About this site and its creator, Emma Laybourn

The purpose of this site is to make great works of English literature more easily available in electronic form. Choosing authors whom I like and admire, I've produced two types of free ebook:

Firstly, abridgements of classic novels, with the aim of introducing outstanding but difficult books to readers who might otherwise not try them. It's hoped these will also appeal to students of English who are not quite ready to tackle the originals.

Secondly, I hope to create useful ebooks of classic English poetry. All the ebooks are based on works in the public domain.

After taking a degree in English at Liverpool University, I qualified as a teacher and librarian (with an MA at Sheffield University), and then worked in libraries and schools in north-west England for twenty-five years. In a parallel career as a writer, I've had seven children's books published, by Andersen Press and Random House, as well as about sixty short stories in various magazines.

In 2012 I set up my first website, Megamouse Books, to offer free children's stories and ebooks. This gave me practice in ebook formatting which I began to use to compile ebooks of classic poetry. Although the first was purely for my own use, it made sense to offer it to other readers online.

The poetry collections and abridgements were initially downloadable through Megamouse Books, but they now have this site to themselves. More works will be added over time.

If you wish to contact me, the best way is through the Goodreads website. You can send a message by clicking the arrow next to "Follow author" on the left of my Goodreads author page. (You will need to register with Goodreads to do this.)
Some of the issues involved in abridging novels are discussed in my blog, also on Goodreads here.

Are you an adult learning English? My sister Clare Harris writes English learning resources, some of which are free. You can find out more here.

Go to the home page.

cartoon reader



the cover of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy abridged, a free ebook 
produced by Emma Laybourn