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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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

Renowned urban artist Shepard Fairey's new look for Orwell's timeless satire

'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 organised 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 revolution that went wrong - is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power.

Mapp and Lucia Omnibus

E F Benson (Author)

The arrival of the snobbish Mrs Emmeline Lucas (known as Lucia to her friends) in the small seaside town of Tilling causes waves as she threatens the queen bee of Tilling’s social circle, Miss Elizabeth Mapp. Against a backdrop of genteel tea parties and bridge evenings, a series of hilarious conflicts ensues between the two power-hungry women as they battle on the social stage to gain the ultimate place as the first lady of Tilling society.

This edition includes all three novels the brand new BBC adaptation is based on: Queen Lucia and Miss Mapp and Mapp and Lucia.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll (Author)

CELEBRATE 150 YEARS OF ALICE

Alice is one of the most beloved characters of English writing. A bright and inquisitive child, one boring summer afternoon she follows a white rabbit down a rabbit-hole. At the bottom she finds herself in a bizarre world full of strange creatures, and attends a very strange tea party and croquet match. This immensely witty and unique story mixes satire and puzzles, comedy and anxiety, to provide an astute depiction of the experience of childhood.

Watership Down

Richard Adams (Author)

40th anniversary edition of Richard Adams' picaresque saga about a motley band of rabbits -
Watership Down is one of the most beloved novels of our time.

Sandleford Warren is in danger. Hazel's younger brother Fiver is convinced that a great evil is about to befall the land, but no one will listen. And why would they when it is Spring and the grass is fat and succulent? So together Hazel and Fiver and a few other brave rabbits secretly leave behind the safety and strictures of the warren and hop tentatively out into a vast and strange world.

Chased by their former friends, hunted by dogs and foxes, avoiding farms and other human threats, but making new friends, Hazel and his fellow rabbits dream of a new life in the emerald embrace of Watership Down . . .

'A gripping story of rebellion in a rabbit warren and the subsequent adventures of the rebels. Adams has a poetic eye and a gift for storytelling which will speak to readers of all ages for many years to come' Sunday Times

'A masterpiece. The best story about wild animals since The Wind in the Willows. Very funny, exciting, often moving' Evening Standard

'A great book. A whole world is created, perfectly real in itself, yet constituting a deep incidental comment on human affairs' Guardian

Richard Adams grew up in Berkshire, the son of a country doctor. After an education at Oxford, he spent six years in the army and then went into the Civil Service. He originally began telling the story of Watership Down to his two daughters and they insisted he publish it as a book. It quickly became a huge success with both children and adults, and won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal in 1972. Richard Adams has written many novels and short stories, including Shardik and The Plague Dogs.

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.

Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Charlotte Brontë (Author)

One of the best novels ever written, in a chic new deluxe edition

Orphaned Jane Eyre endures an unhappy childhood, hated by her aunt and cousins and then sent to comfortless Lowood School. But life there improves and Jane stays on as a teacher, though she still longs for love and friendship. At Mr Rochester's house, where she goes to work as a governess, she hopes she might have found them - until she learns the terrible secret of the attic.

The String of Pearls: A Romance - The Original Sweeney Todd

Thomas Preskett Prest (Author)

Beware the blood-soaked razor of Sweeney Todd, demon barber of Fleet Street!

Johanna Oakley's lover, Mark, has gone missing in suspicious circumstances. And the man who was meant to deliver Mark's last gift to her, a string of pearls, has gone missing too - last seen entering the barber-shop of Sweeney Todd.

In desperation, Johanna decides to dress up as a boy in order to gain access to Todd's premises. There, in a fetid underground crypt, she will discover the grisly truth about what has really happened to Sweeney Todd's unsuspecting customers - and what they have to do with Mrs Lovett, famed maker of the most delicious pies in London ...

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.

Death Comes for the Archbishop

Willa Cather (Author)

Two French priests, friends since childhood, are sent to the newly created diocese of New Mexico. Life there is hard and frequently dangerous. Journeys between parishes are beset by the perils of bandits and storms. The people do not always want to hear the priests' message. But through their many years together, the two priests are sustained by friendship, faith and the magnificent landscapes of New Mexico, until at last they must be separated.

Willa Cather's beautiful novel is renowned for its vivid writing on landscape and is a variation on her great theme: the making of America in the west.

Crime and Punishment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Author) , Fuel (Cover/Jacket Illustrator), David McDuff (Translator)

A thrilling study of guilt and power, the Penguin Classics edition of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment is translated with an introduction and notes by David McDuff.

Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Porfiry, a suspicious detective, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden prostitute, can offer the chance of redemption. As the ensuing investigation and trial reveal the true identity of the murderer, Dostoyevsky's dark masterpiece evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil, blur and everyone's faith in humanity is tested.

This vivid translation by David McDuff has been acclaimed as the most accessible version of Dostoyevsky's great novel, rendering its dialogue with a unique force and naturalism. This edition also contains a new chronology of Dostoyevsky's life and work.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was born in Moscow. From 1849-54 he lived in a convict prison, and in later years his passion for gambling led him deeply into debt. His other works available in Penguin Classics include The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot and Demons.

If you enjoyed Crime and Punishment, you might like Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, also available in Penguin Classics.

'McDuff's language is rich and alive'
The New York Times Book Review

Venus in Furs

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (Author) , Larry Wolff (Introducer), Joachim Neugroschel (Notes by) , Joachim Neugroschel (Translator)

'Venus in Furs' describes the obsessions of Severin von Kusiemski, a European nobleman who desires to be enslaved to a woman. Severin finds his ideal of voluptuous cruelty in the merciless Wanda von Dunajew. This is a passionate and powerful portrayal of one man's struggle to enlighten and instruct himself and others in the realm of desire. Published in 1870, the novel gained notoriety and a degree of immortality for its author when the word "masochism" - derived from his name - entered the vocabulary of psychiatry. This remains a classic literary statement on sexual submission and control.

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