The Illustrious Gaudissart

tutorial, study guide, plot summary, study resources The Illustrious Gaudissart (1833) features a character who will crop up in a number of Balzac’s later novels – Scenes from the Life of a Courtesan (1838-1846), Cesar Birotteau (1837), and Cousin Pons (1846-1847). Gaudissart goes on later to become the owner of a theatre, but is here […]

The Complete Tales of Joseph Conrad

The Complete Tales of Joseph Conrad is a series of tutorials and guidance notes on all the shorter fiction of Joseph Conrad. The stories are commonly given the name ‘tales’ or ‘shorter fiction’ because hardly any of them are now what would be considered traditional short stories. Some of them were originally published as serials […]

The Complete Tales of Henry James

tutorials, critical commentaries, and study guides This is a series of tutorials and guidance notes on the complete tales of Henry James. He gave the stories the name ‘tales’ because hardly any of them are now what would be considered traditional short stories. Indeed, several of them are now regularly regarded as novellas. There are […]

The Complete Short Stories of Virginia Woolf

The Complete Short Stories of Virginia Woolf is a series of tutorials and guidance notes on all Woolf’s shorter fiction. She wrote many of these stories as experimental sketches or exercises in which she developed new techniques for prose fiction and the art of story-telling. The majority of the stories were written between 1917 and […]

The Awakening and Other Stories

short stories from a ‘new woman’ of the 1890s Kate Chopin was an American writer who is now best known for her novel The Awakening (1899) which was ‘re-discovered’ in the 1960s. But in fact she was a professional and quite successful author in her own lifetime who earned part of her living by placing […]

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

short stories of Gothic horror and the macabre Tales of Mystery and Imagination is the name often given to collections of Poe’s stories. Edgar Allan Poe is celebrated as the originator of several types of short story – the tale of Gothic horror, the science fiction story, the detective story, the tall tale, the puzzle, […]

Some People (Harold Nicolson)

amusing character sketches, fictions, and memoirs Harold Nicolson was a career diplomat, best known for the fact that he was married to Vita Sackville-West, who had a love affair with Virginia Woolf (and other women) and that despite his own homosexuality they kept going a marriage whose apparent success was recorded in their son’s account, […]

Metamorphosis and Other Stories

Franz Kafka is one of the most original and idiosyncratic writers of the twentieth century. He published very little during his own lifetime; he lived for literature (in fact he said “I am literature”); he wasn’t formally a great novelist or writer of short stories; and yet he put his stamp on literature to such […]

Late Victorian Gothic Tales

mystery, weirdness, supernatural, and horror For reasons much debated amongst literary historians, there was a revival of the Gothic horror story at the end of the nineteenth century. Within the space of just a few years we have Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), […]

Fictions

short stories of fantasy, parody, mystery, and satire Fictions (1944) is a single-volume compilation of two collections of short stories which made Jorge Luis Borges famous – his 1941 publication The Garden of Forking Paths and the 1944 follow-up Artifices. He is one of the few writers to achieve international fame merely on the strength […]