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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...


Les Rougon-Macquart #9

by Emile Zola

Nana is a novel by the French naturalist author Émile Zola. Completed in 1880, Nana is the ninth installment in the 20-volume Les Rougon-Macquart series, which was to tell "The Natural and Social History of...

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.

Time Regained

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...

The Guermantes Way

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...

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...


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 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 Lady of the Camellias

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.

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...

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 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,...

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 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 Secret City