The Burton Review

Classic books

From Homer's "Iliad" to Joanne K. Rowling's "Harry Potter", some books never grow old. Although they might be published twenty or two-hundred years ago, you still find people reading and discussing them. Classic books like "Pippi Longtsocking" or "Huckleberry Finn" won a great fame throughout the years and gained a high regard. Even someone who didn't read the book at all, might even recognize Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain" as a landmark of European culture. Classic books share a timeless quality and can be a source inspiration for a new generation. This is true for both classical literature from William Shakespeare, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe or Friedrich Schiller and modern classics like "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" by Douglas Adams. The aberrations of love, the desire for adventures or the injuries within families - immortal themes connect classic books with a contemporary audience.

© Image via Flickr - truds09 "Classic" Some Rights Reserved. Source:

Heinrich Heine
The poet Heinrich Heine was born in Dusseldorf in Germany in 1797 to a Jewish family. He later converted to Christianity and was famous for his satire and wit. Something of a revolutionary, Heine lead a chequered life. Heine’s Earlier Life Heine’s uncle who was the most successful member of his family, thought that Heine should study law as a young man. He soon showed that he had no aptitude for it and his interest in literature and history came to the fore. However, while he was studying law at Bonn, he met August Wilhem Schlegel,...
George Orwell
Under his chosen pen name of George Orwell, the English writer Eric Blair would produce enduring works of both fiction and non fiction that continue to draw widespread admiration. Born in the Bengal region of India in 1903, Blair was the son of an official in the Indian Civil Service at a time when almost a fifth of the world’s population was under the control of the British Empire. Although he decided early in life that he wanted to be a writer, his first job was in Burma with the Indian Imperial Police. He spent five years in his post...
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a famous German writer and philosopher, most well known for his contribution to the ‘Enlightenment’ era. He became probably the first dramaturge, and this research and development position within the theatre uses his methods still. Lessing’s Life and Work Lessing studied theology and medicine at the University of Leipzig and gained his masters degree at Wittenburg in 1752. He wrote and was a reviewer for several publications before taking up the position of dramturge at the Hamburg National...

Known Authors

Reading a good book means getting to know the mind of the man or the woman who had written it. Usually the book is formed or at least is shaped by the personality of the author. So the attention of the audience has not been limited to the literary work itself, but created a high demand for the person that the book originated from. Readers are interested in the biography of writers like Stephanie Meyer or Astrid Lindgren that led to the writing. Because of their commitment to an art, authors also pass for authority and represent high moral values. They are usually connected to truthfulness and sincerity, at least to originality and wisdom. Authors like Günter Grass or Aldous Huxley have interpreted their role very actively and intervened in public discussions. Others act in a less public-oriented manner and focus more on readings to a audience. But all authors have in common that they wrote their books because of their passion for literature.

Publishing Companies

© Image via Flickr - Paul Lowry "Libraries are Creepy" Some Rights Reserved. Source:

The history of books would be different if there weren't publishing companies. They are responsible for bringing together writers and readers. And publishers and editors serve both sides. Enterprises like HarperCollins or Penguin Putnam give advise authors on their manuscripts if needed, they accompy the book throught the whole production process, and they design the marketing of the published books. Publishing companies are the confident partners of bookstores and libraries for purchasing books. Because of the internationalization of the book market, publishers like Macmillan and Simon & Schuster underwent a complete transformation to attain a good position for the future. In times where the book on paper compete with e-books and tablet pcs, publishers have to find new ways of distributing the written medium. These days most publishing companies operate globally to reach a broader audience and to minimize costs within the production process. Some of the publishers like Random House are tied to large media corporations and can offer a wide range of different media forms.