On a train journey, Pozdnyshev tells his story to a stranger: how his relationship with his wife gradually deteriorated from one of love and passion to jealousy and resentfulness, culminating in a mad act of desperation while she practised Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata with her violin teacher.
An uncompromising examination of lust, suspicion and infidelity which was once forbidden by censors in..
The flaxen-haired beauty of the childlike Lady Audley would suggest that she has no secrets. But M.E. Braddon's classic novel of sensation uncovers the truth about its heroine in a plot involving bigamy, arson and murder. It challenges assumptions about the nature of femininity and investigates the narrow divide between sanity and insanity, using as its focus one of the most fascinating of all V..
‘The worst parts were the great masses of flesh of the monstrous Worm, in all its red and sickening aspect… The sight was horrible enough, but, with the awful smell added, was simply unbearable. The Worm's hole appeared to breathe forth death in its most repulsive forms.’
Here are two great, neglected horror novels by Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, together in one volume for the first time. ..
‘But it was not only the heart-rending sound that almost paralysed poor Mimi with terror. What she saw was sufficient to fill her with evil dreams for the remainder of her life…’
At the estate of Castra Regis in Derbyshire, mystery lurks in the woods, a place where snakes dwell and murderous deeds take place in the darkness. The behaviour of local residents Arabella March and Edgar Caswall fu..
'The illegible signature of teetering disaster'
Three great stories--The Aurelian, Signs and Symbols and Lance--the last both a derisive attack on science-fiction and an attempt to imagine the real pain and horror that would accompany space travel.
Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one of..
‘Death and honour are thought to be the same, but today I have learned that sometimes they are not.’
Set in frontier America in the midst of the French-Indian war, as the French are attempting to overthrow an English fort, Cooper’s story follows Alice and Cora Munro, pioneer sisters who are trying to find their way back to their father, an English commander. Guided by an army major and Magua,..
It is 1757. Across north-eastern America the armies of Britain and France struggle for ascendancy. Their conflict, however, overlays older struggles between nations of native Americans for possession of the same lands and between the native peoples and white colonisers. Through these layers of conflict Cooper threads a thrilling narrative, in which Cora and Alice Munro, daughters of a British co..
The legend of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table is one of the most enduring and influential stories in world literature. Its themes - love, war, religion, treachery and family loyalty - are timeless, as are the reputations of its major characters, Arthur, Merlin, Guenever and Launcelot. Malory's Le Morte Darthur is a story of noble knights, colourful tournaments and fateful love, se..
‘There was a contagion in the very air that blew from that haunted region; it breathed forth an atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land.’.
Featuring ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ and ‘Rip Van Winkle’, this collection of inspired essays, stories and sketches established Washington Irving’s reputation as one of America’s foremost authors. Irving’s timeless characters, including ..
Les Misérables is a magnificent, sweeping story of revolution, love and the will to survive set amidst the poverty stricken streets of nineteeth-century Paris.
Escaped convict Jean Valjean turns his back on his criminal past to build his fortunes as an honest man. He takes in abandoned orphan Cosette and raises her as his own daughter. But Jean Valjean is unable to free himself from his previ..
With an Introduction and Notes by Roger Clark, University of Kent at Canterbury One of the great Classics of Western Literature, Les Miserables is a magisterial work which is rich in both character portrayal and meticulous historical description. Characters such as the absurdly criminalised Valjean, the street urchin Gavroche, the rascal Thenardier, the implacable detective Javert, and the pitif..
Why should one half be free to live, while the other is doomed to watch silently from the sidelines? In this visionary collection, Virginia Woolf leads us on a transformative journey through the liberating powers of the mind. From an exploration of why women were barred from writing and under what conditions they might break free, to the solace derived from haunting London's streets, these essay..
A baby is found by wood nymphs in the forest of Burzee. They raise him as their own and give him the name Neclaus. When he grows up, Neclaus has to leave the forest so he makes a home for himself in the laughing valley of Hohaha, where he lives amongst humans for the first time. He discovers there that many children are very poor and neglected so, to cheer them up, he whittles wooden toys as gif..
What is the life of a human being - a drop of dew, a flash of lightning? This is so sad, so sad.' Autobiographical stories from one of Japan's masters of modernist story-telling. Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927).
Little Dorrit is a classic tale of imprisonment, both literal and metaphorical, while Dickens' working title for the novel, Nobody's Fault, highlights its concern with personal responsibility in private and public life. Dickens' childhood experiences inform the vivid scenes in Marshalsea debtor's prison, while his adult perceptions of governmental failures shape his satirical p..
The two American classics here together in one volume, Little Men and Jo's Boys, are worthy sequels to Little Women, one of the best-loved children's stories of all time, and its continuation, Good Wives. In Little Men, Louisa May Alcott takes up the story of the everyday dramas and exploits of the naughty but easy-going boys at Plumfield, now a boarding-school run by Professor Bhaer and his lov..
Little Men is the delightful unofficial sequel to Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, reprising the much-cherished characters of the March family and friends, as well as some unforgettable new ones. The warm-hearted and fiesty Jo March returns (now as Jo Bhaer) and, together with husband Friedrich and the inheritance of an estate from Aunt March, opens Plumfield Estate, an unconventional school ba..
The Little Prince is a classic tale of equal appeal to children and adults. On one level it is the story of an airman's discovery, in the desert, of a small boy from another planet - the Little Prince of the title - and his stories of intergalactic travel, while on the other hand it is a thought-provoking allegory of the human condition. First published in 1943, the year before the author's dea..
Folks, life is beautiful! Bring on the drinks, I'm sticking around till I'm ninety! Do you hear?' A young boy grows up in a sleepy Czech community where little changes. His raucous, mischievous Uncle Pepin came to stay with the family years ago, and never left. But the outside world is encroaching on their close-knit town - first in the shape of German occupiers, and then with the new Communist ..
Little Women is one of the best-loved children's stories of all time, based on the author's own youthful experiences. It describes the family life of the four March sisters living in a small New England community, Meg, the eldest, is pretty and wishes to be a lady; Jo, at fifteen is ungainly and unconventional with an ambition to be an author; Beth is a delicate child of thirteen with a taste fo..
'Rich or poor, we will keep together and be happy in one another.'
Christmas won't be the same this year for Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, as their father is away fighting in the Civil War, and the family has fallen on hard times. But though they may be poor, life for the four March sisters is rich with colour, as they play games, put on wild theatricals, make new friends, argue, grapple with their ..
‘Who could tell what forms, what visions, what faces, what forgiveness he could see in the glow of the west!’. Jim is a well-bred young romantic who takes to the seas with hopes of adventure and the aspiration to prove his mettle. When the boat he sails in threatens to sink, Jim abandons ship in fear in order to save himself, leaving the other passengers to their fate. However, the ship does not..
Lorna Doone, a Romance of Exmoor is an historical novel of high adventure set in the South West of England during the turbulent time of Monmouth's rebellion (1685). It is also a moving love story told through the life of the young farmer John Ridd, as he grows to manhood determined to right the wrongs in his land, and to win the heart and hand of the beautiful Lorna Doone. Continuously in pri..
These lively, varied and thought-provoking science-fiction stories (from the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells) are linked by their imposing central character, the pugnaciously adventurous and outrageous Professor Challenger. The Lost World (forebear of Jurassic Park) vividly depicts a perilous region in which the explorers confront creatures from the prehistoric era. The Poison Belt presents a..
Once it blooms, it changes everything. Love is uplifting, enlightening, transforming. In this timeless collection of more than 80 sonnets, William Shakespeare pays tribute to our most beautiful emotion. Read and share them with the one you love.
‘The thing came abruptly and unannounced; a demon, rat-like, scurrying from pits remote and unimaginable, a hellish panting and stifled grunting, and then from that opening beneath the chimney a burst of multitudinous and leprous life - a loathsome night-spawned flood of organic corruption more devastatingly hideous than the blackest conjurations of mortal madness and morbidity.’
Only the exp..
Lyrical Ballads (1798 and 1800) constituted a quiet poetic revolution, both in its attitude to its subject-matter and its anti-conventional language. Those volumes and Wordsworth's and Coleridge's other major poems were central to the Romantic period and remain classic texts in our own time.Wordsworth focuses on 'the essential passions of the heart' and achieves a penetrating i..
'Stars, hide your fires!
Let not light see my black and deep desires.'
One of Shakespeare's darkest and most violent tragedies, Macbeth's struggle between his own ambition and his loyalty to the King is dramatically compelling. As those he kills return to haunt him, Macbeth is plagued by the prophecy of three sinister witches and the power hungry desires of his wife.
In 1888 Henry James wrote 'There was the customary novel by Mr Le Fanu for the bedside; the ideal reading in a country house for the hours after midnight'. Madam Crowl's Ghost & Other Stories are tales selected from Le Fanu's stories which mostly appeared in The Dublin University Magazine and other periodicals, and their haunting, sinister qualities still have an enormous appeal for the mode..
Beautiful Emma Bovary dreams of love and riches but her marriage to Charles, a dull country doctor, is far from satisfying. In an attempt to escape the narrow confines of her life, she embarks on a series of passionate affairs, hoping to find the romantic ideal she always dreamed about in the arms of other men, but it soon becomes clear that she is hurtling towards tragedy . . .
Castigated for offending against public decency, Madame Bovary has rarely failed to cause a storm. For Flaubert's contemporaries, the fascination came from the novelist's meticulous account of provincial matters. For the writer, subject matter was subordinate to his anguished quest for aesthetic perfection. With an introduction and notes by Roger Clak. Coll. Wolrdsworth Classics
Chekhov's plays express life through subtle construction, everyday dialogue, and an electrically charged atmosphere. This collection includes Ivanov, The Sea Gull, Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, and The Cherry Orchard. Revised reissue.
‘I've worn that mask so long I don't feel safe without it’
The Man in the Iron Mask sees D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis return to meet their destinies in their final adventure. D’Artagnan still remains in the service of King Louis XIV while Aramis is a priest at the Bastille prison. Upon listening to a confession from an iron-masked prisoner who tells him that he is the twin brother of..
Martin Chuzzlewit is Charles Dickens' comic masterpiece about which his biographer, Forster, noted that it marked a crucial phase in the author's development as he began to delve deeper into the 'springs of character'. Old Martin Chuzzlewit, tormented by the greed and selfishness of his family, effectively drives his grandson, young Martin, to undertake a voyage to America. It ..
‘We're their slaves as long as we can work; we pile up their fortunes with the sweat of our brows, and yet we are to live as separate as if we were in two worlds…’.
Based in the industrial unrest of 1840s Manchester, Mary Barton is a factory-worker's daughter living a working-class life in Victorian England. She soon attracts the attentions of the mill-owner's son, Harry Carson, and in the ho..
Din momentul in care Henchard se imbata si isi vinde nevasta la un targ de la tara, viata I se schimba. Dupa 18 ani, sotia si fiica lui se intorc la Casterbridge si afla ca Henchard a devenit primar. Desi si-a petrecut viata incercand sa isi ispaseasca pacatul, Henchard a ramas un om brutal si impetuos. Hardy il portretizeaza ca pe un personaj tragic, incautarea iubirii si acceptarii lui de catr..
Edited, introduced and annotated by Cedric Watts, Research Professor of English, University of Sussex.
In the hope of saving her brother's life, should a woman submit to rape? Should the law be respected when its administrator is corrupt? How powerful in the state should religion become? Although Measure for Measure ends like a comedy, with reconciliations, forgiveness and marriages, it has o..
‘It is with a heavy heart that I take up my pen to write these the last words in which I shall ever record the singular gifts by which my friend Mr. Sherlock Holmes was distinguished.’
This collection of eleven stories depict Holmes and Watson at their very best and solving some of their most notorious cases, culminating in ‘The Final Problem’. In this infamous tale, Holmes comes face-to-face..
The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven’
Bassiano, a noble Venetian, hopes to woo the beautiful heiress Portia. However, he requires financial assistance from his friend Antonio. Antonio agrees, but he, in turn, must borrow from the Jewish moneylender Shylock. As recourse for past ills, Shylock stipulates that the forfeit on the loan must be a pound o..
A moving, raw and powerful novel about fighting on the front - 'The finest and noblest book of men in war that I have ever read'. (Ernest Hemingway). Bourne is a private fighting on the front. He is under pressure to accept a commission and become an officer, but he prefers to be among the ranks, drawn into the universal struggle for survival in a world gone mad. Manning's startling work is unli..
The novel, based on George Eliot's own experiences of provincial life, is a masterpiece of ambiguity in which moral choice is subjected to the hypocrisy of the Victorian age. With an introduction and notes by R. T. Jones. Coll. Wordsworth Classics
The young sailor Ishmael befriends a tattooed Polynesian harpooner named Queequeg, and finds himself aboard the Pequod, which is captained by the obsessive Captain Ahab. Not long after the voyage has begun, Ahab tells the crew about his secret plot to hunt down the whale that crippled him on a previous voyage, Moby Dick. The crew of the Pequod are also after as much sperm oil as their ship can c..
Moll Flanders follows the life of its eponymous heroine through its many vicissitudes, which include her early seduction, careers in crime and prostitution, conviction for theft and transportation to the plantations of Virginia, and her ultimate redemption and prosperity in the new World. Moll Flanders was one of the first social novels to be published in English and draws heavily on Defoe's exp..
epare to be shocked. This novel, written in 1796, is a Gothic festival of sex, magic and ghastly, ghostly violence rarely seen in literature. The Monk is remarkably modern in style and tells a breathless tale of temptation, imprisonment and betrayal. Matthew Lewis recounts the downfall of Ambrosio, the holier-than-thou monk seduced within the walls of a Madrid abbey until he heads for the utter ..
First published in 1898, 'Moonfleet' is a riveting adventure story full of drama, mystery, revenge, pursuit, smuggling, pirates and romance, with a place in the literary canon alongside 'Treasure Island' and 'Kidnapped'. The tiny village of Moonfleet nestles on the English coast, and every one of its inhabitants lives off the sea in one way or another. When local young man John Trenchard acciden..