Thomas Gradgrind believes that facts and money are more important than feelings and imagination. After Cissy Jupe a circus child is left alone in the world, Gradgrind takes her into his house, looking after her and teaching her facts with his own children Tom and Louisa. Some years later the Gradgrind family meets hard times. Louisa becomes a prisoner in a loveless marriage, and Tom has problems at work. In the end, Thomas Gradgrind learns the importance of feelings and imagination.
Charles Dickens - Karácsonyi ének
A szőrösszívű Scrooge úr, a -zaklató, szipolyozó, zsugori, kapzsi vén bűnös-, akinek a karácsony is csak olyan nap, mint a többi, dühvel és megvetéssel nézi az emberek ünnepi készülődését. Kidobja a karácsonyi énekeket kántáló koldus kisfiút és a szegényeknek gyűjtő úriembert egyaránt, kiszipolyozott írnokát is felmondással fenyegeti. Este, hazatérve magányos házába jelenést lát: meglátogatja Marley, rég halott üzlettársa, s bejelenti három további szellem érkezését. Az első a régi karácsonyok szelleme, aki végigvezeti Scrooge urat saját hajdani életén, s elfelejtett, fájó emlékeket elevenít föl benne. A második az új karácsony szelleme, aki felnyitja Scrooge szemét a körülötte élők sorsára, nyomorúságára és vidámságára, szenvedéseikre és emberségükre. Végül a harmadik, a jövő szelleme megmutatja neki saját, ijesztő, magányos halálát. Scrooge urat a jelenések új emberré teszik: más szemmel kezdi látni a világot, karácsonyi pulykát küld írnoka családjának, ellátogat megvetett unokaöccséhez, s jó barát, jó gazda, jó szomszéd válik belőle. Dickensnek ez az 1843-ban írt kis tanmeséje már az érett mester keze nyomát viseli magán: remekmű, melynek nem hervad a népszerűsége sem.
Charles Dickens - Hard Times
Coketown is dominated by the figure of Mr Thomas Gradgrind, school headmaster and model of Utilitarian success. Feeding both his pupils and family with facts, he bans fancy and wonder from any young minds. As a consequence his obedient daughter Louisa marries the loveless businessman and ‘bully of humanity’ Mr Bounderby, and his son Tom rebels to become embroiled in gambling and robbery. And, as their fortunes cross with those of free-spirited circus girl Sissy Jupe and victimized weaver Stephen Blackpool, Gradgrind is eventually forced to recognize the value of the human heart in an age of materialism and machinery. This edition of Hard Times is based on the text of the first volume publication of 1854. Kate Flint’s introduction sheds light on the frequently overlooked character interplay in Dickens’s great critique of Victorian industrial society.
Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist (angol)
One of Dickens’s most popular novels, Oliver Twist is the story of a young orphan who dares to say, "Please, sir, I want some more." After escaping from the dark and dismal workhouse where he was born, Oliver finds himself on the mean streets of Victorian-era London and is unwittingly recruited into a scabrous gang of scheming urchins. In this band of petty thievesOliver encounters the extraordinary and vibrant characters who have captured readers’ imaginations for more than 150 years: the loathsome Fagin, the beautiful and tragic Nancy, the crafty Artful Dodger, and perhaps one of the greatest villains of all time—the terrifying Bill Sikes. Rife with Dickens’s disturbing descriptions of street life, the novel is buoyed by the purity of the orphan Oliver. Though he is treated with cruelty and surrounded by coarseness for most of his life, his pious innocence leads him at last to salvation—and the shocking discovery of his true identity.
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings
After reading Christmas Carol, the notoriously reculsive Thomas Carlyle was "seized with a perfect convulsion of hospitality" and threw not one but two Christmas dinner parties. The impact of the story may not always have been so dramatic but, along with Dickens other Christmas writings, it has had a lasting and significant influence upon our ideas about the Christmas spirit, and about the season as a time for celebration, charity, and memory.
George Eliot - Middlemarch (angol)
Often called the greatest nineteenth-century British novelist, George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans) created in Middlemarch a vast panorama of life in a provincial Midlands town. At the story’s center stands the intellectual and idealistic Dorothea Brooke—a character who in many ways resembles Eliot herself. But the very qualities that set Dorotheaapart from the materialistic, mean-spirited society around her also lead her into a disastrous marriage with a man she mistakes for her soul mate. In a parallel story, young doctor Tertius Lydgate, who is equally idealistic, falls in love with the pretty but vain and superficial Rosamund Vincy, whom he marries to his ruin. Eliot surrounds her main figures with a gallery of characters drawn from every social class, from laborers and shopkeepers to the rising middle class to members of the wealthy, landed gentry. Together they form an extraordinarily rich and precisely detailed portrait of English provincial life in the 1830s. But Dorothea’s and Lydgate’s struggles to retain their moral integrity in the midst of temptation and tragedy remind us that their world is very much like our own. Strikingly modern in its painful ironies and psychological insight, Middlemarch was pivotal in the shaping of twentieth-century literary realism.
Jane Austen - Persuasion
At twenty-seven, Anne Elliot is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she had been persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. What happens when they encounter each other again is movingly told in Jane Austen's last completed novel. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, "Persuasion" is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all, it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.
Jane Austen - Sense and Sensibility
"I could hardly keep my seat." Spirited and impulsive, Marianne Dashwood is the complete opposite to her controlled and sensible sister, Elinor. When it comes to matters of the heart, Marianne is passionate and romantic and soon falls for the charming, but unreliable Mr Willoughby. Elinor, in contrast, copes stoically with the news that her love, Edward Ferrars is promised to another. It is through their shared experiences of love that both sisters come to learn that the key to a successful match comes from finding the perfect mixture of rationality and feeling.
Jane Austen - Mansfield Park
Jane Austen views the social mores of her day through Fanny Price, a shy and sweet-tempered girl adopted by wealthy relations. An outsider looking in on an unfamiliar and often inhospitable world, Fanny eventually wins the affection of her benefactors, endearing herself to the Bertram family and the audience alike.
Jane Austen - Northanger Abbey
Harper Collins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. '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. A fan of Gothic Romance novels, naive Catherine is soon letting her imagination run wild in the atmospheric abbey, fuelled by her friendship with the vivacious Isabella Thorpe. It is only when the realities of life set in around her that Catherine's fantastical world is shattered. A coming-of-age novel, Austen expertly parodies the Gothic romance novels of her time and reveals much about her unsentimental view of love and marriage in the eighteenth century.
Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass
This edition contains _Alice's Adventures in Wonderland_ and its sequel _Through the Looking-Glass_. It is illustrated throughout by Sir John Tenniel, whose drawings for the books add so much to the enjoyment of them. Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen and the White Rabbit all make their appearances, and are now familiar figures in writing, conversation and idiom. So too, are Carroll's delightful verses such as The Walrus and the Carpenter and the inspired jargon of that masterly Wordsworthian parody, The Jabberwocky.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Mary Barton
Mary Barton, subtitled 'A Tale of Manchester Life', is the first novel by Mrs Gaskel. The entirely working-class cast of characters in this novel was then an innovation. The background story is Manchester in the 'hungry forties' and the acute poverty of the unemployed mill-hands. Mary Batson, daughter of an embittered worker, wins the attention of Henry Carson, son of one of the employers. But a group of workmen plot his murder as a warning to his class, and it falls upon Mary's father to perform the deed. Suspicion lies with Mary's working class admirer, Jem, who is tried for his life. Finally, John Barton is driven by guilt to confess.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
The Collector's Library in Colour takes the favourite illustrated titles of The Collector's Library and presents them in full colour. Jane Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions. Here, where Hugh Thomson's delightful period illustrations were originally black-and-white, they have been sensitively coloured by Barbara Frith, one of Britain 's most accomplished colourists. A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice shows how the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the aristocratic Mr Darcy must have their pride humbled and their prejudices dissolved before they can acknowledge their love for each other." With an Afterword by Henry Hitchings.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Cranford (angol)
As for Cranford in general, it was going on much as usual. First published in serial format, 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 Matty and Miss Deborah as they gossip about the inconsequential goings-on of the community, Gaskell's best-loved work affectionately comments on the role of women in society at that time and documents the changing face of a bygone Victorian provincial idyll.
Charles Dickens - David Copperfield (angol)
'Please, Mr Murdstone! Don't beat me! I've tried to team my lessons, really I have, sir!' sobs David. Although he is only eight years old, Mr Murdstone does beat him, and David is so frightened that he bites his cruel stepfather's hand. For that, he is kept locked in his room for five days and nights, and nobody is allowed to speak to him. As David grows up, he learns that life is full of trouble and misery and cruelty. But he also finds laughter and kindness, trust and friendship... and love.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Cousin Phillis
"Cousin Phillis" (1864) is a novel by Elizabeth Gaskell. It was published in four parts, though a fifth and sixth part were planned. The story is about Paul Manning, a youth of seventeen who moves to the country and befriends his mother's family and his (second) cousin Phillis Holman, who is confused by her own placement at the edge of adolescence. Most critics agree that Cousin Phillis is Gaskell's crowning achievement in the short novel. The story is uncomplicated; its virtues are in the manner of its development and telling. Cousin Phillis is also recognized as a fitting prelude for Gaskell's final and most widely acclaimed novel, Wives and Daughters, which ran in Cornhill Magazine from August 1864 to January 1866.
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
This engrossing tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge's ghostly journeys through Christmases past, present, and future and his ultimate transformation from a harsh and grasping old miser to a charitable and compassionate human being. A perennial classic that has become as much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Észak és Dél
A "Phillis" és az "Édesek és mostohák" után életművének meghatározó darabjával, a televíziós sorozatból is ismert "Észak és Dél" című regénnyel folytatódik az angol romantikus irodalom közkedvelt írónője -Elizabeth Gaskell- bemutatása. Észak- és Dél-Anglia világa között aligha tátongott akkora szakadék, mint a 19. században. A délangol vidékek háborítatlan békéjében a puritán helstone-i lelkészlak ember és természet mesevilága volt. Itt cseperedett hölggyé Margaret Hale, a hajdan csillogó életről álmodott egykori szépség és a szerény, lelkiismeretes, ám gyámoltalan lelkész leányaként. Mások gondozására, s így közmegbecsülésre épülő életük egy csapásra semmivé lesz, amikor az apa megvallja megingását az egyházban. Lelkiismereti okokból föladja hivatalát, s ezzel véget vet a család délvidéki idilljének. Költözni kényszerülnek, s a lombzúgásos, madárfüttyös vidéki életből meg sem állnak a füstös-kormos, arctalan munkástömegekben hullámzó Miltonig. Észak-Anglia az ipar és a technikai forradalom zajos világa, amelyben a tőke és munka játssza a főszerepet. De hogyan boldogul ebben az embertelen világban a szépreményű, idealista lelkészleány? Hogyan tanulja meg levetkőzni előítéleteit, s elfogadni az északi élet farkastörvényeit, a munka parancsát, és nem utolsósorban a halál szigorát. Meglátja-e a kíméletlen iparváros rejtett szépségeit, és megtalálja-e az utat, amelyen a különös, idegen, de mégis figyelemre méltó textilgyárosig, John Thorntonig eljuthat? Az egyetlen átjárót Észak és Dél között: a szerelem hídját?