Classics 3

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


Mark Twain

ISBN 978-1-7225-0375-8

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2473-9

Publish Date: 7/16/20




In this timeless classic of American literature, Mark Twain created the memorable characters Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer exemplifies the life of a young boy on the frontier in the mid-1800s. The story is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, inspired by Hannibal, Missouri, where Twain lived. This jaunty, free-wheeling tale was based on Twain’s memories of his experiences with boys he grew up with. It is set by the Mississippi River and follows the two boys as they get into predicament after predicament. It is both an idyllic picture of boyhood and an affectionate satire of adult conventions. Tom, who lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother Sid, is a mischievous young boy with a nose for trouble and a heart of gold who exudes a charm and an easygoing nature, which keeps him from being in anyone’s bad graces for long. Whether he’s sneaking food, swooning over a pretty girl or hoodwinking the local boys to do his work for him, Tom is the ultimate schemer. When Tom dirties his clothes in a fight, he is made to whitewash the fence the next day as punishment. He cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work. His classic whitewashing of the fence has become part of American legend. When Tom teams up with his friend Huck Finn, their sleepy Missouri town had better watch out. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is one of Twain’s most beloved stories.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


Mark Twain

ISBN 978-1-7225-0306-2

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2411-1

Publish Date: 7/16/20



This beautifully designed unabridged original edition of the classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is one of the first American novels to be written in vernacular English. This tale of freedom and friendship depicted through a boy’s journey down the Mississippi River, conveyed both the voice and the experience of the American frontier as no other book had done before. Twain created one of literature’s most unforgettable characters in Tom Sawyer’s cohort, Huckleberry Finn. When Huck escapes from his drunken father and the ‘sivilizing’ Widow Douglas he travels down the Mississippi River on a raft with his friend Jim, a runaway slave. In this scalding social satire they embark on a series of adventures amidst the inherent racism and corruption of the pre-Civil War South. We encounter through Huck’s eyes and voice the perils he and Jim face, including fog, feuding families, and unscrupulous rogues. Beneath the adventurous exploits are the more serious undercurrents of slavery, adult authority and, above all, the struggle that Huck faces between his inherent goodness and the corrupt values of society which threaten his deep, long lasting friendship with Jim. Huck who thrives in a life without rules and order must confront his beliefs about friendship and turn away from the life he once knew. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the “greatest humorist [the United States] has produced”, and William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.”

Incidents In The Life of a Slave Girl


Harriet Jacobs

ISBN 978-1-7225-0302-4

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2407-4

Publish Date: 6/29/20



This powerful and unflinching memoir by young mother and fugitive slave, Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813 -1897), remains among the few remaining slave narratives written by a woman. The book was published in 1861 after Jacobs’ harrowing escape from a wicked and predatory master, under the pseudonym Linda Brent since having her true identity revealed would have jeopardized her freedom under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. Jacobs describes her life as a young slave in North Carolina as relatively idyllic until her mother’s death when her mistress bequeathed her to a relative. She soon discovers the horror of her position and writes candidly of the struggles, sexual abuse, and fight for survival that female slaves faced on plantations, as well as the hypocrisy of the master-slave relationship. She recounts women’s efforts to practice motherhood and protect their children who might be sold away at any time. The book documents her life of servitude, her attempts to escape, and how she finally gained freedom to be reunited with her children in the North where she became an abolitionist speaker and reformer.

This remarkable odyssey of her struggle for self-preservation and freedom was a passionate appeal to white Northern women as she sought to expand their knowledge and influence their thoughts about slavery as an institution. While overshadowed by the breakout of the Civil War, it has since been touted as one of the first important slave narratives written from the female perspective.

The Awakening

Kate Chopin 

ISBN 978-1-7225-0342-0

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2447-0

Publish Date: 6/29/20



First published in 1899, this compelling novel shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin’s daring portrayal of twenty-eight-year-old protagonist Edna Pontellier and her struggle to negotiate love and motherhood. She is a woman trapped in a stifling marriage who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the straitened confines of her domestic situation. This sensuous book tells of the woman’s abandonment of her family, her seduction, and her awakening to desires and passions that threatened to consume her. The novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Aside from its unusually frank treatment of a then-controversial subject, the novel is widely admired today for its literary qualities. It is hailed as a work that is beautifully written, and uninhibited in its treatment of infidelity. Few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman in search of self-discovery who turns away from conventions and becomes involved in an illicit relationship with the perception, artistry, and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening. This powerful and provocative reading experience, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson has been hailed as an early vision of woman’s emancipation. This sensitive, innovative combination of realistic narrative and psychological complexity contributed to the birth of American modernist literature and has been hailed as the catalyst to creating a genre that inspired authors such as William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway.

The Scarlet Plague


Jack London

ISBN 978-1-7225-0367-3

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2465-4

Publish Date: 6/29/20



The Scarlet Plague by Jack London, is a post-apocalyptic novel written in 1910 and was originally published as a series in London Magazine in 1912. The story takes place in 2073, sixty years after the Red Death, a devastating plague, has wiped out most of humanity. “The handful of survivors from all walks of life have established their own civilization and their own hierarchy in a savage world. Art, science, and all learning has been lost, and the young descendants of the healthy know nothing of the world that was.” James Howard Smith, a ragged eighty-seven-year-old who had lived in the San Francisco area, was one of only a handful of survivors left alive from the pre-plague era. Now, teary-eyed and clad only in goat-skin, he wanders along deserted railway tracks in a savage wilderness with his grandsons and tries to impart the wonders of that bygone age and the horrors of The Scarlet Plague that wiped out civilization. “It looked serious, but we in California, like everywhere else, were not alarmed. We were sure that the bacteriologists would find a way to overcome this new germ, just as they had overcome other germs in the past. But the trouble was the astonishing quickness with which this germ destroyed human beings, and the fact that it inevitably killed any human body it entered. No one ever recovered.” The book was noted in 2020 as having been prescient of the Coronavirus pandemic which is essentially eerie since London wrote this at a time when the world was not as quickly connected by travel as it is today. 

A Journal of The Plague Year

Daniel Defoe

ISBN 978-1-7225-0366-6

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2464-7

Publish Date: 6/29/20



The year was 1665 when the plague swept through London. Daniel Defoe was only five at the time but 60 years later relied on his memories as well as those of his uncles and a collection of their journals to create this vivid chronicle of the devastating epidemic, which claimed over 97,000 lives. The ringing of a bell and the chilling call of “Bring out your dead!” from the collector of plague victims, still fills readers centuries later with terror as Defoe traces the devastating advance of the Bubonic plague through the streets of London. Through Defoe’s fictional narrator we see a city transformed by the sounds and smells of human suffering in this pandemic known as the Black Death. Reading of some streets eerily empty, and others with crosses on their doors, we bear witness to first hand accounts of the terror and fear that defined the times and the horrifying stories that still scream to be heard. Defoe both historically and fictionally reconstructed events, incorporating memorable, realistic details that give the novel its authenticity. It’s no wonder that parallels of A Journal of the Plague Year, always a staple of college literature courses, can be drawn to this century’s Covid-19 pandemic, making it even more fascinating and relevant today.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson

ISBN 978-1-7225-0339-0

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2444-9

Publish Date: 6/29/19



First published in 1886, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is author Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of man’s inner struggle between good and evil. The novella revolves around the investigation by London lawyer Gabriel John Utterson, concerning the association between his old friend Dr. Henry Jekyll and the evil, morally corrupt Edward Hyde, to whom Jekyll has recently willed his estate. Through the use of a magic potion, Dr. Jekyll, who nurtured a belief that every person has two distinct personalities, is transformed into Mr. Hyde, in order to indulge in the darker side of his character without any consequences besmirching Jekyll’s good name. After some time, Jekyll finds that he is involuntarily turning into Hyde and must use the magic serum, which is running low, in order to turn back. Stevenson from early on in his career was interested in the impact of personality on human behavior and incorporated it into this work. A respected medical practitioner undertaking an experiment to split one person into two different personalities is a classic examination of the duality that exists within man and the tragic consequences that can occur when the darker elements of one’s character are let out. “Split personality” is referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. The phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” has become part of the vernacular to refer to people with an unpredictably dual nature who are vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.

Romeo and Juliet


William Shakespeare

ISBN 978-1-7225-0305-5

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2410-4

Publish Date: 6/29/20



Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career near the end of the 16th century. This story of a love that can never be truly realized and the tragedy that ensues, involves two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets, who had been engaged in a blood feud for many years. Based upon an Italian tale which was translated by 16th century English poet Arthur Brooke into the narrative poem “The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet,” Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was among his most popular plays during the Bard’s lifetime and along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays today. Romeo and Juliet had a profound influence on subsequent literature. The archetypal young lovers in Romeo and Juliet, regarded as one of the greatest and most tragic love stories of all time, has generated the most, and most varied, adaptations, including prose and verse narratives, drama, opera, orchestral and choral music, ballet, film, television, and painting. Before then, romance had not even been viewed as a worthy topic for tragedy. As Harold Bloom writes, Shakespeare “invented the formula that the sexual becomes the erotic when crossed by the shadow of death.” The word “Romeo” has even become synonymous with “male lover” in English.

Heart of Darkness


Joseph Conrad

ISBN 978-1-7225-0301-7

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2406-7

Publish Date: 6/29/19



Heart of Darkness is a novella written in 1899 by Anglo-Polish novelist Joseph Conrad. It is about a voyage into the Congo Free State in the heart of Africa, by the story’s narrator Marlow, an introspective sailor who takes a job as a riverboat captain with the Company, a Belgian concern organized to trade in the Congo. Marlow, aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames in London, recounts to his friends the story of his assignment to journey up the Congo to retrieve and return Kurtz, an ivory hunter reputed to be an idealistic man of great abilities enjoying a reverenced effect on the natives, who delivers more ivory than all other stations combined. As Marlow travels to Africa and then up the Congo on the steamer ship, he encounters widespread inefficiency and brutality in the Company’s stations. The native inhabitants of the region have been forced into the Company’s service, and suffer terribly from overwork and ill treatment at the hands of the Company’s agents. This setting provides the framework for Marlow’s story of his obsession with Kurtz, and enables Conrad to create a parallel between London and Africa as places of darkness. Central to the book is the idea that there is little difference between so-called civilized people and those described as savages. Conrad raises important questions about imperialism and racism. The cruelty and squalor of this imperial enterprise contrasts sharply with the majestic jungle that surrounds the white man’s settlements, making them appear to be tiny islands amidst a vast darkness.

A Doll’s House


Henrik Ibson

ISBN 978-1-7225-0298-0

EPUB ISBN 978-1-7225-2403-6

Publish Date: 6/29/19



“I Think That Before All Else I Am a Human Being, Just As Much As You Are―Or At Least I will Try to Become One.” –Henrik Ibsen in A Doll’s House A Doll’s House, the three-act play by Henrik Ibsen, which premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1879, is one of the most well-known and frequently performed of modern plays. It richly displays the genius with which Ibsen pioneered modern, real¬istic prose drama. The play is significant for the way it deals with the fate of the central character Nora, a married woman, who at that time in Norway lacked opportunities for self-fulfillment in a male-dominated world. Ibsen was inspired by the belief that “a woman cannot be herself in modern society,” since it is “an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine standpoint.” The play aroused great controversy at the time, as it concludes with Nora leaving her husband and children because she wants to discover herself. The outrage went far beyond the theater to the world of news¬papers and society. In Nora, Ibsen epitomized the human struggle against the humiliating constraints of social conformity. Even today many agree that the theme of the play is the need of every individual to be able to find out the kind of person he or she is and to be allowed to become that person.