The latest completed Distributed Proofreaders project drawn from our collection is Ella Wheeler Wilcox‘s Six Bad Husbands and Six Unhappy Wives, a collection of six brief sketches of marriages gone wrong, intended as cautionary tales for young women and written with a bit of tongue in cheek. While societal roles have changed significantly since the publication of this volume, it would seem that some of the ways in which people miscommunicate have not.
The entire (and quite brief) work can now be read online or downloaded in eBook format through Project Gutenberg. It’s just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Our latest title to enter the Distributed Proofreaders project for conversion into an eBook is Wenona Gilman’s The Curse of Pocahontas, another story paper melodrama collected in book form. Wenona Gilman was a pseudonym used by Mrs. Florence Blackburn (White) Schoeffel, a contemporary of writers like Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller and Mrs. E. Burke Collins.
You can participate in the preparation of a new electronic edition of the book; for more details, read this previous post, then join in at the project page.
This week’s eBook release (completed with the help of the Distributed Proofreaders project) is Old Broadbrim Into the Heart of Australia, the thirty-second issue of Old Broadbrim Weekly, a publication chronicling the adventures of a Quaker detective. In this particular adventure, Old Broadbrim tracks a villain all the way to Australia while investigating a pair of murders.
Unlike many dime novels, which tend to be filled with exaggerated dialect and broad stereotypes, this adventure is a bit unusual for portraying all of its characters very similarly. Everyone speaks fairly formally (even the Australian Aborigine), with the only verbal tic being Old Broadbrim’s occasional use of “thee” and “thy.” Men and women alike engage in fights, commit murders and find themselves controlled by one another. This is not to say that Old Broadbrim offers a Utopian view of human equality (there’s far too much death and insanity for that), but it does subvert expectations.
One might also be curious about how a Quaker detective differs from any other sort of detective. The answer, at least for this book, is hardly at all. Apart from the aforementioned “thees” and “thys,” Old Broadbrim acts like any other dime novel detective, shooting people, drinking alcohol and hoping to place his quarry on the end of a rope.
If you are interested in reading the whole book for yourself, you can find it on Project Gutenberg, where it may be read online or downloaded in various common eBook formats.
The tenth issue of Motor Stories is now available on Project Gutenberg thanks to our collaboration with Distributed Proofreaders. Motor Matt’s Hard Luck picks up right where Motor Matt’s Air Ship left off, with Motor Matt continuing his career as an air-ship pilot and foiling the plans of the evil Brady gang.
As usual, the main adventure is followed by a short filler story; this time, it’s “The Red Spider,” a Western adventure involving a plot to manipulate the stock market by damming a river.
The entire book can be read online or downloaded in eBook format at Project Gutenberg.
Another issue of Motor Stories has made it through the Distributed Proofreaders project. Motor Matt’s Air Ship; or, The Rival Inventors, the ninth adventure of the series, sees Motor Matt make his first flight after falling foul of a corrupt air ship designer. The adventure is noteworthy both for its aerial theme (which includes some interesting information about the workings of balloons) and for the introduction of Helen Brady, a female character who seems designed to match Motor Matt in bravery, resourcefulness and dedication to principles.
This issue’s filler story is “The Big Cypress,” a brief tale of attempted crime set in the wilds of Florida.
The entire book can be read online or downloaded from Project Gutenberg.
The most recent book released to Distributed Proofreaders is The Square Jaw by Henry Ruffin and André Tudesq, an English translation of a French-language book discussing episodes from World War I. Our copy is part of the library’s Irish American Collection donated by Joseph McGarrity.
To help create a new electronic edition of this long out of print book, you can read this earlier post about how the proofreading process works, then join in at the project page.
Our Distributed Proofreaders releases from the Motor Stories series continue this week with the eighth adventure, Motor Matt’s Triumph; or, Three Speeds Forward. This volume feature’s Motor Matt’s action-packed debut in the car racing scene and includes a reunion with an old friend that we haven’t seen for a few issues. As filler, it offers a short story about catching a huge alligator as well as a very brief item about the Ganges Delta.
As always, the whole story can be read online or downloaded in eBook form at Project Gutenberg.
The latest completed Distributed Proofreaders project is another boys’ series book from author “Captain Wilbur Lawton,” most likely a pseudonym of John Henry Goldfrap. The first volume in a series of naval adventures released shortly before the start of the first World War, The Dreadnought Boys on Battle Practice follows the adventures of two young farm boys who decide for a dramatic change of lifestyle and join the navy.
In classic series book fashion, the honest and noble youths achieve astonishing success while defeating a gang of villains who are not just evil, but also incredibly discourteous. The patriotic action is mixed with information about naval practices and technology that must have appealed to young readers interested in the subject matter at the time.
The entire book may now be read online or downloaded in eBook format at Project Gutenberg. More titles from the series will be forthcoming.
The dime novel era offered a variety of unusual heroes, including Old Broadbrim, the Quaker detective, who happens to be the subject of our latest Distributed Proofreaders project: Old Broadbrim into the Heart of Australia. This adventure is part of a weekly series that ran for about a year starting in 1902.
To help turn this vintage book into a new eBook edition, read this earlier post to learn about the proofreading process and then visit the project page to begin work.
Our latest Distributed Proofreaders project is an unusual little book entitled Six Bad Husbands and Six Unhappy Wives, a collection of brief sketches of unsuccessful marriages. The volume was written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, an author who engaged in various types of writing but who is best remembered for her poetry. Our copy of the book happens to be autographed.
This should be a quick and easy proofreading project and would make a good introduction to the process. You can learn more about how it works by reading this earlier post. If you want to join in and help with the work, you can then visit the project page.