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The Fortune of the Rougons

Les Rougon-Macquart #1

di Emile Zola

The novel is partly an origin story, with a huge cast of characters swarming around - many of whom become the central figures of later novels in the series - and partly an account of the December 1851 coup d'état...

A Child of the Jago

di Arthur Morrison

The novel recounts the brief life of Dicky Perrott, a child growing up in the "Old Jago", a fictionalisation of the Old Nichol, a slum in the East End of London.

Poor Jack

di Frederick Marryat

It tells the story of Thomas Saunders, a sailor's son and neglected street urchin struggling to survive in Greenwich, London in the early 19th century. ("Poor Jack" was the title given by the waterfront boys,...

The Three Clerks

di Anthony Trollope

The Three Clerks is a novel by Anthony Trollope, set in the lower reaches of the Civil Service. It draws on Trollope's own experiences as a junior clerk in the General Post Office, and has been called the most...

The Nether World

di George Gissing

The Nether World is a novel written by the English author George Gissing. The plot concerns several poor families living in the slums of 19th century London. Rich in naturalistic detail, the novel concentrates...

The Odd Women

di George Gissing

The Odd Women is an 1893 novel by the English novelist George Gissing. Its themes are the role of women in society, marriage, morals and the early feminist movement.

Esther Waters

di George Moore

Set in England from the early 1870s onward, the novel is about a young, pious woman from a poor working-class family who, while working as a kitchen maid, is seduced by another employee, becomes pregnant, is...

The Head of the House of Coombe

di Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Head of the House of Coombe follows the relationships between a group of pre–World War One English nobles and commoners. It also offers both some interesting editorial commentary on the political system...

The Wide, Wide World

di Susan Warner

The Wide, Wide World is a work of sentimentalism based on the life of young Ellen Montgomery. The story begins with Ellen’s happy life being disrupted by the fact that her mother is very ill and her father...

Night and Day

di Virginia Woolf

Set in Edwardian London, Night and Day contrasts the daily lives and romantic attachments of two acquaintances, Katharine Hilbery and Mary Datchet. The novel examines the relationships between love, marriage,...

Bel-Ami

di Guy de Maupassant

The story chronicles journalist Georges Duroy's corrupt rise to power from a poor ex-NCO to one of the most successful men in Paris, most of which he achieves by manipulating a series of powerful, intelligent,...

Jacob's Room

di Virginia Woolf

The novel centres, in a very ambiguous way, around the life story of the protagonist Jacob Flanders, and is presented entirely by the impressions other characters have of Jacob (except for those times when we...

The Voyage Out

di Virginia Woolf

Rachel Vinrace embarks for South America on her father's ship and is launched on a course of self-discovery in a kind of modern mythical voyage. The mismatched jumble of passengers provide Woolf with an opportunity...

Riceyman Steps

James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 1923

di Arnold Bennett

The story takes place in 1919-1920 and deals with the final year in the life of its main character, Henry Earlforward, a miser, who keeps a second-hand bookshop in the Clerkenwell area of London. Henry marries...

The Secret City

The Lost Girl

James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 1920

di David Herbert Lawrence

Alvina Houghton, the daughter of a widowed Midlands draper, comes of age just as her father’s business is failing. In a desperate attempt to regain his fortune and secure his daughter’s proper upbringing,...

With Her in Ourland

di Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Sequel to Herland. Published serially in the author's monthly magazine, Forerunner, volume 7 (1916). Herland described an all-women utopia in a secluded high valley, where 3 adventurous young men visit by airplane....

The Great Gatsby

di Francis Scott Fitzgerald

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple + intricately patterned." That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and...

The Genius

di Theodore Dreiser

Theodore Dreiser heavily invested himself in The Genius, an autobiographical novel first published in 1915. Thoroughly immersed in the turn-of-the-century art scene, The Genius explores the multiple conflicts...

The Titan

di Theodore Dreiser

The Titan is a novel written by Theodore Dreiser in 1914. It is Dreiser's sequel to The Financier. Cowperwood moves to Chicago with his new wife Aileen. He decides to take over the street-railway system.