• Middlemarch

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    Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by the English author George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), first published in eight instalments (volumes) in 1871–72. The novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during 1829–32, and follows several distinct, intersecting stories with a large cast of characters. Issues include the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy, political reform, and education. Despite comic elements, Middlemarch is a work of realism encompassing historical events: the 1832 Reform Act, the beginnings of the railways, and the death of King George IV and succession of his brother, the Duke of Clarence (King William IV). It incorporates contemporary medicine and examines the reactionary views of a settled community facing unwelcome change. Eliot began writing the two pieces that would form Middlemarch in the years 1869–70 and completed the novel in 1871. Although initial reviews were mixed, it is now seen widely as her best work and one of the great novels in English.
  • Les Misérables

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    Les Misérables (French pronunciation: [le mizeʁabl(ə)]) is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. In the English-speaking world, the novel is usually referred to by its original French title. However, several alternatives have been used, including The Miserables, The Wretched, The Miserable Ones, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, The Victims and The Dispossessed. Beginning in 1815 and culminating in the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris, the novel follows the lives and interactions of several characters, particularly the struggles of ex-convict Jean Valjean and his experience of redemption.
  • The Idiot

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    The Idiot (pre-reform Russian: Идіотъ; post-reform Russian: Идиот, tr. Idiót) is a novel by the 19th-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was first published serially in the journal The Russian Messenger in 1868–9.The title is an ironic reference to the central character of the novel, Prince (Knyaz) Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, a young man whose goodness, open-hearted simplicity and guilelessness lead many of the more worldly characters he encounters to mistakenly assume that he lacks intelligence and insight. In the character of Prince Myshkin, Dostoevsky set himself the task of depicting "the positively good and beautiful man." The novel examines the consequences of placing such a unique individual at the centre of the conflicts, desires, passions and egoism of worldly society, both for the man himself and for those with whom he becomes involved.
  • Pygmalion

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    Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological figure. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1913.In ancient Greek mythology, Pygmalion fell in love with one of his sculptures, which then came to life. The general idea of that myth was a popular subject for Victorian era English playwrights, including one of Shaw's influences, W. S. Gilbert, who wrote a successful play based on the story called Pygmalion and Galatea that was first presented in 1871. Shaw would also have been familiar with the burlesque version, Galatea, or Pygmalion Reversed. Shaw's play has been adapted numerous times, most notably as the musical My Fair Lady and its film version.
  • Jane Eyre

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    Jane Eyre /ɛər/ (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë, published under the pen name "Currer Bell", on 16 October 1847, by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England. The first American edition was published the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York. Primarily a bildungsroman, Jane Eyre follows the experiences of its eponymous heroine, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr. Rochester, the brooding master of Thornfield Hall. The novel revolutionized prose fiction in that the focus on Jane's moral and spiritual development is told through an intimate, first-person narrative, where actions and events are coloured by a psychological intensity. Charlotte Brontë has been called the 'first historian of the private consciousness' and the literary ancestor of writers like Proust and Joyce. The book contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of Christian morality at its core, and is considered by many to be ahead of its time because of Jane's individualistic character and how the novel approaches the topics of class, sexuality, religion, and feminism.
  • Don Quijote (Spanish)

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    The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha (Modern Spanish: El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, pronounced [el iŋxeˈnjoso iˈðalɣo ðoŋ kiˈxote ðe la ˈmantʃa]), or just Don Quixote (/ˌdɒŋ kiːˈhoʊti/, US: /-teɪ/; Spanish: [doŋ kiˈxote] (About this sound listen); original pronunciation: [don kiˈʃote]), is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon.
  • Persuasion

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    Persuasion is the last novel fully completed by Jane Austen. It was published at the end of 1817, six months after her death.The story concerns Anne Elliot, a young Englishwoman of 27 years, whose family is moving to lower their expenses and get out of debt. They rent their home to an Admiral and his wife. The wife’s brother, Navy Captain Frederick Wentworth, had been engaged to Anne in 1806, and now they meet again, both single and unattached, after no contact in more than seven years. This sets the scene for many humorous encounters as well as a second, well-considered chance at love and marriage for Anne in her second "bloom".
  • Anne of Green Gables

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    Anne of Green Gables is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery (published as L. M. Montgomery). Written for all ages, it has been considered a classic children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. Set in the late 19th century, the novel recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl, who was mistakenly sent to two middle-aged siblings; Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, originally intending to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in the fictional town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way through life with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.
  • Charlotte’s Web

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    Charlotte's Web is a children's novel by American author E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams; it was published on October 15, 1952, by Harper & Brothers. The novel tells the story of a livestock pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur (such as "Some Pig") in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live.
  • Dred

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    Harriet Beecher Stowe’s second antislavery novel was written partly in response to the criticisms of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by both white Southerners and black abolitionists. In Dred, Stowe attempts to explore the issue of slavery from an African American perspective.Through the compelling stories of Nina Gordon, the mistress of a slave plantation, and Dred, a black revolutionary, Stowe brings to life conflicting beliefs about race, the institution of slavery, and the possibilities of violent resistance. Probing the political and spiritual goals that fuel Dred’s rebellion, Stowe creates a figure far different from the acquiescent Christian martyr Uncle Tom.