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When first published in 1899 the work received a mixed critical reception; praise for its outstanding writing style and condemnation for it's frank presentation of the limits of a woman's role and its sexual openness. At the time the book only had one printing. After it's rediscovery in 1969 the book has been praised for its treatment of issues facing women and its wonderful style.
Historical fiction novel. The story begins with an actual historical tragedy - the 1672 lynching of the Dutch Grand Pensionary (roughly equivalent to a modern Prime Minister) Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis, by a wild mob of their own countrymen - one of the most painful episodes in Dutch history, described by Dumas with a dramatic intensity.
The Bleak House is Dickens' satire of a decaying society. Its story draws together a group of disparate people through the interminable suit of Jarndyce vs Jarndyce at the Court of Chancery. Often described as a savage, though also comic, critique of Victorian society.
The Praise of Folly is considered one of the most influential works of literature in Western civilization and one of the catalysts of the Protestant Reformation. It starts as a piece of virtuoso foolery but then moves into some darker orations praising self-deception and madness. Published in 1511, Folly's influence echoed down the subsequent centuries and in part spawned the art of adoxography, the praise of worthless subjects.
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