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Short stories (Early works 1837-1852)

Read by Phil Benson

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

A collection of Elizabeth Gaskell's early short stories. Following the publication of Mary Barton in 1848, Gaskell published many of her sho…

The Story of Peterloo

Read by Phil Benson

Francis Archibald Bruton

On 16th August 1819 around 60,000 people gathered at St. Peter’s Fields, Manchester, to rally for parliamentary reform. Shortly after the me…

Lancashire Dialogues

Read by Phil Benson

John Byrom

A scion of the Byroms of Byrom Hall in Lowton, Lancashire, John Byrom was born and lived in Manchester and Salford for much of his life. Edu…

The Haunted Woman

Read by Phil Benson

David Lindsay

Isabel Loment is engaged to the affectionate, but unemotional, Marshall Stokes. House-hunting for her aunt, she comes to Runhill Court, an a…

The Manchester Man

Read by Phil Benson

Isabella Varley Banks

Jabez Clegg, the Manchester man, floats into this historical novel in 1799, carried downstream by the River Irk in flood. Jabez's rise to co…

Nada the Lily

Read by Phil Benson

H. Rider Haggard

A classic tale of love and revenge set in the Zulu Kingdom of present-day KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. A work of fiction loosely woven aro…

Extracts from a Diary Kept by the Rev. R. Burrows during Heke's War in the Nort…

Read by Phil Benson

Robert Burrows

An eye-witness account of the so-called Flagstaff War, fought between Maori warriors, led by Hone Heke, and British troops between March 184…

Songs for the Millions, and other poems

Read by Phil Benson

Benjamin Stott

Born in Manchester, and a bookbinder by trade, Benjamin Stott was an active trade unionist and member of the Chartist movement. Songs of the…

Thorstein of the Mere: A Saga of the Northmen in Lakeland

Read by Phil Benson

William Gershom Collingwood

A fine adventure set in 10th-century England at a time when everyday life in north was made hazardous by wars and shifting alliances among S…

Karl Marx: An Essay

Read by Phil Benson

Harold J. Laski

Born in Manchester in 1893, Harold Laski was a leading figure in the left-wing of British socialism in the first half of the 20th century. A…

Footsteps of Fate

Read by Phil Benson

Louis Couperus

A short but intense novel, Footsteps of Fate tells of the friendship of two young Dutchmen in London, Frank and Bertie. Arriving destitute a…

The Experienced English Housekeeper

Read by Phil Benson

Elizabeth Raffald

'Cut a large old hare in small pieces, and put it in a mug with three blades of mace, a little salt, two large onions, one red herring, six …

The Present Picture of New South Wales

Read by Phil Benson

David Dickinson Mann

Convicted of forgery at the age of 23, David Dickenson Mann narrowly escaped hanging and was transported instead to New South Wales, where h…

The Birth of Professional Rugby League in Australia: A selection from the Sydne…

Read by Phil Benson

Sydney Morning Herald

In early 1907 the world of Australian rugby was rocked by the news that a professional New Zealand All Blacks team was set to tour the north…

An Excursion to the Lakes in Westmoreland and Cumberland, August 1773

Read by Phil Benson

William Hutchinson

In the summer of 1773, lawyer and antiquarian William Hutchinson set out from his home in County Durham on a tour of the English Lake Distri…

Athenaeum Souvenir

Read by Phil Benson


The Manchester Athenaeum was founded in 1837 as a society for the "advancement and diffusion of knowledge". This short collection …

The Astral Plane: Its Scenery, Inhabitants and Phenomena

Read by Phil Benson

C. W. Leadbeater

As skeptics dismissed other-worldly phenomena as the stuff of legend, trickery or delusion, nineteenth-century 'occult science' set out to e…

Clog Shop Chronicles

Read by Phil Benson

John Ackworth

John Ackworth was the pen name of the Rev. Frederick R. Smith, a Methodist minister who was born in Snaith, Yorkshire, but spent much of his…

The Roots of the Mountains

Read by Phil Benson

William Morris

The Roots of the Mountains was the second in a projected series of three historical novels set in a pre-medieval Germanic world (the third w…

Beckside Lights

Read by Phil Benson

John Ackworth

John Ackworth was the pen name of the Rev. Frederick R. Smith, a Methodist minister who was born in Snaith, Yorkshire, but spent much of his…

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