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.
More About Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
In Through the Looking-Glass Alice climbs through a mirror into another world. Characters in the book include:
- 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
More about Through the Looking-Glass
- Quotes from Through the Looking-Glass
- Read Through the Looking-Glass
- Watch Through the Looking-Glass
The folks at Ript Apparel are featuring a fun Lord of the Rings design today, March 4, 2016. If you miss the Ale 0f Isengard design today check out their Graveyard and Last Call pages. If they haven’t sold out you might be able to get one there.
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.
More about Vivian Grey
I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give. ~ Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others–poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner–young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life. ~ The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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
More about Agnes Grey
Edith Wharton was an American novelist, short story writer, and designer. She’s best knows for her Pulitzer-winning novel, The Age of Innocence as well as Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth.
Edith Newbold Jones was born in New York City in 1862. Her family was wealthy. In fact the saying “keeping up with the Joneses” is said to refer to her father’s family.
She was always interested in writing. Wharton began her first novel at eleven. When she was 15 she was published for the first time. (It was a translation of a German poem.) Later she would go on to write fifteen novels, seven novellas, eighty-five short stores as well as poems and non-fiction.
In 1885 she married Edward (Teddy) Robbins Wharton. He shared her love of travel. Sadly, their travels ceased because of Edward’s acute depression. Later his metal health grew worse. Edith divorced him in 1913 after 28 years of marriage.
During World War One she lived in Paris and was involved in humanitarian projects. In 1914 Wharton opened a workroom for unemployed women that provided food and employment. She was involved in the American Hostels for Refugees organization as well as the Children of Flanders Rescue Committee.
Edith Wharton knew many of the well-known people of her time. This includes Henry James, Sinclair Lewis, Theodore Roosevelt, Bernard Berenson, and Kenneth Clark.
More About Edith Wharton
- Quotes by Edith Wharton
- The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home
- The New York Times Obituary of Edith Wharton
- Edith Wharton at Home: Life at the Mount
They came to her, naturally, since she was a woman, all day long with this and that; one wanting this, another that; the children were growing up; she often felt she was nothing but a sponge sopped full of human emotions. ~ To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
For it is the mind which creates the world about us, and, even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours, my heart will never stir to the emotions with which yours is touched. ~ The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft by George Gissing