1906: Books and Literature

Giosuè Carducci was an Italian poet and teacher who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1906. He was strongly anti-clerical, anti-Catholic, and anti-Christian. One of his most famous, and controversial, poems was called “Inno a Satana” (or “Hymn to Satan”.) He died in February, 1907 after receiving the prize in December, 1906.

Fiction Bestsellers:
1. Winston Churchill, Coniston
2. Owen Wister, Lady Baltimore
3. Robert W. Chambers, The Fighting Chance
4. Meredith Nicholson, The House of a Thousand Candles An early mystery genre story by an Indiana author.
5. George Barr McCutcheon, Jane Cable
6. Upton Sinclair, The Jungle. I read this one in high school, and I remember certain details quite well. I became a vegetarian for an entire month after reading The Jungle. Now that’s some influential muckraking literature!
7. Margaret Deland, The Awakening of Helena Ritchie
8. Rex Beach, The Spoilers
9. Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth
10. Ellen Glasgow, The Wheel of Life

Critically Acclaimed or Historically Significant:
William Graham Sumner, Folkways
George Santayana, The Life of Reason
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent
G.K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study. I love Chesterton, and I think this book quite the best thing I’ve ever read about Charles Dickens.
Edith Nesbit, The Railway Children, The Story of the Amulet. I’ve read Nesbit’s earlier Five Children and It (1902) and The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904), and I may have read The Story of the Amulet. However, I’ve never read or seen the movie version of The Railway Children, which it turns out is partly a spy novel. Anyway, Nesbit wrote over sixty boks fr children, and she was a co-founder of The Fabian Society in England.
Across the Page: Dragons Galore, Reading E. Nesbit to modern American children.
Librivox audiobooks of E. Nesbit.
John Galsworthy, The Man of Property. This one is the first volume in Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga, and I read it earlier this year. I never wrote anything about it because I thought I would finish the saga and then write. Also, I’m not too sure what I think. However, others think wel of it: Galsworthy won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1932 on the strength of his many novels about the Forsyte family.

Set in 1906:
Ah, Wilderness! by Eugene O’Neill. Random House, 1933. Set in July, 1906.
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly. A YA novel about a girl torn between her family and her future, set in 1906 in the Adirondacks. A review at One More Page.
Earthquake at Dawn by Kristiana Gregory. Semicolon review here.
Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow (1975) is set in New York City in 1906, actually from 1902-1917. A lot of peoople swear that this novel is one of the best they’ve ever read. I hated it, and only managed to read about a fourth of the book. The book (fiction) is full of actual characters from the early 1900’s: Harry Houdini, Robert Peary, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, Harry Kendall Thaw, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, Countess Sophie Chotek, Booker T. Washington, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Theodore Dreiser, Jacob Riis and Emiliano Zapata. But I thought it was downright nasty; I am to Ragtime as Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn was to Balzac in The Music Man.

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