In this book's introduction, an autobiographical account of the author's years as an American Custom House official, Hawthorne describes how he came across a parchment from which fell a fraying piece of fabric, fantastically embroidered and inscribed with the scarlet letter A. He found himself compelled to tell the story of its owner, Hester Prynne, a young English woman who had lived in 17th-century Boston at the time when Puritan extremism - that which led to the infamous witch trials of Salem - was at its height.
With her wonderful storytelling abilities and endless array of gorgeous clothes and toys, little Sara Crewe seems to everyone at her boarding school like the luckiest girl in the world - a 'little princess'. no less. But one day disaster strikes, and she is moved into an attic and turned overnight into a drudge.
All but a little cluster of her most loyal friends turn their backs upon her. Constantly cold, with barely enough to eat, and reduced to wearing the outgrown tatters of her former wardrobe, how will she cope?
Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure is the highly explicit account of an innocent country girl who, on being orphaned, finds herself trapped into prostitution in London Town. The precise and intimate descriptions of her professional experiences, albeit couched in elegant language that never stoops to vulgarity, caused a scandal upon the book's publication in 1748, earning a fortune for its publisher and a court summons for its author.
Emily Bronte's gothic love story of the undying love between Cathy and Heathcliff set against the backdrop of the Yorkshire Moors. Few would like to have either as a best friend perhaps, but most would wish to be loved as they loved one another. "I cannot live without my life; I cannot die without my soul," is one of the many unforgettable lines of this timeless story.