A sophisticated, very immoral and very witty account of the rise and fall of the most beautiful (to use the flowery terminology of this classic of decadent aestheticism) young man of his time, Dorian Gray, who sells his soul at the age of twenty to remain as pristinely handsome and youthful as he was then for the rest of his life – at the expense of his morals, of his social reputation, of his psychological and physical well-being and, especially, of the condition of the eponymous portrait (...)
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"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde (1891)
5 February, by Oscar Wilde
"Barry Lyndon" by William Thackeray (1844)
8 January, by William Thackeray
The first novel by the immortal author of Vanity Fair, this account of a dashing, immensely proud and ambitious but penniless Irish soldier-of-fortune’s rise to vast wealth and fall therefrom was inspired both by the memoirs of a well-known 18th century adventurer  and by Casanova’s Memoirs Written by Himself, and was possibly influenced to a certain extent by Tom Jones, a similar tale of adventure and braggadocio by Thackeray’s 18th-century model Henry Fielding, whom he greatly admired (...)
"Lady Chatterly’s Lover" by D. H. Lawrence (1928)
13 November 2023, by D. H. Lawtence
Lord Chatterley has come back from the Great War paralyzed from the waist downwards, and Lady Chatterley soon tires of the charm of sitting-room conversations with him and their visitors about the life of the intellect and the woes of the world and begins to yearn for other satisfactions. Which she certainly does get in a big way from the estate’s reclusive, misanthropic, dialect-speaking and very virile game-keeper, as is described in graphic detail by the pen of one of the finest (...)
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
6 November 2023, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
All that glitters is not gold… This sparkling tale of the brilliant social life in the Long Island of the glittering Twenties makes good reading indeed for those non-socialites among us for whom the rich, handsome, elegant, cultured, and mysterious eponymous (war-)hero would be quite insupportable if he had turned out to really be all those American-dreamy good things with no redeeming awfulnesses to get him back down nearer to our lowly level.
The story reads for the most part in its (...)
"Ulysses" by James Joyce (1924)
16 October 2023, by James Joyce
This most famous of Irish novels is a quite amazing literary tour de force. It has an extraordinary, experimental, let’s-see-what-can-be-done-with-words side to it which was very much in tune with the questioning drive for innovation and experimentation in art, music and literature that dominated intellectual and artistic Europe at the time of its conception during teens and twenties of the 20th Century.
And it’s an impressive demonstration of the author’s phenomenal mastery of the (...)
"A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce (1916)
9 October 2023, by James Joyce
The first novel published by the future author of Ulysses, a largely autobiographical account of a young boy emotionally and intellectuelly coming of age with an intensely Roman Catholic upbringing in the city of Dublin at the beginning of the 20th century, a city and a country then under foreign rule.
An e-book is available for downloading below.
All of the footnotes have all been added specially for this site. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Chapter I (...)
"Ivanhoe’ by Walter Scott (1819)
6 September 2023, by Walter Scott
Walter Scott’s best-known work, a historical novel that established him as the most celebrated European novelist for a good long time, recounting the complex struggles in 12th-century England between the Norman rulers – Richard Coeur-de-Lion and his ambitious brother John – and their numerous enemies and opponents, notably the Saxon nobility that still dreamed of reestablishing their authority and also highly-organized bands of outlaws in parts of the realm such as the forests of (...)
"Sons and Lovers" by D. H. Lawrence (1913)
4 September 2023, by D. H. Lawtence
The third and best-known novel (with Lady Chatterly’s Lover) of the brilliant English novelist, poet, short-story writer, travel writer, literary critic, globe-trotter, iconoclast and eternal exile D. H. Lawrence, this is an intense and sensitive family drama set in the coal-mining area of Nottingham in central England at the turn of the 20th century.
A finely-drawn psychological drama centered on the life of the youngest son of the family, Paul Morel, his conflictual relations with his (...)
"Kim" by Rudyard Kipling (1901)
28 August 2023, by Rudyard Kipling
Kim is a street urchin speaking Hindi/Urdu with a smattering of English in the northern part of India who meets a travelling Tibetan monk and follows him on his search for the fabled river created where Buddha’s fabulous arrow fell. Kim too is on a search for a Red Bull that his scarcely-remembered father told him to look for in a document that he preciously carries in an amulet around his neck. Both of them successfully achieve their goals while wandering all over northern India as well (...)
"The Way of All Flesh" by Samuel Butler (1903)
21 August 2023, by Samuel Butler
The narrator recounts the harsh upbringing of his godson Ernest Pontifex, son of a Church of England minister, the oppressive everyday religiosity of his family life, his difficult schooling, his career at Cambridge, his ordination, his floundering attempts to live in a working-class neighbourhood to better be able to bring them the good word, his fall into the depths and then his struggle to start a new life and to conciliate his new set of beliefs to the world around him.