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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 - 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.
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 - 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.
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 - 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.
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.
Charles Dickens - Hard Times (Oxford Dominoes)
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 - 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.
E. M. Forster - Howards End
"Only connect," Forster's key aphorism, informs this novel about an English country house, Howards End, and its influence on the lives of the wealthy and materialistic Wilcoxes; the cultures, idealistic Schlegel sisters; and the poor bank clerk Leonard Bast. Bringing together people from different classes and nations by way of sympathetic insight and understanding, Howards End eloquently adresses the question "Who shall inherit England?" (Lionel Trilling)
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.
Agatha Christie - The ABC Murders
There’s a serial killer on the loose, murdering his victims in alphabetical order. As a macabre calling card he leaves beside each victim’s corpse the ABC Railway Guide open at the name of the town where the murder has taken place. With the whole country in a state of panic, and growing more confident with each successful execution – Mrs Ascher in Andover, Betty Barnard in Bexhill, Carmichael Larke in Churston – the murderer’s trail of deliberate clues taunts the proud Poirot. Which might just be his first mistake… ‘A masterwork of carefully concealed artifice… most stunningly original.’ Julian Symons
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.
Hunter S. Thompson - The Rum Diary
Packed with all the self-destructive excess his fans have come to expect, Thompson's long-lost semiautobiographical first novel is a tangled love story of jealousy, treachery, and alcoholic lust set in the 1950s boomtown of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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.
Joanne Harris - Sleep, Pale Sister
Sleep, Pale Sister, a powerful, atmospheric and blackly gothic evocation of Victorian artistic life, was originally published before Joanne Harris achieved worldwide recognition with Chocolat. Henry Chester, a domineering and puritanical Victorian artist, is in search of the perfect model. In nine-year-old Effie he finds her. Ten years later, lovely, childlike and sedated, Effie seems the ideal wife. But something inside her is about to awaken. Drawn into a dangerous underworld of prostitution, murder and blackmail, she must finally plan her revenge.
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 - Ruth
A young orphan, Ruth Hilton, is seduced and then abandoned by the wealthy Henry Bellingham. She is left to bring up her child in a society that offers her no protection and seems to punish such innocence. Taken in by a Dissenting minister in the guise of a widow, she is given a chance to bring up her son whom she loves above all else. But the condemnation of society always threatens, and despite Ruth's rejection of his belated offer of marriage, Bellingham's reappearance precipitates her exposure and rejection. Only her heroic self-sacrifice in the midst of a cholera epidemic regains her her position, but too late. This was a crusading novel when it was published in 1853, and aroused almost as much censure for its shocking scenes as it did sympathy for the heroine.
C. S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia
"Like his fellow genius, Tolkien, C. S. Lewis has redefined the nature of fantasy, adding richness, beauty, and dimension. ... In our times, every fantasy realm must be measured in comparison with Narnia." — Lloyd Alexander Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil — what more could any reader ask for in one book? The book that has it all is _The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe_, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis. But Lewis did not stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as _The Chronicles of Narnia_. ___For the past fifty years, _The Chronicles of Narnia_ have transcended the fantasy genre to become part of the canon of classic literature. Each of the seven books is a masterpiece, drawing the reader into a world where magic meets reality, and the result is a fictional world whose scope has fascinated generations. ___This edition presents all seven books — unabridged - in one impressive volume.