British Literature

There's a lot of ground to cover when it comes to British literature, and we've tried to make things easier by gathering study guides on iconic and frequently taught texts such as A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, and plays by William Shakespeare. We couldn't ignore contemporary novels, like White Teeth by Zadie Smith and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, so we didn't leave those out!

Publication year 1949Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: SiblingsTags Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, British Literature

George Orwell’s dystopian novel1984 (also written as Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel) was originally published in 1949. Orwell was known for social and political criticism in his writing. He supported democratic socialism and opposed totalitarianism—political stances that come through in the themes of his most well-known works.Edition note: This novel is available in the public domain in many countries, and this summary is based on the electronically published version made available by Planet eBook. The edition... Read 1984 Summary

Publication year 1962Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Satire, British Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Trauma / Abuse / Violence

Published in 1962, during the height of Cold War tensions between the Soviet Union and the West, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange reflects the anxieties and paranoia of the era. It is a dystopian novel about a roving gang of teenagers who instill fear in and inflict violence on the populace. The novel is known for its invented language, called Nadsat, which is an amalgam of Russian-influenced slang and Cockney dialect. The protagonist, the gleefully... Read A Clockwork Orange Summary

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Marriage, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, British Literature

Written in 2017 by Ken Follett, A Column of Fire is a historical fiction novel and the third book in his Kingsbridge series, following The Pillars of the Earth (1989) and World Without End (2007). This novel is a loose sequel to the previous two books and is set against the backdrop of 16th-century Europe. Spanning both decades and continents, it follows the lives of a cast of characters who are caught in the conflict... Read A Column of Fire Summary

Publication year 1840Genre Essay / Speech, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Values/Ideas: Beauty, Values/Ideas: ArtTags Romanticism / Romantic Period, British Literature

Publication year 1847Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: MarriageTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, Romance, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, British Literature, Education

Agnes Grey is the first novel by Anne Brontë (1820-1849), the youngest of the three celebrated Brontë sisters, who all wrote novels now considered classics of English literature. Anne drew on her experience as a clergyman’s daughter and as a governess in telling the story of a young woman looking for her place in the world. Published in 1847 under the pseudonym Acton Bell, Agnes Grey was read as an incisive commentary on the status... Read Agnes Grey Summary

Publication year 1913Genre Poem, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Poetry: Dramatic Poem, Humor, Grief / Death, British Literature, Victorian Period

Publication year 1972Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Society: Community, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags British Literature, Animals, Humor

All Creatures Great and Small is the first in a series of fictionalized memoirs by Yorkshire veterinarian James Alfred “Alf” Wight (1916-1995), writing under the name James Herriot. Originally published in the UK as two shorter volumes, If Only They Could Talk (1970) and It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet (1972), the US publisher released them as a single volume in 1972 under a new title drawn from the Anglican hymn “All Things Bright and... Read All Creatures Great and Small Summary

Publication year 1602Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Shame & Pride, Identity: Gender, Relationships: Marriage, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Classic Fiction, Play: Drama, Play: Comedy / Satire, British Literature

All’s Well That Ends Well is a play by William Shakespeare (1582-1616), one of the most influential writers in the English language. The date of composition is not known, but All’s Well That Ends Well was first performed between 1598 and 1608. It was published in 1623, in the First Folio. Shakespeare’s work is part of Early Modern English literature, alongside playwrights like Ben Jonson and Christopher Marlowe, during which time the play and theater... Read All's Well That Ends Well Summary

Publication year 2023Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: The PastTags British Literature, Realistic Fiction

Publication year 1595Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags British Literature, Play: Comedy / Satire, Fantasy, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Arts / Culture, Love / Sexuality, Relationships, Animals

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a comedic play by William Shakespeare that was likely first written and performed around 1600. The first certifiably recorded performance took place in 1604. Set in the Greek city-state of Athens, the play centers on an impending marriage. Before the wedding, the characters find themselves in a forest where a group of fairies manipulates and tricks them. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and most performed... Read A Midsummer Night's Dream Summary

Publication year 1980Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Art, Society: War, Relationships: MarriageTags Historical Fiction, British Literature, WWI / World War I

A Month in the Country is a fiction novel published in 1980 by the British author J.L. Carr, a retired schoolteacher and publisher. The novel tells the deceptively spare tale of Thomas Birkin, a veteran of World War One who, having just returned from overseas, accepts summer employment to restore a mural. Dating back nearly five centuries, the mural adorns the wall of an old country church in northern England. During the weeks he painstakingly... Read A Month in the Country Summary

Publication year 1950Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Society: Class, Society: CommunityTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, British Literature

First published in 1950, A Murder Is Announced is a mystery novel by one of the leading writers of the Golden Age of detective fiction: Agatha Christie, “Queen of Crime.” Although best known for her Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot novels, Christie also published short story collections and wrote the world’s longest-running play—The Mousetrap (1952). Her fiction has inspired numerous film and television adaptations. A Murder Is Announced was Christie’s fourth novel featuring the amateur sleuth... Read A Murder Is Announced Summary

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: CommunityTags Satire, History: European, Politics / Government, Philosophy, Animals, Post-War Era, Allegory / Fable / Parable, British Literature

Published in 1945, Animal Farm by George Orwell (1903-1950) achieved immediate success and remains one of Orwell’s most popular works. A political satire in the guise of a moving and whimsical animal fable, the novella is about a group of farm animals who overthrow their owner, Mr. Jones, and establish animal rule. Although the animals start out with high hopes for Animal Farm as a harmonious and just utopia where “all animals are equal” (19)... Read Animal Farm Summary

Publication year 1945Genre Play, FictionThemes Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Play: Drama, Mystery / Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, British Literature

An Inspector Calls is a three-act play written by J. B. Priestley, first performed in 1947. In the play, an inspector questions a wealthy family about the death of a young woman who worked at the family’s factory. An Inspector Calls first premiered in Moscow in 1945 before showing in England. The play has been adapted for film, television, and radio, and a 1992 stage revival won a Laurence Olivier Award, a Drama Desk Award... Read An Inspector Calls Summary

Publication year 1982Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Identity: Gender, Relationships: MothersTags Historical Fiction, Gender / Feminism, Immigration / Refugee, British Literature, Japanese Literature

A Pale View of Hills (1982) is Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel. Born in Nagasaki in 1954, Ishiguro immigrated with his family to the United Kingdom when he was five years old. Despite his family’s Japanese origins, the author frequently states in interviews that his experience with Japanese culture is very limited, as he spent all his adult life in England. Simultaneously, however, growing up in a Japanese family developed in Ishiguro a different perspective compared... Read A Pale View of Hills Summary

Publication year 1924Genre Novel, FictionThemes Society: Colonialism, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Identity: RaceTags British Literature, Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction

E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, published in 1924, tells a story of the power of colonialism, the tension between spirituality and morality, and the inescapability of evil. Forster wrote this novel after traveling to India in 1912 and volunteering in Egypt during World War I. A film adaptation of the novel directed by David Lean premiered in 1984 and received multiple Academy Award nominations. This summary uses the 75th Anniversary edition of A... Read A Passage to India Summary

Publication year 1953Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Gender, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, British Literature

A Pocket Full of Rye is a 1953 detective novel by Agatha Christie featuring the recurring character of the elderly and discerning spinster Miss Marple. Christie wrote dozens of detective novels and short stories during her lifetime, and her play The Mousetrap ran continuously from 1952 until the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, setting a record for the longest running play in the world. Miss Marple is featured in multiple volumes of short stories... Read A Pocket Full of Rye Summary

Publication year 1993Genre Play, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Historical Fiction, Play: Tragedy, Play: Comedy / Satire, Science / Nature, British Literature

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard was first performed on April 13, 1993, at the Royal National Theatre in London. In 2006, the Royal Institution of Great Britain named it one of the best science-related works ever written.The play has dual plot lines, one historical and one modern, which share the same physical setting. In the 19th century, the play follows the young Thomasina, a mathematical genius far ahead of her time, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge... Read Arcadia Summary

Publication year 1896Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Natural World: Appearance & RealityTags Lyric Poem, British Literature

Publication year 1859Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: FateTags British Literature, Historical Fiction, Victorian Period, Classic Fiction

A Tale of Two Cities, published in 1859, is a historical drama written by Charles Dickens. The backdrop of the novel takes place in London and Paris prior to the French Revolution. The novel, told in three parts, has been adapted into numerous productions for film, theater, radio, and television.In 1775, a banker named Jarvis Lorry travels to Dover, where he meets a young, half-French woman named Lucie Manette. Together, the pair travel to Paris... Read A Tale of Two Cities Summary

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Historical Fiction, Romance, WWII / World War II, British Literature

Atonement (2001) is an award-winning novel by British author Ian McEwan that spans the last two-thirds of the 20th century. The novel was a New York Times Bestseller for seven straight weeks and shortlisted for the Booker Prize for fiction in 2001. The 2007 film adaptation won an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, and a BAFTA Award. McEwan is critically acclaimed with over a dozen novels and other works of fiction to his name, as... Read Atonement Summary

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Fate, Life/Time: The Past, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Trust & Doubt, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Irish Literature, Humor, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fairy Tale / Folklore, Satire, Arts / Culture, Class, British Literature

Publication year 1863Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: Class, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags British Literature, Romanticism / Romantic Period

Publication year 1963Genre Short Story, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Gender, Society: Class, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & AngerTags Gender / Feminism, Post-War Era, British Literature

Originally published in 1963 in the short story collection A Man and Two Women, “A Woman on a Roof” by Doris Lessing emerged during a time of social and political upheaval in the Western world. Like many of Lessing’s other works, the story explores the effects of class inequality and the misunderstandings between men and women that arise in a patriarchal culture. Lessing was born in former Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and moved to London... Read A Woman on a Roof Summary

Publication year 2018Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Literature, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Relationships: Marriage, Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Mothers, Self Discovery, Emotions/Behavior: Joy, Life/Time: MidlifeTags Historical Fiction, Romance, Auto/Biographical Fiction, British Literature

Publication year 1000Genre Novel/Book in Verse, FictionTags Classic Fiction, British Literature, Medieval Literature / Middle Ages

Beowulf is an epic poem written in Old English by an anonymous author around the year 1000 CE. While most of the poem was discovered intact, some of it had been destroyed, likely burned in a fire. The 1999 translation by the acclaimed Irish poet Seamus Heaney won the Whitbread Award, and was praised for its freshness and accessibility.This summary refers to the 2000 Farrar, Straus, and Giroux edition. Please note that the poem is... Read Beowulf Summary

Publication year 1853Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: FamilyTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, Satire, British Literature

Bleak House is a novel by English Victorian author Charles Dickens, published between 1852-1853. The expansive narrative covers many plots, including the first-person account of the life of Esther Summerson and an ongoing court case concerning a large inheritance thrown into chaos by the existence of contradictory wills. Bleak House has been adapted for the theater, radio, film, and television (most recently in 2005) and is considered among Dickens’ greatest novels. This guide uses an... Read Bleak House Summary

Publication year 1941Genre Play, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Relationships: Marriage, Identity: Gender, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Play: Comedy / Satire, British Literature, Gender / Feminism, Grief / Death, Love / Sexuality

Blithe Spirit is a 1941 farce written by the English playwright, composer, and actor Noël Coward. Known for his wit and style, Coward’s theatrical career lasted for nearly six decades. Blithe Spirit, one of his most popular and enduring works, was first performed in the West End, running for 1,997 performances, before transferring to Broadway for 657 performances. It was adapted into the musical High Spirits in 1964. To this day, the play continues to... Read Blithe Spirit Summary

Publication year 1932Genre Novel, FictionTags Classic Fiction, British Literature, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction

Brave New World, a dystopian novel published in 1932, is perhaps Aldous Huxley’s most famous and enduring work, consistently ranked among the top-100 English-language novels by entities such as the Modern Library, BBC, and The Observer. The novel opens with a tour of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre, in which the Director explains the foundational ideas of society’s “stability,” which stems from the production-line uniformity of its citizens. People in the World State... Read Brave New World Summary

Publication year 1945Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, British Literature, LGBTQ

Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred & Profane Memoirs of Captain Charles Ryder (1945) is the ninth published novel by British novelist Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh, who published under “Evelyn Waugh.” It chronicles the life and relationships of Charles Ryder, particularly his complex friendship with the aristocratic Flyte family, during the interwar period in England. The novel was an immediate success, and, despite his later dislike, Waugh referred to it as his “magnum opus.” It has been... Read Brideshead Revisited Summary

Publication year 1994Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Historical Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, Religion / Spirituality, Class, Gender / Feminism, History: European, British Literature, Medieval Literature / Middle Ages

American author Karen Cushman’s middle grade novel, Catherine, Called Birdy, explores the life of a young woman in 13th-century England. Published in 1994, the book won the Newbery Honor the following year. It is currently being adapted for the screen by actor, writer, and director Lena Dunham. This detailed work of historical fiction immerses the reader in the very different world of medieval England, with its emphasis on religion as the organizing force behind daily... Read Catherine, Called Birdy Summary

Publication year 1964Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: FamilyTags Fantasy, Classic Fiction, Humor, Children's Literature, British Literature

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) is a fantasy children’s novel by renowned British author Roald Dahl, a man known for his strange and wondrous imagination. The story follows Charlie Bucket, who wins a tour in a chocolate factory owned by the eccentric Mr. Willy Wonka. In the years following publication, the novel became a classic and spawned two major film adaptations, one starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka (1971) and a remake starring Johnny... Read Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Summary

Publication year 1816Genre Poem, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Natural World: Place, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Relationships: Mothers, Values/Ideas: BeautyTags Narrative / Epic Poem, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Love / Sexuality, LGBTQ, Religion / Spirituality, Romanticism / Romantic Period, British Literature

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a key figure in the British Romantic Era of poetry wrote the Gothic narrative poem “Christabel” in two parts, the first in 1797, and the second in 1800. Though it was still unfinished, “Christabel” was published in 1816.“Christabel” is Coleridge’s longest poem, at almost 700 lines. It is also the least edited of Coleridge’s work. Most of the poem contrasts the innocent piety of Christabel with the experience and supernatural abilities of... Read Christabel Summary

Publication year 1939Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Nostalgia, Society: Class, Life/Time: The Past, Society: War, Society: Nation, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Satire, British Literature

Coming Up For Air is an interwar novel written by British author George Orwell shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Originally published in 1939, the novel was written in Morocco while Orwell was recovering from injuries received while fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Set in the late 1930s, the novel follows a middle-aged insurance salesman named George Bowling as he struggles with anxieties about the coming war. Like Orwell’s more famous novels... Read Coming Up for Air Summary

Publication year 1921Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Mental Health, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Art, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Classic Fiction, Humor, Historical Fiction, Play: Comedy / Satire, British Literature

Publication year 1949Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Relationships: Family, Society: Class, Relationships: Siblings, Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Mystery / Crime Fiction, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, British Literature

Crooked House is a crime fiction novel by mystery writer Agatha Christie, and its title was inspired by the house in the nursery rhyme, “There Was a Crooked Man.” The novel was first published in the US in 1949 by Dodd, Mead, and Company, and in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in the same year. Crooked House is one of Christie’s favorites among her own work. The novel takes place in post-World War... Read Crooked House Summary

Publication year 1876Genre Novel, FictionTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, Historical Fiction, British Literature, Jewish Literature

Daniel Deronda is the last novel by George Eliot, published in 1876. The novel satirizes Victorian society, and its sympathetic portrayal of Jewish culture and ideas garnered controversy at the time of publication. It has been adapted for stage, television, and film.This guide is written using the 2014 Oxford World’s Classics edition.Content Warning: This guide contains references to a suicide attempt and antisemitism and antisemitic language that feature in the source text.Plot SummaryDaniel Deronda begins... Read Daniel Deronda Summary

Publication year 1897Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Identity: SexualityTags Victorian Period, British Literature, Horror / Thriller / Suspense Fiction, Gothic Literature

Dracula is a gothic novel by Bram Stoker published in 1897. Stoker tells the story of the fight against the vampire Dracula in an epistolary format. The story comprises various letters, telegrams, journal entries, and newspaper articles written by the main characters. Dracula explores the classic theme of good versus evil, but the novel also illuminates the relationships between religion and reason, the East and the West, the modern age versus the old world, and... Read Dracula Summary

Publication year 1815Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: Marriage, Society: ClassTags Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, Romanticism / Romantic Period, British Literature, Historical Fiction, Romance, Humor, Class, Gender / Feminism, History: European, Relationships

Emma is a fiction novel published in 1815 by the English author Jane Austen. The book centers on the character development of its eponymous protagonist, a genteel young woman on a country estate who meddles in the love lives of friends and neighbors. Jane Austen was conscious that Emma’s snobbery, vanity, and meddling might make her a “heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” (Austen-Leigh, James Edward. A Memoir of Jane Austen. London:... Read Emma Summary

Publication year 1872Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & GovernmentTags Victorian Period, Classic Fiction, Satire, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, British Literature

Erewhon: or, Over the Range is a satirical novel detailing the adventures of an unnamed narrator into the fictional country of Erewhon. The novel was written by Samuel Butler, though it was published anonymously in 1872. Butler was known for his controversial views on religion and science, wavering between support of and condemnation of both the Church of England and the Darwinian scientists. As such, his own views influence the satire of the novel, and... Read Erewhon Summary

Publication year 1874Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate, Emotions/Behavior: LoveTags Romance, Classic Fiction, Victorian Period, British Literature

Far from the Madding Crowd is Thomas Hardy’s fourth novel, originally published in 1874 as a serial for Cornhill Magazine. Hardy was a Victorian poet and novelist writing in the Realist tradition. The novel is the first to be set in Hardy’s Wessex, a fictitious region of England modeled after his own Dorset and named after the early Saxon kingdom in the same region. Like much of Hardy’s work, the novel explores rural, Victorian-era English... Read Far From The Madding Crowd Summary

Publication year 1884Genre Novella, FictionThemes Society: Class, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Natural World: Nurture v. Nature, Identity: GenderTags Satire, Science-Fiction / Dystopian Fiction, Classic Fiction, Fantasy, Philosophy, Class, Gender / Feminism, British Literature, Victorian Period

IntroductionIn his introduction to Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions (1884), British mathematician Banesh Hoffmann describes the novel as “a stirring adventure in pure mathematics” and emphasizes the fundamentally fantastical nature of the story (iii). He also says that author Edwin A. Abbott intended the novel to be instructional. Both the surreal nature of Flatland and its didactic elements are plain, but there is disagreement among scholars and readers on the question of exactly what... Read Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions Summary

Publication year 1818Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Identity: Gender, Natural World: Nurture v. NatureTags Classic Fiction, Romanticism / Romantic Period, British Literature

First published in 1818, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is a novel by Mary Shelley. It is written in the tradition of Romanticism, a late 18th-century and early 19th-century movement that responded to the Enlightenment. Rejecting rationalism, Romantic literature often celebrated the power of nature and of the individual. Frankenstein is also considered a Gothic novel because of its emphasis on darkness, the sensational, and the wildness of nature.Shelley was the daughter of political philosopher... Read Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus Summary

Publication year 1981Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Aging, Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Natural World: Animals, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: FathersTags Fantasy, Humor, Children's Literature, Magical Realism, British Literature

Publication year 2019Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Disability, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Society: Class, Relationships: Friendship, Values/Ideas: Art, Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: HopeTags Romance, Humor, Health / Medicine, British Literature, Disability

Publication year 1934Genre Novella, FictionThemes Society: Education, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Life/Time: The Past, Relationships: MarriageTags Historical Fiction, Psychological Fiction, Education, British Literature

Goodbye, Mr. Chips, James Hilton’s novella about a mild-mannered teacher at a fictional British boys’ school, originally appeared in 1933 as a supplement to the British Weekly, an evangelical newspaper. Its popularity, however, led to its reprinting in the April 1934 issue of the American magazine Atlantic Monthly and later, its publication as a book by Little, Brown and Company in the US and by Hodder & Stoughton in the United Kingdom. An instant bestseller... Read Goodbye, Mr. Chips Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Fantasy, British Literature

Good Omens, The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is a darkly comic novel originally published in 1990. It is a satirical imagining of the Biblical apocalypse featuring angels, demons, humans, and the hosts of Heaven and Hell.Pratchett is well known for his ˙comic fantasy Discworld series, which spans 41 books. Gaiman is the author of, among other titles, Stardust, American Gods, and the graphic novel series... Read Good Omens Summary

Publication year 1918Genre Poem, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Society: War, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Identity: Masculinity, Values/Ideas: Truth & LiesTags Lyric Poem, Military / War, Grief / Death, Trauma / Abuse / Violence, History: European, WWI / World War I, British Literature, The Lost Generation

Publication year 1861Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Forgiveness, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Classic Fiction, Industrial Revolution, Victorian Period, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, British Literature

Great Expectations is the 13th novel written by Charles Dickens. It was originally published as a serial in Dickens’s periodical, All the Year Round, Great Expectations, and Chapman and Hall published the novelized version in October of 1861. The novel is widely considered to be a classic example of the bildungsroman, or coming-of-age genre, and it has been adapted into numerous plays, films, and television series.Plot SummaryGreat Expectations tells the story of an orphan named... Read Great Expectations Summary

Publication year 1609Genre Play, FictionTags Classic Fiction, Elizabethan Era, British Literature

First performed in 1609, Hamlet is one of the best-known and most influential works of the playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616). This summary refers to the 2001 Pelican edition of the play.Plot SummaryOn a dark night, sentinels see a ghost stalking the battlements of Elsinore Castle, the royal seat of Denmark. It is the dead king, who has returned to tell his son Hamlet to avenge him. He was murdered by his brother, Claudius, who then... Read Hamlet Summary