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Resurrection, Book 1

By: Leo Tolstoy

Resurrection is the last of Tolstoy's major fiction works published in his lifetime. Tolstoy intended the novel as an exposition of injustice of man-made laws and the hypocrisy of institutionalized church. It was first published serially in the magazine Niva as an effort to raise funds for the resettlement of the Dukhobors. The story concerns a nobleman named Nekhlyudov, who seeks redemption for a sin committed years earlier. His brief affair with a maid resulted in her being fired and ending up in prostitution. The book treats his attempts to help her out of her current misery, but also focuses on his personal mental and moral struggle.(Summary from Wikipedia)...

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Resurrection, Book 3

By: Leo Tolstoy

Resurrection is the last of Tolstoy's major fiction works published in his lifetime. Tolstoy intended the novel as an exposition of injustice of man-made laws and the hypocrisy of institutionalized church. It was first published serially in the magazine Niva as an effort to raise funds for the resettlement of the Dukhobors. The story concerns a nobleman named Nekhlyudov, who seeks redemption for a sin committed years earlier. His brief affair with a maid resulted in her being fired and ending up in prostitution. The book treats his attempts to help her out of her current misery, but also focuses on his personal mental and moral struggle.(Summary from Wikipedia) The first volume of this work can be found /resurrection-book-1-by-leo-tolstoy/ here The second volume of this work can be found /resurrection-book-2-by-leo-tolstoy/ here...

Literature

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Resurrection, Book 2

By: Leo Tolstoy

Resurrection is the last of Tolstoy's major fiction works published in his lifetime. Tolstoy intended the novel as an exposition of injustice of man-made laws and the hypocrisy of institutionalized church. It was first published serially in the magazine Niva as an effort to raise funds for the resettlement of the Dukhobors. The story concerns a nobleman named Nekhlyudov, who seeks redemption for a sin committed years earlier. His brief affair with a maid resulted in her being fired and ending up in prostitution. The book treats his attempts to help her out of her current misery, but also focuses on his personal mental and moral struggle.(Summary from Wikipedia)...

Literature

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Nyckfull kvinna del 2 - Fästmön, En

By: Emilie Flygare-Carlén

I Fästmön, andra delen av En Nyckfull kvinna, lämnar bruksförvalteren Helmer Dagby under en tid för att kunna vara hos sin döende mor. Under hans frånvaro dyker en ny person upp på Dagby, ryttmästaren Abbe Linden, kallad kusin Abbe, en levnadsglad man beredd till allt slags upptåg, och med en egen agenda. Han blir en rival till såväl greve Herman som herr Helmer. Den nyckfulla Edith Sternfelt kämpar med sina känslor för bruksförvaltaren. När han väl återkommit till Dagby efter modern död anar de båda vilka känslor de innerst inne har för varandra, men ändå söker dölja. Till slut fattar Edith i hastigt mod och desperation, efter ett meningsutbyte med modern, beslutet att till slut ge sitt jag till greven, och Edit är plötsligt förlovad och fästmö, till moderns stora glädje. Men det blir inte så enkelt. (Sammanfattning: Lars Rolander)...

Fiction, Literature

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Guilty River, The

By: Wilkie Collins

After his father’s death Gerard Roylake returns from Germany to take up his inheritance at Trimley Deen. On one evening he meets his childhood friend, Cristel Toller. They fall in love, but there is a crux. A deaf man, called The Lodger is obsessed with Cristel. He invites Gerard to tea with evil intentions… and Gerard accepts the invitation. The book is written in the first person and tells the story from Gerard's point of view. (Summary by Diana Majlinger)...

Literature, Fiction

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Navidad en las Montañas, La

By: Ignacio Manuel Altamirano

Altamirano nos da a creer que este cuento es una historia verídica, que le fue contada por el narrador. Es, simplemente, la historia de un soldado que se encuentra con un cura en las montañas el día de Nochebuena, y pasa con él y con su pueblo la noche de fiestas. (Resumen de Karen Savage)...

Fiction, Literature, Holiday

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Mystère de la chambre jaune, Le

By: Gaston Leroux

Le mystère est grand. On a essayé de tuer mademoiselle Stangerson dans une chambre fermée de l'intérieur, aucun accès visible, volets clos... Qui a voulu perpétrer ce meurtre et surtout, comment a-t-il procédé ? (Résumé par Naf Brusa)...

Fiction, Literature, Mystery

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Jude the Obscure

By: Thomas Hardy

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)...

Literature

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Death of Ivan Ilyitch, The

By: Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilyitch is the story of a socially ambitious middle-aged judge who contracts an unexplained and untreatable illness. As Ivan Ilyitch is forced to face the death he fears, he asks himself whether the life he thought was so correct was, in fact, a moral life after all. Written after Tolstoy's religious conversion, the novella is widely considered to be one of his masterpieces. (Summary by Laurie Anne Walden)...

Literature

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Pioneers, or The Sources of the Susquehanna, The

By: James Fenimore Cooper

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. ...

Literature

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Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books

By: Charles William Eliot

Charles W. Eliot, 21st President of Harvard University, edited this volume of prefaces ... authored by a Who's Who of World Literature: Bacon, Calvin, Caxton, Condell, Copernicus, Dryden, Fielding, Goethe, Heminge, Hugo, Johnson, Knox, Newton, Raleigh, Spenser, Taine, Whitman and Wordsworth. Eliot wrote in his preface to these prefaces, No part of a book is so intimate as the Preface. Here, after the long labor of the work is over, the author descends from his platform, and speaks with his reader as man to man, disclosing his hopes and fears, seeking sympathy for his difficulties, offering defence or defiance, according to his temper, against the criticisms which he anticipates. (Summary by DSayers)...

Literature

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What Maisie Knew

By: Henry James

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. (Summary by Wikipedia.)...

Literature

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House of the Seven Gables, The

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne

The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and... becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief. Hawthorne's moral for The House of the Seven Gables, taken from the Preface, accurately presages his story. The full weight of the gloomy mansion of the title seems to sit on the fortunes of the Pyncheon family. An ancestor took advantage of the Salem witch trials to wrest away the land whereon the house would be raised... but the land's owner, about to be executed as a wizard, cursed the Pyncheon family until such time as they should make restitution. Now, almost two centuries later, the family is in real distress. Hepzibah, an old maid and resident of the house, is forced by advanced poverty to open a shop in a part of the house. Her brother Clifford has just been released from prison after serving a thirty-year sentence for murder, and his mind struggles to maintain any kind of hold on reality. Cousin Judge Jaffrey Pyncheon is making himself odious by threatening to have Clifford committed to an institution. And after all these years, the deed to a vast tract of land, that would settle great wealth on the family, is ...

Literature

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Story of Avis, The

By: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps's 1877 novel is set in a New England college town, and focuses on Avis Dobell, a professor's daughter. Avis is a talented painter, and bucks against the constraints placed on women in the 19th century. She wants to pursue a career as an artist and rejects marriage and motherhood, until she meets the charismatic young professor Philip Ostrander. Phelps's novel is a beautifully-written examination of the conflicts between marriage and career for women that is still relevant today. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)...

Literature

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Devil's Pool, The

By: George Sand

George Sand (the pen name of Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dupin 1804-1876) is famous for flaunting the convertions of behaviour expected of women of her standing in France at the time and for her numerous romantic liaisons including her long standing affair with Frederic Chopin. The Devil’s Pool (published in 1846 as La Mare au Diable) is one of several short pastoral novels drawn from her childhood experiences in the rural French region of Berri. It tells the story of a young widower, Germain, who, at the insistence of his father-in-law, sets out to remarry so that he will have someone to help raise his three young children. (Summary by the reader)...

Literature

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Where Angels Fear to Tread

By: E. M. Forster

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. (Summary from Wikipedia)...

Literature

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Bleak House

By: Charles Dickens

Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in 20 monthly parts between March 1852 and September 1853. It is widely held to be one of Dickens' finest and most complete novels, containing one of the most vast, complex and engaging arrays of minor characters and sub-plots in his entire canon. Dickens tells all of these both through the narrative of the novel's heroine, Esther Summerson, and as an omniscient narrator. Memorable characters include the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn, the friendly but depressive John Jarndyce and the childish Harold Skimpole. The plot concerns a long-running legal dispute (Jarndyce and Jarndyce) which has far-reaching consequences for all involved. (Summary from Wikipedia)...

Literature

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Revelation of Baha-ullah in a Sequence of Four Lessons, The

By: Isabella Matilda Davis Brittingham

Isabella Matilda Davis Brittingham was a significant early American Bahá'í and was posthumously designated by Shoghi Effendi as one of the 19 Disciples of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Heralds of the Covenant. She was born in 1852, the daughter of Benjamin Davis, who was a grandson of John Morton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Her sister-in-law heard about the Bahá'í Faith in 1897 and in 1898 Isabella herself became a part of the nascent American Bahá'í community. In September 1901, Isabella went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she met 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the leader of the Bahá'í Faith and son of the Founder, Bahá'u'lláh. She used the knowledge she gained there to write The Revelation of Baha-ullah in a Sequence of Four Lessons, which was published by the Bahai Publishing Society of Chicago in 1902. There were nine editions of this work, the last being in 1920. It was one of the earliest accurate accounts of the Bahá'í Faith published in the West. The main purpose of the book is to demonstrate the truth of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation through Biblical prophecy....

Literature

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Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman

By: Mary Wollstonecraft

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....

Literature

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Kenilworth

By: Sir Walter Scott

An Elizabethan era historical novel by Scotland's master of fiction, Sir Walter Scott. With a cast of historical and created characters, including the Queen herself, Scott presents the sad history and tragic consequences of the secretive marriage of young Amy Robsart and the Earl of Leicester. (Summary by SK)...

Literature

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Comédie Humaine, La : Le Père Goriot

By: Honoré de Balzac

Le Père Goriot est un roman d’Honoré de Balzac, écrit en 1834, dont la publication débute dans la Revue de Paris et qui paraît en 1835 en librairie. Il fait partie des Scènes de la vie privée de la Comédie humaine. Le Père Goriot établit les bases de ce qui deviendra un véritable édifice : la Comédie humaine, construction littéraire unique en son genre, avec des liens entre les volumes, des passerelles, des renvois. (Résumé par Wikipédia) Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot ) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel sequence La Comédie humaine . Set in Paris in 1819, it follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot; a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin; and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac. (Summary from Wikipedia)...

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Two Sides To Every Question: From A South Australian Standpoint

By: Maud Jean Franc

'Two Sides to Every Question’: From a South Australian Standpoint is a meditation on poverty, wealth, and social aspiration set in the free settlement of Adelaide in pre-Federation Australia. The novel follows the lives of a cast of characters from different social classes as they negotiate the twists and turns in their respective fortunes. The newly-bereaved Alton family—an invalid widow and her two grown children, Tom and Nettie—sell their rural property and move to the slovenly back streets of the inner-city; they are determined to hold onto their dignity and values as they turn to earning a living for the first time. The wealthy Clinton family runs the stock supply business where Tom finds employment as a clerk. Tom’s boss, Robert Clinton, supplements his business income through trading mining shares. His financial success ensures his wife and daughters, Elsie and Lily, have access to the higher echelons of colonial society. Meanwhile, the Clintons' cousin, Arthur Delta, arrives from England to take a position in his uncle’s business. Arthur's mother has called on her brother's charity to help her family in their time of need. W...

Literature

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Warden, The

By: Anthony Trollope

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 i...

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Novelle per un anno, vol. 1: Scialle Nero

By: Luigi Pirandello

Novelle per un anno è una raccolta di 241 novelle scritte da Luigi Pirandello. Originariamente sono state pubblicate sul Corriere della Sera, successivamente ripubblicate in 15 raccolte. Inizialmente erano previste 24 raccolte contenenti 365 novelle, tuttavia la prematura morte dell'autore ha impedito il raggiungimento del traguardo. Postume sono state pubblicate altre novelle scritte dall'autore. Le raccolte sono state pubblicate tra il 1922 e il 1938. (Riassunto di Filippo Gioachin)...

Fiction, Literature

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Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, A (version 2)

By: Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The work is a very early example of time travel in literature, anticipating by six years H. G. Wells' The Time Machine of 1895 (however, unlike Wells, Twain does not give any real explanation of his protagonist's traveling in time). Some early editions are entitled A Yankee at the Court of King Arthur....

Literature, Fiction, Humor, Historical Fiction

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Anne's House of Dreams (version 2)

By: Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne's story continues with her marriage to Gilbert and their years in the House of Dreams. ( Summary by Karen Savage)

Fiction, Literature, Romance, Teen/Young adult

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Greater Inclination, The

By: Edith Wharton

This is Edith Wharton's earliest published collection of short stories (1899). Like much of her later work, they touch on themes of marriage, male/female relationships, New York society, and the nature and purpose of art. One of the stories, The Twilight of the God, is written as a short play. The role of Warland is read by mb, and the role of Oberville by Bruce Pirie. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)...

Short stories, Literature

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Mosses From An Old Manse

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Mosses from an Old Manse is a short story collection by Nathaniel Hawthorne, first published in 1846. The collection includes several previously-published short stories and is named in honor of The Old Manse where Hawthorne and his wife lived for the first three years of their marriage. A second edition was published in 1854, which added Feathertop, Passages from a Relinquished Work, and Sketches from Memory. Many of the tales collected in Mosses from an Old Manse are allegories and, typical of Hawthorne, focus on the negative side of human nature. Hawthorne's friend Herman Melville noted this aspect in his review Hawthorne and His Mosses: This black conceit pervades him through and through. You may be witched by his sunlight, transported by the bright gildings in the skies he builds over you; but there is the blackness of darkness beyond; and even his bright gildings but fringe and play upon the edges of thunder-clouds. William Henry Channing reviewed the collection in The Harbinger and noted that its author had been baptized in the deep waters of Tragedy and his work was dark with only brief moments of serene brightness which was ...

Fiction, Literature, Short stories

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Little Dorrit

By: Charles Dickens

Born in the Marshalsea Prison for Debtors, Amy—Little Dorrit—the daughter of the ruined, but self-respectful William Dorrit, has put her entire heart in caring for her dear father, until one day her humble path is crossed by Arthur Clennam. Their meeting proves providential not only for Amy's life, but for the whole Dorrit family, whose new rise will, in many ways, be also their fall. As in all his novels, in Little Dorrit Dickens ushers us into a fascinating and startlingly rich world of human characters and destinies, where virtue and nobility cross swords with vice and villainy, where strength and weakness intertwine with prejudice and magnanimity and where the author's inspired pen wields a compelling and unforgettable power over the readers. (Summary by Ellis Christoff)...

Fiction, Literature, Satire

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Bible in Its Making, The

By: Mildred Duff ; Noel Hope

One great universal law runs through the realm of nature. Our Saviour gave it in a sentence: 'First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.' It is with the desire to show that the same law rules in another of God's creations—The Bible—that this little volume has been prepared. The Bible has as literally 'grown' as has an oak tree; and probably there is no more likeness between the Bible as we know it to-day and its earliest beginning, than we find between the mighty tree, and the acorn from which it sprang. The subject is so vast that we have not attempted anything beyond the briefest outline. Our purpose has been merely to give some idea of the origin of the Bible books, up to the measure of our present light upon the subject, and also to show the purpose for which they were written. But if our readers, by seeing something of the wonder and glory of the Holy Scriptures, are able to catch a glimpse of the Creator's mind behind the whole, our work will not have been in vain. (Foreword, by Mildred Duff)...

Religion, Literature

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Princesse de Monpensier, La

By: Madame de La Fayette

La Princesse de Monpensier est un court roman publié anonymement en 1662 par Madame de Lafayette (1634-1693). L'action se déroule entre 1568 et 1572 en France et a pour toile de fond la troisième et la quatrième guerres de religions; le récit s'achève à l'époque du massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy, qui y est brièvement évoqué. L'héroïne est une jeune et riche héritière de famille noble dont le jeu des alliances politiques décide du mariage au Prince de Monpensier. Son amour de jeunesse pour le duc de Guise se ravive à l'occasion d'une rencontre fortuite et un combat entre la vertu et la passion s'ensuit. Ce roman met en lumière la difficulté des relations amoureuses prises en porte-à-faux entre les considérations politiques, les contraintes sociales et les impératifs de la passion. (résumé par Ariodante)...

Fiction, Literature, Romance

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Watsons, The

By: Jane Austen

This fragment of a novel was written by Jane Austen in 1804 and remained untitled and unpublished until her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh printed it in his A Memoir of Jane Austen in 1871. The title is from him. Mr Watson is a widowed clergyman with two sons and four daughters. The youngest daughter, Emma, has been brought up by a wealthy aunt and is consequently better educated and more refined than her sisters. But when her aunt contracts a foolish second marriage, Emma is obliged to return to her father's house. There she is chagrined by the crude and reckless husband-hunting of two of her twenty-something sisters. (Summary from Gesine and Wikipedia)...

Literature, Fiction

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Shadow of the Rope, The

By: E. W. Hornung

Rachel Minchin stands in the dock, accused of murdering the dissolute husband she was preparing to leave. The trial is sensational, and public opinion vehemently and almost universally against her. When the jury astonishes and outrages the world with a vedict of Not Guilty, Rachel quickly finds herself in need of protection. It comes in the form of a surprising offer of marriage from a mysterious stranger who has sat through every day of her trial. The marriage to this intriguing stranger, Mr. Steel, is by mutual agreement to be a platonic one, the only condition of which is that neither is ever to question the other about the past. The two travel to Steel’s remote country estate, where Rachel accidentally discovers that her second husband’s past was somehow intertwined with her first husband’s history – but how, exactly, and why he determined to marry her, Steel will not say. As her doubts about her husband increase, local busybodies threaten to unearth Rachel’s own past. And that is the least of the secrets that comes to light as this entertaining mystery unfolds. (Introduction by Christine Dufour)...

Literature, Mystery

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House of the Seven Gables, The (Version 2)

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne

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. (Summary from Wikipedia)...

Literature, Fiction

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Golden Bowl, The

By: Henry James

The Golden Bowl is a 1904 novel by Henry James. Set in England, this complex, intense study of marriage and adultery completes what some critics have called the major phase of James' career. The Golden Bowl explores the tangle of interrelationships between a father and daughter and their respective spouses. The novel focuses deeply and almost exclusively on the consciousness of the central characters, with sometimes obsessive detail but also with powerful insight....

Fiction, Literature

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Mary Barton

By: Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Mary Barton is the first novel by English author Elizabeth Gaskell, published in 1848. The story is set in the English city of Manchester during the 1830s and 1840s and deals heavily with the difficulties faced by the Victorian lower class. The novel begins in Manchester, where we are introduced to the Bartons and the Wilsons, two working class families. John Barton reveals himself to be a great questioner of the distribution of wealth and the relation between the rich and the poor. He also relates how his sister-in-law Esther has disappeared after she ran away from home. Soon afterwards Mrs Barton dies, and John is left with his daughter Mary to cope in the harsh world around them. Having already been deeply affected by the loss of his son Tom at a young age, after the death of his wife, Barton tackles depression and begins to involve himself in the Chartist movement connected with the trade unions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Barton...

Literature, Fiction

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Fifth Queen, The

By: Ford Madox Ford

The Fifth Queen trilogy is a series of connected historical novels by English novelist Ford Madox Ford. It consists of three novels, The Fifth Queen; And How She Came to Court (1906), Privy Seal (1907) and The Fifth Queen Crowned (1908), which present a highly fictionalized account of Katharine Howard's marriage to King Henry VIII....

Historical Fiction, Literature

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Man of Property, The (Forsyte Saga Vol. 1)

By: John Galsworthy

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. (Summary by Andy Minter)...

Literature, Historical Fiction

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Oscar Wilde: Art and Morality

By: Stuart Mason

“Who can help laughing when an ordinary journalist seriously proposes to limit the subject-matter at the disposal of the artist?” “We are dominated by journalism.... Journalism governs for ever and ever.” One of the nastiest of the British tabloids was founded a year too late to join in the moral panic generated to accompany Oscar Wilde’s court appearances in 1895. Yet there was no shortage of hypocritical journalists posing as moral arbiters to the nation, then as now. This compendium work - skilfully assembled by the editor, Stuart Mason - ends with transcript of Wilde’s first appearance in the Old Bailey, when he was cross-examined on the alleged immorality of his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The disastrous outcome of these trials provides an ironic conclusion to the earlier knockabout exchanges between Oscar and his reviewers. In these he is at his flamboyant best, revelling in the publicity he pretends to disdain. His brave performances in the dock did nothing, however, to save him from hard labour, the treadmill and complete physical and moral breakdown which the law found it necessary to inflict on him. In contrast to th...

Literature, Biography, Philosophy

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No Name

By: Wilkie Collins

The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. When Andrew Vanstone is killed suddenly in an accident and his wife follows shortly thereafter, it is revealed that they were not married at the time of their daughters' births, making their daughters Nobody's Children in the eyes of English law and robbing them of their inheritance. Andrew Vanstone's elder brother Michael gleefully takes possession of his brother's fortune, leaving his nieces to make their own way in the world. Norah, the elder sister, accepts her misfortune gracefully, but the headstrong Magdalen is determined to have her revenge. Using her dramatic talent and assisted by wily swindler Captain Wragge, Magdalen plots to regain her rightful inheritance. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia)...

Literature, Mystery

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Marriage of Heaven and Hell, The

By: William Blake

The work was composed between 1790 and 1793, in the period of radical foment and political conflict immediately after the French Revolution. The title is an ironic reference to Emanuel Swedenborg's theological work Heaven and Hell published in Latin 33 years earlier. Swedenborg is directly cited and criticized by Blake several places in the Marriage. Though Blake was influenced by his grand and mystical cosmic conception, Swedenborg's conventional moral structures and his Manichean view of good and evil led Blake to express a deliberately depolarized and unified vision of the cosmos in which the material world and physical desire are equally part of the divine order, hence, a marriage of heaven and hell. The book is written in prose, except for the opening Argument and the Song of Liberty. The book describes the poet's visit to Hell, a device adopted by Blake from Dante's Inferno and Milton's Paradise Lost....

Literature, Philosophy, Satire, Poetry

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What Diantha Did

By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Charlotte Perkins Gilman opens a window of history through which we can see a small part of the determined efforts made by women to elevate the circumstances of women in the early 20th century.Diantha Bell is a normal young woman desiring marriage and a home, but also a challenging career in a new territory which raises many eyebrows and sets malicious tongues wagging. Her effort to elevate housework and cooking to a regulated and even scientific business, for the relief of homemakers, is a depiction of the late 19th century movement to promote Domestic Science, or Home Economics, as a means of providing more healthful home life, as well as career paths for women.Diantha's business prospers as she shows her excellent gifts of administration, organization and homemaking. She grows an empire, and brings happiness and wholesomeness to every area of endeavor which she carefully attempts.The improvements in women's opportunities have not been available very long, indeed.This is a good reminder....

Literature, Fiction, Cookery

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