Satire

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 


Montesquieu: The Persian Letters

Persianische_BriefeThe Persian Letters (French: Lettres persanes) is a 1721 epistolary novel by Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesqueieu.

The work contains the correspondence of Usbek and Rica two fictional Turkish travellers on a visit to Europe from 1711 onwards, a form which provides a vehicle for much satire of contemporary Western society. The travellers' penetrating observations on the people they encounter contrast with Usbek's disastrous relations with his own harem, to provide a sombre commentary on the difficulty of achieving self-knowledge.

The Persian Letters at online book stores
Amazon | bookshop.org (US)| bookshop.org (UK)

Free online texts

English translations
Internet Archive: Persian Letters, Vol I | Vol II. Translated by John Davidson.EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Wikisource: Persian Letters, translated by by John Davidson (1899). HTML and other formats.
French texts
Gutenberg: Lettres Persanes - Tome I | Tome II. EPUB, MOBI, HTML and TXT formats.
Wikisource: Lettres Persanes. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Montesquieu: The Persian Letters" »


Horace: Satires

Fedor_Bronnikov_014The Satires (Latin: Sermones) of Horace, are a series of poems written in the 30s BCE, collected in two books. They were Horace's first published work, and by the time the second volume appeared, he had been introduced by his friend Virgil into the literary circle around Augustus' advisor Maecenas.

Roman satire was an original Latin genre with no direct Greek precedent, and Horace's work represents the oldest fully extant example.

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

Free online texts
Bilingual texts
Loebulus: L194 - Horace - Satires. Epistles. Ars Poetica. Public domain Loeb edition. PDF format.
English translations
Gutenberg: The Satires, Epistles & Art of Poetry of Horace, translated by John Conington. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Internet Archive: The Satires of Horace in Rhythmic Prose, translated by R. M. Millington. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Perseus: The Works of Horace, translated into English Prose by C. Smart. HTML and XML formats.
Poetry in Translation: The Satires, Epistles and Ars Poetica, translated by A.S. Kline (2003-05). Multiple formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Works of Horace, translated into English Prose by C. Smart. EPUB, MOBI and HTML formats.
Wikisource: The Satires, Epistles & Art of Poetry of Horace, translated by John Conington. HTML and other formats.
Latin texts
Bibliotheca Augustana: Sermonum Libri II. HTML format.
Gutenberg: The Works of Horace. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.
Intratext: Sermones. HTML format.
Latin Library: Sermones. HTML format.
Perseus: Satyrarum Libri. HTML and XML formats.
Wikisource: Sermones. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Horace: Satires" »


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" »


Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist

The_Writings_of_Charles_Dickens_v4_p12_(engraving)Oliver Twist, or the Parish Boy's Progress is the second novel by Charles Dickens. Originally published in serial form between 1837 and 1839, it caused a sensation with sharp satire of early Victorian social attitudes, and its unsparing portrayal of a young orphan's encounter with a world of poverty and crime.

Oliver Twist at Online Stores
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Hive (UK Independent bookshops)
Free online texts
Gutenberg: Oliver Twist. EPUB, HTML, MOBI and TXT formats.  
Internet Archive: Oliver Twist, Vol I | Vol II | VOL III. EPUB, MOBI, PDF and TXT formats.
Standard Ebooks: Oliver Twist. AZW3, EPUB, KEPUB and Advanced EPUB formats.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Oliver Twist. EPUB, HTML and TXT formats.
Wikisource: Oliver Twist. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist" »


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
Amazon | Bookshop.org | Hive.co.uk

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.

Continue reading "Cervantes: Don Quixote" »


Swift: Gulliver's Travels

800px-Captain_lemuel_gulliverGulliver's Travels is a 1726 work by Jonathan Swift, now most often read in versions adapted for children, but originally a sharp satire of contemperary Europe.

Gulliver's successive encounters with the people of Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa and with the Houyhnhnms, raise questions about the nature and influence of society that contrast, perhaps deliberately, with the individualism of Swift's contemporary, Daniel Defoe, in Robinson Crusoe.

Gulliver's Travels at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Gulliver's Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World. HTML, EPUB, Kindle and TXT formats.

Internet Archive: Gullivers' Travels. EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Gullivers Travels. HTML, EPUB, and MOBI formats.

Wikisource: Gulliver's Travels

Continue reading "Swift: Gulliver's Travels" »


Apuleius: The Golden Ass

Lucius_is_returned_to_human_form_at_the_procession_of_IsisThe Metamorphoses of Apuleius, better known as The Golden Ass (Latin: Asinus aureus) is the only complete surviving Latin novel from antiquity. In eleven books, it tells the story of Lucius, a Greek who is magically transformed into an ass, undergoing in that form a series of picaresque adventures.

The Golden Ass at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

The English Server: The Golden Asse, English translation by William Adlington (1566). HTML format. Archived at the Internet Archive.

Forum Romanum: Metamorphoses. Latin text. HTML format. (Book I missing as of Dec 2018).

Gutenberg: The Golden Asse, English translation by William Adlington (1566). Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Golden Ass, Greek text and English translation by William Adlington, revised by  S. Gaselee (1924). Loeb edition. Multiple formats.

Loebulus: L044 - Apuleius - The Golden Ass. Greek text and English translation. PDF format.

Perseus: Metamorphoses. Latin text. HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: The Golden Ass, translated by A.S. Kline (2013). Multiple formats.

Sacred Texts Archive: The Golden Asse, English translation by William Adlington (1566). HTML format. See also The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Golden Asse, English translation by William Adlington (1566). Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation by William Adlington (1566). HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Apuleius: The Golden Ass" »


Petronius: Satyricon

Petronius at Home, by Piotr Stachiewicz (1858-1938)The Satyricon is a Latin satire in prose and verse attributed to one Petronius, conventionally identified with Petronius Arbiter, a prominent member of Nero's court who commited suicide in 65 AD.

Much of the work is lost with only parts of books 14, 15 and 16 surviving. It recounts the picaresque adventures of an amoral but cunning trio, comprising the narrator Encolpius, his friend Ascyltus, and the slave boy Giton. The most substantial extant episode is that of Trimalchio's dinner party (Latin: Cena Trimalchionis), a striking portrait of life among a rising class of nouveau-riche freedmen.

The Satyricon at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Gutenberg: The Satyricon, translated by W.C. Firebaugh. Multiple formats. Shorter extracts also available at U Penn Online Books Page.

Gutenberg: The Satyricon of Petronius, translated by William Burnaby. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Petronius, Satyricon, translated by W.C. Firebaugh, Modified by Philip A. Harland, removing forged sections and modernizing some of the translations. Multiple formats.

Latin Library: Satiricon Liber. Latin text, HTML format.

Loebulus: L015 - Petronius - Satyricon. Apocolocyntosis. Greek-English bilingual Loeb edition. PDF format.

Perseus: Latin text and English translation, edited by Michael Heseltine (1913). HTML and XML formats.

Poetry in Translation: Satyricon, translated by A.S. Kline (2018). Multiple formats.

Pomona College: Satryricon, translated by A.R. Allinson (1930), modified and annotated by Christopher Chinn (2006). HTML format.

Sacred Texts Archive: The Satyricon, translated by Alfred R. Allinson. HTML format. Includes unmarked interpolations by Nodot.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation, by W.C. Firebaugh. HTML and other formats.

Continue reading "Petronius: Satyricon" »


Thomas More: Utopia

UtopiaUtopia by Thomas More inaugurated a new literary genre on its first publication in Latin at Louvain, Belgium in 1516. It's title, from a Greek term meaning 'nowhere', has become the established term for any imaginary, ideal Commonwealth.

Utopia took inspiration from the voyages of discovery of More's own day, being ostensibly the account of Raphael Hythloday, a traveller with Amerigo Vespucci. In book 1, Hythloday and More discuss the role of the philosopher in civic life, touching on many of the ills of contemporary Europe. Hythloday introduces his account of the idealised society he encountered on the island of Utopia in book 2. The Utopian system of common property contrasts sharply with the enclosures then underway in contemporary England, and the sharpness of the book's satire may have contributed to its publication on the continent, under the editorship of Erasmus.

Utopia at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany | Spain | Italy

Free online texts

Bartleby: Utopia - Harvard Classics, Vol. 36, Part 3. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Utopia. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Utopia, Robinson translation and Latin text (1895). Multiple formats.

Marxists.org: Utopia. 1901 Cassell & Co. edition. HTML format.

Online Library of Liberty: Ideal Empires and Republics. Rousseau’s Social Contract, More’s Utopia, Bacon’s New Atlantis, Campanella’s City of the Sun, with an Introduction by Charles M. Andrews (1901). Multiple formats.

Open Utopia - 2016 translation, including letters, commendations and marginalia, with Creative Commons license. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Utopia. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation by Gilbert Burnet (1901). HTML format.

Continue reading "Thomas More: Utopia" »