Category: Revolution and Romance Era

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Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, England. 1818 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born into a famous literary family, moved amongst a circle of poetic greats and married one of the foremost writers of the era and, in an age when women were generally marginalized, she cast them all into the shadows with her famous novel Frankenstein. Shelley’s Gothic horror novel was one of the first best sellers by a woman author, is still widely read today and has been the basis for numerous film and stage adaptations. Blending Romantic era philosophical questions about natural perfection and beauty with horror and social criticism, the...

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Les Fleurs du Mal

Charles Baudelaire, France.1857 Of all the poets to appear on the Great Books List, few evoke the cliché of a tortured poet better than Frenchman Charles Baudelaire. Impoverished, pallid and unrecognized Baudelaire had a short, hard life; but his poetry made him one of the most influential European poets of the nineteenth century. Baudelaire was born in Paris, in 1821 into a middle class family. His father was 34 years older than his wife and died shortly after Charles was born. His mother remarried an army staff officer who was also a senior ambassador for the French government. Baudelaire began...