Never mind those making promises of the afterlife: join us now, righteous friends, in this intoxication….

Dred: The Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp – Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Bills, Harry?—Yes.—Dear me, where are they?—There!—No. Here?—Oh, look!—What do you think of this scarf? Isn’t it lovely?” “Yes, Miss Nina, beautiful—but”— “Oh, those bills!—Yes—well, here goes—here—perhaps in this box. No—that’s my opera-hat. By the bye, what do you think of that? Isn’t that bunch of silver wheat lovely? Stop a bit—you shall see it on…

The Caged Lion – Charlotte M. Yonge

A master hand has so often described the glens and ravines of Scotland, that it seems vain and presumptuous to meddle with them; and yet we must ask our readers to figure to themselves a sharp cleft sloping downwards to a brawling mountain stream, the sides scattered with gray rocks of every imaginable size, interspersed…

“Charles Sumner” – Charlotte Forten Grimké

Only the casket left, the jewel gone Whose noble presence filled these stately rooms, And made this spot a shrine where pilgrims came— Stranger and friend—to bend in reverence Before the great, pure soul that knew no guile; To listen to the wise and gracious words That fell from lips whose rare, exquisite smile Gave…