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This novel tells the story of Catherine Sloper, the plain, obedient daughter of the widowed, well-to-do Dr. August Sloper of Washington Square. When a handsome, reckless man-about-town proposes to Catherine, her father forbids the marriage because he believes the man to be after Catherine's fortune and future inheritance. The conflict between father, daughter, and suitor provokes consequences in the lives of all three that make this story one of James's most piercingly memorable.
The Pupil is an excellent tale from James' middle period. Pemberton, a young American with an Oxford education and but little money, takes a job tutoring Morgan Moreen, the 12-year old son of an American couple living in Europe in a style above their income. The family of the pupil is both comic and unfortunate, and the child himself is vividly drawn. The pupil's parents waffle about paying Pemberton the salary to which they'd agreed in their view, he should be satisfied by his life with them, and by the joy of tutoring young Morgan?
Many critics consider this the best Henry James novelette, surpassing even The Turn of the Screw. Like that story, it has an ending that you will remember for a long time. The story concerns two young men visting the United States from London. They meet a pair of charming women who return the visit the following year in London. Romantic intrigues, miscommunication and cultural gaffs are plentiful in this short but delightful novel.
The Beast in the Jungle is the tale of a man's habitual obsession with himself and his fate.It is is considered one of James' finest short narratives. The story deals with four universal themes: loneliness, fate, love and death. The saga of John Marcher and his peculiar destiny has inspired many readers who have speculated on the worth and meaning of human life.
Editha is a young and very patriotic young landy. Her lover, George, is not quite as enthused about her "my country right or wrong attitude," but she convinces him to join the army to fight a "just" war. The results of this decision are very unexpected and very thought provoking. This is a very powerful story and is more the type of writing one would expect from the Vietnam War era, rather than the end of the Victorian era.
Known for his wit and sardonic humor, Ambrose Bierce wrote horror with the intensity of Edgar Allan Poe. Many think Bierce outdid Poe in the genre. Included are nine short stories: "The Eyes of the Panther", "A Watcher by the Dead", "The Death of Halpin Frayser", "The Suitable Surroundings", "An Adventure at Brownville", "Moxon's Master", "Mysterious Disappearances", "The Famous Gilson Bequest", and "The Secret of Macarger's Gulch".
In this humorous, richly symbolic, meticulously plotted novel, a solitary and simple-hearted weaver has worked his loom in Raveloe and devoted himself to amassing a hoard of golden guineas. However his life is changed forever when tragedy intervenes and he finds himself responsible for the care of a small golden-haired girl.
Set in Oxford and Naples during the 1840s, The Lost Stradivarius is a tale of demonic possession and of the terrible price paid by "those who would exalt art at the expense of everything else." Though long recognized as a classic and gripping story of the occult, it is also a work which touches the "decadent" years of the nineteenth century at sensitive points: the psychical, the moral, and the aesthetic.
Seeking a wider horizon, Jane takes employment at Thornfield Hall, where she comes under the spell of Edward Rochester, its owner, a man of savage temperament and desperate unhappiness. The reason for both is linked to a great secret that is kept locked away on the third floor of the mansion. It's final revelation brings an incredible climax to the story and changes both lives forever.
An old mansion in Salem, moss-covered and gabled, broods over the destiny of a distinguished but troubled New England Family, the Pynchons. A haunting, centuries-old curse, a forceful probing of national and personal guilt, a romance between the young heroine and an attractive stranger all intertwine in this classic work by one of America's greatest novelists.
This tale, published in 1828, is based on The Story of an Apparition, a ghost story published in Blackwood's 10 years earlier by an author identified only as A. B. Sir Walter Scott took that rather flimsy story and turned into a masterful tale of the supernatural.