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David Copperfield is a marvellous showcase for Dickens' writing brilliance. In it, the title character David Copperfield relates the story of his life, growing up in a world that has kinder moments but which too often can be so cruel. As usual, Dickens has created a cast of interesting characters who at times add comic moments to the story and almost always present Copperfield with many a life lesson. In part autobiographical, this story has been described by Dickens himself as his "favourite son". A must read.
In an age where global travel within a limited time frame was unusual and reserved for heroic adventurers, Phileas Fogg bets his companions at the Reform Club 20,000 pounds that he can circumnavigate the world in only eighty days. Accompanied by his valet Passepartout, they attempt this feat. Despite obstacles thrown at them by man and nature, Fogg is determined that he will not be defeated. Gripping reading.
Written in 1651 during the chaos of the English Civil War. Hobbes formulates the case for a powerful sovereign - or 'Leviathan' - to enforce peace and the law. The work was publicly burnt for sedition and blasphemy when it was first published. Hobbes' view that man's essential nature is competitive and selfish is as challenging today as it was when originally published, the work remains relevant to the modern world and stands as one of the most fascinating works of modern philosophy.
Great Expectations is one of Dickens' later works and considered one of his best. It is notable for it's more naturalistic depiction of characters; here motivations and personal viewpoints form the heart of the narrative. The story follows the arc of a young orphan's life as he first tries to raise himself to a higher station in life and finally discovers the solution to some mysteries and comes to terms with himself.
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