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Socrates' Defence

Plato

'I'll stop doing it as soon as I understand what I'm doing.'

Somewhere between a historical account and work of philosophy, Socrates' Defence details the final plea of Plato's beloved mentor.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Plato (474 BC-347 BC). Plato's works available in Penguin Classics are Republic, The Last Days of Socrates, The Laws, Phaedrus, Protagoras and Meno, Timaeus and Critias, Theaetetus, Early Socratic Dialogues, The Symposium and Gorgias.

How Much Land Does A Man Need?

Leo Tolstoy

'Although he feared death, he could not stop. 'If I stopped now, after coming all this way - well, they'd call me an idiot!'

A pair of short stories about greed, charity, life and death from one of Russia's most influential writers and thinkers.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910). Tolstoy's works available in Penguin Classics are Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Childhood, Boyhood, Youth,The Cossacks and Other Stories, The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories, What is art?, Resurrection, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, Master and Man and Other Stories, How Much Land Does A Man Need? & Other Stories, A Confession and Other Religious Writings and Last steps: The Late Writings of Leo Tolstoy.

Aphorisms on Love and Hate

Friedrich Nietzsche

'We must learn to love, learn to be kind, and this from our earliest youth ... Likewise, hatred must be learned and nurtured, if one wishes to become a proficient hater'

This volume contains a selection of Nietzsche's brilliant and challenging aphorisms, examining the pleasures of revenge, the falsity of pity, and the incompatibility of marriage with the philosophical life.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Nietzsche's works available in Penguin Classics are A Nietzsche Reader, Beyond Good and Evil, Ecce Homo, Human, All Too Human, On the Genealogy of Morals, The Birth of Tragedy, The Portable Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Twilight of Idols and Anti-Christ.

The Madness of Cambyses

Herodotus

'Do you see your son, standing over there, in the antechamber? Well, I am going to shoot him.'

The story of the great and mad Cambyses, King of Persia, told by part-historian, part-mythmaker Herodotus of Halicarnassus.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Herodotus (c.484-425 BCE). Herodotus's The Histories is also available in Penguin Classics.

The Great Fire of London

Samuel Pepys

'With one's face in the wind you were almost burned with a shower of Firedrops'

A selection from Pepys' startlingly vivid and candid diary, including his famous account of the Great Fire

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Samuel Pepys (1633-1703). The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A Selection is available in Penguin Classics

Caligula

Suetonius

'Because of his baldness and hairiness, he announced it was a capital offence for anyone either to look down on him as he passed or to mention goats in any context.'

The biography of the brutal, crazed and incestuous Roman Emperor Caligula, who tried to appoint his own horse consul.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c.70-130 CE). Suetonius's The Twelve Caesars is also available in Penguin Classics.

Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls

Marco Polo

'You will hear it for yourselves, and it will surely fill you with wonder...'

In this selection from Marco Polo's famous travel book, the intrepid Venetian describes the customs of India, recounts the story of the king who died eighty-four times and explains how to retrieve diamonds from snake-infested caves...

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Marco Polo (1254-1324). Polo's Travels are available in Penguin Classics.

Come Close

Sappho

'Yes, we did many things, then - all
Beautiful ...'

Lyrical, powerful poems about love, sexuality, sun-soaked Greece and the gods.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Sappho (c.630-570 BCE). Sappho's Stung with Love is available in Penguin Classics.

Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands

Ivan Turgenev

"No, no, I've got your word for it, I've got to die ... you promised me ... you told me ..."

Turgenev's accounts of hunting in rural Russia, and the extraordinary characters he meets there.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883). Turgenev's works available in Penguin Classics are Fathers and Sons, First Love, Home of the Gentry, On the Eve, Rudin, Sketches from a Hunter's Album, Spring Torrents and Three Sketches from a Hunter's Album.

The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx (and others)

'The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.'

Marx and Engels's revolutionary summons to the working classes - one of the most important and influential political theories ever formulated.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Marx's works available in Penguin Classics are Capital, Dispatches for the New York Tribune, Early Writings, Grundrisse, The Portable Karl Marx and Revolution and War.

I Hate and I Love

Catullus

Dazzling modern lyrical poems from Catullus - by turns smutty, abusive, romantic and deeply moving.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Catullus (c.84-54 BCE). Catullus's The Poems is available in Penguin Classics.

Antigone

Sophocles

'It's a dreadful thing to yield...but resist now?
Lay my pride bare to the blows of ruin?
That's dreadful too.'

The remarkable story of Greek tragedy's most intrepid heroine.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC). Sophocles's works available in Penguin Classics are The Theban Plays and Electra and Other Plays.

The Tinderbox

Hans Christian Andersen

'There sat the dog with eyes as big as mill wheels'

Though criticised for their anarchic immorality when first published, Hans Christian Andersen's tales made him an international star, taken to the hearts of children and adults for their beauty, sorrow and strangeness. Included here are 'The Steadfast Tin Soldier' and 'Big Klaus and Little Klaus'.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875). Andersen's Fairy Tales is available in Penguin Classics.

To-morrow

Joseph Conrad

'It was as if the sea, breaking down the wall protecting all the homes of the town, had sent a wave over her head'

One of Conrad's most powerful, gripping stories

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924). Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, The Secret Sharer and Other Stories, Typhoon and Other Stories and Under Western Eyes are available in Penguin Classics.

A Pair of Silk Stockings

Kate Chopin

'At night, among the reeds on the bayou, Chicot could still hear the woman's wail, mingled now with the croaking of the frogs...'

From one of the most daring writers of fin-de-siècle America, five stories of awakening that range from Louisiana's plantations and poverty-stricken bayous to its gilded cities.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Kate Chopin (1850-1904). The Awakening and Selected Stories and At Fault are available in Penguin Classics.

The Life of a Stupid Man

Ryunosuke Akutagawa

'What is the life of a human being - a drop of dew, a flash of lightning? This is so sad, so sad.'

Autobiographical stories from one of Japan's masters of modernist story-telling.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892-1927). Akutagawa's Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories is also available in Penguin Classics.

A Hippo Banquet

Mary Kingsley

'While engaged on this hunt I felt the earth quiver under my feet, and heard a soft big soughing sound, and looking round saw I had dropped in on a hippo banquet...'

Told with verve and self-mocking wit, the adventures of doughty female Victorian explorer Mary Kingsley describe stumbling upon five hippos by night, dodging elephants and fighting off a leopard with a stool.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Mary Kingsley (1862-1900). Kingsley's work is available in Penguin Classics in Travels in West Africa.

The Great Winglebury Duel

Charles Dickens

'Desperate-minded villain!'

Two of Dickens' hilarious early stories from Sketches by Boz: 'The Great Winglebury Duel' and 'Bloomsbury Christening'

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870). All Dickens' novels and other major works are available in Penguin Classics.

O Cruel Alexis

Virgil

'But I, while vineyards ring with the cicadas' scream,
Retrace your steps, alone, beneath the burning sun.'

Virgil's lyrical, wistful and often witty pastoral poems.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Publius Vergilius Maro (70-19 BCE). Virgil's other works available in Penguin Classics are The Aeneid, The Eclogues and The Georgics.

Olalla

Robert Louis Stevenson

'Is it me you love, friend? or the race that made me?'

A gothic novella about love, torment and doomed aristocracy, set in the remote mountains of Spain.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). Stevenson's works available in Penguin Classics are An Apology for Idlers, The Black Arrow, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, In the South Seas, Kidnapped, The Master of Ballantrae, Treasure Island and Selected Poems.