Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. The stories were written at the time when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They center on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character has a special moment of self-understanding or illumination. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appear in minor roles in Joyce's novel Ulysses. The initial stories in the collection are narrated by children as protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence and maturity.
Sir Walter Scott
Ivanhoe is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the English nobility was overwhelmingly Norman. It follows the Saxon protagonist, Wilfrid of Ivanhoe, who is out of favour with his father owing to his courting the Lady Rowena and for his allegiance to the Norman king Richard I of England. The story is set in 1194, after the end of the Third Crusade, when many of the Crusaders were still returning to Europe. King Richard, having been captured by the Duke of Saxony, on his way back, was still supposed to be in the arms of his captors. The legendary Robin Hood, initially under the name of Locksley, is also a character in the story, as are his 'merry men,' including Friar Tuck and, less so, Alan-a-Dale. (Little John is merely mentioned.) The character that Scott gave to Robin Hood in Ivanhoe helped shape the modern notion of this figure as a cheery noble outlaw. Other major characters include Ivanhoe's intractable Saxon father Cedric, a descendant of the Saxon King Harold Godwinson; various Knights Templar and churchmen; the loyal serfs Gurth the swineherd and the jester Wamba, whose observations punctuate much of the action; and the Jewish moneylender, Isaac of York, equally passionate of money and his daughter, Rebecca. The book was written and published during a period of increasing struggle for Emancipation of the Jews in England, and there are frequent references to injustice against them.
Moby-Dick is an 1851 novel by Herman Melville. The story tells the adventures of the wandering sailor Ishmael and his voyage on the whaling ship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab seeks one specific whale, Moby-Dick, a white whale of tremendous size and ferocity. Comparatively few whaling ships know of Moby-Dick, and fewer yet have encountered him. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg. Ahab intends to exact revenge.
The War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds (1898), by H. G. Wells, is an early science fiction novel which describes an invasion of England by aliens from Mars. It is one of the earliest and best-known depictions of an alien invasion of Earth, and has influenced many others, as well as spawning several films, radio dramas, comic book adaptations, and a television series based on the story. The 1938 radio broadcast caused public outcry against the episode, as many listeners believed that an actual Martian invasion was in progress, a notable example of mass hysteria.
Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to be written in 1599. It is based on the life of King Henry V of England, and focuses on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years' War. The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, part 1 and Henry IV, part 2. The original audiences would thus have already been familiar with the title character, who was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad known as "Prince Hal." In Henry V, the young prince has become a mature man and embarks on an attempted conquest of France.
Thea von Harbou
This is Metropolis, the novel that the film's screenwriter -- Thea von Harbou, who was director Fritz Lang's wife, and a collaborator in the creation of the film -- this is the novel that Harbou wrote from her own notes. It contains bits of the story that got lost on the cutting-room floor; in a very real way it is the only way to understand the film.
Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky
The poverty-stricken Raskolnikov, believing he is exempt from moral law, murders a man only to face the consequences not only from society but from his conscience, in this seminal story of justice, morality, and redemption from one of Russia's greatest novelists.
On the Origin of Species
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, in which he writes of his theories of evolution by natural selection, is one of the most important works of scientific study ever published.
The Voyage Out
Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship and is launched on a course of self-discovery in a kind of modern mythical voyage. The mismatched jumble of passengers provide Woolf with an opportunity to satirize Edwardian life. The novel introduces Clarissa Dalloway, the central character of Woolf's later novel, Mrs. Dalloway. Two of the other characters were modeled after important figures in Woolf's life. St John Hirst is a fictional portrayal of Lytton Strachey and Helen Ambrose is to some extent inspired by Woolf's sister, Vanessa Bell. And Rachel's journey from a cloistered life in a London suburb to freedom, challenging intellectual discourse and discovery very likely reflects Woolf's own journey from a repressive household to the intellectual stimulation of the Bloomsbury Group.
Lady Chatterley's Lover
David Herbert Lawrence
Lady Chatterley's Lover is a novel by D. H. Lawrence written in 1928. Printed privately in Florence in 1928, it was not printed in the United Kingdom until 1960 (other than in an underground edition issued by Inky Stephensen's Mandrake Press in 1929). Lawrence considered calling this book Tenderness at one time and made significant alterations to the original manuscript in order to make it palatable to readers. It has been published in three different versions. The publication of the book caused a scandal due to its explicit sex scenes, including previously banned four-letter words, and perhaps because the lovers were a working-class male and an aristocratic female. The story is said to have originated from events in Lawrence's own unhappy domestic life, and he took inspiration for the settings of the book from Ilkeston in Derbyshire where he lived for a while. According to some critics the fling of Lady Ottoline Morrell with "Tiger", a young stonemason who came to carve plinths for her garden statues, also influenced the story.
The Iliad & The Odyssey
While Homer's existence as a historical person is still a topic of debate, the writings attributed to the name have made their mark not only on Greek history and literature, but upon western civilization itself. Homer's epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey, laid the foundation upon which Ancient Greece developed not only its culture, but its societal values, religious beliefs, and practice of warfare as well. This publication features the Samuel Butler translation, and while it strays from the poetic style reproduced by more well known translators like Robert Fagles and Robert Fitzgerald, the vision of the epics as if they were prose found in modern novels take their best form under Butler's most capable hand. The source text reproduced for this publication is derived from the online library of the University of Adelaide in South Australia under the freedoms specified by a Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/au/).
The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by author and socialist journalist Upton Sinclair. It was written about the corruption of the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century. The novel depicts in harsh tones the poverty, absence of social programs, unpleasant living and working conditions, and hopelessness prevalent among the "have-nots", which is contrasted with the deeply rooted corruption on the part of the "haves". The sad state of turn-of-the-century labor is placed front and center for the American public to see, suggesting that something needed to be changed to get rid of American "wage slavery". The novel is also an important example of the "muckraking" tradition begun by journalists such as Jacob Riis. Sinclair wanted to persuade his readers that the mainstream American political parties offered little means for progressive change. Upton Sinclair came to Chicago with the intent of writing The Jungle; he had been given a stipend by the socialist newspaper The Appeal to Reason. Upon his arrival in the lobby of the Chicago Transit House, a hotel near the stockyards, he was quoted as saying, "Hello! I'm Upton Sinclair, and I'm here to write the Uncle Tom's Cabin of the Labor Movement!" (Arthur, 43). He rented living quarters and immediately immersed himself in the city by walking its streets, talking to its people, and taking pictures. One Sunday afternoon, he worked his way into a group of Asian immigrants getting together for a wedding party – "Behold, there was the opening scene of my story, a gift from the gods". He was welcomed to the festivities and stayed until two o'clock in the morning. The novel was first published in serial form in 1906 by The Appeal to Reason. "After five rejections", its first edition as a novel was published by Doubleday, Page & Company on February 28, 1906, and it became an immediate bestseller. It has been in print ever since. Source: Wikipedia
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