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Far From The Madding Crowd is much more than a tale of rural life; at times the principal characters act madly enough to make the title seem ironic. Hardy subtly spins his story around the disruption of a small community by two differing but equally strong willed outsiders, Bathsheba and Troy. In the end Bathsheba learns from the whirlwind of passion she has unleashed and settles for the best of her suitors. Meanwhile, the beauty of the countryside...
10) Sons and lovers
Introduction by David Ellis
The struggle for power at the heart of a family in conflict, the mysteries of sexual initiation, and the pain of irretrievable loss are the universal motifs with which D. H. Lawrence fashions one of the world’s most original autobiographical novels.
Gertrude Morel is a refined woman who married beneath her and has come to loathe her brutal, working-class husband. She focuses...
13) Main street
14) Howards End
16) Sister Carrie
"American writing, before and after Dreiser's time, differed almost as much as biology before and after Darwin," said H. L. Mencken. Sister Carrie, Dreiser's great first novel, transformed the conventional "fallen woman" story into a bold and truly innovative piece of fiction when it appeared in 1900. Naïve young Caroline Meeber, a small-town girl seduced by the...
Introduction by Kathryn Harrison
Inspired by the long-standing affair between D. H. Lawrence’s German wife and an Italian peasant, Lady Chatterley’s Lover follows the intense passions of Constance Chatterley. Trapped in an unhappy marriage to an aristocratic mine owner whose war...
18) Swann's way
20) Madame Bovary
Madame Bovary became notorious and a bestseller after Gustave Flaubert was acquitted from charges of obscenity in 1856. It details the many adulterous affairs and extravagances of Emma Bovary, a provincial doctor's wife. Her behaviour explores the banality and emptiness of rural life.
Flaubert considered himself a perfectionist, which is mirrored in the immaculate style of his writing. Madame Bovary is still considered one of the...
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