Category Archives: Classics

The Moon and Sixpence

This 1919 novel by W. Somerset Maugham is ostensibly a biography in which an unnamed narrator attempts to shed light on the life of the mysterious artist Charles Strickland (a character based on Paul Gauguin). Although he’s stretching the truth when he says, “I … Continue reading

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A Thousand Miles Up the Nile

Amelia Edwards went to Egypt in the winter of 1873-74. She was already known for her novels and for a much-anthologized story called “The Phantom Coach,” and she intended to write about this trip. But what she saw changed her … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 11 Comments

Half a Lifelong Romance

Shijun, Shuhui, and Manzhen all work in a factory office in Shanghai. Each day, they go to lunch together and Shijun and Manzhen slowly and sweetly come to acknowledge that they are falling in love. Their romance faces a few … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 11 Comments

There Were No Windows

When Claire Temple was young, she was a literary celebrity, was proposed to by Oscar Wilde, was surrounded by friends, and had a lover or two. She was happy. Now, as the Blitz tears London apart, she’s on her own … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 4 Comments

The Old Curiosity Shop

Almost fifteen years ago, I started to read The Old Curiosity Shop. For some reason, I didn’t get on with it, and I never finished reading it. What a mistake! This time, I’ve finished it, and while it will never … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 10 Comments

Carmen and Other Stories

I’ve been waffling for a couple of days about what I want to say about this collection of short stories by 19th-century author Prosper Mérimée (and translated from the French by Nicholas Jotcham). When I think back on the stories, … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Short Stories/Essays | 2 Comments

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde is an author I’ve been meaning to read for years. Of course, I know a lot about his work just because I’m culturally literate, but I’ve never actually read anything he’s written, with the exception of “The Ballad … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Uncategorized | 20 Comments

The Man Who Loved Children

It’s no wonder that Sam Pollit, the titular man who loved children from Christina Stead’s 1940 novel, loves children so much. He’s a full-grown child himself most of the time—and a particularly immature one at that. He loves to be … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 9 Comments

Phineas Finn

It’s been far too long since we reviewed one of Anthony Trollope’s Palliser novels, something Teresa and I have decided to do together — but here we are at last with the second in the series, Phineas Finn. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 5 Comments

Old Mortality

I’ve read a reasonable amount of 19th-century British literature, but somehow up until this point, I’ve never read anything by one of the most important and influential 19th-century British authors around: Walter Scott. I don’t know how I missed such … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 18 Comments