When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. She had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin light hair and a sour expression. Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another. Her father had held a position under the English Government and had always been busy and ill himself, and her mother had been a great beauty who cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people. She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah, who was made to understand that if she wished to please the Mem Sahib she must keep the child out of sight as much as possible. So when she was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also. She never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of her Ayah and the other native servants, and as they always obeyed her and gave her her own way in everything, because the Mem Sahib would be angry if she was disturbed by her crying, by the time she was six years old she was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived. The young English governess who came to teach her to read and write disliked her so much that she gave up her place in three months, and when other governesses came to try to fill it they always went away in a shorter time than the first one. So if Mary had not chosen to really want to know how to read books she would never have learned her letters at all.More info →
Doctor Thorne remains indisputably one of Trollope’s greatest achievements. Paradoxically, it was not a favourite with its author, but then, as so often, he was a poor judge of his own work. Interestingly, the plot was devised not by the author but by his brother Tom with whom he was staying in Florence when, as he confessed, ‘I was cudgelling my brain for a plot’.More info →
Non fumum ex fulgore, sed ex fumo dare lucem, Cogitat, ut speciosa dehine miracula promat.
The aim of this little work is, therefore, limited to the gathering of such facts and phenomena as may serve to throw light upon the nature of the magic powers with which man is undoubtedly endowed. Its end will be attained if it succeeds in showing that he actually does possess powers which are not subject to the general laws of nature, but more or less independent of space and time, and which yet make themselves known partly by appeals to the ordinary senses and partly by peculiar phenomena, the result of their presume, the double griefat being separated from the body, with which it has so long been closely connected, and at the sins it has committed during life.More info →
"Sometimes, when I have watched the bright beginning of a love story, when I have seen a common feeling exalted into beauty by imagination, generosity, and the flaming courage of youth, I have heard again that strange complaint breathed by a dying woman into the stillness of night, like a confession of the soulMore info →
THE morning service was over, and the congrega-tion gone home. The preacher was to dine with Captain Maynard, but there was an hour and more to dinner-time, and she had begged permission to stroll about for half an hour, promising to find her way to the comfortable white cottage, perched on a point of rock over-looking the little bay.
Now she was standing on the lower rocks, looking about her; a trim, quiet figure in a black gown, with a close straw bonnet set on her smooth brown hair.
The Iron Heel is a dystopian novel by American writer Jack London, first published in 1908. Generally considered to be "the earliest of the modern Dystopian," it chronicles the rise of an oligarchic tyranny in the United States. It is arguably the novel in which Jack London's socialist views are most explicitly on display.More info →
Mysterious Phileas Fogg is a cool customer. A man of the most repetitious and punctual habit – with no apparent sense of adventure whatsoever – he gambles his considerable fortune that he can complete a journey around the world in just 80 days… immediately after a newspaper calculates the feat as just barely possible…This is an adventure novel of the first water, with wholly unexpected perils, hair-breadth escapes, brilliant solutions to insoluble problems, and even a love story. And can this be? – That he returns to London just five minutes too late to win his wager and retain his fortune? The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1, 1872. Fogg is a rich English gentleman and bachelor living in solitude at Number 7 Savile Row, Burlington Gardens. Despite his wealth, which is £40,000 (roughly £3,020,000 today), Fogg, whose countenance is described as "repose in action", lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision..More info →
Quite aside from its natural characteristics, there is an atmosphere about a college town, especially a New England college town, that is unmistakable. It is not so much actively intellectual as passively aware of and satisfied with its own intellectuality.
The beautiful little town of Corinth was no exception; from its tree-shaded village green to the white-columned homes on its outskirts it fairly radiated a satisfied sense of its own superiority.
Not that the people were smug or self-conceited. They merely accepted the fact that the University of Corinth was among the best in the country and that all true Corinthians were both proud and worthy of it.
"The Masque of the Red Death", originally published as "The Mask of the Red Death: A Fantasy", is an 1842 short story by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague, known as the Red Death, by hiding in his abbey.More info →