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By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)

The Vicar of Bullhampton by Anthony Trollope The Vicar of Bullhampton

This little-known but engrossing Trollope novel, published in 1870, centers on a feisty small-town clergyman, his cantankerous neighbor, the miller, and the women in both their lives. A murder, a trial, a feud, a fallen woman, and a complicated romance are woven together in an exploration of the limits of our ability to truly do right when we involve ourselves in the lives of others, even with the best intentions. (Introduction by Angela Rowland)

By: Trollope, Anthony (1815-1882)

Belton Estate, The by Trollope, Anthony Belton Estate, The

Clara Amedroz is the virtuous, intelligent, and quick-witted heroine of this novel. Like all women of her time, she has few options other than to marry. She is lucky enough to have two eligible suitors, and chooses the more urbane and worldly of the two. Alas, however, she realizes fairly quickly that Captain Aylmer is not a nice person. Throughout much of the novel we find her trying hard not to recognize that Will Belton - the suitor she rejected, and who still loves and wants to marry her - is...

By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)

Doctor Wortle's School by Anthony Trollope Doctor Wortle's School

Anthony Trollope’s fortieth novel, published in 1881, concerns a respectable Christian boys’ school whose proprietor unknowingly hires a woman who apparently has two husbands: A devoted English scholar and an abusive drunkard from the American south. The book interweaves a sensitive and realistic exploration of Dr. Wortle’s moral dilemma with a humorous look at small-town gossip and--of course--a romance involving the doctor’s beautiful young daughter. (

The Golden Lion of Granpere by Anthony Trollope The Golden Lion of Granpere

Time to do a short Continental trip with Trollope and see if we agree with Walpole. "...not only Trollope's very best shorter book, but one of the most charming idylls in English literature. - . . It has all the colour and richness and cohesion of something done irresistibly." -Walpole . The storyline is simple - boy meets girl - parents object - trials and tribulations follow - and then the story reaches it's conclusion - but you will need to find what that is for yourself !

Book cover Castle Richmond
Book cover Kept in the Dark

Kept in the Dark is a novel by the 19th century English novelist Anthony Trollope. It was published in eight monthly installments in 1882, and also in book form in the same year. Cecilia Holt ends her engagement to Sir Francis Geraldine because of his indifference to her; she goes abroad and meets Mr George Western, who has been jilted by a beautiful girl. They marry but she does not tell him she has been previously engaged, although he has told her his story. When Western is informed of the previous engagement by Sir Francis, Western leaves his wife and goes abroad; she returns to Exeter to live with her mother...

Book cover An Eye for an Eye
Book cover The Bertrams
Book cover An Old Man's Love

This was Trollope's last completed novel, and he may have acquired his sympathy for older lovers with age! A not-so-very-old man, Mr. Whittlestaff, dearly loves Mary Lawrie, the girl he provides a home for after her father's death. He wishes to marry her, and she reluctantly accepts him, but warns him of her deep regard for a young man she had known years earlier. That Mr. Gordon had not exactly engaged her, but had gone off to seek his fortune and had not communicated with Mary ever since. Shortly after Mary accepts Mr. Whittlestaff, Gordon shows up. Trollope works out a final arrangement which resolves the quandary, but not with comfort. (Arnold Banner)

Book cover Nina Balatka

A romance set in Prague between a Catholic and a Jew. In this short novel, Trollope moves away from his usual milieu to explore a theme which has universal resonance.

Book cover Mrs. General Talboys
Book cover La Vendée

By: Edward M. Forster (1879-1970)

Howards End by Edward M. Forster Howards End

It's sad, but true to say that today Edward Morgan Forster's works are known more from their film and television adaptations rather than from their original novels. Yet, these adaptations have spurred many a fascinated viewer into going back to the library and finding the book that the film or miniseries was based on and this is ultimately the power of Forster's literary appeal. Howard's End was published in 1910 and it marked Forster's first taste of critical and commercial success. He had published three other novels earlier, Where Angels Fear To Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907) and A Room With a View (1908) but none of them had been received with so much acclaim...

A Room With a View by Edward M. Forster A Room With a View

A Room With a View opens with Two Englishwomen touring Europe. The older one is poor, bossy, old fashioned and a great upholder of what is “proper.” The younger one is less certain of herself, but holds within her the makings of a passionate, emotional and independent woman. In Florence they are allotted a room overlooking a dull courtyard, whereas they had specifically asked for a “view.” A fellow guest offers them his own rooms which offer wonderful vistas of the Arno. The older woman instead of appreciating his courtesy, sees this as a breach of propriety...

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Book cover Rappaccini's Daughter

The story is set in Padua in a distant, but unspecified past. From his quarters, Giovanni, a young student of letters, observes Beatrice, the beautiful daughter of Dr. Rappaccini, a scientist working in isolation. Beatrice is confined to the lush and locked gardens filled with poisonous plants by her father. Having fallen in love, Giovanni enters the garden and meets with Beatrice a number of times regardless of the warning of his mentor, Professor Baglioni, that Rappaccini is up to no good and he and his work should be avoided.

The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Marble Faun

The Marble Faun is Hawthorne's most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. In the spring of 1858, Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared...

By: George Eliot (1819-1880)

Daniel Deronda by George Eliot Daniel Deronda

A lovely young woman gambling at a casino in Leubronn, Germany. A young man watches, fascinated from afar. She begins to lose heavily and leaves the casino. Thus opens the last and probably the most controversial of George Eliot's novels. Published in 1876, Daniel Deronda is also the only one in which the great Victorian novelist portrays contemporary society of her own time. There were only a few murmurs when it first came out, but later, they became a full fledged outpouring of resentment against what many readers felt was an extremely controversial stand on Jewish, proto-Zionist and Kabbalistic ideas...

Adam Bede by George Eliot Adam Bede

A young carpenter falls in love with the village beauty. She, however, has set her sights on a dashing army captain who's the son of the wealthy local squire. Meanwhile, a beautiful and virtuous young woman preacher arrives in the village. What happens to these people and the strange twists and turns that their lives take are described in the rest of the book. Adam Bede was George Eliot's first published novel. Published in 1859, the book has remained a firm favorite with readers and academicians alike and is still taught in many English literature courses all over the world...

Middlemarch by George Eliot Middlemarch

George Eliot's seventh and perhaps most famous novel almost didn't get written! It took birth as a short novella titled Miss Brooke but she was unhappy with its progress and finally in despair, she decided to put it aside for a couple of years. Meanwhile, personal problems intervened and when she took up the project again, it was with a renewed sense of creativity. Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life first appeared as an eight-part serial novel in 1871-72. In 1874, it was finally compiled into a full length novel and attained instant fame and success...

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett Anna of the Five Towns

The plot centers on Anna Tellwright, daughter of a wealthy but miserly and dictatorial father, living in the Potteries area of Staffordshire, England. Her activities are strictly controlled by the Methodist church. Having escaped her father by marrying the respectable and attractive Henry, she attempts in vain to help Willy, son of a drunken and bankrupt business associate of her father's.

By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White tells the story of two half-sisters, Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe who were embroiled in the sinister plot of Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco to take over their family’s wealth. It’s considered to be one of the first “sensation novels” to be published. Like most novels that fall into this category, the protagonists here are pushed to their limits by the villains before they finally got the justice they deserved. The story begins with Walter Hartright helping a woman dressed in white who turned out to have escaped from a mental asylum...

Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins Poor Miss Finch

"Poor Miss Finch." That is what everyone calls the courageous protagonist of this book. In other words, "poor thing, she's blind, isn't it awful?" Ha! Lucilla Finch is the wisest of all the characters, in spite of, and perhaps because of, her blindness. This story is about her trials, tribulations and triumphs. She reminds me of myself. Not the falling recklessly in love and being pulled this way and that by foolish young men and mad old doctors. I mean that, like her, I'm blind and proud of it! (Introduction by Sandra G)

Book cover Evil Genius

The Evil Genius, one of Wilkie Collins' last works, is subtitled "A Domestic Scene". It is the intriguing tale of family Linley, including the "evil genius", and their governess Sydney Westerfield. In colorful pictures, Collins presents the story of this family, which becomes entangled in the often hyprocritical Victorian perceptions of morality and decency.

Book cover Miss or Mrs.?

Natalie Graybrooke is in love with her cousin Launcelot Linzie, but engaged to Mr. Turlington, an older man who covets her fortune and whom she detests. Turlington is the executor of Natalie's father's estate. When Natalie secretly marries her cousin, Turlington arranges to have Natalie's father murdered, to gain control of his fortune.

Book cover The Fallen Leaves
Book cover Two Destinies

Mary Dermody is destined to be together with George Germaine one day, or so at least her grandmother prophesizes. Destiny at first doesn't seem to adhere to this plan, and the pair is separated and lose sight of each other. But when George saves a young woman from drowning, a strong connection seems to develop between them, which seems to be almost supernatural..

By: Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

Book cover The Third Violet

By: Kate Chopin (1851-1904)

The Awakening by Kate Chopin The Awakening

This book opens with a young wife and mother, vacationing at a resort in the Gulf of Mexico with her husband and children. The resort is run by an elderly Frenchwoman, who manages the place along with her two sons. The young wife and one of the sons develop a deep and passionate attachment to each other, with devastating effects on both families and their circle of friends. When Kate Chopin's 1899 novel The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, was first released, it evoked a storm of controversy...

Book cover At Fault

By: Edmund Spenser (1552?-1599)

Book cover Amoretti: A sonnet sequence

The Amoretti (meaning little love poems) is a sequence of 89 sonnets written in the tradition of the Petrarchan sonnets, a popular form for poets of the Renaissance period. Spenser’s sequence has been largely neglected in modern times, while those of his contemporaries William Shakespeare and Sir Philip Sidney have been acclaimed. However, because of the artistic skill, along with the emotion and the humor exhibited, these poems deserve a broader hearing, even though they may be somewhat difficult for the present-day reader, partly through Spenser’s love for words and expressions that were already archaic in his time...

By: Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950)

Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini Scaramouche

“He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad!” The wonderful opening lines of this 1921 novel set the tone for the rest of this delightful story of an adventurer and romantic who dons several roles in his colorful life. Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini is an historical novel set in the turbulent times of the French Revolution. The plot describes Andre-Louis Moreau, a young lawyer adopted by his godfather who cannot reveal his parentage. Moreau inadvertently stumbles into political events and becomes a wanted man based on the evil machinations of a sinister Marquis...

The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini The Sea Hawk

First published in 1915, The Sea Hawk follows the adventures of its protagonist Sir Oliver Tressilian, as he is unjustly betrayed and left to the mercy of others by his selfish brother, who seeks only to save his own skin no matter the cost. Exploring various themes including betrayal, vengeance, sacrifice, injustice, and tormented love, the novel successfully demonstrate Sabatini’s exceptional flair for adventure. Set in the late 16th century, the tale begins with the introduction of Sir Oliver Tressilian, a wealthy gentleman who lives together with his brother Lionel, haunted by his family’s bad-tempered reputation...


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