Literary

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Vanity Fair

by William Makepeace Thackeray

“I think I could be a good woman, if I had five thousand a year,” observes beautiful and clever Becky Sharp, one of the wickedest—and most appealing—women in all of literature. Becky is just one of the...

The Waves

by Virginia Woolf

One of Woolf’s most experimental novels, The Waves presents six characters in monologue - from morning until night, from childhood into old age - against a background of the sea. The result is a glorious chorus...

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...

The Beautiful and the Damned

by Francis Scott Fitzgerald

The novel provides a portrait of the Eastern elite during the Jazz Age, exploring New York Café Society. As with his other novels, Fitzgerald's characters are complex, especially in their marriage and intimacy,...

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.

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...

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,...

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...

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 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...

A Child of the Jago

by Arthur Morrison

The novel recounts the brief life of Dicky Perrott, a child growing up in the "Old Jago", a fictionalisation of the Old Nichol, a slum in the East End of London.

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 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...

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 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 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...

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...

Moll Flanders

by Daniel Defoe

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (commonly known as simply "Moll Flanders") is a novel written by Daniel Defoe in 1722. Defoe wrote this after his work as a journalist and pamphleteer....

Bel-Ami

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,...