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Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900

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Complete Shorter Fiction31 %
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Dracula35 %
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Dream Story22 %
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Hölderlin's Madness19 %
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Gothic: A Very Short Introduction
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Researching the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press43 %
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Jane Austen: 14 %
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Jane Austen, the Secret Radical
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Love in a Dark Time39 %
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Gothic, Postcolonialism and Otherness38 %
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Jane Austen, the Secret Radical
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What Was Literary Impressionism?
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Thomas Hardy: 14 %
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The Marketing of Edgar Allan Poe43 %
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Dorothy Wordsworth's Ecology43 %
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Cancelled Words43 %
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05 Nov 1992
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Philosophy of Nonsense43 %
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17 Feb 1994
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White Skins/Black Masks43 %
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28 Dec 1995
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Visualisation in Popular Fiction 1860-196043 %
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Best Books of Literary that Everyone Should Read

  • Rainbow Valley is a novel written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The story is set in the fictional Canadian town of Glen St. Mary and follows the adventures of the Blythe children, who live with their father, a widowed minister, and their Aunt Martha. The Blythe children make new friends in Rainbow Valley, including the wild Meredith children and the lonely Mary Vance. The novel explores themes of friendship, family, and the power of imagination. The children form a bond and create their own world in Rainbow Valley, where they can escape from the troubles of the adult world. The story also touches on more serious topics, such as poverty, social class, and religious tensions. Rainbow Valley is a heartwarming and nostalgic story that captures the joys and struggles of childhood. Montgomery's writing is full of vivid descriptions and charming characters that have made her a beloved author for generations of readers. The novel is part of the Anne of Green Gables series, but it can be enjoyed as a standalone story as well.
  • The sequel to Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables," "Anne of Avonlea," is a novel. The narrative starts with Anne Shirley going back to Avonlea to start working as a teacher at the neighborhood school. At sixteen years old, Anne must confront additional difficulties including earning the respect of her pupils and coping with her parents. After the death of their mother, Anne also assumes the duty of caretaker for Davy and Dora, two young twins. Gilbert Blythe, Anne's friend, matriculates as a medical student, and their bond deepens. Anne keeps growing up and turning into a responsible young lady throughout the novel. She becomes more actively engaged in the neighborhood and undertakes several initiatives to enhance the lives of people close to her. In order to attend college and follow her ambition of becoming a writer, Anne decides at the book's conclusion to resign from her employment as a teacher. The narrative has Montgomery's trademark exquisite descriptions of the natural world and is a lovely tale of development, friendship, and love
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 To 1922 is a collection of twenty-seven short stories written by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The lives of women and children in rural Canada were often the subject of Montgomery's short stories, which also included themes of love, sorrow, and the beauty of nature. She was praised for her vivid landscape descriptions and her ability to stir up powerful emotions in her readers. She attempts to compile many of her classic thoughts consolidated in a single draft and offered them at an affordable price so everyone can read them. With themes of love, grief, and the beauty of nature, Montgomery's short tales often focused on the lives of mothers and kids in rural Canada. She was praised for her vivid landscape descriptions and her capacity to stir up powerful emotions in her readers. The spirit and essence of country life in Canada during the early 20th century are captured in Montgomery's short stories, which are now regarded as revered masterpieces of Canadian literature. They are praised for their emotional heft and capacity to take readers to other places.
  • Honore de Balzac's book "Seraphita" is a work of fiction. It tells the story of a young man named Wilfrid who develops a fascination with the enigmatic Seraphitus. Seraphitus is one of a group of supernatural entities who live in the Norwegian highlands. Wilfrid is first captivated to Seraphitus by the purity and beauty of his/her voice, but as he immerses himself more into Seraphitus' world, he starts to have doubts about his/her own views on love, gender, and spirituality. As the story goes on, Wilfrid develops feelings for Seraphitus but finds it difficult to comprehend their romance due to Seraphitus' uncertain gender. Seraphitus finally discloses that he or she is a manifestation of the divine and that love is a force that is independent of gender and physical appearance. "Seraphita" is known for exploring topics connected to gender, sexuality, and spirituality. Balzac utilizes the book as a platform to criticize gender stereotypes and promote a more flexible and inclusive concept of identity.
  • "Representative Men" is a collection of seven lectures given by Ralph Waldo Emerson in the mid-19th century. The lectures explore the lives and ideas of several influential figures from history, including Plato, Shakespeare, Montaigne, Napoleon, and Goethe. Emerson uses these figures as examples of what he calls "representative men," individuals who embody the ideals and principles of their time and culture. He argues that by studying the lives and works of these individuals, we can gain insight into the broader patterns of human history and society. Each lecture focuses on a different figure and their unique contributions to philosophy, literature, politics, or culture. For example, the lecture on Shakespeare examines his role in shaping the English language and his insights into human nature, while the lecture on Napoleon discusses his military and political achievements. Throughout the lectures, Emerson emphasizes the importance of individualism, creativity, and self-reliance. He argues that these values are essential for anyone seeking to make a meaningful contribution to society and that they can be cultivated by studying the lives of representative men and women from history. Overall, "Representative Men" is a celebration of human potential and a call to action for individuals to pursue their own unique paths in life.
  • Robert Montgomery Bird wrote a book titled "Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself." It depicts the tale of Sheppard Lee, a selfish and slothful young man who wakes up in the body of a rich man after sleeping in a field. Lee learns that his newfound money and prestige come with their own set of issues as he gets used to his new existence. He has to cope with his selfish kin, the complexity of high society, and his own moral flaws. Lee keeps changing into several bodies throughout the book, each time encountering a different set of difficulties and lessons. His ability to occupy the bodies of individuals from various social groups, ethnicities, and genders gives him a unique view of the world. With his many changes, Lee gains an understanding of the importance of perseverance, compassion, and selflessness. He learns that as opposed to just seeking riches and position, living a life of meaning and purpose brings genuine satisfaction and contentment. Ultimately, "Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself" is a satirical critique of early 19th-century American culture. It offers a vision of personal development and progress while criticizing the values and beliefs of the period through the technique of body-switching.
  • The early 19th century is the setting for Honore de Balzac's book "Eugenie Grandet," which takes place in the French town of Saumur. The Grandet family, who are both affluent and exceedingly thrifty, is the focus of the narrative. Felix Grandet, the family patriarch, was formerly a cooper who amassed wealth via wise investments. He lives in a large home, a representation of his riches and social standing in the community, with his wife and daughter Eugenie. Charles, Eugenie's cousin, who stays with the family, adores this lovely and innocent young lady. Felix Grandet, who considers Charles to be a possible danger to his fortune, opposes the marriage. The reader is exposed to the various personalities in the town as the plot develops; everyone has their own secrets and aspirations. Balzac explores the themes of greed, love, and the corrupting power of money using the town as a microcosm of French society. The sad conclusion of the book reveals the dark secrets of the Grandet family and the consequences of their greed. As the rest of the village carries on with their activities, unconcerned with Eugenie's destiny, she is left alone and sad.
  • In Honore de Balzac's novella "The Village Rector," a French village serves as the backdrop. The protagonist of the story is Abbe Francois Birotteau, the loved and respected local rector. The dynamics of the village shift with the advent of a new prefect, Monsieur de Rastignac. The prefect views Abbe as a hindrance to his ambitions to develop and rehabilitate the community. He starts to circulate misleading stories about Abbe's personality in an effort to undermine him and take over the community. Notwithstanding the malicious accusations, Abbe chooses to ignore them and concentrate on his pastoral responsibilities. He loses the support of the locals as they start to distrust him. The themes of power, corruption, and the resiliency of the human spirit are all explored throughout the novella. In the end, Abbe is defended because of the villagers' admiration for his honesty and selflessness. The novella is a celebration of timeless human virtues like kindness and compassion as well as a condemnation of the corrupt political system of the day. It is a moving tale of how people may find courage in their beliefs and the help of their community.
  • Short mystery and detective stories from writers all around the globe are collected in the "Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories," curated by Julian Hawthorne. The anthology's pieces include a variety of locales, people, and topics. Others are set in Europe or other regions of the globe, while some of the tales are set in the United States. As diverse are the characters, who include both amateur and professional sleuths as well as commoners and aristocrats. Murder, theft, espionage, and other types of criminal activities are among the topics covered in the tales. The writing styles of the tales range from the traditional whodunit to the more contemporary thriller. Both well-known writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie as well as less well-known authors have stories in the book. Hawthorne begins each tale with an introduction, giving some background on the writer and the story. In general, the anthology is a must-read for lovers of mystery and detective fiction since it provides a window into the diverse variety of tales and literary techniques that have helped this genre become so well-liked throughout time.
  • Honore de Balzac wrote a book titled "Father Goriot". The story, which takes place in Paris in the early 19th century, explores the concepts of love, wealth, and social status. The protagonist Father Goriot, an old widower who has used his fortune to support his two daughters, and other people are followed throughout the novel. But, the daughters have left him and are now leading lavish lifestyles while disregarding the needs of their father. Eugene de Rastignac, a young law student who is lured into Parisian high society, is another key figure. One of Father Goriot's daughters, Delphine, is the object of Rastignac's affection. Delphine, meanwhile, is already married to a rich, ruthless man who is using her to maintain his social status. The novel shows the dramatic difference between middle-class hardship and the lifestyles of the rich elite. Balzac depicts the greed and corruption that often go hand in hand with the chase of money and social prestige. Father Goriot dies in poverty and is left by his daughters at the novel's terrible conclusion, and Rastignac realises the full price of his ambitions. "Father Goriot" is a potent examination of 19th-century French society as well as a timeless look at human nature and the quest for happiness.
  • "The Refugees" written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a historical novel set in the late 17th century that follows the story of Amory de Catinat, a Huguenot guardsman in the service of King Louis XIV of France, and Amos Green, an American visitor to France. Amory is a loyal and skilled soldier, but his faith puts him in danger in a country where Protestantism is viewed with suspicion. Amos, on the other hand, is a carefree and curious traveler who is drawn to Amory's bravery and loyalty. When Amory's family is persecuted for their religious beliefs, he is forced to flee France with his wife and child, becoming a refugee in England. Amos accompanies Amory on his journey, and the two men develop a close bond as they navigate the dangers of being displaced in a foreign land. How will they spend their life being a refugee? Are they both going to get a normal and healthy life ahead? To get this answer, readers should go through "The Refugees" which is a thrilling adventure story that explores themes of loyalty, faith, and the struggles of refugees.
  • "Little Women" is a classic novel written by Louisa May Alcott and published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The book follows the lives of four sisters, Meg, Jo, and Beth as they grow up and navigate the challenges of life during the Civil War era in the United States. The novel is set in Concord, Massachusetts, and opens with the March family preparing for Christmas. The sisters are close and supportive of each other, but they all have very different personalities and interests. Meg is the eldest and the most conventional, Jo is tomboyish and dreams of being a writer, Beth is quiet and kind-hearted, and Amy is artistic and a bit spoiled. As the book progresses, the sisters face various trials and tribulations. How will they spend their life? What will they do in their lives? Throughout the novel, the sisters support each other and rely on their family bonds to overcome the challenges they face. 
  • "Howards End" is a novel by E.M. Forster that explores the social and economic differences between the wealthy and the middle class in England during the early 20th century. The story revolves around three families: the wealthy and conservative Wilcoxes, the intellectual and idealistic Schlegels, and the working-class Basts. The plot follows the intermingling of these families and the conflicts that arise between them, as they navigate their respective positions in society. The novel's themes include the role of class in English society, the tension between traditional and modern values, and the search for a meaningful connection between people from different backgrounds. Throughout the novel, Forster explores the concept of "connection" and the idea that all human beings are linked in some way, despite their differences. Overall, "Howards End" is a nuanced exploration of the complexities of human relationships and the challenges of navigating class differences in society.

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