Little Dorrit, one of the three great novels of Charles Dickens’ last period, was produced in monthly installments from 1855 to 1857, and is considered one of his most profound. Dickens’ father spent three months in Marshalsea Prison for debt, which made a lasting impact on his life. This story centers around life in Marshalsea Prison and, as always, society in general.
Book One begins in the infamous Marseilles Prison in France, where two prisoners, Rigaud the French rogue and the ever cheerful Italian Cavaletto, share a cell. We meet them again later, but the scene shifts quickly to the English debtor’s prison, The Marshalsea, where Mr. Dorrit is confined. His daughter Amy is born there, the only baby ever born in that prison. Tiny as a baby, she grows into a sweet-natured tiny adult, better known as “Little Dorrit.” The other inmates love and respect the child and the caring woman she becomes. Mr. Dorrit is also revered by them, and as the inmate with the longest term of imprisonment, he becomes “Father of the Marshalsea.”
Enter Arthur Clennam, who meets Mr. Dorrit and Amy. He notes that she takes care of her father’s every need, and also cooks, cleans, and mends the clothes of her older siblings. Arthur suspects that Dorrit was wrongly imprisoned, and begins investigating the case, which may involve his own family as well.
In Book Two, Mr. Dorrit has been freed, and his family begins a new life. Arthur Clennam, now a dear friend of Little Dorrit, becomes partner with an engineer and inventor named Daniel Doyce, but a surprising event occurs which puts Arthur into prison. The twists and turns of fortune for himself, the Dorrit family and many others are changed forever.
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
Also known as the "Roman Elegies," Erotica Romana is von Goethe's literary tribute to human sexuality and eroticism. Written in 24 elegies to emulate classical Roman elegy writers such as Tibullus, Propertius, and Catullus, von Goethe creates a lyrical work of art that has often been subject to censorship.
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 1880-1881 and then as a book in 1881. It 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 mostly in Europe, notably England and Italy. Generally regarded as the masterpiece of his early phase of writing, this novel reflects James's absorbing interest in the differences between the New World and the Old. It also treats in a profound way the themes of personal freedom, responsibility, betrayal, and sexuality.
Jude the Obscure is the last of Thomas Hardy's novels, begun as a magazine serial and first published in book form in 1895. Its hero Jude Fawley is a lower-class young man who dreams of becoming a scholar. The two other main characters are his earthy wife, Arabella, and his intellectual cousin, Sue. Themes include class, scholarship, religion, marriage, and the modernization of thought and society. (from Wikipedia)
The Old Curiosity Shop tells the story of Little Nell, a beautiful and virtuous young girl who lives with her grandfather in his shop of curiosities. Her grandfather loves her dearly, and Nell does not complain, but she lives a lonely existence without friends of her own age. Her only friend is Kit, an honest young lad who works at the shop, and whom she is teaching to write. Unbeknownst to Nell, her grandfather is obsessed with their precarious financial position and is attempting to make Nell a good inheritance by winning at cards. He keeps these nocturnal activities a secret, but borrows heavily from the evil Quilp, a dwarf, in order to raise new capital. In the end, he gambles away what little money they own, and Quilp seizes the opportunity to take possession of the shop and make Nell's and her grandfather's lives a misery. Indeed, her grandfather suffers a breakdown, which leaves him bereft of his wits. Courageously, Nell decides to escape Quilp, and she and her grandfather run away to the country to live as beggars, travelling into the Midlands of England.
There, then, follow the multifarious adventures of Nell and her grandfather, Quilp and his sly minions and accomplices, who would be Nell's vehement pursuers throughout the entire story, the noble schoolmaster, and many, many other personages as bright and memorable as Dickens' heroes always are. But... let us hear the story itself, shan't we?
(Description from Wikipedia with additions by Euthymius)
Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) is Thomas Hardy's fourth novel and offers in ample measure the details of English rural life that Hardy so relished. Hardy's growing taste for tragedy is also evident in the novel. It first appeared, anonymously, as a monthly magazine serial, where it gained a wide readership and critical acclaim. According to Virginia Woolf, "The subject was right; the method was right; the poet and the countryman, the sensual man, the sombre reflective man, the man of learning, all enlisted to produce a book which . . . must hold its place among the great English novels." The book is often regarded as an early piece of feminist literature, since it features an independent woman with the courage to defy convention by running a farm herself. Although Bathsheba's passionate nature leads her into serious errors of judgment, Hardy endows her with sufficient resilience, intelligence, and good luck to overcome her youthful folly.
Far From The Madding Crowd is Hardys fourth novel.It centres on the lives of five characters,Gabriel Oak,Bathsheba Everdene,Mr Boldwood,Sgt.Troy and Fanny Robin.The plot involves love,loyalty,death and betrayal and all this is delivered to us in Hardys most eloquent prose.The images of character and nature are painted for our minds eye with sublime style.Finally,but not least, Hardys use of the Greek chorus is unsurpassed in injecting comedy and nudging the story along.
The play begins years after Oedipus has taken the throne of Thebes. The Theban chorus cries out to him for salvation from the plague sent by the gods in response to Laius's murder. Oedipus searches for the murderer, unaware that he himself is guilty of that crime.
The blind prophet Teiresias is called upon to aid the search, but, after his warning against following through with it, Oedipus oppugns him as the murderer, even though he is blind and aged. In response, an angry Tiresias tells Oedipus that he is looking for himself, causing the king to become enraged in incredulity. He then accuses the prophet of conspiring with Creon, Jocasta's brother, to overthrow him.
Oedipus calls for one of Laius's former servants, the only surviving witness of the murder, who fled the city when Oedipus became king in order to avoid being the one to reveal the truth. Soon a messenger from Corinth arrives to inform the king of the death of Polybus, whom Oedipus still believes to be his real father. At this point, the messenger informs him that he was in fact adopted and that his true parentage is unknown. In the subsequent discussions between Oedipus, Jocasta, the servant and the messenger, the second-mentioned surmises the truth and runs away in shame.
Martin Eden (1909) is a novel by American author Jack London, about a struggling young writer. It was first serialized in the Pacific Monthly magazine from September 1908 to September 1909, and subsequently published in book form by The Macmillan Company in September 1909.
This book is a favorite among writers, who relate to Martin Eden's speculation that when he mailed off a manuscript, 'there was no human editor at the other end, but a mere cunning arrangement of cogs that changed the manuscript from one envelope to another and stuck on the stamps,' returning it automatically with a rejection slip.
While some readers believe there is some resemblance between them, an important difference between Jack London and Martin Eden is that Martin Eden rejects socialism (attacking it as 'slave morality'), and relies on a Nietzschean individualism. In a note to Upton Sinclair, Jack London wrote, "One of my motifs, in this book, was an attack on individualism (in the person of the hero). I must have bungled, for not a single reviewer has discovered it."
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.
Silas Marner (originally published in 1861): Betrayed by a beloved friend and accused of a crime he didn’t commit, awkward Silas Marner is expelled from his beloved religious community — the only community he has ever known. He exiles himself in the remote village of Raveloe. Friendless and without family, set apart from the villagers by their superstition and fear of him, he plies his weaving trade day after day, storing up gold which becomes his idol. When his gold is stolen, he is rescued from despair by the arrival on his lonely hearth of a beautiful little girl, whom he adopts, and through whom he and the other people of the village learn that loving relationships are more fulfilling than material wealth.
Daisy Miller is an 1878 novella by Henry James. It portrays the confused courtship of the eponymous American girl by Winterbourne, a compatriot of hers with much more sophistication. His pursuit of her is hampered by her own flirtatiousness, which is frowned upon by the other expatriates they meet in Switzerland and Italy. Her lack of understanding of the social mores of the society she so desperately wishes to enter ultimately leads to tragedy.
The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) is a tragic novel by English author Thomas Hardy subtitled, "The Life and Death of a Man of Character". It is set in the fictional town of Casterbridge (based on the town of Dorchester in Dorset). The book is one of Hardy's Wessex novels, all set in a fictional rustic England. (Wikipedia)A poor, disgruntled, drunken young man sells his wife and child to the highest bidder. When he awakens, sober, the next day he regrets his rash act and vows to give up drink and find his family and bring them home. Eventually he is forced to give up the search and move on with his life. He does this quite successfully until, nearly 20 years later, his past comes back to haunt him.
Irritated and drunken, an itinerant farm-worker sells his wife and child to a stranger. Thus begins The Mayor of Casterbridge, set in rural and small-town England in the mid-1800s. In the original subtitle, Hardy called this the story of "a man of character," and the central character, Michael Henchard, is one of English fiction's greatest creations. Henchard is deeply developed as a realistic character, but also larger-than-life in the manner of a Greek or Shakespearean tragic hero — huge in his determination and huge in his failings. The novel deals with the struggles between individual will, the hold of the past, and the relentless control of circumstances in a changing society.
Old miser Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a major transformation after being visited by his deceased colleague Jacob Marley, who warns him to change his ways and has three spirits visit him on the night of Christmas Eve.
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.
Hedda Gabler is a play first published in 1890 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. In it, Hedda Gabler, daughter of an aristocratic General, has just returned from her honeymoon with George Tesman, an aspiring young academic, reliable but not brilliant, who has combined research with their honeymoon. The reappearance of Tesman's academic rival, Eilert Lovborg, throws their lives into disarray.
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.
Volunteers bring you 8 recordings of To Autumn by John Keats. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for November 21st, 2010.
To Autumn" is the final work in a group of poems known as Keats's "1819 odes".
He composed "To Autumn" after a walk near Winchester one autumnal evening. The work marks the end of his poetic career as he needed to earn money and could no longer devote himself to the lifestyle of a poet. A little over a year following the publication of "To Autumn", Keats died in Rome.
"To Autumn" has been regarded by critics as one of the most perfect short poems in the English language and it is one of the most anthologised English lyric poems.
The Man Who Would Be King tells the story of two British adventurers in British India who become kings of Kafiristan, a remote part of Afghanistan. It was inspired by the exploits of James Brooke, an Englishman who became the "white Raja" of Sarawak in Borneo, and by the travels of American adventurer Josiah Harlan, who claimed the title Prince of Ghor.
The story was first published in The Phantom Rickshaw and other Tales (Volume Five of the Indian Railway Library, published by A H Wheeler and Co of Allahabad in 1888). It also appeared in Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories in 1895, and in numerous later editions of that collection.
It is the basis for John Huston’s 1975 film of the same name, starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine as the "kings", and Christopher Plummer as Kipling.
An autobiographical short story written in 1898 and included as the first story in the 1902 volume Youth, a Narrative, and Two Other Stories. This volume also includes Heart of Darkness and The End of the Tether, which are concerned with maturity and old age, respectively. "Youth" is narrated by Charles Marlow who is also the narrator of Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Chance. Youth depicts his first journey to the East."
Like all of Hardy's work, The Return of the Native (1878) is passionate and controversial, with themes and sympathies beyond what a good Victorian would ever admit. A modern and honest novel of chance and choice, faith and infidelities, this dark story asks what is free will and what is fate? What is the true nature of nature, and how do we fit together? Can we fit together?
A tragedy set in the barren land of Edgon Heath. Our heroine, Eustacia, is proud, passionate, cruel, fickle, avaricious, and desperate. She burns every life she touches, never able to find the mad love and exotic world she dreams of. Our supposed hero, Clym, is modest, steady, plain, moral, and dutiful. He is satisfied returning from Paris to the simple comfort of home.
When they come together, the Heath will come apart.
Originally released as five books, in classic tragic form, a sixth, tacking on a 'happy ending', was added by editor and public pressure.
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.
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de
Don Quixote is an early novel written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Cervantes created a fictional origin for the story in the character of the Morisco historian, Cide Hamete Benengeli, whom he claims to have hired to translate the story from an Arabic manuscript he found in Toledo's bedraggled old Jewish quarter.
The protagonist, Alonso Quixano, is a minor landowner who has read so many stories of chivalry that he descends into fantasy and becomes convinced he is a knight errant. Together with his companion Sancho Panza, the self-styled Don Quixote de la Mancha sets out in search of adventures. His "lady" is Dulcinea del Toboso, an imaginary object of his courtly love crafted from a neighbouring farmgirl by the illusion-struck "knight" (her real name is Aldonza Lorenzo, and she is totally unaware of his feelings for her. In addition, she never actually appears in the novel).
Published in two volumes a decade apart, Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature to emerge from the Spanish Golden Age and perhaps the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, it regularly appears at or near the top of lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published.
Carol Milford is a liberal, free-spirited young woman, reared in the metropolis of Minneapolis. She marries Will Kennicott, a doctor, who is a small-town boy at heart. When they marry, Will convinces her to live in his home-town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota. Carol is appalled at the backwardness of Gopher Prairie. But her disdain for the town's physical ugliness and smug conservatism compels her to reform it.
Adam Bede, the first novel written by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans), was published in 1859. It was published pseudonymously, even though Evans was a well-published and highly respected scholar of her time. The novel has remained in print ever since, and is used in university studies of 19th century English literature.
The story's plot follows four characters rural lives in the fictional community of Hayslope—a rural, pastoral and close-knit community in 1799. The novel revolves around a love triangle between beautiful but thoughtless Hetty Sorrel, Captain Arthur Donnithorne, the young squire who seduces her, Adam Bede, her unacknowledged lover, and Dinah Morris, Hetty's cousin, a fervent Methodist lay preacher.
An unsatisfied wife kills her weak husband in order to carry on a sordid affair with another man. However, her selfish plans are spoiled when her husband continues to
haunt her. This is often said to be Zola's first great novel.
Christopher "Kit" Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564?30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death.
The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean. The Jew of Malta is considered to have been a major influence on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.
The play contains a prologue in which the character Machiavel, a Senecan ghost based on Niccolò Machiavelli, introduces "the tragedy of a Jew."
One of the two Historical novels Charles Dickens wrote, Barnaby Rudge is set around the ‘Gordon’ riots in London in 1780. The story begins in 1775 with Barnaby, his Mother, and his talking Raven Grip, fleeing their home from a blackmailer, and going into hiding. Joe Willet similarly finds he must leave his home to escape his Father’s ire, leaving behind the woman he loves. Five years later these characters, and many others whose lives we have followed, find themselves caught up in the horrific Protestant rioting led by Sir George Gordon. The mob which reaches 100,000 strong, gets out of hand, and there is danger to all in the path of their destruction. Charles Dickens skillfully weaves the lives of his many loving and many wicked characters through the rioting, and shows how this uprising changes so many lives. As a side note, Edgar Allan Poe is said to have been inspired by Barnaby’s raven Grip when he wrote his famous poem,”The Raven”.
This crime novel was possibly the first to involve a 'locked room mystery', in which an attempted murder takes place, but with no obvious way for the perpetrator to have escaped. The author, Gaston Leroux, is better known as the author of The Phantom of the Opera: prepare to feel the hairs standing up on the back of your neck...
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).
Cather, Willa Sibert
O Pioneers! tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish immigrants in the farm country near Hanover, Nebraska, (a fictional town near Glenvil) around the turn of the 20th century. The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inherits the family farmland when her father dies, and she devotes her life to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time when other immigrant families are giving up and leaving the prairie. The novel also concerns two romantic relationships - one between Alexandra and family friend Carl Lindstrom, and another between Alexandra's brother Emil and the married Marie Shabata.
O Pioneers! tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of Swedish immigrants in the farm country near the fictional town of Hanover, Nebraska, at the turn of the 20th century. The main character, Alexandra Bergson, inherits the family farmland when her father dies, and she devotes her life to making the farm a viable enterprise at a time when other immigrant families are giving up and leaving the prairie. The novel is also concerned with two romantic relationships, one between Alexandra and family friend Carl Linstrum and another between Alexandra's brother Emil and the married Marie Shabata.
The story is one of only two novels by Wharton to be set in New England. The novel details the sexual awakening of its protagonist, Charity Royall, and shares many plot similarities with Wharton's better known novel, Ethan Frome. Only moderately well-received when originally published, Summer has had a resurgence in critical popularity since the 1960's.
The book tells the story of a young man named William Crimsworth. It describes his maturation, his loves and his eventual career as a professor at an all-girl's school.
The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales for my Children by Charles Kingsley is a collection of three Greek mythology stories: Perseus, The Argonauts, and Theseus. The author had a great fondness for Greek fairy tales and believed the adventures of the characters would inspire children to achieve higher goals with integrity.
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 1880-1881 and then as a book in 1881. It 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 mostly in Europe, notably England and Italy.
Generally regarded as the masterpiece of his early phase of writing, this novel reflects James's absorbing interest in the differences between the New World and the Old. It also treats in a profound way the themes of personal freedom, responsibility, betrayal, and sexuality.
Charlotte Temple, a cautionary tale for young women, follows the unfortunate adventures of the eponymous heroine as she is seduced by a dashing soldier, Montraville. Influenced by both her lover and an unruly teacher at her boarding school, she is persuaded to run away to America, where she is eventually abandoned by Montraville after he becomes bored, leaving her alone and pregnant. First published in England in 1791, it went on to become America's bestselling novel, only being ousted by Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
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.
When Beale and Ida Farange are divorced, the court decrees that their only child, the very young Maisie, will shuttle back and forth between them, spending six months of the year with each. The parents are immoral and frivolous, and they use Maisie to intensify their hatred of each other.
The Black Tulip, written by Alexandre Dumas père and published in 1850, is a historical novel placed in the time of Tulipmania in the Netherlands. The novel begins with the 1672 politically motivated mob lynching of the de Witt brothers and then follows the story of Cornelius van Baerle, godson of Cornelius de Wit. Cornelius Van Baerle has joined the race to breed a truly black tulip – and to win the prize of 100,000 guilders, as well as fame and honour. As he nears his goal he is jailed and then of course rescued – by the beautiful Rosa, daughter of the jailer.
Also known simply as "1601", this is a humorously risque work by Mark Twain, first published anonymously in 1880, and finally acknowledged by the author in 1906.
Cooper, James Fenimore
The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper. The Pioneers was first of these books to be published (1823), but the period of time covered by the book (principally 1793) makes it the fourth chronologically. (The others are The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, and The Prairie.)
The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features a middle-aged Leatherstocking (Natty Bumppo), Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton, whose life parallels that of the author's father Judge William Cooper, and Elizabeth (the author Susan Cooper), of Cooperstown. The story begins with an argument between the Judge and the Leatherstocking over who killed a buck, and as Cooper reviews many of the changes to his fictional Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail. The plot develops as the Leatherstocking and Chingachgook begin to compete with the Temples for the loyalties of a young visitor, Oliver Effingham. Effingham eventually marries Elizabeth. Chingachgook dies, exemplifying the vexed figure of the "dying Indian," and Natty vanishes into the sunset. For all its strange twists and turns, 'The Pioneers' may be considered one of the first ecological novels in the United States.
Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman is Mary Wollstonecraft's unfinished novelistic sequel to her revolutionary political treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. It was published posthumously in 1798 by her husband, William Godwin. Maria revolves around the story of a woman imprisoned in an insane asylum by her husband, and focuses on the societal rather than the individual "wrongs of woman". Publicised at the same time as Wollstonecraft's memoirs, both were considered scandalous. Not until the 20th century was the novel considered an important historical and feminist work.
'The Forsyte Saga' is the story of a wealthy London family stretching from the eighteen-eighties until the nineteen-twenties. The Man of Property is the first book in the saga. The 'man of property' of the title is Soames Forsyte, a partner in the family law firm. He is married to Irene but the marriage is not happy and during the book she falls in love with another man.
Another branch of the family is headed by 'Old Jolyon,' estranged from his bohemian artist son 'Young Jolyon' and the story tells of their rapprochement and of Young Jolyon's daughter June who is engaged to an architect Philip Bosinney.
For those familiar with the Forsytes, this book takes us up to the night when Soames exercises his 'rights' and to the death of Bosinney.
Amongst the great popular novelists of the nineteenth century who are still read today, Anthony Trollope stands alongside his contemporary, Charles Dickens. His two series of novels, the political (The Pallisers) and the clerical (The Barsetshire Chronicles) are the best known. This book is the first of the Barsetshire series and was also Trollope’s first really successful novel.
In the mid nineteenth century there were a number of financial scandals in the Church of England including those of Rochester, where the endowments which should have supported the King’s School Canterbury had been diverted to the Dean and Chapter; and of the hospital of St Cross at Winchester where the Rev. Francis North, later the Earl of Guildford, had been appointed to the mastership of the hospital by his father the bishop. The revenues of the hospital were very considerable, the work involved minimal. The scandal soon broke.
Trollope based ‘The Warden’ on the St Cross case, but in the novel the Warden is a kindly, devoted, priest, beloved by all that knew him and is racked by fear that he is accepting money to which he is not entitled. His antagonist is his prospective son-in-law John Bold and his (somewhat unwelcome) ally is one of Trollope’s strongest characters, the Archdeacon of Barchester, Dr. Theophilus Grantly.
Gilbert, W. S.
Volunteers bring you 17 recordings of O Hollow Hollow Hollow by W.S. Gilbert. This was the Weekly Poetry project for January 8, 2012.
Here is a poem by the "fleshly" poet, Bunthorne, from the opera Patience, by Gilbert and Sullivan. Who better to introduce it than the poet himself:
BUNTHORNE. It is a wild, weird, fleshy thing; yet very tender, very yearning, very precious. It is called, "Oh, Hollow! Hollow! Hollow!"
PATIENCE Is it a hunting song?
BUNTHORNE. A hunting song? No, it is not a hunting song. It is the wail of the poet's heart on discovering that everything is commonplace. To understand it, cling passionately to one another and think of faint lilies.
Bunthorne was considered to have been modelled on Oscar Wilde, but more recent reseach has suggested that this claim is not correct.
Forster, E. M.
On a journey to Tuscany with her young friend and traveling companion Caroline Abbott, widowed Lilia Herriton falls in love with both Italy and a handsome Italian much younger than herself, and decides to stay. Furious, her dead husband's family send Lilia's brother-in-law to Italy to prevent a misalliance, but he arrives too late. Lilia marries the Italian and in due course becomes pregnant again. When she dies giving birth to her child, the Herritons consider it both their right and their duty to travel to Monteriano to obtain custody of the infant so that he can be raised as an Englishman.
The novel describes the downfall of Ferdinando Falkland, a British squire, and his attempts to ruin and destroy the life of Caleb Williams, a poor but ambitious young man that Falkland hires as his personal secretary. Caleb accidentally discovers a terrible secret in his master's past. Though Caleb promises to be bound to silence, Falkland, irrationally attached (in Godwin's view) to ideas of social status and inborn virtue, cannot bear that his servant should possibly have power over him, and sets out to use various means--unfair trials, imprisonment, pursuit, to make sure that the information of which Caleb is the bearer will never be revealed.
Godwin described the book as "a series of adventures of flight and pursuit; the fugitive in perpetual apprehension of being overwhelmed with the worst calamities", so that Caleb Williams can be classified as an early thriller or mystery novel.
Volunteers bring you 12 recordings of Birches by Robert Frost. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for February 21st, 2010.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.