A people's literature is the great textbook for real knowledge of them

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"A people's literature is the great textbook 
for real knowledge of them...."
--Edith Hamilton--


  • Austen, Jane, Emma
    A classic novel about a self-assured young lady whose capricious behavior is dictated by romantic fancy. Emma, a clever and self-satisfied young lady, is the daughter and mistress of the house. Her former governess and companion, Miss Anne Taylor, beloved of both father and daughter, has just left them to marry a neighbor.

  • Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice
    The romantic clash of two opinionated young people provides the theme. Vivacious Elizabeth Bennet is fascinated and repelled by the arrogant Mr. Darcy, whose condescending airs and acrid tongue have alienated her entire family. Their spirited courtship is conducted against a background of ballroom flirtations and drawing-room intrigues. 

  • Bradley, Marion ZimmerThe Mists of Avalon
    Here is the magical legend of King Arthur vividly retold through the eyes and lives of the women who wielded power from behind the throne. There is the darkly bewitching Morgaine, half sister to Arthur and a high priestess in the enchanted land of Avalon, where women rule as the creators of life and keepers of knowledge. The fair and lovely Queen Gwynhefar is torn between her duty to her king and the new God and her passion for the dashing Lancelot. Both women struggle and suffer, and both--in their own extraordinary ways--triumph.

  • Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre
    This is a stormy, intense, introspective novel of the mid 19th century which probes the psychology of passion. The heroine is a governess, an orphan, penniless and plain but full of courage and spirit. The hero is a brooding, melancholy figure, a stranger given to rough outbursts of temper.

  • Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights
    A savage, tormented classic love story set in the English moors. The central character is Heathcliff, an orphan, picked up in the streets of Liverpool and brought home by Mr. Earnshaw and raised as one of his own children. Bullied and humiliated after Earnshaw's death by his son, Heathcliff falls passionately in love with Catherine.

  • Burgess, Anthony, A Clockwork Orange
    Story of gang violence and social retribution, set in some iron-gray superstate of the future. This is the first-person account of a juvenile delinquent who undergoes state-sponsored psychological rehabilitation for aberrant behavior.

  • Butler, Samuel Taylor, The Way of the Flesh
    This devastating indictment of Victorian values presents an ironic and incisive portrait of a determined young man in revolt against his father, religion, society, and self. This is the story of his flight to freedom.

  • Carroll, Lewis, Alice in Wonderland, 
    The Mad Hatter, the Ugly Duchess, the Mock Turtle, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat-characters each more eccentric than the last, and that could only have come from Lewis Carroll, the master of sublime nonsense. He has created one of the most famous and fantastic novels of all time that not only stirred our imagination but revolutionized literature.

  • Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness
    In this searing tale, Seaman Marlow recounts his journey to the dark heart of the Belgian Congo in search of the elusive Mr. Kurtz. Far from civilization as he knows it, he comes to reassess not only his own values, but also those of nature and society. For in this heart of darkness, it is the fearsome face of human savagery that becomes most visible.

  • Conrad, Joseph, Lord Jim
    Haunted sailor, driven from port to port, from island to island, Lord Jim is a man trying to hide from his past. This is a novel of the outcast from civilization finding refuge in the tropics. The natives of Patusan in the Far East worship the bold young Englishman by the name of "Lord Jim," but he despises himself. Tortured by an art of cowardice and desertion that wrecked his career in the Merchant Service years before and tormented by his ideal of what an officer should be, he has fled from scandal farther and farther East. This is a story of dramatic and psychological action.

  • Conrad, Joseph, Secret Agent
    Verloc, who is secretly working for the police and a "foreign power" (Russia) while ostensibly a member of an anarchist group in Soho, is required by his masters to discredit the anarchists in some spectacular way. 

  • Defoe, Daniel, Moll Flanders
    What happens to a woman forced to make her own way through life in 17th century England?  This story retells Moll's life from her birth in Newgate Prison to her final prosperous respectability--gained through a life where all human relationships could be measured in value by gold.

  • Defoe, Daniel,  Robinson Crusoe,
    An Englishman leaves his comfortable middle-class life to go to sea.  During one of his several adventurous voyages in the 1600s, he becomes the sole survivor of a shipwreck and lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island. 

  • Dickens, Charles, Bleak House, 
    This may well be the finest literary work to come out of 19th century England. It is the story of several generations of the Jarndyce family who wait in vain to inherit money from a disputed fortune in the settlement of a lawsuit. It is pointedly critical of England's Court of Chancery in which cases could drag on through decades of convoluted legal maneuvering.

  • Dickens, Charles, David Copperfield, 
    David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora; and the magnificently impecunious Micawber, one of literature’s great comic creations. In David Copperfield—the novel he described as his "favorite child"—Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of his most exuberant and enduringly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure.

  • Dickens, Charles, Great Expectations, 
    In what may be Dickens’s best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman—and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of “great expectations.” In this gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, the compelling characters include Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and the embittered Miss Havisham, an eccentric jilted bride.

  • Dickens, Charles, Hard Times, 
    Classic novel which depicts the callous nature of Victorian education, the ills of industrial society. Thomas Gradgrind, a fanatic, has raised his children, Tom and Louisa, in an atmosphere of the grimmest practicality. Louisa marries the banker Josiah Bounderby partly to protect her brother who is his employee and partly because her education has caused her to be unconcerned about her future. Tom, shallow and unscrupulous, robs Bounderby's bank and tries to frame someone else. Find out what happens when Louisa falls for another man, when Tom's guilt is discovered, and when their father realizes how his principles have affected his children's lives.

  • du Maurier, Daphne, Rebecca, 
    With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrives at an immense estate called Manderly, only to be drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca. She is dead but apparently never forgotten: her room of suites never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant--the sinister Mrs. Danvers--still loyal. It is the eerie aura of evil that tightens around her heart, as the second Mrs. de Winter begins her search for the real fate of Rebecca.

  • Eliot, George, Adam Bede,
    In Adam Bede (1859), George Eliot took the well-worn tale of a lovely dairy-maid seduced by a careless squire, and out if it created a wonderfully innovative and sympathetic portrait of the lives of ordinary Midlands working people--their labors and loves, their beliefs, their talk. This edition reprints the original broadsheet reports of the murder case that was a starting point for the book, and detailed notes illuminate Eliot's many literary and biblical allusions.

  • Eliot, George, The Mill on the Floss,
    As Maggie Tulliver approaches adulthood, her spirited temperament brings her into conflict with her family, her community, and her much-loved brother Tom. Still more painfully, she finds her own nature divided between the claims of moral responsibility and her passionate hunger for self-fulfillment.

  • Eliot, George, Silas Marner, 
    The story's main character is a friendless weaver who cares only for his cache of gold. He is ultimately redeemed through his love for Eppie, an abandoned golden-haired baby girl, whom he discovers shortly after he is robbed and raises as his own child. 

  • Eliot, T.S., Murder in the Cathedral, 
    A drama of the conflict between church and state in 12th century England culminates in the murder of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral.

  • Fielding, Henry, Joseph Andrews
    Joseph Andrews begins as a parody, but soon outgrows its origins, and its deepest roots lie in Cervantes and Marivaux. Fielding demonstrates his concern for the corruption of contemporary society, politics, religion, morality, and taste.

  • Fielding, Henry, Tom Jones One of the great comic novels in the English language, Tom Jones was an instant success when it was published in 1749. Tom is discovered one evening by the benevolent Squire Allworthy and his sister Bridget and brought up as her son in their household until it is time for him to set out in search of both his fortune and his true identity.

  • Forster, E.M., Howard's End
    A chance acquaintance brings together the prosperous bourgeois Wilcox family and the clever, cultured, and idealistic Schlegel sisters. As clear-eyed Margaret develops a friendship with Mrs. Wilcox, the impetuous Helen brings into their midst a young bank clerk named Leonard Bast, who lives at the edge of poverty and ruin. When Mrs. Wilcox dies, her family discovers that she wants to leave her country home, Howards End, to Margaret. Thus Forster sets in motion a chain of events that will entangle three different families and brilliantly portrays their aspirations for personal and social harmony.

  • Forster, E.M., A Passage to India, Among the greatest novels of the twentieth century, A Passage to India tells of the clash of cultures in British India after the turn of the century. In exquisite prose, Forster reveals the menace that lurks just beneath the surface of ordinary life, as a common misunderstanding erupts into a devastating affair.

  • Fowles, John, The French Lieutenant's Woman, 
    The plot centers on Charles Smithson, an amateur Victorian paleontologist. He is engaged to Ernestina Freeman, a conventional, wealthy woman, but he breaks off the engagement after a series of secret meetings with the beautiful, mysterious Sarah Woodruff, a social outcast known as the forsaken lover of a French lieutenant.

  • Galsworthy, John, Forsyte Saga
    The three novels which make up The Forsyte Saga chronicle the ebbing social power of the commercial upper-middle class Forsyte family between 1886 and 1920. Galsworthy's masterly narrative examines not only their fortunes but also the wider developments within society, particularly the changing position of women. This is the only critical edition of the work available, with Notes that explain contemporary artistic and literary allusions and define the slang of the time.

  • Greene, Graham, The Power and the Glory, 
    A suspenseful story about a hunted, driven desperate priest in Mexico. The last priest is on the run. During an anti-clerical purge in one of the southern states of Mexico, he is hunted like a rabbit. Too human for heroism, too humble for martyrdom, the little worldly priest is pursued by vultures but learns to soar like an eagle.

  • Hardy, Thomas, Far from the Madding Crowd, 
    Bathsheba Everdene is loved by Gabriel Oak, a young farmer who becomes bailiff of the farm she inherits. She is also loved by William Boldwood and Sergeant Troy. She marries Troy, who mistreats her and squanders her money. When he leaves her and is presumed drowned at sea, Bathsheba becomes engaged to Boldwood. Troy, however, reappears and is murdered by Boldwood who goes insane. Find out what becomes of loyal Gabriel, the most faithful of her suitors.

  • Hardy, Thomas, Jude the Obscure, 
    Jude the Obscure created storms of scandal and protest for the author upon its publication. Hardy, disgusted and disappointed, devoted the remainder of his life to poetry and never wrote another novel. Today, the material is far less shocking. Jude Fawley, a poor stone carver with aspirations toward an academic career, is thwarted at every turn and is finally forced to give up his dreams of a university education. He is tricked into an unwise marriage, and when his wife deserts him, he begins a relationship with a free-spirited cousin. With this begins the descent into bleak tragedy as the couple alternately defy and succumb to the pressures of a deeply disapproving society. 

  • Hardy, Thomas, Mayor of Casterbridge, 
    The novel is set in southwest England, in the Wessex area, shortly before 1830. It tells the story of Michael Henchard, an itinerant laborer who, in a moment of drunken despair, sells his wife at auction. After Henchard has become prosperous, his act of inhumanity comes back to haunt him, and finally to destroy him. This is the record of an anguished soul, as it struggles hopelessly against a relentless, fatal retribution, makes one of the great novels of the English language.

  • Hardy, Thomas, Return of the Native, 
    Clym Yeobright returns to his home with the intention of improving the lives of his neighbors, but he falls in love with and marries someone who would rather leave the area where they lived, and tragedy must occur before Clym may pursue his dream of service.

  • Hardy, Thomas, Tess of the D'Urbervilles,
    In Tess, victimized by lust, poverty, and hypocrisy, Thomas Hardy created no standard Victorian heroine, but a women whose intense vitality flares unforgettably against the bleak background of a dying rural society. Shaped by an acute sense of social injustice and by a vision of human fate cosmic in scope, her story is a singular blending of harsh realism and indelibly poignant beauty. The novel shocked its Victorian audiences with its honesty; it remains a triumph of literary art and a timeless commentary on the human condition.

  • Huxley, Aldous, Brave New World, 
    "Community, Identity, Stability" is the motto of Aldous Huxley's utopian World State. Here everyone consumes daily grams of soma, to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. Huxley foreshadowed many of the practices and gadgets we take for granted today--let's hope the sterility and absence of individuality he predicted aren't yet to come.

  • Ishiguro, KazuoRemains of the Day, 
    Greeted with high praise in England, this winner of the Booker Prize, Ishiguro's third novel (after An Artist of the Floating World ) is a tour de force-- both a compelling psychological study and a portrait of a vanished social order. Stevens, an elderly butler who has spent 30 years in the service of Lord Darlington, ruminates on the past and inadvertently slackens his rigid grip on his emotions to confront the central issues of his life. Glacially reserved, snobbish and humorless, Stevens has devoted his life to his concept of duty and responsibility, hoping to reach the pinnacle of his profession through totally selfless dedication and a ruthless suppression of sentiment. Having made a virtue of stoic dignity, he is proud of his impassive response to his father's death and his "correct" behavior with the spunky former housekeeper, Miss Kenton. Ishiguro builds Stevens's character with precisely controlled details, creating irony as the butler unwittingly reveals his pathetic self-deception. In the poignant denouement, Stevens belatedly realizes that he has wasted his life in blind service to a foolish man and that he has never discovered "the key to human warmth.". 

  • Joyce, James, Dubliners, 
    Collection of 15 short stories set within the geographic boundary of Dublin.  Contents include: "The Sisters", "An Encounter", "Araby", "Eveline", "After the Race", "Two Gallants", "The Boarding House", "A Little Cloud", "Counterparts", "Clay", "A Painful Case", "Ivy Day in the Committee Room", "A Mother", "Grace", "The Dead".

  • Joyce, James, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,
    Here is one of the masterpieces of modern fiction. This semi-autobiographical Irish novel focuses on Stephen Dedalus, a sensitive and creative young man who rebels against his family, his education, and his country by committing himself to the artistic life.

  • Kipling, Rudyard, Kim, Mowgli

  • Koestler, Arthur, Darkness at Noon, 
    This splendid novel is set in the tumultuous Soviet Union of the 1930s during the treason trials. Rubashov, the protagonist and a hero of the revolution, is arrested and jailed for things he has not done, though there is much about the current Soviet state that veered from his ideals as a revolutionary. His investigators, Ivanov and Gletkin, seek a public confession and interrogate him using a number of methods. Through the ordeal, Rubashov reaches an epiphany or two while his interrogators suffer the cruel fate of the Soviet machine. Darkness at Noon succeeds as a political and historical novel, but even more so as a refreshing tale of the human spirit.

  • Lawrence, D.H., Sons and Lovers, 
    The novel revolves around Paul Morel, a sensitive young artist whose love for his mother, Gertrude, overshadows his romances with two women. Unable to watch his mother die slowly of cancer, Paul kills her with morphine.

  • Maugham, William Somerset, Of Human Bondage, 
    The author wrote this novel to free himself from the demons that haunted him from his heart wrenching childhood and difficult young adulthood; it is ranked among the greatest works of British literature. This is a moving story of Philip Carey, a hero full of fears and feelings.

  • Meredith, George, The Egoist
    The "egoist" is Sir Willoughby Patterne of Patterne Hall, possessed of good looks, wealth and all of the virtues except humility and a sense of humor.  He invites his fiancee and her father to spend a month at the Hall, where he is the idol of two aunts.  Patterne is in mortal dread of being jilted and to preserve his dignity he proposes to a former admirer.  Many complications arise.  What happens to "the egoist"?

  • More, Sir Thomas, Utopia, 
    Did you know that the word "utopia" first appeared in Sir Thomas More's book?  More describes a pagan and communist city-state which is governed by reason.  The order and dignity of such a place was intended to contrast with the unreasonable state of the Europe of his time.  More saw Europe divided by self-interest and greed for power and riches.

  • Orwell, George, 1984, 
    In 1948 a book burst in on the reading public which forecast a world so nightmarish, so devoid of promise, that it seemed the work of a Mephistophelian mind. The year 1948 was to all appearances an odd time for dire prediction: America had just helped save the world from tyranny in a world war thought to be definitive; Americans were about to elect a Midwestern common man to the presidency; the new-sprung United Nations was supposed to become a forum of benevolent multiplicity. This astonishing novel was set in a year so distant that it seemed incomprehensible; but the year 1984 has passed and it is time to read or reread Orwell's predictions about the future.

  • Orwell, George, Down and Out in Paris and London,
    Part autobiographical, this story follows the experiences of a penniless adventurer, first in Paris in the early 1930's and later in London, where he mingles among tramps and street people.

  • Orwell, George, Animal Farm

  • Rhys, Jean, Wide Sargasso Sea
    Wide Sargasso Sea is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress who grew up in the West Indies on a decaying plantation. When she comes of age she is married off to an Englishman, and he takes her away from the only place she has known--a house with a garden where "the paths were overgrown and a smell of dead flowers mixed with the fresh living smell. Underneath the tree ferns, tall as forest tree ferns, the light was green. Orchids flourished out of reach or for some reason not to be touched." The novel is Rhys's answer to Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë's book had long haunted her, mostly for the story it did not tell--that of the madwoman in the attic, Rochester's terrible secret. Antoinette is Rhys's imagining of that locked-up woman, who in the end burns up the house and herself. Wide Sargasso Sea follows her voyage into the dark, both from her point of view and Rochester's. It is a voyage charged with soul-destroying lust. "I watched her die many times," observes the new husband. "In my way, not in hers. In sunlight, in shadow, by moonlight, by candlelight. In the long afternoons when the house was empty.".

  • Richardson, Samuel, Clarissa
    Richardson first presents the heroine, Clarissa Harlowe, when she is discovering the barely masked motives of her family, who want to force her into a loveless marriage to improve their fortunes. When Lovelace, a romantic who holds the code of the Harlowe family in contempt, offers her protection, she runs off with him. In the end she must choose her own fate.

  • Richardson, Samuel, Pamela
    A novel about a servant who avoided seduction and was rewarded by marriage. 

  • Shaw, George Bernard, Major Barbara,
    Drama in which a Salvation Army member, Barbara is pitted against a munitions manufacturer. When the Army accepts donations from armament manufacturer, her father and a whiskey distiller, whose money Barbara regards as tainted, she resigns in disgust, but eventually sees the truth of her father's reasoning that social iniquity derives from poverty; it is only through accumulating wealth and power that people can help each other. 

  • Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein, 
    Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, is a combination of gothic romance and science fiction, the book tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a Swiss student of natural science who creates an artificial man from pieces of corpses and brings his creature to life. Rejected and reviled for his hideous appearance, the creature learns the ways of humans, but he cannot find companionship. Increasingly brutal, the monster haunts Frankenstein and insists that he create a female companion. Frankenstein almost complies but in the end cannot perform the deed. The monster eventually brings about the scientists destruction. And then the name Frankenstein becomes popularly attached to the creature itself. 

  • Stoker, Bram, Dracula, 
    The vampire novel that started it all.  Bram Stoker's Dracula probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries about his client. Soon afterward, disturbing incidents unfold in England-an unmanned ship is wrecked at Whitby, strange puncture marks appear on a young woman's neck, and a lunatic asylum inmate raves about the imminent arrival of his "Master"-culminating in a battle of wits between the sinister Count and a determined group of adversaries.

  • Swift, Jonathan, Gulliver's Travels, 
    Gulliver's Travels describes the four fantastic voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a kindly ship's surgeon. Swift portrays him as an observer, a reporter, and a victim of circumstance. His travels take him to Lilliput where he is a giant observing tiny people. In Brobdingnag, the tables are reversed and he is the tiny person in a land of giants where he is exhibited as a curiosity at markets and fairs. The flying island of Laputa is the scene of his next voyage. The people plan and plot as their country lies in ruins. It is a world of illusion and distorted values. The fourth and final voyage takes him to the home of the Houyhnhnms, gentle horses who rule the land. He also encounters Yahoos, filthy bestial creatures who resemble humans.

  • Thackeray, William Makepeace, Vanity Fair, 
    The English classic about a social climber in Victorian London. The author said while writing this novel, "What I want to make is a set of people living without God in the world, greedy, pompous men, perfectly self-satisfied for the most part, and at ease about their superior virtue." The two boarding school friends, Amelia and Becky are contrasted. Becky is clever, scheming and determined to get on in the world and sets her sights on winning over Amelia's rich, stupid brother. Amelia is loved by two men. Find out what happens in the lives of these two women.

  • Tolkien, J.R.R, The Hobbit

  • Waugh, Evelyn, A Handful of Dust
    A satirical novel by Evelyn Waugh, examines the themes of contemporary amorality and the death of spiritual values. This novel points out the savagery of so-called civilized London society and the barbarity encountered by the hero in the South American jungle. 

  • Wells, H.G, The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, A Modern Utopia

  •  Wilde, Oscar, Picture of Dorian Gray, 
    Lord Henry Wotton is a spectator in life and he does his best to influence Dorian in that direction. Dorian becomes corrupt and self-indulgent. But in answer to his prayer, he escapes unscarred from his escapades. The portrait of this man powerfully establishes evil as a reality in the novel.

  • Woolf, Virginia, Mrs. Dalloway, 
    This brilliant novel explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life. Direct and vivid in her account of the details of Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party she is to give that evening, Woolf ultimately managed to reveal much more. For it is the feeling behind these daily events that gives Mrs. Dalloway its texture and richness and makes it so memorable.

  • Woolf, Virginia, A Room of One's Own, 
    In one of the most entertaining and brilliant essays ever written on the importance of freedom for women, Woolf brings her literary imagination and defiant wit to bear on the relationship between gender, money, and the creation of works of genius.

  • Woolf, Virginia, To the Lighthouse,
    Novel of the daily life of an English family in the Hebrides filled with emotion, atmosphere, and poetry. The first section called "The Window" describes a day during Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay's house party at their country home by the sea. Mr. Ramsay is a distinguished scholar and, in the eyes of Woolf, a typical male whose mind works rationally, heroically and coldly. Mrs. Ramsay is a warm, creative, intuitive woman, the center of the household.


Dahl, Roald, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

An unsentimental irony on human character set in chocolate

De Bernieres, Louis, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

– A beautifully written 2. World War love story form Greek islands

Fielding, Helen, Bridget Jones Diary

– A humorous narrative of a young - upwardly mobile professional on a voyage of selfdiscovery

Fleming, Ian, Casino Royale – Bond, James Bond...

Faulks, Sebastian, Birdsong

– Story of lives of marked forever by WW,1 set in France and England, some say modern equivalent of E.M.Remarque

Gaiman, Neil, The Sandman Series – A fantasy comics

Hornby, Nick, About a Boy

– A humorous study of a rich, superficial man finding his way into realities of life through friendship with a boy

LeCarré, John, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

– A masterfully crafted spy thriller from the Cold War era

Moore, Allan, V for Vendetta

– Fantasy, vigilante genre

Pratchett, Terry, Discworld Series

– Superbly written satire set in fantasy world. Laugh out loud funny.

Rowling, J.K, Harry Potter

Welsh, Irvine, Trainspotting

- A raw description of a young man’s descent into the nightmarish world of drug abuse


  • Beckett, Samuel, Waiting for Godot, 
    The story line evolves around two seemingly homeless men waiting for someone--or something--named Godot. Vladimir and Estragon wait near a tree on a barren stretch of road. The result is a comical wordplay of poetry, dreamscapes, and nonsense, which has been interpreted as a somber summation of mankind's search for meaning. 

  • Bolt, Robert, A Man for All Seasons
    The classic play about Sir Thomas More, the Lord chancellor who refused to compromise and was executed by Henry VIII. Bolt's classic play is a brilliant dramatization of this historic confrontation. But first it is a compelling portrait of a courageous man who died for his convictions.

  • Shaw, G. B.: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Man and Superman, Pygmalion,

  • Wilde, Oscar, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays, 822.8 WIL
    Oscar Wilde’s madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers’ entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay of the high school curriculum for decades. Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend—the "rivals" to fight for Ernest’s undivided attention and the "Ernests" to claim their beloveds—pandemonium breaks loose. 


  • Milton, John, Paradise Lost, 
    Great landmark in poems of English literature which portrays the fall of Adam and Eve. Here in one volume are the complete texts of two of the greatest epic poems in English literature, each a profound exploration of the moral problems of God's justice. They demonstrate Milton's genius for classicism and innovation, narrative and drama-and are a grand example of what Samuel Johnson called his "peculiar power to astonish.". 

Pre WW1 Poets

  • Thomas Hardy. Hap, Neutral Tones, Drummer Hodge, The Darkling Thrush, The Ruined Maid, The

  • Convergence of the Twain, Channel Firing, In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations,’ Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?, Heredity, During Wind and Rain, Afterwards, He Never Expected Much

World War I Poets

  • Owen, Wilfred. Anthem for Doomed Youth, Apologia Pro Poemate Meo, Miners, Dulce et Decorum Est, Strange Meeting

  • Rosenberg, Isaac. Break of Day in the Trenches, Louse Hunting, Returning, We Hear the Larks, Dead Man’s Dump

  • Sassoon, Siegfried. “They,” The Rear-Guard, Glory of Women, On Passing the New Menin Gate

  • W. B. Yeats

The Madness of King Goll, Down by the Salley Gardens, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The Man Who Dreamed of Faeryland, Adam’s Curse, No Second Troy, The Fascination of What’s Difficult, September 1913, The Wild Swans at Coole, Easter 1916, The Second Coming, A Prayer for My Daughter, Sailing to Byzantium, Leda and the Swan, Among School Children, In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markievicz, Crazy Jane Talks With the Bishop, Lapis Lazuli, Under Ben Bulben, The Circus Animals’ Desertion

  • T. S. Eliot

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Gerontion, The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, The Journey of the Magi, Four Quartets (plus the essays “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” “The Metaphysical Poets,”

The 1930s and 1940s

  • W. H. Auden. On This Island, Spain 1937, Musee des Beaux Arts, Lullaby, In Memory of W. B. Yeats,

  • Dylan Thomas. The Force that through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower, After the Funeral, Fern Hill,

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night, A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

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