Taken from the poverty of her parents' home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle's absence in Antigua, the Crawford's arrive in the neighbourhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a reckless taste for flirtation. "Mansfield Park" is considered Jane Austen's first mature work and, with its quiet heroine and subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, one of her most profound.
Set against the foggy, mysterious backdrops of London and the English countryside, these are the first twelve stories ever published to feature the infamous Detective Sherlock Holmes and his side kick Doctor Watson. They first appeared as stories in the Strand Magazine and feature some of his most famous and enjoyable cases, including 'A Scandal in Bohemia', 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle' and 'The Red-headed League'.
This is a very richly written novel that is emotionally satisfying, though at times rather slow. While it follows the broad sweep of historical events, there are omissions reflecting the mores of the time in the 19th century when it was written. For example, Harold's love for Edith "Swan Neck" (though she is not called that here) is chaste and there is no mention of the several illegitimate children they in fact had (the author hints in his introduction that he had changed this to fit the mores of the times, but that the "less pure connection" rests upon slight authority; however Harold unquestionably had sons old enough to try to avenge him in the next couple of years); and Christianity is shown as inherently more robust and superior to the pagan Norse beliefs that Harold might have acquired from his Danish mother, Gytha.
Writing as long ago as 1936, Edith Sitwell said of Thomas: "The work of this young man is on a huge scale both in theme and structurally, and the form of many of the poems is superb." Thomas, one of the most controversial poets of the 20th century, is also one of the most widely discussed, dividing both critics and readers -- "the scoffers and the understanders", as Kenneth Hopkins once put it.