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Rachel Ray

Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope

Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope

The love that develops between Luke Rowan and Rachel Ray is not universally welcomed. Mrs. Tappitt- a rich, influential, and bad woman – wishes him to marry one of her own daughters, while Rachel’s mother and older sister are not sure he is worthy of her. After many adventures, everybody gets what they deserve. Characteristically to Trollope’s works, there is also a secondary plot involving the election of parliament in Baslehurst.

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Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë

The novel tells the story of Agnes Grey, the daughter of a minister, whose family comes to financial ruin. Desperate to earn the money to care for herself, she takes one of the few jobs allowed to respectable women in the early Victorian era – the role of governess to the children of the wealthy. In working with two different families (the Bloomfields and the Murrays), she comes to learn about the troubles that face a young woman who must try to rein in unruly, spoiled children for a living, and about the ability of wealth and status to destroy social values. After her father’s death, Agnes opens a small school with her mother and finds happiness with a man who loves her for herself.

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The Intrusion of Jimmy

The Intrusion of Jimmy by P. G. Wodehouse

The Intrusion of Jimmy by P. G. Wodehouse

The action begins with playboy bachelor Jimmy Pitt in New York; having fallen in love on a transatlantic liner, he befriends a small-time burglar and breaks into a police captain’s house as a result of a bet. The cast of characters head to England, and from there on it is a typically Wodehousian romantic farce, set at the stately Dreever Castle, overflowing with imposters, detectives, crooks, scheming lovers and conniving aunts.

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The Prisoner of Zenda

The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

The Prisoner of Zenda tells the story of Rudolf Rassendyll, an English gentleman on holiday in Ruritania, a country not a thousand miles from Bavaria. There, by reason of his resemblance to the King of Ruritania he becomes involved in saving the King’s Life and his Throne from the King’s dastardly brother and his allies. Woods, moated castles, pomp, swordplay, gallantry, villainy and a beautiful princess. What story could ask for more?

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The Belton Estate

The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope

The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope

Clara Amedroz is the virtuous, intelligent, and quick-witted heroine of this novel. Like all women of her time, she has few options other than to marry. She is lucky enough to have two eligible suitors, and chooses the more urbane and worldly of the two. Alas, however, she realizes fairly quickly that Captain Aylmer is not a nice person. Throughout much of the novel we find her trying hard not to recognize that Will Belton – the suitor she rejected, and who still loves and wants to marry her – is.

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Camille

Camille by Alexandre Dumas

Camille by Alexandre Dumas

Camille is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils, that was subsequently adapted for the stage. The Lady of the Camellias premiered at the Theatre de Vaudeville in Paris, France. An instant success, Giuseppe Verdi immediately set about to put the story to music. His work became the opera La Traviata with the female protagonist “Marguerite Gautier” renamed “Violetta Valéry”.

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The Spirit of the Border

The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey

The Spirit of the Border by Zane Grey

This is an early novel by the phenomenally successful author of frontier, western and sports stories. It deals with historical characters and incidents in the Ohio Valley in the late 18th century, especially with the foundation of Gnaddenhutten, a missionary village intended to bring Christianity to the Indians of Ohio, despite the violent opposition of both Indians and white renegades. This turbulent adventure romance features the heroics of a semi-legendary frontiersman, Lewis Wetzel, who attempts to protect the settlers from hostile Native Americans and the vicious white outlaws the Girty brothers.

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The Torrents of Spring

The Torrents of Spring by Ivan Turgenev

The Torrents of Spring by Ivan Turgenev

The title of the novella is almost an adequate summary in itself. The “boy-meets-girl-then-loses-her” story with a surprise ending. “First Love” is given its originality and poignancy by Turgenev’s mastery of the piercing turning-point (akin to Joyce’s “epiphanies”) that transforms the character’s whole being, making a tragic outcome inevitable. Even the nature symbolism is rescued from triteness by lovely poetic similes – e.g. “but at that point my attention was arrested by the appearance of a speckled woodpecker who busily climbed up the slender stem of a birch-tree and peeped out uneasily from behind it, first to the right, then to the left, like a musician behind the bass-viol.”

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To the Last Man

To the Last Man by Zane Grey

To the Last Man by Zane Grey

The story follows an ancient feud between two frontier families that is inflamed when one of the families takes up cattle rustling. The ranchers are led by Jean Isbel and, on the other side, Lee Jorth and his band of cattle rustlers. In the grip of a relentless code of loyalty to their own people, they fight the war of the Tonto Basin, desperately, doggedly, to the last man, neither side seeing the futility of it until it is too late. And in this volatile environment, young Jean finds himself hopelessly in love with a girl from whom he is separated by an impassable barrier. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Joseph Andrews, Volume 1

Joseph Andrews, Volume 1 by Henry Fielding

Joseph Andrews, Volume 1 by Henry Fielding

Joseph Andrews was the first published full-length novel of the English author and magistrate Henry Fielding, and indeed among the first novels in the English language. Defined by Fielding as a ‘comic romance,’ it is the story of a good natured footman’s adventures on the road home from London with his friend and mentor, the absent-minded parson Abraham Adams.

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