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Category: Classic Literature

From short stories to poetry, this is where we share some of the best works of classic fiction in history.

Short Story Classics: The Open Window By Saki

Hector Hugh Munro (18 December 1870 – 14 November 1916), better known by the pen name Saki, and also frequently as H. H. Munro, was a British writer whose witty, mischievous and sometimes macabre stories satirize Edwardian society and culture. He is considered a master of the short story, and often compared to O. Henry and Dorothy Parker. Influenced by Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll and Rudyard Kipling, he himself influenced A. A. Milne, Noël Coward and P. G. Wodehouse.

Short Story Classics: The Magic Shop By H.G. Wells

The Magic Shop is a curious tale that follows a father and son’s experience of visiting a ‘genuine magic shop’. While the little boy explores the shop, seeing only joy and wonder, his father is confronted with much more sinister visions. Published in 1903

Classic Horror Tales: The Pit And The Pendulum, By Edgar Allan Poe

"The Pit and the Pendulum" is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in 1842 in the literary annual The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present for 1843. The story is about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition, though Poe skews historical facts. The narrator of the story describes his experience of being tortured. The story is especially effective at inspiring fear in the reader because of its heavy focus on the senses, such as sound, emphasizing its reality, unlike many of Poe's stories which are aided by the supernatural. The traditional elements established in popular horror tales at the time are followed, but critical reception has been mixed. The tale has been adapted to film several times.

Poetry Classics: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, By Dylan Thomas

Dylan Marlais Thomas, born October 27, 1914, in South Wales, was the archetypal Romantic poet of the popular American imagination—he was flamboyantly theatrical, a heavy drinker, engaged in roaring disputes in public, and read his work aloud with tremendous depth of feeling and a singing Welsh lilt.

Poetry Classics: The Fly, By William Blake

William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age.

Short Story Classics: One Of These Days By Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo or Gabito throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in the Spanish language, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Poetry Classics: Life, By George Herbert

George Herbert's poetry is among the finest religious verse in the English language. Centring on the Eucharist, it deals with the struggles of a man endeavouring to give himself up to God. Herbert was also an early exponent of concrete poetry with poems such as The Altar and Easter-Wings. William Cowper found great solace in these poems during his periods of depression. They were also read by Charles I whilst in prison.

Poetry Classics: I Heard A Fly Buzz—When I Died, By Emily Dickinson

I heard a Fly buzz” employs all of Dickinson’s formal patterns: trimeter and tetrameter iambic lines (four stresses in the first and third lines of each stanza, three in the second and fourth, a pattern Dickinson follows at her most formal); rhythmic insertion of the long dash to interrupt the meter; and an ABCB rhyme scheme. Interestingly, all the rhymes before the final stanza are half-rhymes (Room/Storm, firm/Room, be/Fly), while only the rhyme in the final stanza is a full rhyme (me/see). Dickinson uses this technique to build tension; a sense of true completion comes only with the speaker’s death.

Short Story Classics: The Skylight Room By O. Henry

The Skylight Room is a short story by author William Sydney Porter under pen name O. Henry. The story is about a young woman, Miss Leeson, and her stay at one of Mrs. Parker's parlours. During her stay, Miss Leeson experiences hard times and is later rescued by a star. The story was published in The Four Million, a collection of short stories by O. Henry that was first published in 1906.