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A Journal of the Plague Year

By Daniel Defoe
  • ISBN Code: : 3986777857
  • Publisher : Phoemixx Classics Ebooks
  • Pages : 333
  • Category : Religion
  • Reads : 428
  • Book Compatibility : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Pdf : a-journal-of-the-plague-year.pdf

Book Excerpt :

A Journal of the Plague Year Daniel Defoe - A Journal of the Plague Year is a fictionalised account of one man's experiences of the year 1665, in which the Great Plague struck the city of London. The book is told roughly chronologically, though without sections or chapter headings. Although it purports to have been written only a few years after the event, it actually was written in the years just prior to the book's first publication in March 1722. Defoe was only five years old in 1665, and the book itself was published under the initials H. F. The novel probably was based on the journals of Defoe's uncle, Henry Foe

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Book Short Summary:

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Book Short Summary:

This critical study challenges some widely accepted views of Defoe's fiction. Based on a close reading of the major fiction and a broad assessment of history, the author rejects individualism as an ideal espoused in Defoe's fiction and argues that Marxist interpretations have distorted the influences on Defoe and depicted him unfairly as a proponent of capitalism and exploiter of native peoples. Although all of Defoe's protagonists are forced into a temporary individualism in order to obey the natural law of survival, they eventually recognize their need for social interaction and seek the leisure afforded by society to repent for the crimes they have committed. Defoe's fictional settings all begin in the reign of the Stuarts, but the lack of specificity invariably reflects on the Hanoverian political and social situation, which witnessed a crisis in Whig leadership from 1717 to Walpole's resumption of power after the disaster of the South Sea Bubble and the sudden deaths of Stanhope and Sunderland. This serious split in Whig leadership probably played a role in Defoe's turning toward fiction. But Defoe never abandoned his social and political views. This study explores how his social viewpoint actuates his major fiction. By creating talented characters, many of whom were denied the opportunity to function within a rational social and economic setting, Defoe takes up the social concerns expressed in his Essay on Projects (1697) and other early works. He concluded that the establishment of the opportunity for equality was essential for the broad prosperity of the British nation and that such prosperity could only be realized by the development of trade on a large scale. By creating a fiction that allowed him to envision the possiblities and outcomes of some of his social ideas, e.g., the transformative values of criminal transportation, he could assess the value of recovering the services of a talented portion of the populace lost to crime. Though his settings are in the era of the Stuarts, the social and moral lessons are always applicable to the Hanoverian present. When Defoe abandoned fiction after the publication of Roxana in 1724, he returned to the social concerns which he had never lost sight of in such late works as "The Protestant Monastery, or a Complaint Against the Brutality of the Present Age" (1727), "Augusta Triumphans" (1728), and "Some Objections...Relating to the Present Intended Relief of Prisoners" (1729). Defoe recognized that economic success was essential to prosperity, and only prosperity could insure a steady improvement in social well-being. This social imperative forms the basis of Defoe's major fiction.

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  • Pdf File: memoirs-of-a-cavalier.pdf

Book Short Summary:

"Memoirs of a Cavalier" is a literary sleight of hand. Written in the style of an eyewitness account, it’s actually a work of fiction—a trick Defoe would repeat in his later book "A Journal of a Plague Year". Originally published anonymously, many readers of the time were fooled into thinking it was real. The book’s unnamed protagonist is an English gentleman with a lust for adventure. He details his experiences on battlefields across Europe, as a soldier in both the Thirty Years' War and the English Civil War. With its vivid scenes of warfare, "Memoirs of a Cavalier" truly makes history come alive. English writer Daniel Defoe (c. 1660–1731) led an extraordinary life. As a child, he survived both the Great Fire of London and a major outbreak of the bubonic plague. As an adult, he enjoyed careers as a merchant, political satirist, rebel soldier and even a spy. Defoe was in his fifties before he finally turned his hand to fiction. "Robinson Crusoe", his first novel, was an instant bestseller. The story of a shipwrecked sailor, its style and structure made it a landmark text in the history of English literature. His other notable works include "Moll Flanders", "A Journal of the Plague Year" and "Captain Singleton".

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Book Short Summary:

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In Air’s Appearance, Jayne Elizabeth Lewis enlists her readers in pursuit of the elusive concept of atmosphere in literary works. She shows how diverse conceptions of air in the eighteenth century converged in British fiction, producing the modern literary sense of atmosphere and moving novelists to explore the threshold between material and immaterial worlds. Air’s Appearance links the emergence of literary atmosphere to changing ideas about air and the earth’s atmosphere in natural philosophy, as well as to the era’s theories of the supernatural and fascination with social manners—or, as they are now known, “airs.” Lewis thus offers a striking new interpretation of several standard features of the Enlightenment—the scientific revolution, the decline of magic, character-based sociability, and the rise of the novel—that considers them in terms of the romance of air that permeates and connects them. As it explores key episodes in the history of natural philosophy and in major literary works like Paradise Lost, “The Rape of the Lock,” Robinson Crusoe, and The Mysteries of Udolpho, this book promises to change the atmosphere of eighteenth-century studies and the history of the novel.

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  • Pdf File: nation-and-novel.pdf

Book Short Summary:

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Book Short Summary:

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Book Short Summary:

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Book Short Summary:

If he had been pressed, Macaulay would probably have admitted that there are cases in which human acts and impulses to act occur independently of any idea of an end to be gained by them. If I have a piece of grit in my eye and ask some one to take it out with the corner of his handkerchief, I generally close the eye as soon as the handkerchief comes near, and always feel a strong impulse to do so. Nobody supposes that I close my eye because, after due consideration, I think it my interest to do so.

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Book Short Summary:

Prompted by commercial and imperial expansion such as the creation of the Bank of England in 1694 and the publication and circulation of Ben Jonson's The Staple of News in 1626, rapidly changing cultural, economic, and political realities in early modern England generated a paradigmatic shift in class awareness. Denys Van Renen's The Other Exchange demonstrates how middle-class consciousness not only emerged in opposition to the lived and perceived abuses of the aristocratic elite but also was fostered by the economic and sociocultural influence of women and lower-class urban communities. Van Renen contends that, fascinated by the intellectual and cultural vibrancy of the urban underclass, many major authors and playwrights in the early modern era--Ben Jonson, Richard Brome, Aphra Behn, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Eliza Haywood, and Daniel Defoe--featured lower-class men and women and other marginalized groups in their work as a response to the shifting political and social terrain of the day. Van Renen illuminates this fascination with marginalized groups as a key element in the development of a middle-class mindset.

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  • Total of Pages : 256
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  • Pdf File: in-the-wake-of-the-plague.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Much of what we know about the greatest medical disaster ever, the Black Plague of the fourteenth century, is wrong. The details of the Plague etched in the minds of terrified schoolchildren -- the hideous black welts, the high fever, and the final, awful end by respiratory failure -- are more or less accurate. But what the Plague really was, and how it made history, remain shrouded in a haze of myths. Norman Cantor, the premier historian of the Middle Ages, draws together the most recent scientific discoveries and groundbreaking historical research to pierce the mist and tell the story of the Black Death afresh, as a gripping, intimate narrative. In the Wake of the Plague presents a microcosmic view of the Plague in England (and on the continent), telling the stories of the men and women of the fourteenth century, from peasant to priest, and from merchant to king. Cantor introduces a fascinating cast of characters. We meet, among others, fifteen-year-old Princess Joan of England, on her way to Spain to marry a Castilian prince; Thomas of Birmingham, abbot of Halesowen, responsible for his abbey as a CEO is for his business in a desperate time; and the once-prominent landowner John le Strange, who sees the Black Death tear away his family's lands and then its very name as it washes, unchecked, over Europe in wave after wave. Cantor argues that despite the devastation that made the Plague so terrifying, the disease that killed more than 40 percent of Europe's population had some beneficial results. The often literal demise of the old order meant that new, more scientific thinking increasingly prevailed where church dogma had once reigned supreme. In effect, the Black Death heralded an intellectual revolution. There was also an explosion of art: tapestries became popular as window protection against the supposedly airborne virus, and a great number of painters responded to the Plague. Finally, the Black Death marked an economic sea change: the onset of what Cantor refers to as turbocapitalism; the peasants who survived the Plague thrived, creating Europe's first class of independent farmers. Here are those stories and others, in a tale of triumph coming out of the darkest horror, wrapped up in a scientific mystery that persists, in part, to this day. Cantor's portrait of the Black Death's world is pro-vocative and captivating. Not since Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror have medieval men and women been brought so vividly to life. The greatest popularizer of the Middle Ages has written the period's most fascinating narrative.

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  • Publisher : Random House
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  • Pdf File: conjure-women.pdf

Book Short Summary:

A mother and daughter with a shared talent for healing—and for the conjuring of curses—are at the heart of this dazzling first novel WINNER OF THE SOCIETY OF AMERICAN HISTORIANS PRIZE • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • NPR • Parade • Book Riot • PopMatters “Lush, irresistible . . . It took me into the hearts of women I could otherwise never know. I was transported.”—Amy Bloom, New York Times bestselling author of White Houses and Away Conjure Women is a sweeping story that brings the world of the South before and after the Civil War vividly to life. Spanning eras and generations, it tells of the lives of three unforgettable women: Miss May Belle, a wise healing woman; her precocious and observant daughter Rue, who is reluctant to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a midwife; and their master’s daughter Varina. The secrets and bonds among these women and their community come to a head at the beginning of a war and at the birth of an accursed child, who sets the townspeople alight with fear and a spreading superstition that threatens their newly won, tenuous freedom. Magnificently written, brilliantly researched, richly imagined, Conjure Women moves back and forth in time to tell the haunting story of Rue, Varina, and May Belle, their passions and friendships, and the lengths they will go to save themselves and those they love. LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE “[A] haunting, promising debut . . . Through complex characters and bewitching prose, Atakora offers a stirring portrait of the power conferred between the enslaved women. This powerful tale of moral ambiguity amid inarguable injustice stands with Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “An engrossing debut . . . Atakora structures a plot with plenty of satisfying twists. Life in the immediate aftermath of slavery is powerfully rendered in this impressive first novel.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Secret Chord

By Geraldine Brooks
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Penguin
  • Book Code : 069841148X
  • Total of Pages : 352
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 935
  • Pdf File: the-secret-chord.pdf

Book Short Summary:

“A page turner. . .Brooks is a master at bringing the past alive. . .in her skillful hands the issues of the past echo our own deepest concerns: love and loss, drama and tragedy, chaos and brutality.” – Alice Hoffman, The Washington Post A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of People of the Book and March. With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times bestselling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature’s richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage. The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikhal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.

The Scribe of Siena

By Melodie Winawer
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Book Code : 1501152270
  • Total of Pages : 464
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 551
  • Pdf File: the-scribe-of-siena.pdf

Book Short Summary:

“Like Outlander with an Italian accent.” —Real Simple “A detailed historical novel, a multifaceted mystery, and a moving tale of improbable love.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review A NEW YORK POST MUST-READ BOOK Readers of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring…will be swept away by the spell of medieval Siena” (Library Journal, starred review) in this transporting love story and gripping historical mystery. Accomplished neurosurgeon Beatrice Trovato knows that her deep empathy for her patients is starting to impede her work. So when her beloved brother passes away, she welcomes the unexpected trip to the Tuscan city of Siena to resolve his estate, even as she wrestles with grief. But as she delves deeper into her brother’s affairs, she discovers intrigue she never imagined—a 700-year-old conspiracy to decimate the city. As Beatrice explores the evidence further, she uncovers the journal and paintings of the fourteenth-century artist Gabriele Accorsi. But when she finds a startling image of her own face, she is suddenly transported to the year 1347. She awakens in a Siena unfamiliar to her, one that will soon be hit by the Plague. Yet when Beatrice meets Accorsi, something unexpected happens: she falls in love—not only with Gabriele, but also with the beauty and cadence of medieval life. As the Plague and the ruthless hands behind its trajectory threaten not only her survival but also Siena’s very existence, Beatrice must decide in which century she belongs. The Scribe of Siena is the captivating story of a brilliant woman’s passionate affair with a time and a place that captures her in an impossibly romantic and dangerous trap—testing the strength of fate and the bonds of love.

Bitter Greens

By Kate Forsyth
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Macmillan
  • Book Code : 1466847832
  • Total of Pages : 496
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 830
  • Pdf File: bitter-greens.pdf

Book Short Summary:

A Library Journal Best Book of 2014: Historical Fiction The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens... After Margherita's father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition. Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does. Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.

The Big Book of Ghost Stories

By Otto Penzler
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • Book Code : 034580600X
  • Total of Pages : 848
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 603
  • Pdf File: the-big-book-of-ghost-stories.pdf

Book Short Summary:

A spirited Black Lizard anthology with over a thousand pages of haunted—and haunting—ghost tales. Includes eerie vintage ghost illustrations. The ghost story is perhaps the oldest of all the supernatural literary genres and has captured the imagination of almost every writer to put pen to the page. Here, Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler has followed his keen sense of the supernatural to collect the most chilling and uncanny tales in the canon. These spectral stories span more than a hundred years, from modern-day horrors by Joyce Carol Oates, Chet Williamson and Andrew Klavan, to pulp yarns from August Derleth, Greye La Spina, and M. L. Humphreys, to the atmospheric Victorian tales of Rudyard Kipling, Edith Wharton, and H. P. Lovecraft, not to mention modern works by the likes of Donald E. Westlake and Isaac Asimov that are already classics. Some of these stories have haunted the canon for a century, while others are making their first ghoulish appearance in book form. Whether you prefer possessive poltergeists, awful apparitions, or friendly phantoms, these stories are guaranteed to thrill you, tingle the spine, or tickle the funny bone, and keep you turning the pages with fearful delight. Including such classics as “The Monkey’s Paw” and “The Open Window” and eerie vintage illustrations, and also featuring haunted mansions, midnight frights, lovers from beyond the grave, rapping, tapping, wailing shades, and ghosts, ghouls, and specters galore! AlsoFeaturing haunted mansions, midnight frights, lovers from beyond the grave, rapping, tapping, wailing shades, and ghosts, ghouls, and specters galore!

Transformations of the Supernatural

By Petra Schoenenberger
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : transcript Verlag
  • Book Code : 383943775X
  • Total of Pages : 204
  • Category : Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Members : 609
  • Pdf File: transformations-of-the-supernatural.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Daniel Defoe's work displays a keen interest in stories of supernatural encounters. Once considering how one might prove supernatural occurrences and whether one can trust eyewitness accounts, Defoe demonstrates that more is at stake. Like his contemporaries, Defoe wonders about the range of scientific insight, and about the moral and epistemological ramifications of unchallenged trust and faith. His transformations of the supernatural probe the boundaries of knowledge and evidence and play with the limits of cognition, emphasizing the inseparability of mind and emotion.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By Rebecca Skloot
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Crown
  • Book Code : 0307589382
  • Total of Pages : 400
  • Category : Science
  • Members : 192
  • Pdf File: the-immortal-life-of-henrietta-lacks.pdf

Book Short Summary:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The story of modern medicine and bioethics—and, indeed, race relations—is refracted beautifully, and movingly.”—Entertainment Weekly NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM HBO® STARRING OPRAH WINFREY AND ROSE BYRNE • ONE OF THE “MOST INFLUENTIAL” (CNN), “DEFINING” (LITHUB), AND “BEST” (THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER) BOOKS OF THE DECADE • ONE OF ESSENCE’S 50 MOST IMPACTFUL BLACK BOOKS OF THE PAST 50 YEARS • WINNER OF THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE HEARTLAND PRIZE FOR NONFICTION NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Entertainment Weekly • O: The Oprah Magazine • NPR • Financial Times • New York • Independent (U.K.) • Times (U.K.) • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • Kirkus Reviews • Booklist • Globe and Mail Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah. Deborah was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Had they killed her to harvest her cells? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.

The History and Topography of Ireland

By Gerald of Wales
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Penguin UK
  • Book Code : 0141915560
  • Total of Pages : 144
  • Category : History
  • Members : 382
  • Pdf File: the-history-and-topography-of-ireland.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Gerald of Wales was among the most dynamic and fascinating churchmen of the twelfth century. A member of one of the leading Norman families involved in the invasion of Ireland, he first visited there in 1183 and later returned in the entourage of Henry II. The resulting Topographia Hiberniae is an extraordinary account of his travels. Here he describes landscapes, fish, birds and animals; recounts the history of Ireland's rulers; and tells fantastical stories of magic wells and deadly whirlpools, strange creatures and evil spirits. Written from the point of view of an invader and reformer, this work has been rightly criticized for its portrait of a primitive land, yet it is also one of the most important sources for what is known of Ireland during the Middle Ages.

The Way of All Flesh

By Samuel Butler
  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Graphic Arts Books
  • Book Code : 1513273841
  • Total of Pages : 396
  • Category : Fiction
  • Members : 411
  • Pdf File: the-way-of-all-flesh.pdf

Book Short Summary:

Over the span of a century, the Pontifex family is populated by manipulative and domineering characters attempting to control the fate of the next generation. In The Way of All Flesh, Ernest Pontifex tries to pursue a righteous path but is met with painstaking hardships. Ernest is the son of Theobald and Christina Pontifex, who are prominent members of the religious order. Ernest attempts to follow in their footsteps, embracing theology and becoming a clergyman. Yet, his position is short-lived as he discovers corruption in the High Church and loses most of his earnings. In the midst of his troubles, Ernest questions the importance of titles, status and family tradition. He travels down a rocky road that tests his faith in both man and God. The Way of All Flesh is a scathing commentary on the hypocritical views and expectations of Victorian society. Butler was praised for his exploration of a destructive family dynamic. It’s an erratic tale and one of the most iconic novels of the early twentieth century. With an eye-catching new cover, and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of The Way of All Flesh is both modern and readable.


  • File : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Canongate Books
  • Book Code : 0857861018
  • Total of Pages : 64
  • Category : Bibles
  • Members : 630
  • Pdf File: revelation.pdf

Book Short Summary:

The final book of the Bible, Revelation prophesies the ultimate judgement of mankind in a series of allegorical visions, grisly images and numerological predictions. According to these, empires will fall, the "Beast" will be destroyed and Christ will rule a new Jerusalem. With an introduction by Will Self.