Classics

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!

Dracula

Dracula

Author: Bram Stoker, Christopher Frayling Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/03/2003

Dracula. Who doesn’t know the name and story of our favourite Count? This is a masterpiece of the horror genre and a book everyone should read. One of the first vampire stories, Bram Stoker here sets the ground rules of what vampires should be. The gripping story opens with Jonathan Harker visiting Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, and making horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. His diary entries are increasingly filled with dread and fear as we accompany him in his hell. The novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and of the battle between Dracula and a small group of people led by Van Helsing. A highly recommended gothic classic. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2003

The ultimate story of good versus evil although the twist being both these elements are fighting it out within one man. A wonderful novella that many have never read, thinking they know the story from film adaptations, but Stevenson's language and character analysis go way beyond what any film could portray and make this a timeless classic. Brilliant.   January 2010 Guest Editor Diana Gabaldon on ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON One of the earliest and best of the romance writers—back when "romance" meant adventure and excitement, escape from daily life. Treasure Island?  Kidnapped?  The Master of Ballantrae?  The titles alone are enough to transport you, but the clean prose and vivid characters bring you back again and again. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

Far from the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd

Author: Thomas Hardy, Rosemarie Morgan Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2003

June 2014 Guest Editor Freya North on Thomas Hardy... For me, no other writer so definitively captures both the beauty and challenges of Britain - its landscape, weather, village life versus city life and of course the class system.  But most of all I love the way that landscape is not merely a backdrop in Hardy's writing, but a leading character in it – something that has become a crucial element of my own writing.  I love the paintings of Millet – the unpatronizing dignity he imbued his scenes of rustic life.  This is so true of Hardy too and nowhere is this more compelling than in Tess of the D’Urbervilles - one of my all time favourite books. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

eBooks of the Month
Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Author: William Makepeace Thackeray, John Carey Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2003

If you know Vanity Fair then the name Becky Sharp will immediately conjure images of a ruthless, immoral, and selfish social climber, and one of literatures most fascinating characters. At the time she was one of the first female leads and for her to be so ambitious and manipulative, well! Thackeray wrote a novel with flawed characters, cutting social commentary, along with the reality of being human and existing in a not so perfect world. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

eBooks of the Month
Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Author: Thomas Hardy, Margaret R. Higonnet Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2003

June 2014 Guest Editor Freya North on Thomas Hardy... For me, no other writer so definitively captures both the beauty and challenges of Britain - its landscape, weather, village life versus city life and of course the class system.  But most of all I love the way that landscape is not merely a backdrop in Hardy's writing, but a leading character in it – something that has become a crucial element of my own writing.  I love the paintings of Millet – the unpatronizing dignity he imbued his scenes of rustic life.  This is so true of Hardy too and nowhere is this more compelling than in Tess of the D’Urbervilles - one of my all time favourite books. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

eBooks of the Month
Frankenstein Or, the Modern Prometheus

Frankenstein Or, the Modern Prometheus

Author: Mary Shelley Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2003

Obsessed with the idea of creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material with which to fashion a new being, shocking his creation to life with electricity. But this botched creature, rejected by its creator and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy Frankenstein and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley's chilling gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley near Lord Byron's villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world's most famous work of Gothic horror, and Frankenstein's monster an instantly-recognisable symbol of the limits of human creativity. Based on the third edition of 1831, this volume contains all the revisions Mary Shelley made to her story, as well as her 1831 introduction and Percy Shelley's preface to the first edition. This revised edition includes as appendices a select collation of the texts of 1818 and 1831 together with A Fragment by Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori's The Vampyre: A Tale . Mary Shelley (1797-1851) was the only daughter of the author and political philosopher William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman . In 1814 she eloped with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, whom she married when his first wife died in 1816. She is best remembered as the author of Frankenstein , but she wrote several other works, including Valperga and The Last Man . If you liked Frankenstein , you might enjoy Bram Stoker's Dracula , also available in Penguin Classics .

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Author: Oscar Wilde Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2003

Included in our '35 LGBTQ books to read this Pride Month and every month' collection.

Scoop A Novel About Journalists

Scoop A Novel About Journalists

Author: Evelyn Waugh Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/12/2000

May 2014 Guest Editor Daisy Goodwin on Scoop... Anybody who wants to learn how to write dialogue should read this novel.  It is a masterpiece of comic precision.  I still laugh when I read about William Boot’s expedition kit which includes a collapsible canoe and cleft sticks  ‘invaluable for carrying messages’.  And it contains my favourite Waugh character Mrs Stitch, who like Lady Glencora, is a pin sharp depiction of femine ruthlessness cloaked in charm and chiffon.

eBooks of the Month
The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

Author: John Steinbeck, Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/09/2000

The Joad Family have been cleared off their land by the bank and are forced to hit the long and winding road from the dust bowl of Oklahoma to California in search of a new life. And oh what a journey it is. Joined by a lapsed preacher Jim Casy the road is long, hard and does not let up with adversity after adversity after adversity as the family strive to keep their spirit alive. This book is an absolute classic; after initial negativity it was selling 10,000 copies a week by May 1939, became the year’s best-selling novel and won the Pulitzer. It’s a pure and raw celebration of the working man with an indomitable spirit, and the book inspired a generation of writers and readers right across the world. First class. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

The Diary of a Nobody

The Diary of a Nobody

Author: George Grossmith, Weedon Grossmith, Ed Glinert Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/08/1999

The Diary of a Nobody is a comic tale of the ever optimistic and well meaning Mr Pooter, his long suffering wife Carrie, their feckless son Willie and their intimate friends the Cummings and Gowings. Written in the style of a diary Mr Pootle says: “Why should I not publish my diary?  I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see—because I do not happen to be a ‘Somebody’—why my diary should not be interesting.” The humour is about the small things in life, misplaced umbrellas, truculent tradesmen and the all too human desire to better himself and get the recognition that he feels he deserves from society. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

Dream Story

Dream Story

Author: Arthur Schnitzler Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/1999

This wonderful translation of Dream Story will allow a fresh generation of readers to enjoy this beautiful, heartless and baffling novella. Dream Story tells how through a simple sexual admission a husband and wife ware driven apart into rival worlds of erotic revenge.

The Gormenghast Trilogy

The Gormenghast Trilogy

Author: Mervyn Peake Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/1999

June 2012 Guest Editor Joanne Harris on Gormenghast... Dense, ominous, strange and compelling, Peake’s masterwork defies categorization, and continues to offer new insights and perspectives at every re-reading. The story of a community steeped in ritual, living out of time, it chronicles the birth and coming of age of Titus, Earl of Gormenghast, his struggle for identity in a world of traditions that have long since become meaningless, his fight against his destiny and his eventual confrontation with his arch-rival and nemesis, the twisted, ambitious Steerpike. Books in The Gormenghast Trilogy: 1. Titus Groan 2. Gormenghast 3. Titus Alone Serial Reader? Check out our 'Fall in Love With a Book Series' collection to find amazing book series to dive in to. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

eBooks of the Month