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Aesop’s Fable’s – Aesop
Aesop’s Fables refers to a collection of fables credited to Aesop (620–560 BC), a slave and story-teller who lived in Ancient Greece. Aesop’s Fables have become a blanket term for collections of brief fables, usually involving personified animals. The fables remain a popular choice for moral education of children today. Many stories included in Aesop’s Fables, such as The Fox and the Grapes, and more…
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Animal Farm is a satirical allegory of Soviet totalitarianism. Orwell based major events in the book on ones from the Soviet Union during the Stalin era. Orwell, a democratic socialist, and a member of the Independent Labor Party for many years, was a critic of Stalin, and was suspicious of Moscow-directed Stalinism after his experiences in the Spanish Civil War.
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina (Анна Каренина) is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy first published in periodical installments from 1875 to 1877. The novel first appeared as a serial in the periodical Ruskii Vestnik but Tolstoy clashed with its editor Mikhail Katkov over issues that arose in the final installment. Therefore, the novel’s first complete appearance was in book form.
Around the World in 80 Days – Jules Verne
Around the World in Eighty Days 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.
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
written as a potboiler to enable Dickens to pay off a debt, the tale has become one of the most popular and enduring Christmas stories of all time. In fact, contemporaries noted that the story’s popularity played a critical role in redefining the importance of Christmas and the major sentiments associated with the holiday. Few modern readers realize that A Christmas Carol was written during a time of decline in the old Christmas traditions.
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment focuses on Raskolnikov, an impoverished student who formulates a plan to kill and rob a hated pawnbroker, thereby solving his money problems and at the same time ridding the world of her evil. Exhibiting some symptoms of megalomania, Raskolnikov thinks himself a gifted man, similar to Napoleon.
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Structurally it is an epistolary novel, that is, told as a series of diary entries and letters. Literary critics have examined many themes in the novel, such as the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional and repressed sexuality, immigration, post-colonialism and folklore.
Emma – Jane Austen
Emma is a comic novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1816, about the perils of misconstrued romance. The main character, Emma Woodhouse, is described in the opening paragraph as “handsome, clever, and rich” but is also rather spoiled. Prior to starting the novel, Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like.”
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Great Expectations is the story of the orphan Pip told by the protagonist in semi-autobiographical style as a remembrance of his life from the early days of his childhood until years after the main conflicts of the story have been resolved in adulthood. The story is also semi-autobiographical to the author Dickens, as are some other of his stories, drawing on his experiences of life and people.
Hans Christian Andersen – Fairy Tales
The Danish author Hans Christian Andersen is known for his original fairy tales, eighteen of which are collected here.
Contents – The Emperor’s New Clothes – The Swineherd – The Real Princess – The Shoes of Fortune – The Fir Tree – The Snow Queen – The Leap-Frog – The Elderbush – The Bell – The Old House – The Happy Family – The Story of a Mother – The False Collar – The Shadow – The Little Match Girl – The Dream of Little Tuk – The Naughty Boy – The Red Shoes.
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment as a ferry-boat captain on what readers may assume is the Congo River, in the Congo Free State, a private colony of King Leopold II; the country is never specifically named. Though his job is transporting ivory downriver.
Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles is a crime novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, originally serialized in the Strand Magazine in 1901 and 1902, which is set largely on Dartmoor 1889. At the time of researching the novel, Conan Doyle was a General Practitioner in Plymouth, and thus was able to explore the moor and accurately capture its mood and feel. In the novel, the detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson are called to investigate a curse which is alleged to be on the house of the Baskervilles.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Accounted as one of the first Great American Novels. It was also one of the first major American novels ever written using Local Color Realism or the vernacular, or common speech, being told in the first person by the eponymous Huckleberry “Huck” Finn, best friend of Tom Sawyer (hero of three other Mark Twain books). The book was first published in 1884.
The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
The tales in the book (and also those in The Second Jungle Book which followed in 1895, and which includes five further stories about Mowgli) are fables, using animals in an anthropomorphic manner to give moral lessons. The verses of The Law of the Jungle, for example, lay down rules for the safety of individuals, families and communities.
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
It was based on Alcott’s own experiences as a child in Concord, Massachusetts. After much demand, Louisa May Alcott wrote a sequel, Good Wives, which was published in 1869 and is often published together with Little Women as if it were a single work. Good Wives picks up three years after the events in the last chapter of Little Women (“Aunt March Settles The Question”), and includes characters and events often felt by fans to be essential to the Little Women story.
Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by English academic J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier fantasy book, The Hobbit, and soon developed into a much larger story. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, with much of it being created during World War II. It was originally published in three volumes in 1954 and 1955 and has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into at least 38 languages, becoming one of the most popular works in 20th-century literature.
Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time, and helped establish Cooper as one of the first world-famous American writers. Although stylistic and narrative flaws left it open to criticism since its publication, and its length and distinctive prose style have reduced its appeal to later readers, The Last of the Mohicans remains embedded in American literature courses. It is the most famous of the Leatherstocking Tales.
Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells
After being rescued from shipwreck and brought to a mysterious island, Edward Prendick discovers that its inhabitants are the macabre result of experimental vivisections, the work of the visionary Dr Moreau. In the interests of scientific advancement, the doctor has transformed various beasts into strange looking man-creatures, “human in shape, and yet human beings with the strangest air about them of some familiar animal.”
Paradise Lost – John Milton
The protagonist of this Protestant epic is the fallen angel, Satan. Looked at from a modern perspective it may appear to some that Milton presents Satan sympathetically, as an ambitious and prideful being who defies his tyrannical creator, omnipotent God, and wages war on Heaven, only to be defeated and cast down. Indeed, William Blake, a great admirer of Milton’s, and who illustrated the epic poem, said of Milton that ‘he was a true Poet, and of the Devil’s party without knowing it’
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice, first published on 28 January 1813, is the most famous of Jane Austen’s novels. It is one of the first romantic comedies in the history of the novel and its opening is one of the most famous lines in English literature—”It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
Red Badge of Courage – Stephen Crane
The Red Badge of Courage (1895) is an impressionistic novel by Stephen Crane about the meaning of courage, as it is discovered by Henry Fleming, a recruit in the American Civil War. It was filmed in 1951 and again in 1974, and is one of the most influential American war stories ever written, even though the author was born after war and had never seen battle himself.
The Scarlet Letter- Nathanial Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter published in 1850, is a Gothic American romance novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne; generally considered to be his masterpiece. Set in Puritan New England (specifically Boston) in the seventeenth century, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who gives birth after committing adultery, refuses to name the father, and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout, Hawthorne explores the issues of grace, legalism, and guilt.
Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving
The story is set in the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town, New York, in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. It tells the story of Ichabod Crane, a priggish schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, for the hand of eighteen-year-old Katrina Van Tassel. As Crane leaves a party, he is pursued by the Headless Horseman, supposedly the ghost of a Hessian trooper who lost his head to a cannon-ball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War.
Shakespeare’s Sonnets Collection
The Sonnets comprise a collection of 154 poems in sonnet form written by William Shakespeare that deal with such themes as love, beauty, politics, and mortality. The poems were probably written over a period of several years. The Sonnets were published under conditions that have become unclear to history. For example, there is a mysterious dedication at the beginning of the text wherein a certain “Mr. W.H.” is described as “the only begetter” of the poems by the publisher Thomas Thorpe, but it is not known who this man was.
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a historical novel by Charles Dickens. The plot centers on the years leading up to the French Revolution and culminates in the Jacobin Reign of Terror. It tells the story of two men, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, who look similar but are very different in personality. Darnay is a romantic French aristocrat, while Carton is a cynical English barrister. However, the two are in love with the same woman, Lucie Manette.
The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
The Time Machine is a novel by H. G. Wells, first published in 1895, later made into two films of the same title. This novel is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel using a vehicle that allows an operator to travel purposefully and selectively. The novel’s protagonist is an amateur inventor or scientist living in London identified simply as The Time Traveler. Having demonstrated to friends using a miniature model that time is a fourth dimension, and that a suitable apparatus can move back and forth in this fourth dimension.
Ulysses- James Joyce
Ulysses chronicles the passage through Dublin by its main character, Leopold Bloom, during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title alludes to the hero of Homer’s Odyssey (Latinised into Ulysses), and there are many parallels, both implicit and explicit, between the two works (e.g. the correlations between Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus). June 16 is now celebrated by Joyce’s fans worldwide as Bloomsday.
Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë’s only novel. It was first published in 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, and a posthumous second edition was edited by her sister Charlotte. The name of the novel comes from the manor on which the story centers. Wuthering Heights has given rise to many adaptations, including several films, radio, and television dramatizations, and two musicals (including Heathcliff). It also inspired a hit song by Kate Bush, which subsequently has been covered by a variety of artists.
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