List of Classical Books to Read

  List of Classical Books to Read

Books in list (29)


Title: This Side of Paradise

Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920) was an immediate, spectacular success and established his literary reputation. Perhaps the definitive novel of that "Lost Generation," it tells the story of Amory Blaine, a handsome, wealthy Princeton student who halfheartedly involves himself in literary cults, "liberal" student activities, and a series of empty flirtations with young women. When he finally does fall truly in love, however, the young woman rejects him for another. After serving in France during the war, Blaine returns to embark on a career in advertising. Still young, but already cynical and world-weary, he exemplifies the young men and women of the '20s, described by Fitzgerald as "a generation grown up to find all gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken."
Author(s): F. Scott Fitzgerald
ISBN 13: 9780486289991
Rate book Rate this book

Title: War and Peace (Pevear / Volokhonsky Translation)

From the award-winning translators of Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov comes this magnificent new translation of Tolstoy's masterwork.

War and Peace broadly focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men.

A s Napoleon’s army invades, Tolstoy brilliantly follows characters from diverse backgrounds—peasants and nobility, civilians and soldiers—as they struggle with the problems unique to their era, their history, and their culture. And as the novel progresses, these characters transcend their specificity, becoming some of the most moving—and human—figures in world literature.

An essay on translating WAR AND PEACE by Richard Pevear

To many prospective readers Tolstoy's War and Peace is the most intimidating of literary monuments. It is there, like a vast, unexplored continent, and all sorts of daunting rumors circulate about life in the interior. But once you cross the border, you discover that the world of War and Peace is more familiar and at the same time more surprising than the rumors suggested. That is as true for the translator as it is for the first-time reader.

We spent three years working full-time on the translation, revising it, copy-editing it, proofreading it twice, meaning that each of us read the novel some five times in Russian and in English. Yet even in my final checking of the proofs, I still found myself delighting, laughing, or holding back my tears as I read. An example of this last is the moment near the end when Pierre and Natasha, after all the harrowing experiences they've lived through, finally meet again in Princess Marya's drawing room. Pierre sees that Princess Marya has someone with her, but doesn't realize who it is. Princess Marya is perplexed.


She again shifted her gaze from Pierre's face to the face of the lady in the black dress and said:

"Don't you recognize her?"

Pierre glanced once more at the pale, fine face of the companion, with its dark eyes and strange mouth. Something dear, long forgotten, and more than sweet looked at him from those attentive eyes.

"But no, it can't be," he thought. "This stern, thin, pale, aged face? It can't be her. It's only a reminiscence of that one." But just then Princess Marya said: "Natasha." And the face, with its attentive eyes, with difficulty, with effort, like a rusty door opening – smiled, and from that open door there suddenly breathed and poured out upon Pierre that long-forgotten happiness of which, especially now, he was not even thinking. It breathed out, enveloped, and swallowed him whole. When she smiled, there could no longer be any doubt: it was Natasha, and he loved her.


What makes this passage so moving is not only the drama of the moment itself, but the way Tolstoy has sensed it and captured it in words. It can't be paraphrased; the translator has to follow as closely as possible the exact sequence and pacing of the words in order to catch the "musical" meaning of the original, which is less apparent than the "literal" meaning, but alone creates the impression Tolstoy intended.

I've said "translator," and in a sense our collaboration is so close that the two of us make up one translator who has the luck to be a native speaker of two languages. That situation has its advantages. Translators are always in danger of drifting into the sort of language that is commonly referred to as "smooth," "natural," or, as they now say, "reader friendly," and is really only a tissue of ready-made phrases. When that happens to me, as it sometimes does, Larissa is there to stop me. Where I have my say is in judging the quality of our English text, that is, in drawing the line between a literal and a faithful rendering, which are not at all the same. If the translation does not finally "work" in English, it doesn't work at all.

I'll take an example of what that collaboration can produce from Tolstoy's description of the Russian army crossing the river Enns. After a good deal of confusion, the hussar captain Denisov finally manages to clear the infantry from the bridge and send his cavalry over. As the first riders move onto the bridge, Tolstoy writes: "On the planks of the bridge the transparent sounds of hoofs rang out . . ." The Russian is unmistakable—prozrachnye zvuki "transparent sounds"—and I find its precision breathtaking. It is pure Tolstoy. To my knowledge, it has never been translated into English. What we find in other versions is the "thud" or "clang" of hoofs, and it is likely that I would have done something similar if Larissa had not brought me back to what Tolstoy actually wrote. His prose is full of such moments. Coming upon them and finding words for them in English has been one of the most rewarding aspects of our work.

Here is a very different and rather amusing example of the search for fidelity. Count Ilya Andreich Rostov, Natasha's father, is giving a banquet in honor of General Bagration. Ordering the menu, he insists that "grebeshki" be put in the "tortue." I assumed that tortue was French turtle soup, but what about grebeshki? The Russian word can mean either "cock's-combs" or "scallops." Which would you put in a turtle soup? I did research into the uses of cock's-combs, but with rather unappealing results. I looked at previous translations: one has "scallops" and thinks the soup is a "pie crust"; another has "cock's-combs" but in a "pasty"; in a third the "cock's-combs" are in a "soup"; the fourth agrees about the soup, but puts "croutons" in it.

Going by my own taste, I decided to put scallops in the turtle soup. This reading got as far as the first set of page proofs. Just then we met by chance (at a dinner in Paris) a woman who used to run a cooking school. We asked her which it should be. She, too, was puzzled. A few days later we received a long email from her. She had become so intrigued by our question that she went to the French National Library the next day and looked up the history of the culinary use of cock's-combs. She was happy to inform us that they came into fashion precisely around the time of the Napoleonic wars and were a key ingredient in turtle sauce. Suddenly the whole passage made sense, because the chef replies to the old count's order: "Three cold sauces, then?" The other translations have "three cold dishes" or "entrees," with no relation to sauces at all. Thanks to Mme. Meunier, we were able to make the correction in the second set of proofs.

But does such a small thing really matter? Well, it certaintly did to Tolstoy. What this seemingly trivial detail reveals is the extraordinary accuracy of his memory, even in the smallest things. Cock's-combs had gone out of fashion by his time, but he knew where to place them and in what.

Tolstoy's prose is a rich, fluid, multivoiced artistic medium. There is, for instance, a war between the French and Russian languages in War and Peace that mirrors the war between the French and Russian armies. His play with French and with gallicized Russian is a major element of social satire in the novel's composition, allowing him the sort of linguistic infiltrations later found in Joyce and Nabokov. This adds a verbal dimension to War and Peace that English readers don't suspect is there, because previous English translations have eliminated it. But this precocious modernism is never word play for its own sake. It is always moved by passion.

The world of War and Peace envelops you. It is full of uncertainties, surprises, constantly shifting perspectives, but once you enter it you feel that you're in sure hands. Over it all is that "infinite sky" that Prince Andrei discovers as he lies wounded on the field of Austerlitz. This vast unity that embraces the greatest diversity is the secret, the mystery, of Tolstoy's art. It presents a great challenge to its translators, as I've tried to suggest in a small way.

Author(s): Leo Tolstoy
ISBN 13: 9781400079988
Pages: 1296
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (4) other book lists, learn more.

Title: Crime and Punishment

In a timeless story of justice, morality, and redemption, an impoverished Russian student murders a miserly landlady, a crime that has severe repercussions on his life and his family as he battles his conscience.
Author(s): Fyodor Dostoyevsky;Constance Garnett
ISBN 13: 9780486415871
Pages: 430
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (3) other book lists, learn more.

Title: 1984

View our feature on George Orwell’s 1984.

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, Orwell’s narrative is timelier than ever. 1984 presents a startling and haunting vision of the world, so powerful that it is completely convincing from start to finish. No one can deny the power of this novel, its hold on the imaginations of multiple generations of readers, or the resiliency of its admonitions—a legacy that seems only to grow with the passage of time.

Examines different aspects of Orwell's anti-utopian classic, with a biographical sketch of the author and critical essays on this work.

Author(s): George Orwell
ISBN 13: 9780451524935
Pages: 336
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (11) other book lists, learn more.

Title: North and South

As relevant now as when it was first published, Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South skilfully weaves a compelling love story into a clash between the pursuit of profit and humanitarian ideals. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction by Patricia Ingham. When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the North of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South Gaskell skilfully fused individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature. In her introduction Patricia Ingham examines Elizabeth Gaskell's treatment of geographical, economic and class differences, and the male and female roles portrayed in the novel. This edition also includes further reading, notes and a useful glossary. Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65) was born in London, but grew up in the north of England in the village of Knutsford. In 1832 she married the Reverend William Gaskell and had four daughters, and one son who died in infancy. Her first novel, Mary Barton, was published in 1848, winning the attention of Charles Dickens, and most of her later work was published in his journals, including Cranford (1853), serialised in Dickens's Household Words. She was also a lifelong friend of Charlotte Brontë, whose biography she wrote. If you enjoyed North and South, you might like Jane Austen's Persuasion, also available in Penguin Classics. '[An] admirable story ... full of character and power' Charles Dickens
Author(s): Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
ISBN 13: 9780140434248
Pages: 450
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Time Machine

English novelist, historian and science writer Herbert George Wells (1866–1946) abandoned teaching and launched his literary career with a series of highly successful science-fiction novels. The Time Machine was the first of a number of these imaginative literary inventions. First published in 1895, the novel follows the adventures of a hypothetical Time Traveller who journeys into the future to find that humanity has evolved into two races: the peaceful Eloi — vegetarians who tire easily — and the carnivorous, predatory Morlocks. After narrowly escaping from the Morlocks, the Time Traveller undertakes another journey even further into the future where he finds the earth growing bitterly cold as the heat and energy of the sun wane. Horrified, he returns to the present, but soon departs again on his final journey. While the novel is underpinned with both Darwinian and Marxist theory and offers fascinating food for thought about the world of the future, it also succeeds as an exciting blend of adventure and pseudo-scientific romance. Sure to delight lovers of the fantastic and bizarre, The Time Machine is a book that belongs on the shelf of every science-fiction fan.
Author(s): H. G. Wells
ISBN 13: 9780486284729
Pages: 76
Rate book Rate this book

Title: Ivanhoe

"Fight on, brave knights! Man dies, but glory lives!" Banished from England for seeking to marry against his father's wishes, Ivanhoe joins Richard the Lion Heart on a crusade in the Holy Land. On his return, his passionate desire is to be reunited with the beautiful but forbidden lady Rowena, but he soon finds himself playing a more dangerous game as he is drawn into a bitter power struggle between the noble King Richard and his evil and scheming brother John. The first of Scott's novels to address a purely English subject, Ivanhoe is set in a highly romanticized medieval world of tournaments and sieges, chivalry and adventure where dispossessed Saxons are pitted against their Norman overlords, and where the historical and fictional seamlessly merge. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Author(s): Walter Scott
ISBN 13: 9780140436587
Pages: 496
Rate book Rate this book

Title: Anna Karenina

Tolstoy's tumultuous tale of passion and self-discovery marks a turning point in the author's career. His compelling, emotional saga recounts the effects of nonconformist behavior — a society woman's adulterous affair and a landowner's unconventional quest for a meaningful existence — against a backdrop of late 19th-century Russia.
Author(s): Leo Tolstoy
ISBN 13: 9780486437965
Pages: 752
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Woman in White

Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Matthew Sweet.
Author(s): Wilkie Collins
ISBN 13: 9780141439617
Pages: 671
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (4) other book lists, learn more.

Title: A Tale of Two Cities (Amazon Classics Edition)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” A Tale of Two Cities has arguably one of the most often quoted opening lines in the canon of classic literature, and Charles Dickens’ famous novel continues to stand the test of time. A story of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities raises questions of justice and the high price of economic and social disparity that still hit the mark today. After being falsely incarcerated for 18 years in the notorious Bastille prison, Dr. Manette returns to England a broken man, but is restored to a semblance of his former self with the aid of his lovely and devoted daughter, Lucie. When father and daughter are later called to testify in a case of treason, Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton enter their lives. Uprisings and twists of fate ensue and readers witness man at his best and worst, right up until the heroic and memorable ending.
Author(s): Charles Dickens
ISBN 13: 9780996584852
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Scarlet Pimpernel

A timeless novel of adventure, intrigue, and romance is sparked by one man's defiance in the face of authority... The year is 1792. The French Revolution, driven to excess by its own triumph, has turned into a reign of terror. Daily, tumbrels bearing new victims to the guillotine roll over the cobbled streets of Paris.… Thus the stage is set for one of the most enthralling novels of historical adventure ever written. The mysterious figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, sworn to rescue helpless men, women, and children from their doom; his implacable foe, the French agent Chauvelin, relentlessly hunting him down; and lovely Marguerite Blakeney, a beautiful French exile married to an English lord and caught in a terrible conflict of loyalties—all play their parts in a suspenseful tale that ranges from the squalid slums of Paris to the aristocratic salons of London, from intrigue on a great English country estate to the final denouement on the cliffs of the French coast. There have been many imitations of The Scarlet Pimpernel, but none has ever equaled its superb sense of color and drama and its irresistible gift of wonderfully romantic escape.
Author(s): Baroness Orczy
ISBN 13: 9780451527622
Pages: 288
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Catcher in the Rye

In an effort to escape the hypocrisies of life at his boarding school, sixteen-year-old Holden Caulfield seeks refuge in New York City
Author(s): J.D. Salinger
ISBN 13: 9780316769488
Pages: 224
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (4) other book lists, learn more.

Title: The Count of Monte Cristo

Translated with an Introduction by Robin Buss
Author(s): Alexandre Dumas pere
ISBN 13: 9780140449266
Pages: 1276
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (3) other book lists, learn more.

Title: The Last of the Mohicans

The wild rush of action in this classic frontier adventure story has made The Last of the Mohicans the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. Deep in the forests of upper New York State, the brave woodsman Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) and his loyal Mohican friends Chingachgook and Uncas become embroiled in the bloody battles of the French and Indian War. The abduction of the beautiful Munro sisters by hostile savages, the treachery of the renegade brave Magua, the ambush of innocent settlers, and the thrilling events that lead to the final tragic confrontation between rival war parties create an unforgettable, spine-tingling picture of life on the frontier. And as the idyllic wilderness gives way to the forces of civilization, the novel presents a moving portrayal of a vanishing race and the end of its way of life in the great American forests.
Author(s): James Fenimore Cooper
ISBN 13: 9780553213294
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In September of 1884, Robert Louis Stevenson, then in his mid-thirties, moved with his family to Bournemouth, a resort on the southern coast of England, where in the brief span of 23 months he revised A Child's Garden of Verses and wrote the novels Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. An intriguing combination of fantast thriller and moral allegory, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde depicts the gripping struggle of two opposing personalities — one essentially good, the other evil — for the soul of one man. Its tingling suspense and intelligent and sensitive portrayal of man's dual nature reveals Stevenson as a writer of great skill and originality, whose power to terrify and move us remains, over a century later, undiminished.
Author(s): Robert Louis Stevenson
ISBN 13: 9780486266886
Pages: 54
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: Jane Eyre

ane Eyre (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name "Currer Bell." The first American edition was released the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York. Primarily of the bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its title character, including her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. In its internalisation of the action — the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane's moral and spiritual sensibility and all the events are coloured by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry — Jane Eyre revolutionised the art of fiction. Charlotte Brontë has been called the 'first historian of the private consciousness' and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel's exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
Author(s): Charlotte Bronte
ISBN 13: 9781503278196
Pages: 290
Rate book Rate this book

Title: Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager (roughly £1.6 million today) set by his friends at the Reform Club. It is one of Verne's most acclaimed works. The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1, 1872. Fogg is a rich English gentleman living in solitude. Despite his wealth, Fogg lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about his social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Foster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout as a replacement. At the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000 (equal to about £1.6 million today) from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on Wednesday, October 2, 1872, and is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, Saturday, December 21, 1872.
Author(s): Jules Verne
ISBN 13: 9781503215153
Pages: 130
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: The Three Musketeers

Populated by famous characters in literary and actual history, Dumas's peerless adventure traces an aspiring Musketeer's path to 17th-century Paris, where he encounters intrigue, romance, and thrilling swordplay. With its rousing cry of "One for all, and all for one," Alexandre Dumas's thrilling adventure novel has captivated generations of readers since its initial publication in 1844. Action, intrigue, and romance abound in this swashbuckling epic, which traces a country lad's path to the French court of the early 1600s and the glorious fraternity of the king's men, the Musketeers. A son of impoverished nobility, D'Artagnan arrives in Paris to find the Musketeers disbanded by the cunning Cardinal Richelieu, who hopes to seize power from the weak-willed Louis XIII. The daring and ambitious youth proves his mettle in the company of the famous Musketeers — Porthos, Athos, and Aramis — and joins them in a heroic struggle to defend the king and his lovely queen, Anne of Austria. Dumas transformed the concept of the historical novel by writing in a modern, conversational style. His accessible, fast-paced narratives combine real and fictional characters to recapture the events, manners, and mood of seventeenth-century France. Emerging in the chaotic aftermath of the Revolution, Dumas's novels provided his contemporaries with a welcome sense of identity and national pride. His most popular work, The Three Musketeers, continues to charm modern readers with its timeless tales of romantic valor.
Author(s): Alexandre Dumas
ISBN 13: 9780486456812
Pages: 545
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: To Kill a Mockingbird

Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic, Puliter Prize-winning novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus's children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unanswering honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930's.

Author Biography:

Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, where she attended local schools and the University of Alabama. She has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, three honarary degrees, and many other literart awards.

Winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Fiction.

Author(s): Harper Lee
ISBN 13: 9780446310789
Pages: 384
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (6) other book lists, learn more.

Title: The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personæ to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. Contemporary reviews all praised the play's humour, though some were cautious about its explicit lack of social messages, while others foresaw the modern consensus that it was the culmination of Wilde's artistic career so far. Its high farce and witty dialogue have helped make The Importance of Being Earnest Wilde's most enduringly popular play. The successful opening night marked the climax of Wilde's career but also heralded his downfall. The Marquess of Queensberry, whose son Lord Alfred Douglas was Wilde's lover, planned to present the writer with a bouquet of rotten vegetables and disrupt the show. Wilde was tipped off and Queensberry was refused admission. Soon afterwards their feud came to a climax in court, where Wilde's homosexual double life was revealed to the Victorian public and he was eventually sentenced to imprisonment. His notoriety caused the play, despite its early success, to be closed after 86 performances. After his release, he published the play from exile in Paris, but he wrote no...
Author(s): Oscar Wilde
ISBN 13: 9781503331747
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Invisible Man

A scientist who has discovered a way to make himself invisible unleashes his growing madness and frustrations by terrorizing a small town. From the twentieth century's first great practitioner of the novel of ideas comes a consummate masterpiece of science fiction about a man trapped in the terror of his own creation. A stranger emerges out of a freezing February day with a request for lodging in a cozy provincial inn. Who is this out-of-season traveler? More confounding is the thick mask of bandages obscuring his face. Why is he disguised in such a manner? What keeps him hidden in his room? The villagers, aroused by trepidation and curiosity, bring it upon themselves to find the answers. What they discover is not only a man trapped in the terror of his own creation, but a chilling reflection of the unsolvable mysteries of their own souls.
Author(s): H. G. Wells;W. Warren Wagar
ISBN 13: 9780451531674
Pages: 186
Rate book Rate this book

Title: Treasure Island: (SnowBall Classics)

Treasure Island is an adventure novel narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, Treasure Island is a tale noted for its atmosphere, characters and action, and also as a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality -- unusual for children's literature. The influence of Treasure Island on popular perceptions of pirates is enormous, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.
Author(s): Robert Louis Stevenson
ISBN 13: 9781533488312
Pages: 180
Rate book Rate this book

Title: Wuthering Heights

The passionate love of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff mirrors the powerful moods of the Yorkshire moors. Emily Brontë's only novel, a work of tremendous and far-reaching influence, the Penguin Classics edition of Wuthering Heights is the definitive edition of the text, edited with an introduction by Pauline Nestor. Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past. In this edition, a new preface by Lucasta Miller, author of The Brontë Myth, looks at the ways in which the novel has been interpreted, from Charlotte Brontë onwards. This complements Pauline Nestor's introduction, which discusses changing critical receptions of the novel, as well as Emily Brontë's influences and background. Emily Brontë (1818-48), along with her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, was one of the most significant literary figures of the 19th century. She wrote just one strikingly innovative novel, Wuthering Heights, but was also a gifted and intense poet. If you enjoyed Wuthering Heights, you may like Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Wuthering Heights is commonly thought of as "romantic", but try rereading it without being astonished by the comfortableness with which Brontë's characters subject one another to extremes of physical and psychological violence' Jeanette Winterson 'As a first novel, there is very little that can compare to it. Even Shakespeare took over a decade to reach the clifftop extremities of King Lear' Sarah Waters
Author(s): Emily Brontë
ISBN 13: 9780141439556
Pages: 353
Rate book Rate this book

Title: Alice in Wonderland

When Alice tumbles down a rabbit hole one summer afternoon in pursuit of a White Rabbit, she finds herself in Wonderland. And here begin the adventures that have made Alice the stuff of legend and ensured that Lewis Carroll's book is the best loved and most widely read in children's literature. Illustrated by Sir John Tenniel, with an Afterword by Anna South.
Author(s): Lewis Carroll
ISBN 13: 9781904633327
Pages: 78
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Beautiful and Damned

The Beautiful and Damned, first published by Scribner's in 1922, is F. Scott Fitzgerald's second novel. It portrays the Eastern elite during the Jazz Age, exploring New York café society. As in Fitzgerald's other novels, the characters are complex, especially with respect to marriage and intimacy. The book is believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald's relationship with Zelda Fitzgerald. The Beautiful and Damned tells the story of Anthony Patch, a 1910s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon's fortune, his relationship with his wife, Gloria, his service in the army, and his alcoholism.
Author(s): F. Scott Fitzgerald
ISBN 13: 9781503295353
Pages: 218
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: Moby-Dick

With an Introduction and Notes by David Herd. Lecturer in English and American Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury Moby-Dick is the story of Captain Ahab's quest to avenge the whale that 'reaped' his leg. The quest is an obsession and the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic. But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the crew is on Ahab s appalling crusade, it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent on all hands, each individual responsible for the security of each. Among the crew is Ishmael, the novel's narrator, ordinary sailor, and extraordinary reader. Digressive, allusive, vulgar, transcendent, the story Ishmael tells is above all an education: in the practice of whaling, in the art of writing.
Author(s): Herman Melville
ISBN 13: 9781853260087
Rate book Rate this book
This book is in (2) other book lists, learn more.

Title: Don Quixote

With over 150 illustrations. Don Quixote, fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, follows the adventures of Alonso Quixano, an hidalgo who reads so many chivalric novels that he decides to set out to revive chivalry, under the name Don Quixote. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthly wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon.
Author(s): Miguel de Cervantes
ISBN 13: 9781533515445
Pages: 598
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Brothers Karamazov

Completed only two months before his death, The Brothers Karamazov is Dostoyevsky's largest, most expanisve, most life-embracing work. Filled with human passions — lust, greed, love, jealousy, sorrow and humor — the book is also infused with moral issues and the issue of collective guilt. As in many of Dostoyevsky's novels, the plot centers on a murder. Sucked into the crime's vortex are three brothers: Dmitri, a young officer utterly unrestrained in love, hatred, jealousy, and generosity; Ivan, an intellectual capable of delivering, impromptu, the most brilliant, lively, and unforgettable disquisitions about good and evil, God, and the devil; and Alyosha, the youngest brother, preternaturally patient, good, and loving. Part mystery, part profound philosophical and theological debate, The Brothers Karamazov pulls the reader in on many different levels. As the Introduction says, "The characters Dostoyevsky writes about, though they may not appear to be ones who live on our street, or even on any street, seem, in their passions and lack of self-control, the familiar and intimate denizens of our souls." It's no wonder that for many people The Brothers Karamazov is one of the greatest novels ever written.
Author(s): Fyodor Dostoyevsky
ISBN 13: 9780486437910
Rate book Rate this book

Title: The Odyssey

With an Introduction and Notes by Adam Roberts Royal Holloway, University of London Homer's great epic describes the many adventures of Odysseus, Greek warrior, as he strives over many years to return to his home island of Ithaca after the Trojan War. His colourful adventures, his endurance, his love for his wife and son have the same power to move and inspire readers today as they did in Archaic Greece, 2800 years ago. This poem has been translated many times over the years, but Chapman's sinewy, gorgeous rendering (1616) stands in a class of its own. Chapman believed himself inspired by the spirit of Homer himself, and matches the breadth and power of the original with a complex and stunning idiom of his own. John Keats expressed his admiration for the resulting work in the famous sonnet, 'On first looking into Chapman's Homer': 'Much have I travelled in the realms of gold...'
Author(s): Homer
ISBN 13: 9781853260254
Pages: 327
Rate book Rate this book

 


Next book list: 40 of the Some Best Selling and Popular Cookbooks >>