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A defence of one's life presents an autobiographical account of his religious development as a defence against an attack by novelist Charles Kingsley. Newman had begun as an Anglican theologian and later converted to Catholicism, this conversion was very disturbing for many people and marked a turning point in the history of the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England.
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.
The novel follows Georges Duroy's corrupt rise to power. With assistance from a series of powerful mistresses Duroy quickly rises from a lowly returned serviceman to one of the most influential men of Paris.
Brother Jacob is the story of a confectioners apprentice who steals from his mother to emigrate to Jamaica and make his fortune. It is a satirical modern fable that draws telling parallels between eating and reading.
The Chronicles of Canongate is a collection of three short stories; The Highland Widow, Two Drovers, and The Surgeon's Daughter. The stories follow Scots caught up in the Scottish diaspora of the second half of the eighteenth century.
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