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The Death of King Arthur

Peter Ackroyd (Author)

A gripping retelling of the timeless epic of romance, enchantment and adventure, Peter Ackroyd's The Death of King Arthur recasts Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur in clear, compelling modern English prose, published in Penguin Classics.

'In the old wild days of the world there was a King of England known as Uther Pendragon; he was a dragon in wrath as well as in power ...'

Born with the help of Merlin's magic, blessed with the sword of Excalibur, Arthur becomes King of a troubled England, beginning a golden age of chivalry at the court of Camelot. But his reign is soon to be torn apart by violence, revenge and tragedy ...
Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur made the legend of King Arthur immortal. Now Peter Ackroyd's retelling brings his timeless story of love, heroism and betrayal to new life for our times.

Sir Thomas Malory (c.1405-1471) was a knight and estate owner in the mid 15th century, who spent many years in prison for political crimes as well as robbery. He wrote Le Morte d'Arthur, the first great English prose epic, while imprisoned in Newgate.

Peter Ackroyd (b. 1949) is an award-winning writer and historian. Formerly literary editor of The Spectator and chief book reviewer for the The Times, he is the author of novels such as Hawksmoor (1985) and The House of Doctor Dee (1993), as well as non-fiction including Dickens: Public Life and Private Passion (2002), London: The Biography (2000), and Thames: Sacred River (2007).

If you enjoyed The Death of King Arthur, you might like Ackroyd's The Canterbury Tales, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'I admire this version enormously ... This story has to move with both swiftness and dignity, and yoking those two qualities together is not an easy task; but Ackroyd does it with ease'
Philip Pullman, author of His Dark Materials trilogy

'Ackroyd's lightly trimmed and streamlined Le Morte d'Arthur makes it eminently readable'
Sunday Times

Bluestockings

Jane Robinson (Author)

Jane Robinson's Bluestockings is the incredible story of the fight for female education in Britain.

In 1869, when five women enrolled at university for the first time in British history, the average female brain was thought to be 150 grams lighter than a man's. Doctors warned that if women studied too hard their wombs would wither and die. When the Cambridge Senate held a vote on whether women students should be allowed official membership of the university, there was a full-scale riot.
Despite the prejudice and the terrible sacrifices they faced, women from all backgrounds persevered and paved the way for the generations who have followed them since.

By the 1920s, being an 'undergraduette' was considered quite the fashionable thing; by the 1930s, women were emerging from universities as anything from aviation engineers to professional academics.

Bluestockings tells an inspiring story - of defiance and determination, of colourful eccentricity and at times heartbreaking loneliness, as well as of passionate friendships, midnight cocoa-parties and glorious self-discovery.

'Social history of the best kind' Sunday Times

'Modern girls need reminding of the long battle, and Jane Robinson's fine book does just that, charting the lives and struggles of campaigners ... But there is more joy than sorrow' Mail on Sunday

Jane Robinson was born in Edinburgh and brought up in Yorkshire. Her books about women travellers and pioneers have established her as an engaging social historian with an appreciative eye for eccentricity. Jane lives near Oxford with her husband and two sons.

A Dark-Adapted Eye

Barbara Vine (Author)

'A rich, complex and beautifully crafted novel' P.D. James

The prize-winning classic that 'changed the thriller landscape', with a new foreword from Val McDermid.


VERA HILLYARD. AUNT. MOTHER. MURDERESS.

Faith Severn's life has long been overshadowed by the mystery surrounding her aunt. A respectable woman who committed a crime so terrible she was hung for it.

Now, the time has come to piece her story together.

What secret caused two devoted sisters to turn from love to hate?
And was Vera born a killer. . .Or was she driven to it?

'Brilliantly plotted. Vine is not afraid to walk down the mean streets of the mind and can build up an almost tangible atmosphere of menace and unease' Daily Telegraph

'Will linger in your memory long after you have closed the book. A first-rate novel' Washington Post

A Dark-Adapted Eye is a modern classic. If you enjoy the crime novels of P.D. James and Ian Rankin you will love this book.

Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. She has written fifteen novels using this pseudonym, including A Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet which both won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Her other books include: A Dark Adapted Eye; The House of Stairs; Gallowglass; Asta's Book; No Night Is Too Long; In the Time of His Prosperity; The Brimstone Wedding; The Chimney Sweeper's Boy; Grasshopper; The Blood Doctor; The Minotaur; The Birthday Present and The Child's Child.

The Chimney Sweeper's Boy

Barbara Vine (Author)

The Chimney Sweeper's Boy - a classic crime novel by bestselling, prize-winning author Barbara Vine

'Gripping, almost impossible to put down' Guardian

'One of the most frightening novels I have ever read ... Gerald Candless, the monster at the heart of the maze, is a marvellous creation' Amanda Craig, Express on Sunday

When successful author Gerald Candless dies of a sudden heart attack, his eldest, adoring daughter Sarah embarks on a memoir of him and soon discovers that her perfect father was not all he appeared to be. That in fact he wasn't Gerald Candless at all. But then, who was he? And what terrible secret had driven him to live a lie for all those years?

'So ingeniously constructed, its truth and falsehoods are so deftly and convincingly interwoven, that its solution ... is as jolting as a flash of lightning' Sunday Times

'About the power of taboos, transgressions, guilts, deceptions, horrors, atonements, upsets and upheavals ... gripping' Independent

If you enjoy the crime novels of P.D. James, Ian Rankin and Scott Turow, you will love The Chimney Sweeper's Boy.

Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. She has written fifteen novels using this pseudonym, including A Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet which both won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Her other books include: A Dark Adapted Eye; The House of Stairs; Gallowglass; Asta's Book; No Night Is Too Long; In the Time of His Prosperity; The Brimstone Wedding; The Chimney Sweeper's Boy; Grasshopper; The Blood Doctor; The Minotaur; The Birthday Present and The Child's Child.

Burma '44

James Holland (Author)

'A first-rate popular history of a fascinating and neglected battle . . . James Holland is a master of spinning narrative military history from accounts of men and women who were there and BURMA ’44 is a veritable page-turner' BBC History

In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War.

What became know as The Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a fifteen-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Not only was it the first decisive victory for British troops against the Japanese, more significantly, it demonstrated how the Japanese could be defeated. The lessons learned in this tiny and otherwise insignificant corner of the Far East, set up the campaign in Burma that would follow, as General Slim’s Fourteenth Army finally turned defeat into victory.

Burma '44 is a tale of incredible drama. As gripping as the story of Rorke's drift, as momentous as the battle for the Ardennes, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet undervalued conflicts of World War Two.

Risk Savvy

Gerd Gigerenzer (Author)

A fascinating, practical guide to making better decisions with our money, health and personal lives from Gerd Gigerenzer, the author of Reckoning with Risk.

Numbers don't lie - but they often mislead us. From health risks to financial decisions, we often find it hard to make decisions because the statistics have been presented to us by 'experts' who misinterpret the data themselves. Here Gerd Gigerenzer shows how we can all use simple rules to become better-informed, risk-savvy citizens.

'Important, Gigerenzer draws valuable lessons . . . his clear explanations will be a great help to all' Omar Malik, Times Higher Education

'Gerd Gigerenzer argues that when it comes to taking risks in life, we are often much better off following our instincts than expert advice' Oliver Burkeman, Guardian

'Things will only get better, he shows, when specialists, particularly doctors and investment advisers, improve on their appalling record of analysing and communicating risks in their fields' Clive Cookson, Financial Times, Books of the Year

'Gigerenzer is brilliant' Steven Pinker

Gerd Gigerenzer is Director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and former Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books on heuristics and decision making, including Reckoning with Risk.

Heroes and Villains

Angela Carter (Author)

A modern fable, a post-apocalyptic romance, a gothic horror story; Angela Carter's genre-defying fantasia Heroes and Villains includes an introduction by Robert Coover in Penguin Modern Classics.

Sharp-eyed Marianne lives in a white tower made of steel and concrete with her father and the other Professors. Outside, where the land is thickly wooded and wild beasts roam, live the Barbarians, who raid and pillage in order to survive. Marianne is strictly forbidden to leave her civilized world but, fascinated by these savage outsiders, decides to escape. There, beyond the wire fences, she will discover a decaying paradise, encounter the tattooed Barbarian boy Jewel and go beyond the darkest limits of her imagination. Playful, sensuous, violent and gripping, Heroes and Villains is an ambiguous and deliriously rich blend of post-apocalyptic fiction, gothic fantasy, literary allusion and twisted romance.

Angela Carter (1940-92) was born in Eastbourne and later evacuated to live with her grandmother in Yorkshire. She read English at Bristol University, and after escaping an early marriage went to live in Japan for a number of years. She wrote nine novels, which blend fantasy, science fiction and gothic, and is often referred to as a writer of magical realism.

If you enjoyed Heroes and Villains, you might like Carter's The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'Angela Carter is a genius'
Victoria Glendinning

'An unashamed fantasist, a fabulist of daemonic energy'
The Times

The Trial of Fallen Angels

J. P. Kimmel (Author)

With shades of both The Book Thief and The Lovely Bones, James Kimmel Jr.'s first novel, The Trial of Fallen Angels, is a story about what happens when we can't - or won't - let go.

I remembered telling my husband I loved him and knowing I did. I remembered picking up my daughter at the end of the day and her squeals of delight when she saw me . . . And then my memories vanished, as if a plug had been pulled.

When young lawyer Brek Cutler finds herself covered in blood and standing on a deserted railway platform, she has no memory of how she got there . . . For one very good reason: she's dead.

But she's not allowed to grieve for her lost life, her widowed husband, or her beautiful but now motherless baby daughter - because she has a job to do. She's been chosen to join the elite lawyers who prosecute and defend souls at the Final Judgement.

In a seemingly deliberate coincidence, her first client seems to hold the key to unlock the chain of events that led to Brek's death . . . A chain that stretches far back into the past and an array of shocking, secret crimes. And so Brek embarks on a quest that sees her traverse Heaven and Earth to bring her killer to justice. If she's ever to learn the whole truth about her death, though, she must also place her own soul on trial - and make a choice that will potentially echo throughout eternity.

Telling a story of life, death and ever after, James Kimmel Jr.'s The Trial of Fallen Angels is unique, haunting and utterly unforgettable.

James Kimmel Jr. received a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Pennsylvania and now works as a lawyer. This is his first novel.

He lives in the United States.

Medic

John Nichol (Author) , Tony Rennell (Author) , Eleo Gordon (Editor-in-Chief)

Medic: Saving Lives by John Nichol and Tony Rennell is the story of those brave men - and, increasingly in this day and age, women - who go to war armed with bandages not bombs, scalpels not swords, and put saving life above taking life.

Their job is to put themselves in the heart of danger - to run into battle to rescue the wounded and to risk their own lives to try and save the dying. Doctors, nurses, medics and stretcher bearers go where the bullets are thickest, through bomb alleys and mine fields, ducking mortars and rockets, wherever someone is hit and the shout goes up - 'Medic! We need a medic over here!' War at its rawest is their domain, an ugly place of shattered bodies, severed limbs, broken heads and death.

Wherever the cry of 'Medic!' is heard, it will be answered. From the beaches of Dunkirk to the desert towns of Afghanistan, there can be no nobler cause.

'Gripping, moving and thoughtful. The excellent team of Nichol and Rennell have done it again' Patrick Bishop, author of Fighter Boys

John Nichol is a former RAF flight lieutenant whose Tornado bomber was shot down on a mission over Iraq during the first Gulf War. He was captured and made a prisoner of war. Tony Rennell is a writer for the Daily Mail and a former deputy editor of the Sunday Times. Their previous books include The Last Escape, Tail-End Charlies and Home Run.

House of Orphans

Helen Dunmore (Author)

House of Orphans is bestselling author Helen Dunmore's ninth novel.

Finland, 1902, and the Russian Empire enforces a brutal policy to destroy Finland's freedom and force its people into submission.

Eeva, orphaned daughter of a failed revolutionary, also battles to find her independence and identity. Destitute when her father dies, she is sent away to a country orphanage, and then employed as servant to a widowed doctor, Thomas Eklund. Slowly, Thomas falls in love with Eeva . . . but she has committed herself long ago to a boy from her childhood, Lauri, who is now caught up in Helsinki's turmoil of resistance to Russian rule.

Set in dangerous, unfamiliar times which strangely echo our own, the story reveals how terrorism lies hidden within ordinary life, as rulers struggle to hold on to power. House of Orphans is a rich, brilliant story of love, history and change.

'Vivid and exciting . . . Dunmore creates a beautiful sense of stillness . . . she conveys a passion for Finland's icy landscape' Observer

'Part love story, part tragedy . . . Dunmore on dazzling form. Everyone should read her work' Independent on Sunday

'Outstanding, a sheer pleasure to read. Dunmore is a remarkable storyteller' Daily Mail


Helen Dunmore is the author of twelve novels: Zennor in Darkness, which won the McKitterick Prize; Burning Bright; A Spell of Winter, which won the Orange Prize; Talking to the Dead; Your Blue-Eyed Boy; With Your Crooked Heart; The Siege, which was shortlisted for the 2001 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award and for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2002; Mourning Ruby; House of Orphans; Counting the Stars; The Betrayal, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2010, and The Greatcoat. She is also a poet, children's novelist and short-story writer.

Topsy and Tim: Meet Father Christmas

Jean Adamson (Author)

Join Topsy and Tim on a new adventure as they meet Father Christmas in this Ladybird festive stocking-filler, the ideal gift for your little one.

Topsy and Tim are just like you! Their adventures are the perfect stories to reassure young children as they go through similar experiences themselves.
In Topsy and Tim Meet Father Christmas the family are off to the local garden centre to choose a Christmas tree, and while they are there the twins meet a very special person. Inside Santa's Grotto is none other than Father Christmas himself! Topsy and Tim promise that they have been good all year, so Father Christmas gives them both a special present to take home.


A trusted and well-loved pair who can help guide parents and children through 'first experiences', the Topsy and Tim stories have been beautifully updated with contemporary artwork. Topsy & Tim remain instantly recognisable to parents while in a fresh style that will appeal to a new generation of fans. These wonderful books deserve a place on every child's bookshelves.

Other titles are Topsy and Tim The New Baby, Topsy and Tim Have a Birthday party, Topsy and Tim Go on an Aeroplane, Topsy and Tim Play football, Topsy and Tim Go on a train, Topsy and Tim Learn to swim, Topsy and Tim Start school, Topsy and Tim Go camping, Topsy and Tim Go to hospital, Topsy and Tim Go to the zoo, Topsy and Tim Go to the dentist, Topsy and Tim At the farm, Topsy and Tim Go to the doctor, Topsy and Tim Have itchy heads, Topsy and Tim Meet the firefighters, Topsy and Tim Meet the police, Topsy and Tim Safety first, Topsy and Tim Go for gold, Topsy and Tim Visit London

Topsy and Tim: Move House

Jean Adamson (Author) , Gareth Adamson (Author)

Join Topsy and Tim as they prepare to move house with Mummy and Dad. In Topsy and Tim Move House, the twins are moving house but there is a lot of work to do. There are curtains to take down, toys to pack and pets to look after. It is an exciting time for Topsy and Tim, but Kitty, their cat, isn't quite so sure about the move...

Topsy and Tim are just like you! They find fun and adventure in the real world. A trusted and well-loved pair who can help guide parents and children through 'first experiences', Topsy and Tim books have been beautifully updated with contemporary artwork. Topsy & Tim remain instantly recognizable to parents while in a fresh style that will appeal to a new generation of fans. These wonderful books deserve a place on every child's bookshelves.

Other titles are Topsy and Tim The New Baby, Topsy and Tim Have a Birthday party, Topsy and Tim Go on an Aeroplane, Topsy and Tim Play football, Topsy and Tim Go on a Train, Topsy and Tim Learn to Swim, Topsy and Tim Start School, Topsy and Tim Go Camping, Topsy and Tim Go to Hospital, Topsy and Tim Go to the Zoo, Topsy and Tim Go to the Dentist, Topsy and Tim At the Farm, Topsy and Tim Go to the Doctor, Topsy and Tim Have Itchy Heads, Topsy and Tim Meet the Firefighters, Topsy and Tim Meet the Police, Topsy and Tim Safety First, Topsy and Tim Go for Gold, Topsy and Tim Visit London, Topsy and Tim Meet Father Christmas, Topsy and Tim Help a Friend

Topsy and Tim: Help a Friend

Jean Adamson (Author) , Gareth Adamson (Author)

Join Topsy and Tim as they help a friend in need. In Topsy and Tim Help a Friend, Stevie Dunton is unhappy at school because he is being bullied. The twins do the right thing by speaking to Mummy and Miss Terry about it so they can stop the bullies picking on Stevie.

Topsy and Tim are just like you! They find fun and adventure in the real world. A trusted and well-loved pair who can help guide parents and children through 'first experiences', Topsy and Tim books have been beautifully updated with contemporary artwork. Topsy & Tim remain instantly recognizable to parents while in a fresh style that will appeal to a new generation of fans. These wonderful books deserve a place on every child's bookshelves.

Other titles are Topsy and Tim The New Baby, Topsy and Tim Have a Birthday party, Topsy and Tim Go on an Aeroplane, Topsy and Tim Play football, Topsy and Tim Go on a Train, Topsy and Tim Learn to Swim, Topsy and Tim Start School, Topsy and Tim Go Camping, Topsy and Tim Go to Hospital, Topsy and Tim Go to the Zoo, Topsy and Tim Go to the Dentist, Topsy and Tim At the Farm, Topsy and Tim Go to the Doctor, Topsy and Tim Have Itchy Heads, Topsy and Tim Meet the Firefighters, Topsy and Tim Meet the Police, Topsy and Tim Safety First, Topsy and Tim Go for Gold, Topsy and Tim Visit London, Topsy and Tim Meet Father Christmas, Topsy and Tim Move House

Frontiers Of Health

Christine Page (Author)

Frontiers of Health is an essential guide to healing, combining medical expertise with unique insights into the human condition. Dr Christine Page illuminates our understanding of disease and its purpose for inner spiritual growth. In this excellent introduction to our subtle anatomy, Dr Page explores the chakras and their individual relationship to disease, pathology and soul unfoldment. Drawing upon her experience as a respected doctor, and observations of the many patients who have been her greatest teachers, Dr Page asks us to look fully at wholeness on all levels: body, mind and spirit.

· 'A must for professional carers and aspiring healers' Light, The College of Psychic Studies
· 'Fascinating and packed full of thought-provoking advice' Healthy Eating
· 'A clearly written, very impressive and important bridge-building book ... for the first time, one can see exactly how healing comes from within the subtle bodies being reflected in their physical counterpart' Aromatherapy Quarterly
· '... straightforward, comprehensive and clear. I applaud this very worthwhile book' New Humanity
· 'There are some books that are written in such a way that you feel you are reading a letter from a friend. Frontiers of Health is one of them ... without doubt an important and far-sighted work in the field not only of health but also of human consciousness' The London Connection

The Little Ship

Margaret Mayhew (Author)

Set largely on the Essex coast before the war, Matt, Guy, and their young cousin Lizzie meet up for holidays and bum around in an old boat. Guy is the eldest, handsome, skilled at everything, a tad selfish. Matt is quieter and has a crippled right arm. Lizzie adores them both, to the extent of putting up with being sea-sick everytime they go out in the old boat and continually getting bashed on the head by the sail. These are idyllic days of sun, and sea, the golden era of the thirties.

Lizzie's father is a doctor and, as the thirties progress, they take the daughter of a Viennese colleague into their home, a Jewish girl called Anna, who is miserable and hates England, and misses her Jewish family and friends. The fifth child to join them is Otto, son of a German diplomat, reared in the best traditions of the Hitler doctrine and destined for the army. These five have a tense and highly involved relationship as they grow up. Anna is resented by the English boys but one of them eventually comes to love her. Otto's relationship with her is more complicated. She is, after all, a Jew. They have one wonderful day together when somehow their rivalries are forgotten as they fight the sea in the little ship, and when they all write their names on the mast. Then the world explodes into war and they all go their separate ways. They all meet again at Dunkirk. Anna getting out from France at the last moment with the help of Guy, Otto as part of the victorious Reich, and Lizzie and Matt taking the little ship over to save them from the beaches.

It is strong, wonderful, atmospheric, romantic with intriguing characters, all involved with each other in love/hate relationships.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle (Author) , Christopher Frayling (Edited by)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles gripped readers when it was first serialised and has continued to hold its place in the popular imagination to this day. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Christopher Frayling.

Could the sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville have been caused by the gigantic ghostly hound that is said to have haunted his family for generations? Arch-rationalist Sherlock Holmes characteristically dismisses the theory as nonsense. And, immersed in another case, he sends Dr Watson to Devon to protect the Baskerville heir and observe the suspects at close hand. With its atmospheric setting on the ancient, wild moorland and its savage apparition, The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the greatest crime novels ever written. Rationalism is pitted against the supernatural and good against evil as Sherlock Holmes sets out to defeat a foe almost his equal.

This edition contains a full chronology of Arthur Conan Doyle's life and works, an introduction by renowned horror scholar Professor Christopher Frayling discussing the background to the novel and the legends and events that inspired the story, with further reading and explanatory notes.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh where he qualified as a doctor, but it was his writing which brought him fame, with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the first scientific detective. He was also a convert to spiritualism and a social reformer who used his investigative skills to prove the innocence of individuals.

If you enjoyed The Hound of the Baskervilles, you might enjoy Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, also available in Penguin Classics.

'Arthur Conan Doyle is unique ... Personally, I would walk a mile in tight boots to read him to the milkman'
Stephen Fry

My Name is Mary Sutter

Robin Oliveira (Author)

My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira is an epic historical novel about a brilliant young woman's struggle to become a doctor during the American Civil War.

Mary Sutter, a brilliant young midwife, dreams of proving herself as capable as any man. But medical schools refuse to teach women. So when her heart is broken, she heads to Washington DC to tend the Civil War wounded. Assisted and encouraged by two surgeons, who both fall for her, and ignoring requests to return home to help her twin sister give birth, Mary pursues her dream of becoming a surgeon and saving lives - no matter the cost to herself or those she loves and no matter the harrowing conditions she has yet to face.

A brilliant portrait of an unforgettable heroine and a powerful evocation of trauma in the aftermath of battle, My Name is Mary Sutter is an utterly original story of one woman proving she is a match for any man.

'[Mary Sutter's] pluck will win you over within pages. A debut as confident as its heroine, it's a sweeping love story'Daily Mail

'This heroine is truly heroic' The Times

'Mary Sutter is a satisfyingly complex character; a tempestuous mixture of touching vulnerability and courageous single-mindedness' Marie Claire

Robin Oliveira received an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and was awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship for a work-in-progress for My Name is Mary Sutter. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Carson McCullers (Author) , Kasia Boddy (Introducer)

Carson McCullers' The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is a powerful exploration of alienation and loneliness in 1930s America, published in Penguin Modern Classics.

Carson McCullers' prodigious first novel was published to instant acclaim when she was just twenty-three. Set in a small town in the middle of the deep South, it is the story of John Singer, a lonely deaf-mute, and a disparate group of people who are drawn towards his kind, sympathetic nature. The owner of the café where Singer eats every day, a young girl desperate to grow up, an angry socialist drunkard, a frustrated black doctor: each pours their heart out to Singer, their silent confidant, and he in turn changes their disenchanted lives in ways the could never imagine. Moving, sensitive and deeply humane, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter explores loneliness, the human need for understanding and the search for love.

Carson McCullers (1917-1967) was the critically acclaimed author of several popular novels in the 1940s and '50s, including The Member of the Wedding (1946), adapted for the stage in the 1950s and filmed in 1952 and 1997. Her novels frequently depicted life in small towns of the southeastern United States and were marked by themes of loneliness and spiritual isolation. Other films based on her books are Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967, with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968, starring Alan Arkin) and The Ballad of the Sad Café (1991, starring Vanessa Redgrave).

If you enjoyed The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, you might like Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'She has examined the heart of man with an understanding ... that no other writer can hope to surpass'
Tennessee Williams

'A remarkable book ... [McCullers] writes with a sweep and certainty that are overwhelming'
The New York Times

The Butchering Art

Lindsey Fitzharris (Author)

'A brilliant and gripping account of the almost unimaginable horrors of surgery and post-operative infection before Joseph Lister transformed it all' Henry Marsh, author of Do No Harm

The story of a visionary British surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world - the safest time to be alive in human history

In The Butchering Art, historian Lindsey Fitzharris recreates a critical turning point in the history of medicine, when Joseph Lister transformed surgery from a brutal, harrowing practice to the safe, vaunted profession we know today.

Victorian operating theatres were known as 'gateways of death', Fitzharris reminds us, since half of those who underwent surgery didn't survive the experience. This was an era when a broken leg could lead to amputation, when surgeons often lacked university degrees, and were still known to ransack cemeteries to find cadavers. While the discovery of anaesthesia somewhat lessened the misery for patients, ironically it led to more deaths, as surgeons took greater risks. In squalid, overcrowded hospitals, doctors remained baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high.

At a time when surgery couldn't have been more dangerous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: Joseph Lister, a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon. By making the audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection - and could be treated with antiseptics - he changed the history of medicine forever.

With a novelist's eye for detail, Fitzharris brilliantly conjures up the grisly world of Victorian surgery, revealing how one of Britain's greatest medical minds finally brought centuries of savagery, sawing and gangrene to an end.

A Child Against All Odds

Lord Robert Winston (Author)

Compared to the famously fecund rabbit, for whom a single act of coitus has a 90% chance of creating a litter of up to 12 rabbits, humans are very infertile animals. Here in the UK, the average chance of conception is about 18% per month. And in 98% of cases, successful conception leads only to the birth of a single infant. It is unsurprising then that huge efforts have been made to increase our fertility.

In vitro fertilisation, first attempted one hundred years ago, has now become big business. Market forces, combined with the desperation of many couples to fulfil their biological imperative, have pushed doctors and scientists closer to the boundaries of what is desirable or ethical. And as we are increasingly able to access and control the embryo, the opportunities of altering human genetics to eradicate disease, but also to change human characteristics, becomes a real, and to some, frightening possibility.

A Child Against All Odds is a ground-breaking book for Robert Winston as it falls squarely in his area of expertise. It combines his work at Hammersmith Hospital as one of the country's leading fertility specialists, with a hard-hitting, sometimes humorous, often controversial look at the scientific, social and ethical background of man's struggle to discover and control the secrets of reproduction. Drawing on personal and professional experience, it is the definitive account of modern reproductive technology from a practitioner who has spent his professional life at the forefront of this most fascinating and emotive area of science.

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