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Date Text
January The First Men in the Moon
February The Bird of Time
June Orphée aux Enfers

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The First Men in the Moon is a science-fiction novel by H. G. Wells. The story was originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from December 1900 to August 1901, and subsequently published in hardcover in 1901. In the novel, two men undertake a journey to the Moon: Mr. Bedford, a businessman down on his luck who is also the narrator, and Mr. Cavor, an eccentric scientist who develops a substance capable of blocking the attraction of gravity. The two men design a capsule lined with the substance, and use it to travel to the Moon. The book's popularity led to its adaptation into several films.

Wells' novel speculates upon space travel, the effects of low gravity, and other scientific ideas; but his novel also includes elements of fantasy such as the civilization of the Selenites encountered upon the Moon. The French author Jules Verne was openly critical of the novel, particularly of Well's contrivance of a fictitious substance "opaque to gravitation" as the means by which the two protagonists travel to the moon.

First Men in the Moon (1901) fp54.jpg

As I sit down to write here amidst the shadows of vine-leaves under the blue sky of southern Italy, it comes to me with a certain quality of astonishment that my participation in these amazing adventures of Mr. Cavor was, after all, the outcome of the purest accident. It might have been any one. I fell into these things at a time when I thought myself removed from the slightest possibility of disturbing experiences. I had gone to Lympne because I had imagined it the most uneventful place in the world. "Here, at any rate," said I, "I shall find peace and a chance to work!"

And this book is the sequel. So utterly at variance is Destiny with all the little plans of men.

I may perhaps mention here that very recently I had come an ugly cropper in certain business enterprises. Sitting now surrounded by all the circumstances of wealth, there is a luxury in admitting my extremity. I can admit, even, that to a certain extent my disasters were conceivably of my own making. It may be there are directions in which I have some capacity, but the conduct of business operations is not among these. But in those days I was young, and my youth among other objectionable forms took that of a pride in my capacity for affairs. I am young still in years, but the things that have happened to me have rubbed something of the youth from my mind. Whether they have brought any wisdom to light below it is a more doubtful matter.

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"A Study in Scarlet," the first of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

A detective mystery novel written which was first published in 1887. It is the first story to feature the character of Sherlock Holmes, who would later become one of the most famous literary detective characters, with long-lasting interest and appeal. The book's title derives from a speech given by Holmes to his companion Doctor Watson on the nature of his work, in which he describes the story's murder investigation as his "study in scarlet": "There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it." Excerpted from A Study in Scarlet on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A study in scarlet, Plate 1.png

In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army. Having completed my studies there, I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as Assistant Surgeon. The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out. On landing at Bombay, I learned that my corps had advanced through the passes, and was already deep in the enemy's country. I followed, however, with many other officers who were in the same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching Candahar in safety, where I found my regiment, and at once entered upon my new duties.

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Featured August 2010

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