What the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth' So wrote the Romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821) in 1817. This collection contains all of his poetry: the early work, which is often undervalued even today, the poems on which his reputation rests including the 'Odes' and the two versions of the uncompleted epic 'Hyperion', and work which only came to light after his death including his attem..
Walt Whitman's verse gave the poetry of America a distinctive national voice. It reflects the unique vitality of the new nation, the vastness of the land and the emergence of a sometimes troubled consciousness, communicated in language and idiom regarded by many at the time as shocking. Whitman's poems are organic and free flowing, fit into no previously defined genre and skilfully combine autob..
Major General Sir Richard Hannay is the fictional secret agent created by writer and diplomat John Buchan, who was himself an Intelligence officer during the First World War. The strong and silent type, combining the dour temperament of the Scot with the stiff upper lip of the Englishman, Hannay is pre-eminent among early spy-thriller heroes. Caught up in the first of these five gripping adventure..
When Uncle Henry and Aunt Em's grey, grim Kansas farmhouse was picked up by the great summer cyclone, a wondrous adventure had begun. The whole house whirled around two or three times then rose slowly through the air with little Dorothy and dog Toto inside.
After what seemed an age to Dorothy the house landed with a great crash and upon opening the door she and Toto were amazed to see a beaut..
The literary and dramatic work of J.M. Synge is most famous for the 'riots' provoked by his 1907 play The Playboy of the Western World and, indeed, this was neither the first nor the last time that Synge's dramas incited passionate disagreements. But, one hundred years on, it's clear that his writings are amongst Ireland s most brilliant and significant, as well as controversial. Here, for the f..
These volumes represent each author's best and most famous writings. This finely crafted and affordable series offers the works of these world-renowned authors to a wider audience. Includes Alice in Wonderland, The Hunting of the Snark, Sylvie and Bruno, and Through the Looking Glass.
‘I here present you, courteous reader, with the record of a remarkable period in my life . . . ‘
The Confessions of an English Opium Eater is both a classic of the English autobiographical genre and a hard-nosed study of the effects of drugs on an artistic mind. A close associate of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the brilliant but troubled de Quincey recounts both the pleasur..
Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace and Anna Karenina, the greatest novels ever written, did not emerge from a vacuum. They were preceded by at least twenty prose works of different kinds, some of them masterpieces in their own right. These stories may be viewed as a fascinating encounter with literary predecessors such as Rousseau and Pushkin, and they are never far removed from autobiography, but in t..
The story of Edmund Dantes, self-styled Count of Monte Cristo, is told with consummate skill. The victim of a miscarriage of justice, Dantes is fired by a desire for retribution and empowered by a stroke of providence. In his campaign of vengeance, he becomes an anonymous agent of fate. The sensational narrative of intrigue, betrayal, escape, and triumphant revenge moves at a cracking pace. Duma..
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas is the ultimate novel of retribution. Based on a true story, it recounts the story of Edouard Dantes, his betrayal and imprisonment in the sinister Chateau d'If. Years later, Paris is intrigued by the mysterious Count of Monte Cristo, who bursts onto the Paris social scene with his millions. He encounters the three principal betrayers of Dantes who ha..
‘“I'll not listen to reason,” she said, now in full possession of her voice, which had been rather choked with sobbing. "Reason always means what someone else has got to say."’
First published in serial format in a magazine, Gaskell’s Cranford is a delightfully light-hearted series of stories about early Victorian life in a country village.
Following the lives of two spinster sisters, Miss..
Dostoyevsky’s epic masterpiece, unabridged, with an afterword by Robin Feuer Miller
One of the world’s greatest novels, Crime and Punishment is the story of a murder and its consequences—an unparalleled tale of suspense set in the midst of nineteenth-century Russia’s troubled transition to the modern age.
In the slums of czarist St. Petersburg lives young Raskolnikov, a sensitive, intellec..
This volume contains a generous selection of the tales of H. G. Wells, some of them famous, some forgotten. They demonstrate his immense imaginative energy, his originality, his prophetic genius, and his mastery of a range embracing Gothic horror, social satire, lyrical reverie and Utopian fantasy. Here Wells predicts the use of the tank, the aeroplane, the parachute and the bathysphere; he depi..
As I crammed the cream horn voraciously into my mouth, at once I heard Francin's voice saying that no decent woman would eat a cream puff like that'.
In a quiet town where not much happens, Maryska, the flamboyant brewer's wife, stands out. She cuts her skirt short so that she can ride her bicycle, her golden hair flying out behind her. She butchers pigs. She drinks and eats with relish. And ..
Daisy Miller is one of Henry James's most attractive heroines - she represents youth and frivolity. As a tourist in Italy, her American freedom and freshness of spirit come up against the corruption and hypocrisy of European manners. From its first publication, readers on both sides of the Atlantic have quarrelled about her, defending or attacking the liberties that Daisy takes and the conventio..
With an Introduction and Notes by Dr Carole Jones, freelance writer and researcher.
George Eliot's final novel, Daniel Deronda (1876), follows the intertwining lives of the beautiful but spoiled and selfish Gwendolene Harleth and the selfless yet alienated Daniel Deronda, as they search for personal and vocational fulfilment and sympathetic relationship.
Set largely in the degenerate English ari..
Considered one of the most influential authors of twentieth century Russian Literature, Ivan Bunin's "Dark Avenues" is the culmination of a life's work which unrelentingly questioned of the political doxa whilst taking his poetic mastery of language to dark new heights. Written between 1938 and 1944 and set in the context of a disintegrating Russian culture, this collection of short fiction cent..
Dickens wrote of David Copperfield: 'Of all my books I like this the best'. Millions of readers in almost every language on earth have subsequently come to share the author's own enthusiasm for this greatly loved classic, possibly because of its autobiographical form. Following the life of David through many sufferings and great adversity, the reader will also find many light-hearted moments in ..
David Copperfield's happy childhood is abruptly ended by his mother's remarriage to Mr Murdstone. After enduring the misery of Salem House Academy and a life of drudgery in his step father's business, he runs away to his eccentric aunt, Betsey Trotwood, in Dover, and transforms his life a second time - finding friendship with the ever optimistic Mr Micawber and falling in love with the adorable ..
Haunting, terrifying and hilarious, The Day of the Oprichnik is a dazzling novel and a fierce critique of life in the New Russia
Moscow 2028: Andrei Danilovich Komiaga, oprichnik, member of the czar's inner circle of trusted courtiers, rouses himself from a drunken stupor and prepares for another day of debauchery, violence, terror and beauty. In this New Russia, futuristic technology combine..
Russia in the 1840s. There is a stranger in town, and he is behaving oddly. The unctuous Pavel Chichikov goes around the local estates buying up 'dead souls'. These are the papers relating to serfs who have died since the last census, but who remain on the record and still attract a tax demand. Chichikov is willing to relieve their owners of the tax burden by buying the titles for a song. What h..
Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is best known for War and Peace and Anna Karenina, commonly regarded as amongst the greatest novels ever written. He also, however, wrote many masterly short stories, and this volume contains four of the longest and best in distinguished translations that have stood the test of time. In the early story Family Happiness, Tolstoy explores courtship and marriage from t..
The judge Ivan Ilyich Golovin has spent his life in the pursuit of wealth and status, devoting himself obsessively to work and often neglecting his family in the process. When, after a small accident, he fails to make the expected recovery, it gradually becomes clear that he is soon to die. Ivan Ilyich then starts to question the futility and barrenness of his previous existence, realizing to his ..
A new version of John Payne's Victorian translation, with an Introduction by Cormac O Cuilleanain.
1348. The Black Death is sweeping through Europe. In Florence, plague has carried off one hundred thousand people. In their Tuscan villas, seven young women and three young men tell tales to recreate the world they have lost, weaving a rich tapestry of comedy, tragedy, ribaldry and farce.
The Deerslayer is the culmination of James Fenimore Cooper's 'Leather-Stocking' novels, featuring Natty Bumppo (the deer-slaying young frontiersman) and the Mohican chief, Chingachgook. Cooper portrays the hubris of the conquest of a vast territory. The action takes place during the American wars of the 1740s. Coll.Wordsworth Classics
In 1869 a young Russian was strangled, shot through the head and thrown into a pond. His crime? A wish to leave small group of violent revolutionaries, from which he had become alienated. Dostoevsky takes this real-life catastrophe as the subject and culmination of Devils, a title that refers the young radicals themselves and also to the materialistic ideas that possessed the minds of many think..
In Bulgakov’s ‘Diaboliad’, the modest and unassuming office clerk Korotkov is summarily sacked for a trifling error from his job at the Main Central Depot of Match Materials, and tries to seek out his newly assigned superior, responsible for his dismissal. His quest through the labyrinth of Soviet bureaucracy takes on the increasingly surreal dimensions of a nightmare.
This early satirical st..
The career of Mikhail Bulgakov, the author of The Master and Margarita – now regarded as one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century literature – was characterized by a constant and largely unsuccessful struggle against state censorship. This suppression did not only apply to his art: in 1926 his personal diaries were seized by the authorities. From then on he confined his thoughts to..
Mark Twain’s gloriously funny Diary of Adam and Eve, which John Updike described as “a paradigm of the relations between sexes”, is presented here with a number of other Twain pieces on our two oldest ancestors, showing the writer’s interest in this most famous episode of the Bible.
By giving a voice to Adam and Eve, and by hitting all the notes on the literary scale – from the intimate to th..
Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) is one of the most important and innovative figures of the European Middle Ages. Writing his Comedy (the epithet Divine was added by later admirers) in exile from his native Florence, he aimed to address a world gone astray both morally and politically. At the same time, he sought to push back the restrictive rules which traditionally governed writing in the Italian v..
Mr Dombey is a man obsessed with his firm. His son is groomed from birth to take his place within it, despite his visionary eccentricity and declining health. But Dombey also has a daughter, whose unfailing love for her father goes unreturned. 'Girls' said Mr Dombey, 'have nothing to do with Dombey and Son'.
When Walter Gay, a young clerk in her father's office, rescues her from a bewildering..
Cervantes’ tale of the deranged gentleman who turns knight-errant, tilts at windmills and battles with sheep in the service of the lady of his dreams, Dulcinea del Toboso, has fascinated generations of readers, and inspired other creative artists such as Flaubert, Picasso and Richard Strauss. The tall, thin knight and his short, fat squire, Sancho Panza, have found their way into films, cartoons..
Widely regarded as one of the funniest and most tragic books ever written, Don Quixote chronicles the famous picaresque adventures of the noble knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza. Together they journey through sixteenth-century Spain in search of adventure, taking on spirits, evil enchanters and giants in a quest to perform acts of valour worthy of Dulci..
Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to conclude some real estate business with Count Dracula. Despite the local's warnings, he arrives at his destination and after a few days realises he is effectively the prisoner of what had first seemed like a highly educated gentleman. As time passes he suspects there is something supernatural about the Count. He attempts his escape, and soon those close..
This revised and expanded second edition brings together the uncollected short fiction of the poet, writer and religious philosopher Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). Of the fifty-four stories in the present volume, only thirty-five were published in his lifetime. Most of the rest appear in this collection for the first time.
Crowley was a successful critic, editor and author of fiction from 1908..
Living overseas but writing, always, about his native city, Joyce made Dublin unforgettable. The stories in Dubliners show us truants, seducers, gossips, rally-drivers, generous hostesses, corrupt politicians, failing priests, amateur theologians, struggling musicians, moony adolescents, victims of domestic brutishness, sentimental aunts and poets, patriots earnest or cynical, and people strivin..
Revealing the truths and realities about Irish society in the early 20th century, Joyce's Dubliners challenged the prevailing image of Dublin at the time. A group portrait made up of 15 short stories about the inhabitants of Joyce's native city, he offers a subtle critique of his own town, imbuing the text with an underlying tone of tragedy. Through his various characters he displays the complic..
This creepy, compact anthology includes four of Edgar Allan Poe's most popular tales of terror, The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado , and The Black Cat . Also including six haunting poems and a biography on Poe, this miniature volume is the perfect introduction to the Master of the Macabre.
Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel ..
Beautiful, rich, self-assured and witty, Emma Woodhouse delights in match-making those around her, with no apparent care for her own romantic life. Taking young Harriet Smith under her wing, Emma sets her sights on finding a suitable match for her friend. Chided for her mistakes by old friend Mr Knightley, it is only when Harriet starts to pursue her own love interests that Emma realizes the tru..
When Jerry, Jimmy and Cathy discover a tunnel that leads to a castle, they pretend that it is enchanted. But when they discover a Sleeping Princess at the centre of a maze, astonishing things begin to happen. Amongst a horde of jewels they discover a ring that grants wishes.
But wishes granted are not always wishes wanted, so the children find themselves grappling with invisibility, dinosaurs..
'They didn't seem to take much interest in my private parts which to tell the truth were nothing to write home about, I didn't take much interest in them myself.'
From the master of the absurd, these two stories of an unnamed vagrant contending with decay and death combine bleakness with the blackest of humour.
Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic..