We a good story
Quick delivery in the UK

Books in the Virago Modern Classics series

Filter
Filter
Sort bySort Series order
  • by Susanna Kaysen
    £9.49

    The bestselling book that inspired the cult classic film, Girl, Interrupted, starring Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie."e;Not since Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar has a personal account of life in a mental hospital achieved as much popularity and acclaim"e; TIME "e;Intelligent and painful"e; Guardian"e;Poignant, astonishing memoir"e; New York TimesIn 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she'd never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital to be treated for depression. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital renowned for its famous clientele - Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor and Ray Charles.A clear-sighted, unflinching work that provokes questions about our definitions of sane and insane, Kaysen's extraordinary memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers.

  • by Daphne Du Maurier
    £9.49 - 14.49

    Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .Working as a lady's companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . . Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.I am reminded of how profoundly du Maurier changed the way I felt about myself, how she engaged and excited me with her writing.

  • by Fran Lebowitz
    £9.99 - 15.99

  • by Jacqueline Susann
    £9.99

    *The ground-breaking cult classic and bestselling bestseller of all time!

  • by Simone de Beauvoir
    £12.99

    * This extraordinary novel, considered by many to be one of the finest examples of Simone de Beauvoir's imaginative writing, tells the story of a man doomed to immortality.

  • - I Know My Own Heart: The Inspiration for Gentleman Jack
    by Anne Lister
    £9.99

    ANNE LISTER IS THE INSPIRATION FOR GENTLEMAN JACK, A NEW BBC/HBO SERIES BY SALLY WAINWRIGHT, STARRING SURANNE JONES.'Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister's diaries are an indispensable read for anyone interested in the history of gender, sexuality, and the intimate lives of women' SARAH WATERS'The Lister diaries are the Dead Sea Scrolls of lesbian history; they changed everything. By resurrecting them and editing them with such loving attention and intelligence, Helena Whitbread has earned the gratitude of a whole generation' EMMA DONOGHUEWhen this volume of Anne Lister's diaries was first published in 1988, it was hailed as a vital piece of lost lesbian history. The editor, Helena Whitbread, had spent years painstakingly researching and transcribing Lister's extensive journals, much of which were written in an elaborate code - what Lister called her 'crypthand', which allowed her to record her life in intimate, and at times, explicit, detail. Until then, Anne Lister's lesbianism had been supressed or hinted at; this was the first time her story had been told. Anne Lister defied the role of nineteenth-century womanhood: she was bold, fiercely independent, a landowner, industrialist, traveller and lesbian - a woman who lived her life on her own terms.'[Anne Lister's] sense of self, and self-awareness, is what makes her modern to us. She was a woman exercising conscious choice. She controlled her cash and her body. At a time when women had to marry, or be looked after by a male relative, and when all their property on marriage passed to their husband, Anne Lister not only dodged the traps of being female, she set up a liaison with another woman that enhanced her own wealth and left both of them free to live as they wished . . . The diaries gave me courage' JEANETTE WINTERSONThese diaries include the years 1816-1824. The second volume, NO PRIEST BUT LOVE, is available in ebook.

  • by Beryl Markham
    £9.99

    WEST WITH THE NIGHT appeared on 13 bestseller lists on first publication in 1942. It tells the spellbinding story of Beryl Markham -- aviator, racehorse trainer, fascinating beauty -and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and 30s.Markham was taken to Kenya at the age of four. As an adult she was befriended by Denys Finch-Hatton, the big-game hunter of OUT OF AFRICA fame, who took her flying in his airplane. Thrilled by the experience, Markham went on to become the first woman in Kenya to receive a commercial pilot's license.In 1936 she determined to fly solo across the Atlantic -- without stopping. When Charles Lindbergh did the same, he had the wind behind him. Markham, by contrast, had a strong headwind against her and a plane that only flew up to 163 mph. On 4 September, she took off ... Several days later, she crash-landed in Nova Scotia and became an instant celebrity.

  • by Zora Neale Hurston
    £9.49 - 12.99

    Zora Neale Hurston's masterpiece is perhaps the most widely read and highly regarded novel in the entire canon of African American literature.

  • by Barbara Pym
    £9.49 - 12.99

    Mildred Lathbury is one of those 'excellent women' who is often taken for granted. She is a godsend, 'capable of dealing with most of the stock situations of life - birth, marriage, death, the successful jumble sales, the garden fete spoilt by bad weather'. As such, she often gets herself embroiled in other people's lives - especially those of her glamorous new neighbours, the Napiers, whose marriage seems to be on the rocks. One cannot take sides in these matters, though it is tricky, especially as Mildred, teetering on the edge of spinsterhood, has a soft spot for dashing young Rockingham Napier. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest and most touching.

  • by Marjorie Hillis
    £9.99

    Who can resist a book with chapters such as 'A Lady and Her Liquor', 'Pleasures of a Single Bed' and 'Solitary Refinement'? In this priceless gem from a more genteel age, Marjorie Hillis provides no-nonsense advice for the single-but-hoping-not-to-be woman. 'This book is no brief for living alone. Five out of ten of the people who do so can't help themselves, and at least three of the others are irritatingly selfish. But the chances are that at some time in your life, possibly only now and then between husbands, you will find yourself settling down to a solitary existence . . . The point is that there is a technique about living alone successfully, as there is about doing anything really well. Whether you view your one-woman menage as Doom or Adventure, you need a plan, if you are going to make the best of it'And, lest you worry about how to put all the advice into practice, every chapter includes a case study providing examples of women who heeded -- and women who disregarded -- these golden rules.

  • by Anonymous
    £9.99

    * A startling account of a German survivor of the Second World War. 'One of the most important personal accounts ever written about the effects of war and defeat' Antony Beevor 'One of the most extraordinary and moving books I have ever read' Antonia Fraser

  • by Daphne Du Maurier
    £9.49 - 12.99

    A tale of love and adventure on the high seas from the internationally bestselling author of RebeccaThe Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St Columb to be ripe for any folly, any outrage that will alter the tedium of her days. But there is another, secret Dona who longs for freedom, honest love - and sweetness, even if it is spiced with danger. To escape the shallowness of court life, Dona retreats to Navron, her husband's remote Cornish estate. There, she seeks peace in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. But she finds instead a daring pirate, hunted by all Cornwall, a Frenchman who, like Dona, would gamble his life for a moment's joy. Together, they embark upon a quest rife with danger and glory, one which bestows upon Dona the ultimate choice: sacrifice her lover to certain death or risk her own life to save him.

  • by Daphne Du Maurier
    £9.49

  • by Daphne Du Maurier
    £9.49 - 14.49

    Jamaica Inn is a first-rate page-turner. - The Times ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------After the death of her mother, Mary Yellan crosses the windswept Cornish moors to Jamaica Inn, the home of her Aunt Patience. There she finds Patience a changed woman, downtrodden by her domineering, vicious husband Joss Merlyn. The inn is a front for a lawless gang of criminals, and Mary is unwillingly dragged into their dangerous world of smuggling and murder. Before long she will be forced to cross her own moral line to save herself...

  • by Nora Ephron
    £9.49 - 14.49

    'I have bought more copies of this book to give to people, in a frenzy of enthusiasm, than any other . . . Heartburn is the perfect, bittersweet, sobbingly funny, all-too-true confessional novel' Nigella Lawson Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a 'neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb' is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes. Heartburn is a roller coaster of love, betrayal, loss and - most satisfyingly - revenge.This is Nora Ephron's (screenwriter of When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle) roman a clef: 'I always thought during the pain of the marriage that one day it would make a funny book,' she once said - And it is!Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

  • by Marilyn French
    £9.99

    A landmark in feminist literature, THE WOMEN'S ROOM is a biting social commentary of a world gone silently haywire. Written in the 1970s but with profound resonance today, this is a modern allegory that offers piercing insight into the social norms accepted blindly and revered so completely.'Today's "e;desperate housewives"e; eat your heart out! This is the original and still the best, a page-turner that makes you think. Essential reading' Kate Mosse'They said this book would change lives - and it certainly changed mine' Jenni Murray'Reading THE WOMEN'S ROOM was an intense and wonderful experience. It is in my DNA' Kirsty Wark'THE WOMEN'S ROOM took the lid off a seething mass of women's frustrations, resentments and furies; it was about the need to change things from top to bottom; it was a declaration of independence' OBSERVER

  • - A Virago Modern Classic
    by Patricia Highsmith
    £9.49

    'Edith's fall takes the form of a psychological chiller, but there is also something larger, the poignancy of her struggle not to go under. She is betrayed by such ordinary dreams' New York TimesEdith Howland's diary is her most precious possession, and as she is moving house she is making sure it's safe. A suburban housewife in fifties America, she is moving to Brunswick with her husband Brett and her beloved son, Cliffie, to start a new life for them all. She is optimistic, but most of all she has high hopes for her new venture with Brett, a local newspaper, the Brunswick Corner Bugle.Life seems full of promise, and indeed, to read her diary, filled with her most intimate feelings and revelations, you would never think otherwise. Strange, then, that reality is so dangerously different . . .

  • by Mary McCarthy
    £9.99 - 14.49

    THE GROUP follows eight graduates from exclusive Vassar College as they find love and heartbreak, forge careers, gossip and party in 1930s Manhattan.THE GROUP can be seen as the original SEX AND THE CITY. It is the first novel to frankly portray women's real lives, exploring subjects such as sex, contraception, motherhood and marriage.

  • by Anna Seghers
    £9.49

    INTRODUCED BY STUART EVERS: 'A genuine, fully fledged masterpiece of the twentieth century; one that remains just as terrifyingly relevant and truthful in the twenty-first'An existential, political, literary thriller first published in 1944, Transit explores the plight of the refugee with extraordinary compassion and insight. Having escaped from a Nazi concentration camp in Germany and a work camp in Rouen, the nameless narrator finds himself in the dusty seaport of Marseille. Along the way he was asked to deliver a letter to Weidel, a writer in Paris whom he discovered had killed himself as the Nazis entered the city. Now he is in search of the dead man's wife. He carries Weidel's suitcase, which contains an unfinished novel - and a letter securing Weidel a visa to escape France.Assuming the name Seidler - though the authorities think he is in fact Weidel - he goes from cafe to cafe looking for Marie, who is in turn anxiously searching for her husband. As Seidler converses with refugees over pizza and wine, their stories gradually break down his ennui, bringing him a deeper awareness of the transitory world they inhabit as they wait and wait for that most precious of possessions: transit papers.'This novel, completed in 1942, is in my opinion the most beautiful Seghers has written . . . almost flawless' - Heinrich Boll

  • by Miles Franklin
    £9.49

    Trapped on her parents' farm in the hardscrabble Australian outback, sixteen-year-old Sybylla Melvyn loves the bush but not the toil it brings. She longs for refinement, and most of all she longs to achieve great things.Suddenly she falls under the gaze of wealthy, handsome Harry Beecham . . . and finds herself choosing between the conventional path of marriage and her plans for a 'brilliant career'.

  • - A Virago Modern Classic
    by L. M. Montgomery
    £9.49

    There are two things in life Emily Starr is certain of - that she will be a great writer and that she and Teddy Kent were destined to be together. School is over and one by one her friends leave to follow their dreams, including Teddy, who goes to art school in Montreal. Emily chooses to stay at New Moon, and though she misses her friends, she knows the path of a writer is a solitary one.With each visit home Emily's friends seem more distant, especially Teddy. Desolate, but determined to hide her feelings, she throws herself into finishing her novel. When it is rejected, though, her confidence is shattered. To banish all thoughts of Teddy, Emily agrees to marry a man she doesn't love and give up on her dreams forever. But can she really have been so wrong about everything?

  • - A Virago Modern Classic
    by Mary Renault
    £8.99

    This brilliant retelling of the story of Theseus, the king of Athens, brings Greek mythology vividly to life and remains 'one of the truly fine historical novels of modern times' (The New York Times)Theseus is the grandson of the King of Troizen, but his paternity is shrouded in mystery - can he really be the son of the god Poseidon? When he discovers his father's sword beneath a rock, his mother must reveal his true identity: Theseus is the son of Aegeus, King of Athens, and is his only heir. So begins Theseus's perilous journey to his father's palace to claim his birthright, escaping bandits and ritual king sacrifice in Eleusis, to slaying the Minotaur in Crete. Renault reimagines the Theseus myth, creating an original, exciting story.'Mary Renault's portraits of the ancient world are fierce, complex and eloquent, infused at every turn with her life-long passion for the Classics. Her characters live vividly both in their own time, and in ours' (Madeline Miller, bestselling author of Circe)'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers' (Hilary Mantel, bestselling author of Wolf Hall)

  • - A Novel of Alexander the Great: A Virago Modern Classic
    by Mary Renault
    £9.49

    'The Alexander Trilogy contains some of Renault's finest writing. Lyrical, wise, compelling: the novels are a wonderful imaginative feat' SARAH WATERSIn the final novel of her stunning trilogy, Mary Renault vividly imagines the life of Alexander the Great, the charismatic leader whose drive and ambition created a legend.Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind an empire that stretched from Greece and Egypt to India. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C. his only direct heirs were two unborn sons and a simpleton half-brother. Every long-simmering faction exploded into the vacuum of power. Wives, distant relatives and generals all vied for the loyalty of the increasingly undisciplined Macedonian army. Most failed and were killed in the attempt. For no one possessed the leadership to keep the great empire from crumbling. But Alexander's legend endured to spread into worlds he had seen only in dreams.'Mary Renault is a shining light to both historical novelists and their readers. She does not pretend the past is like the present, or that the people of ancient Greece were just like us. She shows us their strangeness; discerning, sure-footed, challenging our values, piquing our curiosity, she leads us through an alien landscape that moves and delights us' - HILARY MANTEL'The Alexander Trilogy stands as one of the most important works of fiction in the 20th century . . . it represents the pinnacle of [Renault's] career . . . Renault's skill is in immersing us in their world, drawing us into its strangeness, its violence and beauty. It's a literary conjuring trick like all historical fiction - it can only ever be an approximation of the truth. But in Renault's hands, the trick is so convincing and passionately conjured' Antonia Senior, The Times

  • by Daphne Du Maurier
    £9.49

    A storyteller of cunning and genius - Sally Beauman Hungry Hill' is a passionate story told with du Maurier's unique gift for drama. It follows five generations of an Irish family and the copper mine on Hungry Hill to which their fortunes and fates are bound.'I tell you your mine will be in ruins and your home destroyed and your children forgotten . . . but this hill will be standing still to confound you.' So curses Morty Donovan when 'Copper John' Brodrick builds his mine at Hungry Hill. The Brodricks of Clonmere gain great wealth by harnessing the power of Hungry Hill and extracting the treasure it holds. The Donovans, the original owners of Clonmere Castle, resent the Brodricks' success, and consider the great house and its surrounding land theirs by rights.For generations the feud between the families has simmered, always threatening to break into violence . . .

  • - A Virago Modern Classic
    by Elizabeth Taylor
    £9.49

    INTRODUCED BY SARAH WATERS'Every one of her books is a treat and this is my favourite, because of its wonderful cast of characters, and because of the deftness with which Taylor's narrative moves between them ... A wonderful writer' SARAH WATERSIn the faded coastal village of Newby, everyone looks out for - and in on - each other, and beneath the deceptively sleepy exterior, passions run high. Beautiful divorcee Tory is secretly involved with her neighbour, Robert, while his wife Beth, Tory's best friend, is consumed by the worlds she creates in her novels, oblivious to the relationship developing next door. Their daughter Prudence is aware, however, and is appalled by the treachery she observes. Mrs Bracey, an invalid whose grasp on life is slipping, forever peers from her window, constantly prodding her daughters for news of the outside world. And Lily Wilson, a lonely young widow, is frightened of her own home. Into their lives steps Bertram, a retired naval officer with the unfortunate capacity to inflict lasting damage while trying to do good.'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' - ELIZABETH BOWEN'Always intelligent, often subversive and never dull, Elizabeth Taylor is the thinking person's dangerous housewife. Her sophisticated prose combines elegance, icy wit and freshness in a stimulating cocktail' - VALERIE MARTIN'A magnificent and underrated mid-20th-century writer, the missing link between Jane Austen and John Updike' - DAVID BADDIEL

  • by Antonia White
    £9.49

    'Frost in May is the unsurpassed novel of convent school life. This story of a clash between a determined young girl and an authoritarian regime is both perceptive and painfully emotional, convincing in every detail' - Hermione Lee, ObserverWith a new introduction by Tessa HadleyNanda Gray, the daughter of a Catholic convert, is nine when she is sent to the Convent of Five Wounds. Quick-witted, resilient and eager to please, she accepts this closed world where, with all the enthusiasm of the outsider, her desires and passions become only those the school permits. Her only deviation from total obedience is the passionate friendships she makes.Convent life is perfectly captured - the smell of beeswax and incense; the petty cruelties of the nuns; the eccentricities of Nanda's school friends.Books in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

  • by Barbara Pym
    £8.99

    Formidable Miss Doggett fills her life by giving tea parties to young academics and acting as watchdog of the morals of North Oxford. Anthea, her great-niece, is in love with a dashing upper-class undergraduate with political ambitions. Of this, Miss Doggett thoroughly approves. Anthea's father, however, an Oxford don, is tired of his marriage and carrying on in the most unseemly fashion with his student Barbara Bird - they have been spotted together at the British Museum! Miss Doggett isn't aware, though, that under her very own roof the lodging curate has proposed to her paid companion Miss Morrow. She wouldn't approve of that at all.

  • by Elizabeth Von Arnim
    £9.49 - 12.99

    A discreet advertisement in 'The Times', addressed to 'Those who Apppreciate Wisteria and Sunshine...' is the impetus for a revelatory month for four very different women. High above the bay on the Italian Riviera stands San Salvatore, a mediaeval castle. Beckoned to this haven are Mrs. Wilkins, Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester, each quietly craving a respite. Lulled by the Mediterranean spirit, they gradually shed their skins and discover a harmony each of them has longed for but never known.First published in 1922 and reminscient of 'Elizabeth and her German Garden', this delightful novel is imbued with the descriptive power and light-hearted irreverence for which Elizabeth von Arnin is renowned.

  • by Angela Carter
    £9.49

    I know nothing. I am a tabula rasa, a blank sheet of paper, an unhatched egg. I have not yet become a woman, although I possess a woman's shape. Not a woman, no: both more and less than a real woman. Now I am a being as mythic and monstrous as Mother herself . . . 'New York has become the City of Dreadful Night where dissolute Leilah performs a dance of chaos for Evelyn. But this young Englishman's fate lies in the arid desert, where a many-breasted fertility goddess will wield her scalpel to transform him into the new Eve.

  • - A Virago Modern Classic
    by Patricia Highsmith
    £9.49

    'These little tales are tremendous fun, glorious hand grenades lobbed at the reader by a gleeful, cackling Patricia Highsmith' Dan Rhodes Little Tales of Misogyny is Highsmith's legendary, cultish short-story collection. With an eerie simplicity of style, Highsmith turns our next-door neighbours into sadistic psychopaths, lying in wait among white picket fences and manicured lawns. In these darkly satirical, often hilarious, sketches you'll meet seemingly familiar women with the power to destroy both themselves and the men around them. 'The No.1 Greatest Crime Writer' The Times

Join thousands of book lovers

Sign up to our newsletter and receive discounts and inspiration for your next reading experience.