Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

By Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy's tumultuous story of ardour and self-discovery marks a turning aspect within the author's occupation. His compelling, emotional saga recounts the results of nonconformist habit — a society woman's adulterous affair and a landowner's unconventional quest for a significant lifestyles — opposed to a backdrop of past due 19th-century Russia.

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Sample text

He became suicidal and grew quite ill with grief. 舠All the world is different to me now. Michael was pretty much my world舡 (letter to Elizabeth Lucas, December 1921; quoted in Birkin, p. 295). He explained in his notebook that he dreamed Michael came back to him, not knowing he had drowned, and that Barrie kept this knowledge from him. The two lived together for another year quite ordinarily though strangely close to each other. Little by little Michael realized what was going to happen to him.

A. E. W. Mason舗s The Four Feathers and Joseph Conrad舗s Heart of Darkness are published. 1903 Barrie舗s play Little Mary is performed at the Wyndham舗s Theatre in London on September 24. 1904 Peter Pan debuts at the Duke of York舗s Theatre on December 27; its enormous success brings Barrie considerable wealth and fame. 1905 Alice Sit-By-the-Fire opens at the Duke of York舗s Theatre. Written as a fallback for producer Frohman in case Peter Pan had flopped, it is not nearly as popular. George Bernard Shaw舗s Major Barbara debuts.

As much as Barrie associated Peter Pan with doomed children who die before they fully mature (such as his brother David, George, and Michael), he also identified with all that made Peter Pan a tragic boy. Barrie wanted to develop into a man舒to have a reciprocal relationship with a woman and have children of his own. But as a boy in a man舗s body, he was possibly unable to consummate his marriage and would never experience these joys. Instead, he was driven to turn to a family of strangers and to adopt five boys who were not his own.

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