Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Land That Time Forgot

The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Land That Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Land That Time Forgot is a science fiction novel, the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Caspak” trilogy. Starting out as a harrowing wartime sea adventure, the story ultimately develops into that of a fantastical lost world.

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The Pioneers

The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper

The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper

The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper.
The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features a middle-aged Leatherstocking (Natty Bumppo), Judge Marmaduke Temple of Templeton, whose life parallels that of the author’s father Judge William Cooper, and Elizabeth (the author Susan Cooper), of Cooperstown. The story begins with an argument between the Judge and the Leatherstocking over who killed a buck, and as Cooper reviews many of the changes to his fictional Lake Otsego, questions of environmental stewardship, conservation, and use prevail. The plot develops as the Leatherstocking and Chingachgook begin to compete with the Temples for the loyalties of a young visitor, Oliver Effingham. Effingham eventually marries Elizabeth. Chingachgook dies, exemplifying the vexed figure of the “dying Indian,” and Natty vanishes into the sunset. For all its strange twists and turns, ‘The Pioneers’ may be considered one of the first ecological novels in the United States.

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A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. It is moreover a moral novel strongly concerned with themes of guilt, shame, redemption and patriotism. With well over 200 million copies sold, it is among the most famous works of fiction.

The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period. It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events. The most notable are Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. Darnay is a French once-aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Carton is a dissipated British barrister who endeavours to redeem his ill-spent life out of his unrequited love for Darnay’s wife, Lucie Manette.

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