Archive: "novels" Tag

New acquisitions: bestselling 19th century mysteries

Two of Special Collections’ newest additions in the realm of rare literature are groundbreaking mystery novels, one British, the other American. Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (Victorian Collection PR 4809 .H87 M8 1887b) was the best-selling mystery novel of its day. Hume self-published the novel in 1886 while working as a law …

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Victorian Book of the Month: Famous first lines

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” (Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)   “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.” (Bronte, Jane Eyre)   “It is a truth universally acknowledged….” (Austen, Pride & Prejudice)   Great 19th century British novels provide some of the best opening …

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Victorian Book of the Month: Wonderland edition

Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first issued by his London publisher, Macmillan, in July 1865. Before Alice Carroll had published a number of mathematical works under his true name, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He adopted his famous pseudonym in 1856 for the many poems, short prose, and even puzzles which he submitted to …

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Anthony Trollope, 1815-1882

Today we celebrate the birth of beloved (and prolific!) Victorian author Anthony Trollope, 200 years ago. Trollope wrote over 60 books during his lifetime, including 47 novels, as well as numerous short stories, an autobiography, and even a few plays. Trollope’s professional career was with the General Post Office. His early novels were written while …

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Louisa May Alcott’s First Novel

December marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Moods, Louisa May Alcott’s first novel. Alcott wrote Moods, a novel of love and marriage, sometime during the period 1860-61. She may have been partly inspired by the 1860 marriage of her older sister Anna to John Pratt. The plot of Moods revolves around a love …

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Wives and Daughters

August marks the 150th anniversary of the first appearance of Elizabeth Gaskell’s beloved novel Wives and Daughters. Gaskell published the novel serially in the beginning in the August 1864 issue of the literary magazine The Cornhill, accompanied by illustrations by George du Maurier. Sadly, Gaskell  died of a sudden heart attack in November 1865 before …

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Our Mutual Friend and Dickens’ Train Accident

May marks the 150th anniversary of the first appearance of Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend. It was the last complete novel published during the author’s lifetime, and was serialized in monthly parts between May 1864 and November 1865. Dickens was still working on the novel on June 9, 1864, when the South Eastern Railway train …

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Special Collections Authors You’ve Never Heard Of

Part VI: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916) April 18 is another literary anniversary! Journalist and author Richard Harding Davis was born 150 years ago today. His parents were both writers; his father was a Philadelphia newspaper editor and his mother Rebecca Harding Davis was a prolific 19th century (though today, largely forgotten), novelist. Richard Harding Davis …

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