Prospero’s Isle

Latest articles

  • "Great Expectations" (1861) by Charles Dickens

    by Charles Dickens

    This is Dickens at his very best, or rather his greatest. A mature work, his penultimate novel, it gets off to a rousing start – the dramatic encounter of young Pip with an escaped convict takes place on page 2 –, the writing is absolutely sparkling, deeply infused with his profound humanity and (...)

  • "Suicides" and other stories by Guy de Maupassant

    by Guy de Maupassant

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    1. Suicides (1880) A letter is found beside a 57-year-old man who has just shot himself in a depressed state of mind, as dramatically explained in his letter. (1,800 words)

    2. Lasting Love (1882) A group of hunters and their wives are debating the question of long-lasting (or otherwise) love after a copious dinner, and a retired Parisian doctor recounts the most intense and long-lasting affair he had ever encountered, involving a respectable pharmacist and a (...)

  • "David Copperfield" (1850) by Charles Dickens

    by Charles Dickens

    This portrait of a sensitive young boy’s struggles with his school mentors and with his schoolmates is as powerful and humanistic as anything Dickens or anyone else ever wrote, and the hard-hearted but oh-so-smooth uncle Mr. Murdstone is as worthy a villain — always a Dickens strong point — as (...)

  • "An Enigmatic Nature" and other stories by Anton Chekhov

    by Anton Chekhov

    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. An Enigmatic Nature (1883) A very pretty young lady in a first-class railway car is baring her soul to a budding author who is all too anxious to proffer his psychological expertise on problems of the heart, but the explanation by the lovely lady of her current romantic (...)

  • "Twas the night before Christmas" (1823) by Clement Moore

    by Clement Moore

    This charming poem, generally attributed to the New York theologian Clement Moore (1779-1863), was first published (anonymously) in an upstate New York newspaper, the Troy Sentinel, on December 23, 1823, with the title "A Visit from St. Nicolas".
    It rapidly gained acclaim and widespread (...)

  • "The Pearls of Parlay" and other stories by Jack London

    by Jack London

    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. Pluck and Pertinacity (1899) In the words of the author: “The true story of a man who practically achieved the impossible in his hazardous ice-journey in the dead of the Arctic winter. Happily, success crowned the effort.” (1,450 words).
    2. The Scorn of Women (1901) Floyd (...)

  • "The Burning Log" and other stories by Guy de Maupassant

    by Guy de Maupassant

    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. THE BURNING LOG (1882) The narrator is having tea with a close friend when a log burning in the fireplace rolls onto the carpet. That reminds him of a similar but more dramatic incident when he’d been dining with very close and newly-married friends, a story that the lady (...)

  • "The Black Monk" and other stories by Anton Chekhov

    by Anton Chekhov

    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. CHORISTERS (1884) The sacristan of a village church has been intensely rehearsing a complex choral with the school’s choir in preparation for the forthcoming visit of a Petersburg dignitary, in spite of the vocal inadequacies of the singers and the hostility of the church (...)

  • "A Christmas Carol" (1843) by Charles Dickens

    by Charles Dickens

    A Christmas Carol was a huge hit in both England and the United States when it was published shortly before Christmas in 1843.
    This 29,000-word novella was instrumental in reinvigorating popular enthusiasm for the Christmas season among the general public on both sides of the Atlantic, and it (...)