Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

“If I dropped a tear upon your hand, may it wither it up! If I spoke a gentle word in your hearing, may it deafen you! If I touched you with my lips, may the touch be poison to you! A curse upon this roof that gave me shelter! Sorrow and shame upon your head! Ruin upon all belonging to you!”

Rilla of Ingleside

Rilla of Ingleside

“She wanted to be alone – to think things out – to adjust herself, if it were possible, to the new world in which she seemed to have been transplanted with a suddenness and completeness that left her half bewildered to her own identity.”

Nicholas Nicklby

Nicholas Nicklby

“When I speak of home, I speak of the place where in default of a better–those I love are gathered together; and if that place where a gypsy’s tent, or a barn, I should call it by the same good name notwithstanding.”
The life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a young man who must support his mother and sister after his father loses their wealth and dies.

HIstory of the Pyrates – Daniel Defoe

HIstory of the Pyrates - Daniel Defoe

This excellent 1724 book was published in Britain, containing biographies of contemporary pirates. Influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, it is the prime source for the biographies of many well known pirates. This book introduced many features which later became common in pirate literature, such as pirates with missing legs or eyes, the myth of pirates burying treasure, and the name of the pirates flag the Jolly Roger. The author specifically cites two pirates as having named their flag Jolly Roger, (named after the first Pirate and his crew); Welsh pirate Bartholomew Roberts in June, 1721, and English pirate Francis Spriggs in December 1723. In giving an almost mythical status to the more colorful characters, such as the infamous English pirates Blackbeard and Calico Jack, the book provided the standard account of the lives of many people still famous in the 21st century, and influenced pirate literature of Robert Louis Stevenson and J.M.Barrie.

A Tramp Abroad

A Tramp Abroad

“Every noun has a gender, and there is no sense or system in the distribution; so the gender of each must be learned separately and by heart. There is no other way. To do this one has to have a memory like a memorandum-book. In German, a young lady has no sex, while a turnip has. Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip, and what callous disrespect for the girl. See how it looks in print — I translate this from a conversation in one of the best of the German Sunday-school books: Gretchen: “Wilhelm, where is the turnip?” Wilhelm: “She has gone to the kitchen.” Gretchen: “Where is the accomplished and beautiful English maiden?” Wilhelm. “It has gone to the opera.”

Therese Raquin

Therese Raquin

“They have so smothered me in their middle-class refinement that I don’t know how there can be any blood left in my veins. I lowered my eyes, put on a dismal, silly expression, just like them; I was just as dead-and-alive as they were.”

Anne’s House of Dreams

Anne's House of Dreams

“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people KNOW more… though I know that IS the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.”

Anne of the Island

Anne of the Island

“I don’t want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU. [….] Sunbursts and marble halls may be all very well, but there is more ‘scope for imagination’ without them. And as for the waiting, that doesn’t matter. We’ll just be happy, waiting and working for each other—and dreaming. Oh, dreams will be very sweet now.”

History of Mary Prince

History of Mary Prince

Mary Prince was born into slavery in Devonshire Parish, Bermuda. While she was later living in London, her autobiography, The History of Mary Prince, was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the United Kingdom.

This Side of Paradise – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald

“There was no God in his heart, he knew; his ideas were still in riot; there was ever the pain of memory; the regret for his lost youth-yet the waters of disillusion had left a deposit on his soul, responsibility and a love of life, the faint stirring of old ambitions and unrealized dreams…… And he could not tell why the struggle was worth while, why he had determined to use to the utmost himself and his heritage from the personalities he had passed… He stretched out his arms to the crystalline, radiant sky. I know myself,” he cried, “but that is all.”