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One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World''The best-loved book by our best-loved novelist' IndependentWith its 'light and bright and sparkling' dialogue, its romantic denouement and its lively heroine, Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen's most perennially popular novel. The love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, who misjudge, then challenge and change each other, is also a novel about the search for happiness and self- knowledge in a world of strict social rules, where a woman must marry well to survive.Edited with an introduction and notes by VIVIEN JONES
A timeless classic story, Louisa Alcotts Little Women is brought to life on this abridged, downloadable audiobook by Kate Harper. Meg is the eldest and on the brink of love. Then theres tomboy Jo who longs to be a writer. Sweet-natured Beth always puts others first, and finally theres Amy, the youngest and most precocious. Together they are the March sisters. Even though money is short, times are tough and their father is away at war, their infectious sense of fun sweeps everyone up in their adventures - including Laurie, the boy next door. And through sisterly squabbles, their happy times and sad ones too, the sisters discover that growing up is sometimes very hard to do.
With an introduction from Haifaa al-Mansour, director of Mary Shelley.There is something in my soul, which I do not understand.Written by a teenage girl, Frankenstein is one of literature's greatest Gothic horror stories.Now with a striking new cover, discover one of the books considered to be a pioneer of YA.-----Victor Frankenstein has made a terrible mistake. In his desperate pursuit to create life, he has created a monster.A monster which, abandoned by his master and shunned by everyone it meets, follows Dr Frankenstein to the very ends of the earth with horror and murder in its recycled heart.Shelly takes the reader on a journey through St Petersburg, to the beautiful Swiss Alps, to the desolate waste of the Arctic Circle, in a story that has sent a chill down the spines of generations.
Richard E Grant reads Bram Stoker's Dracula, one of the most powerful horror tales ever written, for Penguin Audiobooks.When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes a series of horrific discoveries about his client. Soon afterwards, various bizarre incidents unfold in England: an apparently unmanned ship is wrecked off the coast of Whitby; a young woman discovers strange puncture marks on her neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the 'Master' and his imminent arrival. In Dracula, Bram Stoker created one of the great masterpieces of the horror genre, brilliantly evoking a nightmare world of vampires and vampire hunters and also illuminating the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.
'Dostoyevsky's finest masterpiece' John BayleyDostoyevsky's great novel of damnation and redemption evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil, blur. It tells the story of Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, who wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be beyond conventional moral laws. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Translated with an Introduction and notes by DAVID McDUFF
'The masterwork of a great genius' William Makepeace ThackerayA novel of intense emotional power, heightened atmosphere and fierce intelligence, Jane Eyre dazzled and shocked readers with its passionate depiction of a woman's search for equality and freedom on her own terms. Its heroine Jane endures loneliness and cruelty in the home of her heartless aunt and the cold charity of Lowood School. Her natural independence and spirit prove necessary when she takes a position as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of a shameful secret forces her to make a terrible choice. Edited with an Introduction and notes by STEVIE DAVIES
Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading romances of chivalry that he determines to become a knight errant and pursue bold adventures, accompanied by his squire, the cunning Sancho Panza. As they roam the world together, the aging Quixote's fancy leads them wildly astray.
Intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class.
The epic tale of wrongful imprisonment, adventure and revenge, in its definitive translationThrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dant s is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to use the treasure to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas' epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s.Translated with an Introduction by ROBIN BUSS
'Her masterpiece, mixing the sparkle of her early books with a deep sensibility' Robert McCrum, ObserverAlthough described by Jane Austen as a character 'whom no one but myself will much like', the irrepressible Emma Woodhouse is one of her most beloved heroines. Clever, rich and beautiful, she sees no need for marriage, but loves interfering in the romantic lives of others, until her matchmaking plans unravel, with consequences that she never expected. Jane Austen's novel of youthful exuberance and gradual self-knowledge is a brilliant, sparkling comic masterpiece. Edited with an Introduction by FIONA STAFFORD
THE ODYSSEY retold by Geraldine McCaughrean is the epic journey of Odysseus, the hero of Ancient Greece...After ten years of war, Odysseus turns his back on Troy and sets sail for home. But his voyage takes another ten years and he must face many dangers - Polyphemus the greedy one-eyed giant, Scylla the six-headed sea monster and even the wrath of the gods themselves - before he is reunited with his wife and son.The Puffin Classics relaunch includes:A Little PrincessAlice's Adventures in WonderlandAlice's Adventures Through the Looking GlassAnne of Green GablesBlack BeautyHans Andersen's Fairy TalesHeidiJourney to the Centre of the EarthLittle WomenPeter PanTales of the Greek HeroesThe Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Adventures of King ArthurThe Adventures of Tom SawyerThe Call of the WildThe Jungle BookThe OdysseyThe Secret GardenThe Wind in the WillowsThe Wizard of OzTreasure Island
One of the BBC's '100 Novels that Shaped the World''Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past' Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the totalitarian world he lives in, which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party. In his longing for truth and liberty, Smith begins a secret love affair with a fellow-worker Julia, but soon discovers the true price of freedom is betrayal.George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty-Four is perhaps the most pervasively influential book of the twentieth century.
'The first great book, and the first great book about the suffering and loss of war' GuardianOne of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode in the Trojan War. At its centre is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, who refuses to fight after being humiliated by his leader Agamemnon. But when the Trojan Hector kills Achilles' close friend Patroclus, he storms back into battle to take revenge - knowing this will ensure his own early death. E. V. Rieu's acclaimed translation of The Iliad was one of the first titles published in Penguin Classics, and now has classic status itself.Originally translated by E. V. RIEU Revised and updated by PETER JONES with D. C. H. RIEU Edited with an Introduction and notes by PETER JONES
Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike, and soon brings jealousy and bitterness in its wake.
The abridged downloadable audiobook edition of Oscar Wildes classic tale of corrupted innocence and debauchery, The Picture of Dorian Gray, read by John Moffatt. Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The novel was a succs de scandale and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. It has lost none of its power to fascinate and disturb.
Explores the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence. In this title, the author produced poem of epic scale, conjuring up a cosmos and ranging across huge tracts of space and time, populated by a memorable gallery of grotesques.
The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged as well. Ignatius ignores them as he heaves his vast bulk through the city's fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him.
'A book that you don't just read, you live' Simon SchamaAt a glittering society party in St Petersburg in 1805, conversations are dominated by the prospect of war. Terror swiftly engulfs the country as Napoleon's army marches on Russia, and the lives of three young people are changed forever. The stories of quixotic Pierre, cynical Andrey and impetuous Natasha interweave with a huge cast, from aristocrats and peasants to soldiers and Napoleon himself. In War and Peace, Tolstoy entwines grand themes - conflict and love, birth and death, free will and faith - with unforgettable scenes of nineteenth-century Russia, to create a magnificent epic of human life in all its imperfection and grandeur.This Penguin Classics edition is translated with an introduction and notes by Anthony Briggs, with an afterword by Orlando Figes, author of A People's Tragedy: Russian Revolution 1891-1924.'A masterpiece ... This new translation is excellent' Anthony Beevor
On the Road swings to the rhythms of 1950s underground America, jazz, sex, generosity, chill dawns and drugs, with Sal Paradise and his hero Dean Moriarty, traveller and mystic, the living epitome of Beat. Now recognized as a modern classic, its American Dream is nearer that of Walt Whitman than Scott Fitzgerald, and it goes racing towards the sunset with unforgettable exuberance, poignancy and autobiographical passion.Contains an introduction by Ann Charters, as well as suggestions for further reading of acclaimed criticisms and references.
'His novels will endure as long as the language itself' Peter AckroydDickens's haunting late novel depicts the education and development of a young man, Pip, as his life is changed by a series of events - a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor - and he discovers the true nature of his 'great expectations'. This definitive edition includes appendices on Dickens's original ending, giving an illuminating glimpse into a great novelist at work.With an Introduction by DAVID TROTTER Edited and with notes by CHARLOTTE MITCHELL
'The wit of Jane Austen has for partner the perfection of her taste' Virginia WoolfJane Austen's subtle and witty novel of secrets and suppression, lies and seduction, brilliantly portrays a world where rigid social convention clashes with the impulses of the heart. It tells the story of two very different sisters who find themselves thrown into an unkind world when their father dies. Marianne, wild and impulsive, falls dangerously in love, while Elinor suffers her own private heartbreak but conceals her true feelings, even from those closest to her. Edited with an Introduction by ROS BALLASTER
A playful mock 'biography' of a chameleonic historical figure, immortal and ageless, who changes sex and identity on a whim.
A cultural landmark and the most shocking novel in the English language, Naked Lunch is an exhilarating ride into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. An unnerving tale of an addict unmoored in New York, Tangier, and ultimately a nightmarish wasteland known as Interzone, Naked Lunch's formal innovation, formerly taboo subject matter, and tour de force execution has exerted its influence authors like Thomas Pynchon and J. G. Ballard; on the relationship of art and obscenity; and on the shape of music, film, and media in general.
Huckleberry Finn had a tough life with his drunk father until an adventure with Tom Sawyer changed everything. But when Huck's dad returns and kidnaps him, he must escpe down the Mississippi river with runaway slave, Jim. They encounter trouble at every turn, from floods and gunfights to armed bandits and the long arm of the law. Through it all the friends stick together but can Huck and Tom free Jim from slavery once and for all?With an inspirational introduction by Darren Shan, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the twelve wonderful classic stories being relaunched in Puffin Classics in March 2008.
Describing Dante's descent into Hell midway through his life with Virgil as a guide, Inferno depicts a cruel underworld in which desperate figures are condemned to eternal damnation for committing one or more of seven deadly sins. As he descends through nine concentric circles of increasingly agonising torture, Dante encounters doomed souls including the pagan Aeneas, the liar Odysseus, the suicide Cleopatra, and his own political enemies, damned for their deceit. Led by leering demons, the poet must ultimately journey with Virgil to the deepest level of all. For it is only by encountering Satan, in the heart of Hell, that he can truly understand the tragedy of sin.
'Call me Ishmael.' So begins the author's masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imagination in literary history. As Ishmael is drawn into Captain Ahab's obsessive quest to slay the white whale Moby-Dick, he finds himself engaged in a metaphysical struggle between good and evil.
With an essay by Ronald Blythe.'I cannot allow any man to - to criticise my private conduct!' she exclaimed. 'Nor will I for a minute.'Hardy's powerful novel of swift sexual passion and slow-burning loyalty centres on Bathsheba Everdene, a proud working woman whose life is complicated by three different men - respectable farmer Boldwood, seductive Sergeant Troy and devoted Gabriel - making her the object of scandal and betrayal. Vividly portraying the superstitions and traditions of a small rural community, Far from the Madding Crowd shows the precarious position of a woman in a man's world.The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
'Every idiot who goes about with "e;Merry Christmas"e; on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding'Dickens's story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by a series of ghostly visitors, has had an enduring influence on the way we think about the season. Dickens's other Christmas writings collected here include 'The Story of the Goblins who Stole a Sexton'; 'The Haunted Man'; and shorter pieces, some drawn from the 'Christmas Stories' that Dickens wrote annually for his weekly journals. In all of them Dickens celebrates Christmas as a time of geniality, charity and remembrance.Edited with an introduction by MICHAEL SLATER