Book picks similar to
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson
Frances Burney - 1778
As she describes her heroine's entry into society, womanhood and, inevitably, love, Burney exposes the vulnerability of female innocence in an image-conscious and often cruel world where social snobbery and sexual aggression are played out in the public arenas of pleasure-gardens, theatre visits, and balls. But Evelina's innocence also makes her a shrewd commentator on the excesses and absurdities of manners and social ambitions—as well as attracting the attention of the eminently eligible Lord Orville. Evelina, comic and shrewd, is at once a guide to fashionable London, a satirical attack on the new consumerism, an investigation of women's position in the late eighteenth century, and a love story. The new introduction and full notes to this edition help make this richness all the more readily available to a modern reader.
George Eliot - 1859
However much the reader may sympathize with Hetty Sorrel and identify with Arthur Donnithorne, her seducer, and with Adam Bede, the man Hetty betrays,it is George Eliots's creation of the distant aesthetic whole - the complex, multifarious life of Hayslope - which so grips the reader's imagination. As Stephen Gill comments: 'Reading the novel is a process of learning simultaneously about the world of Adam Bede and the world of Adam Bede.'
Charles Dickens - 1839
But Ralph Nickleby proves both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world. His adventures gave Dickens the opportunity to portray an extraordinary gallery of rogues and eccentrics: Wackford Squeers, the tyrannical headmaster of Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys; the slow-witted orphan Smike, rescued by Nicholas; and the gloriously theatrical Mr and Mrs Crummles and their daughter, the 'infant phenonenon'. Like many of Dickens's novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterised by his outrage at cruelty and social injustice, but it is also a flamboyantly exuberant work, revealing his comic genius at its most unerring.
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
Henry Fielding - 1749
Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire—though he sometimes succumbs to the charms of the local girls. When Tom is banished to make his own fortune and Sophia follows him to London to escape an arranged marriage, the adventure begins. A vivid Hogarthian panorama of eighteenth-century life, spiced with danger and intrigue, bawdy exuberance and good-natured authorial interjections, Tom Jones is one of the greatest and most ambitious comic novels in English literature. • Includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, notes, glossary, and an appendix of Fielding's revisions • Introduction discusses narrative tecniques and themes, the context of eighteenth-century fiction and satire, and the historical and political background of the Jacobite revolutionFor more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure
John Cleland - 1748
She soon escapes her fate for the loving arms of a wealthy young man, but misadventure and fate conspire to keep her from domestic bliss. Instead, Fanny discovers that sex need not be just for love; that it can be had for pleasure. She then sets out to explore those pleasures in as wide a variety as she can. With old men and young, and women as well; in positions of power, and situations where she has none; either watching or participating, Fanny's journey through the realms of sexual pleasure is a literary tour-de-force.
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Laurence Sterne - 1767
It is a fiction about fiction-writing in which the invented world is as much infused with wit and genius as the theme of inventing it. It is a joyful celebration of the infinite possibilities of the art of fiction, and a wry demonstration of its limitations. This Penguin Classic contains Christopher Ricks's introductory essay, itself a classic of English literary criticism, together with a new introduction on the recent critical history and influence of Tristram Shandy by Melvyn New. The text and notes are based on the acclaimed Florida Edition, making the scholarship of the Florida editors readily available for the first time.
D.H. Lawrence - 1915
When Tom Brangwen marries a Polish widow,Lydia Lensky, and adopts her daughter Anna as his own, he is unprepared for the conflict and passion that erupts between them. All are seeking individual fulfilment, but it is Ursula, Anna's spirited daughter, who, in search for self-knowledge, rejects the conventional role of womanhood.
The Diary of a Nobody
George Grossmith - 1889
Yet he always seems to be troubled by disagreeable tradesmen, impertinent young office clerks and wayward friends, not to mention his devil-may-care son Lupin with his unsuitable choice of bride. Try as he might, he cannot avoid life's embarrassing mishaps. In the bumbling, absurd, yet ultimately endearing figure of Pooter, the Grossmiths created an immortal comic character and a superb satire on the snobberies of middle-class suburbia - one which also sends up late Victorian crazes for spiritualism and bicycling, as well as the fashion for publishing diaries by anybody and everybody.
William Makepeace Thackeray - 1847
A novel that chronicles the lives of two women who could not be more different: Becky Sharp, an orphan whose only resources are her vast ambitions, her native wit, and her loose morals; and her schoolmate Amelia Sedley, a typically naive Victorian heroine, the pampered daughter of a wealthy family.
E.M. Forster - 1910
M. Forster about social conventions, codes of conduct and relationships in turn-of-the-century England. A strong-willed and intelligent woman refuses to allow the pretensions of her husband's smug English family to ruin her life. Howards End is considered by some to be Forster's masterpiece.
Elizabeth Gaskell - 1848
It follows Mary Barton, daughter of a man implicated in the murder, through her adolescence, when she suffers the advances of the mill owner, and later throughlove and marriage. Set in Manchester, between 1837-42, it paints a powerful and moving picture of working-class life in Victorian England.
The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins - 1859
There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth, stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white'The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright's eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter becomes embroiled in the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his 'charming' friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons, and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.Matthew Sweet's introduction explores the phenomenon of Victorian 'sensation' fiction, and discusses Wilkie Collins's biographical and societal influences. Included in this edition are appendices on theatrical adaptations of the novel and its serialisation history.
The Vicar of Wakefield
Oliver Goldsmith - 1766
It depicts the fall and rise of the Primrose family, presided over by the benevolent vicar, the narrator of a fairy-tale plot of impersonation and deception, the abduction of a beautiful heroine and the machinations of an aristocratic villain. By turns comic and sentimental, the novel's popularity owes much to its recognizable depiction of domestic life and loving family relationships.New to this edition is an introduction by Robert L. Mack that examines the reasons for the novels enduring popularity, as well as the critical debates over whether it is a straightforward novel of sentiment or a satire on the social and economic inequalities of the period and the very literary conventions and morality it seems to embody. This edition also includes a new, up-to-date bibliography and expanded notes, and contains reprints of Arthur Friedman's authoritative Oxford English Novels text of the corrected first edition of 1766.