Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare’s most well-known play is more than most people realize. While it is the story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, it is also the story of two families in the middle of a bitter feud. Many people avoid the story because they believe it will be too difficult to read, but this is not true at all. Within a few paragraphs, the play captures your imagination and attention. Juliet is 13 years old and is love with the son of her father’s enemy. Her father has promised that she will marry another boy when it is time, but she refuses to accept the suit.
A wandering king who’s a war-hero doomed to roam the earth by a vengeful God, a plethora of fantastic experiences, a wife battling the invasion of suitors who wish to replace her missing husband, a son in search of his father – the Odyssey is a rich tapestry of incredible experiences and unforgettable characters. A must-read classic for anyone who wants to understand the fundamentals of Western mythology, it is a sequel to the Illiad which recounts the magnificent saga of the Trojan War. The Odyssey continues on, describing the trials and tribulations of the Greeks under the leadership of Odysseus.
Though it’s titled The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, the man himself appears only in five scenes in the entire play! However, such is his impact on the events that surrounded him that he still remains the central figure in this psychological drama that combines politics, honor, assassination, betrayal, the lust for power, patriotism and friendship. Set in 44 BC in ancient Rome, it is one of William Shakespeare’s early Tragedies.
Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglas
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation. He faced hardship as a child, but later encountered owners who were relatively liberal and allowed him to learn to read, write and be in contact with freed slaves. At the age of 20, he escaped from the plantation and made his way to New York. Though he remained a fugitive, he married and changed his name to avoid being caught.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Regarded as the one of the earliest examples of feminist philosophy, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is written as a direct response to Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, a French politician who delivered a report to the French National Assembly suggesting that women should only receive domestic education and additionally encourages women to stay clear of political affairs.
Tragedy of Hamlet
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius’s brother and Prince Hamlet’s father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king’s widow and Prince Hamlet’s mother.
Tragedy of Macbeth
Right from its famous opening scene which begins, “Thunder and lightning. Enter Three Witches” The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare holds the reader fast in a stirring, monumental experience that plumbs the depths of the human soul and reveals its most morbid secrets. The play is set in medieval Scotland. It is based partly on historical facts and recounts the tale of Macbeth.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Uncle Tom’s Cabin is one of the most controversial novels of the last century, with it’s sentimental portrayal of the anti-slavery movement in the USA. Written in 1852, the novel instantly rose to fame and split Americans up and down the country. Stowe was a passionate abolitionist and was inspired to write Uncle Tom when she spent time in Cincinnati in the early part of the 18th century.
The Souls of Black Folk
“Few books make history and fewer still become the foundational texts for the movements and struggles of an entire people….” One such great work was The Souls of Black Folk by William EB Du Bois. Published in 1903, it is a powerful and hard-hitting view of sociology, race and American history. It became the cornerstone of the civil rights movement and when Du Bois attended the first National Negro Conference in 1909, he was already well-known as a proponent of full and unconditional equality for African Americans. In the following year,
The Last of the Mohicans
The Last of the Mohicans is an epic novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826. It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time, and helped establish Cooper as one of the first world-famous American writers.
This book opens with a young wife and mother, vacationing at a resort in the Gulf of Mexico with her husband and children. The resort is run by an elderly Frenchwoman, who manages the place along with her two sons. The young wife and one of the sons develop a deep and passionate attachment to each other, with devastating effects on both families and their circle of friends. When Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, was first released,
The African – Interesting Narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, written in 1789, is the autobiography of Olaudah Equiano. It discusses his time spent in slavery, serving primarily on galleys, documents his attempts at becoming an independent man through his study of the Bible, and his eventual success in gaining his own freedom and in business thereafter. The book contains an interesting discussion of slavery in West Africa and illustrates how the experience differs from the dehumanising slavery of the Americas.
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