The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, the second and final novel by Anne Brontë, is concerned with the story of a woman who leaves her abusive, dissolute husband, and who must then support herself and her young son. Originally published in June of 1848, it challenged the prevailing morals of the time; a critic went so far as to pronounce it "utterly unfit to be put into the hands of girls." It is considered to be one of the first feminist novels.
After the death of his father, Nicholas must provide for his mother and sister. His wealthy uncle provides him with employment at a boys' school, run by the villainous Mr. Squeers. But when Nicholas has seen enough of the brutal manner in which Squeers treats the boys, he attacks him--and is forced to go on the run to avoid the ramifications.
The Portrait of a Lady is a novel by Henry James, first published as a serial in The Atlantic Monthly and Macmillan's Magazine in 1880–81 and then as a book in 1881. It is one of James's most popular long novels, and is regarded by critics as one of his finest. The Portrait of a Lady is the story of a spirited young American woman, Isabel Archer, who "affronts her destiny" and finds it overwhelming. She inherits a large amount of money and subsequently becomes the victim of Machiavellian scheming by two American expatriates. Like many of James's novels, it is set in Europe, mostly England and Italy. Generally regarded as the masterpiece of James's early period, this novel reflects James's continuing interest in the differences between the New World and the Old, often to the detriment of the former. It also treats in a profound way the themes of personal freedom, responsibility, and betrayal.
The Mill on the Floss is George Eliot’s second novel, and was published in 1860, only a year after her first, Adam Bede. It centres on the lives of brother and sister Tom and Maggie Tulliver growing up on the river Floss near the town of St. Oggs (a fictionalised version of Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, England) in the years following the Napoleonic Wars, with both as young adults eventually meeting a tragic end by the Mill which the family holds so dear. In large measure, their lives are dominated by their father, a successful miller brought down by his inability to resist settling arguments in a court of law. Character differences between Tom and Maggie - he dour and rigid of thought, she lively and impulsive - seem to matter little in childhood, but eventually strain their relationship beyond breaking point. It is Maggie, however, who is the dominant character of the book, arguably one of the great characters of 19th century literature. Each of her relationships is vital to the narrative: with her parents, with Tom above all, but on a romantic level with Philip Wakem, the sensitive hunchbacked son of her father’s (and Tom’s) bitterest enemy, and with charming and urbane Stephen Guest, fiance of Maggie’s cousin Lucy Deane. Maggie’s life is changed utterly by an impulsive elopement which she turns back from, but too late to stop the inevitable abuse and contempt. This is a semi-autobiographical reflection of the vilification which George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) herself had to endure while openly living with a married man, a time when her brother was willing to communicate with her only through lawyers. Eliot writes of character and relationships with an insight and sharp detail that few authors have ever equaled. It’s a long book, but you will appreciate it for its depth.
While it's not often described as such, "Lord Jim" can be viewed as a kind of love story whose real theme is the close bond which develops between an older and worldly-wise sea captain, Marlow, and a deeply troubled young sailor called Jim who, in the opening phase of the story, commits an act of reprehensible cowardice for which he is publicly shamed. While the novel's nominal focus rests squarely on Jim and his subsequent attempts to rebuild a sense of self-worth through his involvement in the life of a jungle community, we hear most of Jim's tale from the mouth of Marlow, who watches Jim's progress with the loving and respectful concern of a father overseeing the moral development of a wayward son. It's worth noting that the story of the fictional SS Patna, retold here, is closely based on true events.
Silas Marner is a hermit-style weaver who keeps to himself and is eyed with suspicion by those in the nearby town of Raveloe. Dispelled from his religious community as a young man after being accused of a crime, Marner finds solace in weaving and in gold. But the disappearance of his treasure and the appearance of a small child change the apparent course of his life entirely.
One of James's last great stories, it is not actually a ghost story but has every claim to be considered such with its mysterious spectral essences surviving death and summoning the central character towards - well, what, exactly? That query is of the very essence of the story; and when the Beast finally does pounce out of the hidden Jungle in which it had hitherto so spectrally lurked, you (and he, the central male) might well find yourself startled by its name.
Daisy Miller is an 1878 novella by Henry James first appearing in Cornhill Magazine in June–July 1879, and in book form the following year. It portrays the courtship of the beautiful American girl Daisy Miller by Frederick Winterbourne, a sophisticated compatriot of hers. His pursuit of her is hampered by her own flirtatiousness, which is frowned upon by the other expatriates when they meet in Switzerland and Italy.
In a fit of drunkenness, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter to the highest bidder at a country fair. He lives with regret and swears off drink, until his wife and daughter return eighteen years later, when he is now well-off and the Mayor of Casterbridge.
Fyodor Dostoevesky's "The Crocodile," first published in 1865 in the magazine "Epoch," is the story of Ivan Matveitch, a young man who gets swallowed by a crocodile, and survives. What will life be like for him, inside the crocodile? How will his marriage with Elena Ivanovna fare?
This is a collection of short stories written by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Dostoevsky), who is arguably better-known for his lengthy, contemplative novels. Several of his trademark philosophical, political and religious themes are interwoven throughout these short stories, for example: "Dream of a Ridiculous Man" critiques European nihilism; "The Crocodile" has notes of Russian political commentary; and "Bobok" is critically acclaimed as top-rate Menippean satire. Dostoevsky also provides a Christmas story ("The Heavenly Christmas Tree") with a biting social commentary.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
This 1922 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald chronicles the life of Anthony Patch, the only heir of millionaire Adam Patch, his grandfather. Anthony is young, handsome and well-educated. He marries the ravishingly beautiful Gloria, and together they plan for the day that Anthony receives his inheritance. But what will they make of themselves in the meantime as they look forward to a life of wealth and idle leisure? What is the role of purpose in a well-lived life? Fitzgerald explores these questions in a book that is at the same time humorous, sad and tragic. (Mark Nelson)
This is the first edition of Hemingway's in our time, published in a very small run in France in 1924. And American edition was released the following year. There are 18 brief short stories---one might say vignettes---that demonstrate the author's early interests and his increasingly iconic literary style.
The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, a woman who is torn between her desire for luxurious living and a relationship based on mutual respect and love. She sabotages all her possible opportunities for a wealthy marriage, loses the esteem of her social circle, and dies young, poor, and alone.
Taking as his inspiration the historical accidental death by explosion of an anarchist outside the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park, London in 1894, Conrad tells the dark tale of Adolf Verloc, an indolent, double-dealing secret agent of a foreign government pressured into committing an act of "shocking senselessness" against astronomy, of all things. As the novel bleakly, but with occasional streaks of humour, sifts the hidden motives of London anarchists and revolutionaries, police and government officials, and indeed of Verloc and his own immediate family, nearly all emerge, in their own way, as secret agents of a kind, not quite who they purport to be.
Honoré de Balzac
Father Goriot (Le Père Goriot), published in 1835, is widely considered to be Balzac's finest and most popular novel. It is set in Paris in 1819, after Napoleon's defeat and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. France was undergoing massive social upheaval, as the new bourgeoisie jockeyed for position alongside the old aristocracy. Against this backdrop, we follow the lives of Goriot, an old man who irrationally dotes on his daughters; Vautrin, a shadowy criminal mastermind; and Rastignac, a young man from the provinces who studies how to navigate the complexities and climb the ladder of Parisian society. Balzac's masterful use of physical and psychological detail makes this book a landmark in the development of realism in western literature.
Honoré de Balzac
One of Balzac's most popular works, set around 1815 during the re-ascendancy of the Bourbon kings following the defeat of Napoleon. Said to have been an inspiration to Charles Dickens and Henry James as well as others, the novel seeks to portray the realism of scenes and people. It is also a commentary upon the changing social strata and mores of the day.
To Paul Dombey, the business is everything, and he must have a son who will learn the business and eventually inherit it. Will his newborn, but sickly son be the fulfillment of his hopes and dreams? And what about his daughter Florence, who made the mistake of being born a girl?
The Dream of the Red Chamber (also known as The Story of the Stone) is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of China, and considered the greatest of them all. Almost 40 main characters and some 500 minor characters tell the fortunes of the Chia family; the book details mainly the life of Chia Pao-yü, the heir apparent, who is described as very intelligent, but also as carefree and self-indulging. The already wealthy Chia family rises to new heights when Pao-yü's elder sister becomes an imperial consort. On her first visit home, a lush garden is built, where much of the rest of the story takes place. The intrigues surrounding Pao-yü and his cousins, especially Lin Tai-yü who he loves, and Hsüeh Pao-ch'ai who he is finally tricked into marrying, make up a large part of the story. The decline of the Chia family begins with the death of the imperial consort, and when they fall into disfavour with the emperor, their mansions and the garden are eventually destroyed.
The whole book has 120 chapters, only 80 of which were written by Cao Xueqin before his death in 1764. Cheng Weiyuan and Gao E claimed to have access to Cao's papers, and published what is now known as the Cheng-Gao version in 1791. Henry Bencraft Joly translated only part of the book written by Cao. Book I contains the first 24 chapters, Book II ends abruptly with chapter 56; a Book III was never published.
Thomas Mann, author of Death in Venice (German: Der Tod in Venedig) was a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature. The main character in this novella is Gustav von Aschenbach, a famous author in his early 50s who was widowed at an early age. In poor health, he visits Venice and becomes increasingly obsessed by the sight of a stunningly beautiful lad of 14. This book has been acclaimed a masterpiece and in 1971 was adapted as a film starring Dirk Bogarde.
When orphaned Oliver Twist asks for more food, the workhouse board are horrified and immediately pack him off to work for an undertaker, who treats him badly. Oliver runs away and finds himself in the streets of London, where he meets the Artful Dodger and is lured into a gang of young pickpockets, led by the evil Fagin. Even amidst his horrible surroundings, Oliver escapes and finds his way into a loving home. But Fagin's gang are determined to steal him back to their life of crime, coming closer and closer...
Dickens' classic tale of an orphan boy who has adventures with pickpockets and thieves, is here brought to life in a dramatised reading with a full cast! Scheming Fagin, cruel Bill Sykes and innocent Oliver tell their stories in their own voices, as dramatically as Dickens intended. Oliver Twist has been made into several movies and a musical, as the themes of social justice and the triumph of goodness over evil are perennially appealing.
On an island off the coast of Chile, Captain Amaso Delano, sailing an American sealer, sees the San Dominick, a Spanish slave ship, in obvious distress. Capt. Delano boards the San Dominick, providing needed supplies, and tries to learn from her aloof and disturbed captain, Benito Cereno, the story of how this ship came to be where she is. Dealing with racism, the slave trade, madness, the tension between representation and reality, and featuring at least one unreliable narrator, Melville's novella has both captivated and frustrated critics for decades.
This short tale was first published in book form alongside 'Heart of Darkness' and 'The End of the Tether', the three tales representing youth, middle age and old age, respectively. One of Conrad's 'Marlow yarns', the story is based on the trouble-plagued, much-delayed and ultimately ill-fated voyage of the cargo vessel 'Palestine' (here, 'Judea') carrying coal from England to Bangkok in 1882-1883, on which Conrad served his first posting as second mate. The story is notable (and somewhat unusual, for Conrad) in the light-hearted buoyancy of the narrator's tone as he confronts difficulty after difficulty.
D. H. Lawrence
The Rainbow is the story of three generations of the Brangwen family, a sexual and religious collection of incidents that eventually shows the inertia of an individual consciousness to outgrow the commonplace and embrace the reality that lies beyond it. Throughout the novel, including its setting, the characters are being isolated because of their deviation from a conformist English society in a changing, steadily industrializing world.
In Nostromo, Joseph Conrad has transformed an apocryphal anecdote about a sailor who got away with stealing a boat loaded with silver into a grandly panoramic, yet deeply unsettling, narrative that sees every conceivable type of political person — from the laughably oafish and brutal to various shades of the well-meaning — caught up in an episode of revolutionary upheaval in the fictional South American country of Costaguana. Who, if anyone, will emerge from this dreadful saga with a shred of dignity left intact?
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Don Quixote is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published.... The story follows the adventures of a hidalgo named Mr. Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to set out to revive chivalry, undo wrongs, and bring justice to the world, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story. Throughout the novel, Cervantes uses such literary techniques as realism, metatheatre, and intertextuality. It had a major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844), Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), as well as the word "quixotic" and the epithet "Lothario." Arthur Schopenhauer cited Don Quixote as one of the four greatest novels ever written, along with Tristram Shandy, La Nouvelle Héloïse and Wilhelm Meister.
Dickens portrayal of selfishness, in this case in the Chuzzlewit family. Old Martin has a great fortune, and everyone wants in on it, especially distant cousin Seth Pecksniff. Meanwhile, his grandson, young Martin, has fallen in love with his grandfather's ward Mary and is disinherited, sending young Martin on an adventure in America from which he will return a changed man. Will he win Mary? Also featuring the dastardly villain Jonas Chuzzlewit, young Martin's cousin, and the hilarious nurse/midwife Sarah Gamp, who is usually found in a state of intoxication.
Martin Chuzzlewit was Dickens 6th novel, serially published in 1843 - 44. Irrespective of the fact that Dickens considered - "Chuzzlewit is in 100 points immeasurably the best of my stories"- it failed to resonate with, or capture the public's imagination as many of its predecessors had done. However by the1850s its popularity had risen and it eventually found recognition as the great novel that it is.
The beginning is somewhat protracted but the prose is magnificent throughout. The theme of the story is about selfishness and obstinacy. The callow eponymous hero Martin Chuzzlewit is estranged from his grandfather (Martin Chuzzlewit the elder) for having the temerity to fall in love with his grandfather's ward — Mary Graham. The Chuzzlewit family are all placed under the microscope as Martin journeys on a voyage of what can only be termed as "self-discovery". His journeying takes him to America, where his experiences change him forever and he returns a far better man.
Woven around the theme of the book are some of Dickens most finely drawn characters, ranging from the comic: Seth Pecksniff, an oily unctuous hypocrite, Mrs Gamp a nurse with a propensity for strong liquor and a delightful way of mangling the English language: to the macabre Jonas Chuzzlewit a dark brooding murderer. There are plots within plots, deception and artifice abound, confidence tricksters on both sides of the Atlantic, and a vicious murder.
This is a satirical novel, particularly when Martin is in America and Dickens, who never shirked from social criticism, utilized that portion of the book to express his feelings on his experiences during his visit to America in1842. It is a comical novel, humour being prevalent throughout, witness Mrs Gamp "Rich folk may ride on camels, but it ain't so easy for em to see out of the needles eye". The irrepressible and precocious young Bailey strutting and posing in his Footman's livery. The deeply melancholic Augustus Moddle, desperate to be run over but finding no takers! and doomed to marry the wrong sister.
Anne Bronte's semi-autobiographic novel about Agnes Grey, a young woman who becomes a governess to support her family, but finds her new career more difficult than she expected.
Agnes Grey is the daughter of a minister, whose family comes to financial ruin. Desperate to earn money to care for herself, she takes one of the few jobs allowed to respectable women in the early Victorian era, as a governess to the children of the wealthy. In working with two different families, the Bloomfields and the Murrays, she comes to learn about the troubles that face a young woman who must try to rein in unruly, spoiled children for a living, and about the ability of wealth and status to destroy social values. After her father's death, Agnes opens a small school with her mother and finds happiness with a man who loves her for herself.
This work, Charlotte Bronte's second, is set in the England of the early 1800's, which was beset with political and social changes, represented by the Industrial Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. And there is much to do with those changes in values from those of the past. But at its core, this novel is about romance. And the plot primarily follows the struggles and triumphs of two couples, the two brothers Moore, Louis and Robert, and Caroline Helstone and Shirley Keeldar. The final scenes capture the essence of the change in this world, and one hopes for the more philanthropic and egalitarian world pictured there, but at the same time one laments the loss of a world of magic and of a respect for natural beauty.
Emile, or On Education or Émile, or Treatise on Education (French: Émile, ou De l’éducation) was published in 1762 in French and German and in 1763 in English. The significance of Rousseau in education as well as in politics must be found in his revolutionary attitude toward established institutions. Some of his biographers relate the story that when the Academy of Dijon, in 1749, offered a prize for an essay on the question whether the progress of the arts and sciences has tended to the purification of morals and manners, he followed the suggestion of Diderot, who reminded him of the greater notoriety which he could gain by advocating the negative side. The Archbishop of Paris, Christophe de Beaumont (1703-1781), saw in it a dangerous, mischievous work, and gave himself the trouble of writing a long encyclical letter in order to point out the book to the reprobation of the faithful. This was due to the Fourth Book, Confessions of a Savoyard Priest.
Rousseau created an imaginary child named Emile and became his tutor. As tutor, he was careful to keep the passions in check while developing the mind. Then he created an imaginary mate for Emile named Sophy.
The book was reviewed in The Monthly Review 1763 printed by Ralph Griffiths. "Rousseau says man is born twice, first to exist, then to live; once to a species and again with regard to sex. At the age of puberty commences the second birth, when he is truly born to live, and enters into full possession of the powers of human nature. Tho' nature points out the time when youth emerges from infancy this period may be either accelerated or retarded by education." It was originally translated into English as early as 1768.
William H. Payne (1836–1907) translated Emile in 1895. This reading is from Barbara Foxley's 1912 translation from Gutenberg.org.
This book tells the story of Hester Prynne, a young woman who conceives a child while her husband is missing at sea. The Puritan Elders of the New England settlement of Boston, where she lives, condemn her to wear a scarlet letter A to signify her adultery. She refuses to name her lover, and he too keeps his silence, but with a terrible cost.
The tale is prefaced with an account of the Salem Custom-house where Nathaniel Hawthorne was working when he began writing The Scarlet Letter
Ford Madox Ford
First published in 1915, The Good Soldier might be characterised as a melodrama of English upper class infidelities, cut into little pieces, then retold out of sequence by a narrator who occasionally appears to be half asleep. That is not wholly wrong, yet many have seen in this novel's beguiling voice, innovative narrative technique, and acute depiction of erotic repression a literary masterpiece. In 2015, the BBC ranked The Good Soldier 13th on its list of the 100 greatest British novels.
Today, we're likely to react to the title of this novella, on whose 'sincerity of expression' Conrad was willing to stake his artisitic reputation, with visceral disgust. There is a sad irony in this, for Conrad's title originally alluded to a rather complex set of meanings, implying that, by virtue of our human nature, we all carry within the fragile vessel that is our idealised image of ourselves a darker being we find troubling, even despicable, but with whom we must eventually come to terms. Indeed, in the couse of this tale of a traumatic sea voyage from Bombay to London, Conrad suggests that in projecting their loathing of their own ambivalent feelings onto their (possibly dying) black shipmate James Wait, the crew of the Narcissus have considerable difficulty seeing the real James Wait behind their confused emotional reactions at all. The novella is remarkable for its knitting together of a stunningly well-realised physical drama involving an imperilled ship with a most discomforting psychodrama that draws in all twenty-six men who sail her.
The House of the Dead is a novel published in 1861 by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which portrays the life of convicts in a Siberian prison camp. Dostoyevsky himself spent four years in exile in such a camp following his conviction for involvement in the Petrashevsky Circle. This experience allowed him to describe with great authenticity the conditions of prison life and the characters of the convicts. The narrator, Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov, has been sentenced to penalty deportation to Siberia and ten years of hard labour. Life in prison is particularly hard for Aleksandr Petrovich, since he is a "gentleman" and suffers the malice of the other prisoners, nearly all of whom belong to the peasantry. Gradually Goryanchikov overcomes his revulsion at his situation and his fellow convicts, undergoing a spiritual re-awakening that culminates with his release from the camp. It is a work of great humanity; Dostoyevsky portrays the inmates of the prison with sympathy for their plight, and also expresses admiration for their energy, ingenuity and talent. He concludes that the existence of the prison, with its absurd practices and savage corporal punishments is a tragic fact, both for the prisoners and for Russia itself.
The Protestant Sir John Chester and the Catholic Geoffrey Haredale have been feuding for years. In "Romeo and Juliet" fashion, Chester's son and Haredale's niece wish to marry, but their relatives oppose the union. A tale of love and intrigue set against the historical events of 1780, when an anti-Catholic mob caused more damage to London than had ever been seen before. And the simple young man Barnaby who becomes caught up in events he does not quite understand. (Brad Filippone)
William Makepeace Thackeray
First published as a serial in Fraser's Magazine in 1844 as The Luck of Barry Lyndon, The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq is a picaresque novel, narrated (occasionally charmingly, always unreliably) by a member of the 18th-century Irish gentry. Redmond Barry, later Barry Lyndon, describes his rise to - and inevitable fall from - the top of the English aristocracy. Romantic, military and political intrigue, as well as satire and pathos, follow. Editorial notes, courtesy of Thackeray's fictitious alter ego, G. S. FitzBoodle, interject further levels of irony, humour and detachment.
Thackeray, who based the novel in part on the life and exploits of the Anglo-Irish rake and fortune-hunter Andrew Robinson Stoney, among other historical sources, significantly revised and reissued the book in 1856 under its current title.
Its unreliable, morally dubious narrator, metafictional editor, and multiple layers of interpretive possibility make it a fascinating precursor to the modern novel, while Thackeray's characteristic interest in the specifics of 18th-century life ensures a rich and engaging backdrop.
In 1975, Stanley Kubrick adapted the book for his film Barry Lyndon, since widely regarded as one of the finest films ever made.
This audiobook was read from a 1902 edition edited by Walter Jerrold, who provides a brief introduction.
The Golden Bowl is a 1904 novel by Henry James. Set in England, this complex, intense study of marriage and adultery completes what some critics have called the "major phase" of James' career. The Golden Bowl explores the tangle of interrelationships between a father and daughter and their respective spouses. The novel focuses deeply and almost exclusively on the consciousness of the central characters, with sometimes obsessive detail but also with powerful insight.
A whimsical collection of stories about a wandering street urchin, Lazarillo de Tormes is a classic of the Spanish Golden Age, even paid homage in Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Rendered homeless by the arrest of his father and poverty of his mother, the boy Lazarillo has no choice but to go out and find masters to serve. Unfortunately, each of his masters is worse than the one before, and in each case Lazarillo is cast upon his own wits in order to survive. Clever, hungry, and desperate, he always has a sharp eye for lessons on how to outwit the greedy and unscrupulous people who surround him. There is much of wit and humor in this little book, but the anonymous author obviously also intends to expose the brutal inequalities of society, especially toward children and women. Many of his arrows are aimed directly at the Church and its representatives, which explains why the author chose to remain anonymous, slyly publishing the book in three different cities simultaneously, and why the authorship of Lazarillo is still a mystery almost 500 years later. (Expatriate)
Mikhail Yurevich Lermontov
One of the iconic characters of all Russian literature, Grigori Aleksandrovich Pechorin is the ultimate “superfluous man.” An aristocratic rake who loves the game of manipulating the lives of those around him, he callously kidnaps a Chechen teenager to be his bride, wagers the life of an inveterate gambler in a kind of philosophical Russian roulette, and engages in dangerous games with Crimean smugglers. “A Hero of Our Time” is really a collection of stories rather than a novel, culminating in the brilliant psychological novella “Princess Mary,” in which Pechorin toys tragically with the loves of two fragile women and sacrifices the life of his own friend for the sake of his own sociopathic amusement. In the process, he dissects his own motives with a kind of ruthless, surgical precision through which occasionally we see the human soul of a man in agony, who might not really want to be what he has become and who grieves over the loss of his own capacity for love and compassion.
This epic about French coal miners and the burgeoning labor movement is considered one of Zola's finest novels.
Virginia Woolf’s third novel lacks a conventional narrative style and some say even a plot. It follows Jacob from his childhood, through his education at Cambridge and finally to his death in World War I. The prose repeatedly shifts its point of view and the reader is challenged to find connections between the narrative fragments. Largely from the comments of others we come to know the sequence and some moments of Jacob’s life but we never fully learn who Jacob is. The literary experimentation in Jacob’s Room is used even more successfully in Woolf’s later novels.
Sir Walter Scott
An historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, part of the Tales of My Landlord series, published anonymously in 1819. Based on a true story, it is set in south-east Scotland and (in this edition) in the reign of Queen Anne, after the 1707 Acts of Union which joined Scotland and England. It tells of a tragic love affair between young Lucy Ashton and Edgar Ravenswood, her family's enemy. Lady Ashton sets out to end their engagement and make Lucy marry a man better placed politically.
Hunger (Norwegian: Sult) is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. The novel has been hailed as the literary opening of the 20th century and an outstanding example of modern, psychology-driven literature. It hails the irrationality of the human mind in an intriguing and sometimes humorous novel. Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890. Set in late 19th century Kristiania, the novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis. While he vainly tries to maintain an outer shell of respectability, his mental and physical decay are recounted in detail. His ordeal, enhanced by his inability or unwillingness to pursue a professional career, which he deems unfit for someone of his abilities, is pictured in a series of encounters which Hamsun himself described as 'a series of analyses.' In many ways, the protagonist of the novel displays traits reminiscent of Raskolnikov, whose creator, Fyodor Dostoevsky, was one of Hamsun's main influences. The influence of naturalist authors such as Emile Zola is apparent in the novel, as is his rejection of the realist tradition.
Fascinating and brilliant at many levels, Huxley's spoof of Lady Ottoline Morrell's famous bohemian gatherings is difficult to categorize. The ironic tone and caricaturish rendering of some characters makes it partly entertaining satire, but intertwined with the irony are a very human love story and much poignant social commentary. Denis Stone (Huxley himself) is a young poet hopelessly enamored of the languid Anne Wimbush, who comes to Priscilla Wimbush's Crome estate for several weeks of intellectual and artistic escape. Along the way of his love affair, he engages in or eavesdrops upon conversations with other guests about the War, about eschatology, about future society, about Sex, about Art, about Love. Several of these dialogues directly foreshadow themes of Huxley's later dystopian masterpiece, Brave New World. Others show a tragic prescience of another great European war on its way, an awareness that future tragedy might attempt to complete the unfinished business of the recent Great War. Huxley's first novel, Crome Yellow is well worth reading in its own right, while containing embryonic forms of so much of Huxley's later intellectual themes.
The Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, is a work of enormous proportions. Setting out with the simple goal of offering "American households a mass of good reading", the editors drew from literature of all times and all kinds what they considered the best pieces of human writing, and compiled an ambitious collection of 45 volumes (with a 46th being an index-guide). Besides the selection and translation of a huge number of poems, letters, short stories and sections of books, the collection offers, before each chapter, a short essay about the author or subject in question. In many cases, chapters contemplate not one author, but certain groups of works, organized by nationality, subject or period; there is, thus, a chapter on Accadian-Babylonian literature, one on the Holy Grail, and one on Chansons, for example.The result is a collection that holds the interest, for the variety of subjects and forms, but also as a means of first contact with such famous and important authors that many people have heard of, but never read, such as Abelard, Dante or Lord Byron. According to the editor Charles Dudley Warner, this collection "is not a library of reference only, but a library to be read."This eleventh volume contains chapters from "Dana" to "Dickens".
The Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern, is a work of enormous proportions. Setting out with the simple goal of offering "American households a mass of good reading", the editors drew from literature of all times and all kinds what they considered the best pieces of human writing, and compiled an ambitious collection of 45 volumes (with a 46th being an index-guide). Besides the selection and translation of a huge number of poems, letters, short stories and sections of books, the collection offers, before each chapter, a short essay about the author or subject in question. In many cases, chapters contemplate not one author, but certain groups of works, organized by nationality, subject or period; there is, thus, a chapter on Accadian-Babylonian literature, one on the Holy Grail, and one on Chansons, for example.
The result is a collection that holds the interest, for the variety of subjects and forms, but also as a means of first contact with such famous and important authors that many people have heard of, but never read, such as Abelard, Dante or Lord Byron. According to the editor Charles Dudley Warner, this collection "is not a library of reference only, but a library to be read."
This thirteenth volume contains chapters from "Dutt" to "Emerson".
Honoré de Balzac
Eugénie Grandet, first published in 1833, is one of Honoré de Balzac's finest novels, and one of the first works in what would become his large novel series titled La Comédie Humaine. Set in a provincial town in post-Revolutionary France, the story deals with money, avarice, love, and obsession. A wealthy old miser must manage the passion of his innocent daughter, who later has to navigate on her own the treacherous ways of a world in which money is "the only god." Balzac's meticulous use of psychological and physical detail influenced the development of 19th-century literary realism, in the hands of writers such as Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Henry James.
W. Somerset Maugham
A collection of short stories on the South Sea Islands, among which are the famous "Red," "Rain," and "The Fall of Edward Barnard," the last of which contains the basic story of what came to be one of the most well-known among W. Somerset Maugham's novels, The Razor's Edge.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.