The only novel from Hardy that that provides a lighter tale, The Hand of Ethelberta, gives account of the life of a woman who lifts herself to the higher classes of the society.
The victim of a vicious scandal, the impoverished Lady Susan is obliged to take up residence with her brother-in-law and his family. Refusing to resign herself to the role of placid house guest, she conspires to baffle her hosts, seducing her sister-in-law's brother in the process by means of her impeccable gentilit…Read More »
In this sequel to At the Earth's Core, David Innes vows revenge and returns to the Inner World of Pellucidar to rescue the beautiful Dian, who had been torn from his arms by trickery. However, his return trip places him far from the land of his beloved and he is forced to undertake a desperate journey thousands of m…Read More »
Olenin was a youth who had never completed his university course, never served anywhere (having only a nominal post in some government office or other), who had squandered half his fortune and had reached the age of twenty-four without having done anything or even chosen a career. He was what in Moscow society is te…Read More »
Thomas Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Influenced by the English Civil War, Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war-situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes ("the war of all against all")-could only be averted by strong central g…Read More »
When Isabel Archer, a young American woman with looks, wit, and imagination, arrives in Europe, she sees the world as 'a place of brightness, of free expression, of irresistible action'. She turns aside from suitors who offer her their wealth and devotion to follow her own path. But that way leads to disillusionment…Read More »
Set against the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome is the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and her cousin, the enchanting Mattie Silver. In the playing out of this short novel's powerful and engrossing drama, Edith Wharton constructed her least characteristic and most c…Read More »
The Well-Beloved completes the cycle of Hardy's great novels, reiterating his favourite themes of man's eternal quest for perfection in both love and art, and the suffering that ensues. Jocelyn Pierston, celebrated sculptor, tries to create an image of his ideal woman - his imaginary Well-Beloved - in stone, just as…Read More »
Life with seven boy cousins isn't quite what Rose expected. Left an orphan after her father's death, Rose Campbell is sent to live at the "Aunt Hill" with her six aunts and seven rowdy boy cousins. For someone who is used to a girl's boarding school, it all seems pretty overwhelming. Her guardian, Uncle Alec, makes …Read More »
Trilling described The Longest Journey as "perhaps the most brilliant, the most dramatic, and the most passionate" of E.M. Forster's works. Certainly it's the most autobiographical – but its form confuses many. Full of sudden death, hopeless love, and quaintly doomed relationships – and yet for all that, it's an e…Read More »
Summer, Edith Wharton wrote to Gaillard Lapsley, "is known to its author and her familars as the Hot Ethan." One of the first American novels to deal frankly with a young woman's sexual awakening, it was a publishing sensation when it appeared in 1917, praised by Joseph Conrad, Howard Sturgis, and Percy Lubbock, and…Read More »
"Swiss Family Robinson" is the classic tale of a Swiss pastor, his wife and their four sons who find themselves shipwrecked on an isolated tropical island. Along with a couple of dogs, some livestock, pigeons and geese, The story of a family's struggle to survive in a foreign land isolated from society. Everyday b…Read More »
The Touchstone was Edith Wharton's first published novella, and it's spare, perhaps even underwritten. Even so, this Faustian tale of a man who stoops to publish love letters for money has mesmerizing, even dangerous qualities – it has betrayals, greed, and consequences faced: hidden meanings emerge in places where…Read More »
Paula Power inherits a medieval castle from her industrialist father who has purchased it from the aristocratic De Stancy family. She employs two architects, one local and one, George Somerset, newly qualified from London. She is attracted to both men for their different virtues and is thrust onto the horns of relig…Read More »
A House of Pomegranates is a collection of whimisical short stories by Oscar Wilde. This collections includes the following tales: The Young King, The Birthday of the Infanta, The Fisherman and his Soul, and The Star-child. Readers of all ages will be delighted by these fanciful tales.
This Edwardian social comedy explores love and prim propriety among an eccentric cast of characters assembled in an Italian pensione and in a corner of Surrey, England. A charming young English woman, Lucy Honeychurch, faints into the arms of a fellow Britisher when she witnesses a murder in a Florentine piazza. Att…Read More »
The only one of Kipling's novels to be cast in an American setting, Captains Courageous endures as one of literature's most cherished and memorable sea adventures. Harvey Cheyne, spoiled millionaire's son, tumbles overboard from a luxury liner–only to be rescued by the crew of a Gloucester schooner. Thus begins the…Read More »
"The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" is one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of eight stories in the cycle collected as His Last Bow.
This beautiful and remarkable little wonder of a book includes "The Happy Prince," "The Nightingale and the Rose," "The Selfish Giant," "The Devoted Friend," and "The Remarkable Rocket." Wilde is a man remembered for plays like "The Importance of Being Ernest," works like De Profundis and the scandal that attended i…Read More »
Somewhere in this book, Wharton observes that clever liars always come up with good stories to back up their fabrications, but that really clever liars don't bother to explain anything at all. This is the kind of insight that makes The Age of Innocence so indispensable. Wharton's story of the upper classes of Old …Read More »
The narrative describes the life of an Englishman, stolen from a well-to-do family as a child and raised by Gypsies who eventually makes his way to sea. One half of the book concerns Singleton's crossing of Africa and the later half concerns his life as a pirate. Defoe's description of piracy focuses for the most p…Read More »
Lord Arthur Savile, about to be married to a sweetly innocent maiden, learns to his horror that a psychic can see a crime of violence in his palm. The clairvoyant tells Saville that before he can marry his beloved, he must murder a distant relative. What follows is a hilarious account of Lord Saville's various faile…Read More »
When first published this unique novel evoked a tremendous amount of hostile criticism, in most part due to its immoral content. Oscar Wilde was identified with the "art for art's sake" movement of the nineteenth century which did not subordinate art to ethical instruction. However, this novel is indeed a morality t…Read More »
One of the most charming tales in children's literature, Heidi is the story of a five-year-old orphan who goes to live with her grandfather in the mountains. She soon wins his heart and befriends the young goatherd, Peter. Her happiness ends, however, when her aunt takes her to the city to help take care of a sickly…Read More »
The Underground City, by Jules Verne, is a novel about the fortunes of a mining community called Aberfoyle which is near Stirling, Scotland. Miner James Starr, after receiving a letter from an old friend, leaves for the Aberfoyle mine. Although believed to be mined out a decade earlier, James Starr finds a mine over…Read More »
The first Verne novel in which he perfected the "ingredients" of his later work, skilfully mixing a plot full of adventure and twists that hold the reader's interest with passages of technical, geographic, and historic description. The book gives readers a glimpse of the exploration of Africa, which was still not co…Read More »
Dickson McCunn, a respectable, newly retired grocer of romantic heart, plans a modest walking holiday in the hills of south-west Scotland. He meets a young English poet and, contrary to his better sense, finds himself in the thick of a plot involving the kidnapping of a Russian princess, who is held prisoner in the …Read More »
One of the most popular of Hardy's novels, this charming pastoral idyll is a lightly humorous depiction of life in an early Victorian rural community. The story delicately balances the concerns of the Mellstock parish choir with a romance between a member of the choir and the village schoolmistress.
Often thought of as Thomas Hardy's best work, not only for the elaborate structure of the plot, where small and subtle details lead to the character's ruin, but in the themes that range from how human loneliness and sensuality can stop a person from trying to fulfill his dreams; to how, when free from the trap of ma…Read More »