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eBook available: The Square Jaw

Square JawThe latest completed title out of Distributed Proofreaders is Henry Ruffin and AndrĂ© Tudesq’s The Square Jaw, a collection of articles written by the two French war correspondents during the first World War and translated into English for this collection.

Since these were reported as events were happening, and because they were aimed at the French public, the tone of these writings differs in some ways from many other accounts of the conflict. While many of the usual horrors are on display, the tone of the pieces has a certain underlying optimism — clearly intended to boost morale — and there is a very strong focus on the friendship between France and Britain and the honor of British troops. Specific details about times and places are often intentionally excluded, though there are some thorough accounts of the fates of certain small French country towns.

While this book certainly doesn’t give the modern reader a thorough perspective on the conflict, it is an interesting glimpse into what some of the people most affected by the war may have been reading while it was going on around them. The full text can be read online or downloaded through Project Gutenberg.


eBook available: Motor Matt’s Queer Find

Motor Stories #13Another Motor Stories adventure is now available thanks to Distributed Proofreaders and our Digital Library. In Motor Matt’s Queer Find; or, The Secret of the Iron Chest, number thirteen in the series, Matt and his friends become entangled in yet another dangerous situation, this time in New Orleans. Interestingly, while past supernatural occurrences in the series have been explained away scientifically, this adventure forces Matt to confront some things that simply don’t fit with his rational worldview.

As usual, the entire adventure can be read online (or downloaded in eBook format) through Project Gutenberg.


eBook available: Husks

HusksOur latest completed Distributed Proofreaders project is Husks, by Marion Harland (a pseudonym of Mary Virginia Terhune). This edition of the book comes from F. M. Lupton’s Arm Chair Library, the same series that provided our earlier release, Averil. Like that earlier title, Husks focuses on the inner lives of its characters rather than dime novel sensationalism, telling a sad tale of love gone horribly wrong. Of course, the tragedy is designed to offer some lessons to its readers, and the author is not always shy about editorializing on society’s wrongs. The modern reader is unlikely to agree with all of the author’s conclusions, but some of the situations remain resonant, and some of the authorial asides are, at least, amusing to read.

The entire book is now available for online reading or download from Project Gutenberg.



Available for proofreading: The Spider and the Fly

The Spider and the FlyLast year, we released an eBook of Wild Margaret, a novel written by once-popular novelist Charles Garvice. Our latest Distributed Proofreaders project is another work by the prolific British writer: The Spider and the Fly; or, An Undesired Love (sometimes also known simply as Violet).

To help create a new electronic edition of this forgotten novel, first read this earlier blog post and then join in the work at the project page.


eBook available: Motor Matt’s Peril

Motor Matt's PerilIn our latest Distributed Proofreaders release, the Motor Stories saga continues with its twelfth adventure: Motor Matt’s Peril; or, Cast Away in the Bahamas. In this adventure, Motor Matt and his friends run an air ship show in Atlantic City but soon find themselves sidetracked by an adventure involving a treasure map and a submarine. The volume is rounded out with a handful of brief, randomly selected non-fiction pieces covering such topics as hunting, gum collecting and willow farming.

The entire book can be read online or downloaded in electronic formats through Project Gutenberg. Images of the original source material can also be viewed in our Digital Library.


Now in proofreading: Laurel Vane

Laurel VaneAnother Mrs. Alex. McVeigh Miller novel from our collection is available for proofreading on the Distributed Proofreaders site. Laurel Vane; or, The Girls’ Conspiracy was first serialized in the Fireside Companion during 1883 and was later reprinted in book form. The author apparently enjoyed this novel enough to make reference to it in one of her later works; in Pretty Geraldine, the New York Salesgirl, some of the characters stage a play based on Laurel Vane.

You can learn more about the proofreading process from this earlier post; when you are ready to join in, you can help with the work at the project page.


eBook available: Motor Matt’s Daring Rescue

Motor Matt's Daring RescueThe eleventh adventure from the Motor Stories series is available on Project Gutenberg today thanks to the efforts of the Distributed Proofreaders project and images provided by our Digital Library.

In Motor Matt’s Daring Rescue; or, The Strange Case of Helen Brady, Helen Brady has disappeared, and Motor Matt needs to join forces with an unlikely ally to help restore her freedom. The issue is filled out with “A Fall to Fortune,” a highly improbable tale of a balloon demonstration gone wrong (and then right).

The entire book can now be read online or downloaded from Project Gutenberg.


eBook available: Averil

AverilToday’s eBook release, Averil by Rosa Nouchette Carey, is one of countless British novels that reached American audiences through inexpensive (and frequently unauthorized) paper-covered editions. The text of the new electronic edition comes from one such series of reprints, F. M. Lupton’s Arm Chair Library.

While these cheap editions often resemble their contemporaries, the dime novels, their content is often less sensational. That is certainly the case for Averil, which, despite a few dramatic incidents, is primarily a quiet tale about a sickly, spiritual woman who tries to befriend an orphaned cousin and aid the poor while being taken advantage of by selfish relatives.

The entire text of the book may now be read online (or downloaded in common electronic formats) through Project Gutenberg.


eBook available: Six Bad Husbands and Six Unhappy Wives

  • Posted by: Demian Katz
  • Posted Date: February 10, 2015
  • Filed Under: Project Gutenberg

Six Bad Husbands and Six Unhappy WivesThe 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!



Available for proofreading: The Curse of Pocahontas

The Curse of PocahontasOur 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.

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Last Modified: February 4, 2015