Coming of Age and Childhood

  • Ragged Dick and Risen from the Ranks

    In Ragged Dick, Horatio Alger’s most successful book, Alger codified the basic formula he would follow in nearly a hundred subsequent novels for boys: a…

  • The Half-Caste

    Dinah Mulock Craik’s The Half-Caste concerns the coming-of-age of its title character, the mixed-race Zillah Le Poer, daughter of an English merchant and an Indian…

  • Ann Veronica

    H.G. Wells’s 1909 novel centres on the coming of age of the spirited Ann Veronica, who runs away from her sheltered suburban home to live…

  • Pointed Roofs

    The first chapter-volume of Dorothy Richardson’s thirteen-volume novel series Pilgrimage, Pointed Roofs is a coming of age story. The protagonist is Miriam Henderson, seventeen years…

  • A Child of the Jago

    “Learn to read and write, learn all you can, learn cunning, spare nobody and stop at nothing. … Do your devilmost … for the Jago’s…

  • At the Back of the North Wind

    The unique blend of fairy tale atmosphere and social realism in this novel laid the groundwork for modern fantasy literature. In the novel, Little Diamond,…

  • Peter Pan

    For twenty-six years after his first mention of the character, J.M. Barrie worked on the story of Peter Pan as he appeared through different incarnations:…

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    From its first appearance onward, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been both praised and condemned, enshrined as one of the world’s great novels and banned…

  • The History of Sandford and Merton

    Among the earliest novels written about children, for children, The History of Sandford and Merton was enormously popular for a century and a half after…

  • A Sunless Heart

    In A Sunless Heart, Edith Johnstone establishes a feverish atmosphere for her novel’s story of emotional and physical hardship and the power of bonds between…

  • The Mill on the Floss

    This classic novel, first published in 1860, tells the story of Maggie Tulliver. Intelligent and headstrong but trapped by the conventions of family tradition and…

  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Second Edition

    This classic novel tells the story of how the poor rural couple John and Joan Durbeyfield become convinced that they are descended from the ancient…

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    This classic novel of childhood is set in fictional St. Petersburg, a town based on Mark Twain’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. Twain’s recounting of Tom…

  • The Governess

    Published in 1749, the story of Mrs. Teachum and the nine pupils who make up her “little female academy” is widely recognized as the first…

  • Oliver Twist

    Charles Dickens’s famous second novel recounts the story of a boy born in the workhouse and raised in an infant farm as he tries to…

  • Nature and Art

    Nature and Art commands a central place in the history of the English Jacobin novel. Published in 1796, the story explores the opposition between the…

  • Anne of Green Gables

    L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is one of the best-known and most enduringly popular novels of the twentieth century. First published in 1908, it…

  • Emma

    Jane Austen’s Emma (1816) tells the story of the coming of age of Emma Woodhouse, “handsome, clever, and rich,” who “had lived nearly twenty-one years…

  • My Ántonia

    Willa Cather’s My Ántonia is considered one of the most significant American novels of the twentieth century. Set during the great migration west to settle…

  • David Copperfield

    In a preface to this novel, Dickens described David Copperfield as his “favorite child,” and the story has remained among the favorites of Dickens’ readers,…

  • Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre, the story of a young girl and her passage into adulthood, was an immediate commercial success at the time of its original publication…

  • Great Expectations

    Originally published in serial form from December 1860 to August 1861, Great Expectations is the ‘autobiography’ of Pip, as he transformed from apprentice village blacksmith…