Friday, October 30, 2009

1884: With Fire and Sword to Against the Grain.

Chronology of World, British and American Literature.

Henryk Sienkiewicz. Polish. 1884. Novel. With Fire and Sword. Trilogy. History of Poland from 1648 to end of 17th century. War between Poland and the Ukraine. Poland vs. Sweden. Poland vs. Turkey. Best seller in Poland.

Helen Hunt Jackson. American. 1884. Romance. Ramona. Of mixed Scottish and Indian blood, Ramona marries an American Indian. Harassed by whites, he dies tragically. Novel helped change American attitudes toward native Americans.

Henry Adams. American. 1884. Novel. Esther. Esther, free-thinking painter, falls for clergyman. Alienated by his orthodox views, she breaks engagement.

Mark Twain. American. 1884. Novel. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Picaresque. Adventures on a raft on the Mississippi River. Life of the river. Social commentary. Portrays vividly the moral blindness of the respectable slave-holding society’s decaying social order.

Karl Huysmans. French. 1884. Novel. Against the Grain. The quest of the decadent hero for the rare and perverse in sensation. Seeks release from the ennui of existence.

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