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Month: December 2013

The Marble Faun – Volume 1

The Marble Faun - Volume 1 by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Marble Faun – Volume 1 by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Marble Faun is Hawthorne’s most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared to Eve, Beatrice Cenci, Lady Macbeth, Judith, and Cleopatra, and is being pursued by a mysterious, threatening Model; Hilda, an innocent copyist who is compared to the Virgin Mary; Kenyon, a sculptor, who represents rationalist humanism; and Donatello, the Count of Monti Beni, who is compared to Adam, resembles the Faun of Praxiteles, and is probably only half human.

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Three Men in a Boat

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) is a humorous account by Jerome K. Jerome of a boating holiday on the Thames between Kingston and Oxford.

The book was intended initially to be a serious travel guide, with accounts of local history of places along the route, but the humorous elements eventually took over, to the point where the serious and somewhat sentimental passages now seem like an unnecessary distraction to the essentially comic novel. One of the most praised things about Three Men in a Boat is how undated it appears to modern readers. The jokes seem fresh and witty even today.

The three men were based on Jerome himself and two real-life friends, George, and Harris. The dog, Montmorency, however, was entirely fictional, but, as Jerome had remarked, “had much of me in it.”

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The Great Stone Face and Other Stories From White Mountain

The Great Stone Face and Other Stories From White Mountain by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Great Stone Face and Other Stories From White Mountain by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A collection of four short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the common theme of which is New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Consists of: The Great Stone Face, which revolves around the ‘Old Man of the Mountain (Cannon Mtn.) in New Hampshire which sadly collapsed on May 3, 2003; The Ambitious Guest; The Great Carbuncle; and Sketches From Memory.

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