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George Orwell was an inveterate keeper of diaries. Eleven diaries are presented here, and we know there may be two more from his time in Spain hidden away in the NKVD Archives in Moscow. Covering the period 1931-1949, this volume follows Orwell from his early years as a writer up to his last literary notebook.
His Hop-Picking Diary covers some of Orwell's time spent down and out; a wonderful entry from 1931 tells of a communal shave in the Trafalgar Square fountains. The notes from his travels through industrial England, which formed the basis of The Road to Wigan Pier, show the development of the gifted young novelist and impassioned social commentator. 'Frightful landscape of slag-heaps and belching chimneys.[...] Beards of ice on lock gates.' This same acute power of observation is evident in his diaries from Morocco, where he also encountered extreme poverty. We catch a glimpse of a different Orwell at home. His domestic diaries chart the progress of his garden and animals with a keen eye, from the succinct, 'Pig active again.' to the more poetic, 'One of the plants that carries the snow most beautifully is lavender.'
The wartime diaries make fascinating reading, from descriptions of events overseas, to the daily violence closer to home and his astute perspective on the politics of both. Orwell offers a different take on the typical view of the home front. 'War is simply a reversal of civilised life, its motto is "Evil be thou my good", and so much of the good of modern life is actually evil that it is questionable whether on balance war does harm.'
The diaries provide a new and entirely refreshing insight into Orwell's character and help towards an understanding of his great works.
Published: 3 Sep 2009
'It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.' This is the opening sentence of the most influential novel of the twentieth century, in English or in any of the sixty or more other languages which boast a translation. Nineteen Eighty-Four has been described as chilling, absorbing, satirical, momentous, prophetic and terrifying. It is all these things, and more.
Not only does the novel have a ferocious impact, it has also made an irreplaceable contribution to the language - Newspeak, Thought Police, Unperson and Doublethink are just a few of the concepts it introduced. Nineteen Eighty-Four proved to be Orwell's last book - the physical effort of typing up the final draft leading to his eventual collapse from the TB that had dogged his later years. He lived long enough to see it become an immediate bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic.
This edition, with an introduction by the distinguished novelist Robert Harris, marked the sixtieth anniversary of this great work's publication.
Published: 2 Jul 2009
The Arabian Nights - stories told by Queen Shahrazad over a thousand and one nights, to beguile the Sultan into deferring her execution - first began to appear in the West in the early 18th century, firing in the European imagination an appetite for the mysterious and exotic which has never left it. Collected over centuries from Persia and Arabia and India, and ranging from vivacious erotica, animal fables and adventure fantasies to pointed Sufi teaching tales, they provided the daily entertainment of the medieval Islamic world at the height of its glory.
English translations soon proliferated. Early ones were taken from Antoine Galland’s French version, but later scholars went back to the Arabic text and it is on three classic 19th-century translators – Richard Burton, Edward W. Lane and John Payne - that this anthology principally draws. It celebrates their role in bringing these stories to the centre of world literature, for they were subsequently retranslated into many other languages, including Chinese.
This collection showcases the richness and artistry of these English translations and to allow them to speak for the cultural context in which they were made. It is of academic importance in that it provides an alternative and more positive history of Orientalism, and reflects the history of Arabic Studies in Europe and North America and the ways in which they have fashioned the debate around Arabic literature and the translation of Arabic literary texts. It will also serve as a textbook for World Literature programmes and courses in the Anglophone world.
But above all its timeless tales, its stories within stories, continue to fascinate and enchant, and the variety of translations used can only add to the pleasure of the general reader. The new Everyman edition has been beautifully designed to give something of the flavour of the first editions and includes elegant illustrations by the popular early Victorian engraver and designer, William Harvey.
Published: 31 Mar 2014
Rumpelstiltskin is part of the enduringly popular Well-Loved Tales fairy tales series from Ladybird, first published in 1964. Even today, Well-Loved Tales are still beloved by adults and children alike.
First released in 1968, this beautiful book has been specially re-published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ladybird Books in 2015. Complete with stunning dust jacket, this limited edition facsimile copy of the original book by Vera Southgate has all the beautiful, memorable pictures that people remember, now available for a new generation to fall in love with.
Published: 4 Jun 2015
First published in 1964, Well-loved Tales: Cinderella is surely one of the most beloved of all Ladybird books. The evocative illustrations of Cinderella in her beautiful ball gowns, the fairy godmother, the stepsisters and the handsome prince are fondly remembered by many and it remains a childhood favourite.
Now, the original Well-loved Tales: Cinderella has been reissued to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication. With text by Vera Southgate and the same beautiful Eric Winter illustrations as everyone remembers, this classic Ladybird book is now available for a new generation to treasure.
Published: 3 Oct 2013
Vera Southgate (Author)
Rapunzel is part of the enduringly popular vintage Well-loved Tales fairy tales series from Ladybird. Even today, Ladybird's Well-loved Tales are still beloved by adults and children alike.
First published in 1968, this beautiful book has been specially re-released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ladybird Books in 2015. Complete with stunning dust jacket, this limited edition facsimile copy of the original book by Vera Southgate has all the beautiful, memorable pictures that people remember, now available for a new generation to fall in love with.
Published: 6 Nov 2014
Published: 26 Jun 2014
Vera Southgate (Author)
The Three Little Pigs is part of the enduringly popular Well-Loved Tales fairy tales series from Ladybird. Even today, Well-Loved Tales are still beloved by adults and children alike.
First published in 1965, this beautiful book has been specially re-released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ladybird Books in 2015. Complete with stunning dust jacket, this facsimile copy of the original book written by Vera Southgate and illustrated by Robert Lumley has all the beautiful, memorable pictures that people remember, now available for a new generation to fall in love with.
Published: 3 Sep 2015
The Elves and the Shoemaker is part of the enduringly popular Well-loved Tales fairy tales series from Ladybird.
Even today, Well-loved Tales are still beloved by adults and children alike.
First published in 1965, this beautiful book has been specially re-released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ladybird Books in 2015. Complete with stunning dust jacket, this limited edition facsimile copy of the original book by Vera Southgate has all the beautiful, memorable pictures that people remember, now available for a new generation to fall in love with.
Published: 5 Mar 2015
'In early 1998 I went to Perth in Western Australia in order to attend the literature festival, and part of the arrangement was that I should go to Karratha to do their first ever literary dinner. Karratha is a mining town a long way further north. The landscape is extraordinary, being composed of vast heaps of dark red earth and rock poking out of the never-ending bush. I imagine that Mars must have a similar feel to it.
I went exploring and discovered the bronze statue to Red Dog outside the town of Dampier. I felt straight away that I had to find out more about this splendid dog. A few months later I returned to Western Australia and spent two glorious weeks driving around collecting Red Dog stories and visiting the places that he knew, writing up the text as I went along. I hope my cat never finds out that I have written a story to celebrate the life of a dog.' Louis de Bernieres
The day Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison opened the Whistle Stop Cafe, the town took a turn for the better. It was the Depression and that cafe was a home from home for many of us. You could get eggs, grits, bacon, ham, coffee and a smile for 25 cents. Ruth was just the sweetest girl you ever met. And Idgie? She was a character, all right. You never saw anyone so headstrong. But how anybody could have thought she murdered that man is beyond me.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a mouth-watering tale of love, laughter and mystery. It will lift your spirits and above all it'll remind you of the secret to life: friends.
The path to adulthood is littered with broken relationships.
In the suburbs of 1920s Chicago two boys form an unlikely friendship. Spud Latham is slow at school but quick to fight and a natural athlete - Lymie Peters, thin, pigeon-chested and terrible at games, is devoted to him. As they graduate from school to college, tensions start to surface. It is Lymie who first meets Sally Forbes, but it is Spud she falls in love with. This signals the end of their friendship and the rift is almost more than Lymie can bear.
The third novel in the epic Masters of Rome series.
Fortune's Favourites witnesses the power, mastery and cunning of two enigmatic rulers of Rome - Sulla, returning from exile, and the 22-year-old Pompey, who designates himself Magnus 'the Great'. And in the background is the young soldier, Caesar, who begins to show the expert qualities that will one day culminate in him becoming an unparalleled leader of ancient Rome. And at the heart of this sumptuous tale is the unforgettable story of Spartacus and his doomed slave revolt - the true story, as no modern reader has ever before encountered it.
Published: 7 Aug 2003
Wilkie Collins (Author) , Matthew Sweet (Edited by), Matthew Sweet (Introducer)
Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, the first Victorian 'sensation novel' and one of the earliest mystery novels in English, weaves multiple narratives into a thrilling and suspenseful tale of mistaken identity and dark desires. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with notes and an introduction by Matthew Sweet.
The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright's eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter is drawn into the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his 'charming' friend Count Fosco, the 'Napoleon of crime', who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.
Matthew Sweet's introduction explores the phenomenon of Victorian 'sensation' fiction, and discusses Wilkie Collins's biographical and societal influences. Included in this edition are appendices on theatrical adaptations of the novel and its serialisation history.
Wilkie Collins (1824-1889) was born in London in 1824, the eldest son of the landscape painter William Collins. In 1846 he was entered to read for the bar at Lincoln's Inn, where he gained the knowledge that was to give him much of the material for his writing. From the early 1850s he was a friend of Charles Dickens, who produced and acted in two melodramas written by Collins, The Lighthouse and The Frozen Deep. Of his novels, Collins is best remembered for The Woman in White (1859), No Name (1862), Armadale (1866) and The Moonstone (1868).
If you enjoyed The Woman in White, you might like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet, also available in Penguin Classics.
Vera Southgate (Author)
The Ladybird Book of Football is a gem from the Ladybird vintage archive.
First published in 1964, this is a classic Ladybird hardback book, packed with information about football for all ages. This new edition, published to mark the European Football Championship, is exactly the same as the original, with a dust jacket and beautifully reproduced images.
Published: 3 May 2012
One winter's night, a snowman comes to life and an unforgettable adventure begins. Raymond Briggs' favourite classic is a true piece of Christmas magic - narrated entirely through pictures, it captures the wonder and innocence of childhood and is now recognised throughout the world.
This beautiful hardback edition is the perfect gift for all Snowman fans.
Published: 1 Oct 2015
This beautiful hardback Ladybird Classic edition of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a perfect first illustrated introduction to the classic story for younger readers.
It has been sensitively abridged and retold to make it suitable for sharing with young children from 5+, whilst retaining all the key parts of the story, including the mysterious, locked secret garden. Detailed full-colour illustrations throughout also help to bring this classic tale to life.
Other exciting titles in the Ladybird Classics series include Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, Gulliver's Travels, Oliver Twist and Treasure Island.
Jonathan Swift (Author) , Ciaran Duffy (Illustrator)
This beautiful hardback Ladybird Classic edition of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift is a perfect first illustrated introduction to the classic story for younger readers.
It has been sensitively abridged and retold to make it suitable for sharing with young children from 5+, whilst retaining all the key parts of Gulliver's travels and adventures in the strange lands of Lilliput and Brobdingnag. Detailed full-colour illustrations throughout also help to bring this classic tale to life.
Other exciting titles in the Ladybird Classics series include Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden, Oliver Twist and Treasure Island.
Published: 1 Sep 2016