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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas (Author) , Robin Buss (Introducer) , Robin Buss (Translator)

A beautiful new clothbound edition of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel of wrongful imprisonment, adventure and revenge. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of the Château d'If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and becomes determined not only to escape but to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. A huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s, Dumas was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment when writing his epic tale of suffering and retribution.

The Ramayana

Valmiki (Author) , Arshia Sattar (Translator)

One of India's greatest epics, the Ramayana pervades the country's moral and cultural consciousness. Believed to have been composed by Valmiki sometime between the eighth and sixth centuries BC, the Ramayana tells the tragic and magical story of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya, an incarnation of Lord Visnu, born to rid the earth of the terrible demon Ravana. An idealized heroic tale, the Ramayana is also an intensely personal story of family relationships, love and loss, duty and honour, of harem intrigue, petty jealousies and destructive ambitions - all this played out in a universe populated by larger-than-life humans, gods, wondrous animals and terrifying demons.

The Jungle Books

Rudyard Kipling (Author)

Kipling's best-loved work, now in a gorgeous new clothbound edition designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. These delectable and collectable editions are bound in high-quality, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

The story of Mowgli, the man-cub who is brought up by wolves in the jungles of Central India, is one of the greatest literary myths ever created. As he embarks on a series of thrilling escapades, Mowgli encounters such unforgettable creatures as the bear Baloo, the graceful black panther Bagheera and Shere Khan, the tiger with the blazing eyes. Other animal stories in The Jungle Books range from the dramatic battle between good and evil in 'Rikki-tikki-tavi' to the macabre comedy 'The Undertakers'. With The Jungle Books Rudyard Kipling drew on ancient beast fables, Buddhist philosophy and memories of his Anglo-Indian childhood to create a rich, symbolic portrait of man and nature, and an eternal classic of childhood.



Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay in 1865. In 1882 Kipling started work as a journalist in India, and while there produced a body of work, stories, sketches and poems - notably Plain Tales from the Hills(1888) - which made him an instant literary celebrity when he returned to England in 1889. His most famous works include The Jungle Book (1894), Kim (1901) and the Just So Stories (1902). Kipling refused to accept the role of Poet Laureate and other civil honours, but he was the first English writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, in 1907. He died in 1936.

Jan Montefiore has taught at the University of Kent since 1978, where she is now Professor of 20th Century English Literature. She is the author of Men and Women Writers of the 1930s (1996); Arguments of Heart and Mind:Selected Essays 1977-2000 (2002); Feminism and Poetry (3rd edition, 2004); and Rudyard Kipling (2007).

Kaori Nagai is a Research Associate at the University of Kent and author of Empire of Analogies (2006). She has also introduced Kobo Abe's Face of Another and Kipling's Plain Tales from the Hills for Penguin

Far from the Madding Crowd

Thomas Hardy (Author)

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swiftpassion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift (Author)

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

Shipwrecked and cast adrift, Lemuel Gulliver wakes to find himself on Lilliput, an island inhabited by little people, whose height makes their quarrels over fashion and fame seem ridiculous. His subsequent encounters - with the crude giants of Brobdingnag, the philosophical Houyhnhnms and brutish Yahoos - give Gulliver new, bitter insights into human behaviour. Swift's savage satire views mankind in a distorted hall of mirrors as a diminished, magnified and finally bestial species, presenting us with an uncompromising reflection of ourselves.

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley (Author)

A stunning new clothbound edition of Mary Shelley's infamous work of horror fiction, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. These delectable and collectible Penguin editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design

Obsessed by creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life by electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. This chilling gothic tale, begun when Mary Shelley was just nineteen years old, would become the world's most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity.

This edition also includes 'A Fragment' by Lord Byron and 'The Vampyre: A Tale' by John Polidori, as well as an introduction and notes

Mary Shelley (1797-1851), the daughter of pioneering thinkers Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin, eloped with the poet Percy Shelley at the age of sixteen. Three years later, during a wet summer on Lake Geneva, Shelley famously wrote her masterpiece, Frankenstein. The years of her marriage were blighted by the deaths of three of her four children, and further tragedy followed in 1822, when Percy Shelley drowned in Italy. Following his death, Mary Shelley returned to England and continued to travel and write until her own death at the age of fifty-three.

Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert (Author)

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert's erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: 'Madame Bovary, c'est moi'.

The Iliad

Homer (Author) , E. V. Rieu (Translator) , Peter Jones (Translator)

A stunning Penguin clothbound edition of Homer's great epic, in E. V. Rieu's classic translation.

The Iliad is the first and the greatest literary achievement of Greek civilization - an epic poem without rival in the literature of the world, and the cornerstone of Western culture. The story centres on the critical events in the last year of the Trojan War, which lead to Achilleus' killing of Hektor and determine the fate of Troy. But Homer's theme is not simply war or heroism. With compassion and humanity, he presents a universal and tragic view of the world, of human life lived under the shadow of suffering and death, set against a vast and largely unpitying divine background..

Seven Greek cities claim the honour of being the birthplace of Homer (c. 8th-7th century BC), the poet to whom the composition of the Iliadand Odyssey are attributed. The Iliad is the oldest surviving work of Western literature, but the identity - or even the existence - of Homer himself is a complete mystery, with no reliable biographical information having survived.

E. V. Rieu initiated Penguin Classics with Allen Lane and his famous translation of the Odyssey was the first book published in the series in 1947. The Iliad followed in 1950.

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë (Author) , Stevie Davies (Edited by), Michael Mason (Introducer)

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

Charlotte Brontë's first published novel, Jane Eyre was immediately recognised as a work of genius when it appeared in 1847. Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. How she takes up the post of governess at Thornfield Hall, meets and loves Mr Rochester and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage are elements in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian society.

A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

Charles Dickens (Author)

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

After reading Christmas Carol, the notoriously reculsive Thomas Carlyle was "seized with a perfect convulsion of hospitality" and threw not one but two Christmas dinner parties. The impact of the story may not always have been so dramatic but, along with Dickens other Christmas writings, it has had a lasting and significant influence upon our ideas about the Christmas spirit, and about the season as a time for celebration, charity, and memory.

The Sonnets and a Lover's Complaint

William Shakespeare (Author)

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

When this volume of Shakespeare's poems first appeared in 1609, he had already written most of the great plays that made him famous. The 154 sonnets - all but two of which are addressed to a beautiful young man or a treacherous 'dark lady' - contain some of the most exquisite and haunting poetry ever written, and deal with eternal subjects such as love and infidelity, memory and mortality, and the destruction wreaked by Time. Also included is A Lover's Complaint, originally published with the sonnets, in which a young woman is overheard lamenting her betrayal by a heartless seducer.

The Bhagavad Gita

Juan Mascaro (Translator) , none (Author)

The Bhagavad Gita, a scintillating jewel embedded in the great Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna set against the background of war. At the beginning of the poem, we learn that there is going to be a great war for the rule of a kingdom. On the battlefield, with armies of the Kuru clan ranged against each other, Arjuna and Krishna explore the necessity of war and the nature of the human soul. The eighteen chapters of the Bhagavad Gita encompass the whole spiritual struggle of a human soul, and the central themes of this immortal poem arise from the symphonic vision of God in all things and of all things in God.

Remembrance of Things Past: Volume 3

Marcel Proust (Author) , C. K. Scott Moncrieff (Translator) , C. K. Scott Moncrieff (Translator)

One of the greatest translations of all time: Scott Moncrieff's classic version of Proust, published in three stunning clothbound volumes designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Proust's masterpiece is one of the seminal works of the twentieth century, recording its narrator's experiences as he grows up, falls in love and lives through the First World War. A profound reflection on art, time, memory, self and loss, it is often viewed as the definitive modern novel. C. K. Scott Moncrieff's famous translation from the 1920s is today regarded as a classic in its own right and is now available in three volumes in Penguin Classics.

This third volume includes The Captive, The Sweet Cheat Gone and Time Regained.

'Scott Moncrieff's [volumes] belong to that special category of translations which are themselves literary masterpieces ... his book is one of those translations, such as the Authorized Version of the Bible itself, which can never be displaced' - A. N. Wilson

'For the reader wishing to tackle Proust your guide must be C K Scott Moncrieff ... There are some who believe his headily perfumed translation of À la recherche du temps perdu conjures Belle Époque France more vividly even than the original' - Telegraph

'I was more interested and fascinated by your rendering than by Proust's creation' - Joseph Conrad to Scott Moncrieff

The Mahabharata

John D. Smith (Translator) , John D. Smith (Author)

The Mahabharata is the story of two warring factions of cousins - 100 demons in human form against five sons of gods. Woven into this epic martial tale of great and bloody battles are numerous narrative digressions and much religious instruction - including the wisdom of Bhisma, give from a deathbed of arrows, and the legendary Bhagavadgita, spoken by Krsna on the very verge of war. The enactment of eternal conflicts, it is also a vital Hindu text on the nature of dharma - the right way for each person to live his or her life, and the only way to secure an improved lot in future births.

Persuasion

Jane Austen (Author) , Gillian Beer (Introducer)

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

At twenty-seven, Anne Elliot is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years earlier, she had been persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortunenor rank. What happens when they encounter each other again is movingly told in Jane Austen's last completed novel. Set in the fashionable societies of Lyme Regis and Bath, Persuasion is a brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, but, above all,it is a love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.

Major Works of Charles Dickens (Boxed Set)

Charles Dickens (Author)

2012 is the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of one of our greatest and most important novelists, Charles Dickens. To celebrate we're publishing six of his works in this exclusive and sumptuous boxed set of lavish, clothbound editions, designed by Penguin's own award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

The Pearl

John Steinbeck (Author)

THE PEARL is Steinbeck's flawless parable about wealth and the evil it can bring. When Kino, an Indian pearl-diver, finds 'the Pearl of the world' he believes that his life will be magically transformed. He will marry Juana in church and their little boy, Coyotito, will be able to attend school. Obsessed by his dreams, Kino is blind to the greed, fear and even violence the pearl arouses in him and his neighbours. Haunting and lyrical, THE PEARL sets the values of the civilized world against those of the primitive and finds them tragically inadequate.

Paradise Lost

John Milton (Author)

Milton's celebrated epic poem, now in a gorgeous new clothbound edition designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. These delectable and collectable editions are bound in high-quality, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

In Paradise Lost Milton produced a poem of epic scale, conjuring up a vast, awe-inspiring cosmos and ranging across huge tracts of space and time. And yet, in putting a charismatic Satan and naked Adam and Eve at the centre of this story, he also created an intensely human tragedy on the Fall of Man. Written when Milton was in his fifties - blind, bitterly disappointed by the Restoration and briefly in danger of execution - Paradise Lost's apparent ambivalence towards authority has led to intense debate about whether it manages to 'justify the ways of God to men', or exposes the cruelty of Christianity.

John Milton (1608-1674) spent his early years in scholarly pursuit. In 1649 he took up the cause for the new Commonwealth, defending the English revolution both in English and Latin - and sacrificing his eyesight in the process. He risked his life by publishing The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth on the eve of the Restoration (1660). His great poems were published after this political defeat.

John Leonard is a Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario.

The Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer (Author) , Nevill Coghill (Translator)

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design.

In The Canterbury Tales Chaucer created one of the great touchstones of English literature, a masterly collection of chivalric romances, moral allegories and low farce. A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight's account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath's Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook.

Remembrance of Things Past: Volume 1

Marcel Proust (Author) , C. K. Scott Moncrieff (Translator) , C. K. Scott Moncrieff (Translator)

One of the greatest translations of all time: Scott Moncrieff's classic version of Proust, published in three stunning clothbound volumes designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Proust's masterpiece is one of the seminal works of the twentieth century, recording its narrator's experiences as he grows up, falls in love and lives through the First World War. A profound reflection on art, time, memory, self and loss, it is often viewed as the definitive modern novel. C. K. Scott Moncrieff's famous translation from the 1920s is today regarded as a classic in its own right and is now available in three volumes in Penguin Classics.

This first volume includes Swann's Way and Within a Budding Grove.

'Scott Moncrieff's [volumes] belong to that special category of translations which are themselves literary masterpieces ... his book is one of those translations, such as the Authorized Version of the Bible itself, which can never be displaced' - A. N. Wilson

'For the reader wishing to tackle Proust your guide must be C K Scott Moncrieff ... There are some who believe his headily perfumed translation of À la recherche du temps perdu conjures Belle Époque France more vividly even than the original' - Telegraph

'I was more interested and fascinated by your rendering than by Proust's creation' - Joseph Conrad to Scott Moncrieff

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