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
Classics are books that are as relevant and popular now as in their own era. Have a glance through history when you scroll through our selection of time-tested Classics. You might re-discover a forgotten gem!
This edition of The Christmas Carol is one of a range of marvellous comic books created in the '50s and '60s now with artwork re-coloured and covers digitally enhanced for a new generation. Perfect bound at a terrifically good value price. A message from the publisher: We're delighted to re-introduce these marvellous comic books to new generations of readers who will surely enjoy them as fantastic tales of adventure and excitement but will also improve their reading skills as a result and be inspired to read the complete versions of many of these fine works. I sincerely hope that you enjoy these superb adaptations and are similarly inspired as I was, nearly 50 years ago - Jeff Brooks, CEO, Classic Comic Store Ltd Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman was America’s foremost feminist thinker of the early twentieth century. Her most famous work, The Yellow Wallpaper, was first published in 1892 and still resonates with a powerful representation of mental health and issues around women’s creativity and self-expression. Its narrator is a middle-class woman married to a physician. Suffering from post-natal depression, her husband “does not believe that I am sick!” beyond having a “slightly hysterical tendency”. And so he and her brother (also a doctor) have decreed that she simply needs to take air and exercise and not work (i.e. write) until she is well again. Never mind that she believes that “congenial work with excitement and change, would do me good”. Her agency removed, she starts to see a woman in the wallpaper of her room. She sees the woman creeping and crawling, “all the time trying to climb through” - an act of escape the narrator follows, to her husband’s horror. With tremendous power, prescience and stark lyricism, this offers a cutting critique of the ways in which women are infantilised, and hampered by male institutions. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.
No other edition offers extensive textual apparatus such as explanatory notes, plot summaries, particularly vital as stories are complex and interwoven. The Sultan Schahriar's misguided resolution to shelter himself from the possible infidelities on his wives leads to an outbreak of barbarity in his kingdoms and a reign of terror in his court, stopped only by the resourceful Scheherazade. The tales with which Scheherazade nightly postpones the muderous intent of the sultan have entered our language and our lives like no other collection of narratives before or since. Sinbad, Aladdin, Ali Baba: all make their spectacular entrance on to the stage of English literary history in the Arabian Nights Entertainments (1704-17). The stories contained in this `store house of ingenious fiction' initiate a pattern of literary reference and influence which today remains as powerful and intense as it was throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This edition reproduces in its entirety the earliest English translation of the French orientalist Antoine Galland's Mille et une Nuits. This remained for over a century the only English translation of the story cycle, influencing an incalculable number of writers, and no other edition offers the complete text supplemented by full textual apparatus. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
First published in 1903, The Call of the Wild is widely regarded as Jack London's masterpiece. Based on London's experiences as a gold prospector in the Canadian wilderness and his ideas about nature and the struggle for existence, The Call of the Wild is a tale about unbreakable spirit and the fight for survival in the frozen Alaskan Klondike. It’s the story of Buck, a great dog, a Yukon sled dog. Buck's father was a huge Saint Bernard, and Buck's mother, a huge Scotch shepherd dog. He is shaggy, big of body, strong of muscle and stout of heart. Stolen from a California ranch and taken to live in the far glacier land of the North, he is put in a team of work dogs and made to carry the Yukon mail. It documents his journey and transformation from domesticity as the call of the wild takes him into her clutches. The Call of the Wild is an absorbing and enchanting tale of wild life, brutality, love and friendship from Buck’s point of view. Although shockingly harsh at times, it has moments of unexpected tenderness and I defy anyone not to fall in love with Buck. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.
A 2013 World Book Night selection. One of Dan Snow's favourite books. Marcus Sedgwick, July 2010 Guest Editor, says:"I continually list this book in my top five, because it's my belief that most people haven't actually read it, and know it only from bowdlerised abridgements, which is a shame because the real thing is powerful, dark and above all, scary."June 2010 Guest Editor Michael Morpurgo remembers:A terrifically exciting tale of a dead man’s map, mutinous pirates, skulduggery and buried treasure that will be thoroughly enjoyed by a child if read aloud to them from the age of 5 upwards. It’s such a gripping adventure that children are sure to pick it up again to read alone when they’re a little older. It’s the story of Jim Hawkins who discovers a map in an old sea chest but little does he know of the danger and excitement which lie ahead when sets sail for Treasure Island in search of treasure.What Michael Morpurgo says of his favourite children's book:'This was the first proper book I read for myself. Jim Hawkins was the first character in a book I identified with totally. I was Jim Hawkins. I lived Treasure Island as I read it. And I loved it. Still do. I wish I'd written it.'Treasure Island in a nutshell:Black spot moment. Sea dog dies. Jim finds map. Ship sets sail. Pirates on board. Island is found. Madman in cave. Two rival camps. Battle for map. Dig up chest. Treasure is gone. Gunn has gold. Head back home. Silver runs off. Jim writes book.
Written in 1932, this is an amazing dystopian fiction is set in a futuristic world state where everyone has been conditioned to be content and perform according to a social and intelligence-based hierarchy. In a world where there have been scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning and behaviour conditioning the question is posed through Bernard Marx, Helmholtz Watson and John, is it better to be manipulated and happy or to be free? A must-read for all science-fiction fans. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.
Written more than a century ago, this absolutely timeless book and its underlying themes hold just as much significance today. Intense and compelling, Heart of Darkness looks into the darkest recesses of human nature and Conrad takes the reader through a horrific tale in a very gripping voice. Conrad’s novella is about a voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State, in the heart of Africa, by the story's narrator Charles Marlow. Marlow tells his story to friends aboard a boat anchored on the River Thames. In little over 100 pages, Conrad explores the darkness in men's hearts as Marlow narrates his travels up the Congo toward his appointment with the steamboat and with fate, in the form of Kurtz, the megalomaniac manager of an ivory trading station. This story is incredibly clever, profound and full of layered descriptions, symbolism and double meanings. It’s a must-read and an absolute certainty for our top 50 classics. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.
Moby Dick covers subjects such as racism, hierarchical relationships, politics, good and evil. None of this is lost in the Compact Edition. What have been cut are lengthy descriptions of whaling history and whales and some philosophical observations and reflections. Still an allegorical epic though.
David Copperfield runs away from home to stay with his Aunt Betsey and turn his life around, which he does, while facing many challenges along the way. In this Compact Edition cuts have been made to overlong passages of description and dialogue and some scenes or incidents with minor characters have been reduced but all the memorable eccentrics have been kept. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.
One of Jeanette Winterson's favourite books. April 2010 Good Housekeeping selection. On My Bookshelf by Hilary Mantel... ‘I read Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre when I was very young and cared less about the love story than about the secret of the woman in the attic. It’s what a story should be – gripping, but have psychological truth and depth. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.
In Of Mice and Men Steinbeck delivers a wonderfully compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world. This absolute classic tells of two drifters in search of work, George and his childlike friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream. A vivid story of male friendship built around the dream that one day they will have some land of their own. A vital read and a book for everyone’s shelf. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.
Perhaps his most famous work, Emile Zola's Therese Raquin is a dark and gripping story of lust, violence and guilt, set in the gloomy back streets of Paris. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with notes and an introduction by Robin Buss. In the claustrophobic atmosphere of a dingy haberdasher's shop on the Passage du Pont-Neuf in Paris, Therese Raquin is trapped in a loveless marriage to her sickly cousin, Camille. The numbing tedium of her life is suddenly shattered when she embarks on a turbulent affair with her husband's earthy friend Laurent, but their animal passion for each other soon compels the lovers to commit a crime that will haunt them forever. Therese Raquin caused a scandal when it appeared in 1867 and brought its twenty-seven-year-old author a notoriety that followed him throughout his life. Zola's novel is not only an uninhibited portrayal of adultery, madness and ghostly revenge, but also a devastating exploration of the darkest aspects of human existence. Robin Buss's translation superbly conveys Zola's fearlessly honest and matter-of-fact style. In his introduction, he discusses Zola's life and literary career, and the influence of art, literature and science on his writing. This edition also includes the preface to the second edition of 1868, a chronology, further reading and notes.
From Aristotle to Aphra Benn to Jane Austen, and Socrates to Stendhal to Upton Sinclair our classics genre will point you in the direction of all the great classics from the beginnings of literature right up to the essential 20th-century classics such as Animal Farm.
The privileged classes (Henry James) and life on the poverty line (Zola)... History (Robert Graves) and prophesy (George Orwell)... Romance (Emily Bronte) and ribaldry (Henry Fielding)... Generations lost (Ernest Hemingway) and encapsulated (F. Scott Fitzgerald)... Writers ahead of their time (James Joyce) and right on the pulse of it (Jack Kerouac)...
There’s so much out there to discover, but it can be daunting without guidance.