Lawrence Lessig - "a brilliant agile mind - absolutely extraordinarily prolific writer and speaker and above all an advocate for all the right things"
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A Victorian "sensation novel" par excellence, but perhaps a little challenging for some when it was first published: 'One of the most hardened female villains whose devices and desires have ever blackened fiction' The Athenaeum reviewer of Armadale (1866). Throughout the novel you know Lydia Gwilt is a wicked woman and that she is out to destroy Alan Armadale, but you can't help wishing her success.
First published in 1878 and still widely read The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy was the most influential interpretation of the Italian Renaissance in the 19th century. Burkhardt considered the study of ancient history an intellectual necessity and deals with all aspects of Renaissance society; its painting, sculpture and architecture, and the social institutions of its daily life.
The novel follows Chichikov, an unscrupulous young gentleman of a middle social class who is determined to make his fortune. He plans to buy the title to serfs that have died since the last census. The owners should be agreeable as they are still paying tax on the dead 'souls'. Nabakov described Gogol as a great writer whose prose style combined superb descriptive power with a disregard for novelistic clichés. In this most unusual work Gogol combines devastating satire and beautifully rendered characters to create an enduring masterpiece.
Who is going to marry Eugenie Grandet? Enter one cousin Charles, recently orphaned and penniless. Set in provincial France in the aftermath of the French Revolution, Eugenie Grandet is a tale of a father's financial cunning and miserliness pitched against a daughter's determination to rebel.
The world's most famous gothic horror story, Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein who combines his knowledge of natural science and medieval alchemy to give life to an inanimate object. But the resultant creature is far from what he had imagined. Rejected by Frankenstein and unloved, the forsaken creature ultimately metamorphosises into a monster intent on destroying his maker and all that he holds dear.
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