Jane Austen revolutionized the literary romance, using it as a platform from which to address issues of gender politics and class consciousness among the British middle-class of the late eighteenth century. The novels included in the collection - Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, and Lady Susan - represent all of Austen's complete novels, and provide the reader with an entrance into the world she and her memorable characters inhabited.
With witty, unflinching morality, Austen portrays English middle-class life as the eighteenth century came to a close and the nineteenth century began. Austen's heroines find happiness in many forms, each of the novels is a story of love and marriage -- marriage for love, financial security and for social status.
In a publishing career that spanned less than ten years her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime. It wasn't until the 1940s that she became widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a fan culture. Austen's works continue to influence the course of the novel even as they charm readers today.
Anyone Can Read the Great Books . . . with a Little Help"An illuminating, learned, well-written, and entertaining survey of the giants of world literature. Busy people, and especially the young, will be grateful for this useful and concise introduction." --Paul Johnson Not simply a grand work of reference, The Great Books is a captivating journey through two-and-a-half millennia of the great Western tradition. The eminent British philosopher Anthony O'Hear is our capable tour guide, taking readers on an exhilarating tour through 2,500 years of books as powerful, thrilling, erotic, politically astute, and awe-inspiring as any modern bestseller. The Great Booksis a fascinating narrative that encompasses history, myth, art, music, theater, and more. O'Hear sweeps us along from Homer's Iliad to Goethe's Faust, covering much ground in between. In Homer's poems of epic struggle we discover not only the fascination and pleasure we can derive, but also why these works became the fountainhead of Western literature. From Greek tragedy we feel the power of the ancient myths, while from Plato's Death of Socrates we see what may have killed off the tragic spirit. In Virgil's Aeneid we ponder the close connections to--and puzzling contrasts with--Homer; in Dante's terrifying and sublime Divine Comedy we encounter Virgil once again, this time as mentor and guide through Hell; and in Milton's phantasmagoric Paradise Lost we find the Christian story given epic shape and power. And of course, in Shakespeare we experience the great dramatist's particular and incomparable genius. There is much more beyond--from Ovid and Augustine to Chaucer and Cervantes, Pascal and Racine. The Great Books is a spirited and enlightening guide to the great works of the Western tradition, shot through with a love of literature and the author's deeply held belief in its power to enrich and enliven everyone's world.
The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel, published just before his death in 1881, chronicles the bitter love-hate struggle between the outsized Fyodor Karamazov and his three very different sons. It is above all the story of a murder, told with hair-raising intellectual clarity and a feeling for the human condition unsurpassed in world literature.Dostoevsky's towering reputation as one of the handful of thinkers who forged the modern sensibility has sometimes obscured the purely novelistic virtues-brilliant characterizations, flair for suspense and melodrama, instinctive theatricality-that made his work so immensely popular in nineteenth-century Russia.