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See below for a selection of the latest books from Classic fiction (pre c 1945) category. Presented with a red border are the Classic fiction (pre c 1945) books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Classic fiction (pre c 1945) books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
Saddened with his country's loss of freedom, disillusioned with life and racked with loneliness and ennui, university student Jacopo Ortis can only find some comfort in the company of his friends and in his love for Teresa. But when his studies call him back to Padua and he is separated from her, Jacopo's torments become unbearable, and he feels that there is only one way out of his misery - a symbolic gesture against fate, God and all the tyrants of this world. Allegedly based on the real-life tragic story of the Italian student Girolamo Ortis, and suffused with the author's own autobiographical experiences, Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis is a masterly prose work by one of Italy's most celebrated poets, and perhaps the greatest Italian novel of the Romantic movement.
'If love were the only thing, I would follow you-in rags if need be ... But is love the only thing?' Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda is a swashbuckling adventure set in Ruritania, a mythical pocket kingdom. Englishman Rudolf Rassendyll closely resembles the King of Ruritania, and to foil a coup by his rival to the throne, he is persuaded to impersonate him for a day. However, Rassendyll's role becomes more complicated when the real king is kidnapped, and he falls for the lovely Princess Flavia. Although the story is set in the near past, Ruritania is a semi-feudal land in which a strong sword arm can carry the day, and Rassendyll and his allies fight to rescue the king. But if he succeeds, our hero and Flavia will have to choose between love and honour. As Nicholas Daly's introduction outlines, this thrilling tale inspired not only stage and screen adaptations, but also place names, and even a popular board game. A whole new subgenre of 'Ruritanian romances' followed, though no imitation managed to capture the charm, exuberance, and sheer storytelling power of Hope's classic tale.
Presented through an ingeniously overlapping and intertwining series of letters written by six very different characters, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker is the story of Squire Matthew Bramble and his family's journey across England and Scotland. From the gouty hypochondriac squire eager to take the waters in various spa towns to his malapropistic sister Tabitha, who is keenly looking for a husband, the characters recount their own experiences, desires and particular version of events, and in doing so introduce the reader to the extraordinary exploits of the hostler Humphry Clinker. Full of decadence, drunkenness and debauchery, and littered with double entendres, bawdy puns and scatological references, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, published only a few months before Smollett's death, is a biting and sharply observed satire of the luxury and licentiousness of eighteenth-century society. This edition contains notes and extra material.
Elsa Morante's novels were once considered the greatest of Italy's postwar generation. Here, Ann Goldstein's deft translation (Madeline Schwartz, New York Review of Books) of Arturo's Island heralds a second life for the beloved author, finally garnering Morante the new readers she deserves (Lily Tuck, Wall Street Journal). Imbued with a spectral grace, the novel follows the adolescent Arturo through his days on the isolated Neapolitan island of Procida, where-his mother long deceased, his father often absent, and a dog as his sole companion-he roams the countryside or reads in his family's lonely, dilapidated mansion. This quiet, meandering boyhood existence is existentially upended when his father brings home a beautiful sixteen- year- old bride, Nunziatella. A novel of thwarted desires, written with the power of malediction (Dwight Garner, New York Times), Arturo's Island reemerges to take its rightful place in the world literary canon.
Faced with a choice between a harsh farming life and the world of books and learning, Chris Guthrie chooses to remain in her rural community, bound by her intense love of the land. But everything changes with the arrival of the First World War and Chris finds her land altered beyond recognition. In lyrical prose, Sunset Song evokes village life in the early twentieth century and offers a powerful portrait of a land and people in turmoil.
HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. After rescuing an injured squirrel, Tommy Stubbins is directed to the offices of Doctor John Dolittle and is amazed to discover a house full of exotic creatures. Under the tutelage of Polynesia the parrot, Tommy becomes the Doctor's assistant, learning how to understand animals and accompanying the Doctor on an adventurous voyage. The motley band of naturalists sets sail for Spidermonkey Island, traversing rough seas and mountainous lands, and encountering warring tribes of Popsipetels and Bagjagderags, as well as a host of sparrows, porpoises, unusual insects and rare sea snails along the way. The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle was published in 1922 as the sequel to Lofting's much-loved classic The Story of Doctor Dolittle. Full of warmth and charm, it has been lauded as a successor to Lewis Carroll in its vibrant depiction of animals, and will delight younger and mature audiences alike.
One of BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. Dickens exposes the corrupting power of money in his last complete novel, Our Mutual Friend, with its expansive cast of characters and interweaving plots. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has an afterword by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and original illustrations by Marcus Stone. John Harmon made his fortune collecting 'dust'. On his death his estranged son is due to inherit his wealth on the condition that he marry Bella Wilfer, a young woman who he has never even met. But when his son is presumed dead, John's riches pass to his servants Mr. and Mrs. Boffin and they in turn take Bella into their own home. They hire a secretive young man, John Rokesmith, to be Mr. Boffin's secretary - but what is this man's real identity and what is his interest in Bella?
Now you can live a day in the life of a young woman in 1920s London. Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway follows one day of upper-class housewife Clarissa Dalloway's life as she plans and hosts a dinner party at her house. Along the way she meets with people from both her past-a former suitor whose proposal she rejected and whom she no longer gets along with-and her present-her distant husband, Richard; her daughter, Elizabeth; and her daughter's teacher, Miss Kilman, whom she despises (and who feels the same towards Clarissa). Along the way, we separately meet a young veteran who was once a poet and a romantic before experiencing the horrors of war and becoming suicidal. He is diagnosed with mental illness and is being forced to separate from his wife and go to a mental asylum. Enter the world of Clarissa Dalloway and enjoy the writings of one of the most prolific female authors of the 20th century with this beautifully rejuvenated edition of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway.
The Warden introduces us to the lives of some of the most beloved characters in all literature. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has an introduction by Margaret Drabble and illustrations by F. C. Tilney. Scandal strikes the peaceful cathedral town of Barchester when Septimus Harding, the warden of charitable foundation Hiram's Hospital, is accused of financial wrongdoing. A kindly and naive man, he finds himself caught between the forces of entrenched tradition and radical reform amid the burgeoning materialism of Britain in the 1850s. The deeply insightful portrayals of figures such as the booming Archdeacon Grantly and the beautiful Eleanor Harding are at the heart of this moving and deliciously comical tale. The Warden launched the enduringly popular Barsetshire Chronicles series of six novels and won Anthony Trollope a seat in the pantheon of great literary figures.
Bleak House is not only a love story and a tightly plotted murder mystery, but also a condemnation of the corruption at the heart of English society. Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket-sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has an afterword by David Stuart Davies and original illustrations by H. K. Browne. The inheritance case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce has been going on for generations involving myriad characters from all walks of life. There's Esther Summerson, Dickens' feisty heroine; Sir Leicester and Lady Dedlock, cocooned in their stately home in Lincolnshire; and Jo, the penniless crossing sweeper. We are drawn in and fascinated by the complex relationships. Indeed in none of Charles Dickens' other novels is the canvas broader, the sweep more inclusive, the linguistic texture richer and the gallery of comic grotesques more extraordinary.
This is John Buchan's first full-length work of fiction written towards the end of the 19th century and set in the 17th century. It's a tale of adventure in the tradition of Robert Louis Stevenson. It tells the story of two lifelong rivals - John Burnet of Barns and his cousin Captain Gilbert Burnet. Returning home to the Scottish Borders John, the last of an ancient line of Border Reivers, finds Gilbert has denounced him as an agent of the covenanters, making him an outlaw. betrayed by his ruthless cousin and having lost everything he holds dear, John must fight just to stay alive. From the Introduction by Sir Tam Dalyell in John Burnet of Barns: I doubt if John Burnet of Barns will ever oust The Thirty-Nine Steps, Greenmantle and other later novels for pride of place in the nation's estimation (or the tracts published in 1934, six years before he died, Gordon of Khartoum and Oliver Cromwell, from the author's pride of place - he yearned to be venerated as a seroius historian). But, I do applaud Birlinn for republishing John Burnet of Barns. For two reasons above all, in my view, it is a ripping good yarn. And, it is a book which lends itself to reading to children by parents, at an age when it is important that they be read to.
The Jacobite army marches into England and Alistair Maclean, close confident of Charles Edward Stewart embarks on a secret mission to raise support for the cause in the west. He soon begins to suspect someone close to the Prince is passing information to the Government, but just as he closes in on the traitor his own life is put in danger. Who is the turncoat and can Maclean save his own life and his Prince?