'I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.'
Shipwrecked on the high seas, Lemuel Gulliver finds himself washed up on the strange island of Lilliput, a land inhabited by quarrelsome miniature people. On his travels he continues to meet others who force him to reflect on..
'Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.’
Considered one of Shakespeare’s most rich and enduring plays, the depiction of its hero Hamlet as he vows to avenge the murder of his father by his brother Claudius is both powerful and complex. As Hamlet tries to find out the truth of the situation, his troubled relationship with his mother comes to the fore, as do the paradoxes in his pers..
In these delightful tales, Oscar Wilde employs all his grace, artistry and wit. The Happy Prince tells of the statue of a once pleasure-loving Prince which, with the help of a selfless Swallow helps people in distress. As well as The Nightingale and the Rose, The Devoted Friend and The Remarkable Rocket, this collection contains The Selfish Giant, a remarkable story of the redemptive power of lo..
''Dear Prince, I must leave you, but I will never forget you, and next spring I will bring you back two beautiful jewels in place of those you have given away. The ruby shall be redder than a red rose, and the sapphire shall be as blue as the great sea.'
In 'The Happy Prince' a statue - jewelled and opulent - keeps careful watch over the city and its inhabitants. Enlisting the help of a swall..
Set in fictitious Coketown, England during the Industrial Revolution of the 1850s, Dickens wished to expose the enormous gulf between the rich and poor through his writing. In Hard Times, the social and moral purpose of his work is at its most evident. Openly ironic and satirical in its tone, Dickens suggests a mechanization of society, where the wealthy are ruthless and uncharitable towards tho..
Unusually for Dickens, Hard Times is set, not in London, but in the imaginary mid-Victorian Northern industrial town of Coketown with its blackened factories, downtrodden workers and polluted environment. This is the soulless domain of the strict utilitarian Thomas Gradgrind and the heartless factory owner Josiah Bounderby. However human joy is not excluded thanks to 'Mr Sleary's Horse-Riding' c..
'Have you ever heard of the fascination of terror?'
This is a unique collection of strange stories from the cunning pen of Wilkie Collins, author of The Woman in White and The Moonstone. The star attraction is the novella The Haunted Hotel, a clever combination of detective and ghost story set in Venice, a city of grim waterways, dark shadows and death. The action takes place in an ancient pa..
‘They were removing the stones quietly, one by one, from the centuried wall. And then, as the breach became large enough, they came out into the laboratory in single file; led by a stalking thing with a beautiful head made of wax.’
From the dark, mind-expanding imagination of H P Lovecraft, Wordsworth presents a third volume of tales penned by the greatest horror writer of the 20th Century. H..
Heidi is the heart-warming tale of a small girl's power for good, and it has remained a firm favourite since it was published over 100 years ago. It tells of the orphan Heidi and her idyllic existence with her gruff grandfather in the mountains. When she is sent to live in a city, comic chaos ensues, and eventually it is arranged that Heidi should return to the mountains. Together she and her fr..
Fiul regelui Henry IV, printul Harry e istet si totusi iresponsabil si isi petrece timpul cu tovarasi dubiosi. Dar cand regatul e amenintat printul Harry isi arata adevarata valoare si eroismul si isi incepe calatoria spre transformarea intr-un adevarat lider. Amestecand comedia cu istoria, scenele de taverna cu cele regale, regi si batalii, Shakespeare arata cat de grea e povara puterii regale...
Ultima si cea mai reusita piesa istorica a lui Shakespeare. Printul Harry domneste in Anglia supa moartea tatalui sau, regele Henry IV, unind tara in fata razboiului cu Franta. Shakespeare exploreaza relatiile intr-o lume a barbatilor, dar si ororile si violenta razboiului. Text integral, cu o introducere despre autor, opera si epoca si cu note semnate de S. M. Farrow si R. B. Kennedy, si cu un ..
At the turn of the twentieth century, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a celebrity acclaimed as a leader in the feminist movement and castigated for her divorce, her relinquishment of custody of her daughter, and her unconventional second marriage. She was also widely read, with stories in popular magazines and with dozens of books in print. Her most famous short story, the intensely personal The Ye..
'My eyes, perversely shaken open, gazed for an instant upon a sight which no human creature could even imagine without panic, fear and physical exhaustion...'
A wax museum in London boasts a new exhibit, which no man has seen and remained sane... A businessman is trapped in a train carriage with a madman who claims to have created a new and efficient method of capital punishment... A doctor p..
The most famous and thrilling of Sherlock Holmes’s cases.
The Baskerville family curse tells of how a terrifying, supernatural hound roams the moors around Baskerville Hall and preys on members of the family in revenge for a terrible crime committed by one of their ancestors. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead in his grounds, with a large animal footprint near his lifeless body, the l..
‘They all agreed that it was a huge creature, luminous, ghastly and spectral.’
Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine, Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles follows the infamous Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson as they investigate the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville, whose dead body is found on the misty and desolate Devon moors.
The locals blame his death on the legen..
‘Do you remember what you said to me once? That you could help me only by loving me? Well-you did love me for a moment; and it helped me. It has always helped me.’ Lily Bart, an attractive young woman living in New York City, relies on beauty and charm to ensure economic survival. Determined to marry into wealth to support her expensive lifestyle, Lily denies her feelings for Lawrence Stern due to..
First published in 1851, The House of the Seven Gables is one of Hawthorne's defining works, a vivid depiction of American life and values replete with brilliantly etched characters. The tale of a cursed house with a "mysterious and terrible past" and the generations linked to it, Hawthorne's chronicle of the Maule and Pyncheon families over two centuries reveals, in Mary Oliver's words, "lives ..
Oscar Wilde claimed that Humiliated and Insulted is not "at all inferior to the other great masterpieces" and Friedrich Nietzsche is said to have wept over it. Its construction is that of an intricate detective novel, and the reader is plunged into a world of moral degradation, childhood trauma and, above all, unrequited love and irreconcilable relationships. At the centre of the story are a you..
With an Introduction by David Stuart Davies.
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873) was one of the great masters of Victorian of mystery and horror fiction, and can be regarded as the father of the modern ghost story. In a Glass Darkly (1872), one of his most celebrated volumes, purports to be the casebook of Dr Hesselius, a pioneer psychologist.
These five tales represent some of Le Fanu's m..
In the Twilight, the third collection of short stories compiled by Anton Chekhov himself, was his first major success and won him the prestigious Pushkin Prize when it was published in 1888. This volume represents a clear milestone in the writer’s passage from the youthful Antosha Chekhonte, author of slight comic sketches, to the mature master of the short-story genre. This edition presents the ..
‘There is no greater sorrow then to recall our times of joy in wretchedness.’
Considered one of the greatest medieval poems written in the common vernacular of the time, Dante’s Inferno begins on Good Friday in the year 1300. As he wanders through a dark forest, Dante loses his way and stumbles across the ghost of the poet Virgil. Virgil promises to lead him back to the top of the mountain..
Published in 1928 when Shaw was seventy-two, this book draws on decades of political activity and remains one of his brilliant exercises in propaganda. It contains a foreword by Polly Toynbee. Ramsay MacDonald, Labour leader, hailed the work as the world's most important book since the Bible. As a Fabian and lifelong socialist, Shaw believed that economic inequality was a poison destroying every..
'If I think about it, and I have the time and inclination and capacity to do so, we dogs are an odd lot.'
How does a dog see the world? How do any of us? In this playful and enigmatic story of a canine philosopher, Kafka explores the limits of knowledge.
Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a ..
The captivating Irish stories collected in this new edition include both comic tales such as Paddy O'Kelly and the Weasel, and tales of heroes from ancient literature such as How Cormac Mac Art went to Faery. By turns funny, fantastical and mysterious, the stories are matched in liveliness by the original illustrations of John D. Batten. It would be hard to find a better introduction for childre..
An eerily prescient foreshadowing of current affairs' (Guardian). 'Not only Lewis's most important book but one of the most important books ever produced in the United States' (New Yorker).
A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fearmongering demagogue runs for President of the United States - and wins. Sinclair Lewis's chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, 'Professional Common ..
“The novel that foreshadowed Donald Trump’s authoritarian appeal.”—Salon
It Can’t Happen Here is the only one of Sinclair Lewis’s later novels to match the power of Main Street, Babbitt, and Arrowsmith. A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America.
Written during the Great Depression, when the country ..
‘He saw her wounded, and bleeding to death; saw her ashy countenance, and her wasting eyes ... turned piteously on himself, as if imploring him to save her from the fate that was dragging her to the grave...’
Ann Radcliffe, author of The Romance of the Forest and The Mysteries of Udolpho, is the high priestess of the gothic novel. In The Italian, first published in 1797, she creates a chilling, a..
Whether you need to get to know Ulysses in a hurry or are a long-time fan of James Joyce, this pocket-sized tome is the go-to reference, complete with comprehensive plot summaries and character profiles from his timeless works. Accompanied by illustrations throughout, the book also includes specially selected short stories and poems, reprinted in full.
Introduction and Notes by Norman Vance, Professor of English, University of Sussex.
Jude Fawley is a rural stone mason with intellectual aspirations. Frustrated by poverty and the indifference of the academic institutions at the University of Christminster, his only chance of fulfilment seems to lie in his relationship with his unconventional cousin, Sue Bridehead. But life as social out..
Power, corruption and betrayal are at the heart of Shakespeare’s most well-known historical and political drama. As Julius Caesar moves closer to securing power for himself and is perceived by some as a threat to Roman citizens, his senators plot to bring about his downfall. Caesar’s assassination leads to civil war rather than peace and the play explores the subsequent deaths of the conspirator..
With a beautiful cover and chapter-heading illustrations throughout from queen of colouring Johanna Basford.
The Jungle Book tells the story of the irrepressible Mowgli, who is rescued as a baby from the jaws of the evil tiger, Shere Khan. Raised by wolves and guided by Baloo the bear, Mowgli and his animal friends embark on a series of hair-raising adventures through the jungles of India.
Lose yourself in the world of Mowgli the man cub, the small boy abandoned in the Indian jungle, the tale of the heroic mongoose Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and the story of Toomai the young elephant handler along with many more in this rich collection of fables. Kipling's work is full of important moral lessons and his vivid writing brings the sights and sounds of the jungle to life.
'There is no harm in a man's cub.'
Best known for the 'Mowgli' stories, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book expertly interweaves myth, morals, adventure and powerful story-telling. Set in Central India, Mowgli is raised by a pack of wolves. Along the way he encounters memorable characters such as the foreboding tiger Shere Kahn, Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear. Including other stories s..
How did the leopard get its spots? Why do the tides ebb and flow? How did the elephant get its trunk? And how was the alphabet made?
Rudyard Kipling’s classic collection of fables answers the great questions of animal- and humankind in a fun, eloquent and magical way – for children and adults alike. Kipling’s beautifully imaginative answers echo the animal fables he heard during his childhood..
Translated by Constance Garnett, with an Introduction by A. D. P. Briggs.
As Fyodor Karamazov awaits an amorous encounter, he is violently done to death. The three sons of the old debauchee are forced to confront their own guilt or complicity. Who will own to parricide? The reckless and passionate Dmitri? The corrosive intellectual Ivan? Surely not the chaste novice monk Alyosha? The sea..
Set in Scotland in 1751, Kidnapped remains one of the most exciting stories ever written. Young David Balfour, orphaned then betrayed by his Uncle Ebenezer, his so-called guardian, falls in with Alan Breck, the unscrupulous but heroic champion of the Jacobite cause. Shipwreck, murder and dramatic escape through the Highlands are just a few of the ingredients of this highly charged tale of intrigue..
The Angel Esmerelda is Don DeLillo's first collection of short stories, written between 1979 and 2011; in it he represents the wide range of human experience in contemporary America - and forces us to confront the uncomfortable shadows lurking in the background.
His characters are plagued by their own deep, often unconscious, longings; they are subjected to shocking violations, exposed t..
‘“I am Kim. I am Kim. And what is Kim?” His soul repeated it again and again.’
Set against the backdrop of Britain and Russia’s political struggle in central Asia, Kim, the son of a drunken Irish soldier grows up as a street-wise orphan in the city of Lahore. Upon befriending an aged Tibetan Lama, the playful and spirited Kim journeys with him across India, experiencing the exotic culture, re..
'I read it and reread it, and wept and laughed and trembled with horror which at all times assails me yet'.
With its strange, imaginative blend of horror, science fiction, romance and lyrical prose, Robert W. Chambers' The King in Yellow is a classic masterpiece of weird fiction. This series of vaguely connected stories is linked by the presence of a monstrous and suppressed book which brings..
‘Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!’
Epic and tragic in its scope, King Lear explores a king’s demise into madness and insanity when he is betrayed by two of his manipulative and scheming daughters. It is Cordelia, the third and only daughter who refuses to flatter her father to deceive, who is banished from the kingdom, leading to dramatic and tumultuous events.
Out of the dark we came, into the dark we go. Like a storm-driven bird at night we fly out of the Nowhere; for a moment our wings are seen in the light of the fire, and, lo! we are gone again into the Nowhere.'
An amazing adventure set in Africa, against the backdrop of endless deserts and snowy mountains, Kings Solomon's Mines follows Allan Quartermain, in his quest to find his missing broth..
These comic novels will resonate with anyone who has ever felt trapped by circumstance. Their central characters, Artie Kipps and Alfred Polly, are prisoners of their modest social class, limited education, dull work, and sterile relationships. In Wells' hands they break out of the cages that society has constructed for them, learning after bitter experience the truth that 'if the world does not..