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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
All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others. Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organized to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges . . . Animal Farm the history of a rebellion that went wrong is George Orwell s brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power.
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.
'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
Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach ... Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby - young, handsome, fabulously rich - always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.Contains explanatory notes and an introduction written by Tony Tanner.
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.
'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
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 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.
'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
'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
'All human beings, as we meet them, are commingled out of good and evil: and Edward Hyde, alone in the ranks of mankind, was pure evil'Published as a 'shilling shocker', Robert Louis Stevenson's dark psychological fantasy gave birth to the idea of the split personality. The story of respectable Dr Jekyll's strange association with 'damnable young man' Edward Hyde; the hunt through fog-bound London for a killer; and the final revelation of Hyde's true identity is a chilling exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil.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.
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.
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.
A haunting Modernist masterpiece and the inspiration for Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning film Apocalypse Now, Heart of Darkness explores the limits of human experience and the nightmarish realities of imperialism. Conrad's narrator Marlow, a seaman and wanderer, recounts his physical and psychological journey in search of the infamous ivory trader Kurtz: dying, insane, and guilty of unspeakable atrocities. Travelling upriver to the heart of the African continent, he gradually becomes obsessed by this enigmatic, wraith-like figure. Marlow's discovery of how Kurtz has gained his position of power over the local people involves him in a radical questioning, not only of his own nature and values, but also those of western civilisation. Part of a major series of new editions of Conrad's most famous works in Penguin Classics, this volume contains Conrad's Congo Diary, a chronology, further reading, notes, a map of the Congo, a glossary and an introduction discussing the author's experiences in Africa, the narrative and symbolic complexities of Heart of Darkness and critical responses to the novel.Edited with an introduction by Owen Knowles'Seems to reach into the heart of Conrad himself' Peter Ackroyd
Visiting Florence with her cousin Charlotte as a chaperone, Lucy Honeychurch meets the unconventional, lower-class Mr Emerson and his son, George. Upon her return to England, Lucy becomes engaged to the supercilious Cecil Vyse, but she finds herself increasingly torn between the expectations of the world and the yearnings of her heart.
Shipwrecked and cast adrift, Lemuel Gulliver wakes to find himself on Lilliput, an island inhabited by little people, whose height makes their quarrels over fashion and fame seem ridiculous. His subsequent encounters - with the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the philosophical Houyhnhnms and brutish Yahoos - give Gulliver new, bitter insights into human behaviour. Swift's savage satire views mankind in a distorted hall of mirrors as a diminished, magnified and finally bestial species, presenting us with an uncompromising reflection of ourselves.
Penguin Classics presents Thomas Hardys moving epic Tess of the DUrbervilles, available as an abridged downloadable audiobook read by Eleanor Bron. When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy DUrbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her cousin Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. With its sensitive depiction of the wronged Tess and powerful criticism of social convention, Tess of the DUrbervilles is one of the most moving and poetic of Hardys novels.
The abridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Jane Austens classic tale of love and loss, Persuasion. Read by the actress Geraldine McEwan. At 27, 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 Austens 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.
Peter Pan and Tinkerbell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland - the island where the lost boys play. Magic and mischief is in the air but if villainous Captain Hook has his way, before long someone will be swimming with the crocodiles.
Could the sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville have been caused by gigantic ghostly hound that is said to have haunted his family for generations? Arch-rationalist Sherlock Holmes characteristically dismisses the theory as nonsense, and sends Dr Watson to Devon to protect the Baskerville heir and observe the suspects at close hand.
Between the First World War and the Wall Street Crash the French Riviera was the stylish place for wealthy Americans to visit. Among the most fashionable are the Divers, Dick and Nicole who hold court at their villa. Into their circle comes Rosemary Hoyt, a film star, who is instantly attracted to them, but understands little of the dark secrets and hidden corruption that hold them together. As Dick draws closer to Rosemary, he fractures the delicate structure of his marriage and sets both Nicole and himself on to a dangerous path where only the strongest can survive. In this exquisite, lyrical novel, Fitzgerald has poured much of the essence of his own life; he has also depicted the age of materialism, shattered idealism and broken dreams.
With an essay by J. I. M. Stewart.'Every night as I gazed up at the window I said softly to myself the word paralysis. It had always sounded strangely in my ears ... But now it sounded to me like the name of some maleficent and sinful being. It filled me with fear, and yet I longed to be nearer to it and to look upon its deadly work'From a child grappling with the death of a fallen priest, to a young woman's dilemma over whether to elope to Argentina with her lover, to the dance party at which a man discovers just how little he really knows about his wife, these fifteen stories bring the gritty realism of existence in Joyce's native Dublin to life. With Dubliners, James Joyce reinvented the art of fiction, using a scrupulous, deadpan realism to convey truths that were at once blasphemous and sacramental.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.
With an essay by Alfred Kazin.'The frail gunwales bent in, collapsed, and snapped, as both jaws, like an enormous shears, sliding further aft, bit the craft completely in twain...'Moby-Dick is one of the most expansive feats of imagination in the whole of literature: the mad, raging, Shakespearean tale of Captain Ahab's insane quest to kill a giant white whale that has taken his leg, and upon which he has sworn vengeance, at any cost. A creation unlike any other, this is an epic story of fatal monomania and the deepest dreams and obsessions of mankind.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.
'A work of glorious intelligence and literary devices . . . Nonsense becomes a form of higher sense' Malcolm Bradbury'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole . . . without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Lewis Carroll, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' to entertain a young girl. His dream worlds of nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig, time is abandoned at a disordered tea-party and a seven-year-old girl is made Queen. But amongst the anarchic humour and sparkling word play, puzzles and riddles, are poignant moments of nostalgia for lost childhood. Edited with an Introduction and notes by Hugh Haughton
'The power of Dickens is so amazing, that the reader at once becomes his captive' WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAYThe story of the orphan Oliver, who runs away from the workhouse to be taken in by a den of thieves, shocked readers with its depiction of a dark criminal underworld peopled by vivid and memorable characters - the arch-villain Fagin, the artful Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes and the prostitute Nancy. Combining elements of Gothic romance, the Newgate novel and popular melodrama, Oliver Twist created an entirely new kind of fiction, scathing in its indictment of a cruel society and pervaded by an unforgettable sense of threat and mystery.Edited with an Introduction and notes by PHILIP HORNE