Archive for Literature

200 Years Ago: Jane Austen’s Death

Jane Austen, considered by many to be as great a wordsmith as Shakespeare, died at the age of 41, unacknowledged as a great writer. The Jane Austen Society of North America has a marvelous site that covers a vast array of resources dealing with her works both in published and manuscript forms. Her letters can be found in volumes 11 and 12 of The novels and letters of Jane Austen (1915) and in Jane Austen’s Letters To Her Sister Cassandra and Others (2d ed, 1952).


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A Walt Whitman Novel Has Resurfaced After 150 Years of Neglect

The Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, a novel by Walt Whitman has just been discovered after sinking into obscurity for over 150 years. Those who would like to peruse this work can do so here.

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The William Blake Archive

For those of us who are enthralled with the sheer genius of this person, this site is for you. Containing digital reproductions of many of his works (in their various editions), general and specific bibliographies, a listing of institutions housing Blake’s works, Erdman’s Complete Prose and Poetry of William Blake (our copy is suitably dog-eared),  a “what’s new” feature, and back runs of Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly, this should be a destination for anyone who appreciates the manifold talents of this writer and artist.

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George Orwell Archive Online

Hosted at University College London, this collection contains letters, diaries, newspaper articles, political notebooks, Spanish Civil War material, and photographs. “The George Orwell Archive is the most comprehensive body of research material relating to the author George Orwell (Eric Blair) (1903-1950) anywhere.”

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“The Veteran”

We came upon him sitting in the sun
Blinded by war, and left. And past the fence
There came young soldiers from the Hand and Flower,
Asking advice of his experience.
And he said this, and that, and told them tales,
And all the nightmares of each empty head
Blew into air; then, hearing us beside,
“Poor chaps, how’d they know what it’s like?” he said.
And we stood there, and watched him as he sat,
Turning his sockets where they went away,
Until it came to one of us to ask “And you’re-how old?”
“Nineteen, the third of May.”

Margaret Postgate Cole, 1918

More poetry of World War I can be found here.

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All Folger Shakespeare Texts Online

Scrupulously edited, the entire corpus of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets is freely available online. Editorial interpolations are clearly delineated; each text comes with a synopsis as well as a character list. These are the definitive texts of his work.

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Who Are the Highest Paid Authors in the World?

Come here to find out.

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