The King of the Golden River or The Black Brothers: A Legend of Stiria by John Ruskin was originally written in 1841 for the twelve-year-old Effie (Euphemia) Gray, whom Ruskin later married. It was published in book form in 1851, and became an early Victorian classic which sold out three editions. In the "Advertisement to the First Edition," which prefaces it, it is called a fairy tale, one, it might be added, that illustrates the triumph of love, kindness, and goodness over evil; however, it could also be characterized as a fable, a fabricated aetiological myth or etiology, and a parable. It was illustrated with 22 illustrations by Richard Doyle (1824-83). The richness of the Treasure Valley, high in the mountains of Stiria or Styria, southeastern Austria, is lost through the evil of the owners, the two elder, "Black Brothers," Hans and Schwartz, who in their foolishness mistreat Southwest Wind, Esquire, who in turn floods their valley, washing away their "liquid assets," and turning their valley into a dead valley of red sand. This personified wind has the power to keep things this way through his influence with other winds that had caused the valley's unique fertility. Forced into a trade other than farming Hans and Schwartz become goldsmiths. They cruelly melt their younger brother Gluck's prize heirloom, a golden mug, which consists of the head of a golden bearded man. This action releases the King of the Golden River for Gluck to pour out of the crucible as a finely dressed little golden dwarf. The Golden River is one of the high mountain cataracts, that surround the Treasure Valley. Gluck fancies that it would be good if that high majestic river would actually be what it appears in the setting sun, a river of gold. The dwarfish king disagrees with Gluck, but offers a proposition: if someone were to climb up to the source of the river and throw into it at least three drops of "holy water," it would become for that person only a river of gold. That person must do it on his first and only attempt or be overwhelmed by the river to become a black stone.
The Wedding Gamble
Sarah Wellingford would do her duty.
Even if that meant putting herself on the Marriage Mart during a London season she could ill afford and did not desire. Now ironic circumstance have wed her to the compelling Marquess of Englemere, a fabled gamester, who has awakened passions she was honour-bound not to express.
A marriage of convenience could be deucedly inconvenient even for a marquess when one was perilously close to loving his own wife! But Nicholas Stanhope knew that was impossible, for hadn't his tragic past proven that women especially wives were not to be trusted?
A Scandalous Proposal
Threatened by extortionists, disowned widow Emily Spenser has little recourse until the Earl of Cheverley, captivated by this unusual shopkeeper, comes to her aide.
Emily cannot repay the Earl's expenditures not in coin. But having learned through bitter experience not to trust the largesse of powerful men and desperate to stay hidden from the father-in-law who would take away her son, she seeks to cancel her obligation to the highly visible earl immediately. Little does she realise a "fleeting" affair will lead to something much more...
How to know when you're getting too goofy on the green You know you're a golfing fanatic when there is a suspicious looking dent next to the cat flap from the last time you "put the cat out." If this sounds all too familiar, read on to find out whether you're one iron short of a set or if you can still escape the fairway unscathed!
All over the world kids are losing their teeth and the Tooth Fairy never lets them down. But when the Tooth Fairy loses a tooth will someone leave something special under her pillow? Kids will love this story that has the Tooth Fairy fretting over whether or not someone will remember her. Children can use the stickers in this book to decorate the colorful, humorous scenes!
P. D. Eastman's classic character Aaron the Alligator makes his early-reader debut! Aaron can get into trouble doing just about anything-playing ball, planting seeds . . . even walking! Kids will giggle along as they tackle the simple words and sentences all on their own. Aaron is a star of The Cat in the Hat Beginner Book Dictionary and a long-out-of-print series called Everything Happens to Aaron.
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