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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!

Le Feu Follet

Le Feu Follet

Author: Cooper J F Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/02/2018

Will O' the Wisp (French: Le feu follet) is a 1931 novel by the French writer Pierre Drieu La Rochelle. It has also been published in English as The Fire Within. It tells the story of a 30-year-old man who after military service, followed by a few years of cosmopolitan, decadent life, has become burned out, addicted to heroin and tired of living. 

Sons and Lovers

Sons and Lovers

Author: D. H. Lawrence Format: Ebook Release Date: 01/03/2018

According to Wikipedia: "e;David Herbert Richards Lawrence (1885 - 1930) was an English writer of the 20th century, whose prolific and diverse output included novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, travel books, paintings, translations, literary criticism and personal letters. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanizing effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, human sexuality and instinct. Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile he called his "e;savage pilgrimage."e; ...E. M. Forster ... describing him as "e;the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation."e;... critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness..."e;

Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders

Author: Daniel Defoe Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/04/2020

Born in Newgate Prison to an incarcerated mother, Moll Flanders is compelled from earliest childhood to make her own way in the world and to live off her wit and beauty. Her desire to climb the rungs of society leads her through a tangled web of incest, adultery, prostitution, deception and theft, before she is eventually transported to the New World for her crimes. Presented as Moll's autobiography, and published anonymously, the novel, through its self-made protagonist, highlights the intricacies and double standards of Moll's contemporary society, and offers an irresistible and evocative insight into both the drawing rooms and seedy back alleys of seventeenth-century England. This new edition is here presented with notes and extra material.

The Daniel Defoe BBC radio drama collection

The Daniel Defoe BBC radio drama collection

Author: Daniel Defoe and Phillip Palmer Format: Audiobook Release Date: 03/01/2019

Three lively retellings of Daniel Defoe's classic novels, plus two bonus programmes about his extraordinary life and far-reaching influence. Robinson Crusoe and his Farther Adventures An imaginative blend of the famous castaway tale and its lesser-known sequel, this thrilling drama sees Crusoe setting sail for the far north. Facing danger in the Siberian wastes, he keeps terror at bay by telling his companions campfire tales of his many adventures on his beloved island. Starring Tim McInnerney as Crusoe. Moll Flanders When Daniel Defoe meets Elizabeth Atkins in Newgate jail, she recounts her stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches life that took her from prostitution to prosperity - but culminated in destitution. Inspired, Defoe mixes fact and fiction to re-invent her as one of his most engaging characters: Moll Flanders. Starring Ben Miles as Defoe and Jessica Hynes as Elizabeth Atkins. A Journal of the Plague Year Writing a fictional journal of the Great Plague of 1665, Defoe soon comes to be haunted by the characters he is conjuring. Starring Ben Miles as Defoe. This exciting new collection of reinvented tales will also include two bonus programmes about Daniel Defoe himself:Defoe: Merchant, Writer, Convict, Spy by Philip Palmer - A biographical drama about Defoe's life, starring Ben Miles as Defoe and Niamh Cusack as his wife Mary. Defoe: The Facts and Fictions - A documentary by Mark Lawson, exploring the far-reaching influence of the pioneering author.

Audiobooks of the Month
Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe

Author: Daniel Defoe, John J. Richetti Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/03/2003

One of Larry Lamb's favourite books. The sole survivor of a shipwreck, Robinson Crusoe is stranded on an uninhabited island far away from any shipping routes. With patience and ingenuity, he transforms his island into a tropical paradise. For twenty-four years he has no human company, until one Friday, he rescues a prisoner from a boat of cannibals.

eBooks of the Month
Rebecca

Rebecca

Author: Daphne du Maurier Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2007

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…”  is probably one of the most famous first lines from a novel and captures the readers interest immediately. What is Manderley? Why is our narrator dreaming about it? The story is relayed to us by the second Mrs de Winter who is not even given a name throughout the novel, as if to emphasise how insignificant she is compared to her predecessor, Rebecca. This book is haunting, chilling and packed full of intrigue. Who was Rebecca, why did people love her so much, was she good or evil? The narrator is constantly searching for answers to questions that no-one seems to want to answer but the truth that has been hidden for years is about to be revealed. A true classic. This collector’s edition has been produced to celebrate the centenary of Daphne du Maurier's birth.

eBooks of the Month
I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle

Author: Dodie Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

In a nutshell: Iconic | Outspoken | Big Issues | Difficult Truths A story about writing, this is also a wonderfully romantic story told by a young narrator trying to capture the unusual behaviour of her family and the life they lead in an unusual ruined castle as well as describing her own emotional turmoil. Cassandra is determined not to be pretentious as she tells the stories of her family and the story of her own desperate entanglement with the man who loves her sister. The result is a book that is delightfully entertaining and humorous. ~ Julia Eccleshare It is one of The Originals from Penguin - iconic, outspoken, first.  The Originals are the pioneers of fiction for young adults. From political awakening, war and unrequited love to addiction, teenage pregnancy and nuclear holocaust, The Originals confront big issues and articulate difficult truths. The collection includes: The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton, I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith, Postcards from No Man's Land - Aidan Chambers, After the First Death - Robert Cormier, Dear Nobody - Berlie Doherty, The Endless Steppe - Esther Hautzig, Buddy - Nigel Hinton, Across the Barricades - Joan Lingard, The Twelfth Day of July - Joan Lingard, No Turning Back - Beverley Naidoo, Z for Zachariah - Richard C. O'Brien, The Wave - Morton Rhue, The Red Pony - John Steinbeck, The Pearl - John Steinbeck, Stone Cold - Robert Swindells.

eBooks of the Month
A Room with a View

A Room with a View

Author: E M Forster Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/07/2019

Captivating, stimulating, and written with the lightest and wittiest of touches. E. M. Forster not only transported me to another place, he also opened my eyes to the times and made me smile. I think I quite possibly discovered my love for Italy having read A Room with a View as a teenager. The characters pop with such vivid intensity, and Italy, well I felt as though Italy was performing just for me. A Room with a View is a beautifully entertaining and lovely romance, with just a little bite. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

Maurice

Maurice

Author: E. M. Forster Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/07/2005

Published posthumously in 1971, this novel remains one of the great queer romances to this day. Forster understood that his homage to same-sex love, if published when he completed it in 1914, would probably end his career. Thus, Maurice languished in a drawer for fifty-seven years, the author requesting it be published only after his death. Set in early 1910s England, the Maurice tells the story of Maurice Hall and his best friend Clive, and the life they attempt to build together in London, which is ultimately destroyed by societal conventions. As Maurice makes his way through a traditional English education, he projects an outer confidence that masks troubling questions about his own identity. Frustrated and unfulfilled, a product of the bourgeoisie he will grow to despise, he has difficulty acknowledging his nascent attraction to men. At Cambridge he meets Clive, who opens his eyes to a less conventional view of the nature of love. Yet when Maurice is confronted by the societal pressures of life beyond university, self-doubt and heartbreak threaten his quest for happiness.  A brilliant and beautiful gay classic.   Included in our '35 LGBTQ Books to Read this Pride Month and Every Month' collection.

The Railway Children

The Railway Children

Author: Edith Nesbit Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2021

With its gold foil embossing and warm-hued cover illustration, this edition of E Nesbit’s The Railway Children (part of Wordsworth’s Exclusive Collection) makes a great gift. If you’ve seen and loved the film, but not read the book, you’re in for a treat. This is your chance to experience the story’s timeless charms afresh. Though suffused in enchanting nostalgic charm (it was first published as a series of stories in 1905, and as a novel in 1906), The Railway Children remains appealing to contemporary readers as it tells the moving, gripping story of three children whose comfortable lives are swept from under their feet when their daddy is compelled to leave their London home. Life couldn’t be more different in the country - their mother works as a writer to keep food on the table, and the children take comfort from the railway they live near to. They befriend the station’s Porter and Master, and even save a train from calamity, but the mystery and ache of their father’s disappearance looms large, until the Old Gentleman lends a hand. Packed with drama and adventure, this wonderful story delicately explores the emotional strains of coping with an absent parent, and shows how people can adapt in order to survive - and thrive - in challenging, changed situations.

The Railway Children

The Railway Children

Author: Edith Nesbit Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2021

With its gold foil embossing and warm-hued cover illustration, this edition of E Nesbit’s The Railway Children (part of Wordsworth’s Exclusive Collection) makes a great gift. If you’ve seen and loved the film, but not read the book, you’re in for a treat. This is your chance to experience the story’s timeless charms afresh. Though suffused in enchanting nostalgic charm (it was first published as a series of stories in 1905, and as a novel in 1906), The Railway Children remains appealing to contemporary readers as it tells the moving, gripping story of three children whose comfortable lives are swept from under their feet when their daddy is compelled to leave their London home. Life couldn’t be more different in the country - their mother works as a writer to keep food on the table, and the children take comfort from the railway they live near to. They befriend the station’s Porter and Master, and even save a train from calamity, but the mystery and ache of their father’s disappearance looms large, until the Old Gentleman lends a hand. Packed with drama and adventure, this wonderful story delicately explores the emotional strains of coping with an absent parent, and shows how people can adapt in order to survive - and thrive - in challenging, changed situations.

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac

Author: Edmond Rostand Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/04/2018

Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac was a French dramatist and duelist from the seventeenth century. In fictional works about his life he is featured with an overly large nose, which people would travel from miles around to see. This work is a play written in 1897 by Edmond Rostand. Although there was a real Cyrano de Bergerac, the play is a fictionalization of his life that follows the broad outlines of it in five acts. The entire play is written in verse, in rhyming couplets of 12 syllables per line, very close to the Alexandrine format, but the verses sometimes lack a caesura. It is also meticulously researched, down to the names of the members of the Academie francaise and the dames precieuses glimpsed before the performance in the first scene. The play has been translated and performed many times, and is responsible for introducing the word "panache" into the English language. Cyrano is in fact famed for his panache, and the play ends with him saying "My panache." just before his death.