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War and Peace, Book 15: 1812-1813 Tolstoy, LeoWar and Peace is an epic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russki Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy's two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well as one of the world's greatest novels. War and Peace offered a new kind of fiction, with a great many characters caught up in a plot that covered nothing less than the grand subjects indicated by the title, combined with the equally large topics of youth, age and marriage. While today it is considered a novel, it broke so many novelistic conventions of its day that many critics of Tolstoy's time did not consider it as such. Tolstoy himself considered Anna Karenina (1878) to be his first attempt at a novel in the European sense.
Grimm's Fairy Tales (version 2) Grimm, Jacob and WilhelmChildren's and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen) is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection is commonly known today as Grimms' Fairy Tales.
Study in Scarlet, A Doyle, Arthur Conan, SirA Study in Scarlet, a short novel published in 1887, was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes story. At the beginning of the book, Dr. Watson meets the detective for the first time and we ride along with them to the scene of a murder. The crime baffles the Scotland Yard detectives, but of course Holmes solves it easily. In the second half of the story, the scene shifts to Utah as we learn the murderer's history. The action returns to London in the last two chapters. In his first adventure, Holmes demonstrates many of the traits for which he later became well known: meticulous study of a crime scene, brilliant deductive reasoning, aptitude for chemistry and music, and the somewhat annoying habit of withholding crucial facts from Watson (and consequently the reader) until the conclusion of the case.
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Version 2 Irving, Washington"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., written while he was living in Birmingham, England, and first published in 1820. It was based on a German folktale set in the Dutch culture of Post-Revolutionary War in New York State. With Irving's companion piece "Rip Van Winkle", it is among the earliest examples of American fiction still read today.
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) Jerome, Jerome K.Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), published in 1889, is a humorous account by Jerome K. Jerome of a boating holiday on the Thames between Kingston and Oxford.The book was intended initially to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history of places along the route, but the humorous elements eventually took over, to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages now seem like an unnecessary distraction to the essentially comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it appears to modern readers. The jokes seem fresh and witty even today.The three men were based on Jerome himself and two real-life friends, George, and Harris. The dog, Montmorency, however, was entirely fictional, but, as Jerome had remarked, "had much of me in it."
Old Chants Whitman, WaltVolunteers bring you 11 recordings of Old Chants by Walt Whitman. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for May 15, 2011. Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. The first edition of Leaves of Grass was very small, collecting only twelve unnamed poems in 95 pages. Whitman continued to expand the editions until the ninth and final edition of almost 400 poems.
Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, The Marlowe, ChristopherThe Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, normally known simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.
Just So Stories (version 2) Kipling, RudyardThe stories, first published in 1902, are fantastic accounts of how various natural phenomena came about. The original editions of Just So Stories were illustrated with woodcuts by Kipling himself. Read along online and see the illustrations at mainlesson.com. Each story is accompanied by a poem, in a somewhat ballad style. Many of the stories are addressed to "Best Beloved" (they were first written for Kipling's eldest daughter, Josephine, who had died during an outbreak of influenza in 1899), and throughout they use a comically elevated style inspired by the formal speech of India, full of long and improbable-sounding words, some of them made up. As a result, it is a delight to read them aloud, and easy to memorise passages from them.
Just So Stories (version 3) Kipling, RudyardThese whimsical short stories offer fanciful answers to a dozen of childhood's favorite "why" and "how" questions. With their generous sprinkling of nonsense words as well as a delightfully rhythmic storytelling feel, they seem to have been written to be read aloud.
Anthem Rand, AynAnthem is a dystopic science fiction story taking place at some unspecified future date. Mankind has entered another dark age as a result of what Rand saw as the weaknesses of socialistic thinking and economics. Technological advancement is now carefully planned (when it is allowed to occur, if at all) and the concept of individuality has been eliminated (for example, the word "I" has disappeared from the language). As is common in her work, Rand draws a clear distinction between the "socialist/communal" values of equality and brotherhood and the "productive/capitalist" values of achievement and individuality.
Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Poe, Edgar AllanThe Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841. Poe referred to it as a "tale of ratiocination" featuring the brilliant deductions of C. Auguste Dupin; it is today regarded as one of the first detective stories and is almost certainly the first locked room mystery.
Iliad, The HomerThe Iliad, together with the Odyssey, is one of two ancient Greek epic poems traditionally attributed to Homer. The poem is commonly dated to the 8th or 7th century BC, and many scholars believe it is the oldest extant work of literature in the Greek language, making it the first work of European literature. The existence of a single author for the poems is disputed as the poems themselves show evidence of a long oral tradition and hence, multiple authors. The poem concerns events during the tenth and final year in the siege of the city of Iliun, or Troy, by the Greeks.
Aesop's Fables, Volume 10 (Fables 226-250) AesopDating back to the 6th century BC, Aesop's Fables tell universal truths through the use of simple allegories that are easily understood. Though almost nothing is known of Aesop himself, and some scholars question whether he existed at all, these stories stand as timeless classics known in almost every culture in the world. This is volume 10 of 12.
Three Hundred Aesop's Fables AesopAesop's Fables or the Aesopica are a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. The fables remain a popular choice for moral education of children today. Many of the stories, such as The Fox and the Grapes (from which the idiom "sour grapes" derives), The Tortoise and the Hare, The North Wind and the Sun, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Ant and the Grasshopper are well-known throughout the world.