HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides.' Scientist Pierre Aronnax and his colleagues set out on an expedition to find a strange sea monster and are captured by the infamous and charismatic Captain Nemo and taken abroad the Nautilus submarine as his prisoners. As they travel the world's oceans, they become embroiled in adventures and events beyond their wildest dreams. Visionary in its outlook, Vern's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a legendary science fiction masterpiece.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I am the Ghost of Christmas Present,' said the Spirit. 'Look upon me!' A celebration of Christmas, a tale of redemption and a critique on Victorian society, Dickens' atmospheric novella follows the miserly, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge who views Christmas as 'humbug'. It is only through a series of eerie, life-changing visits from the ghost of his deceased business partner Marley and the spirits of Christmas past, present and future that he begins to see the error of his ways. With heart-rending characters, rich imagery and evocative language, the message of A Christmas Carol remains as significant today as when it was first published.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.' Knocked unconscious, it is only when mechanic Hank Morgan comes to that he finds himself in 6th-century England rather than nineteenth-century America. Surrounded by the traditions and customs of Camelot and King Arthur's court, Morgan dislikes the hereditary social class structure and state church and attempts to instil his American idealism and love for technology and progress in King Arthur's people. Hugely comedic and satirical in its take on the British monarchy and society, the book remains one of Twain's most original and best-loved works.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.' Autobiographical in tone, Joyce's tale of Stephen Dedalus' journey into adulthood explores the intellectual and moral development of an artist as he struggles to overcome the ingrained Catholic consciousness of his childhood - a family life governed by Irish history, religion and politics. Realistic and innovative in its approach, the style of writing proved controversial upon publication in 1916 and the character of Stephen on a quest for his identity did not appeal to readers.However, Joyce expertly encapsulates the development of individual consciousness and the role of the artist in society in what is considered one of his greatest works.
A Raisin in the Sun is a classic American play: a groundbreaking 1950s civil rights drama and has a strong claim to be the greatest play of the black American experience. Deeply committed to the black struggle for equality and human rights, Lorraine Hansberry's brilliant career as a writer was cut short by her death when she was only 34. A Raisin in the Sun was the first play written by a black woman to be produced on Broadway and won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. Hansberry was the youngest and the first black writer to receive this award. She was also the first person to be called 'young, gifted and black'. The play is set in south side Chicago, where Walter Lee, a black chauffeur, dreams of a better life, and hopes to use his father's life insurance money to open a liquor store. Humane and heart-rending, the play depicts characters and a whole society with complexity and reality. This Student Edition features expert and helpful annotation, including a scene-by-scene summary, a detailed commentary on the dramatic, social and political context, and on the themes, characters, language and structure of the play, as well as a list of suggested reading and questions for further study and a review of performance history.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...' Set before and during the French Revolution in the cities of Paris and London, A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of Dr Manette's release from imprisonment in the Bastille and his reunion with daughter, Lucie. A French aristocrat Darnay and English lawyer Carton compete in their love for Lucie and the ensuing tale plays out against the menacing backdrop of the French Revolution and the shadow of the guillotine.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'For, said he, there never was nor is there one chaste woman upon the face of earth.' A collection of Persian, Arabian and Indian tales dating from the 9th century, Sir Richard Burton's most well-known translation of Arabian Nights brings together ancient folklore and stories passed down from generation to generation. Featuring tales about love, history, tragedy and comedy as well as fables and fairy tales, this edition remains a well-loved collection of exotic and evocative stories. Fantastical and curious customs are bought to life by Burton's translation in stories such as 'The Lovers of Bassorah', 'The Concubine of Al-Maamun' and 'The Hunchback's Tale'.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Phileas Fogg was one of those mathematically exact people, who, never hurried and always ready, are economical of their steps and their motions. He never made one stride too many, always going by the shortest route. He did not give an idle look. He did not allow himself a superfluous gesture.' When Phileas Fogg wagers a bet that he can travel across the globe in just 80 days, little does he know about the epic journey that he is about to undertake. With his faithful French servant, Passepartout, Phileas Fogg embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, travelling across four continents by whatever means he can - train, elephant, steam ship - and experiencing endless surprises and mishaps along the way.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. '...we call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.' When his beloved owners are forced to sell him, Black Beauty leaves his life as a young, care-free colt behind him and embarks on a working life of misery. Cruelly treated by his new masters, Anna Sewell rails against animal mistreatment in this poignant tale of a horse whose spirit can not be broken.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'There is no harm in a man's cub.' Best known for the 'Mowgli' stories, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book expertly interweaves myth, morals, adventure and powerful story-telling. Set in Central India, Mowgli is raised by a pack of wolves. Along the way he encounters memorable characters such as the foreboding tiger Shere Kahn, Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear. Including other stories such as that of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, a heroic mongoose and Toomai, a young elephant handler, Kipling's fables remain as popular today as they ever were.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'We are in Transylvania; and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.' Earnest and naive solicitor Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to organise the estate of the infamous Count Dracula at his crumbling castle in the ominous Carpathian Mountains. Through notes and diary entries, Harker keeps track of the horrors and terrors that beset him at the castle, telling his fiance Mina of the Count's supernatural powers and his own imprisonment. Although Harker eventually manages to escape and reunite with Mina, his experiences have led to a mental breakdown of sorts. Meanwhile in England, Mina's friend Lucy has been bitten and begins to turn into a vampire. With the help of Professor Van Helsing, a previous suitor of Lucy's, Seward, and Lucy's fiance Holmwood attempt to thwart Count Dracula and his attempts on Lucy and consequently Mina's life. Arguably the most enduring Gothic novel of the 19th Century, Bram Stoker's Dracula is as chilling today in its depiction of the vampire world and its exploration of Victorian values as it was at its time of publication.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. Here is one of Thomas Hardy's most popular novels, soon to be released as a major motion picture in May 2015. 'I shall do one thing in this life - one thing certain - that is, love you, and long for you, and keep wanting you till I die Independent and spirited, Bathsheba Everdene owns the hearts of three men. Striving to win her love in different ways, their relationships with Bathsheba complicate her life in bucolic Wessex - and cast shadows over their own. With the morals and expectations of rural society weighing heavily upon her, Bathsheba experiences the torture of unrequited love and betrayal, and discovers how random acts of chance and tragedy can dramatically alter life's course. The first of Hardy's novels to become a major literary success, Far from the Madding Crowd explores what it means to live and to love.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'The rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open...' Victor Frankenstein's monster is stitched together from the limbs of the dead, taken from 'the dissecting room and the slaughter-house'. The result is a grotesque being who, rejected by his maker and starved of human companionship, sets out on a journey to seek his revenge. In the most famous gothic horror story ever told, Shelley confronts the limitations of science, the nature of human cruelty and the pathway to forgiveness. Begun when Mary Shelley was only eighteen years old and published two years later, this chilling tale of a young scientist's desire to create life - and the consequences of that creation - still resonate today.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.' Shipwrecked on the high seas, Lemuel Gulliver finds himself washed up on the strange island of Lilliput, a land inhabited by quarrelsome miniature people. On his travels he continues to meet others who force him to reflect on human behaviour - the giants of Brobdingnag, the Houyhnhnms and the Yahoos. In this scathing satire on the politics and morals of the 18th Century, Swift's condemnation of society and its institutions still resonates today.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Though this be madness, yet there is method in't.' Considered one of Shakespeare's most rich and enduring plays, the depiction of its hero Hamlet as he vows to avenge the murder of his father by his brother Claudius is both powerful and complex. As Hamlet tries to find out the truth of the situation, his troubled relationship with his mother comes to the fore, as do the paradoxes in his personality. A play of carefully crafted conflict and tragedy, Shakespeare's intricate dialogue continues to fascinate audiences to this day.
HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. 'It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage.' Set in fictitious Coketown, England during the Industrial Revolution of the 1850s, Dickens wished to expose the enormous gulf between the rich and poor through his writing. In Hard Times, the social and moral purpose of his work is at its most evident. Openly ironic and satirical in its tone, Dickens suggests a mechanization of society, where the wealthy are ruthless and uncharitable towards those less fortunate than themselves. Siblings Louisa and Tom Gradgrind are raised by their father, a harsh and pragmatic educator and his influence means that they go on to lead lives that are lacking in all areas. Louisa marries the arrogant and greedy Josiah Bounderby, ending in an unhappy pairing and the unfeeling and villainous Tom robs his own brother-in-law's bank. As their father watches their plight, he realises that his own principles may have led to their downfall.
HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'The reaches opened before us and closed behind, as if the forest had stepped leisurely across the water to bar the way for our return. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness.' At the peak of European Imperialism, steamboat captain Charles Marlow travels deep into the African Congo on his way to relieve the elusive Mr Kurtz, an ivory trader renowned for his fearsome reputation. On his journey into the unknown Marlow takes a terrifying trip into his own subconscious, overwhelmed by his menacing, perilous and horrifying surroundings. The landscape and the people he meets force him to reflect on human nature and society, and in turn Conrad writes revealingly about the dangers of imperialism.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Up on the Alp with grandfather is the loveliest spot in all the world.' Little orphan Heidi is sent to live with her grandfather in his remote house in the Swiss Alps. She soon begins to love her life with her grandfather and makes friends with Peter, the goat-herder and his grandmother. Idyllic as her existence is, her aunt sends Heidi to live in Frankfurt to become a companion to the invalid daughter of a wealthy family although Heidi yearns to be back in the fresh air and freedom of the mountains.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. The better part of valour is discretion. King Henry IV's son, Prince Harry is quick-witted yet idle and irresponsible and lives a roguish existence keeping dubious company. However, when the kingdom is threatened, Prince Harry shows his true worth and heroism and begins a journey of transformation from layabout to noble leader.
One of the greatest love stories ever told, beautifully repackaged for a modern teen audience Loved TWILIGHT? Then you'll adore Jane Eyre! You can't choose who you fall in love with. For Jane Eyre, orphan and impoverished governess, the last person she should want is the only person she needs: her employer, Rochester. Not only is he socially inaccessible, he's also a man of few words and many secrets -- and one of his secrets is so terrible it could destroy everything he and Jane hold dear!
HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.' Bronte's infamous Gothic novel tells the story of orphan Jane, a child of unfortunate circumstances. Raised and treated badly by her aunt and cousins and eventually sent away to a cruel boarding school, it is not until Jane becomes a governess at Thornfield that she finds happiness. Meek, measured, but determined, Jane soon falls in love with her brooding and stormy master, Mr Rochester, but it is not long before strange and unnerving events occur in the house and Jane is forced to leave Thornfield to pursue her future.
HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. Power, corruption and betrayal are at the heart of Shakespeare's most well-known historical and political drama. As Julius Caesar moves closer to securing power for himself and is perceived by some as a threat to Roman citizens, his senators plot to bring about his downfall. Caesar's assassination leads to civil war rather than peace and the play explores the subsequent deaths of the conspirators Brutus and Cassius. Shakespeare's contemporaries would have spotted the playwright's attempts to use the shift from republican to imperial Rome to highlight the political situation of the Elizabethans at the time. Featuring some of the most powerfully resonant and rousing speeches of any of Shakespeare's plays, Julius Caesar remains one of his most well-loved historical tragedies.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I have seen wicked men and fools, a great many of both; and I believe they both get paid in the end; but the fools first.' Orphaned as a young teenager, Lowlander David Balfour's only relative is his guardian and uncle, Ebenezer. Ill-thought of and disliked by many, it's not long before Ebenezer betrays his nephew and David finds himself trapped aboard a ship. He soon strikes up a friendship with fugitive stranger and Scottish Highlander Alan Breck and becomes embroiled in the fierce Jacobite struggle against English rule. A tale of high-seas adventure, loyalty and fighting, the complex relationship between Alan and David stops Stevenson's novel from becoming 'just' a boys adventure novel.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!' Epic and tragic in its scope, King Lear explores a king's demise into madness and insanity when he is betrayed by two of his manipulative and scheming daughters. It is Cordelia, the third and only daughter who refuses to flatter her father to deceive, who is banished from the kingdom, leading to dramatic and tumultuous events.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Out of the dark we came, into the dark we go. Like a storm-driven bird at night we fly out of the Nowhere; for a moment our wings are seen in the light of the fire, and, lo! we are gone again into the Nowhere.' An amazing adventure set in Africa, against the backdrop of endless deserts and snowy mountains, Kings Solomon's Mines follows Allan Quartermain, in his quest to find his missing brother and unearth the fabled treasure of the biblical King's mines. Along the way, Allan and his companions are caught up in a tribal war and face fearful hardships, culminating in a final confrontation with the evil witch Gagool.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Wouldn't it be fun if all the castles in the air which we make could come true and we could live in them?' A heart-warming tale of love, sisterhood and hardship during the New England Civil War, Little Women tells the story of the lovable March family. Meg, Beth, Jo and Amy try to support their mother at home while their father is away at war and enter into various scrapes and adventures as they do so. Alcott beautifully interweaves bad times and good as her characters struggle with the trials and tribulations of growing up and their relationships with one another.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires.' One of Shakespeare's darkest and most violent tragedies, Macbeth's struggle between his own ambition and his loyalty to the King is dramatically compelling. As those he kills return to haunt him, Macbeth is plagued by the prophecy of three sinister witches and the power hungry desires of his wife.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. '...for her, life was as cold as an attic with a window looking to the north, and ennui, like a spider, was silently spinning its shadowy web in every cranny of her heart.' Married to Charles, a provincial doctor, Emma Bovary yearns for a more glamorous life. Disenchanted with her husband and seeking an escape from their dull marriage she is soon tempted into a brief romantic liaison with another man. Although short-lived, she remains desirous of passion and the finer things in life and embarks on another affair, destroying her reputation. Considered scandalous at the time, Emma Bovary's superficial and immoral behaviour shocked readers and caused moral outcry. Flaubert holds up to ridicule not only Madame Bovary herself, but the society that dares to judge her.
HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I pay very little regard...to what any young person says on the subject of marriage. If they profess a disinclination for it, I only set it down that they have not yet seen the right person.' Humble and lowly, a young Fanny Price goes to live with her wealthy Aunt and Uncle at their grand house, Mansfield Park. Growing up with her privileged and spoilt cousins, the Bertrams, she lives in the shadows of their glamorous lives, but manages to find an ally in her cousin, Edmund. When Henry and Mary Crawford come to visit, the house is thrown into disarray as romance flourishes between the young people, leading Fanny to finally confront the extent of her true feelings for Edmund.
A stunning collection of essays and memoir from twice Booker Prize winner and international bestseller Hilary Mantel, author of The Mirror and the Light In 1987, when Hilary Mantel was first published in the London Review of Books, she wrote to the editor, Karl Miller, 'I have no critical training whatsoever, so I am forced to be more brisk and breezy than scholarly.' This collection of twenty reviews, essays and pieces of memoir from the next three decades, tells the story of what happened next. Her subjects range far and wide: Robespierre and Danton, the Hite report, Saudi Arabia where she lived for four years in the 1980s, the Bulger case, John Osborne, the Virgin Mary as well as the pop icon Madonna, a brilliant examination of Helen Duncan, Britain's last witch. There are essays about Jane Boleyn, Charles Brandon, Christopher Marlowe and Margaret Pole, which display the astonishing insight into the Tudor mind we are familiar with from the bestselling Wolf Hall Trilogy. Her famous lecture, 'Royal Bodies', which caused a media frenzy, explores the place of royal women in society and our imagination. Here too are some of her LRB diaries, including her first meeting with her stepfather and a confrontation with a circus strongman. Constantly illuminating, always penetrating and often very funny, interleaved with letters and other ephemera gathered from the archive, Mantel Pieces is an irresistible selection from one of our greatest living writers.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'We're their slaves as long as we can work; we pile up their fortunes with the sweat of our brows, and yet we are to live as separate as if we were in two worlds...' Based in the industrial unrest of 1840s Manchester, Mary Barton is a factory-worker's daughter living a working-class life in Victorian England. She soon attracts the attentions of the mill-owner's son, Harry Carson, and in the hope that marrying him will improve her prospects and help her to transcend class boundaries, she rejects her former lover Jem Wilson. However, when Harry is shot the main suspect is Jem and Mary finds herself torn between the two men. At the same time, she discovers that her father, John Barton, who has been active in fighting for the rights of his fellow workers is implicated in the murder. Gaskell's exploration of the class division and the oppression of the working-class is demonstrated effectively through the character of Mary, highlighting how lack of communication and mistrust can arise through such vast differences in lifestyle and wealth.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'My true name is so well known in the Records or Registers at Newgate, and in the Old Bailey, and there are some things of such consequence still depending there, relating to my particular conduct, that it is not to be expected I should set my name or the account of my family to this work.' Born into the seedy world of Newgate Prison and abandoned as a baby at six months old, Moll Flanders soon learns that she can only rely on herself. Her story is an unapologetic one of bigamy, prostitution and theft told in her own indomitable and alluring way. Scurrilous and incorrigible, the reader is left wondering whether Moll is merely a brazen criminal, or a victim or her own circumstance. Defoe's witty romp through the eighteenth-century underworld has much to say about the forces of good and evil and is undeniably one of his most satirical novels.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.' One of Shakespeare's most witty and enjoyable comedies, Much Ado About Nothing is a play that explores courtship, romance and marriage through a number of relationships. Most famously, that of the irrepressible Beatrice and Benedick as they trade their wits against one another, criticising the notion of marriage, yet slowly falling in love with one another as they do so.
HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Northanger Abbey! These were thrilling words, and wound up Catherine's feelings to the highest point of ecstasy.' Considered the most light-hearted and satirical of Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey tells the story of an unlikely young heroine Catherine Morland. While staying in Bath, Catherine meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor who invite her to their family estate, Northanger Abbey. A fan of Gothic Romance novels, naive Catherine is soon letting her imagination run wild in the atmospheric abbey, fuelled by her friendship with the vivacious Isabella Thorpe. It is only when the realities of life set in around her that Catherine's fantastical world is shattered. A coming-of-age novel, Austen expertly parodies the Gothic romance novels of her time and reveals much about her unsentimental view of love and marriage in the eighteenth century.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Oliver Twist has asked for more!' Fleeing the workhouse, Oliver finds himself taken under the wing of the Artful Dodger and caught up with a group of pickpockets in London. As he tries to free himself from their clutches he becomes immersed in the seedy underbelly of the Capital, amongst criminals, prostitutes and the homeless. Dickens scathing attack on the cruelness of Victorian Society features some of his most memorable and enduring characters, including innocent Oliver himself, the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Bill Sikes and Nancy.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on.' Dramatic and powerful in its scope, Othello explores the perils of suspicion and jealousy and the ensuing breakdown of relationships and disaster that can arise from such emotions. Othello, a revered soldier, secretly marries Desdemona, the daughter of a Venetian senator, but is led to believe that she has been unfaithful to him by his ensign, Iago, leading to tragic events.
HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.' Written at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Persuasion is a tale of love, heartache and the determination of one woman as she strives to reignite a lost love. Anne Elliot is persuaded by her friends and family to reject a marriage proposal from Captain Wentworth because he lacks in fortune and rank. More than seven years later, when he returns home from the Navy, Anne realises she still has strong feelings for him, but Wentworth only appears to have eyes for a friend of Anne's. Moving, tender, but intrinsically 'Austen' in style, with it's satirical portrayal of the vanity of society in eighteenth-century England, Persuasion celebrates enduring love and hope.
HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.' Austen's best-loved tale of love, marriage and society in class-conscious Georgian England still delights modern readers today with its comedy and characters. It follows the feisty, quick-witted Elizabeth Bennet as her parents seek to ensure good marriages for her and her sisters in order to secure their future. The protagonists Darcy and Elizabeth learn much about themselves and those around them and Austen's expertly crafted comedy characters of Mrs Bennet and Mr Collins demonstrate her great artistry as a writer.
This exciting new book contains 48 essays - or 'raindrops' as the author calls them - and, just like raindrops, each one is a little gem. These essays softly reawaken the reader to the deeper meaning of life. They remind us that there is such a thing as spiritual satisfaction and that it is important to preserve old values. Most of all, it enables us to understand ourselves better. This is a friendly book that cares for the reader. The main body of the book is divided into four sections, namely, 'Understanding' , 'A better life', 'As a Matter of Fact', and 'Spiritual Awareness'. These sections contain 48 essays, while the preliminary pages include an introduction and special tribute to His Highness, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the great architect of modern Dubai
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'It happen'd one Day about Noon going towards my Boat, I was exceedingly surpriz'd with the Print of a Man's naked Foot on the Shore.' Shipwrecked in a storm at sea, Robinson Crusoe is washed up on a remote and desolate island. As he struggles to piece together a life for himself, Crusoe's physical, moral and spiritual values are tested to the limit. For 24 years he remains in solitude and learns to tame and master the island, until he finally comes across another human being. Considered a classic literary masterpiece, and frequently interpreted as a comment on the British Imperialist approach at the time, Defoe's fable was and still is revered as the very first English novel.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.' Arguably the greatest love story ever told, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet continues to touch modern audiences with its passionate depiction of the tragic romance between two young lovers. With a bitter feud between their respective families, Romeo and Juliet's love is troubled from the start, and through their relationship, Shakespeare shows the fine line between love, hatred, comedy and tragedy.
HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and he remains one of the most important voices of Bengali culture to this day. These short stories, written mostly in the 1890s, vividly portray Bengali life and culture. Tagore's treatment of caste culture, bureaucracy and poverty paint a vivid portrait of nineteenth-century India, and all are interwoven with Tagore's perceptive eye for detail, strong sense of humanity and deep affinity for the natural world. Tagore's stories continue to rise above geographic and cultural boundaries to capture the imaginations of readers around the world.
HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Oh! Mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward's manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most severely. Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it. I could hardly keep my seat.' Spirited and impulsive, Marianne Dashwood is the complete opposite to her controlled and sensible sister, Elinor. When it comes to matters of the heart, Marianne is passionate and romantic and soon falls for the charming, but unreliable Mr Willoughby. Elinor, in contrast, copes stoically with the news that her love, Edward Ferrars is promised to another. It is through their shared experiences of love that both sisters come to learn that the key to a successful match comes from finding the perfect mixture of rationality and feeling.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Our consciousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us any more than without us: there have been many circulations of the sap before we detect the smallest sign of the bud.' Set in the agricultural town of Raveloe in the English countryside, Silas Marner is a tragic figure. Exiled from a religious community because of a wrongful accusation of theft, he works from day to day as a weaver, saving his money and living a lonely life as a recluse. It is only when his money is stolen and a small orphan girl, Eppie appears in his life that Silas's fortunes begin to change and he truly begins to learn what it means to regain his faith in life.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'There was one place in the world that stood solid and did not melt into unreality: the place where his mother was. Everybody else could grow shadowy, almost non-existent to him, but she could not.' In his quest to find his emotional and independent self, Paul Morel is torn between the strong, Oedipal bond he has with his mother and the relationships he forges as a young adult, with chaste Miriam and the provocative Clara. As Paul matures and struggles with his own and his mother's feelings towards the other women in his life, Lawrence expertly crafts a timeless and universal story of family, love and the relationships that define us.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart - one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which gives direction to the character of Man.' Including Poe's most terrifying, grotesque and haunting short stories, Tales of Mystery and Imagination is the ultimate collection of the infamous author's macabre works. Considered to be one of the earliest American writers to encapsulate the genre of detective-fiction, the collection features some of his most popular tales.'The Gold-Bug' is the only tale that was popular in his lifetime, whereas 'The Black Cat', 'The Pit and the Pendulum' and 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' became more widely read after his death. Focussing on the internal conflict of individuals, the power of the dead over the living, and psychological explorations of darker human emotion that appear to anticipate Sigmund Freud's later theories on the psyche, Poe's Gothic terror stories are considered masterpieces the world over.
Traditionally attributed to Lao Tzu, an older contemporary of Confucius (551 - 479 BC), it is now thought that the work was compiled in about the fourth century BC. An anthology of wise sayings, it offers a model by which the individual can live rather than explaining the human place in the universe. The moral code it encourages is based on modesty and self-restraint, and the rewards reaped for such a life are harmony and flow of life. 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.
From Collins Classics and the author of 'The Great Gatsby' a marriage unravels in this autobiographical tale. 'Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure.' Set on the French Riviera in the 1920s, American Dick Diver and his wife Nicole are the epitome of chic, living a glamorous lifestyle and entertaining friends at their villa. Young film star Rosemary Hoyt arrives in France and becomes entranced by the couple. It is not long before she is attracted to the enigmatic Dick, but he and his wife hold dark secrets and as their marriage becomes more fractured, Fitzgerald laments the failure of idealism and the carefully constructed trappings of high society in the Roaring Twenties.
HarperCollins is proud to present its new range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I want - I want somehow to get away with you into a world where words like that - categories like that - won't exist. Where we shall be simply two human beings who love each other, who are the whole of life to each other; and nothing else on earth will matter.' Newland Archer, a successful and charming young lawyer conducts himself by the rules and standards of the polite, upper class New York society that he resides in. Happily engaged to the pretty and conventional May Welland, his attachment guarantees his place in this rigid world of the elite. However, the arrival of May's cousin, the exotic and beautiful European Countess Olenska throws Newland's life upside down. A divorcee, Olenska is ostracised by those around her, yet Newland is fiercely drawn to her wit, determination and willingness to flout convention. With the Countess, Newland is freed from the limitations that surround him and truly begins to 'feel' for the first time. Wharton's subtle expose of the manners and etiquette of 1870s New York society is both comedic, subtle, satirical and cynical in style and paints an evocative picture of a man torn between his passion and his obligation.
HarperCollins is proud to present its range of best-loved, essential classics. 'I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn't give myself.' Heralded as one of the first instances of feminist literature and rejected at its time of publication by the literary set on grounds of moral distaste, Kate Chopin's The Awakening caused consternation in 1899. Constrained and confined by the limitations surrounding marriage and motherhood in the late 1800s, Edna Pontellier begins to challenge the notion of femininity through her thoughts and actions. Questioning her love for her husband, and opening herself up to the possibilities of other men and a life outside of societal convention leads to a gradual awakening of her desires. Chopin's fascinating exploration of one woman challenging the expectation that surrounds her is powerful, daring and ultimately tragic in its conclusions.