This is volume 3 of 4.
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (or, more briefly, Tristram Shandy) is a novel by Laurence Sterne. It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759, and seven others following over the next 10 years. It was not always held in high esteem by other writers (Samuel Johnson responded that, "Nothing odd can last"), but its bawdy humour was popular with London society, and it has come to be seen as one of the greatest comic novels in English, as well as a forerunner for many modern narrative devices.
More, Thomas, Sir
This book is all about the fictional country called Utopia. It is a country with an ‘ideal’ form of communism, in which everything really does belong to everybody, everyone does the work they want to, and everyone is alright with that. This country uses gold for chamber pots and prison chains, pearls and diamonds for children’s playthings, and requires that a man and a woman see each other exactly as they are, naked, before getting married. This book gave the word 'utopia' the meaning of a perfect society, while the Greek word actually means ‘no place’. Enjoy listening to this story about a country that really is too good to be true.
Troyes, Chrétien de
A medieval romance in which Eric goes through many trials until he is sure of Enide's loyalty and true love.
Published in 1766 'The Vicar of Wakefield' was Oliver Goldsmith's only novel. It was thought to have been sold to the publisher for £60 on Oliver Goldsmith's behalf by Dr Johnson to enable Goldsmith to pay off outstanding rent and to release himself from his landlady's arrest.
It is the story of the family of Dr Primrose, a benevolent vicar, and follows them through their fall from fortune and their ultimate rise again. The story provides insight into family life and circumstances in the mid 18th century and the plot has many aspects of a pantomime like quality: Impersonation, deception, an aristocratic villain and the abduction of a beautiful heroine.
Goldsmith himself dissipated his savings on gambling whilst a student at Trinity College Dublin and subsequently travelled in Europe sustaining himself by playing the flute and disputing doctrinal matters in monasteries and universities. Later he worked as an apothecary's assistant, a doctor and a school usher (experiences shared in this story by Dr Primrose's son).
I am Roderick Random. This is the contemporary story of my struggle against the adversity of orphan-hood, poverty, press gangs, bloody duels, rival fortune hunters, and the challenge to be well-dressed through it all. In the course of recounting my adventures to you, dear reader, I will give you a front row seat to the characters of English eighteenth century life including highway robbers, womanizing monks, debt-laden gallants, lecherous corrupt officials, effeminate sea captains, bloodthirsty surgeons, and my dear friend Miss Williams, a reformed prostitute. Educated in the classics, armed with a confident conscientious attitude and my long-suffering sidekick, Strap, I fight the good fight staying, on the whole, morally upstanding throughout. Today, if there be such a thing as true happiness on earth, I enjoy it -- and without having spent a fortune on college either. After hearing me out, I expect you'll be as wonderfully transported as one dear wealthy gentleman who listened to my whole story and then blessed God for the adversity I had undergone, which, he said, enlarged the understanding, improved the heart, steeled the constitution, and qualified a young man for all the duties and enjoyments of life much better than any education which affluence could bestow
Brown, Charles Brockden
Arthur Mervyn is the story of a young man from the country who arrives in a city stricken with Yellow Fever. He soon comes down with the illness and is rescued by a kindly doctor. Arthur tells the doctor and his wife the story of his life, thereby gaining the doctor’s confidence and good will. However, others familiar with Arthur tell another tale, and the doctor’s as well as the reader’s confidence in Arthur is shaken. Brown, who himself contracted Yellow Fever during an outbreak in New York City, vividly describes the horrors of the disease and its effects on an early American city.
Sir Francis Bacon
"Now I suppose most people will think I am but entertaining myself with a toy, and using much the same kind of licence in expounding the poets’ fables which the poets themselves did in inventing them; and it is true that if I had a mind to vary and relieve my severer studies with some such exercise of pleasure for my own or my reader’s recreation, I might very fairly indulge in it. But that is not my meaning. Not but that I know very well what pliant stuff fable is made of, how freely it will follow any way you please to draw it, and how easily with a little dexterity and discourse of wit meanings which it was never meant to bear may be plausibly put upon it. Neither have I forgotten that there has been old abuse of the thing in practice; that many, wishing only to gain the sanction and reverence of antiquity for doctrines and inventions of their own, have tried to twist the fables of the poets into that sense; and that this is neither a modern vanity nor a rare one, but old of standing and frequent in use; that Chrysippus long ago, interpreting the oldest poets after the manner of an interpreter of dreams, made them out to be Stoics; and that the Alchemists more absurdly still have discovered in the pleasant and sportive fictions of the transformation of bodies, allusion to experiments of the furnace."
The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari) is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first romance novel, or the first novel to still be considered a classic... The Genji was written for the women of the aristocracy (the yokibito) and has many elements found in a modern novel: a central character and a very large number of major and minor characters, well-developed characterization of all the major players, a sequence of events happening over a period of time covering the central character's lifetime and beyond. The work does not make use of a plot; instead, much as in real life, events just happen and characters evolve simply by growing older. One remarkable feature of the Genji, and of Murasaki's skill, is its internal consistency, despite a dramatis personae of some four hundred characters. For instance, all characters age in step and all the family and feudal relationships are consistent among all chapters. NOTE: this is a highly condensed version of the text, running to just under 200 pages, whereas the original is nearly 1000 pages long!
Published in 1731, Manon Lescaut (on which the Puccini opera is based) takes as its themes passionate, tragic love, and redemption through suffering. It is the story of the Chevalier des Grieux, a student, who sees Manon as she is being taken to a convent, and instantly falls in love with her. He offers to save her from the convent, and the two young lovers run away to Paris. There follow many adventures and tribulations, throughout which the Chevalier remains steadfastly loyal to his love. summary by Mary Bard
Volume II continues the story of the fortunes and misfortunes of the egotistical dandy Peregrine Pickle. The novel is written as a series of adventures, with every chapter typically describing a new adventure. There is also a very long independent story, "The Memoirs of a Lady of Quality", written by Frances Vane, Viscountess Vane, inside the novel. Frances Vane, Viscountess Vane (1715 - 1788), known as Lady Fanny, was a British memoirist known for her highly public adulterous relationships. (Wikipedia )
The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle is a picaresque novel by the Scottish author Tobias Smollett (1721 – 1771), first published in 1751, and revised and reissued in 1758. It is the story of the fortunes and misfortunes of the egotistical dandy Peregrine Pickle, and it provides a comic and caustic portrayal of 18th century European society.
This book, the fiend’s delight, was published in 1873, during the lifetime of author Ambrose Bierce, 1842-1914, pseudonym Dod Grile.It is a collection of short stories which cover many subjects. Dependent upon the reader the stories may seem callous, entertaining or some of the stories even just weird. The author has been known to have a penchant for being macabre as some of his works have displayed. Ambrose Bierce served in the Civil War so he did have personal experience with having seen just how horrid some lives were. He also had a family: a wife whom he divorced in 1904 and 3 children, 2 sons and a daughter. Difficult times followed for him as the sons died before Ambrose died, with his ex wife dying 1 year after their divorce. Ambrose himself was known to have had lifelong asthma & brain injuries from the war which caused him to faint & become irritable. His daughter did live 65 years, dying in 1940. She spent time searching for her father, whom she did not think was dead. Possibly his family is why some of his writings were not so macabre? Unfortunately that answer is not known.Leaving to visit his civil war grounds had him traveling into Mexico were there was revolution in 1913. There he joined Pancho Villa’s army as an observer where he disappeared. Many theories existed as to how his disappearance happened, most of which were unreliable. It was determined his final fate was unknown & referred to as a mystery.April Reynolds
Eliza, Mary's mother, is obsessed with novels, rarely considers anyone but herself, and favours Mary's brother. She neglects her daughter, who educates herself using only books and the natural world. Ignored by her family, Mary devotes much of her time to charity. When her brother suddenly dies, leaving Mary heir to the family's fortune, her mother finally takes an interest in her; she is taught "accomplishments", such as dancing, that will attract suitors. However, Mary's mother soon sickens and requests on her deathbed that Mary wed Charles, a wealthy man she has never met. Stunned and unable to refuse, Mary agrees. Immediately after the ceremony, Charles departs for the Continent.
Mary: A Fiction, published in 1788, is a tragic story that decries marriages not based on love. It can be considered an example of feminist fiction.
Mary's parents are in a loveless marriage. As the second-born, female child, she is neglected; her education is self-directed from books, nature, and her own inclinations. Her inclinations, however, are towards genius and religion. Mary becomes the heiress of her parents' fortune when her brother dies. To keep the family property together due to litigation, her parents marry her to a boy she has never met. After the ceremony, he goes to the Continent, and Mary devotes herself to her weak, sickly friend, Ann.
She is disgusted with the thought of living with her husband - a weak, shallow man. Strong love for Ann, love for a "better" man, religion, and benevolence support Mary through a life on the run from conventional duty.
You can call me Dr. Fathom. Or Count Fathom. But I'm not who I say I am. And can you blame me? My mother was a soldiers' harlot who pocketed extra loot by wandering through the battlefield stripping the dead and dying of valuables. I don't even know who my father was, except he must have had my handsome looks. People liked looking at me. And people liked how I talked too. Early on, I learned that telling the truth didn't get you the same quick reward as telling them what they wanted to hear, being assiduously charming, dissimulating. In a word, lying. I became good at it. And I became the favorite of a rich Hungarian count who took me in and coaxed his pathetically naïve son to look up to me and learn to be like me. Ha! How I wanted to sell my soul to trade places with Renaldo! I wanted his money. I wanted his beautiful life. I wanted his beautiful wife -- at least for an extra notch on my belt. This is the story of how I went about achieving those things. It was easy, especially at first. Because, to tell the truth, people secretly yearn for tall tales.
Hannah Webster Foster
The classic early American epistolary novel about the seduction and ruin of a passionate young woman. Based on the true story of Elizabeth Whitman, whose lonesome death in childbirth in a Connecticut inn sparked widespread discussion and outrage, the novel went through many editions and innumerable printings in the century after its initial publication in 1797.
Betsy Thoughtless is about an intelligent and strong-willed woman who marries under pressure from the society in which she lives. Betsy learns that sometimes giving way to the role of women within a marriage can at times be fulfilling. This is the fourth and final volume in this series. Does she get her man you will have to listen and find out. ( Michele Eaton)
Marguerite of Navarre
THE HEPTAMERON (here Volume 4 of 5), first published posthumously in 1558, is divided into seven complete days containing 10 stories each, and an eighth day containing only 2 stories. The stories, many of which deal with love and infidelity, resulted in "accusations of looseness" by critics of the day. The author, Margaret of Navarre (also known as Margaret of Angoulême) became an influential woman in the intellectual and cultural circles of the French Renaissance.
From an 1892 essay by the translator George Saintsbury: "In so large a number of stories with so great a variety of subjects, it naturally cannot but be the case that there is a considerable diversity of tone. But that peculiarity at which we have glanced more than once, the combination of voluptuous passion with passionate regret and a mystical devotion, is seldom absent for long together...The question, What is the special virtue of the Heptameron? I have myself little hesitation in answering. There is no book, in prose and of so early a date, which shows to me the characteristic of the time as it influenced the two great literary nations of Europe so distinctly as this book of Margaret of Angoulême…"
Utopian novel by Sarah Scott, published in 1762 describes women living in complete harmony
A story of love and adventure, following the fortunes of a young man and woman each trying to make their way in the wide world. Horatio and Louisa are twins, abandoned in infancy and adopted by a wealthy bachelor. For various reasons both leave his protection and set off independently: Plucky and determined Louisa must defend her virtue and make her way in a man’s world, and her spirited brother seeks his fortune in the army. This energetic narrative gallops from city to court, from battlefield to convent, and across a number of European countries. Written in 1744 (when the novel was just emerging as a form) by actress and prolific author Eliza Haywood, this is an eighteenth century rollercoaster - action packed, passionate, melodramatic, and often unashamedly sentimental.