Beautiful and profoundly moving, The Master by Colm Toibin tells the story of Henry James, a man born into one of America's first intellectual families who leaves his country in the late nineteenth century to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers. In stunningly resonant prose, Tóibín captures the loneliness and the hope of a master of psychological subtlety whose forays into intimacy inevitably failed those he tried to love.
HOWARDS END is the story of an English country house and its influence on people from different classes and nations. The novel asks the question ''Who shall inherit England?'' On one hand are the Schlegel's, who care about civilized living, music, literature, and conversation with their friends; on the other, the Wilcoxes, concerned with the business side of life and distrustful of emotion and imagination.
A Favourite of the Gods by Sybille Bedford. Her protagonist is Constanza, a beautiful Italian-American pagan born to privilege and happiness-a seeming "favourite of the gods." But in the years of her maturity she becomes aware of what she lacks-a purpose and a part. Who am I, she asks, and what is it I can do? "This," writes Bedford, "is not a poor little rich girl's plaint. It is the quest that lurks within every human creature fortunate to lift its head above the daily grind."
With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers--a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village--will be…
Composed toward the end of the first millennium of our era, Beowulf is the elegiac narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, a Scandinavian hero who saves the Danes from the seemingly invincible monster Grendel and, later, from Grendel's mother. He then returns to his own country and dies in old age in a vivid fight against a dragon. The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on in the exhausted aftermath
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born into an “Old New York” family that could trace its lineage back 300 years. Her writing became an escape from her ill-fated, painful marriage to a prominent Bostonian, a marriage that eventually ended in divorce. The publication of The House of Mirth finally established her stature in the literary world. It is the story of the shallow, brutal world of Eastern monied society and the toll it takes on one woman.
Sons and Lovers tells the story of Paul Morel, a young artist growing into manhood in a British working-class community near the Nottingham coalfields. His mother Gertrude, unhappily married to Paul’s hard-drinking father, devotes all her energies to her son. They develop a powerful and passionate relationship, but eventually tensions arise when Paul falls in love with a girl and seeks to escape his family ties.
Charles Arrowby, leading light of England's theatrical set, retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor, both professionally and personally, and amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors-some real, some spectral-that disrupt his world.