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Among the writers who have approached nearest to the manner of the great master, we have no hesitation in placing Jane Austen. —Thomas Macaulay
‘Pride and Prejudice’ is the best novel in the language. —Anthony Trollope
I used to think that men did everything better than women, but that was before I read Jane Austen. I don’t think any man ever wrote better than Jane Austen. —Rex Stout
Elizabeth Bennet has but to speak, and I am at her knees. —Robert Louis Stevenson
Read again, and for the third time at least, Miss Austen’s very finely written novel of ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. —Sir Walter Scott
Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.
A masterpiece. —Phillip Pullman
One of the most original and complete productions of the day. —Percy Bysshe Shelley
The greatest paradox and most astonishing achievement of Mary Shelley’s novel is that the monster is more human than his creator. This nameless being, as much a modern Adam as his creator is a modern Prometheus, is more lovable than his creator and more hateful, more to be pitied and more to be feared, and above all able to give the attentive reader that shock of added consciousness in which aesthetic recognition compels a heightened realization of self. —Harold Bloom
A wonderful book! —W. B. Yeats
While in one sense “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is as transparent as a medieval allegory and its structure as workmanlike as that of Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus”… in another sense it remains a puzzle: knotted, convoluted, brilliantly enigmatic. —Joyce Carol Oates
A story strange in conception, strong in interest, and fitted with a tragic and ghastly climax… A remarkable book. —Julian Hawthorne
Mr. Wilde’s work may fairly claim to go with that of Edgar Poe. —Walter Pater
When Hester Prynne, a young Puritan woman in seventeenth-century Boston, becomes pregnant out of wedlock, the unforgiving society in which she lives judges her harshly. Sentenced to wear a scarlet A emblazoned on her dress, Hester raises her daughter, Pearl, on the outskirts of town—an exile meant to cause her shame for the remainder of her life.
In refusing to name Pearl’s father, Hester seeks to protect the minister Arthur Dimmesdale from sharing her fate. As the years pass, Dimmesdale grows weaker, eroded by his guilt, while Hester finds renewal in a defiant reclamation of her strength and identity. Their diverging paths lead to a searing final scene that stands among the most powerful in American literature.
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The storming of the Bastille…the death carts with their doomed human cargo…the swift drop of the guillotine blade—this is the French Revolution that Charles Dickens vividly captures in his famous work A Tale of Two Cities. With dramatic eloquence, he brings to life a time of terror and treason, a starving people rising in frenzy and hate to overthrow a corrupt and decadent regime. With insight and compassion, Dickens casts his novel of unforgettable scenes with some memorable characters: the sinister Madame Defarge, knitting her patterns of death; the gentle Lucie Manette, unswerving in her devotion to her broken father; Charles Darnay, the lover with a secret past; and dissolute Sydney Carton, whose unlikely heroism gives his life meaning.
It is set among marshes in Kent, and in London, in the early to mid-1800s, and contains some of Dickens' most memorable scenes, including the opening, in a graveyard, where the young Pip is accosted by the escaped convict, Abel Magwitch. GREAT EXPECTATIONS is full of extreme imagery -poverty; prison ships and chains, and fights to the death-and has a colorful cast of characters who have entered popular culture. Dickens's themes include wealth and poverty, love and rejection, and the eventual triumph of good over evil. GREAT EXPECTATIONS is popular both with readers and literary critics, and has been translated into many languages, and adapted numerous times into various media.
Upon its release, the novel received near universal acclaim. Thomas Carlyle spoke disparagingly of "all that Pip's nonsense". Later, George Bernard Shaw praised the novel, as "All of one piece and consistently truthful." During the serial publication, Dickens was pleased with public response to GREAT EXPECTATIONS and its sales; when the plot first formed in his mind, he called it "a very fine, new and grotesque idea."
First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is regarded as Jack London’s masterpiece. Based on London’s experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike.
No other popular writer of his time did any better writing than you will find in “The Call of the Wild”. —H. L. Mencken.
Few men have more convincingly examined the connection between the creative powers of the individual writer and the unconscious drive to breed and to survive, found in the natural world… London is in and committed to his creations to a degree very nearly unparalleled in the composition of fiction. —James Dickey
All modern American literature comes from… “Huckleberry Finn”. It’s the best book we’ve had. —Ernest Hemingway
Probably the most stupendous event of my whole life. —Henry Louis Mencken
[Huck is] one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction, not unworthy to take a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet… —T. S. Eliot
The mark of how good ‘Huckleberry Finn’ has to be is that one can compare it to a number of our best modern American novels and it stands up page for page, awkward here, sensational there — absolutely the equal of one of those rare incredible first novels that come along once or twice in a decade. —Norman Mailer
The first truly American writer, and all of us since are his heirs. —William Faulkner
On a drowsy afternoon by a riverbank, a young and distracted Alice follows a rabbit into a fantastical underground world that grows curiouser and curiouser. Dared, insulted, amused, and threatened by a succession of anthropomorphic creatures, the indomitable Alice falls deeper into a swirl of the imagination where logic has no place.
Referenced, resourced, analyzed, and embraced since its publication in 1865, Carroll’s masterpiece of the irrational has inspired such varied artists as Walt Disney, Marilyn Manson, Jerome Kern, James Joyce, and Tim Burton. It stands as one of the most extravagantly and ingeniously absurd works in the English language.
Revised edition: Previously published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, this edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.
“Emma” abounds in the droll character sketches at which Jane Austen excelled. In addition to the well-intentional heroine and her hypochondriacal father, the village of Highbury during the Regency period is populated by an amusing circle of friends and family — kindhearted but tedious Miss Bates, a chatterbox spinster; ambitious Mr. Elton, a social-climbing parson; Frank Churchill, an enigmatic Romeo; Mr. Knightley, Emma’s brother-in-law and the voice of her better nature; and a cluster of other finely drawn, unforgettable personalities.
The author’s skill at depicting the follies of human nature in a manner both realistic and affectionate elevates this tale of provincial matchmaking to the heights of scintillating satire.
Of all great writers, Jane Austen is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness. —Virginia Woolf
Jane Austen’s masterpiece. —Rex Stout
Jane Austen is my favourite author! I read and reread, the mouth open and the mind closed. —E. M. Forster
How could these novels ever seem remote... the gaiety is unextinguished today, the irony has kept its bite, the reasoning is still sweet, the sparkle undiminished, as comedies they are irresistibly and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be. —Eudora Welty
It is the cleverest of books. I especially love the dialogue — every speech reveals the characters’ obsessions and preoccupations, yet it remains perfectly natural... absolutely gripping. —Susannah Clarke