“Cousin Phillis” (1864) is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. It was published in four parts, though a fifth and sixth part were planned. The story is about Paul Manning, a youth of seventeen who moves to the country and befriends his mother’s family and his (second) cousin Phillis Holman, who is confused by her own placement at the edge of adolescence.
Most critics agree that Cousin Phillis is Gaskell’s crowning achievement in the short novel. The story is uncomplicated; its virtues are in the manner of its development and telling. Cousin Phillis is also recognized as a fitting prelude for Gaskell’s final and most widely acclaimed novel, Wives and Daughters, which ran in Cornhill Magazine from August 1864 to January 1866.
Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist (angol)
One of Dickens’s most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, "Please, sir, I want some more." After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thievesOliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured readers’ imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time—the terrifying Bill Sikes. Rife with Dickens’s disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvation—and the shocking discovery of his true identity.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Cranford (angol)
As for Cranford in general, it was going on much as usual. First published in serial format, Gaskell's Cranford is a delightfully light-hearted series of stories about early Victorian life in a country village. Following the lives of two spinster sisters, Miss Matty and Miss Deborah as they gossip about the inconsequential goings-on of the community, Gaskell's best-loved work affectionately comments on the role of women in society at that time and documents the changing face of a bygone Victorian provincial idyll.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Mary Barton
Mary Barton, subtitled 'A Tale of Manchester Life', is the first novel by Mrs Gaskel. The entirely working-class cast of characters in this novel was then an innovation. The background story is Manchester in the 'hungry forties' and the acute poverty of the unemployed mill-hands. Mary Batson, daughter of an embittered worker, wins the attention of Henry Carson, son of one of the employers. But a group of workmen plot his murder as a warning to his class, and it falls upon Mary's father to perform the deed. Suspicion lies with Mary's working class admirer, Jem, who is tried for his life. Finally, John Barton is driven by guilt to confess.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Ruth
A young orphan, Ruth Hilton, is seduced and then abandoned by the wealthy Henry Bellingham. She is left to bring up her child in a society that offers her no protection and seems to punish such innocence. Taken in by a Dissenting minister in the guise of a widow, she is given a chance to bring up her son whom she loves above all else. But the condemnation of society always threatens, and despite Ruth's rejection of his belated offer of marriage, Bellingham's reappearance precipitates her exposure and rejection. Only her heroic self-sacrifice in the midst of a cholera epidemic regains her her position, but too late. This was a crusading novel when it was published in 1853, and aroused almost as much censure for its shocking scenes as it did sympathy for the heroine.
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
This engrossing tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly journeys through Christmases past, present, and future and his ultimate transformation from a harsh and grasping old miser to a charitable and compassionate human being. A perennial classic that has become as much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths.
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings
After reading Christmas Carol, the notoriously reculsive Thomas Carlyle was "seized with a perfect convulsion of hospitality" and threw not one but two Christmas dinner parties. The impact of the story may not always have been so dramatic but, along with Dickens other Christmas writings, it has had a lasting and significant influence upon our ideas about the Christmas spirit, and about the season as a time for celebration, charity, and memory.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Readers)
Classics / British English Mrs. Bennet wants all her daughters to marry. When a rich young man comes to the village, Mrs. Bennet thinks he will make a wonderful husband. Does her daughter Elizabeth love this man? What about her other daughters?
Elizabeth Gaskell - Wives and Daughters
Gaskell's last novel, widely considered her masterpiece, follows the fortunes of two families in nineteeth century rural England. At its core are family relationships - father, daughter and stepmother, father and sons, father and step-daughter - all tested and strained by the romantic entanglements that ensue. Despite its underlying seriousness, the prevailing tone is one of comedy. Gaskell vividly portrays the world of the late 1820's and the forces of change within it, and her vision is always humane and progressive. The story is full of acute observation and sympathetic character study: the feudal squire clinging to old values, his naturalist son welcoming the new world of science, the local doctor and his scheming second wife, the two girls brought together by their parents' marriage...
Charles Dickens - Master Humphrey's Clock and Other Stories
This unique selection of shorter fiction - The Public Life of Mr. Tulrumble, Master Humphrey's Clock, The Lamplighter's Story, To Be Read at Dusk, Hunted Down and George Silverman's Explanation-offers a fine insight into the workings of Dickens's creative genius. Written between 1837 and 1870, they span his career and exemplify his power to entertain.
Charles Dickens - The Uncommercial Traveller
This is the fourth and final volume of the first annotated edition of Dickens' Journalism. It gathers together for the first time articles, essays and recollections published during the last decade of Dickens' life, before his untimely death in 1870, and represents the culmination of a lifetime's work in popular journalism.
George Eliot - Middlemarch (angol)
Often called the greatest nineteenth-century British novelist, George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans) created in Middlemarch a vast panorama of life in a provincial Midlands town. At the story’s center stands the intellectual and idealistic Dorothea Brooke—a character who in many ways resembles Eliot herself. But the very qualities that set Dorotheaapart from the materialistic, mean-spirited society around her also lead her into a disastrous marriage with a man she mistakes for her soul mate. In a parallel story, young doctor Tertius Lydgate, who is equally idealistic, falls in love with the pretty but vain and superficial Rosamund Vincy, whom he marries to his ruin. Eliot surrounds her main figures with a gallery of characters drawn from every social class, from laborers and shopkeepers to the rising middle class to members of the wealthy, landed gentry. Together they form an extraordinarily rich and precisely detailed portrait of English provincial life in the 1830s. But Dorothea’s and Lydgate’s struggles to retain their moral integrity in the midst of temptation and tragedy remind us that their world is very much like our own. Strikingly modern in its painful ironies and psychological insight, Middlemarch was pivotal in the shaping of twentieth-century literary realism.
Charles Dickens - Hard Times
Coketown is dominated by the figure of Mr Thomas Gradgrind, school headmaster and model of Utilitarian success. Feeding both his pupils and family with facts, he bans fancy and wonder from any young minds. As a consequence his obedient daughter Louisa marries the loveless businessman and ‘bully of humanity’ Mr Bounderby, and his son Tom rebels to become embroiled in gambling and robbery. And, as their fortunes cross with those of free-spirited circus girl Sissy Jupe and victimized weaver Stephen Blackpool, Gradgrind is eventually forced to recognize the value of the human heart in an age of materialism and machinery. This edition of Hard Times is based on the text of the first volume publication of 1854. Kate Flint’s introduction sheds light on the frequently overlooked character interplay in Dickens’s great critique of Victorian industrial society.
Elizabeth Gaskell - North and South
When her father leaves the Church, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the North of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. In North and South Gaskell skillfully fused individual feeling with social concern and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature.
Charles Dickens - Hard Times (Oxford Dominoes)
Thomas Gradgrind believes that facts and money are more important than feelings and imagination. After Cissy Jupe a circus child is left alone in the world, Gradgrind takes her into his house, looking after her and teaching her facts with his own children Tom and Louisa. Some years later the Gradgrind family meets hard times. Louisa becomes a prisoner in a loveless marriage, and Tom has problems at work. In the end, Thomas Gradgrind learns the importance of feelings and imagination.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
The Collector's Library in Colour takes the favourite illustrated titles of The Collector's Library and presents them in full colour. Jane Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions. Here, where Hugh Thomson's delightful period illustrations were originally black-and-white, they have been sensitively coloured by Barbara Frith, one of Britain 's most accomplished colourists. A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice shows how the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the aristocratic Mr Darcy must have their pride humbled and their prejudices dissolved before they can acknowledge their love for each other." With an Afterword by Henry Hitchings.
Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
Great Expectations charts the progress of Pip from childhood through often painful experiences to adulthood, as he moves from the Kent marshes to busy, commercial London, encountering a variety of extraordinary characters ranging from Magwitch, the escaped convict, to Miss Havisham, locked up with her unhappy past and living with her ward, the arrogant, beautiful Estella. Pip must discover his true self, and his own set of values and priorities. Whether such values allow one to prosper in the complex world of early Victorian England is the major question posed by Great Expectations, one of Dickens's most fascinating, and disturbing, novels.
Charles Dickens - A Holiday Romance
Holiday Romance is a collection of four short interconnected stories written from the point of view of four children. Dickens has presented young characters that are forced to submit to the elite of the society. He advocates the right of imagination and fancy for the children. The only piece of juvenile fiction by Dickens, this work presents beautiful ideas.
Jane Austen - Emma (angol)
Jane Austen teased readers with the idea of a 'heroine whom no one but myself will much like', but Emma is irresistible. 'Handsome, clever, and rich', Emma is also an 'imaginist', 'on fire with speculation and foresight'. She sees the signs of romance all around her, but thinks she will never be married. Her matchmaking maps out relationships that Jane Austen ironically tweaks into a clearer perspective. Judgement and imagination are matched in games the reader too can enjoy, and the end is a triumph of understanding.