Villette is the fourth novel by Charlotte Bronte. It was published in 1853. Bronte drew on her own experience as a teacher in Brussels in writing the novel. The book features an interesting mix of gothic and psychological themes.
I seemed to hold two lives—the life of thought, and that of reality; and, provided the former was nourished with a sufficiency of the strange necromantic joys of fancy, the privileges of the latter might remain limited to daily bread, hourly work, and a roof of shelter. ~ Villette by Charlotte Bronte
A Tale of Two Cities isthe twelfth novel by Charles Dickens. The book was published in weekly installments in All the Year Round. The first chapters of the book were published in April of 1859. The last chapter was printed in November of that same year.
The book deals with the French revolution. It’s one of the two historical novels by Dickens. Barnaby Rudge is the other.
The idea for the novel came from a production of The Frozen Deep. In 1857 Dickens acted in the play and portrayed the character of Richard Wardour. (Dickens was interested in the stage and sometimes performed in amateur productions.) In the play Wardour decides that he’s going to kill Frank Aldersley because Frank stole his true love, Clara Burnham. Instead Wardour saves Aldersley’s life at the cost of his own. Wardour dies in Clara’s arms and earns her eternal gratitude for saving the life of the man that she loves.
In addition to giving Dickens the idea for A Tale of Two Cites, the play brought about lasting changes to Dickens’s life. Professional actresses were hired to act in a benefit production of The Frozen Deep. One of them was Ellen Ternan. She became Dickens’s mistress. Their affair lasted until Dickens’s death in 1870.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only. ~ A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us? ~ Dune by Frank Herbert
Come what may, I am bound to think that all things are ordered for the best; though when the good is a furlong off, and we with our beetle eyes can only see three inches, it takes some confidence in general principles to pull us through. ~ The Stark Munro Letters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Will not a tiny speck very close to our vision blot out the glory of the world, and leave only a margin by which we see the blot? ~ Middlemarch by George Eliot
Anthony Trollope (April 24, 1815 – December 6, 1882) was one of the most successful and prolific novelists of the Victorian era. Among his best-known works is a series of novels collectively known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire, which revolves around the imaginary county of Barsetshire.
Trollope was born in London. His father, Thomas Anthony Trollope, was an unhappy man. He wanted his sons to be raised as gentlemen, but didn’t have the means to make that happen. The money situation came to a head in 1834 when the entire Trollope family moved to Belgium to avoid being arrested for debt.
Later in 1834 Anthony accepted a position as clerk in the General Post Office in London. He worked for the postal system in various positions and locations until 1864.
Trollope wrote in his spare time and while traveling for his postal service job. His finished his first novel, The Macdermots of Ballycloran, in 1845.
Ride at any fence hard enough, and the chances are you’ll get over. The harder you ride the heavier the fall, if you get a fall; but the greater the chance of your getting over. ~ Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope
Moby Dick was written by Herman Melville. The work was first published as The Whale in London in October 1851. The next month New York publishers issued the novel as Moby-Dick.
Moby Dick is based in part on Melville’s experience on a whaler. On December 30, 1840, he signed on as a green hand on the Acushnet.
The sinking of the Nantucket ship Essex in 1820 was another inspiration for the novel. The ship sank after it was rammed by an enraged sperm whale.
Melville also drew on one other true-life event for the tale. An article in the May 1839 issue of The Knickerbocker told about an albino whale known as Mocha Dick. The whale was rumored to have 20 or so harpoons in his back from other whalers, and appeared to attack ships with premeditated ferocity.
Despite the popularity of the novel today, only about 3,200 copies were sold during the Melville’s life. He earned a little more than $1,200 for writing the book.
Though amid all the smoking horror and diabolism of a sea-fight, sharks will be seen longingly gazing up to the ship’s decks, like hungry dogs round a table where red meat is being carved, ready to bolt down every killed man that is tossed to them. ~ Moby Dick by Herman Melville
“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” ~ The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
By this, he seemed to mean, not only that the most reliable and useful courage was that which arises from the fair estimation of the encountered peril, but that an utterly fearless man is a far more dangerous comrade than a coward. ~ Moby Dick by Herman Melville
A man will tell you that he has worked in a mine for forty years unhurt by an accident as a reason why he should apprehend no danger, though the roof is beginning to sink. ~ Silas Marner by George Eliot
Charlotte Bronte was born on April 21, 1816 in Yorkshire. She was the eldest of the three famous Bronte sisters. (Anne and Emily were the other two.) Charlotte is best known as the author of Jane Eyre.
Charlotte, Emily and Anne initially published their work using pen names. They were Currer (Charlotte), Ellis (Emily) and Acton (Anne) Bell. The pseudonyms hid the sisters’ gender while preserving their initials.
In 1854 Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls. Their courtship was turbulent. Charlotte initially refused Arthur’s marriage proposal. Even after Charlotte accepted his proposal her father was not convinced it was a good match. He was concerned about Nicholls’s poor financial status. Eventually all the obstacles were cleared. They married on June 29, 1854.
Sadly, Charlotte died soon after the marriage. She passed on March 31, 1855. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as tuberculosis. However some biographers suspect that she died from complications connected with the fact that she was pregnant.
I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils. ~ Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Dune, by Frank Herbert, was published in 1965. It’s the first installment of the Dune saga, and is frequently cited as the best-selling science fiction novel of all time.
There are six novels in the Dune Series by Frank Herbert:
Dune – Published in 1965
Dune Messiah – Originally serialized in the Galaxy magazine in 1969
Children of Dune – Published in 1976, it became the first hardcover best-seller in the science fiction genre
God Emperor of Dune – Published in 1981
Heretics of Dune – Published in 1984
Chapterhouse: Dune – Publisher in 1985
Frank Herbert died in 1986. At the time of his death he’d been planning to write a seventh novel in the Dune series. Two decades later, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson published two sequels. Hunters of Dune came out in 2006 and Sandworms of Dune was published in 2007. These two books were based in part on Frank Herbert’s notes for the seventh Dune novel.
Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic. ~ Dune by Frank Herbert