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Emma by Jane Austen

July 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Jane Austen

As she was planning the novel Jane Austen wrote, “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.”  And that was the beginning of Emma Woodhouse, the main character in Emma.  This comedy features matchmaking gone horribly (and delightfully) awry.

The novel was first published in 1815 and has been adapted into movies and television shows.

“You must be the best judge of your own happiness.” ~ Emma by Jane Austen

 

Anne Of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

April 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Avonlea was published in 1909.  It is the second book in the Anne of Green Gables series and depicts Anne’s life from ages 16 to 18.  This book introduces the characters of the twins, Davy and Dora.  It also marks the first appearance of the neighbor, Mr. Harrison.

“Everything that’s worth having is some trouble.” ~ Anne Of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Anne of Green Gables Series

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of the Island
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne’s House of Dreams
Anne of Ingleside
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
The Blythes Are Quoted

Anne of Green Gables at Amazon.com

All’s Well that Ends Well

April 15, 2017 by · Leave a Comment
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All's Well that Ends Well

 

All’s Well That Ends Well is a play by William Shakespeare. It’s believed that Shakespeare wrote it between 1604 and 1605.

Historically the play has been classified as a comedy.  However some critics believe it to be one of his “problem plays”, so named because they cannot be neatly classified as tragedy or comedy.  The other problem plays are Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida.

“Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead: excessive grief the enemy to the living.” ~ All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare

Resources

 

Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

July 31, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Children of Dune QuotesChildren of Dune  by Frank Herbert is the third novel in the Dune series. Published in 1976, it was the first hardcover best-seller in the science fiction genre.

In 2003 the Sci-Fi Channel made a miniseries called Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune.  The miniseries is actually an adaptation of both Dune Messiah and Children of Dune.

The book was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1977.  It lost to Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm.

The one-eyed view of our universe says you must not look far afield for problems. Such problems may never arrive. Instead, tend to the wolf within your fences. The packs ranging outside may not even exist. ~ Children of Dune by Frank Herbert

More about Children of Dune

A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

April 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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A Woman of No Importance by Oscar WildeA Woman of No Importance is a play written by Oscar Wilde. The play premiered on 19 April 1893 at London’s Haymarket Theatre.

The play starts at a swanky house party located at Lady Hunstanton’s country estate.  It’s announced that Gerald Arbuthnot has been appointed as Lord Illingworth’s secretary.  Drama ensues because of a scandalous secret regarding Gerald’s mother.  Will Gerald’s prospects be derailed?

“Men always want to be a woman’s first love. That is their clumsy vanity. We women have a more subtle instinct about things. What we like is to be a man’s last romance.” ~ A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

More about A Woman of No Importance 

 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

March 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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FrankensteinFrankenstein was written by Mary Shelley in 1816.

The summer of 1816 was dreary one because of the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. It adversely affected the weather and some people called 1816 “the year without a summer.” That year Mary Shelley, then Mary Godwin, and her future husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, visited Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Because of the bad weather the group ended up spending a lot of time indoors.  One of the things they did to pass the time was to read ghost stories.  That gave Byron an idea.  He proposed that they “each write a ghost story.”  That challenge lead to Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein.

The first edition of the book was published anonymously in London in 1818. Shelley’s name appears on the second edition, published in France in 1823.

The moon gazed on my midnight labours, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places. ~ Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

More About Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

March 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollThrough the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll was published in 1871. The novel is a sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

In Through the Looking-Glass Alice climbs through a mirror into another world. Characters in the book include:

  • Bandersnatch
  • Haigha (March Hare)
  • Hatta (The Hatter)
  • Humpty Dumpty
  • The Jabberwock
  • Jubjub bird
  • Red King
  • Red Queen
  • The Lion and the Unicorn
  • The Sheep
  • The Walrus and the Carpenter
  • Tweedledum and Tweedledee
  • White King
  • White Knight
  • White Queen

“‘Well, now that we HAVE seen each other,” said the Unicorn, “if you’ll believe in me, I’ll believe in you.” ~ Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

More about Through the Looking-Glass

Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli

February 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Vivian Grey QuotesVivian Grey is the first novel written by Disraeli.  It was published anonymously in 1826.

The novel depicts the life of Vivian Grey as he grows up and attempts to succeed in the world of politics.   The novel has autobiographical elements and is also a satire on the social and political life of the time.  Its publication caused quite a stir as the members of London society tried to deduce the name of the author.

The praise of a fool is incense to the wisest of us. ~ Vivian Grey by Benjamin Disraeli

More about Vivian Grey

 

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

February 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Agnes GreyAgnes Grey was published in 1847 under Anne’s pen name of Action Bell.  A second edition of the novel was printed in 1850. The second version of the book was edited by Anne’s sister, Charlotte Bronte.

The story follows Agnes Grey, a governess, as she works for well-to-do English families.  Anne herself worked as a eagerness for five years so the novel is partly autobiographical.  The novel deals with the precarious nature of being a governess and how that affected women in that position.

But our wishes are like tinder: the flint and steel of circumstances are continually striking out sparks, which vanish immediately, unless they chance to fall upon the tinder of our wishes; then, they instantly ignite, and the flame of hope is kindled in a moment.  ~ Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

January 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
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Great Expectations QuotesGreat Expectations was the thirteenth novel that Charles Dickens wrote.  In the UK the novel was published in weekly installments in All the Year Round from December of 1860 until August 1861.  Harper’s Weekly, in the United States, published installments of the novel from November 1860 through August of 1861.

All the Year Round was founded by DickensIts first issue was printed on April 30, 1859. The publication featured serialized novels.  In fact, the first novel it featured was Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities.

In October of 1860 sales of All the Year Round were declining.  The featured novel, A Day’s Ride by Charles Lever, wasn’t very popular.  In order to boost sales, Dickens adapted Great Expectations, originally planned for publication in another format, to be published in All the Year Round.  His plan worked and sales for the publication increased.

“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” ~ Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

More About Great Expectations

 

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