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Featured texts
A featured text is one which is recognized as among the most complete and highest quality works on Wikisource. These are prominently displayed on the main page, inviting users to read at their leisure.

Featured texts edit
Date Text
January The Corsair
February The Clipper Ship Era
March Association Football and How to Play It
April Daisy Miller
May Romanes Lecture
December A Christmas Carol
  1. The Black Cat was originally featured, but this is now a disambiguation page, and featured status has been transferred to Tales (Poe)/The Black Cat.

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"Daisy Miller: A Study" was Henry James' breakthrough story. It is a psychological study of a beautiful American girl, living in Europe, who engages in flirtatious behaviours that shock and scandalize her fellow expatriates. Though she is condemned as corrupt by her peers, the story ultimately leaves open the question whether Daisy is truly corrupt, or in fact naïvely innocent to the point of social oblivion.
Portrait of Henry James 1913.jpg

At the little town of Vevay, in Switzerland, there is a particularly comfortable hotel. There are, indeed, many hotels; for the entertainment of tourists is the business of the place, which, as many travellers will remember, is seated upon the edge of a remarkably blue lake—a lake that it behooves every tourist to visit. The shore of the lake presents an unbroken array of establishments of this order, of every category, from the "grand hotel" of the newest fashion, with a chalk-white front, a hundred balconies, and a dozen flags flying from its roof, to the little Swiss pension of an elder day, with its name inscribed in German-looking lettering upon a pink or yellow wall, and an awkward summer-house in the angle of the garden. One of the hotels at Vevay, however, is famous, even classical, being distinguished from many of its upstart neighbors by an air both of luxury and of maturity. In this region, in the month of June, American travellers are extremely numerous; it may be said, indeed, that Vevay assumes at this period some of the characteristics of an American watering-place. There are sights and sounds which evoke a vision, an echo, of Newport and Saratoga. There is a flitting hither and thither of "stylish" young girls, a rustling of muslin flounces, a rattle of dance-music in the morning hours, a sound of high-pitched voices at all times. You receive an impression of these things at the excellent inn of the "Trois Couronnes," and are transported in fancy to the Ocean House or to Congress Hall. But at the "Trois Couronnes," it must be added, there are other features that are much at variance with these suggestions: neat German waiters, who look like secretaries of legation; Russian princesses sitting in the garden; little Polish boys walking about, held by the hand, with their governors; a view of the sunny crest of the Dent du Midi and the picturesque towers of the Castle of Chillon.

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"Tracks of McKinlay and party across Australia" (1863) a travelogue by John Davis.

Davis was part of the South Australian Burke Relief Expedition of 1861, led by John McKinlay, a search party sent by the government to find the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. Davis was in charge of the four camels taken along with the party due to his experience in India. After discovering the fate of the prior expedition, McKinlay's party continued to explore. Meeting difficult terrain while attempting to transnavigate the continent, they diverted from the Northern Territory into Queensland and reached Port Denison (modern Bowen) almost exactly one year later. This book tells the story of the expedition based on Davis' journal of the events.

McKinlay's expedition set out from Adelaide on 16 August 1861—152 years ago this month—and left Port Denison by boat, to return to Adelaide, on 17 August 1862.

Tracks of McKinlay and Party Across Australia 0003, McKinlay.jpg

The present work records one of several successful expeditions that have lately resolved for us the long standing problem of Central Australia. "Who shall cross this great 'Terra Australis' from sea to sea?" was a question so long before our eyes, and so long unanswered, that we did not expect so overwhelming a response as the last three years have given. And yet, within that brief interval, this previously unattainable result has been accomplished no less than six times over, if we regard Stuart's first two journeys as a virtual crossing of the country; a distinction we can hardly withhold from them, although neither of them quite crosses Australia, as was the case with the third. So much for a bold pioneering, and the confidence that arises from some little experience of the way. So far these preliminaries may serve to show how imaginary are many difficulties, even those of a long standing, and how often the "will makes the way."

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Featured August 2013

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