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Staff Picks - Great British Classics

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All items are shelved in the fiction section alphabetically by the author’s last name unless otherwise indicated.

Pride and Prejudice     
by Jane Austen             
Elizabeth Bennet is vivacious, strong-willed, and unmarried. Mr. Darcy is rich, handsome, unbearably arrogant, and also unmarried.  They each fight against the love they feel with fierce pride and willful prejudice. 

Jane Eyre 
by Charlotte Bronte                               
After becoming a governess in Edward Rochester’s home and falling in love with him, Jane begins to suspect that Thornfield Hall is haunted by a dreadful secret.            

Wuthering Heights 
by Emily Bronte               
The story of a savage, tormented foundling, Heathcliff, who falls in love with Catherine Earnshaw, daughter of his benefactor, and the violence and misery that result from their thwarted longing for each other.   

Canterbury Tales (821.1)
by Geoffrey Chaucer     
Related short stories taking place in Medieval England.  

The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (J FICTION DEFOE)
by Daniel Defoe                         
An Englishman's great resourcefulness enables him to survive for almost thirty years on the desert island where he is shipwrecked. 

A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens                 
The classic tale of the young Englishman who gives up his life during the French Revolution to save the husband of the woman he loves. 

Rebecca 
by Daphne Du Maurier                   
Cornish estate owner Maximilian de Winter's second wife – also the nameless narrator – is haunted by the housekeeper's oppressive worship of her predecessor, Rebecca.        

Middlemarch
by George Eliot                       
In 19th-century England, Dorthea Brooke's wishes to defy social conventions are inhibited by the strict nature of her surroundings.    

The Waste Land (821.912)
by T. S. Eliot                                       
Eliot's vision of dystopia became a literary landmark, and introduced new techniques to the modern poet.  

A Passage to India
by E. M. Forster                           
Three English newcomers to Chandrapore eagerly form a friendship with an educated Indian, Dr. Aziz, but jeopardize international relations when one of them accuses him of sexual assault.  

I, Claudius
by Robert Graves                                     
The fictional lost autobiography of Emperor Tiberius  Claudius reveals his intelligence and political savvy, amidst a decadent,  cruel and superficial society that thinks him a stuttering idiot. 

The Heart of the Matter
by Graham Greene
Disaster looms in British West Africa when a scrupulously honest native police official jeopardizes his honor for the love of a woman. 

Tess of the D’Urbervilles
by Thomas Hardy
While working for her wealthy cousin, Tess succumbs to his sexual advances. Will she bear alone the shame of childbirth and condemnation of the man she loves?     

The Dubliners
by James Joyce                                     
Both social critique and loving portrait of the everyday lives of urban dwellers at the dawn of the last century, these stories reflect the inherent self-sufficiency and strength of the Irish people. 

Sons and Lovers
by D. H. Lawrence                       
Torn between his passion for two women and his abiding attachment to his mother, young Paul Morel struggles with his desire to please everyone--particularly himself. Autobiographical fiction.                             

Of Human Bondage                                               
by W. Somerset Maugham                                     
Philip Casey’s search for freedom and self-actualization goes tragically awry when his dreams and his heart are shattered by a destructive sexual obsession. 

Animal Farm
by George Orwell
The animals on Mr. Jones's farm stage a successful revolution and take the place over. Their hopes, their plans, and their achievements form the subject of Animal Farm. In the first flush of enthusiasm there is set up a great commandment, All animals are equal, but unfortunately leadership devolves almost automatically on the pigs, who are on a higher intellectual level than the rest.                 

The Wide Sargasso Sea 
by Jean Rhys     
Inspired by Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, this is the story of the childhood and marriage of the first Mrs. Rochester, the West Indian Creole heiress who went insane.                                       

Ivanhoe 
by Walter Scott                             
While the dastardly King John threatens to usurp King Richard’s throne, Ivanhoe returns from the Crusades to team up with Robin Hood to defeat the Normans.                                             

Hamlet (822.33)
by William Shakespeare   
The play, set in the Kingdom of Denmark, recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius for murdering the old King Hamlet (Claudius's brother and Prince Hamlet's father) and then succeeding to the throne and marrying Gertrude (the King Hamlet's widow and mother of Prince Hamlet).   

Frankenstein, Or, the Modern Prometheus                                              
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley                                                   
Fascinated by the quest for eternal life, Victor’s unnatural experiments with cadavers bring forth a new being into the world. He then rejects his own creation, with horrifying results. 

Gulliver’s Travels
by Jonathan Swift                       
The voyages of an Englishman carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall;  Brobdingnag, a land of giants; an island of sorcerers; and a country ruled by horses.              

Vanity Fair                                                                     
by William Makepeace Thackeray                           
Social vanity and inequity are on full display as the lives of 5 Victorians are contrasted and compared.          

Barchester Towers
by Anthony  Trollope                 
With wry humor and quirky characters, the author reveals the dangers of evangelical infighting as an incompetent new bishop and a slimy curate struggle for control of the diocese. 

Brideshead Revisited 
by Evelyn Waugh
While at Oxford, Charles Ryder meets boyish, flamboyant Sebastian Flyte, who introduces Charles to a charmed and glamorous way of life that continues until Sebastian's health deteriorates.   

Mrs. Dalloway              
by Virginia Woolf 
One day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares to host a society party, proves to be fertile ground for fond remembrances, recriminations and musings on life’s splendid futility.