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The Short Stories of the British Isles - A Chronological History - Complete in Ten VolumesKirjailija: Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Anthony Trollope E-kirja
These British Isles, moored across from mainland Europe, are more often seen as a world unto themselves. Restless and creative, they often warred amongst themselves until they began a global push to forge a World Empire of territory, of trade and of language.
Here our ambitions are only of the literary kind. These shores have mustered many masters of literature. So this anthology’s boundaries includes only those authors who were born in the British Isles - which as a geographical definition is the UK mainland and the island of Ireland - and wrote in a familiar form of English.
Whilst Daniel Defoe is the normal starting point we begin a little earlier with Aphra Behn, an equally colourful character as well as an astonishing playwright and poet. And this is how we begin to differentiate our offering; both in scope, in breadth and in depth. These islands have raised and nurtured female authors of the highest order and rank and more often than not they have been sidelined or ignored in favour of that other gender which usually gets the plaudits and the royalties.
Way back when it was almost immoral that a woman should write. A few pages of verse might be tolerated but anything else brought ridicule and shame. That seems unfathomable now but centuries ago women really were chattel, with marriage being, as the Victorian author Charlotte Smith boldly stated ‘legal prostitution’. Some of course did find a way through - Jane Austen, the Brontes and Virginia Woolf but for many others only by changing their names to that of men was it possible to get their book to publication and into a readers hands. Here we include George Eliot and other examples.
Now authors began to offer a wider, more diverse choice from social activism and justice – and injustice to cutting stories of manners and principles. From many forms of comedy to mental meltdowns, from science fiction to unrequited heartache. If you can imagine it an author probably wrote it.
At the end of the 19th Century bestseller lists and then prizes, such as the Nobel and Pulitzer, helped focus an audience’s attention to a books literary merit and sales worth. Previously coffeehouses, Imperial trade, unscrupulous overseas printers ignoring copyright restrictions, publishers with their book lists as an appendix and the gossip and interchange of polite society had been the main avenues to secure sales and profits.
Within this complete collected edition of 10 volumes are 151 authors and 161 miniature masterpieces of a few pages that contain story arcs, narratives, characters and happenings that pull you one way and push you another. Literature for the ears, the heart, the very soul. As the world changed and reshaped itself our species continued to generate words, phrases and stories in testament of the human condition.
This collection has a broad sweep and an inclusive nature and whilst you will find gems by D H Lawrence, G K Chesterton, Anthony Trollope, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker and many, many others you’ll also find oddballs such as Lewis Carroll and W S Gilbert. Take time to discover the black humour of Violet Hunt, the short story craft of Edith Nesbit and Amy Levy, and ask why you haven’t read enough of Ella D’Arcy, Mary Butts and Dorothy Edwards.