Click the letter and you will be brought to the beginning of the list beginning with that letter.
-A- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Ambassadors (1903) by Henry James
- An American, Chad Newcome, the son of a rich woman, is living the high life in Paris. His mother would like him back and sends her "ambassador" (the other ambassador is Chad's sister) to talk Chad into coming back home to Woolett, Massachusetts. This ambassador is Lambert Strether, a suitor of the rich mother. He is converted to Chad's way of thinking, and finally ends up giving Chad some parting advise, " Live all you can; it's a mistake not to."
§ Adam Bede (1859) by George Eliot
§ American Tragedy (1925) By Theodore Dreiser
- My edition contains a 6 page introduction by H. L. Mencken. Dreiser tells the story of Clyde's struggle with the forces of justice, or injustice, and how he is found guilty in a trial (it takes up a quarter of the book) of the killing of Roberta. He is found guilty and executed, not because he did what he set out to do, but rather what he did not do. Clyde is the victim of a political ambitious prosecutor; and, as well, the "capitalists," the system which "runs" the United States.
-B- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Barnaby Rudge (1841) By Charles Dickens
- Dickens gives a "very vivid" description of the Gordon Riots which occurred in London, 1780.
§ Book (The) of Daniel (1971) (New York: Bantam, 1979)
- E. L. Doctorow was Inspired to write this book by the execution of Julius & Ethel Rosenberg. "Articulates the dilemma produced by the confrontation of a mammoth system of procedures with relatively passive and powerless people."
§ The Brothers Karamozov (1879-80) By Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-81)
-C- (Click on letter to go to index)
§ Caine Mutiny (1951) By Herman Wouk (1915-2019)
§ Caleb Williams (1794)
- This work of literature was written by one of the earlist political agiatator's for democracy, William Godwin. Hazlitt, who could hardly be described as a philosophical admirer of Godwin, was of the view that Caleb Williams was a "splendid and impressive work ... a masterpiece, both as to invention and execution."
§ Charterhouse of Parma (1827) by Stendhal.
- The Charterhouse of Parma is a historical novel which brings us from the Battle of Waterloo, and through the post-Napoleonic era; an analysis of Romanticism. My copy (London: Chatto & Windus, 1951) includes, as a preface, a study (65 pp.) written by Balzac and Stendhal's eight page reply.
§ Chancery, In by Galsworthy.
§ I Come as a Thief
- Written by Louis Auchincloss about contemporary Manhattan and the countryside where "the rich repair for weekends and holidays." Auchincloss writes of, "What happens to people when their loyalties are put under unexpected acute pressure, particularly to the man who loves everyone the same."
§ The Count of Monte Cristo (1844).
- Written by Alexandre Alexandre Dumas (1802-70).
§ Cousin Bette (1846) By Balzac.
- "The Limburger cheese of literature, ... one has to hold up their nose as he reads." (Gest, The Lawyers in Literature.)
§ Crime & Punishment (1866) By Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-81).
-D- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ David Copperfield (1849-50) By Charles Dickens
- David Copperfield is semi-autobiographical. The hero is distressed by his experiences of early childhood; his time at a London factory; and his time as an attorney's clerk. Finally, Copperfield turns to writing.
§ Don Quixote (1605) By Cervantes.
-E- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ The Egoist (1879) By George Meredith.
- The Egoist is the story of the fictional character, Sir Willoughby Patterne; rich, handsome, selfish, fatuous, and conceited.
§ Erewhon (1872) By Samuel Butler.
- Erewhon (nowhere, backwards) is an utopian satire where many of the conventional practices and customs are reversed, for example, crime is treated as an illness and illness a crime. In 1901, Butler wrote Erewhon Revisited, the dominant theme of which is the origin of religious belief.
-F- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ The Fall (1957) By Albert Camus.
§ Forsyte (The) Saga By Galsworthy.
§ Felix Holt (1866) by George Eliot.
- Felix Holt has a "plot turning on a base fee in land."
§ The First Circle (1968); RWL(A,C).
- Written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), The First Circle deals with Stalin's penal system.
§ The Fixer (1960); RWL(A); By Bernard Malamud (1914-86).
-G- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ The Good Earth (1931) By Pearl S. Buck.
§ Great Expectations (1860-1).
- This Dickensian, story is narrated in the first person by Philip Pirrip ("Pip). The story opens on the Kentish marshes where we see the orphaned Pip helping a run away convict, Abel Magwitch. It then advances through the various stages of the great expectations of Pip's life. Pip is soon sent to the home of a Miss Havisham to live. In the household is another charge, Miss Havisham, is Estella, who treats Pip's developing love with coolness. Into the picture arrives a lawyer, Jaggers, who advises that Pip shall be the recipient of a generous monthly allowance, due to an anonymous benefactor. This allowance allows Pip to lead the life of a gentlemen. The story continues to unfold and the various characters play out there roles in a "melodramatic plotting and its richly stocked gallery of cosmic minor characters ..." (Cambridge's Guide.)
-H- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ The Heart of Midlothian (1818); WL(A,B,D); By Sir Walter Scott.
§ Henry Esmond By Thackeray.
§ The House of the Seven Gables (1851) By Nathanial Hawthorne (1804-94).
-I- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Ivanhoe (1819); WL(A) By Sir Walter Scott.
-J- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Jane Eyre (1847) By Charlotte Bronteë.
- Jane Eyre is a story based on the author's unhappy days at the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge, run by people who believed that physical discomfort was spiritually edifying (Bronteë's two oldest sisters died there in 1825).
§ Jean-Christophe (1904-1912) By Romain Rolland.
- This is a massive work consisting of a number of volumes. The hero in Jean-Christophe is Jean-Christophe Kraft. Jean-Christophe is a German born musician who travels throughout France and Germany where he observes and critiques the society that he finds. The work deals with a familiar literary theme: the artist, alone in his world. Rolland speaking through his musician hero concludes that the purpose of art is to "express moral truth" and in so doing to "combat the disintegration of values."
-K- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Kidnapped (1886) By Robert Louis Stevenson.
§ To Kill A Mocking Bird (1960) By Harper Lee (1926-2016).
-L- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928) By D. H. Lawrence.
- Because of its sexual explicitness this work was first privately printed in Florence. The first unexpurgated English edition did not appear until 1960. Penguin Books were prosecuted in England under the Obscene Publications Act. It was to be a very major test case, R. v. Penguin Books Limited. The courts found in favour of the publisher.
§ Les Miserables (1866) By Victor Hugo(1802-85).
§ Let, To By Galsworthy.
-M- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Man (A) of Property (1906) By Galsworthy.
§ Mansfield Park (1871-2) By Jane Austen.
- The story of Fanny Price who comes from an improvident family to live with her aunt and uncle, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram, at Mansfield Park. Fanny is patronized by three of her cousins (two girls and a boy); but the forth, Edmund, befriends her.
§ Middlemarch (1871-2) By George Eliot.
- "... considered not only Eliot's finest work but one of the greatest novels to come out of 19th-century England." (Benet's.)
-E- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Newcomes (1855) By Thackeray.
§ Ninety-three By Victor Hugo, Ninety-three deals with the last Days of a condemned Man.
-O- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ The Old Curiosity Shop (1840) By Charles Dickens.
§ Oliver Twist (1837-9)By Charles Dickens.
- Oliver Twist deals with the "system of police and petty justice in London."
-P- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Partners (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974) By Louis Auchincloss.
§ Pendennis, History of (1848-50) By Thackeray.
§ Pere Goriot (1834) By Balzac.
§ Pickwick Papers (1837) By Charles Dickens.
- "There is no more plot in Pickwick than there is in an omelette; yet, allowing for exaggeration and caricature, the book is really important because it contains a vivid and interesting picture of life, especially low or middle class life, in England, in the Thirties, for which 'histories may be searched in vain.'" [John Marshall Gest, The Lawyers in Literature (Boston: The Boston Book Co., 1913)]; The Pickwick Club was a takeoff on a British association known as the Advancement of Science, organized by Sir David Brewster and others in 1831.
§ The Plague (1948) By Albert Camus.
§ Portrait of a Lady (1881) By Henry James.
- About Isabel Archer, a romantic and independent American woman who inherits an English fortune; and about, her suitors and her marriage to one of them.
§ Pride and Prejudice (1813) By Jane Austen.
- Pride and Prejudice is a story which concerns itself with the middle class household of the Bennets. It is Mrs Bennet's aim in life to find a good match for each of her five daughters. Mr. Bennet refuses to take this project seriously. Elizabeth, one of the daughters, is to be matched to Darcy. She is prejudiced against him (it dissolves); He is proud of his station in life (it is false). There is a most impressive page on the net that is devoted to Austin's Pride and Prejudice.
-R- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ The Rebel (1954) (New York: Vintage, 1956) By Albert Camus.
- The Rebel is a book-length statement of Camus' philosophical views.
§ Red (The) & The Black (1830) By Stendhal.
- In this most celebrated work (the red stands for the red of the military, the black stands for the clergy) in which the hero (Julien Sorel), living in the aftermath of the Napoleonic dreams of glory, chooses the clergy as the only route for social advancement, a satiric analysis of the French social order under the Bourbon restoration.
§ Red Rock (1898).
- Written by Thomas Nelson Page (1853-1922), a lawyer, Red Rock concerns itself with the post American civil war period, reconstruction.
§ Robinson Crusoe (1719-20)By Daniel Defoe.
- This work of Defoe's "contains (not for boys but for men) more religion, more philosophy, more political economy, more anthropology, than are found in many elaborate treatises on these special subjects."
-S- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ The Scarlet Letter (1850); WL(C); By Nathanial Hawthorne (1804-94).
§ Sense & Sensibility (1811) By Jane Austen.
- Sense & Sensibility is a story about the two Dashwood sisters Elinor (she is sense), and Marianne (she is sensibility), and their suitors.
§ Silas Marner (1861) By George Eliot.
§ Sister Carrie (1900) By Theodore Dreiser.
- The two main characters, Carrie and Hurstswood switch roles; she starts in the dreary streets of Chicago; he ends up in the dreary streets of New York. The one loses riches and luxuries, and the other gains. Given the age, the subject matter, a woman who sold herself to become successful, was considered a shocking matter. The characters, really, are simply people caught up in the business of survival, and the reader is left to judge. Are we to judge them by a code of morality drawn by those who are safe from danger?
§ Sons and Lovers (1913) By D. H. Lawrence.
- Sons and Lovers is largely autobiographical. The woman is a schoolteacher who falls for a miner and marries him and finds herself in a life quite different then the Puritan atmosphere in which she was brought up. If the problem of being married to a drunk and a liar is one of interest to you, then Sons and Lovers is a book to read.
§ The Stranger (1942) By Albert Camus.
-T- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Tales of Manhattan (1964-'67) By Louis Auchincloss.
- These are three tales about Manhattan Island, a borough of New York City that contains the stock market, the great banks and law offices, the art galleries, the theaters, the luxury hotels, and the best clubs. One of the stories is about the distinguished law firm of "Arnold & Degener, One Chase Manhattan Plaza," and its members.
§ A Tale Of Two Cities (1859) By Charles Dickens.
§ The Thirty-nine Steps By John Buchan.
§ Tom Jones (1749) By Henry Fielding.
- "Exquisite picture of human manners." (Gibbon.) It may be that one will laugh at the humour, or be irritated by the grossness, but there is no forgetting "the beauty of unselfishness, the well-spring of goodness, the tenderness, the manly healthiness and heartiness underlying its frolic and its satire ..." (Harrison, p. 147.)
§ Two Years Before the Mast (1840) By Richard Henry Dana.
§ The Trial (1925) By Franz Kafka.
§ Tristram Shandy (1760) By Laurence Sterne.
- This was the book that vaulted Sterne, an obscure cleric, into the literary world. Tristram became quite a popular work in London, even though "denounced" by certain writers of the age (Johnson, Goldsmith and Richardson) on moral and literary grounds.
§ The Turn of The Screw (1898) By Henry James.
- This book is a "novella" about a governess in love with her employer, - it is complete with children, English castles and ghosts.
-U- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Under Two Flags (1868) By Ouida (1839-1908), the pen Name of Louise de La Ramee.
-V- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ Vanity Fair (1848) Bby Thackeray.
- This work of Thackery's is subtitled, A Novel without a Hero, "it traces the interweaving destinies of two contrasted heroines during the period of Waterloo and its aftermath." The heroines are Becky Sharp, described as the orphaned daughter of a penniless artist who is resourceful and socially ambitious; and Amelia Sedley, from a comfortable Bloomsbury home. "Vanity Fair is one of the greatest of English novels, a vast satirical panorama of a materialistic society and a landmark in the history of realistic fiction." (Cambridge's Guide.)
-W- (Click on letter to go to index.)
§ War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy.
- This is Tolstoy's master piece and roughly covers the years from 1805 to 1820 and centers on Napoleon's invasion of Russia. There are over 500 carefully crafted characters that populate the pages of this huge work covering all classes of people, from Napoleon himself down to a simple Russian peasant. This work is reflective of Tolstoy's philosophy, viz., "that life should be experienced emotionally and accepted naturally rather than twisted into artificial form's by man's imperfect intellect."
§ The Way Of All Flesh By Samuel Butler.
- "The story deals with one of Butler's favorite themes, the relations between parents and children, and is autobiographical in many details. ... a keenly satirical criticism of middle-class English family life." (Benet's.)
§ Wings of the Dove (1902) By Henry James.
- An English couple are in love: he (Merton Densher) a struggling journalist; she (Kate Croy) a person with a practical agenda. She is determined not to marry him until he is financially secure. In the meantime Kate has found out that her friend, Milly Theale, an American heiress, is dying; she tells Merton to pay some attention to Milly; marriage to Milly ensues. What happens to the various relationships: when Milly finds about Merton and Kate, when, upon Milly's death, Merton refuses to take his inheritance.
§ Winthrop Covenant By Louis Auchincloss.
§ Woman In Love (1921) By D. H. Lawrence.
- Are there two different kinds of love?
§ Wuthering Heights (1847) By Emily Bronte.