Bildungsroman

Rousseau: Emile

EmileFrontispieceEmile, or On Education (French: ) is a 1762 work by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, describing the education of its eponymous hero from infancy to manhood.

This proved to be a powerful device for expounding Rousseau's ideas about human nature. The work was banned in France and Geneva because of the heterodox religious views expressed in the section known as The Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar.

A different source of controversy emerged from Book V describes the education of Sophie, a girl who is intended to be Emile's companion, and whose upbringing is largely directed towards that end. The strong critical response from women writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft was itself a reflection of the influence that Emile acquired in educational thought.

Emile at online book stores
Amazon | bookshop.org (US) | Bookshop.org (UK)

Free online texts
English translations

Gutenberg: Emile, translated by Barbara Foxley. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: Emilius and Sophia - Vol I | Vol II | Vol III | Vol IV. Anonymous 18th Century translation. PDF, EPUB, Kindle and other formats.
Internet Archive: Emile, abridged translation by William H. Payne. PDF, EPUB, Kindle and other formats.
French texts
Wikisource: Émile, ou De l’éducation, multiple editions. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Rousseau: Emile" »


Voltaire: Candide

800px-Voltaire_-_Candide_-_Dambrun_-_MoreauCandide (French: Candide, ou l'optimisme) is a 1759 satirical novella by Voltaire. It's eponymous hero is a young man who lives a sheltered existence on his uncle's estate under the tutelage of Doctor Pangloss, a philosopher who subscribes to Leibniz's dictum that 'all is for the best, in the best of all possible worlds.'

When Candide is forced out into the wider world, he is confronted with a series of episodes which illustrate the bankruptcy of this optimistic worldview, most famously the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

Candide at online book stores
Amazon | bookshop.org (US)| bookshop.org (UK)

Free online texts
English translations
Gutenberg: Candide, EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: Candide, or All for the Best, translated by Walter Jerrold (1898). EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Standard Ebooks: Candide. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Candide, translated by William F. Fleming. EPUB, MOBI and HTML formats.
Wikisource: Candide, translated by Tobias Smollett. HTML and other formats.
French texts
Gutenberg: Candide, ou, l'optimisme. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Wikisource: Candide, multiple editions. HTML and other formats.

Other Resources
BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Voltaire's Candide. Melvyn Bragg with David Wootton, Nicholas Cronk, Caroline Warman.
Librivox: Candide (multiple versions). Free public domain audiobooks.
Wikipedia: Voltaire - Candide

Further reading
Bloom's Western Canon: Candide is listed.
Leibniz: The Monadology and The Theodicy.
Swift: Gulliver's Travels - a satirical influence whose author Voltaire had met.
Voltaire: Philosophical Letters - discusses the execution of Admiral Byng, an event later worked into the plot of Candide.
French Language resources 


Jane Austen: Emma

Image_taken_from_page_379_of_'(Emma._New_edition.)'_(11299328635)Emma is an 1815 novel by Jane Austen, the last published during her lifetime. Unlike Austen's earlier heroines, the title character is wealthy enough to feel no need to marry, and occupies herself with matchmaking for others.

Many critics consider the work on advance on Austen's earlier better-known novels, in part because of the portrayal of the wider community within which it is set, the fictional Surrey town of Highbury.

Emma at online book stores
Amazon | bookshop.org US | bookshop.org UK

Free online texts
Gutenberg: Emma. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and PDF formats.
Internet Archive: Emma, 1892 Atheenaeum edition. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Standard Ebooks: Emma. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Emma. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: Emma. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Jane Austen: Emma" »


Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling

Tom_Jones_XVI-10Tom Jones is a 1749 novel by Henry Fielding. It's follows the eponymous hero from his appearance as a newborn baby at the home of Squire Allworthy, through a series of picaresque advenures, which provide the occasion for satirical social commentary.

Initially controversial for the frankness of some of its subject matter, it has long since been recognised as a landmark in the development of the English novel.

Tom Jones at online book stores
Amazon | bookshop.org (US) | Hive (UK bookshops)

Free online texts
Gutenberg: History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT format.
Internet Archive: The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling - Vol I | Vol II. Everyman's Library edition.
Standard Ebooks: The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. EPUB, HTML and MOBI format.
Wikisource: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" »


Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility

Hammond-SS04Sense and Sensibility is an 1811 novel by Jane Austen. The plot follows the fortunes of the two young sisters, Elinor and Marianne. Their contrasting attitudes mirror illustrate the qualities of the novel's title, with Elinor standing for good sense, and the more impulsive, romantic Marianne standing for sensibility.

Early critics tended to see the novel as a morally improving work with Elinor's conduct taken as a guide, and Marianne's as a warning. More recently, a similar interpretation by the Scottish moral philosopher Alasdair Macintyre sees Elinor as an example of the Aristotelian virtue of constancy.

Sense and Sensibility at online book stores
Amazon | bookshop.org (US) | bookshop.org (UK) | Hive (UK bookshops)

Free online texts
Gutenberg: Sense and Sensibility. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: Sense and Sensibility. Everyman's Library edition. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Standard Ebooks: Sense and Sensibility. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.
Internet Archive: Sense and Sensibility. Oxford World's Classics edition. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Sense and Sensibility. EPUB, MOBI and HTML formats.
Wikisource: Sense and Sensibility. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility" »


Charles Dickens: Great Expectations

Great_Expectations_FrontispieceGreat Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens, originally serialised from 1860 to 1861, when it was published in two volumes. In this tale of a young man's unexpected fortune, Dickens returns to some of the autobiographical themes of his earlier work, but employs them in the service of a famously suspenseful plot, producing perhaps the best-loved of his later novels.

Great Expectations at online book stores
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Hive.co.uk

Free online texts
Gutenberg: Great Expectations. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.  
Internet Archive: Great Expectations. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Standard Ebooks: Great Expectations. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Great Expectations. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: Great Expectations. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Charles Dickens: Great Expectations" »


Charles Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas_nickleby08The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby is the third novel by Charles Dickens, originally serialised in 1838-9.

The story of a young man's progress in the face of hypocritical antagonists set the pattern for Dickens' mature novels, while retaining elements of broad comedy which have earned more popular success than critical praise.

Nicholas Nickleby at online book stores
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Hive.co.uk

Free online texts
Gutenberg: Nicholas Nickleby.  EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.  
Internet Archive: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Everyman's Library edition, with an introduction by G.K. Chesterton. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Nicholas Nickleby. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: Nicholas Nickleby. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Charles Dickens: Nicholas Nickleby" »


Charles Dickens: David Copperfield

Uriah_Heep_et_david_(Harold_Copping)The Personal History of David Copperfield is the eighth novel by Charles Dickens, originally serialised from 1849, and published as a book on completion in 1850. It was Dickens' favourite among his novels, in part because it was the most autobiographical.

David Copperfield's progress from youth to manhood is, in some episodes, a thinly veiled fictionalization of Dickens' own life, but it also incorporates some of his most vividly imagined characters, such as Mr Micawber and Uriah Heep.

David Copperfield at Online Stores
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Hive (UK independent bookshops)

Free online texts

Gutenberg: David Copperfield. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.  
Internet Archive: The Personal History of David Copperfield. EPUB, MOBI, TXT and PDF formats.
Standard Ebooks: David Copperfield. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): David Copperfield. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: David Copperfield. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Charles Dickens: David Copperfield" »


Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival

Hermann_Hendrich_ParsifalParzival by Wolfram Von Eschenbach is a Middle High German Romance completed in the early thirteenth century. Reworking material from Chrétien de Troyes earlier Perceval, Von Eschenbach recounts Parzival's adventures at the court of King Arthur, and his pursuit of the Holy Grail, inspired by his love for Queen Condwiramurs.

Parzival was an important influence on Richard Wagner, inspiring not only his opera Parsifal, but also Lohengrin, whose title character first appears in Von Eschenbach.

Parzival at online book stores
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Hive.co.uk

Free online texts

English translations
Gutenberg: Parzival - a Knightly Epic - Vol 1 | Vol 2, translated by Jessie L. Weston. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Parzival - a Knightly Epic, translated by Jessie L. Weston. HTML, EPUB and MOBI formats.

German texts
Bibliotheca Augustana: Parzival. HTML format.
University of Heidelberg: Parzival. Digitised manuscript from the Bibliotheca Palatina.

Continue reading "Wolfram von Eschenbach: Parzival" »