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Evelina, the title character, is the unacknowledged daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat. She is raised in seclusion and when she grows into a beautiful and intelligent young woman she travels to London to be introduced into society. The novel then follows her growth through a series of sometimes harrowing episodes. Some critics see the novel as autobiographical. Burney originally published the work anonymously in 1778 and only acknowledged authorship when the book became wildly successful.
Great Expectations is one of Dickens' later works and considered one of his best. It is notable for it's more naturalistic depiction of characters; here motivations and personal viewpoints form the heart of the narrative. The story follows the arc of a young orphan's life as he first tries to raise himself to a higher station in life and finally discovers the solution to some mysteries and comes to terms with himself.
Heartbreak House: A Fantasia in the Russian Manner on English Themes. Written between 1916 and 1917, Shaw uses farce and tragedy to illustrate how society in England and Continental Europe followed the lead of those not capable of properly leading. The action opens with a house party disconcerted over the question of marrying for money rather than love and quickly becomes an indictment of the generation that plunged Europe into the first world war and is now drifting toward destruction.
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