Stories and articles in English - graded based on the IELTS and CEFR

Reading Level
A Lost Opportunity
by Leo Tolstoy · Intermediate
This short story by Tolstoy concerns good relations with neighbours is the key to a happy and pea...
A Mystery of Heroism
by Stephen Crane · Advanced
Stephen Crane is famous for writing about the American Civil War, a conflict he hadn’t taken part...
A Piece of Bread
by François Coppée · Intermediate
This story is one of many French pieces which is about the war with Germany in 1870. A wealthy, y...
A Piece of Steak
by Jack London · Advanced
This story about an old prize fighter who needs to win against a much younger (but less experienc...
A Piece of String
by Guy de Maupassant · Pre-Intermediate
Maupassant, the greatest of all French short story-tellers, here describes a simple habit that ha...
A Ramble in Aphasia
by O. Henry · Pre-Intermediate
In this story, the great American writer, O. Henry, explains why a top lawyer leaves his job, wif...
A Respectable Woman
by Kate Chopin · Upper-Intermediate
Mrs. Baroda was not happy when her husband invited an old friend to spend some time at their coun...
A Short History of the Machine Gun
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
The machine gun was first used in the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865. Its effects were terrib...
A Slander
by Anton Chekhov · Intermediate
Chekhov is regarded as the greatest teller of short stories who has ever lived. In this clever li...
The Boarded Window
by Ambrose Bierce · Advanced
Bierce’s anonymous storyteller introduces us to an old man living alone, mixing with no-one, and ...
About a Dog Fight
by Banjo Paterson · Pre-Intermediate
Dog fighting has been against the law for many, many years in most parts of the world. We prefer ...
About Barbers
by Mark Twain · Upper-Intermediate
Mark Twain is best-known for his novels about Tom Sawyer and his friend, Huckleberry Finn, two of...
Abraham Lincoln
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Every schoolchild in America learns about Abraham Lincoln. He was the President that lived in a s...
Admiral Lord Nelson - the Man who Stopped Napoleon
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
There is a statue of Nelson in the heart of London. It stands high above the buildings that surro...
Aileen Wuornos
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Intermediate
Aileen Wournos was beaten and sexually abused as a child. She left home as early as she could and...
Al-Biruni - the Leading Thinker of the Muslim Golden Age
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Advanced
Al-Biruni was a Muslim scholar who was born at the end of the 10th century and wrote over 140 boo...
Alexandre
by Guy de Maupassant · Advanced
In this very short story, the French master of the genre tells a charming tale of an old servant,...
Sheridan le Fanu is one of Ireland’s best-remembered authors of tales of the supernatural. His mo...
An Uncomfortable Bed
by Guy de Maupassant · Pre-Intermediate
Maupassant did not often write funny stories. France’s greatest short story writer was more inter...
Andrei Chikatilo: the Soviet Serial Killer
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Upper-Intermediate
Andrei Chikatilo murdered more than fifty young girls and boys all over the Soviet Union in his l...
Angela
by William Schwenk Gilbert · Upper-Intermediate
W. S. Gilbert’s story of a poor and sick man, living alone in Venice and looked after by a housek...
Antibiotics
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Intermediate
This short article gives us a brief history of antibiotics from the days when people ate spiders’...
Antwerp Road
by Henry van Dyke · Intermediate
In this very short story, van Dyke analyses the terrible misery of war. He describes a road from ...
Archimedes - The Man Who Ran Naked in the Street
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Elementary
Archimedes is still one of the most famous and important scientists in the world but he died two ...
Architecture
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Advanced
Human beings have depended on good architecture since they stopped living in caves and started bu...
Are Human Beings Aquatic Apes?
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Upper-Intermediate
In this article, different theories are examined which explain how and why apes developed into hu...
Arthur Conan Doyle
by Read Listen Learn · Intermediate
Conan Doyle was an extraordinary man: he looked after his sick wife for many, many years and neve...
Ataturk: The Man Who Made Modern Turkey
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was one of the greatest soldiers of the First World War, maybe the greatest...
Auschwitz - Nazi Death Camp
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
We will never forget the name of Auschwitz, the camp where Hitler and his Nazi government killed ...
The Fly
by Katherine Mansfield · Advanced
Katherine Mansfield lost her much-loved brother in The First World War and in this story she expl...
Babylon Revisited
by F Scott Fitzgerald · Advanced
In this story, Fitzgerald follows a recovering alcoholic in his attempts to get his daughter back...
Bacteria and Viruses: How We Get Diseases
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Elementary
Human beings think they are the strongest animals on Earth. But here we read the surprising story...
Beyond the Wall
by Ambrose Bierce · Advanced
This story by the American master of the very short tale, Ambrose Bierce, frightens us by what we...
Blood
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Upper-Intermediate
Until recently, blood was simply blood. But in recent years, we have discovered different blood t...
Boudica, the Soldier Queen of the British
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Two thousand years ago, the Romans were living in Britain. Many people fought them but others tho...
Bruno Sammartino: Living Legend of Professional Wrestling
by Read Listen Learn · Sport · Intermediate
Bruno Sammartino was born just before the Second World War in a mountain village in Italy. He was...
Caligula - the Emperor who made his Horse a Politician
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
We remember Caligula as the worst, craziest Roman emperor. He was only the head of the Roman Empi...
Catherine the Great
by Read Listen Learn · History · Pre-Intermediate
When Catherine the Great was born in 1729, Russia was not one of the most important countries in ...
Two Friends
by Guy de Maupassant · Intermediate
Guy de Maupassant was a young man when Prussia (a part of what soon became Germany) attacked and ...
Charles Dickens
by Read Listen Learn · Biography · Advanced
Dickens is the most famous novelist ever to write in English. He was admired by contemporaries as...
Charles Ponzi - The Man Who Gave His Name to a Fraud Scheme
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
A Ponzi scheme is one that gives an incredibly high interest rate because it uses incoming capita...
Chess
by Read Listen Learn · Sport · Pre-Intermediate
In Persia, more than a thousand years ago, people developed the game of chess and encouraged the ...
Chocolate
by Read Listen Learn · Food · Upper-Intermediate
If you love chocolate – if you are a chocoholic – you will be fascinated by this article. It look...
Christopher Columbus
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Everybody remembers Christopher Columbus. He discovered America in 1492, of course. Because of Co...
Clouds
by Read Listen Learn · Geography · Advanced
There’s a lot of talk these days about the state of the planet. Children at primary school learn ...
Coffee
by Read Listen Learn · Food · Upper-Intermediate
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and for many of us it is almost impossible ...
Cool Air
by H.P. Lovecraft · Advanced
H. P. Lovecraft is best remembered today for his horror stories, but in ‘Cool Air’ he explores a ...
Cosmetics
by Read Listen Learn · Fashion · Pre-Intermediate
This interesting but short article looks at the history of make-up from the Ancient Egyptians to ...
Counterparts
by James Joyce · Advanced
‘Counterparts’ is about an alcoholic husband and father who cares more for a drink than he does f...
Country and Western Music
by Read Listen Learn · Music · Upper-Intermediate
Country and western music is a major industry, especially in the United States, where it is popul...
Cricket
by Read Listen Learn · Sport · Intermediate
Cricket is the most English of games, but it is far more popular in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka an...
Crime in Wartime Britain
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
We often say that war brings people together and we all try to help each other. It’s true, of cou...
Dalyrimple Goes Wrong
by F Scott Fitzgerald · Intermediate
F. Scott Fitzgerald is best-known for his novel, ‘The Great Gatsby’, but spent most of his time w...
Days out at Football Matches that Ended in Disaster
by Read Listen Learn · Football · Elementary
There is nothing more exciting than watching a football match with thousands of excited fans all ...
Death in the Woods
by Sherwood Anderson · Upper-Intermediate
Sherwood Anderson wrote short stories in a very realistic tradition, often focussing on the poor ...
Desirée’s Baby
by Kate Chopin · Advanced
In this story of romance, marriage and slavery in Louisiana, Désirée falls in love with a wealthy...
Diamonds Are Forever
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Elementary
Everybody knows that diamonds are beautiful, romantic and expensive. But where do they come from?...
Did A Dog Steal The World Cup?
by Read Listen Learn · Football · Elementary
In 1966, the World Cup was in London but a few weeks before the matches started, someone stole th...
Discovery
by Guy de Maupassant · Intermediate
An interesting story for every language student and teacher. A Frenchman who meets and falls in l...
Dr. Crippen - One of Britain's Most Famous Murderers
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Intermediate
Dr. Crippen’s name was well-known in Britain long, long after he died. He was hanged because he m...
Dracula's Guest
by Bram Stoker · Pre-Intermediate
Everyone knows about Dracula and the undead. So, it may surprise you to learn that Bram Stoker, t...
Drug Usage through the Ages
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
It may come as some surprise to learn that right through the 19th century, the upper classes in B...
Edgar Allan Poe - Liar, Cheat and Genius
by Read Listen Learn · Biography · Intermediate
Poe lived a disappointing life. He never made any money from his stories or poems and, when he go...
Emily Davison Died So Women Could Vote
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
One hundred years ago in Britain, women could not choose the government. They could not be politi...
Europeans & Amerindians: A Fatal Encounter
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
Before Columbus discovered what he thought was India at the end of the fifteenth century, the Ame...
Eveline
by James Joyce · Advanced
Taken from James Joyce’s collection of short stories, ‘Dubliners’, ‘Eveline’ is about a girl who ...
Faraday & the Electromotive Force
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Elementary
Faraday changed the world. He understood more about electricity than anybody who ever lived. Albe...
Father Wakes up the Village
by Clarence Day · Upper-Intermediate
Clarence Day’s memoir of his self-important father, written just before the author’s death, was e...
Forensic Science
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Advanced
There are many stories about Sherlock Holmes on this site. One of the reasons the fictional detec...
Frank Abagnale - Catch Him If You Can
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
Ever since the release of 'Catch Me If You Can', starring Leonardo di Caprio and Tom Hanks, the e...
Gandhi
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Mohindas Gandhi fought all his life for Indians’ rights. But he was a man that fought with ideas....
General Bill Slim - The Soldier who Won the War in Asia
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
Bill Slim was a good student but his parents didn’t have enough money to send him to university a...
Genghis Khan - Feared Warrior and Empire Builder
by Read Listen Learn · History · Upper-Intermediate
Genghis Khan’s name is still used in the West to mean great cruelty and it is true that, even in ...
Geronimo
by Read Listen Learn · History · Pre-Intermediate
Geronimo was an Apache fighter, one of the last American Indians to fight against the coming of E...
Going to Shrewsbury
by Sarah Orne Jewett · Pre-Intermediate
The great American teller of stories about quiet lives in quiet towns gives us a tale about an ol...
Going to Shrewsbury
by Sarah Orne Jewett · Upper-Intermediate
A hundred years ago, most people living quiet lives in the countryside never left the small towns...
Granada
by Read Listen Learn · Geography · Pre-Intermediate
Granada is one of the most beautiful parts of Spain and many tourists visit it every year. It is ...
Hair Styles
by Read Listen Learn · Fashion · Pre-Intermediate
The history of hair styles is interesting because it shows us that human beings always want somet...
Her Lover
by Maxim Gorky · Pre-Intermediate
In this story, the great Russian socialist writer, Maxim Gorky tells us the surprising tale of a ...
Hide and Seek
by Fyodor Sologub · Upper-Intermediate
This short story by the Russian writer, Fyodor Sologub, is about the incredibly close bond betwee...
Hiroshima and the First Atom Bomb
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
In 1945, the Second World War was coming to an end. The Germans stopped fighting in Europe and Hi...
History of Anatomy
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Intermediate
From Galen treating gladiators in ancient Rome to Andreas Vesalius and William Harvey pointing ou...
How George Washington Got Involved In The American Revolution
by Read Listen Learn · History · Upper-Intermediate
Did you know that George Washington fought for the British Army against the French and that he wa...
Ibn Battuta - the World's Greatest Traveller
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Ibn Battuta left his home in (what is now) Morocco many hundreds of years ago. He wanted to go to...
Ingrid Betancourt - Hostage in the Jungle
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
Perhaps it has always been true that politics is a dangerous business. President Lincoln was assa...
James Watt, Inventor of the Industrial Revolution
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Elementary
Britain in the early eighteenth century was a land of farms and fields but the Industrial Revolut...
Jaycee Lee Dugard - kidnapped and held prisoner
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Upper-Intermediate
Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped when she was a girl of eleven years of age and became the mother ...
Jean Monette
by Eugène François Vidocq · Intermediate
In real life, Eugène Vidocq was a very skilled professional criminal who started his own private ...
Johannes Gutenberg - The Man Who Gave Books To The World
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Johnannes Gutenberg changed the world. Before him, people copied books by hand. They wrote every ...
John George Haigh - The Acid Bath Murderer
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Elementary
Haigh did not kill people in acid baths. He put their dead bodies in them and they became soup. H...
John Haycraft - Pioneering English Teacher
by Read Listen Learn · Biography · Upper-Intermediate
John Haycraft is not a very well-known figure. He did not win wars, govern countries, star in fil...
John Mortonson's Funeral
by Ambrose Bierce · Intermediate
In this very short story, Bierce describes the funeral of a respected and important public figure...
Julius Caesar
by Read Listen Learn · History · Pre-Intermediate
Julius Caesar is one of the most famous generals in history. He made the Roman Empire much richer...
Katherine Mansfield's brief and stormy life
by Read Listen Learn · Upper-Intermediate
Even by modern norms, Mansfield led a shocking life: she had relations with two brothers and beca...
Kim Il Sung the Founder of North Korea
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
There are few places in the world as secretive and as little understood as North Korea. Although ...
Kim Philby, The Spy who Betrayed his Country and his Class
by Read Listen Learn · Espionage · Upper-Intermediate
For many years, Kim Philby was seen in Britain as the traitor who betrayed his country, his class...
Lawrence of Arabia
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
T. E. Lawrence went to the best schools and was a promising academic at a great English universit...
Life of Ma Parker
by Katherine Mansfield · Pre-Intermediate
Katherine Mansfield often wrote about the ugliness of middle-class beliefs and lifestyles, but di...
London
by Read Listen Learn · Geography · Upper-Intermediate
This article rushes you through the history of this famous capital city, its transport system and...
Lucky Lucan - the Lord Who Committed Murder
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Intermediate
Lord Lucan had everything in life: he went to the best schools and universities in England, got a...
Madam Crowl's Ghost
by Sheridan le Fanu · Intermediate
This is one of the most popular ghost stories of all time. It tells the tale of a very old lady a...
Markheim
by Robert Louis Stevenson · Advanced
Stevenson is best-known for his children’s novel, ‘Treasure Island’, as well as his novella’ ‘The...
Martin Luther King, Junior
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Martin Luther King is the only American with a national holiday for his birthday. But he was not ...
Massacre at the Palace
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Pre-Intermediate
The history of Nepal is very troubled. Although the country is beautiful because of its mountains...
Mata Hari: Dancer, Prostitute and Spy
by Read Listen Learn · Espionage · Upper-Intermediate
Mata Hari is one of the most famous spies in history. But she is also a symbol of sexual temptati...
Mateo Falcone
by Prosper Merimée · Pre-Intermediate
In this story of honour and revenge, Merimée tells us about a farmer in Italy who lives by certai...
Mateo Falcone
by Prosper Merimée · Upper-Intermediate
Honour is a way of life in islands like Sicily and Corsica, where people are poor but know what i...
Mrs. Packletide's Tiger
by Saki · Upper-Intermediate
Saki is always at his best when he makes fun of the upper class and here he describes the complic...
My Uncle Jules
by Guy de Maupassant · Upper-Intermediate
France’s greatest short story teller, Guy de Maupassant, here tells us about a family struggling ...
Nat Turner - Freedom Fighter or Terrorist?
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Nat Turner lived long ago and was never famous in his lifetime. He was a slave in America. We kno...
Old Age
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Upper-Intermediate
Old age is not just a biological state but also a social concept. For instance, what was ‘old’ ev...
Once There was a King
by Rabindranath Tagore · Pre-Intermediate
The Nobel Prize winning author, Rabindranath Tagore, is famous all over the world for his novels,...
Oscar Wilde - a biography
by Read Listen Learn · Biography · Upper-Intermediate
Oscar Wilde is, after Shakespeare, the most famous dramatist in the English language - but not, p...
Oxygen and Revolution
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Advanced
For Lavoisier in revolutionary France and the religious socialist, Priestley, in England, science...
Pablo Escobar - The Drug Lord Who Ruled a Country
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
Pablo Escobar graduated from selling marijuana to exporting cocaine and, in the process, built up...
Patty Hearst
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
Patty Hearst was born into a rich and powerful American family but in 1974 she was kidnapped by a...
Percy Toplis: Traitor or Working Class Hero?
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
Percy Toplis was a working class boy who loved to pretend to be from the upper class. He had many...
Petrick’s Lady
by Thomas Hardy · Advanced
Thomas Hardy is known as a great poet and even greater novelist, who pushed the limits of literat...
Phil Spector - the Show Business Murderer
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Pre-Intermediate
By the age of twenty, Phil Spector was one of the most famous and richest musicians in America. H...
Pigeons
by Read Listen Learn · Animals · Upper-Intermediate
In many cities, like London, pigeons are a pest. People are told not to feed them and some local ...
Pirates
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Pre-Intermediate
In this short article, you can read about modern day piracy in the sea around Somalia and learn a...
Pol Pot - Cambodia's Brother Number One
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
The twentieth century was a difficult time in South-east Asia. There was the Japanese war against...
Pythagoras - the Man who Hated Beans
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Elementary
Every schoolchild knows Pythagoras’ triangle. But we know very little about this important mathem...
Reggae Music
by Read Listen Learn · Music · Upper-Intermediate
You can go anywhere in the world and listen to Bob Marley. His songs of peace and freedom, his be...
Revenge
by Guy de Maupassant · Pre-Intermediate
Guy de Maupassant is France’s greatest writer of short stories and this is one of his most powerf...
Robert Hendy-Freegard - Ruthless Conman
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
If it were fiction, everyone would say that it was not plausible, but for ten years Robert Hendy-...
Robert Louis Stevenson - his life and struggles with illness
by Read Listen Learn · Biography · Intermediate
When he was young, Stevenson was a terrible disappointment to his family. He did not follow his g...
Rock and Roll
by Read Listen Learn · Music · Upper-Intermediate
Rock and roll means many different things to people over the world. Although it might be difficul...
Rommel - the Famous General Executed by Hitler
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
Erwin Rommel was a professional soldier. He fought in the First World War as a brave and intellig...
Rugby
by Read Listen Learn · Sport · Pre-Intermediate
This article tells the story of rugby, its fairly short history and the rules of the game. You wi...
Salsa
by Read Listen Learn · Music · Upper-Intermediate
When Fidel Castro overthrew the government in Cuba and began to make his revolutionary society, h...
Shaka Zulu - Great Military Thinker
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
This is the story of the great Zulu chief, who led his people to victory over other tribes in sou...
Shaun Greenhalgh: Failed Artist, Successful Forger
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
Shaun Greenhalgh could never sell his own paintings and so came up with the idea of forging great...
Sheepdogs
by Read Listen Learn · Animals · Upper-Intermediate
Sheepdogs. Why do they risk their lives to protect sheep? How does a sheepdog kill a wolf, one of...
Silverhorns
by Henry van Dyke · Intermediate
Henry van Dyke tells the story of a man who, for many years, has spent his holidays trying to kil...
Simon Bolivar - a Latin American Hero
by Read Listen Learn · History · Intermediate
Many countries are called by the names of the people living there, but there are very few that ha...
Sixpence
by Katherine Mansfield · Intermediate
A worried mother is unhappy and ashamed in front of a guest at her home that she cannot control h...
Sleepy
by Anton Chekhov · Intermediate
This tragic story is about a girl working as a servant in a house with a baby. She is too young t...
Small Fry
by Anton Chekhov · Intermediate
Chekhov looks at the poverty and ambition of a clerk in this short story. He spends an evening in...
Socrates’ House
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
We know nothing about Socrates or his books. We only know what other people said or wrote about h...
Sredni Vashtar
by Saki · Advanced
Saki had a miserable childhood. The little boy was brought up by his aunts in a very strict home....
Suicides
by Guy de Maupassant · Advanced
Guy de Maupassant was an extremely successful writer of short novels and stories, who became weal...
Sultan Suleiman
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Suleiman was the greatest Turkish sultan. He made the Turkish empire the largest in the world and...
Table Tennis
by Read Listen Learn · Sport · Pre-Intermediate
Table tennis was often played inside a house when it was too cold, wet or dark to play tennis in ...
Tae Kwon Do
by Read Listen Learn · Sport · Pre-Intermediate
Tae kwon do is the martial art of Korea and one of the most popular in the world. It has taken a ...
Ted Bundy - American Serial Killer
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Elementary
Ted Bundy is one of the most hated murderers in American history. He killed young women for no re...
Teddy Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick Incident
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Upper-Intermediate
The Kennedy family is a political dynasty in America. J.F. Kennedy was the much-loved President i...
Telling the Time - A History of Calendars
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Pre-Intermediate
Did you know that only two hundred years ago, countries in Europe did not only have different tim...
The 47 Ronin
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
The 47 ronin is one of the most famous stories from Japanese history. Their master killed himself...
The Ablest Man in the World
by Edward Page Mitchell · Intermediate
This story is a piece of science fantasy that makes us think of the computer that was only invent...
The Adventure of Black Peter
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Upper-Intermediate
A foreign doctor settles in a quiet English village and, although the local people are at first u...
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Advanced
In this classic Sherlock Holmes mystery, the legendary detective probes the disappearance of a va...
The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Upper-Intermediate
We of course know that Dr. Watson always helps his friend, Sherlock Holmes, in his cases. However...
The Adventure of the Norwood Builder
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Pre-Intermediate
Sherlock Holmes is asked to solve a mystery that saves a dead man’s reputation and shows that his...
The Adventure of the Second Stain
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Advanced
Europe is on the verge of war because of a document written by a too-impulsive head of state, whi...
The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Upper-Intermediate
Sherlock Holmes is not usually interested in the stories of young ladies. As he says himself, Dr....
The Bamboo - Myths, Uses and a Plague of Rats
by Read Listen Learn · Flora · Intermediate
There are myths in the Philippines and Vietnam about humanity coming from a part of the bamboo pl...
The Battleship Potemkin - A Boat That Began A Revolution
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
In 1917, Russia was losing the war against Germany. The soldiers did not get any pay and their fo...
The Bedouin
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
This is the story of the Bedouin of Arabia, people who moved from place to place in the desert. T...
The Beetle-Hunter
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Intermediate
This story is one of many that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote that does not include his most famous...
The Beginning of Human Life
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Pre-Intermediate
This article tells us how scientists explore where we came from and who we are. It talks about di...
The Bird
by Leo Tolstoy · Pre-Intermediate
Tolstoy is world-famous as a novelist. In fact, his ‘War and Peace’ is one of the longest stories...
The Black Cat
by Edgar Allan Poe · Intermediate
One of the greatest short story writers who ever lived and the master of horror, Edgar Allan Poe ...
The Black Death
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Advanced
This is the story of the plague that spread across North Africa, the Middle East and Europe in th...
The Black Doctor
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Pre-Intermediate
Arthur Conan Doyle is famous today for his stories about Sherlock Holmes and the films that have ...
The Boarded Window
by Ambrose Bierce · Pre-Intermediate
In this exciting story, Ambrose Bierce tells us about the terrible secret that lies in an old man...
The Body Snatcher
by Robert Louis Stevenson · Intermediate
Stevenson was the creator of the legendary Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the dual personality which ha...
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Upper-Intermediate
Holmes is called to prove the innocence of a young man accused of murdering his father. The case ...
The Boston Strangler - One Man or Many?
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Elementary
In the early 1960s, in Boston, USA, in just a few weeks, a mad killer murdered six women, all ove...
The Bottle Imp
by Robert Louis Stevenson · Intermediate
In this classic tale of horror, Robert Louis Stevenson tells us about a magical force that can gi...
The Bravery of Francis Chichester
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
The doctors told Francis Chichester that he had cancer and was going to die very soon. But Chiche...
The Camel - Ship of the Desert
by Read Listen Learn · Animals · Upper-Intermediate
People have used camels in war and they have drunk their milk and eaten their meat. We race them ...
The Cat
by Banjo Paterson · Pre-Intermediate
In this story, ‘Banjo’ Paterson describes one of the world’s favourite pets. He writes about the ...
The Country Doctor
by Ivan Turgenev · Upper-Intermediate
Turgenev is the Russian master of the short novel but, unlike Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, he is more...
The Dangerous Game Of Football
by Read Listen Learn · Football · Elementary
Today, many people cannot enjoy football because of the dangerous fans that go to matches. They o...
The Dead are Silent
by Arthur Schnitzler · Upper-Intermediate
This story, written by an Austrian author, deals with an affair that takes place between a man an...
The Deadly History of Anaesthesia
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Intermediate
It was not many years ago that a doctor had to decide between operating to save a person’s life b...
The Deadly Profession of Orchid Hunting
by Read Listen Learn · Flora · Intermediate
When we think of orchids, we perhaps imagine five-star hotels or the wonderful country, Thailand....
The Death of Jimmy Thorpe, Sunderland Goalkeeper
by Read Listen Learn · Football · Elementary
Nobody knows Jimmy Thorpe’s name today but he was a goalkeeper for Sunderland, a football club in...
Today, calculus is an essential part of modern mathematics. In the English-speaking world, Isaac ...
The Disintegration Machine
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Pre-Intermediate
Arthur Conan Doyle is famous for his crime fiction, especially for his detective, Sherlock Holmes...
The Dreyfuss Affair
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
The French knew they had a spy in their military who was selling secrets to the Germans towards t...
The Fall of Byzantine Constantinople and the Birth of Ottoman Istanbul
by Read Listen Learn · History · Upper-Intermediate
Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It joins the continents of Europe and ...
The Fall of the House of Usher
by Edgar Allan Poe · Advanced
One of the first colour horror films, Poe’s story became a box office smash hit in 1960. It was a...
The Ferret our Unlikely Friend
by Read Listen Learn · Animals · Upper-Intermediate
The ferret is an unlikely pet. It has sharp teeth and is very aggressive. But not many people kee...
The First Computer
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Pre-Intermediate
We usually think of the computer as a very modern invention: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, maybe Alan T...
The First Football Club Manager
by Read Listen Learn · Football · Elementary
Football is now big business but in the late nineteenth century, football clubs could not pay the...
The Fly
by Katherine Mansfield · Pre-Intermediate
Katherine Mansfield’s brother was killed in The First World War and, in this story, the writer sh...
The Football War of 1969
by Read Listen Learn · Football · Elementary
We often hear that football is a dangerous game. Fans fight and even kill each other. Players hit...
The French Revolution
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
The French Revolution of 1789 changed the world. We all know the pictures of the guillotine, the ...
The Garden Party
by Katherine Mansfield · Upper-Intermediate
One of Katherine Mansfield's finest short stories and also one that highlights the contempt with ...
The Happy Prince
by Oscar Wilde · Upper-Intermediate
Oscar Wilde may have written this as a bedtime story for his two young sons. Like others of his c...
The History of Immunisation
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Pre-Intermediate
The biggest discovery in medicine of all time, the one that saved the most lives, was immunisatio...
The History of Lobotomy
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Pre-Intermediate
A lobotomy is an operation on the human brain. Doctors do lobotomies because they want to change ...
The History of Polo
by Read Listen Learn · Sport · Pre-Intermediate
Polo is a game that is thousands of years old. It probably came from Iran. The idea is to hit a b...
The History of the Sail
by Read Listen Learn · History · Pre-Intermediate
The sail was a revolution in travelling by water. It meant that boats could go much faster and pe...
The History of the Samurai
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
The samurai are known to every teenager through gaming but the warrior class of Japan was once a ...
The History of Witchcraft in Europe and America
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
There can be few examples of cruelty and superstition so sadistic in history as that of the treat...
The Homecoming
by Rabindranath Tagore · Advanced
India’s Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, wrote this sad story in Bengali about the son of a w...
The Horse Thieves
by Anton Chekhov · Advanced
In this classic story of Cossack life in the nineteenth century, Chekhov paints a picture of wome...
The Ideal Family
by Katherine Mansfield · Advanced
Always a subversive who tried to undermine upper middle class life in the early twentieth century...
The Importance of Rivers
by Read Listen Learn · Geography · Advanced
Rivers have played a vital role in the development of human civilisation and continue to do so. R...
The Jug of Clay
by Jean Aicard · Intermediate
This is a story about perfection, one man’s need to create the best he can. He loves watching the...
The Kayan Women’s Neck Rings
by Read Listen Learn · Fashion · Pre-Intermediate
The Kayan tribe live in Burma but nowadays many are in camps in Thailand because the military gov...
The Kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's Son
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
There are few murders that have gained the attention of the public and the press like the kidnapp...
The Killing of Franz Ferdinand and the Start of the First World War
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
There are so many books about the First World War and the millions and millions of people who die...
The Kiss
by Kate Chopin · Intermediate
In this rather naughty story, the heroine has decided that money is more important in a husband t...
The Kray Twins - London Gangsters
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Intermediate
In the 1960s, the Kray Twins were as famous in London as the Mafia was in the US. They used the s...
The Ku Klux Klan
by Read Listen Learn · History · Pre-Intermediate
The Ku Klux Klan started after the southern states of America lost the war against the North in 1...
The Last Pharaoh of Egypt
by Read Listen Learn · History · Pre-Intermediate
The name of Cleopatra will live for ever. Two thousand years after she died, she is still a symbo...
The Lost Decade
by F Scott Fitzgerald · Upper-Intermediate
In this short tale, F. Scott Fitzgerald introduces us to a man who was once successful but has be...
The Lost Special
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Advanced
Conan Doyle’s legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes, has made us forget that the author wrote many...
The Lottery Ticket
by Anton Chekhov · Pre-Intermediate
Chekhov is the greatest teller of short stories in Russian, maybe world, literature. This one is ...
The Majesty of Mountains
by Read Listen Learn · Geography · Advanced
Mountains are majestic: they take our breath away. People get up early in the morning to watch th...
The Man who would be King
by Rudyard Kipling · Advanced
Kipling wrote children’s stories that will never be forgotten; novels that have been filmed; and ...
The Massacre At Amritsar
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Britain ruled more of the world than any other country in history. It made Britain rich and stron...
The Merino Sheep
by Banjo Paterson · Pre-Intermediate
‘Banjo’ Paterson wrote many stories about animals and life in the wild in Australia, but there ar...
The Model Millionaire
by Oscar Wilde · Advanced
Wilde is best remembered for his plays and his novel, ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’, but he also w...
The Monkey’s Paw
by W. W. Jacobs · Upper-Intermediate
‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is very often found in short story collections and has been translated into ma...
The Mule
by Read Listen Learn · Animals · Upper-Intermediate
The mule is not a natural animal: it is a cross-breed between a donkey and a horse. It is useful ...
The Murder of James Maybrick or The Discovery of Jack the Ripper?
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
Not too long after James Maybrick had married his much younger wife, she was on trial for his mur...
The Myth of the American West
by Read Listen Learn · History · Pre-Intermediate
We all watch cowboy films and like the brave, strong men who lived alone and only had a horse for...
The Necklace
by Guy de Maupassant · Intermediate
‘The Necklace’ is about a young wife who was born for all of the best things in life, but has mar...
The Nightingale and the Rose
by Oscar Wilde · Intermediate
Oscar Wilde was as famous for his sense of humour as he was for his plays and novel. In this shor...
The Open Door
by Saki · Upper-Intermediate
Saki is the master of comic short stories which have surprising – even shocking – endings. In thi...
The Origins of the Names of the Days of the Week
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
In Britain, everyone lives for Saturday and Sunday, the weekend. But in Saudi Arabia, the weekend...
The Other Two
by Edith Wharton · Advanced
Edith Wharton is one of America’s most respected authors. Her classic turn-of-the-century novels ...
The Passing of Grandison
by Charles W. Chesnutt · Advanced
Chesnutt has never received the fame he deserves as an author. Even in his own lifetime, this bra...
The Piltdown Man Hoax
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Intermediate
The Piltdown Man was one of the most serious scientific jokes of the twentieth century and it all...
The Planets
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Pre-Intermediate
This article tells you a lot about planets that you may not know. For example, it tells us about ...
The Ransom of Red Chief
by O. Henry · Advanced
One of O. Henry’s funniest short stories about the kidnapping of a young boy which goes horribly ...
The Red-Headed League
by Arthur Conan Doyle · Upper-Intermediate
Sherlock Holmes is visited by a man with bright red hair and intrigued to discover an advertiseme...
The Reformation of a Bank Robber
by O. Henry · Upper-Intermediate
O. Henry had to leave the U.S. suddenly to avoid arrest for stealing. He returned when his wife w...
The Rise and Fall of Mussolini
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
The Italian Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, called himself ‘Il Duce’ (or The Leader), just as...
The Rocking Horse Winner
by D. H. Lawrence · Advanced
D. H. Lawrence takes the reader into an unhappy home, which, although upper-class, always faces f...
The Roman Gladiators
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Everyone knows about Roman gladiators and their fights to the death in the arenas of the Empire. ...
The Rose - Symbol of Love
by Read Listen Learn · Flora · Intermediate
The rose is the symbol of love in many western countries. You can find it in every European garde...
The Search for Fossils
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Advanced
Despite many discoveries and theories dating back to ancient times, two hundred years ago we had ...
The Sheriff's Children
by Charles W. Chesnutt · Upper-Intermediate
Charles Chesnutt explores the injustices that slavery created in this excellent short story about...
The Shot
by Alexander Pushkin · Advanced
Pushkin’s ‘The Shot’ is set at a time when a man would fight to the death if he thought he’d been...
The Signal
by Vsevolod Garshin · Pre-Intermediate
In this tale of official unfairness, the Russian writer, Garshin, describes to us the terrible re...
The Silence of Lady Anne
by Saki · Upper-Intermediate
Saki was a master of short, comic but sometimes cruel stories which made fun of the upper-middle ...
The Singing Lesson
by Katherine Mansfield · Upper-Intermediate
In the early twentieth century, a woman who could not find herself a husband in England was not c...
The Sinking of the Lusitania
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
The Lusitania was an American ship that the Germans sank in the First World War in 1915. Hundreds...
The Spanish Civil War
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
Read the fascinating background to the Spanish Civil War, one of the great battle grounds between...
The Stolen Letter
by Edgar Allan Poe · Intermediate
Edgar Allan Poe is mostly known for his horror stories. However, he also wrote detective and poli...
The Store Room
by Saki · Advanced
This is a delightful story, told by one of the funniest writers in English, about a fiercely inte...
The Store Room
by Saki · Pre-Intermediate
Saki’s very funny short story is about a young boy who is so badly behaved that he cannot go out ...
The Story of an Hour
by Kate Chopin · Advanced
This very short story by the feminist American writer, Kate Chopin, examines the awakening of hop...
The Story of an Hour
by Kate Chopin · Pre-Intermediate
This very short story by the feminist American writer, Kate Chopin, tells us about a young, but s...
Zero
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Pre-Intermediate
It is hard for us to imagine what life was like before we had the number zero. Numbers were very ...
The Story Teller
by Saki · Pre-Intermediate
Saki tells a very funny tale about a man on a train listening to the boring stories of an aunt as...
The Strange Biology of Meat-Eating Plants
by Read Listen Learn · Flora · Intermediate
The Venus Fly Trap is a favourite plant among school boys because it catches and eats insects in ...
The Strange Story of Aldo Moro
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Advanced
The 1970s saw many revolutionary groups use violence in attempts to overthrow national government...
The Teacher's Mistake
by Henry Lawson · Intermediate
Henry Lawson is regarded as one of Australia's greatest writers. In this tragic and powerful stor...
The Terrible Old Man
by H.P. Lovecraft · Pre-Intermediate
H. P. Lovecraft is well-known for his horror stories although he was never successful while he wa...
The Thames Valley Catastrophe
by Grant Allen · Advanced
This story is a nineteenth century equivalent of a modern disaster movie, including a horrendous ...
The Titanic
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
Everyone knows the film. Everybody knows the story. A huge ship was travelling from Britain to th...
The Tulip and the First Speculation Bubble
by Read Listen Learn · Flora · Intermediate
A few hundred years ago, a diplomat in Istanbul fell in love with the tulip, a flower not found i...
The Vasa - the ship that never sailed
by Read Listen Learn · History · Elementary
It was the sixteenth century. Sweden was a great empire and had one of the strongest armies in th...
The Vietnam War
by Read Listen Learn · History · Upper-Intermediate
The Vietnam War will always be remembered as the war that the United States lost at the height of...
The Vital Role of Forests
by Read Listen Learn · Geography · Advanced
Forests play a vital role in the life of our planet and everything that lives on it. Read about o...
The Washington Sniper
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Pre-Intermediate
The Washington Sniper took his ex-girlfriend’s teenage son out one day in 2002 and started shooti...
The White House Farm Murders
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Upper-Intermediate
Jeremy Bamber was sent to prison for twenty-five years for the multiple murders of his family in ...
The Witch
by Anton Chekhov · Upper-Intermediate
Chekhov is the master of the short story, not just in Russian literature but that of the whole wo...
The Wolves of Cernogratz
by Saki · Advanced
In this very short story, Saki explores the idea that money is more important than blood. A very ...
The Yellow Wallpaper
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman · Advanced
Written in 1892, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ describes the treatment of a late nineteenth century doct...
Thomas Edison – The Businessman of Scientific Invention
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Intermediate
Thomas Edison is the model for inventors: a boy who left school as a child and became one of the ...
Three Questions
by Leo Tolstoy · Pre-Intermediate
In this very short story, the great Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, gives his readers a simple tru...
To Build a Fire
by Jack London · Upper-Intermediate
Jack London is well-known for his stories about extreme situations in the wild and this is a clas...
Tonton
by Adolphe Chenevière · Intermediate
A young man, forced to enter the French Army because of family tradition, tells his friend a stor...
Toussaint L’Óuverture
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
Toussant L'ouverture was a black slave in Haiti and, yet, he could take on the might of Napoleon'...
Trofim Lysenko - The Scientist who Made Biology Communist
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Intermediate
There cannot be many scientists in modern times who promise so much but offer so little. Lysenko ...
Tupac Amaru II
by Read Listen Learn · History · Upper-Intermediate
In the eighteenth century, a rich man of mixed Indian and European blood, rebelled against the Sp...
Two Brave Young Men
by James Joyce · Advanced
In this story taken from Joyce’s first book, a collection of short stories called ‘Dubliners’, th...
Two Friends
by Alexander Kielland · Upper-Intermediate
Alexander Kielland may not be well-known in the English-speaking world but he is described as one...
Violette Szabo - World War Two Spy and Hero
by Read Listen Learn · Espionage · Advanced
Szabo was executed as a British spy in a prison camp in Germany at the age of only 23 in 1945. Sh...
Voodoo - African Witchcraft
by Read Listen Learn · History · Upper-Intermediate
Voodoo is an exotic religion, the subject of many films and the origin of zombies, the ‘undead’ w...
W. H. Davies - A Poet of Wales and a Tramp
by Read Listen Learn · Biography · Upper-Intermediate
W. H. Davies led an action-packed life and one that made his family very unhappy as a young man. ...
What Happened to Hats?
by Read Listen Learn · Fashion · Pre-Intermediate
Not so many people where hats nowadays but only fifty years ago in Europe and America nobody left...
What is a Tsunami?
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Intermediate
On 26 December, 2004, a tsunami hit the coastlines of countries as far away from each other as Ja...
What Was the Great Food Exchange?
by Read Listen Learn · Food · Pre-Intermediate
When Europeans arrived in South America, they made empires and became unbelievably rich. They kil...
When a War Stopped for a Football Match
by Read Listen Learn · Football · Elementary
It was Christmas 1914 and thousands of German, French and British soldiers were sitting in fields...
When Father brought Home the Lamp
by Juhani Aho · Pre-Intermediate
Aho’s story is now a phrase in the Finnish language, meaning new things are not always better tha...
Who Was Frank Sinatra?
by Read Listen Learn · Music · Intermediate
Most people learning or improving their English are in their teenage years or twenties. A lot of ...
Who Was Jack the Ripper?
by Read Listen Learn · Crime · Intermediate
Jack the Ripper killed many sex workers on the streets of nineteenth century London, girls who wo...
Why are there Diseases and Can We Ever Make a World Without Them?
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Intermediate
Since time began, disease has worried and killed huge numbers of people. New viruses are not some...
Why Do We Need Sleep?
by Read Listen Learn · Science · Elementary
Every night we go to sleep and, in the morning, get up again. But we do not understand a lot abou...
Why was the 20th Century so Deadly?
by Read Listen Learn · History · Advanced
There is a myth that the human race is getting better: we have a far deeper understanding of scie...
Yerba Mate - the hot drink that started a war
by Read Listen Learn · Food · Upper-Intermediate
Yerba mate is a drink which originated in Latin America. It is made from aromatic leaves and was ...