This book contains the following works arranged alphabetically by authors last names - Little Women [Louisa May Alcott] - Sense and Sensibility [Jane Austen] - Peter Pan (Peter and Wendy) [J.M. Barrie] - Cabin Fever [ B. M. Bower] - The Secret Garden [Frances Hodgson Burnett] - A Little Princess [Frances Hodgson Burnett] - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland [Lewis Carroll] - The King in Yellow [Robert William Chambers] - The Man Who Knew Too Much [Gilbert Keith Chesterton] - The Woman in White [Wilkie Collins] - The Most Dangerous Game [Richard Connell] - On the Origin of Species, 6th Edition [Charles Darwin] - Robinson Crusoe [Daniel Defoe] - The Iron Woman [Margaret Deland] - David Copperfield [Charles Dickens] - Oliver Twist [Charles Dickens] - A Tale of Two Cities [Charles Dickens] - The Double [Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky] - The Hound of the Baskervilles [Arthur Conan Doyle] - The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes [Arthur Conan Doyle] - The Three Musketeers [Alexandre Dumas] - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button [Francis Scott Fitzgerald] - A Room with a View [E. M. Forster] - Dream Psychology [Sigmund Freud] - Tess of the d'Urbervilles [Thomas Hardy] - Siddhartha [Hermann Hesse] - Dubliners [James Joyce] - The Fall of the House of Usher [Edgar Allan Poe] - The Arabian Nights [Andrew Lang] - The Sea Wolf [Jack London] - The Call of Cthulhu [Howard Phillips Lovecraft] - Anne of Green Gables [Lucy Maud Montgomery] - Beyond Good and Evil [Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche] - The Murders in the Rue Morgue [Edgar Allan Poe] - The Black Cat [Edgar Allan Poe] - The Raven [Edgar Allan Poe] - Swann's Way [Marcel Proust] - Romeo and Juliet [William Shakespeare] - Treasure Island [Robert Louis Stevenson] - The Elements of Style [William Strunk Jr.
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859 and died in 1930. Within those years was crowded a variety of activity and creative work that made him an international figure and inspired the French to give him the epithet 'the good giant'.
He was the nephew of 'Dickie Doyle' the artist, and was educated at Stonyhurst, and later studied medicine at Edinburgh University, where the methods of diagnosis of one of the professors provided the idea for the methods of deduction used by Sherlock Holmes. He set up as a doctor at Southsea and it was while waiting for patients that he began to write.
His growing success as an author enabled him to give up his practice and turn his attention to other subjects. His greatest achievement was, of course, his creation of Sherlock Holmes, who soon attained international status and constantly distracted him from his other work; at one time Conan Doyle killed him but was obliged by public protest to restore him to life.
And in his creation of Dr Watson, Holmes's companion in adventure and chronicler, Conan Doyle produced not only a perfect foil for Holmes but also one of the most famous narrators in fiction.
Jules Verne (1828-1905) was a French novelist and playwright best known for his epic adventures, including Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Around the World in Eighty Days.
A true visionary and master storyteller, Verne foresaw the skyscraper, the submarine, and the airplane, among many other inventions, and he is often regarded as the 'Father of Science Fiction.'
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, was born on November 30, 1835, in the tiny village of Florida, Missouri.
Writing grand tales about Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and the mighty Mississippi River, Mark Twain explored the American soul with wit, buoyancy, and a sharp eye for truth. He became nothing less than a national treasure.
Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon, near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. She lived with her family at Steventon until they moved to Bath when her father retired in 1801. After his death in 1805, she moved around with her mother; in 1809, they settled in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire. Here she remained, except for a few visits to London, until in May 1817 she moved to Winchester to be near her doctor. There she died on 18 July 1817.
Jane Austen was extremely modest about her own genius, describing her work to her nephew, Edward, as 'the little bit (two Inches wide) of Ivory, on which I work with so fine a Brush, as produces little effect after much labour'.
As a girl she wrote stories, including burlesques of popular romances. Her works were published only after much revision, four novels being published in her lifetime.
These are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1815). Two other novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were published posthumously in 1817 with a biographical notice by her brother, Henry Austen, the first formal announcement of her authorship. Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-16. She also left two earlier compositions, a short epistolary novel, Lady Susan, and an unfinished novel, The Watsons. At the time of her death, she was working on a new novel, Sanditon, a fragmentary draft of which survives.
Louisa May Alcott was born on 29 November 1832 in Pennsylvania, and she grew up with plenty of books to read but seldom enough to eat. Louisa went to work when she was very young as a paid companion and teacher, but she loved writing most of all, and like Jo March she started selling sensational stories in order to help provide financial support for her family.
She worked as a nurse during the American Civil War but the experience made her extremely ill. Little Women was published in 1868 and was based on her life growing up with her three sisters. She followed it with three sequels, Good Wives (1869), Little Men (1871) and Jo's Boys (1886) and she also wrote other books for both children and adults. Louisa was also a campaigner for women's rights and the abolition of the slave trade. She died on 6 March 1888.
Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in Manchester in 1849 and moved to America in 1865, where she launched a literary career in which she produced over forty books including A Little Princess (1905) and The Secret Garden (1911). Frances died in 1924.
William Wilkie Collins was born in London in 1824, the son of a successful and popular painter. On leaving school, he worked in the office of a tea merchant in the Strand before reading law as a student at Lincoln's Inn. However his real passion was for writing and, in 1850, he published his first novel, Antonina.
In 1851, the same year that he was called to the bar, he met and established a lifelong friendship with Charles Dickens. While Collins' fame rests on his best known works, The Woman in White and The Moonstone, he wrote over thirty books, as well as numerous short stories, articles and plays. He was a hugely popular writer in his lifetime. An unconventional individual, he never married but established long-term liaisons with two separate partners. He died in 1889.
Charles Darwin (1809–19 April 1882) is considered the most important English naturalist of all time. He established the theories of natural selection and evolution.
His theory of evolution was published as On the Origin of Species in 1859, and by the 1870s is was widely accepted as fact.
Daniel Defoe was a Londoner, born in 1660 at St Giles, Cripplegate, and son of James Foe, a tallow-chandler. He changed his name to Defoe from c. 1695. He was educated for the Presbyterian Ministry at Morton's Academy for Dissenters at Newington Green, but in 1682 he abandoned this plan and became a hosiery merchant in Cornhill. After serving briefly as a soldier in the Duke of Monmouth's rebellion, he became well established as a merchant and travelled widely in England, as well as on the Continent.
Between 1697 and 1701 he served as a secret agent for William III in England and Scotland, and between 1703 and 1714 for Harley and other ministers. During the latter period he also, single-handed, produced the Review, a pro-government newspaper. A prolific and versatile writer he produced some 500 books on a wide variety of topics, including politics, geography, crime, religion, economics, marriage, psychology and superstition. He delighted in role-playing and disguise, a skill he used to great effect as a secret agent, and in his writing he often adopted a pseudonym or another personality for rhetorical impact.
His first extant political tract (against James II) was published in 1688, and in 1701 appeared his satirical poem The True-Born Englishman, which was a bestseller. Two years later he was arrested for The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters, an ironical satire on High Church extremism, committed to Newgate and pilloried. He turned to fiction relatively late in life and in 1719 published his great imaginative work, Robinson Crusoe. This was followed in 1722 by Moll Flanders and A Journal of the Plague Year, and in 1724 by his last novel, Roxana.
His other works include A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain, a guide-book in three volumes (1724–6; abridged Penguin edition, 1965), The Complete English Tradesman (1726), Augusta Triumphans, (1728), A Plan of the English Commerce (1728) and The Complete English Gentleman (not published until 1890). He died on 24 April 1731. Defoe had a great influence on the development of the English novel and many consider him to be the first true novelist.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and became the most popular novelist of the Victorian era.
A prolific writer, he published more than a dozen novels in his lifetime, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and Hard Times, most of which have been adapted many times over for radio, stage and screen.
The brilliant Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–81) is celebrated for such classics as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov whose psychological examinations of the human soul had a profound effect on the 20th-century novel. His influence resonates in the works of such latter-day authors as Proust, Faulkner, Hemingway, and Kafka. Dostoyevsky also wrote many shorter works that are masterpieces in their own right.
Alexandre Dumas was born July 24, 1802, at Villiers-Cotterets, France, the son of Napoleon's famous mulatto general, Dumas.
Alexandre Dumas began writing at an early age and saw his first success in a play he wrote entitled Henri III et sa Cour (1829). A prolific author, Dumas was also an adventurer and took part in the Revolution of 1830.
Dumas is most famous for his brilliant historical novels, which he wrote with collaborators, mainly Auguste Maquet, and which were serialized in the popular press of the day.
His most popular works are The Three Musketeers (1844), The Count of Monte Cristo (1844-45), and The Man in Iron Mask (1848-50). Dumas made and lost several fortunes, and died penniless on December 5, 1870.
Edward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879, attended Tonbridge School as a day boy, and went on to King's College, Cambridge, in 1897. With King's he had a lifelong connection and was elected to an Honorary Fellowship in 1946. He declared that his life as a whole had not been dramatic, and he was unfailingly modest about his achievements.
Interviewed by the BBC on his eightieth birthday, he said: 'I have not written as much as I'd like to... I write for two reasons: partly to make money and partly to win the respect of people whom I respect... I had better add that I am quite sure I am not a great novelist.' Eminent critics and the general public have judged otherwise and in his obituary The Times called him 'one of the most esteemed English novelists of his time'.
He wrote six novels, four of which appeared before the First World War, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908), and Howard's End (1910). An interval of fourteen years elapsed before he published A Passage to India. It won both the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Maurice, his novel on a homosexual theme, finished in 1914, was published posthumously in 1971.
He also published two volumes of short stories; two collections of essays; a critical work, Aspects of the Novel; The Hill of Devi, a fascinating record of two visits Forster made to the Indian State of Dewas Senior; two biographies; two books about Alexandria (where he worked for the Red Cross in the First World War); and, with Eric Crozier, the libretto for Britten's opera Billy Budd. He died in June 1970.
The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) ranks among the most important figures in Western psychology. Freud is responsible for the theories of parapraxis (Freudian slips), dreams as wish fulfillment, the Oedipus complex, repression, the unconscious mind, and other ground-breaking concepts.
Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset in 1840. His first published novel was Desperate Remedies in 1871. Such was the success of these early works, which included A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873) and Far From the Madding Crowd (1874), that he gave up his work as an architect to concentrate on his writing.
However, he had difficulty publishing Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1889) and was forced to make changes in order for it to be judged suitable for family readers. This, coupled with the stormy reaction to the negative tone of Jude the Obscure (1895), prompted Hardy to abandon writing novels altogether and he concentrated on poetry for the rest of his life. He died in January 1928.
Hermann Hesse was born in Calw in 1877, a town in the north of the Black Forest. As a child he was constantly at odds with his religious upbringing and education.
His experiences of childhood, adolescence and the desire to break into the world as an artist would form the matter of his first three novels, Peter Camenzind, The Prodigy and Gertrude. Following an ever-present spiritual thirst, Hesse read widely on theosophy, Buddhism and the burgeoning field of psychoanalysis, even becoming a patient of Carl Jung.
This seeking is evident in some of his greatest novels, such as Demian, Steppenwolf, and Siddhartha. Little known outside of Germany at the time of his death in 1962 the arrival of the first English translation of Siddhartha in 1954 struck a chord with the counterculture movement of the 1960s. Soon after, Hesse became one of the most widely read and translated European authors of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.
James Joyce was born in Dublin on 2 February 1882, the eldest of ten children in a family which, after brief prosperity, collapsed into poverty. He was none the less educated at the best Jesuit schools and then at University College, Dublin, and displayed considerable academic and literary ability.
Although he spent most of his adult life outside Ireland, Joyce's psychological and fictional universe is firmly rooted in his native Dublin, the city which provides the settings and much of the subject matter for all his fiction.
He is best known for his landmark novel Ulysses (1922) and its controversial successor Finnegans Wake (1939), as well as the short story collection Dubliners (1914) and the semi-autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). James Joyce died in Zurich, on 13 January 1941.
Andrew Lang was a Scots poet, novelist, literary critic, and contributor to the field of anthropology.
He is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales.
The Andrew Lang lectures at the University of St Andrews are named after him.
Jack London (1876 - 1916), lived a life rather like one of his adventure stories. He was born John Chaney, the son of a travelling Irish-American fortune-teller and Flora Wellman, the outcast of a rich family. By the time Jack was a year old, Flora had married a grocer called John London and settled into a life of poverty in Pennsylvania. As Jack grew up he managed to escape from his grim surroundings into books borrowed from the local library - his reading was guided by the librarian.
At fifteen Jack left home and travelled around North America as a tramp - he was once sent to prison for thirty days on a charge of vagrancy. At nineteen he could drink and curse as well as any boatman in California! He never lost his love of reading and even returned to education and gained entry into the University of California. He soon moved on and in 1896 joined the gold rush to the Klondyke in north-west Canada. He returned without gold but with a story in his head that became a huge best-seller - The Call of the Wild - and by 1913 he was the highest -paid and most widely read writer in the world. He spent all his money on his friends, on drink and on building himself a castle-like house which was destroyed by fire before it was finished. Financial difficulties led to more pressure than he could cope with and in 1916, at the age of forty, Jack London committed suicide.
Titles such as The Call of the Wild, The Sea-Wolf and White Fang continue to excite readers today.
Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada, in 1874. Anne of Green Gables, published in 1908, was her first novel and has remained in print across the world ever since. Montgomery died in Toronto in 1942.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) is one of America's greatest and best-loved writers.
Known as the father of the detective story, Poe is perhaps most famous for his short stories particularly his shrewd mysteries and chilling, often grotesque tales of horror he was also an extremely accomplished poet and a tough literary critic.
Poe's life was not far removed from the drama of his fiction. Orphaned at a young age, he was raised by a foster family. As a young man, he developed problems with gambling, debts, and alcohol, and was even dismissed from the army.
His love life was marked by tragedy and heartbreak. Despite these difficulties, Poe produced many works now considered essential to the American literary canon.
Marcel Proust was born in Auteuil in 1871. In his twenties he became a conspicuous society figure, frequenting the most fashionable Paris salons of the day.
After 1899, however, his suffering from chronic asthma, the death of his parents and his growing disillusionment with humanity caused him to lead an increasingly retired life.
He slept by day and worked by night, writing letters and devoting himself to the completion of A la recherche du temps perdu. He died in 1922 before publication of the last three volumes of his great work.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. The date of his birth is unknown but is celebrated on 23 April, which happens to be St George's Day, and the day in 1616 on which Shakespeare died.
Aged eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. They had three children. Around 1585 William joined an acting troupe on tour in Stratford from London, and thereafter spent much of his life in the capital. By 1595 he had written five of his history plays, six comedies and his first tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. In all, he wrote thirty-seven plays and much poetry, and earned enormous fame in his own lifetime in prelude to his immortality.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94) was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied law but preferred writing and in 1881 was inspired by his stepson to write Treasure Island.
Other famous adventure stories followed including Kidnapped, as well as the famous collection of poems for children, A Child's Garden of Verses. Robert Louis Stevenson is buried on the island of Samoa.
Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882. After her father's death in 1904 Virginia and her sister, the painter Vanessa Bell, moved to Bloomsbury and became the centre of ‘The Bloomsbury Group’. This informal collective of artists and writers exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture.
In 1912 Virginia married Leonard Woolf, a writer and social reformer. Three years later, her first novel The Voyage Out was published, followed by Night and Day (1919) and Jacob's Room (1922). Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to The Waves (1931).
She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography. On 28 March 1941, a few months before the publication of her final novel, Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf committed suicide.
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