Classic Literature

Literature speaks to the mind and to the emotions. It stirs our imaginations and enhances our experiences. Some literature is timeless; its appeal remains constant from generation to generation.

Sample some of the following activities to learn more about classic literature.


Places To Go    People To See    Things To Do    Teacher Resources    Bibliography

Places To Go

The following are places to go (some real and some virtual) to find out about classic literature.

Anne Frank House
Virtually visit the home where young Anne Frank wrote her famous diary
The Camelot Project
Travel to Camelot and discuss the Arthurian legend with Arthurian scholars
The Globe Theatre
Visit Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Hannibal Missouri
Travel to Hannibal, Missouri, the birthplace of Mark Twain. Visit his boyhood home, take a virtual float down the Mississippi, and see where Becky Thatcher lived
The Hobbitt Site
Travel to Middle Earth and meet Bilbo and learn about author, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Besides being an author, Tolkien was also a medieval scholar.
Literary Locales
Virtually vist dozens of homes and locales where famous authors or literary characters lived. You can visit Arthur's Tintagel, Shylock's Venice, Wordsworth's Lake District, Victor Hugo's Notre Dame de Paris, Thomas Hardy's Dorset, Karen Blixen's (Isak Dinesen's) Rungstedlund, and dozens more

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People To See

A Celebration of Women Writers
This site recognizes the contributions of women writers throughout history. Women have written almost every imaginable type of work: novels, poems, letters, biographies, travel books, religious commentaries, histories, economic and scientific works.
Digital Dante
Spend some time with Dante and see if he's still following Beatrice around. Find out about the upcoming multimedia translation of The Divine Comedy. The site has tips for teachers using Dante in the classroom
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Get to know Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. According to this site, "The dominant influences on F. Scott Fitzgerald were aspiration, literature, Princeton, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, and alcohol."
Herman Melville
Get to know Herman Melville. He had incredible experiences in the South Pacific while working on a whaling ship. He was good friends with Nathanial Hawthorne
Jane Austen Information Page
Talk with Jane Austen and find out who her favorite characters were....Elizabeth Bennet? Catherine Morland? Jane Fairfax? Mary Crawford?
Mark Twain at Large 
Mark Twain was an American original. He was a Mississippi River pilot, a gold miner, a newspaper writer, a novelist, a political satirist. From this site, you can see some actual photos of this author of American classics
Meet Achilles and Ajax and Helen and Orestes and all the rest of the gang from Homer's Odyssey
Stephen Crane: Man, Myth, and Legend
Chat with Stephen Crane. He was a novelist, poet, and short-story writer, and he only lived to be 28 years old.Explore the themes and issues in this writings as well as his literary techniques
Willa Cather
Get to know Willa Cather. Some of her most famous novels reflect her early life in the late 1800s on the Nebraska prairie frontier
William Faulkner
Spend time with William Faulkner. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949. Most of his novels are set in Yoknapatawpha county, an imaginary area in Mississippi

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Things To Do

Geoffrey Chaucer
Listen to the tales from Canterbury
The Internet Classics Archive
This site features 441 works of classical literature by 59 different authors. It is searchable by work or author.
Project Gutenberg
This site makes available the full text of hundreds of written works of literature in an electronic form.
Find study guides for 100 classic books. This site is sort of like Cliff's Notes online

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Teacher Resources

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  • Christelow, Eileen. What Do Authors Do? New York: Clarion Books, c1995.
  • Hunter, Shaun. Writers. New York, NY: Crabtree Pub., c1998.
  • Krull, Kathleen. Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (And What the Neighbors Thought). San Diego: Harcourt Brace, c1994.