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The Great English Short-Story Volume 1

The Great English

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The Great English Short-Story Writers, Volume 1 by John Brown et al.

“The Great English Short-Story Volume 1”

is an anthology of classic short stories by some of the greatest English writers of all time. Published in 2020 by Penguin Classics, the collection includes works from the 19th and early 20th centuries, showcasing the development of the short story as a literary genre and highlighting the contributions of some of the most talented writers in English literature.

The collection features a total of 26 stories, beginning with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” which explores themes of morality, sin, and temptation in Puritan New England. Other stories in the collection include Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” a Gothic tale of madness and terror; Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King,” a classic adventure story set in colonial India; and H.G. Wells’ “The Country of the Blind,” a science fiction tale about a man who stumbles upon a hidden valley where the inhabitants have no sight.

Other notable authors featured in the collection include Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, and D.H. Lawrence. Each story in the anthology is accompanied by an introduction providing context and analysis of the author’s work, making it an ideal resource for students of literature or anyone looking to deepen their understanding and appreciation of classic English literature.

One of the standout stories in the collection is Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost,” a comedic and satirical tale about an American family who moves into a haunted English castle. The story pokes fun at the traditional ghost story genre and highlights Wilde’s wit and clever use of language. Another notable story is Virginia Woolf’s “Kew Gardens,” a modernist work that focuses on the beauty of nature and the fleeting moments of human connection.

In addition to showcasing the diversity and range of English literature, “The Great English Short-Story Volume 1” also provides a fascinating window into the social and historical context in which these stories were written. For example, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is a chilling and powerful critique of the treatment of women’s mental health in the 19th century, while Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Sharer” explores themes of identity and self-discovery against the backdrop of colonialism and imperialism.

Overall, “The Great English Short-Story Volume 1” is a must-read for anyone interested in classic English literature and the development of the short story as a genre. With its wide range of authors and stories, it provides a comprehensive overview of the richness and complexity of the English literary tradition. Whether read cover to cover or dipped into for individual stories, this anthology is sure to delight and engage readers of all backgrounds and interests.


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