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The Everyman Chesterton

G K Chesterton (Author)

Included here are some of the well-loved Father Brown detective stories, surely among the best in the genre, and a range of poetry, serious and light-hearted - Chesterton wrote some of the best nonsense and satirical verse in the language. The main bias of the selection, however, will be towards his non-fictional prose, where, Dr Ker argues, his real greatness lies. In that sense he is the successor of the great Victorian 'Sages', Carlyle, Arnold, Ruskin and Newman. Selections will be made from his studies of Victorian literature (particularly his classic essays on Dickens, originally published by Everyman), his critical biographies of St Francis of Assisi, St Thomas Aquinas and William Cobbett; his apologetic classics Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man, his journalistic essays (a form in which he excelled) and from his best political and social criticism, with particular emphasis on his championing of the common man and the masses against virtually all the intellectuals of his day. Edited and introduced by an expert in the field, this substantial volume promises to bring its author back into prominence with a thorough intellectual and literary reassessment of his achievements

The Small Bachelor

P.G. Wodehouse (Author)

Would-be painter, George Finch, with lots of money and no talent, falls for lovely Molly Waddington who falls for him. Unfortunately, Molly’s snobbish stepmother, Mrs Sigsbee H. Waddington, New York society queen, has grander ideas for Molly, not least because George comes from Idaho, which is in every sense beyond the pale. Based on a 1917 musical comedy script by Wodehouse and his friend, Guy Bolton, The Small Bachelor tells the story of George’s struggle to win his girl, with the willing help of Hamilton Beamish, author of self-improvement pamphlets, and the unwitting assistance of a poetic policeman, Molly’s henpecked father, and New York’s premier female pickpocket.

Stories from the Kitchen

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

Stories from the Kitchen is a mouth-watering smorgasbord of stories with food in the starring role, by a rich variety of authors from Dickens, Chekhov and Saki to Isak Dinesen, Jim Crace and Amy Tan. The menu includes choice titbits from famous novels: the triumphant boeuf en daube served in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Proust's rhapsodic memories of watching the family cook prepare asparagus in Remembrance of Things Past, Zola's extravagant 'cheese symphony' scene from The Belly of Paris.

Here are over-the-top amuse-bouches by Gerald Durrell, Nora Ephron and T. C. Boyle; a short story by famous food writer M. F. K. Fisher; and a delightful account of the perfect meal by eighteenth-century epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who famously said 'Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.'

Bedtime Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

As Scheherazade proved long ago, good stories make the best bedtime entertainment. The tales collected here represent the essence of the storyteller's art, with its ancient roots in fantastical legends and tales told around a fire. From the surreal night visions of Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown' to the unspeakable horror that haunts two little girls in A. S. Byatt's 'The Thing in the Forest', from Washington Irving's comical 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' to Ursula K. LeGuin's sly perspective on Sleeping Beauty in 'The Poacher', these spellbinding stories transform the stuff of fables and fairy tales into high art. Robert Louis Stevenson, H. G. Wells, Isak Dinesen, Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, Haruki Murakami and many more mingle their voices in this one-volume gateway to dreams - the perfect bedside companion for fiction lovers everywhere

Shaken and Stirred

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

In this lively collection, wine snobs receive their comeuppance at the hands of Roald Dahl and Edgar Allan Poe; innocents over-imbibe in tales by Jack London and Alice Munro; riotous partying exacts a comic price in stories by P. G. Wodehouse and Kingsley Amis; Charles Jackson and Jean Rhys chronicle liquor-soaked epiphanies; while John Cheever, Vladimir Nabokov and Robert Coover set their characters afloat on surreal, soul-revealing adventures. Here, too, are well-lubricated tales by Dickens, Twain, Beckett, Colette, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Frank O'Connor, Penelope Lively, and many more.

The settings include hotels and restaurants, a wine cellar in Italy, a café in Paris, a bar in Dublin, a New York nightclub, Jazz Age speakeasies, suburban lawn parties and the occasional gaol cell, and are peopled by lovers and loners, barmen and chorus girls, youths taking their first sips and experienced tipplers nursing hangovers.

Whether living it up or drowning their sorrows, the vividly drawn characters in these sparkling pages will leave you shaken and stirred.

Horse Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

Horse Stories corrals two centuries of short fiction about the most majestic of domesticated animals. From writers old and new come stories of magnificent stallions, broken-down nags, racehorses, ponies, cowboy's steeds, workhorses, and beloved companions, in a wide variety of literary styles. Rudyard Kipling transports us the polo fields of India, Bret Harte to the ranches of the Wild West. Arthur Conan Doyle makes a famous thoroughbred disappear (or does he?), while Saki spins an amusing yarn about a notorious bolter. Isaac Babel tells of the horrors of war; Raymond Carver has a vision of runaway horses in the mist; Ted Hughes, Margaret Atwood and Jane Smiley explore the human passions horses can unleash. From the rollicking racetrack humour of Damon Runyon to the poignant lyricism of John Steinbeck, these stories testify to our varied and timeless fascination with the noblest of animals. A perfect gift.

Dog Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

The unforgettable canines gathered here include Kipling's heroically faithful 'Garm', Bret Harte's irrepressible scoundrel of a 'yaller dog' and the aggressively affectionate three-legged pit bull who lives in a block of flats for dogs in Jonathan Lethem's 'Ava's Apartment'. Here are stories which touchingly illuminate the dog's role in the emotional lives of humans, such as Tobias Wolff's 'Her Dog', where a widower shares his grief for his wife with her grieving pet. Here, too, are humorous glimpses of the canine point of view, from O. Henry's tale of a dissatisfied lapdog's escape to P. G. Wodehouse's cheerfully naïve watchdog who simply wants everybody to get along. These writers and others - Ray Bradbury, JamesThurber and Penelope Lively among them - offer imaginative, lyrical and empathetic portraits of man and woman's most devoted companion

Cat Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

Playful kittens and ruthless predators, beloved pets and witches' familiars - cats of all kinds come alive in these stories. Maeve Brennan and Alice Adams movingly explore what cats can mean to their humans, while writers as varied as Patricia Highsmith and Fritz Leiber imagine the intriguingly alien feline point of view. Cats flaunt their undeniable superiority in Angela Carter's bawdy retelling of 'Puss-in-Boots' and Stephen Vincent Benét's uncanny 'The King of the Cats', while humour abounds in tales by comic masters P. G. Wodehouse and Saki. The essential unknowableness of cats inspires the most exotic flights of fancy: Calvino's secret city of cats in 'The Garden of Stubborn Cats', the disappearing animal in Ursula K. LeGuin's brain-teasing 'Schrödinger's Cat', the cartoon rodent and his cartoon nemesis in Steven Millhauser's 'Cat 'n' Mouse'. In these and other stories, this delightful anthology offers cat lovers a many-faceted tribute to the beguilingly mysterious objects of their affection.

Detective Stories

Peter Washington (Author)

A glorious collection of some of the best sleuths in the business. Including creators such as Poe and Conan Doyle to Hammet, Christie, Chandler, Rendell and Rankin. Perfect gift edition.

Christmas Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell (Author)

As a literary subject, Christmas has inspired everything from intimate domestic dramas, to fanciful flights of the imagination, and the full range of its expression is represented in this wonderfully engaging collection. Goblins frolic in the graveyard of an early Dickens tale; a love-struck ghost disrupts a country estate in Elizabeth Bowen's 'Green Holly'; devils, witches, Cossacks and peasants cavort in Gogol's 'The Night Before Christmas'. The plight of the less fortunate haunts Chekhov's 'Vanka' and Willa Cather's 'The Burglar's Christmas', but takes a boisterously comic turn in Damon Runyon's 'Dancing Dan's Christmas' and John Cheever's 'Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor'. From Nabokov's intensely moving story of a father's grief in 'Christmas' to Truman Capote's hilarious yet heartbreaking 'A Christmas Memory', from Grace Paley's Jewish girl in the Christmas pageant in 'The Loudest Voice' to the dysfunctional family ski holiday in Richard Ford's 'Creche' - each of the stories is imbued with Christmas spirit of one kind or another, and all are richly and indelibly entertaining.

Golf Stories

Charles McGrath (Edited by)

Here are literary classics by such golf-loving writers as P. G. Wodehouse, Ring Lardner, and John Updike, mixed with surprises like an appearance by Ian Fleming's James Bond and a little crime on the links from mystery master Ian Rankin. Humorists and sportswriters ranging from E. C. Bentley to Dan Jenkins and Rick Reilly weigh in as well, alongside a tale of romance on the greens from F. Scott Fitzgerald, a little-known gem by famous golf architect A. W. Tillinghast, and a story by Rex Lardner (Ring's nephew) that just may be the single funniest thing ever written about golf. The resulting anthology is as enticing, provocative, and entertaining as the game of golf itself.

Erotic Stories

Rowan Pelling (Edited by)

A perfect gift of timeless erotic stories ranging from ancient Greek myth to modern stories of longing and lust. This beautifully jacketed Everyman's Library Pocket Classics hardcover anthology has a full-cloth binding and silk ribbon marker. Accounts of ardour and transgression also flow from unexpected pens: an astonishingly explicit scene from an unfinished novel by Edith Wharton, and Guy de Maupassant's heated tale of a young peasant woman offering her breast to a starving stranger on a train. Hunger is the fierce undercurrent to these stories: the gnawing lust of one lover for another, or the greedy pursuit of a particular inclination. The elegant depravity of an eighteenth-century French aristocrat, the dreamlike seductions of an Egyptian jinni in the form of a snake, the brutal anonymity of a highway truck-stop encounter--the stories in this richly varied collection reveal that the urge to articulate sexual desire is as inventive as it is timeless.

Paris Stories

Shaun Whiteside (Edited by)

In the eighteenth century, Laurence Sterne explores the temptations of the French capital in a teasing study of foreign mores and Restif de la Bretonne provides an eye-witness account of the Revolution. From the 1800s, Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola offer fascinating portraits of the city's teeming humanity; the Goncourt brothers chronicle the explosion of artistic talent; Huysmans describes an evening at the Folies Bergère. Colette chronicles the pitfalls for a young girl in the decadent city of the early twentieth century; F. Scott Fitzgerald revels in the city's glamour; Jean Rhys's lost heroines wander from café to café; James Baldwin celebrates its sexual freedoms; and Raymond Queneau gleefully reinvents the language of the street. In our time, Michel Tournier's North African immigrant walks a camel along the boulevards, while Nobel Laureate Patrick Modiano brilliantly maps the city's many arrondissements. The alluring power of Paris has never dimmed and it is richly captured in all its facets in these compelling and seductive tales.

Olinger Stories

John Updike (Author)

In an interview, Updike once said, "If I had to give anybody one book of me, it would be the Olinger Stories." These stories were originally published in The New Yorker and then in various collections before Vintage first put them together in one volume in 1964, as a paperback original. They follow the life of one character from the age of ten through manhood, in the small Pennsylvania town of Olinger (pronounced, according to Updike, with a long O and a hard G), which was loosely based on Updike's own hometown. "All the stories draw from the same autobiographical well," Updike explained, "the only child, the small town, the grandparental home, the move in adolescence to a farm." The selection was made and arranged by Updike himself, and was prefaced by a lovely 1,400-word essay by the author that has never been reprinted in full elsewhere until now.

New York Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

Writers have always been uniquely inspired by New York City, and the classic stories collected here provide a kaleidoscopic vision of the metropolis in all its grittiness and glamour. Acclaimed writers past and present, ranging from Truman Capote, Bernard Malamud, John Cheever and Shirley Jackson to Jay McInerney, Edwidge Danticat and Junot Diaz, introduce us to starry-eyed tourists and ambitious immigrants, starving artists and hedonistic yuppies, Jewish matchmakers in the Bronx and Haitian nannies in Central Park. Colourful characters of all kinds come alive in these pages, nursing their dreams in the tiny apartments, the lonely cafés, and the bustling streets of the city that never sleeps.

Stories of the Sea

Classic adventure stories by Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London mix with marvellously imaginative tales by Isak Dinesen, Patricia Highsmith and J. G. Ballard. Robert Olen Butler explores the memories of a Titanic victim who has become part of the sea that swallowed him; Ray Bradbury's 'The Fog Horn' summons something primeval and lonely from the ocean depths; John Updike's lovers retrace the route of Homer's Odyssey on a cruise ship. From Edgar Allan Poe's dramatic 'A Descent into the Maelstrom' to Ernest Hemingway's chilling 'After the Storm', the stories here are as wide-ranging and entrancing as the sea itself.

The Maples Stories

John Updike (Author)

In 1956 John Updike wrote a short story about newly-weds Joan and Richard Maple. Over the next two decades he returned to this couple again and again, tracking their years together as they raise children and deal with the heartbreak of infidelity and estrangement. Gathered here for the first time in hardcover - and with the addition of a later story, 'Grandparenting', that shows us the Maples after their divorce - THE MAPLES STORIES offers a nuanced portrait of two deeply flawed but moving characters and their entwined lives.

'Though the Maples stories trace the decline and fall of a marriage, they also illumine a history in many ways happy, of growing children and a million mundane moments shared. That a marriage ends is less than ideal; but all things end under heaven, and if temporality is held to be invalidating, then nothing really succeeds. The moral of these stories is that all blessings are mixed.'
- From the Foreword by John Updike

Stories of Fatherhood

Diana Secker Tesdell (Edited by)

This wide-ranging anthology pays tribute to fathers young and old. At one end of the spectrum, a touching story by Ann Packer tells of a man preparing for the wonder and terror of his first child’s birth, and from Frank O’Connor’s comes a hilarious tale of a small boy’s war against his paternal rival in ‘My Oedipus Complex’. At the other, John Updike’s ‘My Father’s Tears’ and Jim Shepard’s ‘The Mortality of Parents’ bring us face to face with a loss that is like no other. Maupassant, Kakfa, Nabokov, Edith Wharton, Raymond Carver, Graham Swift, Julian Barnes, Helen Simpson …all these and more offer a wonderful assortment of fictional takes on the paternal bond.

Ghost Stories

Tales about ghosts are as old as human culture itself but the ghost story as a distinguished literary form reached its apogee in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As traditional religions declined in the West during those years, people looked for new ways of describing the spiritual realities explained by religion. The ghost story is a literary expression of this need, its rise corresponding to the growing popularity of Spiritualism. Ghost stories balance the increasingly powerful scientific materialism of the age with intimations that there are other orders of experience which we cannot define and only glimpse.
The Everyman selection of ghost stories includes examples from this period by major writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Guy de Maupassant, Henry James and Edith Wharton. M. R. James is featured as a specialist in the genre. Later writers include Elizabeth Bowen, Penelope Lively and Ray Bradbury.
One feature of this collection is to show that there is more to the ghost story than the thrill of horror, important though that is. These stories include comedy and tragedy, pathos, drama and even poetry. Each is a masterpiece in its own right, irrespective of whether or not we believe in the realm of spectres.

Fishing Stories

Henry Hughes (Edited by)

Fishing Stories nets an abundant catch of wonderful writing in a wide variety of genres and styles. The moods range from the rollicking humour of Rudyard Kipling’s “On Dry-Cow Fishing as a Fine Art” and the rural gothic of Annie Proulx’s “The Wer-Trout” to the haunting elegy of Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It.”

Many of these tales celebrate human bonds forged over a rod, including Guy de Maupassant’s “Two Friends,” Jimmy Carter’s “Fishing with My Daddy,” and Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden. Some deal in reverence and romance, as in Roland Pertwee’s “The River God,” and some in adventure and the stuff of legend, as in Zane Grey’s “The First Thousand-Pounder” and Ron Rash’s “Their Ancient Glittering Eyes.” There are works that confront head-on the heartbreaks and frustrations of the sport, from Thomas McGuane’s meditation on long spells of inaction as the essence of fishing in “The Longest Silence” to Raymond Carver on a boy’s deflated triumph in the gut-wrenching masterpiece “Nobody Said Anything.” And alongside the works of literary giants are the memories of people both great and humble who have found meaning and fulfillment in fishing, from a former American president to a Scottish gamekeeper’s daughter.

Whether set against the open ocean or tiny mountain streams, in ancient China, tropical Tahiti, Paris under siege, or the vast Canadian wilderness, these stories cast wide and strike deep into the universal joys, absurdities, insights, and tragedies of life.

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