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Coming Up for Air

George Orwell (Author)

George Orwell's paean to the end of an idyllic era in British history, Coming Up for Air is a poignant account of one man's attempt to recapture childhood innocence as war looms on the horizon.

George Bowling, forty-five, mortgaged, married with children, is an insurance salesman with an expanding waistline, a new set of false teeth - and a desperate desire to escape his dreary life. He fears modern times - since, in 1939, the Second World War is imminent - foreseeing food queues, soldiers, secret police and tyranny. So he decides to escape to the world of his childhood, to the village he remembers as a rural haven of peace and tranquillity. But his return journey to Lower Binfield may bring only a more complete disillusionment ...

'Very funny, as well as invigoratingly realistic ... Nineteen Eighty-Four is here in embryo. So is Animal Farm ... not many novels carry the seeds of two classics as well as being richly readable themselves'
John Carey, Sunday Times

Orwell and Politics

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Edited by)

Orwell's classic satire ANIMAL FARM continues to be an international best seller. For the first time ever, ORWELL AND POLITICS brings this major work together with the author's other works exploring the nature of politics and the Second World War.

The Complete Novels of George Orwell

George Orwell (Author)

George Orwell's best-known novels, Animal Farm, describing a revolution that goes horribly wrong, and Nineteen Eighty-Four, portraying a world where human freedom has been crushed, are two of the most famous, well-quoted and influential political satires ever written. The other novels in this volume also tell stories of people at odds with repressive institutions: the corrupt imperialism of Burmese Days, disaffection with materialistic society in Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the perils of modern suburban living in Coming Up for Air and surviving on the streets in A Clergyman's Daughter.

All the novels brought together here display Orwell's humour, his understanding of human nature and his great compassion.

Animal Farm

George Orwell (Author)

'The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which...'

Halas & Bachelor studio's classic and controversial 1954 animation of Animal Farm, George Orwell's chilling fable of idealism betrayed, was the first ever British animated feature film. This landmark illustrated edition of Orwell's novel was first published alongside it, and features the original line drawings by the film's animators, Joy Batchelor and John Halas.

A Clergyman's Daughter

George Orwell (Author)

Intimidated by her father, the rector of Knype Hill, Dorothy performs her submissive roles of dutiful daughter and bullied housekeeper. Her thoughts are taken up with the costumes she is making for the church school play, by the hopelessness of preaching to the poor and by debts she cannot pay in 1930s Depression England. Suddenly her routine shatters and Dorothy finds herself down and out in London. She is wearing silk stockings, has money in her pocket and cannot remember her name. Orwell leads us through a landscape of unemployment, poverty and hunger, where Dorothy's faith is challenged by a social reality that changes her life.

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Notes by)

Gordon Comstock loathes dull, middle-class respectability and worship of money. He gives up a 'good job' in advertising to work part-time in a bookshop, giving him more time to write. But he slides instead into a self-induced poverty that destroys his creativity and his spirit. Only Rosemary, ever-faithful Rosemary, has the strength to challenge his commitment to his chosen way of life. Through the character of Gordon Comstock, Orwell reveals his own disaffection with the society he once himself renounced.

Enlivened with vivid autobiographical detail, George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying is a tragically witty account of the struggle to escape from a materialistic existence, with an introduction by Peter Davison in Penguin Modern Classics.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell (Author)

'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.

The Penguin English Library - collectable general readers' editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century to the end of the Second World War.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell (Author)

This is the essential edition of the essential book of modern times, 1984, now annotated for students with an introduction by D. J. Taylor.

Ever since its publication in 1949, George Orwell's terrifying vision of a totalitarian regime where Big Brother controls its citizens like 'a boot stamping on a human face' has become a touchstone for human freedom, and one of the most widely-read books in the world. In this new annotated edition Orwell's biographer D. J. Taylor elucidates the full meaning of this timeless satire, explaining contemporary references in the novel, placing it in the context of Orwell's life, elaborating on his extraordinary use of language and explaining the terms such as Newspeak, Doublethink and Room 101 that have become familiar phrases today.

Animal Farm

George Orwell (Author) , Malcolm Bradbury (Introducer)

'All animals are equal - but some are more equal than others'

When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless élite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another.

'It is the history of a revolution that went wrong - and of the excellent excuses that were forthcoming at every step for the perversion of the original doctrine,' wrote Orwell for the first edition of Animal Farm in 1945. Orwell wrote the novel at the end of 1943, but it almost remained unpublished; its savage attack on Stalin, at that time Britain's ally, led to the book being refused by publisher after publisher. Orwell's simple, tragic fable has since become a world-famous classic.

This Penguin Modern classics edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury.

Burmese Days

George Orwell (Author) , Emma Larkin (Introducer)

Based on his experiences as a policeman in Burma, George Orwell's first novel presents a devastating picture of British colonial rule. It describes corruption and imperial bigotry in a society where, 'after all, natives were natives - interesting, no doubt, but finally ... an inferior people'. When Flory, a white timber merchant, befriends Indian Dr Veraswami, he defies this orthodoxy. The doctor is in danger: U Po Kyin, a corrupt magistrate, is plotting his downfall. The only thing that can save him is membership of the all-white Club, and Flory can help. Flory's life is changed further by the arrival of beautiful Elizabeth Lackersteen from Paris, who offers an escape from loneliness and the 'lie' of colonial life.

George Orwell's first novel, inspired by his experiences in the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, Burmese Days includes a new introduction by Emma Larkin in Penguin Modern Classics.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Jules Verne (Author) , Peter Cogman (Edited by), Jane Smiley (Introducer), Frank Wynne (Translator)

Jules Verne's wild and riotous fantasy Journey to the Centre of the Earth delves into the hidden mysteries of a vast, uncharted subterranean world. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the French by Frank Wynne with an introduction by Jane Smiley and notes by Peter Cogman.

Jules Verne's pioneering science fiction classic tells the story of the distinguished but eccentric Professor Lidenbrock, who finds a scrap of parchment in an old manuscript. A cipher written in runes, it tells of an entrance to another world - a world hidden beneath our own, illuminated by an electrified gas and populated by strange, prehistoric beings. So with his nephew reluctantly in tow, the Professor follows this cryptic clue down into a dormant volcano in Iceland, and the further they descend, the more extraordinary the discoveries and creatures that they encounter, the greater the dangers, and the more ancient the living past that surrounds them.

This new translation by Frank Wynne is accompanied by an introduction on the science of Verne's work and its influences. This edition also includes notes, a chronology and suggested further reading.

Jules Verne (1828-1905), the 'father of Science Fiction' was born in Nantes, developing from early childhood a romantic fascination for the ships and the sea. In 1848 he moved to Paris, ostensibly to become a lawyer, though his true ambition was to become a writer. His first book, Five Weeks in a Balloon (1863) was an immediate popular success, followed a year later by Journey to the Centre of the Earth; among the most popular of the fifty-four books published during his life are From the Earth to the Moon (1865), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).

If you enjoyed Journey to the Centre of the Earth you might like H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, also available in Penguin Classics.

Untouchable

Mulk Raj Anand (Author)

Mulk Raj Anand's extraordinarily powerful story of an Untouchable in India's caste system, with a new introduction by Ramachandra Guha, author of Gandhi

Bakha is a proud and attractive young man, yet none the less he is an Untouchable - an outcast in India's caste system. It is a system that is even now only slowly changing and was then as cruel and debilitating as that of apartheid. Into this vivid re-creation of one day in the life of Bakha, sweeper and toilet-cleaner, Anand pours a vitality, fire and richness of detail that earn his place as one of the twentieth century's most important Indian writers.

'One of the most eloquent and imaginative works to deal with this difficult and emotive subject' Martin Seymour-Smith

'It recalled to me very vividly the occasions I have walked 'the wrong way' in an Indian city, and it is a way down which no novelist has yet taken me' E. M. Forster

A Room with a View

E M Forster (Author)

The Penguin English Library Edition of A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

'"But you do," he went on, not waiting for contradiction. "You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it ..."

Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George.

Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart?

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.

The Complete Father Brown Stories

G K Chesterton (Author) , Michael Hurley (Edited by)

The complete adventures of the well-loved clerical sleuth, collected in one brilliant volume.

Shabby and lumbering, with a face like a Norfolk dumpling, Father Brown makes for an improbable super-sleuth. But his innocence is the secret of his success: refusing the scientific method of detection, he adopts instead an approach of simple sympathy, interpreting each crime as a work of art, and each criminal as a man no worse than himself. This complete edition brings together all of the Father Brown stories, including two not previously available in Penguin: 'The Donnington Affair', in which Chesterton rises to the challenge of solving a murder-mystery half written by someone else (Max Pemberton), and 'The Mask of Midas', which was found in Chesterton's papers after his death. It also includes an introduction and notes by Michael D. Hurley.

G.K. Chesteron was born in 1874. He attended the Slade School of Art, where he appears to have suffered a nervous breakdown, before turning his hand to journalism. A prolific writer throughout his life, his best-known books include The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904), The Man Who Knew Too Much(1922), The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) and the Father Brown stories. Chesterton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922 and died in 1938.

Michael D. Hurley is a Lecturer in English at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. He has written widely on English literature from the nineteenth century to the present day, with an emphasis on poetry and poetics. His book on G. K. Chesterton was published in 2011.

Romantic Fairy Tales

Carol Tully (Author)

The four works collected in this volume reveal the fascinating preoccupations of the German Romantic movement, which revelled in the inexplicable, the uncanny and the unknown and, especially, the mysterious world of the fairy tale. Goethe's richly imaginative Fairy Tale (1795) depicts an ethereal underground realm and the marriage of a beautiful man and woman, whose union heralds a new age. In Tieck's Eckbert the Fair (1797) two outsiders seek refuge in the solitude of dark woods to conceal their incestuous passion from the world, while in Fouque's Undine (1811) a water nymph falls in love and acquires a soul, and so discovers the reality of human suffering. And Brentano's Tale of Honest Casper and Fair Annie (1817) portrays the tragedy of a young couple, destroyed by a false sense of honour and pride.

A Laodicean

Thomas Hardy (Author) , John Schad (Edited by) , John Schad (Introducer) , John Schad (Notes by) , Patricia Ingham (Preface by)

The daughter of a wealthy railway magnate, Paula Power inherits De Stancy Castle, an ancient castle in need of modernization. She commissions George Somerset, a young architect, to undertake the work. Somerset falls in love with Paula but she, the Laodicean of the title, is torn between his admiration and that of Captain De Stancy, whose old-world romanticism contrasts with Somerset's forward-looking attitude.
Paula's vacillation, however, is not only romantic. Her ambiguity regarding religion, politics and social progress is a reflection of the author's own. This new Penguin Classics edition of Hardy's text contains an introduction and notes that illuminate and clarify these themes, and draws parallels between the text and the author's life and views.

New Grub Street

George Gissing (Author) , Bernard Bergonzi (Edited by)

In New Grub Street George Gissing re-created a microcosm of London's literary society as he had experienced it. His novel is at once a major social document and a story that draws us irresistibly into the twilit world of Edwin Reardon, a struggling novelist, and his friends and acquaintances in Grub Street including Jasper Milvain, an ambitious journalist, and Alfred Yule, an embittered critic. Here Gissing brings to life the bitter battles (fought out in obscure garrets or in the Reading Room of the British Museum) between integrity and the dictates of the market place, the miseries of genteel poverty and the damage that failure and hardship do to human personality and relationships.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce (Author)

Playful and experimental, James Joyce's autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a vivid portrayal of emotional and intellectual development. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Seamus Deane.

The portrayal of Stephen Dedalus's Dublin childhood and youth, his quest for identity through art and his gradual emancipation from the claims of family, religion and Ireland itself, is also an oblique self-portrait of the young James Joyce and a universal testament to the artist's 'eternal imagination'. Both an insight into Joyce's life and childhood, and a unique work of modernist fiction, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a novel of sexual awakening, religious rebellion and the essential search for voice and meaning that every nascent artist must face in order to fully come into themselves.

James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness.

If you enjoyed A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, you might like Joyce's Dubliners, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'There is nothing more vivid or beautiful in all Joyce's writing. It has the searing clarity of truth ... but is rich with myth and symbol'
Sunday Times

'James Joyce was and remains almost unique among novelists in that he published nothing but masterpieces'
The Times Literary Supplement

Dubliners

James Joyce (Author)

James Joyce's Dubliners is an enthralling collection of modernist short stories which create a vivid picture of the day-to-day experience of Dublin life. This Penguin Classics edition includes notes and an introduction by Terence Brown.

Joyce's first major work, written when he was only twenty-five, brought his city to the world for the first time. His stories are rooted in the rich detail of Dublin life, portraying ordinary, often defeated lives with unflinching realism. From 'The Sisters', a vivid portrait of childhood faith and guilt, to 'Araby', a timeless evocation of the inexplicable yearnings of adolescence, to 'The Dead', in which Gabriel Conroy is gradually brought to a painful epiphany regarding the nature of his existence, Joyce draws a realistic and memorable cast of Dubliners together in an powerful exploration of overarching themes. Writing of social decline, sexual desire and exploitation, corruption and personal failure, he creates a brilliantly compelling, unique vision of the world and of human experience.

James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter's mental illness.

If you enjoyed Dubliners, you might like Joyce's Ulysses, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Joyce redeems his Dubliners, assures their identity, and makes their social existence appear permanent and immortal, like the streets they walk'
Tom Paulin

'Joyce's early short stories remain undimmed in their brilliance'
Sunday Times

The House of the Seven Gables

Nathaniel Hawthorne (Author) , Milton Stern (Edited by), Milton Stern (Introducer)

This enduring novel of crime and retribution vividly reflects the social and moral values of New England in the 1840s. Nathaniel Hawthorne's gripping psychological drama concerns the Pyncheon family, a dynasty founded on pious theft, who live for generations under a dead man's curse until their house is finally exorcised by love. Hawthorne, by birth and education, was instilled with the Puritan belief in America's limitless promise. Yet - in part because of blemishes on his own family history - he also saw the darker side of the young nation. Like his twentieth-century heirs William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hawthorne peered behind propriety's façade and exposed the true human condition.

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