Some may include actual events or real people. But the very best historical novels for young people transport them into a past that is not merely a static backdrop, but the very fabric of the conflict, tension, and mood of the story.
Walking Tours in London, England
The Great Trouble is one of those novels that fully immerses the reader in a problematic moment in the past, in this case, London and the outbreak of cholera. Eel, the earnest and honest protagonist, is not simply the narrator, but a participant in all the action, with a powerful sense of agency that rings authentic given the brutal reality of 19 th century urban life. This historical mystery introduces readers to scientific thinking, social class, urbanization and industrialization, some motifs from the 19th century novel, and the horrors of cholera.
Just a few years before the cholera epidemic depicted in The Great Trouble, the British magazine Punch published a humorous cartoon depicting what might be in asingle drop of water from the Thames River. Have your students examine this cartoon before reading the book, using it as an introduction to the opening chapters.
Start with a read aloud of the picture book biography. Have students generate a list of things they learn about life in 19 th century England in general, and about the lives of children in particular. As you read, have students use the background information they gleaned from the biography to better understand the novel, and vice versa. You may want to show students a sample of an installment of North and South , the Elizabeth Gaskell novel mentioned at the end of the book as being newly published by Dickens in Show students a range of photographs from the time period, drawing from the digital resources included below, but particularly those from the British Library NOTE: The British Library site has great slideshows of images and English Heritage sites.
Using the visual images, what kinds of comparisons and contrasts can the students make between the lives of different classes?
Who Was Charles Dickens?
You might print out the photographs and have students sort them in small groups in ways that highlight similarities and differences, put them in a slideshow in tablets, or simply project them in a whole class setting. Have students generate lists of what they think they know about the time period based just on the photographs. In small groups, have your students reading different historical novels that are set within a public health crisis or epidemic. As a class, generate questions about disease and epidemics.
As each group progress through its novel, have students comparing and contrasting the developing answers and new questions within each group as well as across. What is the status of yellow fever, cholera, and the influenza today? Some of the digital resources below may be helpful in exploring current strategies used by the US Public Health Service for curbing communicable diseases. In small groups, have your students read other historical novels set in Victorian England, or nonfiction books about Victorian England. As students read, have them compare and contrast what they are learning about Victorian culture in range of categories industrialization, science, the arts, class, etc.
You might even want bring in some fiction written during the Victorian Era. How was the time period depicted in the historical novels versus the novels that were penned during that time? Such novels could include the works of Frances Hodgson Burnett or Robert Louis Stevenson , both of whom wrote their books starting about twenty years after the cholera epidemic.
Higham - Charles Dickens Walk
What particular status do orphans have in these books, and why? Why must Eel avoid Fisheye Bill Tyler? Why are people getting the Blue Death? Where did the cholera begin? Have your students track some of these big questions in their reading journals, and share their predictions as you move through the novel. As Hopkinson shares in her back matter, Dr. Snow really did map the Broad Street neighborhood where the cholera outbreak took place, which you can find in a variety of places online.
She also states that Dr. William Farr, who works in the General Register Office in the book, was also a real person, who collected medical statistics. What kinds of vital records does your community keep? Have students explore what information is available online, and have someone from your municipal government come in to talk about emergency management preparation, public health, evacuation routes, etc.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Have students contribute to a public health resource book that can be shared with their families. He bought Gad's Hill Place, not only as a home but also to mark his achievements. Dickens allowed him to remain there until Hindle's newly built house, 'The Knowle' was ready. Shrinking the Sunday walk. The church was consecrated in January The family had a pew in the chancel.
Christopher Cay, the curate of St John's Church, benefited from Dickens' ,"practice and experience" as a famous public reader. Dickens advised him that "reading more from the chest and less from the throat" would ensure "audibility in reading to a congregation. Reading Dickens. His books are read around the world and the characters he described - Ebenezer Scrooge, Miss Haversham, Mr Pickwick - full of the life and energy of their creator, are immortal. As you enter the library you will see a framed large scale map of Higham to the left of the door.
The map is dated so the streets, buildings and landmarks of Dickens' day are recorded. A Writer's refuge. The chalet was delivered to Gad's Hill, via Higham Railway station, in 58 boxes. It was assembled across the road from Gad's Hill Place in the area that Dickens referred to as 'the shrubbery'. In May he wrote: "The place is lovely, and in perfect order. I have put five mirrors in the Swiss chalet where I write and they reflect and refract in all kinds of ways the leaves that are quivering at the windows, and the great fields of waving corn, and the sail-dotted river.
My room is up among the branches of the trees; and the birds and the butterflies fly in and out, and the green branches shoot in, at the open windows, and the lights and shadows of the clouds come and go with the rest of the company. The scent of the flowers, and indeed of everything that is growing for miles and miles, is most delicious. In , a tunnel was built under the road so Dickens could cross to his chalet unimpeded by traffic. Please note that The Wilderness is private property. Dickens' dream house. And now, I am nine, I come by myself to look at it.
And ever since I can recollect,my father, seeing me so fond of it, has often said to me, 'If you were to be very persevering and were to work hard, you might some day come to live in it. Dickens paid for the house on the 14th of March His son Charley recalled the purchase: "We inspected the premises as well as we could from the outside - my father, full of pride at his new position as a Kentish freeholder A merry man. Dickens's guests often stayed at the Falstaff Inn when Gad's Hill ran out of room.
The landlord was called Trood, which may have given Dickens the name of Edwin Drood for his last novel. Dickens loved organising elaborate entertainments and wrote to his friend William Macready in "You will be interested in knowing that, encouraged by the success of summer cricket-matches, I got up a quantity of foot-races and rustic sports in my field here As I have never yet had a case of drunkenness, the landlord of The Falstaff had a drinking-booth on the ground We had two thousand people here.
Among the crowd were soldiers, navvies, and labourers of all kinds There was not a dispute all day, and they went away at sunset rending the air with cheers Premium Articles. Subscription offers. Subscription sign in. Read latest edition. UK Edition. US Edition. Log in using your social network account. Please enter a valid password.
Keep me logged in. Want an ad-free experience? Subscribe to Independent Premium.
- See a Problem??
- The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel;
- Get the CrimeReads Brief Weekly Newsletter?
- The Great Laundry Adventure.
- Charles Dickens Biography - life, family, childhood, children, story, wife, school, young, son.
- Popular Medicine, Child Health and Victorian Culture.
View offers. Rex Features. You can form your own view. Subscribe now. Shape Created with Sketch. It is a fact universally acknowledged that every list of great books must include Pride and Prejudice.
For every lucky Elizabeth, who tames the haughty, handsome Mr. No-one has lampooned the self-absorption, delusions of grandeur and sexual frustration of adolescence as brilliantly as Susan Townsend, and no one ever will. War is the ultimate dead-end for logic, and this novel explores all its absurdities as we follow US bombardier pilot Captain John Yossarian.
A good years before metoo, Thomas Hardy skewered the sexual hypocrisy of the Victorian age in this melodramatic but immensely moving novel. Read this if you want to understand the rotten culture at the root of victim-blaming. The main character, warrior-like Okonkwo, embodies the traditional values that are ultimately doomed. By the time Achebe was born in , missionaries had been settled in his village for decades.
He wrote in English and took the title of his novel from a Yeats poem, but wove Igbo proverbs throughout this lyrical work. Orwell was interested in the mechanics of totalitarianism, imagining a society that took the paranoid surveillance of the Soviets to chilling conclusions. Our hero, Winston, tries to resist a grey world where a screen watches your every move, but bravery is ultimately futile when the state worms its way inside your mind. Her device was simple but incendiary: look at the world through the eyes of a six-year-old, in this case, Jean Louise Finch, whose father is a lawyer defending a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman.
Great Expectations is the roiling tale of the orphaned Pip, the lovely Estella, and the thwarted Miss Havisham.
- The Accounts Vary!
- The Wisconsin Lemon Law - When Your New Vehicle Goes Sour (Lemon Law books);
- The Beginners Guide to the Kindle Fire (and Fire HD).
- Ultrasound of the Urogenital System!
- 18 Vintage Photos Of Charles Dickens' London.
- Navigation menu;
- Saving Grace!
In an astonishing act of literary ventriloquism, Mantel inhabits a fictionalised version of Thomas Cromwell, a working-class boy who rose through his own fierce intelligence to be a key player in the treacherous world of Tudor politics. Historical fiction so immersive you can smell the fear and ambition. Wallow in this sublimely silly tale of the ultimate comic double act: bumbling aristocrat Bertie Wooster and his omniscient butler, Jeeves. A sheer joy to read that also manages to satirise British fascist leader Oswald Mosley as a querulous grump in black shorts.
Shelley was just 18 when she wrote Frankenstein as part of a challenge with her future husband, Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron, to concoct the best horror story. Some years after it was first published, the gothic tale feels more relevant than ever as genetic science pushes the boundaries of what it means to create life. His theory is this: maroon a bunch of schoolboys on an island, and watch how quickly the trappings of decent behaviour fall away.
Never has a broken pair of spectacles seemed so sinister, or civilisation so fragile. Not many love stories take in a mad woman in the attic and a spot of therapeutic disfigurement, but this one somehow carries it off with mythic aplomb. This is a richly satisfying slow burn of a novel that follows the lives and loves of the inhabitants of a small town in England through the years — The acerbic wit and timeless truth of its observations mark this out as a work of genius; but at the time the author, Mary Anne Evans, had to turn to a male pen name to be taken seriously.
Stick another log on the fire and curl up with this dark, peculiar and quite brilliant literary murder tale. A group of classics students become entranced by Greek mythology - and then take it up a level. Remember, kids: never try your own delirious Dionysian ritual at home. A subtle and engrossing look at racial identity, through the story of a charismatic young Nigerian woman who leaves her comfortable Lagos home for a world of struggles in the United States. Capturing both the hard-scrabble life of US immigrants and the brash divisions of a rising Nigeria, Adichie crosses continents with all her usual depth of feeling and lightness of touch.
An absolute unadulterated comic joy of a novel. Stella Gibbons neatly pokes fun at sentimental navel-gazing with her zesty heroine Flora, who is more interested in basic hygiene than histrionics. Morrison was inspired by the real-life story of an enslaved woman who killed her own daughter rather than see her return to slavery. Evelyn Waugh bottles the intoxicating vapour of a vanished era in this novel about middle-class Charles Ryder, who meets upper-class Sebastian Flyte at Oxford University in the s.
Rarely has a fictional world been so completely realised. Will there ever be a novel that burns with more passionate intensity than Wuthering Heights?