“Starts with a bang and never slows down—a very superior high-stakes thriller.”
#1 New York Times bestselling author
When a bombing at 10 Downing Street wounds the Prime Minister and tests Great Britain's resolve, American ex-cop Adam
The Greatest Authors of All Time
The greatest authors of all time shaped literature, encapsulated the human experience, and gave people a creative outlet with their words. Whether it's Friedan's feminist The Feminine Mystique or Hawking's scientific musings in The Theory of Everything, their books and writings are still on the best seller lists today.
Stephen King's style and repertoire are unmatched, from Pet Sematary to The Shining. And modern-day vampire stories wouldn't exist without Shelley's iconic Frankenstein.
Charles Darwin was a naturalist whose bold theory of evolution by means of natural selection has profoundly influenced modern Western thinking. He was also a writer who saw the power of books as levers for his ideas. Darwin consciously structured his own work so that it fulfilled the canons of quality science, as established by philosophers such as William Paley and Charles Lyell.
His family was affluent, but Darwin did not particularly enjoy the rote learning of classics that he received at the traditional Anglican Shrewsbury School. He found he was much more interested in geometry, science (especially botany), and travel writing.
A voyage to Tierra del Fuego planted in him a desire to explore, and when he heard that the famous captain of the HMS Beagle was seeking a surgeon-naturalist to sail with him, he jumped at the opportunity. His book On the Origin of Species was published in 1859 and revolutionized scientific thought.
Henry David Thoreau
The late Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) was a naturalist, philosopher, essayist, and Transcendentalist who lived in the town of Concord, Massachusetts. He was an important figure in the American rights movement, and his work still inspires us today.
He was a close friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote a glowing tribute to him in his journal. In 1845, Thoreau set up a house in the woods near Walden Pond, where he spent two years living deliberately in nature and redefining his life. The experience inspired his famous essay, Walden.
He also devoted himself to the cause of human rights and was an active member of the abolitionist movement. He helped speed fugitives north on the Underground Railroad, lectured against slavery, and published the essay, Slavery in Massachusetts. He also took several excursions to Quebec, Cape Cod, and Maine, inspiring the essays A Yankee in Canada and The Maine Woods and Excursions. Thoreau was a complex person, and his works reflect this complexity.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe is a world-renowned American writer and abolitionist. She is best known for her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which depicted the harsh conditions of slavery and was influential in shaping public opinion in the lead-up to the American Civil War.
Stowe was born on June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut to a religious family headed by minister Lyman Beecher. She was educated at a girls school and later taught at the Hartford Female Seminary, which she founded.
After witnessing a slave auction in 1833, Stowe decided to devote her life to abolition. Her most famous work, the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was first published in serial form in the National Era and became a top seller. The book made her a celebrity and is widely credited with fueling the abolitionist movement and contributing to the tensions that led to the Civil War. She died on July 1, 1896 in Hartford. Her later works focused on protecting women’s rights and examining the virtues of humility, charity and self-discipline.
A commoner from Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare rose to prominence as one of the greatest playwrights in history. His works encompass tragedy, comedy and historical plays and poetry.
In a career that spanned two decades, he wrote 37 plays, most of which have become a part of the modern English canon. The tragedies that bookend his era - Hamlet, Othello and King Lear – are among the most widely performed in theatre and film today.
Shakespeare's playwrighting style is unique for its time. He used a standard metrical pattern of unrhymed iambic pentameter for most of his lines, but there are passages in all the plays that deviate from this formula. He is also well known for his sonnets, in which he explores themes of mortality and immortality. Shakespeare's plays are translated into more languages than any other writer in the world, and his works continue to be taught in schools across the globe. He was hailed by his contemporary Ben Jonson as "not of an age, but for all time."