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Literature Classics

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What Makes Little Women a Classic?
When Little Women was first released in 1868, it sold 2,000 copies in just two days. A coming-of-age story that defied convention, it has gripped and inspired readers for generations.
What Makes The Invisible Man a Classic?
First published as a novel in 1897, HG Wells' The Invisible Man is the story of a scientist corrupted by his own ambition. A gripping story of madness and immorality, its brutal conclusion still has the power to shock today.
What Makes Peter Pan a Classic?
First published as a book in 1911, JM Barrie's Peter Pan is the story of the boy who never grew up. Written at a time when society's attitudes to childhood were changing, it captured the fleeting magic of being young.
What Makes Silas Marner a Classic?
First published in 1860, but set decades earlier, George Eliot's Silas Marner took its first readers back to a pre-industrial world. A story that celebrates human connection, it explores how caring for a child changes one man's life forever.
What Makes Moby Dick a Classic?
First published in 1851, Herman Melville's Moby Dick sold just a few thousand copies in its author's lifetime. A thrilling novel about man's obsessive quest to conquer nature, its environmental themes still resonate today.
What Makes Oliver Twist a Classic?
Originally serialised in a magazine between 1837 and 1839, Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist had its first readers hooked. A gripping story full of charismatic characters, it also exposed society's unjust treatment of the poor.
What Makes Frankenstein a Classic?
First published anonymously in 1818, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was inspired by a nightmare. A chilling, gothic tale, it explores the dark side of scientific progress.
What Makes Sense and Sensibility a Classic?
First published in 1811, Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is a funny, authentic portrait of two very different sisters. Still one of literature's best loved rom-coms, it was written when the novel as an art form was in its infancy.
What Makes The Secret Garden a Classic?
First published as a book in 1911, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden is a coming-of-age novel about the power of positive thinking and the importance of friendship.
What Makes Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde a Classic?
First published in 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jeykll and Mr Hyde struck fear into the heart of Victorian readers. A sinister story of a split personality, its psychological themes still resonate today.
What Makes The Odyssey a Classic?
Homer's The Odyssey is the ancient Greek tale of one man's epic journey home from war. Full of vengeful gods and deadly sea monsters, its influence can be seen in countless books, comics and movies today.
What Makes The War of the Worlds a Classic?
In H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, a brutal alien army descends on Earth, intent on colonising the planet for its own ends. First published as a novel in 1898, the story tapped into fears that advances in technology would herald a new age of warfare.
What Makes Dracula a Classic?
First published in 1897, Bram Stoker's Dracula is the chilling tale of a bloodthirsty narcissist. Drawing on European folktales and gory accounts of a 15th century ruler, the novel reimagined the age-old vampire myth for a new generation.
What Makes A Doll's House a Classic?
Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House is a feminist drama that challenged social convention - and scandalised 19th century audiences. First performed in Denmark in 1879, its subversive themes still resonate today.
What Makes The Tempest a Classic?
Completed around 1611, The Tempest is thought to be the last play that William Shakespeare ever wrote. Set on an enchanted island, its themes of power and betrayal have captivated audiences for centuries.
What Makes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz a Classic?
Published at the dawn of the 20th Century, L Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was far from a traditional children's story. A feminist fairytale with a radical message, it struck a chord with readers across the United States.
What Makes Gulliver's Travels a Classic?
Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels is the story of one man's adventures in fantastical lands. First published in 1726, it's a book that asks a timeless question: can a perfect society ever be achieved?
What Makes The Importance of Being Earnest a Classic?
Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed in February 1895, just weeks before Wilde's career was destroyed by scandal. With themes of deception and double meaning, it lampoons Victorian ideas of class and morality.
What Makes The Awakening a Classic?
First published in 1899, Kate Chopin's The Awakening is the story of a daring young woman who defies social expectation. With themes of independence and freedom, the book provoked such outrage that it ended Chopin's career.
What Makes Great Expectations a Classic?
First published in 1861, Charles Dickens' Great Expectations is a novel about crime, guilt, and social aspiration.
What Makes Robin Hood a Classic?
Robin Hood first appeared in English folklore seven centuries ago. Traditionally the story of a violent outlaw who murdered without remorse, over the years the tale has morphed into the one we know and love today.
What Makes The Scarlet Letter a Classic?
First published in 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a novel that explores judgement, shame and redemption in 17th century Massachusetts.
What Makes Emma a Classic?
Jane Austen's Emma is the story of a wealthy heiress who meddles relentlessly in the love lives of others, but has no interest in marriage herself. First published anonymously in 1815, the novel reveals the restricted role of women in the 19th century.
What Makes A Christmas Carol a Classic?
Published in December 1843, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was an instant bestseller. A ghost story with emotional depth, it helped spark a Victorian love affair with the festive season.
What Makes The Jungle Book a Classic?
The stories in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book are set deep in the Indian jungle, in a dangerous world without parents - and with few rules. First published as a collection in 1894, the book's themes of belonging and identity are still relevant today.