LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

Classic fiction (pre c 1945)

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!

The Citadel

The Citadel

Author: A. J. Cronin, Adam Kay Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/09/2019

A book which inspired the creation of the NHS, The Citadel is a moving story of tragedy, triumph and redemption. With a foreword by Adam Kay, the bestselling author of This is Going to Hurt. When newly qualified doctor Andrew Manson takes up his first post in a Welsh mining community, the young Scot brings with him a bagful of idealism and enthusiasm. Both are soon strained to the limit as Andrew discovers the reality of performing operations on a kitchen table and washing in a scullery, of unspeakable sanitation, of common infantile cholera and systemic corruption. There are no X-rays, no ambulances - nothing to combat the disease and poverty. It isn't long before Andrew's outspoken manner wins him both friends and enemies, but he risks losing his idealism when the fashionable, greedy world of London medicine claims him, with its private clinics, wealthy, spoilt patients and huge rewards. A classic saga by A. J. Cronin, one of the great masters of the genre.

A Children's Literary Christmas An Anthology

A Children's Literary Christmas An Anthology

Author: British Library Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/09/2019

Immerse yourself in some truly festive magic with this brand-new collection of the finest Christmas stories, prose, songs and poetry from some of the greatest writers in the English language. Inspired by the approach and style of the British Library's 2018 bestseller A Literary Christmas, this carefully chosen anthology moves its focus to those most deeply involved in the wonders of Christmas, the Christmas girls and Christmas boys. Twenty-four seasonal chapters allow the excitement to build as parents and grandparents can share pages of unforgettable adventures, festive traditions, tales of elves, snowmen and reindeer, fairytales, folklore and family fun. Age-old pleasures from those essential Christmas favourites, including Dickens, Kenneth Grahame, George Mackay Brown, Robert L. May and Ezra Jack Keats, are presented alongside charming, but often more edgy, award-wining contemporary voices. This treasure trove of stories is brought to life by an equally beautiful selection of seasonal illustrations from the collections of the Library and the artwork of some of the great modern book illustrators.

My Antonia

My Antonia

Author: Willa Cather Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/09/2019

HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. My Antonia is Willa Cather's masterpiece about 19th-century Nebraskan pioneers. My Antonia depicts the pioneering period of European settlement on the tall-grass prairie of the American midwest, with its beautiful yet terrifying landscape, rich ethnic mix of immigrants and native-born Americans, and communities who share life's joys and sorrows. Jim Burden recounts his memories of Antonia Shimerda, whose family settle in Nebraska from Bohemia. Together they share childhoods spent in a new world. Jim leaves the prairie for college and a career in the east, while Antonia devotes herself to her large family and productive farm. Her story is that of the land itself, a moving portrait of endurance and strength.

The Collected Peter Pan

The Collected Peter Pan

Author: J. M. Barrie Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/09/2019

'To die will be an awfully big adventure.' Peter Pan, the boy who refused to grow up, is one of the immortals of children's literature. J. M. Barrie first created Peter Pan as a baby, living in secret with the birds and fairies in the middle of London, but as the children for whom he invented the stories grew older, so too did Peter, reappearing in Neverland, where he was aided in his epic battles with Red Indians and pirates by the motherly and resourceful Wendy Darling. Peter Pan has become a cultural icon and symbol for escapism and innocence, remaining popular with both children and adults. In this collected edition, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst brings together five of the main versions of the Peter Pan story, from Peter Pan's first appearance in The Little White Bird, to his novelisation of the story, the stage version, and unrealised silent film script. This edition contains a lively introduction, detailed explanatory notes, original illustrations, and appendices that include Barrie's coda to the play that was only performed once.

Woodcutters

Woodcutters

Author: Thomas Bernhard Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/09/2019

Reissued with stunning artwork by Leanne Shapton and a new afterword by Anne Enright, Woodcutters is a blistering European classic. An unnamed writer arrives at an 'artistic dinner' hosted by a composer and his society wife: a couple he once admired, but has now come to detest. They have been brought together by their friend Joana's suicide, but the guest of honour, a famous actor from the Burgtheatre, is late. As the guests await his arrival, little do they know that they are being subjected to the narrator's merciless scrutiny from his wing-backed throne, the targets of a tirade of epic, frenzied proportions. When the star actor finally arrives, he ushers in an explosive end to the evening that is impossible to see coming. Originally banned in Thomas Bernhard's homeland, Woodcutters brutally exposes the hollow pretentiousness of the Austrian bourgeoisie in an unforgettable firework display of humour and horror.

The Caravaners

The Caravaners

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/09/2019

Elizabeth von Arnim's eighth novel is a sharp contrast to the sunny optimism of her first best-seller Elizabeth and her German Garden (1898) and her later hit The Enchanted April (1922, adapted several times for screen and stage, including the 1991 film). The Caravaners (1909) is a devastating comedy about an Edwardian caravan holiday in Kent, narrated by the pompous and self-important Baron, a Prussian Major in the German army. His narrative of pained bewilderment at the bizarre behaviour of the English people with whom he has chosen to spend a month in a convoy of horse-drawn holiday caravans (they unaccountably cut the holiday short after only a week) is side-splittingly funny. We sympathise deeply with the lady whom he pursues in a platonic and very one-sided holiday affair, and even more with Baroness Edelgard, the Baron's long-suffering and much younger second wife, who discovers her own holiday freedoms, and becomes newly emancipated in her marriage, to the Baron's horror. `Elizabeth von Arnim' was the pen-name of Mary Annette Beauchamp (1866-1941), an Australian-born British novelist and a cousin of Katherine Mansfield. Her much-loved Prussian husband, Count Henning von Arnim, died a year after she published The Caravaners. The novel reflects her frustration with and exasperated affection for German aristocratic society, and reveals the lost world of European social networks and crusted assumptions that disappeared forever with the First World War, only a few years after The Caravaners' publication. It is also one of the funniest feminist novels ever written.

Robinson Crusoe Restless Classics

Robinson Crusoe Restless Classics

Author: Daniel Defoe, Garnette Cadogan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/09/2019

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Brontë Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/09/2019

Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt! Throughout the hardships of her childhood - spent with a severe aunt and abusive cousin, and later at the austere Lowood charity school - Jane Eyre clings to a sense of self-worth, despite of her treatment from those close to her. At the age of eighteen, sick of her narrow existence, she seeks work as a governess. The monotony of Jane's new life at Thornfield Hall is broken up by the arrival of her peculiar and changeful employer, Mr Rochester. Routine at the mansion is further disrupted by mysterious incidents that draw the pair closer together but which, once explained, threaten Jane's happiness and integrity. A flagship of Victorian fiction, Jane Eyre draws the reader in by the vigour of Jane's voice and the novel's forceful depiction of childhood injustice, of the restraints placed upon women, and the complexities of both faith and passion. The emotional charge of Jane's story is as strong today as it was more than 150 years ago, as she seeks dignity and freedom on her own terms. In this new edition, Juliette Atkinson explores the power of narrative voice and looks at the striking physicality of the novel, which is both shocking and romantic.

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Brontë Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2019

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2019

Generally considered to be F. Scott Fitzgerald's finest novel, The Great Gatsby is a consummate summary of the roaring twenties , and a devastating expose of the `Jazz Age'. Through the narration of Nick Carraway, the reader is taken into the superficially glittering world of the mansions which lined the Long Island shore in the 1920s, to encounter Nick's cousin Daisy, her brash but wealthy husband Tom Buchanan, Jay Gatsby and the mystery that surrounds him. The Great Gatsby is an undisputed classic of American literature from the period following the First World War and is one of the great novels of the twentieth century.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Author: Charlotte Brontë Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2019

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage. She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester. However, there is great kindness and warmth in this epic love story, which is set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire moors. Ultimately the grand passion of Jane and Rochester is called upon to survive cruel revelation, loss and reunion, only to be confronted with tragedy.