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Having rejected the vulgarity of the French upper class and all the human society a single character of the book founds his retreat in a quiet countryside mansion and dedicates himself to meditation and interior decoration. Joris-Karl Huysmans, the author, was an outstanding member of the Decadent movement and proponent of Naturalism. “Against the Grain, also known as “Against Nature”, is in some way a dispute of human ingenuity and nature and a reproduction of the stirred and confusing period in history. It became inspirer of what later became known in England as the Tragic Generation.Moreover, the novel is a peculiar exhibition, presenting descriptions of the Duke’s collection, including four entire chapters devoted to his library.
In the first part of the previous century the new science aiming at researching the methods of improving the human race appeared. It got the name of eugenics and immediately became very popular among scientists, writers and educators. In the 1920s most of schoolchildren learned its principles at schools. Even lawyers and doctors were seriously interested in eugenics. In 1924 the Congress passed the law that would not allow people from Eastern and Southern Europe immigrate to the U.S. There were even thoughts about sterilizing unwanted people. Despite the popularity of eugenics in the English-speaking countries, Chesterton was against it. And he expressed his protest in his outstanding book that is still popular all over the world called Eugenics and Other Evils. The author claims that eugenics is one of the greatest evils of his society. As it turned out later with notorious experience of the Nazi ideas of purifying the German nation and eliminating the whole nations, especially Jews and Slavs. In this book, however, the author addresses not only eugenics but other evils of his society. Chesterton believes that socialism which was developing at that time gaining more and more popularity is one of them. As the book shows, the author has a wonderful sense of humor applying it in his story. At the same time it is scientific and in many ways rebelling. This edition contains fifty pages of extracts from the works of Chesterton's opponents to strengthen the value of the author's arguments.
A poem by an English author and journalist of the beginning of the 20th century, Gilbert Keith Chesterton. This ballad relates of a favorite legend of the times of the King Edward, legend of a White Horse, the symbol of victory. It begins with the description of the White Horse of the White Horse Vale in England, and narrates about King Alfred, who is going to recruit an army and fight the Danes. Chesterton uses this mysterious image of a Horse as a symbol of the traditions that guard the human race.
What makes the book more valuable is the fact, that it is one of the last great epic poems in the English language.
The novel "Gadfly" written by Ethel Lillian Voynich Boole was enormously popular in the Soviet Union after the second world war.
This is the story of revolt and revolution, the story of love and betrayal, dark secrets and atonement. All these themes are finely incorporated in author’s controversial theme of the criticism of the church. With all this the book became one of the best political novels of the world literature.
The novel set in Italy in the 1800’s within the Italian Risorgimento. The author consulted with the Marucelliana Library of Florence and the State Archives & Civic Museum of Bologna during writing the book.
She was close friend of Sidney Rosenblum, his girlfriend. With the last money of him they moved to Italy. There under the influence of bright Mediterranean sun, southern hot climate, memories of his childhood and powerful Catholic religion, he gave a full background, remembering and conjuring up the memories of the past. He was not angry learning about she published his story. And the story turned out to be a great success, it touched people’s mind amazingly.
Later Ethel Lilian Voynich wrote some other books, but no one of them gave her such success, as the novel “Gadfly”, which has become a specimen of political novel with love, betrayals and the final but unfortunately late insight into the truth.
“The Napoleon of Notting Hill” is a first novel by the hand of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, an outstanding English journalist and author of the 19th-20th centuries. It tells of a somewhat eccentric Auberon Quin, who suddenly becomes a new King of England. He goes on entertaining, playing foolish jokes and generating unexpected ideas, which eventually cause a bloody meaningless war between the districts of London. Though the novel is a humorous adventure story, it relates a sad consequence of a one man's thoughtless actions and the virtue of respect for one's enemies.
The Deipnosophists; or, Banquet of the learned, of Athenaeus. Literally translated by C.D. Yonge, B.A. With an appendix of poetical fragments, rendered into English verse by various authors, and a general index 2
Vol. 3 available on microfilm 26