Picaresque

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
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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 


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
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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.

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Daniel Defoe: Moll Flanders

Moll_Flanders (1)The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders is a 1722 novel by Daniel Defoe.

The eponymous heroine recounts a picaresque life story that was presented as a genuine autobiography on first publication. The title page records that Flanders was 'born in Newgate, and during a life of continu'd variety for threescore years, besides her childhood, was twelve years a whore, five times a wife (whereof once to her own brother) twelve years a thief, eight years a transported felon in Virginia, at last grew rich, liv'd honest, and died a penitent.'

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Free online texts
Gutenberg: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT format.
Internet Archive: Moll Flanders. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
University of Adelaide: The Fortunes & Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: Moll Flanders. HTML and other formats.

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Charles Dickens: Martin Chuzzlewit

Martin_chuzzlewit_Pecksniff_and_CoMartin Chuzzlewit is a novel by Charles Dickens, originally serialized from 1842 to 1844. In outline the plot is typically Dickensian, with a young protagonist's progress in the face of miserly and hypocritical villains, though in practice, Mr Pecksniff is one of the best-realised of the latter. Poor sales prompted a diversion of the story, introducing Martin's attempt to settle in America. The satirical portrayal of the United States, based on Dickens' 1842 visit, embroiled Dickens in a notorious transatlantic literary spat.

Martin Chuzzlewit at online book stores
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Free online texts
Gutenberg: Martin Chuzzlewit.  EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.  
Internet Archive: Martin Chuzzlewit. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXt formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Martin Chuzzlewit. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: Martin Chuzzlewit. HTML and other formats.

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Charles Dickens: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club

By R. Seymour, via Wikipedia.The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, or The Pickwick Papers, was the first novel by Charles Dickens, originally serialised from 1836 to 1837, when it was published in book form.

Commissioned to accompany humorous pictures of country life by illustrator Robert Seymour, it was an instant success, remembered for some of Dickens' best-loved characters, such as the cockney manservant Sam Weller. It is nevertheless remains unique in employing a broad comic vein to which Dickens never fully returned.

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club at Online Stores
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Free online texts
Gutenberg: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club - Vol I | Vol II.  EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.  
Internet Archive: The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, autographed edition. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and PDF formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.
Wikisource: The Pickwick Papers. HTML and other formats.

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Cervantes: Don Quixote

Don_Quichotte_Honoré_Daumier cc Wikipedia user YelkrokoyadeDon Quixote is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes, published in two volumes in 1605 and 1615. It is one of the most highly regarded novels ever written, and its satire of earlier prose romances influenced the realism of the developing form.

The title character is an elderly gentlemen of La Mancha who is driven out of his wits by his reading of popular chivalric romances, and embarks on a series of picarasque adventures, accompanied by the more worldly Sancho Panza. The work has been subjected to many interpretations. Some suggest that like the earlier picaresque genre, it reflects the breakdown of feudalism and the emergence of commercial society.

Don Quixote at online book stores
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Free online texts

English translations

Gutenberg: The History of Don Quixote, Part One | Part Two, translated by John Ormsby (1885). HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.

Gutenberg: The History of Don Quixote de la Mancha, translated by Peter Motteux. HTML, EPUB, MOBI and TXT formats.

Internet Archive: The Ingenious Gentleman, Don Quixote of La Mancha, translated by John Ormsby (1885). EPUB, TXT, MOBI (Kindle) and PDF formats.

Standard Ebooks: Don Quixote, translated by John Ormsby. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Don Quixote, translated by John Ormsby (1885), with illustrations by Gustav Doré. HTML, EPUB and MOBI (Kindle) formats.

Wikisource: English translation by John Ormsby. HTML and other formats.

Spanish texts

Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes: Don Qvixote [sic] de la Mancha. First Part. Second part. Edition of Rodolfo Schevill and Adolfo Bonilla. HTML format.

Centro Virtual Cervantes: Don Quijote de la Mancha. HTML format.

Wikisource: Spanish text. HTML and other formats.

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