Literary

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Sylvia's Lovers

by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

The novel begins in the 1790s in the coastal town of Monkshaven (modeled on Whitby, England) against the background of the practice of impressment during the early phases of the Napoleonic Wars.

The Genius

by Theodore Dreiser

Theodore Dreiser heavily invested himself in The Genius, an autobiographical novel first published in 1915. Thoroughly immersed in the turn-of-the-century art scene, The Genius explores the multiple conflicts...

Madame Bovary

by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary scandalized its readers when it was first published in 1857. And the story itself remains as fresh today as when it was first written, a work that remains unsurpassed in its unveiling of character...

This Side of Paradise

by Francis Scott Fitzgerald

Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive...

Poor Jack

by Frederick Marryat

It tells the story of Thomas Saunders, a sailor's son and neglected street urchin struggling to survive in Greenwich, London in the early 19th century. ("Poor Jack" was the title given by the waterfront boys,...

The Age of Innocence

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 1921

by Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence centers on one society couple's impending marriage and the introduction of a scandalous woman whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assumptions and mores...

Swann's Way

In Search of Lost Time #1

by Marcel Proust

In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past (French: À la recherche du temps perdu) is a semi-autobiographical novel in seven volumes by Marcel Proust. His most prominent work, it is popularly known...

Middlemarch

by George Eliot

Vast and crowded, rich in irony and suspense, Middlemarch is richer still in character, with two of the era's most enduring characters, Dorothea Brooke, trapped in a loveless marriage, and Lydgate, an ambitious...

Night and Day

by Virginia Woolf

Set in Edwardian London, Night and Day contrasts the daily lives and romantic attachments of two acquaintances, Katharine Hilbery and Mary Datchet. The novel examines the relationships between love, marriage,...

The Nether World

by George Gissing

The Nether World is a novel written by the English author George Gissing. The plot concerns several poor families living in the slums of 19th century London. Rich in naturalistic detail, the novel concentrates...

The Lost Girl

James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 1920

by David Herbert Lawrence

Alvina Houghton, the daughter of a widowed Midlands draper, comes of age just as her father’s business is failing. In a desperate attempt to regain his fortune and secure his daughter’s proper upbringing,...

The Voyage Out

by Virginia Woolf

Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship and is launched on a course of self-discovery in a kind of modern mythical voyage. The mismatched jumble of passengers provide Woolf with an opportunity...

The Odd Women

by George Gissing

The Odd Women is an 1893 novel by the English novelist George Gissing. Its themes are the role of women in society, marriage, morals and the early feminist movement.

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 Fortune of the Rougons

Les Rougon-Macquart #1

by Emile Zola

The novel is partly an origin story, with a huge cast of characters swarming around - many of whom become the central figures of later novels in the series - and partly an account of the December 1851 coup d'état...

The Mill on the Floss

by George Eliot

The novel details the lives of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, a brother and sister growing up on the river Floss near the village of St. Oggs, evidently in the 1820s, after the Napoleonic Wars but prior to the first...

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...

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 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...

The Lady of the Camellias