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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!

Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm

Author: Stella Gibbons, Lynne Truss Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2020

Playful and ironic, witty and warm-hearted, Stella Gibbons gives us her debut novel and the masterpiece that is Cold Comfort Farm. When sophisticated and educated socialite Flora Poste is orphaned at 19 with little income, she descends upon her relatives the gloomy Starkadders in deepest rural Sussex. A veritable bunch of misfits with melodrama galore, the family is taken under the wing of Flora as she looks to release everyone and everything from the clutches of her Aunt Ada Doom and fix their social, sexual and psychological issues. A brilliantly funny tale. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

The Last of the Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans

Author: James Fenimore Cooper Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/07/2019

If you have watched the film, then forget all you know! For me, the film came first, then I read the book and the two are as different as different could be. This is actually the second book in the Leatherstocking Tales written by Cooper. Just one piece of advice, remember that The Last of the Mohicans was written in 1826, and set some 75 years before that, so there are parts that will likely make you squirm. This is a trip into the past and all that goes with the mindset of those times. Having said that, I find this book endlessly fascinating and yes, I would recommend it. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.  

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.

The Waves

The Waves

Author: Virginia Woolf, Kate Flint, Kate Flint Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/04/2019

A formally innovative work of modernist fiction, Virginia Woolf's The Waves is edited with an introduction by Kate Flint in Penguin Modern Classics. More than any of Virginia Woolf's other novels, The Waves conveys the full complexity and richness of human experience. Tracing the lives of a group of friends, The Waves follows their development from childhood to youth and middle age. While social events, individual achievements and disappointments form its narrative, the novel is most remarkable for the rich poetic language that expresses the inner life of its characters: their aspirations, their triumphs and regrets, their awareness of unity and isolation. Separately and together, they query the relationship of past to present, and the meaning of life itself. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is regarded as a major 20th century author and essayist, a key figure in literary history as a feminist and modernist, and the centre of 'The Bloomsbury Group'. This informal collective of artists and writers, which included Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry, exerted a powerful influence over early twentieth-century British culture. Between 1925 and 1931 Virginia Woolf produced what are now regarded as her finest masterpieces, from Mrs Dalloway (1925) to the poetic and highly experimental novel The Waves (1931). She also maintained an astonishing output of literary criticism, short fiction, journalism and biography, including the playfully subversive Orlando (1928) and A Room of One's Own (1929) a passionate feminist essay. If you enjoyed The Waves, you might like Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, also available in Penguin Classics. 'A book of great beauty and a prose poem of genius' Stephen Spender 'Full of sensuous touches ... the sounds of her words can be velvet on the page' Maggie Gee, Daily Telegraph

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
Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Author: J.M. Barrie Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2018

J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale of Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up never gets old itself. While this dazzlingly imaginative story may have been written in another age, the story itself is ageless, and can be enjoyed by all ages too. Children and adults alike will get caught up in the adventure, the magic, and its big themes, among them the value of imagination, the value of courage versus cowardice, and the eternal, universal conflict between wanting to be a child, but having to grow up.  What’s more, this Wordsworth Collector’s Edition - an elegant hardback, with gold foiled frontage, gorgeous cover artwork, and soft-focus line drawings peppered throughout - will make the ideal gift for readers who’ve yet to discover its unique delights. Beautiful Books - Wordsworth Collector's Editions - The latest series for people that love beautiful books.

eBooks of the Month
The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

Author: Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2018

How I loved The Secret Garden as a child - the slow-building, spellbinding sense of magic, the enchantment of nature, the gradual, glowing, transformative friendship between (initially moody, miserable) Mary and Dickon.  While the period The Secret Garden evokes is very different from our own, the magical elements at its heart radiate through the particulars of its age. And what better way to introduce today’s young readers to the magic than with this Wordsworth Collector’s Edition? With a stylishly illustrated cover - replete with gold foil - and lovely hardback format, this will add plenty of panache to home and school libraries. Beautiful Books - Wordsworth Collector's Editions - The latest series for people that love beautiful books.

A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

A Literary Christmas: An Anthology

Author: British Library Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2018

This seasonal compendium collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens's ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new--from John Donne's Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Benjamin Zephaniah's Talking Turkeys, from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to P. G. Wodehouse's wry story about Christmas on a diet. Enjoy a Christmas Day as described by Samuel Pepys, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, or Nancy Mitford. Venture out into the snow in the company of Jane Austen, Henry James, and Dickens's Mr. Pickwick. Entertain the children with the seasonal tales of Dylan Thomas, Kenneth Grahame, and Oscar Wilde.

Lud-In-The-Mist

Lud-In-The-Mist

Author: Hope Mirrlees Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2018

Lud-in-the-Mist - a prosperous country town situated where two rivers meet: the Dawl and the Dapple. The latter, which has its source in the land of Faerie, is a great trial to Lud, which had long rejected anything 'other', preferring to believe only in what is known, what is solid. Nathaniel Chanticleer is a somewhat dreamy, slightly melancholy man, not one for making waves, who is deliberately ignoring a vital part of his own past; a secret he refuses even to acknowledge. But with the disappearance of his own daughter, and a long-overdue desire to protect his young son, he realises that something is changing in Lud - and something must be done. Lud-in-the-Mist is a true classic, an adult fairy tale exploring the need to embrace what we fear and to come to terms with 'the shadows' - those sweet and dark impulses that our public selves ignore or repress.

eBooks of the Month
Daily Strength for Daily Needs

Daily Strength for Daily Needs

Author: Mary Tileston, William Lawrence Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/06/2018

This little book of brief selections in prose and verse, with accompanying texts of Scripture, is intended for a daily companion and counsellor. These words of the goodly fellowship of wise and holy men of many times, it is hoped may help to strengthen the reader to perform the duties and to bear the burdens of each day with cheerfulness and courage.

Much ADO about Nothing

Much ADO about Nothing

Author: William Shakespeare Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/04/2018

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare. First published in 1600, it is likely to have been first performed in the autumn or winter of 1598-1599, and it remains one of Shakespeare's most enduring and exhilarating plays on stage. Stylistically, it shares numerous characteristics with modern romantic comedies including the two pairs of lovers, in this case the romantic leads, Claudio and Hero, and their comic counterparts, Benedick and Beatrice.

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.