We were inspired to look more closely at some of the key figures that appear in our Little History books by an interaction with a reader on the Little History facebook page. We really liked the idea of finding out what the series has to say about all sorts of ‘remarkable people’, both heroes and villains, and we’re putting together this resource for you to explore. Whether you’re looking for help with your homework (!), or trying to fill a gap in your knowledge, Little History books and their cast of characters have plenty to offer.
Czech-born German novelist and short-story writer
1883 – 1924
Franz Kafka was a Czech writer who wrote novels and short stories in German. He grew up in a middle-class Jewish family and worked at a government insurance office after earning his doctorate. Kafka had an extremely difficult relationship with his father in his childhood and youth; these frustrations surface often in his work, such as in the symbolic The Metamorphosis (1915). Other themes that feature prominently in Kafka’s writing include alienation, authoritarian oppression, and the futility of life.
In A Little History of Literature, Sutherland introduces great classics in his own irresistible way, enlivening his offerings with humour as well as learning: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, …