‘Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.’
One of Shakespeare’s most witty and enjoyable comedies, Much Ado About Nothing is a play that explores courtship, romance and marriage through a number of relationships. Most famously, that of the irrepressible Beatrice and Benedick as they trade their wits against one another, criticising the notion of marriage, yet slowly falling in love with one ..
From his precocious childhood to the end of what he calls his “amatory career,” an adventurous Victorian known only as “Walter” records a breathtaking carnal epic through hundreds of sexual encounters with one or more nursemaids, prostitutes, cousins, actresses, workingmen, and other men’s wives. In ruling everything sexual within the realm of possibility, Walter reveals “varied delights…whims a..
Dickens's final novel, left unfinished at his death, is a tale of mystery whose fast-paced action takes place in an ancient cathedral city and in some of the darkest places in nineteenth-century London. Drugs, sexual obsession, colonial adventuring and puzzles about identity are among the novel's themes. At the centre of the plot lie the baffling disappearance of Edwin Drood and the many..
The greatest French detective in his most fiendish case. Even if Hercule Poirot had been born a Frenchman, not a Belgian, he would have to take second place in detection to Joseph Rouletabille, the brilliant young sleuth created by Gaston Leroux.
Here, in his first and most baffling case, the eighteen year old reporter astounds readers with his audacity and ingenuity. Who could have tried to ..
One of his masterpieces ...without doubt a great novel' (Guardian).
One of Hermann Hesse's greatest novels, Narcissus and Goldmund is an extraordinary recreation of the Middle Ages, contrasting the careers of two friends, one of whom shuns life in a monastery and goes on the road, tangled in the extremes of life in a world dominated by sin, plague and war, the other staying in the monastery a..
‘It was unnecessary for all to perish, when, by the death of one, it was possible, and even probable, that the rest might be finally preserved.’
Travelling aboard a whaling vessel, a young stowaway is swept up in myriad misadventures – mutiny, shipwreck, cannibalism – narrowly escaping numerous brushes with death. This rousing story of a daring sea voyage also presents its antihero with a hos..
Stevenson published this collection of his early fiction in 1882, after the pieces had appeared in various magazines. The first half features two popular detective-story cycles, The Suicide Club and The Rajah's Diamonds, which deal with a macabre secret society and the intrigues and escapades involving exotic jewels. The second half brings together unrelated pieces, including the seminal 'The Pa..
Following the success of Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby was hailed as a comic triumph and firmly established Dickens as a 'literary gentleman'. It has a full supporting cast of delectable characters that range from the iniquitous Wackford Squeers and his family, to the delightful Mrs Nickleby, taking in the eccentric Crummles and his travelling players, the Mantalinis, the K..
‘His body was pressed against the wall at the head of the bed, and the face was a mask of agonised horror and fruitless entreaty. But the eyes were already glazed in death, and before Francis could reach the bed the body had toppled over and lay inert and lifeless. Even as he looked, he heard a limping step go down the passage outside.’
E. F. Benson was a master of the ghost story and now all..
Translated by Lee M. Hollander, with an Introduction by Thorsteinn Gylfason.
Njal's Saga is the finest of the Icelandic sagas, and one of the world's greatest prose works. Written c.1280, about events a couple of centuries earlier, it is divided into three parts: the first recounts the touching friendship between noble Gunnar and the statesman Njal, together with the fatal enmity between thei..
‘But the cloud never comes in that quarter of the horizon from which we watch for it.’
When Margaret Hale is uprooted from Hampshire and moves to the industrial town of Milton in the North of England, her whole world changes. As her sympathy for the town’s mill workers grows, her sense of social injustice piques and she passionately fights their corner. However, just as she disputes the mill ..
Catherine Morland is a young girl with a very active imagination. Her naivety and love of sensational novels lead her to approach the fashionable social scene in Bath and her stay at nearby Northanger Abbey with preconceptions that have embarrassing and entertaining consequences.
Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. During an eventful season at Bath, young, naive Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with..
‘Northanger Abbey! These were thrilling words, and wound up Catherine's feelings to the highest point of ecstasy.’
Considered the most light-hearted and satirical of Austen’s novels, Northanger Abbey tells the story of an unlikely young heroine Catherine Morland. While staying in Bath, Catherine meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor who invite her to their family estate, Northanger Abbey...
Nostromo is the only man capable of the decisive action needed to save the silver of the San Tome mine and secure independence for Sulaco, Occidental province of the Latin American state of Costaguana. Is his integrity as unassailable as everyone believes, or will his ideals, like those which have inspired the struggling state itself, buckle under economic and political pressures? Nostromo is an..
With an Introduction and Notes by David Rampton, Department of English, University of Ottowa.
Notes from Underground and Other Stories is a comprehensive collection of Dostoevsky’s short fiction. Many of these stories, like his great novels, reveal his special sympathy for the solitary and dispossessed, explore the same complex psychological issues and subtly combine rich characterization and..
A collection of powerful stories by one of the masters of Russian literature, illustrating Fyodor Dostoyevsky's thoughts on political philosophy, religion and above all, humanity.
From the primitive peasant who kills without understanding that he is destroying a human life, to the anxious antihero of Notes From Underground—a man who both craves and despises affection—this volume and its often-tor..
Homer's great epic, The Odyssey, is perhaps Western literature's first adventure story, and certainly remains one of its finest. It describes King Odysseus of Ithaca's epic, ten-year quest to return home after the Trojan War. He encounters giants, sorceresses, sea-monsters and sirens, while his wife Penelope is forced to resist the suitors who besiege her on Ithaca. Both an enchanting fairy tale..
‘Alas that mortals
Should blame the gods! From us, they say,
All evils come. Yet they themselves
It is who through defiant deeds
Bring sorrow on them-far more sorrow
Than fate would have them bear.’
Attributed to the blind Greek poet, Homer, The Odyssey is an epic tale about cunning and strength of mind. It takes its starting point ten years after the fall of the city of Troy and follows..
'Oliver Twist has asked for more!'
Fleeing the workhouse, Oliver finds himself taken under the wing of the Artful Dodger and caught up with a group of pickpockets in London. As he tries to free himself from their clutches he becomes immersed in the seedy underbelly of the Capital, amongst criminals, prostitutes and the homeless. Dickens scathing attack on the cruelness of Victorian Society fe..
Dickens had already achieved renown with The Pickwick Papers. With Oliver Twist his reputation was enhanced and strengthened. The novel contains many classic Dickensian themes - grinding poverty, desperation, fear, temptation and the eventual triumph of good in the face of great adversity. Oliver Twist features some of the author's most enduring characters, such as Oliver himself who dares to as..
On the eve of the Crimean War, the young, headstrong Yelena, the daughter of aristocratic Russian parents, falls in love with a revolutionary from Bulgaria named Insarov. Facing the wrath and disapproval of her family, Yelena abandons her home to follow Insarov to Bulgaria. Their fateful match sets in motion a series of tragic events which challenge notions of love, revolution and idealism.
On the Origin of Species outlines Charles Darwin's world-changing theory that life on Earth had not been brought into being by a creator, but had arisen from a single common ancestor and had evolved over time through the process of natural selection. Received with both enthusiasm and hostility on its publication, it triggered a seismic shift in our understanding of humanity's place in the natura..
Dramatic and powerful in its scope, Othello explores the perils of suspicion and jealousy and the ensuing breakdown of relationships and disaster that can arise from such emotions. Othello, a revered soldier, secretly marries Desdemona, the daughter of a Venetian senator, but is led to believe that she has been unfaithful to him by his ensign, Iago, leading to tragic events.
Our Mutual Friend, Dickens' last complete novel, gives one of his most comprehensive and penetrating accounts of Victorian society. Its vision of a culture stifled by materialistic values emerges not just through its central narratives, but through its apparently incidental characters and scenes.
The chief of its several plots centres on John Harmon who returns to England as his father's heir..
In poemul epic Paradisul pierdut, Milton spune povestea lui Satan care o ademeneste pe Eva sa manance din pomul cunoasterii, iar in Paradisul regasit arata cum Satan incearca sa il tenteze si pe Isus, dar da gres. Text integral, cu o introducere despre autor, opera si epoca, si cu un glosar de termeni.
The plays collected here follow: the journeys of Pericles, Prince of Tyre; the political and romantic betrayals of Cymbeline - a chieftain of ancient times; and a work based on Chaucer's The Knight's Tale.
Eight of the twelve tales in this book are from the master hand of Charles Perrault (1628-1703). Although Perrault enjoyed much distinction in the French literary circle of the late seventeenth century, his fame today rests upon his authorship of the traditional Tales of Mother Goose, or Stories of Olden Times. And it is true to say that as long as there are children to listen spellbound to the ..
‘She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.’
Written at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Persuasion is a tale of love, heartache and the determination of one woman as she strives to reignite a lost love.
Anne Elliot is persuaded by her friends and family to reject a marriage proposal from Captain Wentw..
The magical Peter Pan comes to the night nursery of the Darling children, Wendy, John and Michael. He teaches them to fly, then takes them through the sky to Never-Never Land, where they find Red Indians, wolves, Mermaids and... Pirates. The leader of the pirates is the sinister Captain Hook. His hand was bitten off by a crocodile, who, as Captain Hook explains 'liked me arm so much that he has ..
'Second to the right ...and then straight on till morning!' Desperate to hear bedtime stories, Peter Pan waits outside the nursery window of Wendy, John and Michael Darling. When Peter asks Wendy to fly with him to Neverland, the Darling children are whisked away to a world of adventure - of daring fairies, wondrous mermaids and The Lost Boys.But there is danger in Neverland too: the villainous ..
Strange things are going on at the Paris Opera House; a mysterious phantom - a skeleton in dinner dress - is wreaking havoc amongst the singers and backstage staff. But when new managers take over and dismiss the rumours of the Opera Ghost, the terror really begins. Who is the curious figure stalking the stage at night? How can he be in so many places at once, entering and leaving locked rooms a..
'Look! You want to see! See! Feast your eyes, glut your soul on my cursed ugliness! Look at Erik's face! Now you know the face of the voice!’
Living secretly beneath the Paris Opera House, 'The Phantom of the Opera', Erik has haunted those who work there with his demands and shrouded the opera house in fear with the legend of his disfigured face. When Christine joins the company, a young woma..
The Pickwick Papers is Dickens' first novel and widely regarded as one of the major classics of comic writing in English. Originally serialised in monthly instalments, it quickly became a huge popular success with sales reaching 40,000 by the final part. In the century and a half since its first appearance, the characters of Mr Pickwick, Sam Weller and the whole of the Pickwickian crew have ente..
'How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrid, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young… If it was only the other way!'
Wilde's first and only published novel recounts the story of handsome Dorian Gray who upon having his portrait painted desires that it will age and grow ugly while he may remain eternally beautiful. The painting, which reflects each of Gray's sins and transgres..
Wilde's only novel, first published in 1890, is a brilliantly designed puzzle, intended to tease conventional minds with its exploration of the myriad interrelationships between art, life, and consequence. From its provocative Preface, challenging the reader to believe in 'art for art's sake', to its sensational conclusion, the story self-consciously experiments with the notion of sin as an elem..
John Bunyan was variously a tinker, soldier, Baptist minister, prisoner and writer of outstanding narrative genius which reached its apotheosis in this, his greatest work. It is an allegory of the Christian life of true brilliance and is presented as a dream which describes the pilgrimage of the hero - Christian - from the City of Destruction via the Slough of Despond, the Hill of Difficulty, th..
THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, John Bunyan’s masterful religious allegory, narrates the journey of an everyman hero, Christian, as he attempts to navigate the trials and tribulations of this world, the City of Destruction, on the path towards paradise, the Celestial City. Though weighed down by the burden of original sin, Christian overcomes the distractions of the world, moving past the Slough of Desp..
‘But I am not like other boys! I always tell the truth.’
The story of Pinocchio has remained one of the best-loved children’s tales for over a century. However, the original 1883 novel about the adventures of the mischievous marionette on his quest to become a real boy began as a sophisticated story for both adults and children, and includes political satire, slapstick humour and questions ab..
Carved by Old Gepetto, Pinocchio has an enormous nose which grows even longer whenever he tells a lie. And Pinocchio is such a scamp that he gets into all sorts of mischief. He runs away and joins a circus but eventually the conscience of a talking cricket and Pinocchio's guardian fairy restore him to good behaviour, obedience and care for others. With illustrations by Charles Folkard. Coll. Wor..
MEET NATTY BUMPPO
The first volume in the famous Leatherstocking Tales, "The Pioneers" introduces Natty Bumppo, the quintessential American hunter and frontiersman who struggles to defend his cherished freedom.