Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
The Sorrows of Young Werther (German, Die Leiden des jungen Werther, originally published as Die Leiden des jungen Werthers) is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774. The story follows the life and sorrows of Werther after he falls desperately in love with a young woman who is married to another. A climactic scene prominently features Goethe's own German translation of a portion of James Macpherson's Ossian cycle of poems, which had originally been presented as translations of ancient works, and was later found to have been written by Macpherson.
Jane Austen demonstrated her mastery of the epistolary novel genre in Lady Susan, which she wrote in 1795 but never published. Although the primary focus of this short novel is the selfish behavior of Lady Susan as she engages in affairs and searches for suitable husbands for herself and her young daughter, the actual action shares its importance with Austen’s manipulation of her characters' behavior by means of their reactions to the letters that they receive. The heroine adds additional interest by altering the tone of her own letters based on the recipient of the letter. Thus, the character of Lady Susan is developed through many branches as Austen suggests complications of identity and the way in which that identity is based on interaction rather than on solitary constructions of personality.
Love and Freindship [sic] is a juvenile story by Jane Austen, dated 1790, when Austen was 14 years old. Love and Freindship (the misspelling is one of many in the story) is clearly a parody of romantic novels Austen read as a child. This is clear even from the subtitle, "Deceived in Freindship and Betrayed in Love," which neatly undercuts the title.
Written in epistolary form, it resembles a fairy tale as much as anything else, featuring wild coincidences and turns of fortune, but Austen is determined to lampoon the conventions of romantic stories, right down to the utter failure of romantic fainting spells, which always turn out dreadfully for the female characters.
In this story one can see the development of Austen's sharp wit and disdain for romantic sensibility, so characteristic of her later novels.
Lorimer, George Horace
Being the Letters written by John Graham, Head of the House of Graham and Company, Pork-Packers in Chicago, familiarly known on 'Change as "Old Gorgon Graham," to his Son, Pierrepont, facetiously known to his intimates as "Piggy." George Horace Lorimer was an American journalist and author. He is best known as the editor of The Saturday Evening Post.
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson, published in 1748. It tells the tragic story of a heroine whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family, and is the longest real novel in the English language.
Balzac, Honoré de
Letters of Two Brides is an epistolary novel. The two brides are Louise de Chaulieu (Madame Gaston) and Renée de Maucombe (Madame l'Estorade). The women became friends during their education at a convent and upon leaving began a life-long correspondence. For a 17 year period, they exchange letters describing their lives.
The church has lost out on a valuable piece of land through wars and transfers. Father Benwell is determined to reclaim that property by the conversion of the owner, Lewis Romayne. Enter beautiful Stella, who captures the heart of Romayne. Should Stella capture the love and devotion of Romayne, Father Benwell's scheme would fail, and that is something that he can not allow. Complicating things is the fact that both Romayne and Stella are hiding their own terrible secrets.
The Black Robe is an 1881 epistolary novel by famed English writer, Wilkie Collins. The book centers around the misadventures of Lewis Romayne, and is also noted for a perceived anti-Catholic bias
This satire on the U.S.A.'s myth of being the "Home of the Oppressed, where all men are free and equal", is unrelenting in its pursuit of justice through exposure. It draws a scathingly shameful portrait of how Chinese immigrants were treated in 19th century San Francisco.
Wiggin, Kate Douglas
Penelope's English Experiences is a fictional travelogue, which documents the experiences of three American ladies on a visit to England. Included are scenes in London and the village of Belvern, containing fanciful sketches of a West-end ball, portraits of domestic originals, etc., characterized by humorous trifling and droll exaggeration of English traits. By the author Mother Carey's Chickens, A Cathedral Courtship, etc.
Clarissa Harlowe, the tragic heroine of Clarissa, is a beautiful and virtuous young lady whose family has become very wealthy only in recent years and is now eager to become part of the aristocracy by acquiring estates and titles through advantageous pairings. Clarissa's relatives attempt to force her to marry a rich but heartless man (Roger Solmes) against her will and, more importantly, against her own sense of virtue. Desperate to remain free, she is tricked by a young gentleman of her acquaintance, Lovelace, into escaping with him. However, she refuses to marry him, longing — unusual for a girl in her time — to live by herself in peace.
Jane Austen demonstrated her mastery of the epistolary novel genre in Lady Susan, which she wrote in 1795 but never published. Although the primary focus of this short novel is the selfish behavior of Lady Susan as she engages in affairs and searches for suitable husbands for herself and her young daughter, the actual action shares its importance with Austen’s manipulation of her characters' behavior by means of their reactions to the letters that they receive. The heroine adds additional interest by altering the tone of her own letters based on the recipient of the letter. Thus, the character of Lady Susan is developed through many branches as Austen suggests complications of identity and the way in which that identity is based on interaction rather than on solitary constructions of personality. Lady Susan’s character is also built by the descriptions of the other letter-writers; but even though their opinions of this heroine coincide with the image that develops from her own letters, Austen demonstrates the subjectivity of the opinions by presenting them – primarily – in the letters of one woman to another, thereby suggesting the established literary motifs of feminine gossip and jealousy. Readers recognize these subjective motifs and examine all of the idiosyncrasies of the characters in order to create their own opinion of Lady Susan – as they would of any real acquaintance.
"Now first published in order to cultivate the Principles of Virtue and Religion in the Minds of the Youth of Both Sexes.
A Narrative which has its Foundation in Truth and Nature; and at the same time that it agreeably entertains, by a Variety of curious and affecting Incidents, is intirely divested of all those Images, which, in too many Pieces calculated for Amusement only, tend to inflame the Minds they should instruct."(From the frontspiece of the first edition)
Pamela tells the story of a 14 year old lady's maid named Pamela whose master, Mr. B., makes unwanted advances towards her. She rejects him continually. In Pamela's letters to her "poor but exemplary parents" the story unfolds and we learn her fate.
Dear Enemy is the sequel to Jean Webster's novel Daddy-Long-Legs. The story as presented in a series of letters written by Sallie McBride, Judy Abbott's college mate in Daddy-Long-Legs. Among the recipients of the letters are the president of the orphanage where Sallie is filling in until a new director can be installed, his wife (Judy Abbott of Daddy-Long-Legs), and the orphanage's doctor (to whom Sallie addresses her letters: "Dear Enemy").
Lucian of Samosata
The endeavour of small Greek historians to add interest to their work by magnifying the exploits of their countrymen, and piling wonder upon wonder, Lucian first condemned in his Instructions for Writing History, and then caricatured in his True History, wherein is contained the account of a trip to the moon, a piece which must have been enjoyed by Rabelais, which suggested to Cyrano de Bergerac his Voyages to the Moon and to the Sun, and insensibly contributed, perhaps, directly or through Bergerac, to the conception of Gulliver’s Travels. The Icaro-Menippus Dialogue describes another trip to the moon, though its satire is more especially directed against the philosophers.