Classics of English literature are books that have been deemed important by multiple generations of readers and remain relevant today. These are novels, plays and poems that are studied in schools and colleges as examples of literary history. They may be taught as required reading, part of a literature study or used as discussion topics in book clubs. They also make great choices for leisure reading and are often the basis of many movie adaptations. Many classics are available in a variety of formats, from graphic novel versions to editions simplified for younger readers and even in audiobooks and e-readers. Various expert resources exist to support teaching and studying these works, including commentary on historical context, analysis of the text, and comments on the work’s lasting cultural impact. Find out

Many classics have themes that transcend the time period in which they were written. These include family bonds, social justice and the enduring strength of the human spirit. They can tackle serious subjects, like the horrors of war and the consequences of racism, or lighten the mood with humor or adventure. They can address universal issues that apply to all people, such as the power of love and the inescapable pull of fate.

Timeless Classics of English Literature

Many classics have become iconic works in their own right, like Charlotte Bronte’s tale of doomed love between Catherine and Heathcliff on the windswept moors of Yorkshire or Alice Walker’s novel of a beaten-down African-American woman finding freedom and self-esteem in her relationship with Shug Avery. Or they can be considered milestones in the development of a genre, like George Orwell’s prophetic dystopian vision or Graham Greene’s picaresque thriller.

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