First published in 1860, The Mill on the Floss is George Eliot’s second full length novel. Considered the most autobiographical of her work, it is the story of free-spirited Maggie Tulliver and her stern brother Tom. Eliot details poignantly their childhood growing up at Dorlcote Mill on the River Floss and later their turbulent young adulthood. Continue reading .
Pauline Johnson was born on the Six Nations Indian Reserve in Ontario to a Mohawk father and an English mother. Legends of Vancouver was originally published around 1910 as a series of newspaper articles based on stories related by Johnson’s friend, Chief Joe Capilano of the Squamish people. It is the first collection of native legends retold by a native artist and has become a classic of Canadian literature. Continue reading .
The Song of the Lark was Cather’s third novel. Written between O Pioneers! and My Antonia, it is very different from those novels for which Cather is better known. The story is set among sand hills and canyons, big crowded cities and harmonious music. It is the story of the making of an artist, from her humble beginnings in Moonstone, Colorado to the big time singing operas in New York. It is a story in three parts. Continue reading .
Based on the 1903 play of the same name, the novel was published shortly thereafter and was an immediate success. The Scarlet Pimpernel follows the story of Marguerite Blakeney–a beautiful French actress–and the anonymous hero who rescues condemned aristocrats out of France during the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution. The book’s anonymous hero of dual identity is a precursor to latter heros and superheros such as Superman, Zorro, The Lone Ranger, and Batman. Continue reading .
While Woolf can easily be criticized for neglecting to research the technical details and for writing only about the upper classes and their manias, to dwell on these issues would be entirely beside the point. E. M. Forster put it best when he described The Voyage Out as “…a strange, tragic, inspired book whose scene is a South America not found on any map and reached by a boat which would not float on any sea, an America whose spiritual boundaries touch Xanadu and Atlantis.” Continue reading .
The inhabitants of the Oak-Tree Street were particularly proud of their street in winter. But now it seemed like winter would never come and the Oak-Tree Street – the major place of attraction in winter-time – would see no visitors this year. While the general population of the Oak-Tree Street was bemoaning their fate and wondering what was to be done now that everything seemed lost, there was one creature, at least, who did not think that this year’s winter’s delay was quite the end of the world. Continue reading .
This sequel to Portrait of the Past follows the story of Henry Johnson, a man blinded while fighting in the Civil War. Deserted by his young wife, he spends the next twenty years chasing a dream – to establish a training center for blinded adults. When he meets and befriends wealthy widow Beatrice Palmer, his dream seems on the verge of fruition. Unfortunately, a shocking revelation threatens to destroy not only his dream but also his budding love for Beatrice. Will love endure when faced with an uncomfortable truth? Continue reading .
In Nachtstürm Castle, a novella sequel to Northanger Abbey, Catherine is married, settled, and ready for and deserving of a proper heroine’s adventure. In Paris, an encounter with a real gypsy, as well as a real Englishman, sends the Tilneys to Nachstürm Castle, high in the Alps and as windswept and mysterious as any heroine could wish. If you love Northanger Abbey and its adorable heroine and witty hero, we think you will find Nachtstürm Castle to be a very nice story indeed. Continue reading .
In this first novel by Agatha Christie, published in 1920, she introduces the inimitable Poirot, who would go on to appear in 33 Christie novels and 54 short stories. The plot of The Mysterious Affair at Styles deals with a straightforward case of an old woman poisoned with strychnine for the obvious reason: her money. The way Christie handles a plot, however, nothing is ever straightforward. The story spirals round and round, leading the reader in one direction, then another, convincing the reader that first one character, then another is the guilty party. Continue reading .
First published anonymously in 1860, the narrator of this novel (who remains unnamed) is an orphan who is sent to live with her aunt. During the journey, the narrator and her companion, Mr. Rutledge, are injured in a train wreck and are thus moved to a nearby parsonage to recuperate before continuing the journey. At the parsonage, part of a large estate called Rutledge, the narrator enjoys the kindness and caring of Mr. Rutledge and the parsonage’s occupants. When the narrator finally makes it to her aunt’s house, she is caught in the flippant social whirl and to a certain degree comes to enjoy it. Drama and tragedy ensue before our narrator determines where her place place of real joy and love should be. Continue reading .