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The Canterbury Tales –by: Geoffrey Chaucer

Anyone who has ever been on a package tour with a group of strangers who soon become friends, and passed time swapping stories with them, would instantly identify with this timeless classic of English literature. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer recounts twenty different stories recounted by a diverse group of pilgrims who gather at The Tabard Inn in Southwark, near London, before setting out for the shrine of Thomas Becket in Canterbury. The Host of the inn proposes that they entertain themselves by telling stories along the route and the one who tells the best tale would win a prize ...

A Tale of Two Cities –by: Charles Dickens

Its immortal opening lines, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." set the stage for a sweeping narrative that combines drama, glory, honor, history, romance, brutality, sacrifice and resurrection.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is one of the most widely read and famous works of historical fiction in the English language. Dickens had recently launched his magazine All the Year Round in 1859. In the same year, he began featuring A Tale of Two Cities in 31 weekly installments in his new magazine. The book was eventually combined into a...

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin –by: Benjamin Franklin

Inventor, author, printer, scientist, politician, diplomat—all these terms do not even begin to fully describe the amazing and multitalented, Benjamin Franklin who was of course also one of the Founding Fathers of America.

At the age of 75, in 1771 he began work on what he called his Memoirs. He was still working on it when he died in 1790 and it was published posthumously, entitled An Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. The book had a complicated and controversial publication history. Strangely enough, the first volume only was first published in French, in Paris in 1791...

Peter Pan –by: J. M. Barrie

His name has become a metaphor for one who will never grow old. Peter Pan by JM Barrie is the story of a boy who remains a boy while the world around him changes.

Sir James Mathew Barrie was a Scottish playwright and novelist whose works were received with great critical and commercial success in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He discovered the main inspiration for his creative genius in his friendship (and later guardianship) with the children of Arthur and Sylvia Llewellyn-Davies. The Llewellyn-Davies boys, five in number and related to the famous Du Ma...

Grimms Fairy Tales –by: Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm

Talking animals, wicked stepmothers, valiant tailors, cruel witches! Sixty-two stories that feature familiar figures like Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumplestiltskin, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and Snow-White and Rose Red as well as lesser-known characters like The White Snake, Sweetheart Roland and Clever Elsie are contained in this volume of Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

The original volume published in 1812 contained more than 85 tales and this number kept increasing till it got to the seventh edition which contained more than two hundred stories. ...

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz –by: L. Frank Baum

One of the greatest American novels and a popular culture sensation, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz depicts the adventures of the young Dorothy Gale, who is swept away from her colorless farm home in Kansas by a cyclone, and winds up in the magical Land of Oz. Trapped in an unknown land, Dorothy must find a way back home and subsequently embarks on an adventure and meets a group of colorful characters along the way. Serving as an inspiration throughout generations, the children’s novel has been represented through various cinema adaptations and musicals.

The novel commences with th...

Little Women –by: Louisa May Alcott

Set in nineteenth century New England, Little Women follows the lives of the four March sisters-Jo, Beth, Amy and Meg. The novel is a classic rites of passage story, that has often split literature critics but has been adored by many over the years. Intended as a book for young girls, the book is too sentimental for some but plenty of adults and young men have Little Women firmly featured in their best books of all time. The pace of the novel can be slow at times and the language almost too perfect but the overall sympathetic tone of Alcott wins over the reader.

The book is semi-autobiog...

David Copperfield –by: Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is one of the most appreciated Victorian writers, his novels gaining worldwide recognition by both critics and readers. First published in 1850, David Copperfield begins with avid the tragedy of David's brother dying when David is just a boy. After this episode he is sent by his step-father to work in London for a wine merchant. When conditions worsen he decides to run away and embarks on a journey by foot from London to Dover. On his arrival he finds his eccentric aunt, Betsey Trotwood who becomes his new guardian.

Being witness to the formation of David's charact...

The Mysterious Island –by: Jules Verne

The Mysterious Island is another exquisite novel written by the master of adventure writing, Jules Verne. The novel has been seen as the sequel to two other famous novels written by the same author: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and In Search of the Castaway.

The story revolves around five Americans who live in a dark and harsh environment as prisoners of the American Civil War. Depleted by famine and death all around them, the five war prisoners take a big risk and escape by hijacking a hot air balloon. The five fugitives, an engineer, a servant, a former sl...

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