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The Three Clerks

by Anthony Trollope

The Three Clerks is a novel by Anthony Trollope, set in the lower reaches of the Civil Service. It draws on Trollope's own experiences as a junior clerk in the General Post Office, and has been called the most...

Cities of the Plain (Sodom and Gomorrah)

In Search of Lost Time #4

by Marcel Proust

In this fourth volume, Proust’s novel takes up for the first time the theme of homosexual love and examines how destructive sexual jealousy can be for those who suffer it. Sodom and Gomorrah is also an unforgiving...

The Captive

In Search of Lost Time #5

by Marcel Proust

In The Captive, Proust’s narrator describes living in his mother’s Paris apartment with his lover, Albertine, and subsequently falling out of love with her.

Jacob's Room

by Virginia Woolf

The novel centres, in a very ambiguous way, around the life story of the protagonist Jacob Flanders, and is presented entirely by the impressions other characters have of Jacob (except for those times when we...

Time Regained

The Guermantes Way

Esther Waters

by George Moore

Set in England from the early 1870s onward, the novel is about a young, pious woman from a poor working-class family who, while working as a kitchen maid, is seduced by another employee, becomes pregnant, is...

The Master of Ballantrae

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson’s brooding historical romance demonstrates his most abiding theme—the elemental struggle between good and evil—as it unfolds against a hauntingly beautiful Scottish landscape, amid the fierce...


by Guy de Maupassant

The story chronicles journalist Georges Duroy's corrupt rise to power from a poor ex-NCO to one of the most successful men in Paris, most of which he achieves by manipulating a series of powerful, intelligent,...

The Lady of the Camellias

The Head of the House of Coombe

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Head of the House of Coombe follows the relationships between a group of pre–World War One English nobles and commoners. It also offers both some interesting editorial commentary on the political system...

Ethan Frome

by Edith Wharton

Set against the bleak winter landscape of New England, Ethan Frome is the story of a poor farmer, lonely and downtrodden, his wife Zeena, and her cousin, the enchanting Mattie Silver. In the playing out of this...

What Maisie Knew

The House of Mirth

by Edith Wharton

The House of Mirth (1905), by Edith Wharton, is a novel about New York socialite Lily Bart attempting to secure a husband and a place in rich society. It is one of the first novels of manners in American literature.

The Titan

by Theodore Dreiser

The Titan is a novel written by Theodore Dreiser in 1914. It is Dreiser's sequel to The Financier. Cowperwood moves to Chicago with his new wife Aileen. He decides to take over the street-railway system.

The Professor's House

Free Air

by Sinclair Lewis

Long before Jack Kerouac penned his famous American roadtrip epic, Sinclair Lewis wrote what may in fact be the seminal work of the genre. This cheerful little road novel, published in 1919, is about Claire...

The Secret City

The Wide, Wide World

by Susan Warner

The Wide, Wide World is a work of sentimentalism based on the life of young Ellen Montgomery. The story begins with Ellen’s happy life being disrupted by the fact that her mother is very ill and her father...

The Ambassadors

by Henry James

Concerned that her son Chad may have become involved with a woman of dubious reputation, the formidable Mrs. Newsome sends her 'ambassador' Strether from Massachusetts to Paris to extricate him. Strether's mission,...