A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With well over 200 million copies sold, it ranks among the most famous works in the history of fictional literature. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period. It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events. The 45-chapter novel was published in 31 weekly instalments in Dickens' new literary periodical titled All the Year Round. From April 1859 to November 1859, Dickens also republished the chapters as eight monthly sections in green covers. Dickens' previous novels had appeared only as monthly instalments. The first weekly instalment of A Tale of Two Cities ran in the first issue of All the Year Round on 30 April 1859. The last ran thirty weeks later, on 26 November.
The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It is often considered, along with The Three Musketeers, as Dumas's most popular work. The writing of the work was completed in 1844. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from the plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet.
The story takes place in France, Italy, islands in the Mediterranean and the Levant during the historical events of 1815–1838 (from just before the Hundred Days through the reign of Louis-Philippe of France). The historical setting is a fundamental element of the book. It is primarily concerned with themes of justice, vengeance, mercy, and forgiveness, and is told in the style of an adventure story.
The story tells of the inner turmoil of Rodion Raskolnikov, a student in St. Petersburg who commits murder. His psychological and moral agitation is furthered and complicated by his family's arrival in St. Petersburg, his sister's engagement to a manipulative and unworthy man, and his encounters with the impoverished and troubled Marmeladov family.
This classic tale tells of an orphan, Pip, who through a series of strange circumstances first finds a trade as a blacksmith's apprentice and then learns that he has "great expectations" of a future inheritance from an anonymous benefactor. He soon learns to live the profligate life of a gentleman as he gradually sheds his associations with the gentle souls of his past, Joe (the blacksmith) and Biddy (a level-headed young lady). He throws his money at improving the prospects of his roommate and friend Herbert and his heart at an "ice princess" whose heart will never respond. But then an escaped convict from his distant past comes calling, and all Pip's hopes dissolve.
Inexplicably, young Gregor Samsa wakes up one morning having turned into a large bug. The story follows how him and his family deal with the absurdity of such a situation, leading the reader on a bizarre, dreamlike exploration of family, alienation, and the identity.
A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first published by Chapman and Hall on 17 December 1843. The story tells of sour and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge's ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation after the supernatural visitations of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the four crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902, it is set largely on Dartmoor in Devon in England's West Country and tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson investigate the case. This was the first appearance of Holmes since his intended death in "The Final Problem", and the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles led to the character's eventual revival.
Emily Brontë's only novel, published in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, tells the tale of the all-encompassing and passionate, yet thwarted, love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and many around them.
Now considered a classic of English literature, Wuthering Heights met with mixed reviews by critics when it first appeared, with many horrified by the stark depictions of mental and physical cruelty. Though Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre was originally considered the best of the Brontë sisters' works, many subsequent critics of Wuthering Heights argued that its originality and achievement made it superior.
Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a lively comedy of manners among her characters.
Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like." In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich." Emma, however, is also rather spoiled, headstrong, and self-satisfied; she greatly overestimates her own matchmaking abilities; she is blind to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives, and her imagination and perceptions often lead her astray. (Adapted from Wikipedia)
This is volume 3 of 5. -- An ex-convict breaks parole and starts a new life as a righteous man, but is pursued by a police inspector. Along the way, the ex-convict joins a revolution, adopts a daughter, and beats people up. Hooray.
An ex-convict breaks parole and starts a new life as a righteous man, but is pursued by a police inspector. Along the way, the ex-convict joins a revolution, adopts a daughter, and beats people up. Hooray.
An ex-convict breaks parole and starts a new life as a righteous man, but is pursued by a police inspector. Along the way, the ex-convict joins a revolution, adopts a daughter, and beats people up. Hooray.
This is volume 4 of 5. -- An ex-convict breaks parole and starts a new life as a righteous man, but is pursued by a police inspector. Along the way, the ex-convict joins a revolution, adopts a daughter, and beats people up. Hooray.
This is volume 5 of 5. -- An ex-convict breaks parole and starts a new life as a righteous man, but is pursued by a police inspector. Along the way, the ex-convict joins a revolution, adopts a daughter, and beats people up. Hooray.
The story is told almost entirely from the point of view of the first person narrator, David Copperfield himself, and was the first Dickens novel to be written as such a narration.The story deals with the life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity.David's father had died six months before he was born, and seven years later, his mother remarries but David and his step-father don’t get on and he is sent to boarding school.As Divid settles into life we are taken along with him and meet a dazzling array of characters,some of whom we will never forget and some of whom we won't want to remember!
Notes from Underground is an 1864 novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Notes is considered by many to be the first existentialist novel. It presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man) who is a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg. The first part of the story is told in monologue form, or the underground man's diary, and attacks emerging Western philosophy, especially Nikolay Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done?. The second part of the book is called "Àpropos of the Wet Snow," and describes certain events that, it seems, are destroying and sometimes renewing the underground man, who acts as a first person, unreliable narrator.
Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the Reform Club
Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented is a novel by Thomas Hardy. It initially appeared in a censored and serialised version, published by the British illustrated newspaper The Graphic in 1891, then in book form in three volumes in 1891, and as a single volume in 1892. Though now considered a major 19th-century English novel, even Hardy's fictional masterpiece, Tess of the d'Urbervilles received mixed reviews when it first appeared, in part because it challenged the sexual morals of late Victorian England. Tess was portrayed as a fighter not only for her rights, but also for the rights of others.
Noli Me Tangere (Latin for Touch Me Not) is a novel by the National Hero of the Philippines, Dr. José Rizal. It was originally written in Spanish, and first published in Germany in 1887. Noli Me Tangere exposed the corruption and abuse of the Spanish government and clergy towards the Philippine people and the ills of the Philippine society. This novel, and its sequel El Filibusterismo were banned in many parts of the Islands. Rizal was later arrested for inciting rebellion, based largely on his writings, and was excuted in Manila. Noli Me Tangere, and the execution of Rizal, indirectly influenced the Philippine revolution from Spain. Today, Noli Me Tangere is required reading in all Philippine Schools.
Our Mutual Friend (written in the years 1864–65) is the last novel completed by Charles Dickens and is one of his most sophisticated works, combining psychological insight with social analysis. It centres on, in the words of critic J. Hillis Miller, "money, money, money, and what money can make of life" but is also about human values. In the opening chapters a body is found in the Thames and identified as John Harmon, a young man recently returned to London to receive his inheritance. Were he alive, his father's will would require him to marry Bella Wilfer, a beautiful, mercenary girl whom he had never met. Instead, the money passes to the working-class Boffins, and the effects spread into various corners of London society.
Reputed as Eliot’s favourite novel Silas Marner is set in the early years of the 19th century. Marner, a weaver, is a member of a small congregation in Lantern Yard. Falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he leaves his home and lives a solitary life near the village of Raveloe. Dedicating his life to weaving and hoarding gold for the next fifteen years, circumstances beyond his control shape his destiny and help to restore his faith in humanity.
The House of the Seven Gables is a gloomy New England mansion, haunted from its foundation by fraudulent dealings, accusations of witchcraft, and sudden death. The current resident, the dignified but desperately poor Hepzibah Pyncheon, opens a shop in a side room to support her brother Clifford, who is about to leave prison after serving twenty-five years for murder. She refuses all assistance from her unpleasant wealthy cousin Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon. A distant relative, the pretty young Phoebe, turns up and quickly becomes invaluable, charming customers and rousing Clifford from depression. A delicate romance grows between Phoebe and the mysterious lodger Holgrave, who is writing a history of the Pyncheon family. --
The House of the Seven Gables is set mainly in the mid-19th century, with glimpses into the history of the house, which was built in the late 17th century. The primary interest of this book is in the subtle and involved descriptions of character and motive.
In this, the last of the Three Musketeers novels, Dumas builds on the true story of a mysterious prisoner held incognito in the French penal system, forced to wear a mask when seen by any but his jailer or his valet. If you have skipped the novels between The Three Musketeers and this, a few notes will bring you into the story:
On one side – Aramis, now a bishop and secretly the Captain-General of the Jesuit Order, who believes he has found a path to a higher honor – the papacy. Monsieur Fouquet, the vastly rich minister of finance, Aramis’ ally. Philippe, the identical twin of King Louis XIV, who grew up in ignorance of his pedigree, and whose surrogate parents were murdered on the king’s order and himself sent into the notorious Paris prison, the Bastille, there held in solitary confinement.
On the other side – King Louis XIV, selected as the twin who would be king by his mother, and who intends that his brother will never challenge him. Monsieur Colbert, first minister, who is jealous of Fouquet and plots his downfall.
Unaligned and in danger of collateral damage – d’Artagnan, now captain of the King’s Musketeers and so the king’s chief defender, who suspects plots running beneath the surface and who is trying to unearth them. Athos, now the Comte (Count) de la Fer and one of the most respected noblemen of France. Raoul, Athos’ son and vicomte (viscount), desperately in love with Mademoiselle de la Valliere, who the king has taken as his mistress. Porthos, grown extremely stout and happy as the Baron du Vallon.
Aramis discovers the hidden Philippe and hatches a plot to substitute him for the sitting king, putting Louis in Philippe’s cell in the Bastille. This even succeeds… for a short while. But Aramis has not reckoned with a man whose loyalty to the throne exceeds his own welfare and who disastrously reverses the plot. Now it is time for the plotters to scurry to cover, there to figure some way to recover their lost ambitions.
The Way We Live Now is a scathing satirical novel published in London in 1875 by Anthony Trollope, after a popular serialization. It was regarded by many of Trollope's contemporaries as his finest work.
One of his longest novels (it contains a hundred chapters), The Way We Live Now is particularly rich in sub-plot. It was inspired by the financial scandals of the early 1870s, and lashes at the pervading dishonesty of the age, commercial, political, moral, and intellectual. It is one of the last memorable Victorian novels to have been published in monthly parts. –from Wikipedia
One of James’s favorite short novels, the Aspern Papers tells of the efforts of the nameless narrator to procure the papers of a famous, but now dead, American poet. His attempts to secure them from the poet’s former lover and her niece, now recluses in Venice, are stymied both by them, and by his own mistakes in his quest.
“Bunner Sisters,” like “The Age of Innocence” is set in 1870s New York, however the lives of Ann Eliza and Evelina Bunner reflect impoverished New York. The sisters run a "very small shop, in a shabby basement, in a sidestreet already doomed to decline." Shabby as it is, the sisters are happy in their small orderly community of supportive women. The story tells of the destruction of this life, and how the once content sisters are thrown into the realistic world outside of their little shop.
Published in 1901, The Sacred Fount delves into the interior observations and obsessions of one Englishman during a weekend gathering in the country. Regarding himself as a master of human psychology, the narrator watches the goings-on of the other guests and weaves theories about the interpersonal implications of what he witnesses, leaving the not infrequently perplexed reader the task of sorting out whether his conclusions are facts or fancies.
"Crime and Punishment" is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal "The Russian Messenger" in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was later published in a single volume. It is the second of Dostoyevsky's full-length novels following his return from ten years of exile in Siberia. Crime and Punishment is considered the first great novel of his "mature" period of writing. "Crime and Punishment" focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in St. Petersburg who formulates and executes a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her cash. Raskolnikov argues that with the pawnbroker's money he can perform good deeds to counterbalance the crime, while ridding the world of a worthless vermin. He also commits this murder to test his own hypothesis that some people are naturally capable of such things, and even have the right to do them. Several times throughout the novel, Raskolnikov justifies his actions by comparing himself with Napoleon Bonaparte, believing that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose. Much of the suspense of the novel is psychological, as the reader agonizes over Raskolnikov's efforts to evade justice for his crime. Much of it is also moral, as the question of whether or not Raskolnikov himself can find redemption as a human being leads to a surprising culmination.
An adventure story for children, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a fun-filled book that shows life along the Mississippi River in the 1840s. Written by Mark Twain, the book shows masterfully-done satire, racism, childhood, and the importance of loyalty and courage- no matter the cost.
The prophet Al Mustafa, before leaving the city where he has been living twelve years, stops to address the people. They call out for his words of wisdom on many sides of the human condition, and he addresses them in terms of love and care. He has much to offer from his observations of the people, and he illustrates with images they can relate to.The author, Gibran, was influenced by the Maronites, the Sufis, and the Baha’i. His philosophy, though deist, is primarily aimed at the good within ourselves, and the common-sense ways in which we can unlock it. An illustration from his chapter on Friendship:“And let your best be for your friend.If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?Seek him always with hours to live.”The prophet’s gentle words have inspired their translation into over 108 languages. Listen to them with an open mind. You may find some burdens and frustrations hidden within you eased.
Marley was dead, to begin with...until his ghost visits his miserly business partner, Ebenezer Scrooge, with a dire warning. Will Scrooge be able to change his ways, or is it already too late for him?
Originally published in serial form in 1879-80, “The Brothers Karamazov” is recognized as one of the very greatest masterpieces of world literature. It is the last and finest novel of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who died before writing a planned sequel. The story is organized initially around the efforts of adult sons to deal with their cantankerous and exasperating father. More important, they also have to deal with the problem of how to live in a world where it is difficult to be sure of the truth — whether that be “truth” about others, about oneself, or about deep questions such as faith, doubt, free will, guilt, and responsibility. Dostoyevsky’s technique underlines the difficulty of attaining sure knowledge. The novel’s psychological and philosophical depth sets the stage for modern novelists such as Joyce, Kafka, and Woolf. “The Brothers Karamazov” has been a favorite book for readers as diverse as Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Putin, and Hillary Clinton.
In this powerful novella based on Joseph Conrad's own experiences in the Belgian Congo, Charles Marlow, an experienced seaman, tells a small group of friends about a profoundly disturbing episode in his life where he was employed by a large colonising enterprise to sail a tinpot steamer up a river into the heart of Africa with a view to bringing out an ivory trader who had gone rogue. Conrad biographer Maya Janasoff has argued that while Marlow's descriptions of Africans are crudely racist, the author binds this racist language with "a potentially radical suggestion. What made the difference between savagery and civilization, Conrad was saying, transcended skin color; it even transcended place. The issue for Conrad wasn’t that 'savages' were inhuman. It was that any human could be a savage."
Oliver Twist was published in 1838 as a three volume book. The novel was the first of Dickens' works to realistically portray the degradation and impoverishment of the London underworld and its denizens. Dickens utilises the environment and characters to illustrate his belief that poverty leads to crime. The plot of this novel centres around and follows the journey of the parish boy "Oliver Twist." Oliver has been in the parish orphanage all his short life, a place overcrowded and constantly short of food. When Oliver has the temerity to ask for more after the evening meal of gruel he astonishes and horrifies the parish board and the parish beadle. They promptly sell him on to the local undertaker for the princely sum of 5 pounds. Oliver runs away and thus the journey begins! Oliver is drawn unwittingly into the London criminal underworld by a superbly characterised pickpocket; one known as 'The Artful Dodger' a streetwise, flamboyant boy who is a master at his craft. He is introduced to the unscrupulous Jew named 'Fagin' who controls the complete gang of pickpockets and ruffians. Oliver is uncomfortable in this den of iniquity and absconds, he is sheltered by a man who spots something about Oliver's demeanour and features which lead him to investigate his parentage. Before long Oliver is retaken by the bullying, insensitive criminal housebreaker 'Bill Sykes' and once more finds himself caught in Fagin's coils. As the plot unwinds we meet many finely drawn good and bad characters, and the vivid descriptions of the seamier side of London in that period are superlative.
"Please sir, I want some more," the famous line spoken by Oliver Twist at age nine, becomes the tipping point of a huge change in Oliver's life. He is soon captured into the service of Fagin and his gang of pick-pocketing boys. But, Mr. Brownlow saves him from arrest, and for the first time in his young life Oliver finds comfort and caring. Unfortunately, he is recaptured into the seedy and disgusting world he had escaped, and meets with Bill Sykes, a dangerous criminal. There are numerous delightful or wicked characters that carry the story along, such as the Artful Dodger-- a boy of the streets under Fagin, Mr. Bumble the Beadle, looking for ways to get rid of Oliver, Nancy who makes a fateful betrayal, and the Maylies, whose affection Oliver craves. The author's descriptions of the back street life in London, bring us full force into the crushing poverty and the terrible way in which poor people were treated during that time. Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist as a serial in 1837, and it is considered one of the most popular in English literature.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is Joyce’s semi-autobiographical first novel. It traces the early life of Stephen Dedalus and his inner struggle with the oppression of Irish society and the Catholic church, ending with his awakening as a poet and writer and self-imposed exile from Ireland.
“Welcome, O life, I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”
(Description by T. Hynes, with quote from the book)
The Philippines, still a Spanish colony, are more or less run by the Catholic friars, and with an iron fist.. However, here and there are pockets of insurrection. In the countryside, a group of outlaws takes things in their own hands – including the money of the rich. And the students of Manila petition the government to be taught in Tagalog instead of Spanish.
Follow Basilio, a medical student and his friends as they navigate the difficult climate in Manila, while his fiance struggles with the law in their hometown. Above all this looms the figure of Simoun, a powerful and extremely rich jeweller, who is more than ready to put his immeasurable wealth to use..
If it is a truth universally acknowledged that a good-looking girl cannot fail of attracting a clever young man does it follow that the reverse is also true? If the man comes of a terrifyingly dysfunctional family and the girl in question likes to see spooks and horrors round every corner, yes. Morland by name, Lackland by nature, Catherine, not altogether addicted to the heroine role in general, finds this greatness thrust upon her in the (fortunately, principally financial) fantasies of her would-be inamorato's father, the General. When the General finds she is the artless, simple girl that she appears and not the creature of his frankly heartless imaginings of her, he thrusts her - but I leave the event to your fevered, no doubt Gothick, even, imagination to determine
A deliberate parody of the horrific strand in popular culture, as Jane Austen no doubt herself would observe if she could see the burgeoning cult of the Undead in Unliterary culture - It is as if Northanger Abbey had never been written! Hear it and laugh.
The extraordinary child-adult Prince Myshkin, confined for several years in a Swiss sanatorium suffering from severe epilepsy, returns to Russia to claim his inheritance and to find a place in healthy human society. The teeming St Petersburg community he enters is far from receptive to an innocent like himself, despite some early successes and relentless pursuit by grotesque fortune-hunters. His naive gaucheries give rise to extreme reactions among his new acquaintance, ranging from anguished protectiveness to mockery and contempt. But even before reaching the city, during the memorable train journey that opens the novel, he has encountered the demonic Rogozhin, the son of a wealthy merchant – who is in thrall to the equally doomed Nastasia Filippovna: beautiful, capricious and destructively neurotic, she joins with the two weirdly contrasted men in a spiraling dance of death…
Bleak house is one of Dickens finest achievements. It was written for serialisation in 1853 when Dickens was at the peak of his career. Monthly sales substantially exceeded his previous bestseller David Copperfield.
Dickens' mastery of the English language comes to the fore in this book. It is an energetic book: a complex mystery story revolving around the heroine Esther Summerson and her path from childhood to marriage. During the course of Esther’s narration Dickens introduces some wonderful and unforgettable characters, and at the same time provides a searing indictment of the laws’ corruption and self-serving interests which prevailed during that time. He pokes fun at the languid and landed aristocracy and questions the societal indifference to the poor. Detection, black comedy, farce, and tragic ruin run through the story. Critics at the time were unenthusiastic but the public were enthralled by it!
Ayn Rand is best known for her classics Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. One of her earlier works, Anthem, is a dystopian vision of a world in which “self” has been abolished and people have become nothing more than parts of a greater “collective.” Rooted in her own experiences fleeing from the communist Russia of the 1920’s, as well as the rise of fascism in Italy and National Socialism in Germany, Rand wrote Anthem as a warning to all concerned with losing personal identity in an ever changing and rapidly developing world
One of the great literary tragedies of all time, The Hunchback of Notre Dame features some of the most well-known characters in all of fiction - Quasimodo, the hideously deformed bellringer of Notre-Dame de Paris, his master the evil priest Claude Frollo, and Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy condemned for a crime she did not commit.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The book was first published in February 1905 by McClure, Phillips & Co. (New York) then on March 7, 1905 by Georges Newnes, Ltd. (London) and was the first Holmes collection since 1893, when Holmes had "died" in The Final Problem. Having published The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901–1902 (setting it before Holmes' death) Doyle came under intense pressure to revive his famous character.
The first story is set in 1894 and has Holmes returning in London and explaining the period from 1891–94, a period called "The Great Hiatus" by Sherlockian enthusiasts. Also of note is Watson's statement in the last story of the cycle that Holmes has retired, and forbids him to publish any more stories.
Mr Pickwick, founder of the Pickwick Club, sets out with his three friends, Tupman, Snodgrass, and Winkle, to observe the world. They intend to travel to places in England remote from London, and observe their findings which they send back to the Club. In their journeys, they continually get themselves into all sorts of difficult but comical situations, from which they must extricate themselves, often with the assistance of Mr Pickwick's personal servant, Sam Weller.
"Swann's Way" is the first of the seven parts of Marcel Proust's great autobiographical novel "In Search of Lost Time." From the very first page the reader is drawn into the many facets of memory, memory as prompted by all the human senses. "Swann's Way (Du côté de chez Swann, sometimes translated as The Way by Swann's) (1913) was rejected by a number of publishers, including Fasquelle, Ollendorff, and the Nouvelle Revue Française (NRF). André Gide was famously given the manuscript to read to advise NRF on publication, and leafing through the seemingly endless collection of memories and philosophizing or melancholic episodes, came across a few minor syntactic errors, which made him decide to turn the work down in his audit. Proust eventually arranged with the publisher Grasset to pay the cost of publication himself. When published it was advertised as the first of a three-volume novel (Bouillaguet and Rogers, 316-7). Du côté de chez Swann is divided into four parts: "Combray I" (sometimes referred to in English as the "Overture"), "Combray II," "Un Amour de Swann," and "Noms de pays: le nom." ('Names of places: the name'). A third-person novella within Du côté de chez Swann, "Un Amour de Swann" is sometimes published as a volume by itself. As it forms the self-contained story of Charles Swann's love affair with Odette de Crécy and is relatively short, it is generally considered a good introduction to the work and is often a set text in French schools. "Combray I" is also similarly excerpted; it ends with the famous madeleine cake episode, introducing the theme of involuntary memory. In early 1914, André Gide, who had been involved in NRF's rejection of the book, wrote to Proust to apologize and to offer congratulations on the novel. "For several days I have been unable to put your book down.... The rejection of this book will remain the most serious mistake ever made by the NRF and, since I bear the shame of being very much responsible for it, one of the most stinging and remorseful regrets of my life."
H. G. Wells
In 1896 HG Wells produced the Island of Doctor Moreau. After a fateful shipwreck, a chance rescue, and offer of safe harbor, Edward Prendick must contend with a dark science. A man of science, Prendick must wrestle with the ethics of its passions. His inner struggle is illuminated by the island's outward horrors. Central to the themes are ethics, principles, and the extent of human compassion. This science fiction icon argues the true question of science: Could the cure be more dangerous than the disease?
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
A mentally unstable genius, Victor Frankenstein, inspired by the dreams of ancient alchemists and empowered by modern science, creates a humanoid but fails to nurture and educate it after it comes to life. It wanders alone into a hostile world, where fear of its size and ugliness subjects it to violence and ostracism, which in time it learns to blame upon its maker. As compensation for its suffering, it demands that he create a companion with whom to share its outcast life. Moved by the creature's account of its sufferings, the scientist agrees, but a long period of procrastination awakens doubts that ultimately cause him to break his promise. In retaliation, the creature begins a campaign of vengeance. Although its serious crimes are limited to those which will wound his maker's heart, Victor imagines much more widespread harm, supposing the human race itself to be the creature's intended victim. There then follows a chase into the frozen north, which the creature prolongs so as to destroy his pursuer by exposure and exhaustion.This story, narrated by Victor, forms a frame surrounding the creature's tale of its wanderings, education, and unhappy encounters with human beings. Victor's narrative is itself framed within a series of letters written by the young mariner who rescues him from an iceberg while engaged in his own ambitious scientific endeavor, searching for the North Pole.
This novel was begun while the author and her lover, Percy Shelley, were in hiding from her father and Percy's wife on the shores of Lake Geneva, where they were the frequent house guests of Lord Byron. The young people all began to write "ghost" stories, but only Mary's was destined to enjoy success. The novel was published in 1818. Percy contributed a preface and later made extensive emendations. After his death Mary herself thoroughly revised the text and published it again in 1831. This is the text read in this project.
In "An Anonymous Story," Chekhov continues to explore his favorite themes of superfluous men, ironic rakes, exploited women, and the dangers of social conventions to human happiness. The Anonymous Narrator is a feckless, would-be revolutionary who gets himself hired on as a flunky in the household of the young useless aristocrat Orlov, hoping to spy out some useful information for the Cause. Orlov seduces the beautiful Zinaida Fyodorovna away from her husband but quickly tires of her. The Narrator, another in the long line of Russian literary superfluous men, allows Orlov to use him to deceive Zinaida Fyodorovna, hating himself for it all the while. In the end he does his weak best to rescue the spurned mistress and her newborn child from their sufferings. Chekhov's subtle sympathy for the women victimized by conventional marriage is demonstrated in his narration of Zinaida Fyodorovna's tragic unraveling, ending in a masterful final chapter of heartbreaking ambiguity.
Possibly Wilkie Collins' most famous novel, The Woman In White remade the Gothic Horror novel by taking its characters and tropes and setting them in commonplace surroundings among "people like us", Featuring unforgettable characters such as the incomparable Count Fosco and the redoubtable Marion Halcombe (a woman for whom male Victorian readers politely inquired of Wilkie the address as they wanted to marry her), The Woman In White with its compassionate treatment of those suffering mental distress ought to be credited with having put the cause of mental health care a hundred years ahead - had not Jane Eyre with its madwoman in the attic been generally credited with the reverse. Read it for the female doubling central plot device alone - a rare feature in the writing of men about women.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.