Penguin Classics

New and forthcoming

The Anatomy of Melancholy

Robert Burton (and others)

A new Penguin Classics edition of Burton's masterpiece - ostensibly a guidebook to melancholia or depression, in reality an all-encompassing examination of the human condition.

The Anatomy of Melancholy is the vast and only work by Robert Burton, the seventeenth-century English priest and scholar. It 'opens and cuts up' the condition of melancholy, or depression as we know it today, and in doing so explores a dizzying range of additional topics including goblins, beauty, the geography of America, digestion, the passions, alcohol and kissing. Burton believed that reading was a cure for melancholy, and so the book itself - one of the most unique and uncategorisable works of all time - can be seen as a tonic for the very condition it describes.

Maigret and the Tramp

Georges Simenon (and others)

When a tramp is recovered from the Seine, after being badly beaten, Maigret must delve into the man's personal circumstances to figure out just who wanted to kill him.

Penguin is publishing the entire series of Maigret novels in new translations. This novel has been published in previous translations as Maigret and the Dosser and Maigret and the Bum.

'Compelling, remorseless, brilliant' John Gray

'One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequalled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories' Guardian

'A supreme writer . . . unforgettable vividness' Independent

My Ántonia

Willa Cather

The final novel in the Great Plains trilogy, this is a celebration of the American midwest with Cather's strongest heroine at its heart

Jim and Ántonia meets as children in the wide open plains of Nebraska at the end of the nineteenth century. Jim leaves for college and a career in the east, while Ántonia stays at home, dedicating herself to her farm and family. As the years roll by, Jim will come to view Ántonia as the embodiment of the prairie itself - tough, spirited and enduring, despite the hardness and loneliness of pioneer life. Willa Cather's beautiful novel is a celebration of the Nebraskan prairie she loved she much, and a powerful depiction of a pivotal era in the making of America.

The Constant Gardener

John le Carré

Tessa Quayle has been horribly murdered on the shores of Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya, the birthplace of mankind. Her putative African lover, a doctor with one of the aid agencies, has disappeared.

Her husband, Justin, a career diplomat and amateur gardener at the British High Commission in Nairobi, sets out on a personal odyssey in pursuit of the killers and their motive. His quest takes him to the Foreign Office in London, across Europe and Canada and back to Africa, to the depths of South Sudan, and finally to the very spot where Tessa died.

On his way Justin meets terror, violence, laughter, conspiracy and knowledge. But his greatest discovery is the woman he barely had time to love.

Single & Single

John le Carré

A corporate lawyer from the House of Single & Single is shot dead in cold blood on a Turkish hillside. A children's entertainer in Devon is hauled to his local bank late at night to explain a monumental influx of cash. A Russian freighter is arrested in the Black Sea. A celebrated London financier has disappeared into thin air. A British customs officer is on a trail of corruption and murder. The logical connection of these events is one of the many pleasures of this extraordinary new novel of love, deceit and the triumph of humanity. Single and Single is a thrilling journey of the human heart - intimate, magical and riotous, revealing le Carré at the height of his dramatic and creative powers.

The Hopkins Manuscript

R. C. Sherriff

New to Penguin Classics, this is the funny and deeply moving story of the apocalypse - as seen from one small village in England

Self-important and more or less friendless, retired teacher Edgar Hopkins lives for the thrill of winning poultry prizes. But his narrow world is shattered when he discovers that the moon is about to coming crashing to the earth with probably apocalyptic consequences. The manuscript he leaves behind will be a testament - to his growing humanity and to how one English village prepared for the end of the world...

Written in 1939 as the world was teetering on the brink of global war, R. C. Sherriff's tragicomic novel is a classic work of science fiction, an elegy for a lost way of life, and a powerful warning from the past.

The Naive and Sentimental Lover

John le Carré

Aldo Cassidy is the naive and sentimental lover. A successful, judicious man, he is wrenched away from the ordered certainties of his life by a sudden encounter with Shamus, a wild, carousing artist and Helen, his nakedly alluring wife.

Cassidy, plunged into a whirlpool of recklessness and spontaneity, becomes a man bewildered and agonised as he is torn between two poles of a nature more complex than he had ever imagined.

The Honourable Schoolboy

John le Carré

It is a beleaguered and betrayed Secret Service that has been put in the care of George Smiley. A mole has been uncovered at the organisation's highest levels - and its agents across the world put in grave danger. But untangling the traitor's web gives Smiley a chance to attack his Russian counterpart, Karla. And part-time spy Jerry Westerby is the weapon at Smiley's disposal.

The Honourable Schoolboy is remarkable and thrilling, one of three books (together with Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Smiley's People) to feature the legendary clash between Smiley and Karla, two brilliant spymasters on opposite sides of the Cold War.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

John le Carré

George Smiley, who is a troubled man of infinite compassion, is also a single-mindedly ruthless adversary as a spy.

The scene which he enters is a Cold War landscape of moles and lamplighters, scalp-hunters and pavement artists, where men are turned, burned or bought for stock. Smiley's mission is to catch a Moscow Centre mole burrowed thirty years deep into the Circus itself.

Absolute Friends

John le Carré

The friends of the title are Ted Mundy, a British soldier's son born in 1947 in a newly independent Pakistan, and Sasha, the refugee son of an East German Lutheran pastor and his wife who have sought sanctuary in the West.

The two men meet first as students in riot-torn West Berlin of the late Sixties and again in the grimy looking-glass of Cold War espionage. When they meet once more, in today's unipolar world of terror, counter-terror and the war of lies, they become involved in clandestine activities - with lethal results.

Absolute Friends is a superbly paced novel spanning fifty-six years, a theatrical masterstroke of tragi-comic writing, and a savage fable of our times.

Classics you can read in one sitting