English Grammar Use these English grammar lessons for self study or to consolidate your lessons with your teacher.
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (dramatic reading) Carroll, LewisThis classic tale by Lewis Carroll has delighted children for generations. Alice falls down a rabbit hole and encounters a wide variety of strange and wonderful creatures in all manner of bizarre situations. Join Alice as she journeys through Wonderland, trying to make sense of what she finds there. This version is read dramatically, with different readers voicing the different characters.
Anne of Green Gables (version 5) Montgomery, Lucy MaudAnne of Green Gables is about an orphan girl who is starving for a family to love her. Her big words and bright spirits take her through many toils, trials, and temptations. Her romantic schemes make it nearly to impossible for any day of her life to be ordinary. Anne Shirley who was once a poor orphan girl learns through the care of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, to live, love, and learn.
Kama Sutra, The Vatsyayana, MallanagaThe Kama Sutra, or Aphorisms on Love, has survived at least 1400 years as a dominant text on sexual relations between men and women. Vatsyayana claimed to have written the Kama Sutra while a religious student, “in contemplation of the Deity” - but references to older works, shrewd disputations by Vatsyayana of those authors' recommendations, and careful cataloging of practices in various of the Indian states indicate much more emphasis on kama, or sensual gratification. Part of the book discusses the 64 arts of love employed by masters of coitus. Learning each of these and when and how to practice them, Vatsyayana affirms, not only leads to the best gratification, but makes the artist a person of great desirability. Once the means of sexual congress are discussed, the many types of male-female relationships and their proper prosecution are covered. Some of these have small relevance to the modern world, such as how to sneak into the King's harem, but are interesting nonetheless. Others, such as how to get money from a lover, will probably remain useful as long as there are humans in the world. The translator's concluding remarks call the book primitive; so might also modern women who are told that if their name ends in “l” or “r” they should not be married, because they are worthless. But in tackling the subject of human sexuality, Vatsyayana nevertheless will always attract readers (or, in this case, listeners!).
Sense and Sensibility Austen, JaneThe two eldest Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, one of whom (Elinor) embraces practicality and restraint while the other (Marianne) gives her whole heart to every endeavor. When the Dashwoods - mother Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor, Marianne, and youngest sister Margaret - are sent, almost impoverished, to a small cottage in Devonshire after the death of their father and the machinations of their brother's wife, they accept their new circumstances with as much cheer as they can muster even though their brother and his wife have taken over the family estate and fortune. Marianne finds herself falling in love with the dashing Willoughby, who ends up being not all that he appears. Elinor, the more sensible of the two, falls for Edward Ferrars, a match that seems much more suitable. All of these pleasant connections are, however, soon disrupted. Willoughby leaves and ignores Marianne. Elinor finds out an unexpected secret about Ferrars that puts her on her caution in pursuing their relationship. As these complications develop, Marianne soon finds herself distraught despite having attracted another suitor, the reliable, but older, Colonel Brandon. Elinor steps into the breach to try to help her sister regain her equilibrium. Both learn what a broken heart can feel like and adjust in their own separate ways. Since this is an Austen novel and a romance, be assured that all comes right in the end.
Just So Stories (version 2) Kipling, RudyardThe stories, first published in 1902, are fantastic accounts of how various natural phenomena came about. The original editions of Just So Stories were illustrated with woodcuts by Kipling himself. Read along online and see the illustrations at mainlesson.com. Each story is accompanied by a poem, in a somewhat ballad style. Many of the stories are addressed to "Best Beloved" (they were first written for Kipling's eldest daughter, Josephine, who had died during an outbreak of influenza in 1899), and throughout they use a comically elevated style inspired by the formal speech of India, full of long and improbable-sounding words, some of them made up. As a result, it is a delight to read them aloud, and easy to memorise passages from them.
Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A (version 2) Twain, MarkA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The work is a very early example of time travel in literature, anticipating by six years H. G. Wells' The Time Machine of 1895 (however, unlike Wells, Twain does not give any real explanation of his protagonist's traveling in time). Some early editions are entitled A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur.
Invisible Man, The (Version 2) Wells, H. G.Terrifically popular science fiction novel by renowned writer HG Wells, about a scientist discovering how to achieve invisibility. But, in his case, being out of sight evidently does NOT mean out of mind.
Black Beauty: The Autobiography of a Horse Sewell, AnnaBlack Beauty is Anna Sewell’s first and only novel. The story is told in the “first person” (or first horse) as an autobiographical memoir of a highbred horse named Black Beauty, from his carefree days as a foal on an English farm, to his difficult life pulling cabs in London, to his happy retirement in the country. Along the way, he meets with many hardships and recounts many tales of cruelty and kindness. Each short chapter recounts an incident in Black Beauty’s life containing a lesson or moral typically related to the kindness, sympathy, and understanding treatment of horses.
Roughing It Twain, MarkRoughing It is semi-autobiographical travel literature written by American humorist Mark Twain. It was authored during 1870–71 and published in 1872 as a sequel to his first book Innocents Abroad. This book tells of Twain's adventures prior to his pleasure cruise related in Innocents Abroad.
Children of Odin, The Colum, PadraicMaster storyteller Padraic Colum's rich, musical voice captures all the magic and majesty of the Norse sagas in his retellings of the adventures of the gods and goddesses who lived in the Northern paradise of Asgard before the dawn of history. Here are the matchless tales of All-Father Odin, who crosses the Rainbow Bridge to walk among men in Midgard and sacrifices his right eye to drink from the Well of Wisdom; of Thor, whose mighty hammer defends Asgard; of Loki, whose mischievous cunning leads him to treachery against the gods; of giants, dragons, dwarfs and Valkyries; and of the terrible last battle that destroyed their world.
Sonnet 43 Browning, Elizabeth BarrettVolunteers bring you 23 different recordings of Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This was the weekly poetry project for the week of February 4th, 2007.
Euthyphro PlatoAwaiting his trial on charges of impiety and heresy, Socrates encounters Euthyphro, a self-proclaimed authority on matters of piety and the will of the gods. Socrates, desiring instruction in these matters, converses with Euthyphro, but as usual, the man who professes to know nothing fares better than the man who claims to be an expert. One of Plato’s well-known Socratic Dialogues, Euthyphro probes the nature of piety, and notably poses the so-called Euthyphro Dilemma: Do the gods love a thing because it is holy, or is a thing holy because it is loved by the gods?
1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors Twain, Mark"1601," wrote Mark Twain, "is a supposititious conversation which takes place in Queen Elizabeth's closet in that year, between the Queen, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Duchess of Bilgewater, and one or two others ... If there is a decent word findable in it, it is because I overlooked it." 1601 depicts a highfalutin and earthy discussion between the Queen and her court about farting and a variety of sexual peccadillos, narrated disapprovingly and sanctimoniously by the Queen's Cup-Bearer, an eyewitness at "the Social Fireside."
Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects Vol 1 Vasari, GiogioThe Lives of the Most Excellent Italian Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, from Cimabue to Our Times, or Le Vite delle più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori, as it was originally known in Italian, is a series of artist biographies written by 16th century Italian painter and architect Giorgio Vasari, which is considered "perhaps the most famous, and even today the most- read work of the older literature of art", "some of the Italian Renaissance's most influential writing on art", and "one of the founding texts in art history". Vasari's work has been described as "by far the most influential single text for the history of Renaissance art" and "the most important work of Renaissance biography of artists". Its influence is situated mainly in three domains: as an example for contemporary and later biographers and art historians, as a defining factor in the view on the Renaissance and the role of Florence and Rome in it, and as a major source of information on the lives and works of early Italian artists.