The novel explains the tale of Hank Morgan, a 19th-century resident of Hartford, Connecticut who, after a blow to the head, awakens to find himself inexplicably transported back in time to early medieval England at the time of the legendary King Arthur.
Set in 1547, the novel tells the story of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London, and Edward VI of England, son of Henry VIII of England.
The Phantom of the Opera (original title: Le Fantôme de l’Opéra) is a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux. It was first published as a serialization in „Le Gaulois” from September 23, 1909 to January 8, 1910. Initially, the story sold very poorly upon publication in book form and was even out of print several times during the twentieth century, despite the success of its various film and stage adaptations. The most notable of these were the 1925 film depiction and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1986 musical. The Phantom of the Opera musical is now the longest running Broadway show in history, and one of the most lucrative entertainment enterprises of all time.
The book is a social novel that tries to show the industrial North and its conflicts in the mid-19th century as seen by an outsider, a socially sensitive lady from the South. The heroine of the story, Margaret Hale, is the daughter of a Nonconformist minister who moves to the fictional industrial town of Milton after leaving the Church of England. The town is modelled after Manchester where Gaskell lived as the wife of a Unitarian minister. Gaskell herself worked among the poor and knew at first hand the misery of the industrial areas.
The change of lifestyle shocks Margaret, who sympathizes deeply with the poverty of the workers and comes into conflict with John Thornton, the owner of a local cotton mill, also a friend of her father. After an encounter with a group of strikers, in which Margaret attempts to protect Thornton from the violence, he proposes to her, telling her that he is in love with her; she rejects his proposal of marriage, mainly because she sees it as if it were out of obligation for what she had done. Later, he sees her with her fugitive brother, whom he mistakes for another suitor, and this creates further unresolved conflict. Margaret, once she believes she has lost his affection, begins to see him in another light, and eventually they are reunited.
Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes their every word to be true, despite the fact that many of the events in them are clearly impossible. Quixano eventually appears to other people to have lost his mind from little sleep and food and because of so much reading.
He decides to go out as a knight-errant in search of adventure. He dons an old suit of armor, renames himself „Don Quixote de la Mancha,” and names his skinny horse „Rocinante”. He designates a neighboring farm girl, Aldonza Lorenzo, as his lady love, renaming her Dulcinea del Toboso, while she knows nothing about this.
Moby-Dick is a symbolic work, but also includes chapters on natural history. Major themes include obsession, religion, idealism versus pragmatism, revenge, racism, sanity, hierarchical relationships, and politics. All of the members of the crew have biblical-sounding, improbable, or descriptive names, and the narrator deliberately avoids specifying the exact time of the events (such as the giant whale disappearing into the dark abyss of the ocean) and some other similar details. These together suggest that the narrator — and not just Melville — is deliberately casting his tale in an epic and allegorical mode.
It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world (the Wonderland of the title) populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic in ways that have given the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, and its narrative course and structure have been enormously influential, especially in the fantasy genre.
Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of „pirates and buried gold”.
The main character of this story is Mary Lennox, a sickly, sallow and sour-faced girl. She has been born to rich British parents that are currently living in India. Her self-interested parents were busy with extravagant parties and neglected Mary, leaving her with her ayah and wanting nothing to do with her. Orphaned by an outbreak of cholera, she is sent back to England to be cared for by her mother’s sister’s husband, Archibald Craven, a reclusive widower. Craven’s wife, Lilias, died ten years earlier. He is still mourning that loss. To escape his sad memories, he constantly travels abroad, leaving the entire manor, including Mary, to be cared for by his housekeeper, Mrs. Medlock. The only person who has any time for the little girl is the chambermaid Martha Sowerby, who tells Mary about a locked up garden, surrounded by a wall that was the late Mrs. Craven’s favorite place. No one has entered the garden since she died because Archibald locked its entrance and buried the key. He hasn’t told anyone where it is.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth is a classic 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The story involves a German professor (Otto Lidenbrock in the original French, Professor Von Hardwigg in the most common English translation) who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the center of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy. The living organisms they meet reflect geological time; just as the rock layers become older and older the deeper they travel, the animals become more and more ancient the closer the characters approach the center.
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is the fourth book set in the Land of Oz written by L. Frank Baum.
In the story, set after the last book, Dorothy is joining Uncle Henry in California at Hugson’s Ranch, on their way home from Australia, Dorothy having visited friends in San Francisco. She strikes up an acquaintance with Hugson’s nephew and her second cousin, Zeb. Dorothy, Eureka, who is Dorothy’s cat, and Zeb are riding a buggy being pulled by a cab-horse named Jim when an earthquake starts and opens a crevice beneath them that sends them hurtling into the bowels of the earth.
Frankenstein begins in epistolary form, documenting the correspondence between Captain Robert Walton and his sister, Margaret Walton Saville. Walton sets out to explore the North Pole and expand his scientific knowledge in hopes of achieving fame and friendship. The ship becomes trapped in ice, and, one day, the crew sees a dogsled in the distance, on which there is the figure of a giant man. Hours later, the crew finds Frankenstein, and in need of sustenance. Frankenstein had been in pursuit of his monster when all but one of his dogs died. He had broken apart his dogsled to make oars and rowed an ice-raft toward the vessel. Frankenstein starts to recover from his exertion and recounts his story to Walton. Before beginning his story, Frankenstein warns Walton of the wretched effects of allowing ambition to push one to aim beyond what one is capable of achieving.
The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells. It describes the experiences of an unnamed narrator who travels through the suburbs of London as the Earth is invaded by Martians. It is one of the earliest stories that details a conflict between mankind and an alien race.
The War of the Worlds is split into two parts, Book one: The Coming of the Martians, and Book two: The Earth under the Martians. The novel is narrated by a writer of philosophical articles who throughout the narrative struggles to reunite with his wife, while witnessing the Martians rampaging through the southern English counties. Part one also features the tale of his brother, who accompanies two women to the coast in the hope of escaping England as it is invaded.
Ulysses is a novel by the Irish author James Joyce, first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, in Paris. One of the most important works of Modernist literature, it has been called „a demonstration and summation of the entire movement”.
Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, 16 June 1904 (the day of Joyce’s first date with his future wife, Nora Barnacle). The title alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer’s Odyssey, and establishes a series of parallels between characters and events in Homer’s poem and Joyce’s novel (e.g., the correspondences between Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus).
The Mysterious Island is a novel by Jules Verne, published in 1874. The novel is a sequel to Verne’s famous Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of the Castaways, though thematically it is vastly different from those books.