Suspiria de Profundis

Suspiria de Profundis

Thomas De Quincey

Considered by some to be the ‘supreme prose fantasy of English literature’, Suspiria de Profundis (‘sighs from the depths’) is a collection of short essays in psychological fantasy. Includes; The Affliction of Childhood; The Palimpsest of the Human Brain; Levana and Our Ladies of Sorrow; The Apparition of The Brocken; and, Savannah-la-Mar.

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The Moon Pool

The Moon Pool

Abraham Merritt

Within the earth’s core, lives an advanced race who have created an offspring. This offspring (the Dweller) gradually turns from good to evil, and at times will rise to the surface of the earth to capture men and women. Scientist Dr Goodwin and pilot Larry O’Keefe follow the Dweller down and O’Keefe finds himself caught between the attentions of two beautiful women; one good, one evil.

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His Masterpiece

His Masterpiece

Emile Zola

Also translated as ‘The Work’, this is the fourteenth novel in the Rougon-Macquart series and tells of the struggles of the protagonist Claude Lantier to paint a great work reflecting his talent and genius. Depicting the bohemian art world of 19th-century Paris, the book explores the rise of Realism, Naturalism and Impressionism in painting, as well as being a fictional account of Zola’s friendship with the French artist Paul Cézanne.

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The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, after losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. She is given to the care of her uncle, whom she has never met, and when she arrives at his house in Yorkshire, she is rude, stubborn, and prone to temper tantrums. However, she undergoes a transformation when she learns of the tragedies…

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On the Shortness of Life

On the Shortness of Life

Seneca

Originally written around 49 AD for his father-in-law Paulinus, Seneca here brings up many Stoic principles on the nature of time, namely that people waste much of it in meaningless pursuits. According to Seneca, nature gives people enough time to do what is really important and it is up to the individual to allot it properly.

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Father Goriot

Father Goriot

Honore de Balzac

Part of the Scènes de la vie privée section of Honore de Balzac’s series La Comédie humaine. Set in Paris in 1819, it follows the intertwined lives of three characters: the elderly doting Goriot; a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin; and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac.

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Rasselas

Rasselas

Samuel Johnson

Also called ‘The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia’, this is a fable about happiness, telling the story of Rasselas, son of the King of Abyssinia, who is shut up in a beautiful valley called The Happy Valley, “till the order of succession should call him to the throne”.

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The Luck of Barry Lyndon

The Luck of Barry Lyndon

William Makepeace Thackeray

This book is about a member of the Irish gentry (Redmond Barry of Bally Barry) who is desperately trying to become a member of the English aristocracy. Thackeray based the novel on the life of Andrew Robinson Stoney. The book was later reissued under the title ‘The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq’.

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Space Viking

Space Viking

H. Beam Piper

When his wife is murdered on his wedding day, Lucas Trask launches himself on a quest for revenge. Using his personal fortune, he buys a spaceship and becomes a Space Viking, raiding worlds while hunting for his wife’s killer. But there are unexpected consequences…

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Short Stories

Short Stories - Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick

I was excited to learn that some of Philip K. Dick’s books were in the public domain. Whilst I’m not the biggest fan, I have read and enjoyed some of his works, and I also realise how important a figure he is in the fictional sci-fi world. So here are 16 short stories including: Beyond Lies The Wub; The Gun; The Skull; The Defenders; The Eyes Have It; The Hanging Stranger; Mr. Spaceship; Piper In The Woods; Second Variety…

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A Confession

A Confession

Leo Tolstoy

This short work was originally titled An Introduction to a Criticism of Dogmatic Theology. It is a brief autobiographical story of the author’s struggle with a mid-life existential crisis, and describes his search for the answer to the ultimate philosophical question: “If God does not exist, since death is inevitable, what is the meaning of life?”

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The Gods of Pegana

The Gods of Pegana

Lord Dunsany

A collection of short stories linked by Dunsany’s invented pantheon of deities who dwell in Pegāna. Stories are: Of Skarl the Drummer; Of the Making of the Worlds; Of the Game of the Gods; The Chaunt of the Gods; The Sayings of Kib; Concerning Sish; The Sayings of Slid; The Deeds of Mung; The Chaunt of the Priests; The Sayings of Limpang-Tung; Of Yoharneth-Lahai; Of Roon, the God of Going, and the Thousand Home…

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