Literary

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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 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 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...

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,...

What Diantha Did

by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

First published serially in Gilman's magazine the Forerunner in 1909-10, the novel tells the story of Diantha Bell, a young woman who leaves her home and her fiancé to start a housecleaning business. A resourceful...

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 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.

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.

Within A Budding Grove

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,...

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 Sweet Cheat Gone (The Fugitive)

The Way of All Flesh

by Samuel Butler

A semi-autobiographical novel that attacks Victorian era hypocrisy as it traces four generations of the Pontifex family. Butler dared not publish it during his lifetime, but when it was published, it was accepted...

Nana

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...

Time Regained

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 Guermantes Way

Thérèse Raquin

by Emile Zola

Thérèse Raquin is a novel by Émile Zola, first published in 1867. It was originally published in serial format in the journal L'Artiste. It was published in book format in December of the same year. In 1873,...

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...