Monthly Archives: April 2017

The House Behind the Cedars

The House Behind the Cedars by Charles W. Chesnutt

The House Behind the Cedars by Charles W. Chesnutt

In this, Chesnutt’s first novel, he tells the tragic story of love set against a backdrop of racism, miscegenation and “passing” during the period spanning the antebellum and reconstruction eras in American history. And through his use of the vernacular prevalent in the South of that time, Chesnutt lent a compassionate voice to a group that America did not want to hear. More broadly, however, Chesnutt illustrated, in this character play, the vast and perhaps insurmountable debt this country continues to pay for the sins of slavery.

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Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

One of the greatest English tragic novels, Tess of the d’Ubervilles is the story of a “pure woman” who is victimized both by conventional morality and its antithesis. Born near Dorchester, Thomas Hardy set most of his stories in the region between Berkshire and Dorset in the fictional county of Wessex. He was a controversial writer whose work often showed the result of flouting the rigid Victorian moral code.

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