19th Century Literature

Welcome to the guide to 19th Century Literature. This book will present the major authors of the 19th century by giving brief extracts from their major works, coupled with notes on both the extract as well as the author's life and oeuvre. In doing so, it is hoped that this book will present not only an introduction to the literature of the nineteenth century, but also to the analytical skills needed to fully enjoy a literary work. Please help us write this book by adding any knowledge or expertise you may have on 19th Century Literature!

Contents edit

General Introduction to 19th Century Literature
This chapter is designed to give you a brief overview of the major authors, schools and tendencies of 19th century literature, whilst introducing you to the social, political, cultural and economic situation of the times.
Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
Melville's classic short story Bartleby the Scrivener is a tale of the alienation of an office worker. It is also, some have argued, a precursor to absurdist writing in the 20th Century.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
This novel by Hawthorne is the story of Hester Prynne, whose adultery leads to her punishment by wearing the 'scarlet letter' her child.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The infamous tale of a scientist whose experiments to create life after death went horribly wrong.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
This novel follows Jane's life of hardship and her hope of finding someone to love.
Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Written to highlight the difficulties of life for contemporary rural people.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
A spirited tale of two very different sisters, both in need of a husband.
Washington Square by Henry James
James's story of Catherine Sloper and her witty but manipulative father is recognized as one of the classics of American literature.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Having seen the movies it may surprise you to find the original novel was written in the form of various characters' personal diaries.
The Poetry of John Keats