As Mrs Dalloway works on the preparations for a dinner party, her thoughts throughout the day wander from memories of the past to interrogations about the present and lead her to assess the choices she has made in life and love. Her monologue interweaves with the account of the distress, on that same day, of the shell-shocked veteran Septimus Warren Smith, whose trauma and hallucinations end in tragedy, as the links between the two characters unfold.
One of Virginia Woolf''s most famous novels, Mrs Dalloway is a triumph of experimentation, a cornerstone of Modernism and a subtle examination of love, freedom, mental illness and the female condition in society.>
A novel of high romance and great intensity, Jane Eyre has enjoyed popular success and critical acclaim ever since its first publication in 1847. Jane''s journey from a troubled childhood to independence - and her turbulent love affair with the enigmatic Mr Rochester - electrified Victorian readers with its narrative power.
With characters that are as unforgettable as the story they enact, and a striking use of language that amazed the readers of the day, Jane Eyre ranks among the most influential English novels ever written.>
Charles Dickens''s second novel is the tale of a young orphan who faces the gruelling conditions of a Victorian workhouse before finding himself sucked into the criminal underworld of London. Teeming with unforgettable characters such as the villainous Fagin, the virtuous Nancy and the brutal Bill Sikes, Oliver Twist combines dark humour, elements of melodrama and social polemic.
At once a ferocious indictment of the author''s era and a timeless story of coming of age, this classic has enthralled readers and inspired countless adaptations and imitations since it was first published in 1838.>
Part of Alma Classics Evergreen series at GBP4.99. Oscar Wilde's only full-length novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a lasting gem of sophisticated wit and playfulness, which brings together all the best elements of his talent in a reinterpretation of the Faustian myth. This edition contains photographs and a wealth of extra material.
Under the feckless husbandry of Mr Jones, the Manor Farm has fallen into disrepair. Pushed into hardship, the animals decide to stage a revolt, and, led by two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, they overthrow Mr Jones and drive him away from the farm. In the subsequent struggle for power, it is Napoleon who emerges as a victor: he renames the place "Animal Farm", gets rid of his enemies and, by the way he behaves - expecting to be glorifi ed above the others and turning the screw on his fellow beasts in order to keep them subjugated - begins to resemble more and more the former rulers of the farm, the hated humans.
Written during the Second World War and published in 1945, this allegorical novel is a carefully constructed critique of the Russian Revolution and a sharp satire on the abuse of power. It remains unsurpassed both as a document of its time and as a testament to the versatility and creative genius of George Orwell.>
Emma is considered by many readers to be Jane Austen''s crowning achievement, a timeless comedy of manners that lays bare the limits on women''s autonomy in Regency England. The disparity between Emma Woodhouse''s self-confidence and self-knowledge, and her determination to arrange marriages for her friends while avoiding one for herself, leads to a painful series of misunderstandings for everyone who suffers from her well-meaning altruism - and with Mr Knightley being the only person of her acquaintance who has the good sense to challenge her, Emma must eventually recognize her match in every sense.
Long praised for its rich detail and perfect craftsmanship, Emma is one of those classic masterpieces that readers go back to again and again for its inexhaustible fund of humanity.>
Shakespeare''s Sonnets are among the most lyrical and moving pieces of poetry in any language, abounding with examples of his genius for wordplay, rhythm and metaphor and dealing with the eternal themes of love, memory, beauty and the ravishes of time. First published in 1609, after Shakespeare had written many of his most famous works, the Sonnets have been the subject of literary curiosity ever since, mainly concerning the identity of the two addressees, ''Mr W.H.'' and the ''Dark Lady'', and the light they could shine on Shakespeare''s life.
This collection constitutes one of English literature''s most profound poetic meditations on life and love, and is a vital complement to the plays, offering clues to Shakespeare''s own biography. Presented here in an edition that makes them accessible to twentieth-century readers, these poems are worth returning to again and again.>
As he was finishing Finnegans Wake, Joyce proclaimed, "I have discovered I can do anything with language I want." Indeed, with his last book, which took him seventeen years to write, Joyce takes literary modernism to new territories by harvesting from as many as eighty different languages to create a wordscape that is both precise and impressionistic, a work that is intellectual, avant-garde, but also sad, funny, earthy and brimming with humanity.
This edition includes an introduction by Dr Sam Slote of Trinity College Dublin.>
Born in Newgate Prison to an incarcerated mother, Moll Flanders is compelled from earliest childhood to make her own way in the world and to live off her wit and beauty. Her desire to climb the rungs of society leads her through a tangled web of incest, adultery, prostitution, deception and theft, before she is eventually transported to the New World for her crimes.
Presented as Moll''s autobiography, and published anonymously, the novel, through its self-made protagonist, highlights the intricacies and double standards of Moll''s contemporary society, and offers an irresistible and evocative insight into both the drawing rooms and seedy back alleys of seventeenth-century England.>
The tale of Heathcliff and Cathy''s ungovernable love and suffering, and the havoc that their passion wreaks on the families of the Earnshaws and the Lintons, shocked the book''s first readers, with even Emily''s sister Charlotte wondering whether it is right or advisable to create beings like Heathcliff . Replete with unforgettable characters and situations that have seared themselves into our literary consciousness, Emily Bronte''s intense masterpiece is one of the most haunting love stories in the canon of English literature.>
The intelligent and charming Newland Archer - a member of one of New York''s most prominent families - is living the life that has always been expected of him: he is engaged to the beautiful and well-connected May Welland and understands the rarefied world of Fifth Avenue society inside out. However, with the arrival of May''s cousin, the free-spirited and unconventional Countess Ellen Olenska, Newland begins to doubt all that once seemed so natural to him.An extraordinarily well-observed dissection of New York high society in the 1870s - the world in which Edith Wharton grew up - The Age of Innocence shines a critical light on the social mores and values of the old order.>
Ebenezer Scrooge is a lonely, miserly old man who hates Christmas, which he dismisses as "humbug". One Christmas Eve, however, he is visited by a series of ghosts who reveal to him the innocence he has lost, the wretchedness of his future and the poverty of the present, which he has so far ignored. This experience teaches Scrooge the true meaning of the holiday and leaves him a transformed man.
With its memorable cast of characters such as Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, Charles Dickens''s A Christmas Carol is the most heart-warming of seasonal tales, a timeless classic that continues to enchant readers around the world and a lesson in charity and hopefulness that is as powerful today as when it was first written in 1843.>
The four March sisters - Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - live in financial hardship in New England with their mother, while their father has been drafted to fight in the Civil War. The girls embark on a series of adventures and endure a number of unexpected misfortunes - experiences that allow their personalities to emerge: Meg sensible and outgoing, Jo literary and boyish, Beth musical and shy, and Amy artistic and selfish - but the bonds holding together the March family remain unbroken.
Initially written as a novel for girls, Little Women is now regarded as an all-time American classic for all readers, inspiring generations of women writers and giving rise to many adaptations.>
After her parents die of cholera in India, Mary Lennox is sent to live with her uncle in his gloomy house in Yorkshire, where she leads a lonely and neglected life, with nothing to do apart from exploring her surroundings. One day she discovers a walled garden which has been locked up, and becomes determined to enter it and find out its secret and the source of the mysterious crying sound that can be heard nearby.
A powerful tale of regeneration and personal transformation, The Secret Garden has become one of the most popular children''s classics, and has continued to delight generations of young readers.>
Invited to an extravagantly lavish party in a Long Island mansion, Nick Carraway, a young bachelor who has just settled in the neighbouring cottage, is intrigued by the mysterious host, Jay Gatsby, a flamboyant but reserved self-made man with murky business interests and a shadowy past. As the two men strike up an unlikely friendship, details of Gatsby''s impossible love for a married woman emerge, until events spiral into tragedy.
Regarded as Fitzgerald''s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of American literature, The Great Gatsby is a vivid chronicle of the excesses and decadence of the "Jazz Age", as well as a timeless cautionary critique of the American dream.>
From his Baker Street apartment, Sherlock Holmes wields his powers of deduction in pursuit of justice and truth, venturing out into foggy Victorian London accompanied by his faithful sidekick Dr Watson. This classic collection of Holmes tales includes many of the detective''s most-loved exploits: Holmes is confronted by a venomous snake in ''The Adventure of the Speckled Band'', mystified by a missing thumb in ''The Adventure of the Engineer''s Thumb'' and beguiled by a beautiful opera singer in ''A Scandal in Bohemia'', never once losing his famous cool.
First appearing separately in the Strand Magazine, these stories were published together in 1892 in a volume that rapidly became one of the most popular Sherlock Holmes collections. Showcasing Arthur Conan Doyle''s inimitable genius for mystery and storytelling, these tales are proof that the famous detective remains one of the greatest crime fighters ever created.>
When an army of invading Martians lands in England, panic and terror seize the population. As the aliens traverse the country in huge three-legged machines, incinerating all in their path with a heat ray and spreading noxious toxic gases, the people of the Earth must come to terms with the prospect of the end of human civilization and the beginning of Martian rule.
Inspiring films, radio dramas, comic-book adaptations, television series and sequels, The War of the Worlds is a prototypical work of science fiction which has influenced every alien story that has come since, and is unsurpassed in its ability to thrill, well over a century since it was first published.>
When Rachel Verinder''s legacy of a priceless Indian diamond is stolen, all the evidence indicates that it is her beloved, Franklin Blake, who is guilty. Around this central axis of crime and thwarted love, Collins constructs an ingenious plot of teasing twists and surprises, and an elaborate multi-voiced narrative that sustains the tension all the way to its stunning ending.
Described by T.S. Eliot as the first, the longest and the best of modern English detective novels, Wilkie Collins''s The Moonstone is an important precursor of the modern mystery and suspense genres.>
A murderer is forced to reveal his crime by the sound of a beating heart, a mysterious figure wreaks havoc among a party of noblemen during the time of the plague, a grieving lover awakens to find himself clutching a box of his beloved blood-stained teeth, a man is obsessed with the fear of being buried alive - these are only some of the memorable characters and stories included in this volume, which exemplify Poe''s inventiveness and natural talent as a storyteller.
Immensely popular both during and after his lifetime, and a powerful influence on generations of writers and film-makers to this day, Edgar Allan Poe is still counted among the greatest short-story writers of all time and seen as one of the initiators of the detective, horror and science-fiction genres.>
One of Stevenson''s most famous and enduringly popular works, the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde describes the mysterious relationship between a respectable and affable doctor and his brutal associate. Set in the grimy streets of Victorian London, this tale of murder, split personality and obscure science, with its chilling final revelation, became an instant horror classic when it was first published in 1886, and has enthralled and terrified generations of readers ever since.
This volume also contains seven other Gothic stories by Stevenson - such as ''The Body Snatchers'', ''Markheim'' and ''Olalla'' - showcasing the author''s mastery of the horror genre and his interest in both the otherworldly and the strange ways the human brain can distort reality.>