The Scarlet Letter: A Romance is an 1850 work of fiction in a historical setting.The story begins in seventeenth-century Boston, then a Puritan settlement. A young woman, Hester Prynne, is led from the town prison with her infant daughter, Pearl, in her arms and the scarlet letter “A” on her breast. A man in the crowd tells an elderly onlooker that Hester is being punished for adultery.
The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night (1885), subtitled A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments, is a celebrated English language translation of One Thousand and One Nights (the “Arabian Nights”) – a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age (8th-13th centuries) – by the British explorer and Arabist Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890)
Sometime in the late nineteenth century, Jonathan Harker, a young English lawyer, is traveling to the Castle Dracula, which is located in Transylvania, in order to finalize a transfer of real estate in England to Count Dracula. Harker becomes extremely nervous when all of the local peasants react in fear after they hear of his destination; nevertheless, he continues on to the castle until he meets an emissary of the Count in the Borgo Pass. The mysterious coach driver continues on to the castle, arriving in pitch darkness, to the accompaniment of howling wolves.
The book's protagonist is an English scientist and gentleman inventor and identified by a narrator simply as the Time Traveller. The narrator recounts the Traveller's lecture to his weekly dinner guests that time is simply a fourth dimension, and his demonstration of a tabletop model machine for travelling through it. He reveals that he has built a machine capable of carrying a person through time and recounts the remarkable tale.
Originally published in 1915, Of Human Bondage is a potent expression of the power of sexual obsession and of modern man's yearning for freedom. This classic bildungsroman tells the story of Philip Carey, a sensitive boy born with a clubfoot who is orphaned and raised by a religious aunt and uncle. Philip yearns for adventure, and at eighteen leaves home, eventually pursuing a career as an artist in Paris. When he returns to London to study medicine, he meets the androgynous but alluring Mildred and begins a doomed love affair that will change the course of his life.
Written between 1895 and 1897, it is one of the earliest stories that detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race. The novel is the first-person narrative of both an unnamed protagonist in Surrey and of his younger brother in London as southern England is invaded by Martians.
Like many of Dostoyevsky's stories, "White Nights" is told in first person by a nameless narrator; the narrator is living in Saint Petersburg and suffers from loneliness. He gets to know and falls in love with a young woman, but the love remains unrequited as the woman misses her lover with whom she is finally reunited.
Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador's garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. The play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a commentary on women's independence.
On publication it was widely denounced by the press as degenerate and horrific because of its decadent style and sexual content, although it has since garnered a reputation as a classic of horror. Machen's story was only one of many at the time to focus on Pan as a useful symbol for the power of nature and paganism.
An outbreak of plague in London forces a gentleman, Lovewit, to flee temporarily to the country, leaving his house under the sole charge of his butler, Jeremy. Jeremy uses the opportunity given to him to use the house as the headquarters for fraudulent acts. He transforms himself into "Captain Face," and enlists the aid of Subtle, a fellow conman, and Doll Common, a prostitute.
Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. Some residents say this town was bewitched during the early days of the Dutch settlement. Other residents say an old Native American chief, the wizard of his tribe, held his powwows here before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman.
It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.
Women in Love is a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), and follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, an industrialist. Lawrence contrasts this pair with the love that develops between Ursula and Rupert Birkin, an alienated intellectual who articulates many opinions associated with the author. The emotional relationships thus established are given further depth and tension by an intense psychological and physical attraction between Gerald and Rupert.
North and South is set in the fictional industrial town of Milton in the North of England. Forced to leave her home in the tranquil rural south, Margaret Hale settles with her parents in Milton where she witnesses the brutal world wrought by the industrial revolution and employers and workers clashing in the first organised strikes. Sympathetic to the poor whose courage and tenacity she admires and among whom she makes friends, she clashes with John Thornton, a cotton mill manufacturer who belongs to the nouveaux riches and whose contemptuous attitude to workers Margaret despises. The novel traces both her growing understanding of the complexity of labor relations and her impact on some well-meaning mill owners, and the conflicted relationship between Margaret Hale and John Thornton.
Finding himself laid up in the small New England town of Starkfield for the winter, the narrator sets out to learn about the life of a mysterious local named Ethan Frome, who had a tragic accident some twenty years earlier. After questioning various locals with little result, the narrator finally comes to learn the details of Ethan’s “smash-up” (as the locals call it) when a violent snowstorm forces the narrator into an overnight stay at the Frome household.
Twelve Years a Slave is an 1853 memoir and slave narrative by American Solomon Northup as told to and edited by David Wilson. Northup, a black man who was born free in New York state, details his being tricked to go to Washington, D.C., where he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Deep South. After having been kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana by various masters, Northup was able to write to friends and family in New York, who in turn secured his release with the aid of the state. Northup's account provides extensive details on the slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, and describes at length cotton and sugar cultivation and slave treatment on major plantations in Louisiana.