Book picks similar to
Brother Jacob by George Eliot


The Struggles of Brown, Jones and Robinson, by One of the Firm

Anthony Trollope - 1862
    Told by 'One of the Firm', it is the tale of a foolhardy junior partner of an ill-fated haberdashery store. Formerly a bill-sticker, Robinson wishes to spend the firm's entire capital on advertising, to 'broadcast through the metropolis on walls, omnibuses, railway stations, little books, pavement chalkings, illuminated notices, porters' backs, gilded cars, and men in armour'. Although Robinson's devotion to inflated and dishonest advertising is the target of Trollope's satire, Robinson is none the less presented as an attractive and sympathetic character. Trollope wrote of Brown, Jones, and Robinson, 'I think there is some good fun in it'. The novel is an amusing comedy, bearing the hallmarks of Trollope's better-known novels - clever dialogue, riveting moments of drama, and comic suspense.

Life's Little Ironies

Thomas Hardy - 1894
    While the tales and sketches reflect many of the strengths and themes of the great novels, they are powerful works in their own right. Unified by his quintessential irony, strong visual sense, and engaging characters, they deal with the tragic and the humorous, the metaphysical and the magical. The collection displays the whole range of Hardy's art as a writer of fiction, from fantasy to uncompromising realism, and from the loving re-creation of a vanished rural world to the repressions of fin-de-siecle bourgeois life.

The Country House

John Galsworthy - 1907
    English novelist and playwright, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1932, Galsworthy became known for his portrayal of the British upper middle class and for his social satire. The novel begins: The year was 1891, the month October, the day Monday. In the dark outside the railway station at Worsted Skeynes Mr. Horace Pendyce's omnibus, his brougham, his luggage-cart, monopolized space. The face of Mr. Horace Pendyce's coachman monopolized the light of the solitary station lantern. Rosy-gilled, with fat close-clipped grey whiskers and inscrutably pursed lips, it presided high up in the easterly air like an emblem of the feudal system. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.

The Mudfog Papers

Charles Dickens - 1837
    Originally published monthly in Bentley's Miscellany from 1837-38, "The Mudfog Papers" makes use of Parliamentary reports, memoirs, and posthumous papers, as did Dicken's earlier comic success, "The Pickwick Papers."

The Lesson of the Master

Henry James - 1888
    When the tale's protagonist—a gifted young writer—meets and befriends a famous author he has long idolized, he is both repelled by and attracted to the artist's great secret: the emotional costs of a life dedicated to art. With extraordinary psychological insight and devastating wit, the novella asks the question of whether art is, ultimately, demeaning or ennobling for the artist, while capturing the ambiguities of a life devoted to art, and the choices artists must make. The expatriate James knew these choice well by the time he published the novella in the Universal Review in 1888, and the work reveals him at the height of his powers.The Art of The Novella SeriesToo short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.

Tales of Angria

Charlotte Brontë - 1839
    The five “novelettes” in this volume are the last of her Angrian tales. Written from the viewpoint of the cynical, gossipy Charles Townshend, they offer an ironic portrait of the intrigues, scandals, and passions of an aristocratic beau monde. With their varied cast of characters, the stories provide a fascinating glimpse into the mind and creative processes of the young writer who was to become one of the world’s greatest novelists.

The Moorland Cottage and Other Stories

Elizabeth Gaskell - 1850
    She herself acknowledged, 'you know I can tell stories better than any other way of expressing myself'. Her work shows her compulsion to express herself on the many subjects relevant to her experience as a Victorian, and Mancunian, a Unitarian, a social observer, and a woman. Above all, however, she writes about love.Love is the common thread which runs through the stories collected here. Gaskell recognizes that it can give rise to selfishness as well as self-sacrifice, unhappiness as well as joy. Writing with passion and shrewdness, irony and sympathy, she explores these paradoxes through humour, pathos, tragedy, the extraordinary, and the everyday.This selection of one short novel and eight stories shows Mrs. Gaskell working in different genres and with a wide range of material. As in her novels she explores different kinds of love, and her observations about human nature are as acute here as in her longer works.In addition to the title tale, this edition includes The Sexton's Hero, Christmas Storms and Sunshine, The Well of Pen-Morfa, The Heart of John Middleton, Morton Hall, My French Master, The Manchester Marriage, and Crowley Castle.

The Nether World

George Gissing - 1889
    This tale of intrigue depicts life among the artisans, factory-girls, and slum-dwellers, documenting an inescapable world devoid of sentimentality and steeped with people scheming and struggling to survive. With Zolaesque intensity and relentlessness, Gissing lays bare the economic forces which determine the aspirations and expectations of those born to a life of labor.

The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Greatest Enemy

William Makepeace Thackeray - 1850
    But here Thackeray plunders his own past to create the character of Pendennis and the world in which he lives: from miserable schoolboy to striving journalist, from carefree Oxbridge to the high (and low) life of London. The result is a superbly panoramic blend of people, action and background. The true ebb and flow of life is caught and the credibility of Pen, his worldly uncle, the Major, and many of the other characters, extends far beyond the pages of the novel. Held together by Thackeray's flowing, confident prose, with its conversational ease of tone, Pendennis is as rich a portrait of England in the 1830s and 40s as it is a thorough and thoroughly entertaining self-portrait.

The Rector and The Doctor's Family

Mrs. Oliphant - 1861
    The incomprehensibleness of women is an old theory, but what is that to the curious wondering observation with which wives, mothers and sisters watch the other unreasoning animal ..!" These two short novels raise the curtain on an entrancing new world for all who love Jane Austen, George Eliot, and Trollope's "Barsetshire Chronicles". The setting is Carlingford, a small town not far from London in the 1800s. The cast ranges from tradesmen to aristocracy and clergy ... The Rector opens as Carlingford awaits the arrival of their new rector. Will he be high church or low? And--for there are numerous unmarried ladies in Carlingford--will he be a bachelor? After fifteen years at All Souls the Rector fancies himself immune to womanhood: he is yet to encounter the blue ribbons and dimples of Miss Lucy Wodehouse. The Doctor's Family introduces us to the newly built quarter of Carlingford where young Dr Rider seeks his living. Already burdened by his improvident brother's return from Australia, he is appalled when his brother's family and sister-in-law, Nettie, follow him to Carlingford. But the susceptible doctor is yet to discover Nettie's attractions--and her indomitable Australian will.

The Juvenilia of Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë

Jane Austen - 1986
    For both authors this was a period in which to experiment and to develop character and style. Their work moved in very different directions: in her first short burlesques, Jane Austen exhibits a merciless wit as she lampoons human vanities and vices, later sharpened in 'The Three Sisters' and 'Catherine' to reveal a maturer moral perspective. Charlotte Brontë's appetite was for romantic adventure and, with her brother Branwell, she created the fabulous kingdom of Angria. Yet the prevailing interests of her novels - a concern with the psychological intricacies of her characters' relationships and a desire to explore the forms of human passion - are already apparent. As Frances Beer comments in her Introduction, 'both sets of juvenilia provide us with an extraordinary opportunity to watch the growth and coalescence of the creative consciousness'.

The Legacy of Cain

Wilkie Collins - 1888
    Yet the prisoner is unrepentant of the murder of her husband. Will her vices be passed on to this seemingly sweet child?

Love and Mr. Lewisham

H.G. Wells - 1899
    But when his former sweetheart, Ethel Henderson, re-enters his life his strictly regimented existence is thrown into chaos by the resurgence of old passion. Driven by overwhelming desire, he pursues Ethel passionately, only to find that while she returns his love she also hides a dark secret. For she is involved in a plot of trickery that goes against his firmest beliefs, working as an assistant to her stepfather - a cynical charlatan 'mystic' who earns his living by deluding the weak-willed with sly trickery.

The Kiss and Other Stories

Kate Chopin - 1897
    Whether evoking the complex world of Creole New Orleans, where racial boundaries are burst by erotic gestures, often with tragic results, or recounting the simple sacrifices made in the name of love, she makes human emotions come instantly, dramatically alive. Her classic novel of sexual and spiritual rebirth, The awakening, is collected with her best stories in Penguin Classics.--back cover

Freya of the Seven Isles

Joseph Conrad - 1912
    In the end, the unique perspective of the sharply etched character of Freya is one of Conrad's most piercing studies of how the lust for power can drive men to greatness—or its opposite.