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The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Graham (Author)

The day that Mole abandons his spring-cleaning and sets out to enjoy the sunshine is the start of many adventures. Not only does he discover the river and the joys of messing around in boats, but he also makes lifelong friends with Rat, Badger and the eccentric and incorrigible Toad.

Bruno's Dream

Iris Murdoch (Author)

Bruno, dying, obsessed with spiders and preoccupied with death and reconciliation, lies at the center of an intricate spider's web of relationships and passions: Bruno's estranged and grieving son Miles; Danby, Bruno's widowed son-in-law, consoling himself with the Adelaide the maid, one of Murdoch's finest comic creations; creepy Nigel the nurse and his besotted twin Will, fighter of duels. The flooding Thames brings about the climax, and all are left changed by love and forgiveness before the old man's death.

The Message To The Planet

Iris Murdoch (Author)

For years, Alfred Ludens has pursued mathematician and philosopher Marcus Vallar in the belief that he possesses a profound metaphysical formula, a missing link of great significance to mankind.

Luden's friends are more sceptical. Jack Sheerwater, painter, thinks Marcus is crazy. Gildas herne, ex-preist, thinks he is evil. Patrick Fenman, poet, is dying because he thinks Marcus has cursed him. Marcus has disappeared and must be found.

But is he a genius, a hero struggling at the bounds of human knowledge? Is he seeking God, or is he just another victim of the Holocaust, which casts its shadow upon him and upon Ludens, both of them Jewish?

Can human thinking discover the foundations of human consciousness?

Iris Murdoch's endlessly inventive imagination has touched a fundamental question of our time.

The Last Ealing Comedy

Matthew Baylis (Author)

Alastair Strange is having trouble. His girlfriend Martha, tired of late night telly and takeaway pizzas, has reinvented herself as the real estate princess of Putney. His dream job has turned into a nightmare and his Dad's been arrested for burglary. Just when things couldn't get worse, along comes Alastair's old friend, society It-girl Tara, with a tantalising job offer. Alastair finds himself teaching media studies in an Ealing school. A cushy number, he thinks, but that's before Tara calls the favour in- The derelict Ealing Studios are next to the school - their presence haunts Alastair and acts as a continual motif for his story, combining the quirky wit and eccentricity of the Ealing films with an eye for the absurdities of modern urban life. Flat-sharing with the impossible Davenport, dealing with mysterious girls on the bus and disastrous blind dates, it would seem that there is, perhaps, one last comedy left in Ealing.

The Mottled Lizard

Elspeth Huxley (Author)

In this sequel to The Flame of Thika, Elspeth Huxley takes up her story after the family returns to Kenya after the First World War. Her family and friends, their home and their travels, the glorious wildlife and scenery, described in rich and loving detail, all spring to life in this enchanting book. 'She knows East Africa and she loves it. . . with a critical and understanding sympathy. ' The Times 'What a marvellous writer. . . and what a Kenya it was. ' Financial Times

Georges Perec: A Life in Words

David Bellos (Author)

"It's hard to see how anyone is ever going to better this User's Manual to the life of Georges Perec" - Gilbert Adair, Sunday Times

Winner of the Prix Goncourt for Biography, 1994

George Perec (1936-82) was one of the most significant European writers of the twentieth century and undoubtedly the most versatile and innovative writer of his generation.

David Bellos's comprehensive biography - which also provides the first full survey of Perec's irreverent, polymathic oeuvre - explores the life of an anguished, comical and endearingly modest man, who worked quietly as an archivist in a medical research library. The French son of Jewish immigrants from Poland, he remained haunted all of his life by his father's death in the war, fighting to defend France, and his mother's in Auschwitz-Birkenau. His acclaimed novel A Void (1969) - written without using the letter "e" - has been seen as an attempt to escape from the words "père", "mere", and even "George Perec".

His career made an auspicious start with Things: A Story of the Sixties (1965), which won the Prix Renaudot. He then pursued an idiosyncratic and ambitious literary itinerary through the intellectual ferment of Paris in the 1960s and 1970s.He belonged to the Ouvrior de Littérature Potentielle (OuLiPo), a radically inventive group of writers whose members included Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino. Perec achieved international celebrity with Life A User's Manual (1978), which won the Prix Medicis and was voted Novel of the Decade by the Salon du Livre. He died in his mid-forties after a short illness, leaving a truly puzzling detective novel, 53 Days, incomplete.

"Professor Bellos's book enables us at once to relish the most wilfully bizarre aspects of Perec's oeuvre and to understand the whys and wherefores of his protean nature" - Jonathan Romney, Literary Review

The Life Of Graham Greene Volume Two

Norman Sherry (Author)

The years from 1939 to 1955 proved to be the most prolific of Graham Greene's life. In The Life of Graham Greene, Volume II, Norman Sherry continues his engrossing account, delving deeply and emerging with a portrait of the author at the height of both his spying and literary careers. Greene produced some of his best novels during this time - The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Affair, The Quiet American - and saw the filming of The Fallen Idol and The Third Man. The same period encompasses his passionate affair with the beautiful American Catherine Watson, who was married to a British peer, the disintegration of his marriage, his long relationship with Dorothy Glover, his activities as a secret agent and his forays into the conflicts in Kenya, Malaya, and French Indo-China. As with The Life of Graham Greene Volume I: 1904-1939, Norman Sherry succeeds in unlocking the mystery of Greene's character and the alchemic nature of his creative genius.

Flaws In The Glass

Patrick White (Author)

The appearance of this self-portrait by Patrick White is a literary event for which his readers and admirers have long hoped. He explains how on the very rare occasions when he re-reads a passage from one of his books, he recognizes very little of the self he knows. This ‘unknown’ is the man who interviewers and visiting students expect to find, but ‘unable to produce him’, he prefers to remain private – or as private as anyone who has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature can ever be. But in this book is the self Patrick White does recognize, the one he sees reflected in the glass.

It is a remarkable book. In a shifting sequence we learn of youth in Australia; the ‘expensive prison’, his English boarding school; Cambridge with holiday trips to Germany; London in the Blitz; RAF wartime intelligence and compensations of life in Australia. There are journeys to cities and landscapes round the world which take on more reality than places one has actually visited.

He tells us whom he has loved and hated and of his opinions – political and literary. He introduces us to a host of characters from Australian cousins to Stravinsky and Queen Elizabeth – and of course to Manoly Lascaris, who in 1942 ‘became the central mandala in my life’s hitherto messy design.’ He describes what he sees in the glass’s reflection with such power that it seems no artist can have attempted or executed a self-portrait so lifelike before.

Stop What You’re Doing and Read…Of All Ordinary Human Life: Middlemarch & To The Lighthouse

George Eliot (Author) , Virginia Woolf (Author)

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.

MIDDLEMARCH
Dorothea is bright, beautiful and rebellious and has married the wrong man. Lydgate is the ambitious new doctor in town and has married the wrong woman. Both of them long to make a positive difference in the world. But their stories do not proceed as expected and both they, and the other inhabitants of Middlemarch, must struggle to reconcile themselves to their fates and find their places in the world.
Middlemarch contains all of life: the rich and the poor, the conventional and the radical, literature and science, politics and romance. Eliot's novel is a stunningly compelling insight into the human struggle to find contentment.

TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
The serene and maternal Mrs Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr Ramsay, together with their children and assorted guests, are holidaying on the Isle of Skye. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse Virginia Woolf constructs a remarkable and moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life, and the conflict between male and female principles.

Stop What You’re Doing and Read…To Your Daughter: I Capture the Castle & The Secret Garden

Dodie Smith (Author) , Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author)

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.

I CAPTURE THE CASTLE
'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink' is the first line of this timeless, witty and enchanting novel about growing up. Cassandra Mortmain lives with her bohemian and impoverished family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Her journal records her life with her beautiful, bored sister, Rose, her fadingly glamorous stepmother, Topaz, her little brother Thomas and her eccentric novelist father who suffers from a financially crippling writer's block. However, all their lives are turned upside down when the American heirs to the castle arrive and Cassandra finds herself falling in love for the first time...

THE SECRET GARDEN
Mary Lennox is an orphan who is sent to live with her uncle at gloomy Misselthwaite Manor. Neglected and lonely, she begins to explore her new home and learns of a secret garden that her uncle has forbidden anyone to enter. A friendly robin shows Mary the key to the garden and she discovers a world she could never have imagined... The Secret Garden has enchanted generations of children and adults alike.

Stop What You’re Doing and Read…After Dark: Ghost Stories & Dracula

Bram Stoker (Author) , M. R. James (Author)

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.

M.R. JAMES' GHOST STORIES
SELECTED AND INTRODUCED BY RUTH RENDELL
M. R. James wrote his ghost stories to entertain friends on Christmas Eve, and they went on to both transform and modernise a genre. James harnesses the power of suggestion to move from a recognisable world to one that is indefinably strange, and then unforgettably terrifying. Sheets, pictures, carvings, a dolls house, a lonely beach, a branch tapping on a window - ordinary things take on more than a tinge of dread in the hands of the original master of suspense.

DRACULA
'The door is shut, and the chains rattle; there is a grinding of the key in the lock; I hear the creaking of lock and bolt...I shall not remain alone with them. I may find a way from this dreadful place, away from this cursed spot, from this cursed land, where the devil and his children still walk with earthly feet!'
Young lawyer Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania on business for a mysterious Count. Months later in England, beautiful Lucy Westenra falls ill and dies, inexplicably, as if from a severe loss of blood. Lucy's friends, including Jonathan's fiancée Mina and the intrepid doctor Van Helsing, must begin a desperate battle against a powerful, ancient evil, in Bram Stoker's definitive gothic tale.

Stop What You’re Doing and Read…Epic Page-turners: The Count of Monte Cristo & Les Miserables

Alexandre Dumas (Author) , Victor Hugo (Author)

To mark the publication of Stop What You're Doing and Read This!, a collection of essays celebrating reading, Vintage Classics are releasing 12 limited edition themed ebook 'bundles', to tempt readers to discover and rediscover great books.

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO
Imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Edmond Dantès spends fourteen bitter years in a dungeon. When his daring escape plan works he uses all he has learnt during his incarceration to mastermind an elaborate plan of revenge that will bring punishment to those he holds responsible for his fate. No longer the naïve sailor who disappeared into the dark fortress all those years ago, he reinvents himself as the charming, mysterious and powerful Count of Monte Cristo...

LES MISERABLES
Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, Les Misérables is one of the greatest adventure stories ever told. It is a novel peopled by colourful characters from the nineteenth-century Parisian underworld; the street children, the prostitutes and the criminals. In telling the story of escaped convict Jean Valjean, and his efforts to reform his ways and care for the little orphan girl he rescues from a life of cruelty, Victor Hugo drew attention to the plight of the poor and oppressed. Les Miserables is a masterful detective story, a comic and tragic story of romance and revolution and, ultimately, a tale of redemption and hope.

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