Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most popular works of English fiction. Although Charlotte Brontë’s heroine is outwardly plain, she possesses an indomitable spirit, and great courage. Forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order which circumscribes her life when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic Mr Rochester.
Villette is based on Charlotte Brontë’s personal experience as a teacher in Brussels. It is a moving tale of repressed feelings and cruel circumstances borne with heroic fortitude. Rising above the confinement of a rigid social order, it is also a story of a woman’s right to love and be loved.
Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë’s wild, passionate tale of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and, wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, he leaves Wuthering heights. When he returns years later as a wealthy man, he proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.
Agnes Grey, Ann Brontë’s deeply personal novel, is a trenchant expose of the frequently isolated, intellectually stagnant and emotionally starved conditions under which many governesses worked in the mid-nineteenth century.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall shows Ann Brontë’s bold, naturalistic and passionate style. It is a powerful and sometimes violent novel of expectation, love, oppression, sin and betrayal. It portrays the disintegration of the marriage of Helen Huntingdon, the mysterious ‘tenant’ of the title, and her dissolute, alcoholic husband.
Jane Austen - The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
This book contains the complete novels of Jane Austen in the chronological order of their original publication. - Lady Susan - Sense and Sensibility - Pride and Prejudice - Mansfield Park - Emma - Persuasion - Northanger Abbey - The Watsons - Sanditon
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.
Emily Brontë - Wuthering Heights
Is Mr. Heathcliff a man? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil?' Heathcliff, an orphan, wild and unkempt, is taken in by Mr Earnshaw and raised as his son at Wuthering Heights on the bleak Yorkshire moors. He is drawn to Earnshaw's daughter Catherine, and as the pair grow up together they become bound by an intense and passionate love. But when Catherine's father dies, Heathcliff is condemned to servitude, and social disparity drives a wedge between them that will eventually become their downfall.
Anne Brontë - Agnes Grey (angol)
When her family becomes impoverished after a disastrous financial speculation, Agnes Grey determines to find work as a governess in order to contribute to their meagre income and assert her independence. But Agnes' enthusiasm is swiftly extinguished as she struggles first with the unmanageable Bloomfield children and then with the painful disdain of the haughty Murray family; the only kindness she receives comes from Mr Weston, the sober young curate. Drawing on her own experience, Anne Bronte's first novel offers a compelling personal perspective on the desperate position of unmarried, educated women for whom becoming a governess was the only respectable career open in Victorian society.
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.
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.
Charlotte Brontë - Villette (angol)
In shaping Villette, as with Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontё drew upon her own life. Her heroine, Lucy Snowe, possesses neither beauty nor fortune, but her cool demeanour belies a passionate heart. Friendless and alone in the world, she takes up a position at a girls' school in Brussels presided over by the indomitable Madame Beck. There she falls under the spell of the vain, irascible and noble-hearted professor, M. Paul Emanuel. Seldom has the ebb and flow of a love affair been portrayed so harrowingly and movingly. In its wit and flashes of poetry, its depth and originality of character, for many readers Villette is Charlotte Brontё's crowning achievement.
Jane Austen - Emma (angol)
Jane Austen teased readers with the idea of a 'heroine whom no one but myself will much like', but Emma is irresistible. 'Handsome, clever, and rich', Emma is also an 'imaginist', 'on fire with speculation and foresight'. She sees the signs of romance all around her, but thinks she will never be married. Her matchmaking maps out relationships that Jane Austen ironically tweaks into a clearer perspective. Judgement and imagination are matched in games the reader too can enjoy, and the end is a triumph of understanding.
Charles Dickens - Great Expectations
Great Expectations charts the progress of Pip from childhood through often painful experiences to adulthood, as he moves from the Kent marshes to busy, commercial London, encountering a variety of extraordinary characters ranging from Magwitch, the escaped convict, to Miss Havisham, locked up with her unhappy past and living with her ward, the arrogant, beautiful Estella. Pip must discover his true self, and his own set of values and priorities. Whether such values allow one to prosper in the complex world of early Victorian England is the major question posed by Great Expectations, one of Dickens's most fascinating, and disturbing, novels.
Thomas Hardy - Jude the Obscure
Hardy's masterpiece traces a poor stonemason's ill-fated romance with his free-spirited cousin. No Victorian institution is spared -- marriage, religion, education -- and the outrage following publication led the embittered author to renounce fiction. Modern critics hail this novel as a pioneering work of feminism and socialist thought.
Frances Hodgson Burnett - A Little Princess
Sara Crewe is a very rich little girl. She first comes to England when she is seven, and her father takes her to Miss Minchin's school in London. Then he goes back to his work in India. Sara is very sad at first, but she soon makes friends at school. But on her eleventh birthday, something terrible happens, and now Sara has no family, no home, and not a penny in the world...
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.
Charlotte Brontë - Shirley (angol)
Shirley is Charlotte Brontë's only historical novel and her most topical one. Written at a time of social unrest, it is set during the period of the Napoleonic Wars, when economic hardship led to riots in the woollen district of Yorkshire. A mill-owner, Robert Moore, is determined to introduce new machinery despite fierce opposition from his workers; he ignores their suffering, and puts his own life at risk. Robert sees marriage to the wealthy Shirley Keeldar as the solution to his difficulties, but he loves his cousin Caroline. She suffers misery and frustration, and Shirley has her own ideas about the man she will choose to marry. The friendship between the two women, and the contrast between their situations, is at the heart of this compelling novel, which is suffused with Brontë's deep yearning for an earlier time.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Readers)
Classics / British English Mrs. Bennet wants all her daughters to marry. When a rich young man comes to the village, Mrs. Bennet thinks he will make a wonderful husband. Does her daughter Elizabeth love this man? What about her other daughters?
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.
Charlotte Brontë - Evelyn Attwood - Jane Eyre (Penguin Readers)
This is Charlotte Bronte's powerful story of a young woman struggling to make a life for herself. Jane Eyre is a poor young teacher who works for the rich and mysterious Mr. Rochester. At first Jane has little to do with her employer, but she soon finds herself falling in love with him. Rochester loves Jane too, but he has a terrible secret from his past. Tragedy follows when Jane learns the truth. Will their love survive?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes - The Complete Illustrated Short Stories
This handsome collection contains all fifty-six short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle about the world's most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes. The stories were originally published to widespread acclaim in The Strand Magazine, London's most celebrated illustrated periodical, between 1891 and 1927; they are still just as popular today. These fascinating tales of Holmes's deductive genius will enthrall every armchair sleuth but will also fascinate those readers who simply enjoy an exciting adventure mystery. This collected edition of the Sherlock Holmes short stories is enhanced by original illustrations from The Strand Magazine.
William Makepeace Thackeray - Vanity Fair
"Ah! Vanitas Vanitatum! Which of us is happy in this world? Which of us has his desire? or, having it, is satisfied?" —Vanity Fair A bewitching beauty who bends men to her will using charm, sex, and guile. An awkward man who remains loyal to his friends, even when those friends don't deserve his affection. A mother who cannot get over the loss of her husband and devotes her life to her child. Though written in 1847-48, William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair is peopled by types who remain familiar today. The novel's early nineteenth-century setting immerses us in a strange world of social stratification, moral strictures, and self-conscious sentiment. Yet its characters—from dissolute playboys and self-important heirs to judgmental aunts and finicky gourmands—are instantly recognizable. None of the novel's characters is more memorable than Becky Sharp, one of Victorian literature's most remarkable creations. While Thackeray's narrator takes pains to expose Becky's subterfuges and to insinuate sexual immorality and even murder, we cannot help but admire her intelligence and élan. Alone among the novel's major characters, she is not content to live out the life she was born into—that of a governess. Lacking money and family, she uses the only tools at her disposal, sex and cunning, to seek advancement in the world. Her success in gaining entrée to society's most exclusive circles, despite the hostility of her husband's family and a chronic lack of cash, is a testament to Becky's audacity and brilliance, her ultimate downfall notwithstanding. Thackeray juxtaposes Becky's story with that of Amelia Osborne, the naïve, sentimental daughter of a wealthy merchant who goes bankrupt partway through the book. Her artless modesty and devotion to her first love, the good-for-nothing George Osborne, contrast sharply with Becky's amoral machinations and social climbing. Yet as a paragon of womanhood, Amelia also falls short. Her passivity, her maudlin illusions, and her selfish exploitation of William Dobbin, a man who devotes his life to her, make her less than completely sympathetic; near the end of the book, Dobbin himself declares that he has wasted his life in pursuit of someone who is not worthy. Dobbin alone comes through the book with dignity. He is, as Thackeray declares, a true gentleman. But in the end, having achieved what he long sought—marriage to Amelia—Dobbin too is disillusioned, fonder of his daughter and his History of the Punjab than he is of his wife, though he would never admit as much. Thackeray interweaves the stories of these three main characters into an exuberant narrative that's chockablock with indelible secondary characters and cynical aperçus that illuminate all manner of human folly. His withering gaze lands on both lords and ladies, exposing the mean-spirited pretensions and craving for distinction that permeate the whole social world. By placing the social skirmishes and family clashes of his characters against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, Vanity Fair invites us to contemplate the pervasiveness of human strife—and the damage that our egotism and self-delusion do every day.