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!

Z for Zachariah

Z for Zachariah

Author: Robert C. O'Brien Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

Ann Burden has been living alone in a valley for over a year - until Loomis, a scientist in a radiation-proof suit, arrives. She hopes they will be companions but his behaviour towards her becomes increasingly threatening as he attacks her and then cuts off her food supply and tries to bring her under his control. Although there may be no one else alive, Ann steals his suit and leaves the valley in search of humanity.

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Brontë Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2022

Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.  

eBooks of the Month
War and Peace (Easy Classics)

War and Peace (Easy Classics)

Author: Leo Tolstoy Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/06/2021

An adapted and illustrated edition of the Russian classic, at an easy-to-read level for all ages! Pierre is nothing like his confident, handsome friend Andrei. He is awkward and shy - and when his father dies and leaves Pierre a vast fortune, suddenly very popular. As war rages on the edges of Moscow and the charming young Natasha catches the eye of both friends, Pierre must decide what he wants and who he is. Can Pierre finally find happiness, and will Natasha decide where her heart truly lies? About The Easy Classics Epic Collection: From the dazzling ballrooms of St. Petersburg to the blazing war-torn streets of Moscow, children can now experience the famous, epic Russian stories. Suitably adapted and illustrated for children aged 7+.

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
Untouchable

Untouchable

Author: Mulk Raj Anand Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/01/2014

Mulk Raj Anand's extraordinarily powerful story of an Untouchable in India's caste system, with a new introduction by Ramachandra Guha, author of Gandhi Bakha is a proud and attractive young man, yet none the less he is an Untouchable - an outcast in India's caste system. It is a system that is even now only slowly changing and was then as cruel and debilitating as that of apartheid. Into this vivid re-creation of one day in the life of Bakha, sweeper and toilet-cleaner, Anand pours a vitality, fire and richness of detail that earn his place as one of the twentieth century's most important Indian writers. 'One of the most eloquent and imaginative works to deal with this difficult and emotive subject' Martin Seymour-Smith 'It recalled to me very vividly the occasions I have walked 'the wrong way' in an Indian city, and it is a way down which no novelist has yet taken me' E. M. Forster

Uncle Tom's Cabin Or, Life Among the Lowly

Uncle Tom's Cabin Or, Life Among the Lowly

Author: Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ann Douglas Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/09/1981

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was first serialised in an anti-slavery periodocial. By popular demand Harriet Beacher Stowe released it as a novel and it almost immediately sold out. The book describes the journey Uncle Tom takes from being a slave on a Kentucky farm takes to his death on the orders of the vicious plantation owner Simon Legree. His humanity, dignity and Christian faith shines through even in the worst adversity. The novel had a profound effect on attitudes to slavery and was cited by Abraham Lincoln as a strong motivation for the Amercian Civil War. Visit our '50 Classics Everyone Should Read' collection to discover more classic titles.

Ulysses

Ulysses

Author: James Joyce Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/12/2021

Written over a seven-year period, from 1914 to 1921, this book has survived bowdlerization, legal action and controversy. The novel deals with the events of one day in Dublin, 16th June 1904, now known as Bloomsday . The principal characters are Stephen Dedalus, Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly. Ulysses has been labelled dirty, blasphemous and unreadable.In a famous 1933 court decision, Judge John M. Woolsey declared it an emetic book - although he found it not quite obscene enough to disallow its importation into the United States - and Virginia Woolf was moved to decry James Joyce's cloacal obsession . None of these descriptions, however, do the slightest justice to the novel. To this day it remains the modernist masterpiece, in which the author takes both Celtic lyricism and vulgarity to splendid extremes. It is funny, sorrowful, and even (in its own way) suspenseful. And despite the exegetical industry that has sprung up in the last 75 years, Ulysses is also a compulsively readable book.

eBooks of the Month
Treasure Island

Treasure Island

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/09/2021

Following the demise of bloodthirsty buccaneer Captain Flint, young Jim Hawkins finds himself with the key to a fortune. For he has discovered a map that will lead him to the fabled Treasure Island. But a host of villains, wild beasts and deadly savages stand between him and the stash of gold. Not to mention the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas...With a wonderfully funny introduction by award-winning author Eoin Colfer, Treasure Island is one of the twelve brilliant classic stories being relaunched in Puffin Classics in March 2008.

eBooks of the Month
Therese Raquin

Therese Raquin

Author: Emile Zola Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2020

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.

The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings

The Yellow Wall-Paper, Herland, and Selected Writings

Author: Charlotte Perkins Gilman Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/05/2017

Wonderfully sardonic and slyly humorous, the writings of landmark American feminist and socialist thinker Charlotte Perkins Gilman were penned in response to her frustrations with the gender-based double standard that prevailed in America as the twentieth century began. Perhaps best known for her chilling depiction of a woman's mental breakdown in her unforgettable 1892 short story 'The Yellow Wall-Paper', Gilman also wrote Herland, a wry novel that imagines a peaceful, progressive country from which men have been absent for 2,000 years. Both are included in this volume, along with a selection of Gilman's major short stories and her poems.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Author: L Frank Baum Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2021

Part of Wordsworth’s Exclusive Collection (a series of 15 classics for all ages), this new edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz also includes LF Baum’s Glinda of Oz, the final book in the series in which Dorothy and Princess Ozma see Glinda's help after finding themselves in danger on the Magic Isle of the Skeezers. At £3.99, and featuring a gorgeous gold-foiled cover with enchanting artwork, this edition makes a great, affordable gift, or a treat for yourself if you’ve yet to read the book. We’ve all seen the movie, but returning to its source - this timeless tale of recognising the attributes, skills and magic that lies within yourself - comes highly recommended. There’s a reason movie-makers took inspiration from it, and this new edition is the perfect way to do the same yourself.  While reading the book, it’s worth considering the alleged political undertones of the story - the author was a political activist in the 1890s, and especially interested in the monetary standard of gold and silver. As a result, it’s been asserted that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written as an allegory about the demonetisation of silver, with the tornado symbolising economic upheaval, the yellow brick road symbolising the gold standard, and Dorothy's silver shoes symbolising the pro-silver movement. Yep, you read that right - in the book, her ruby slippers are silver. Film-makers made them red so they'd show up more strikingly against the yellow brick road.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Author: L Frank Baum Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2021

Part of Wordsworth’s Exclusive Collection (a series of 15 classics for all ages), this new edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz also includes LF Baum’s Glinda of Oz, the final book in the series in which Dorothy and Princess Ozma see Glinda's help after finding themselves in danger on the Magic Isle of the Skeezers. At £3.99, and featuring a gorgeous gold-foiled cover with enchanting artwork, this edition makes a great, affordable gift, or a treat for yourself if you’ve yet to read the book. We’ve all seen the movie, but returning to its source - this timeless tale of recognising the attributes, skills and magic that lies within yourself - comes highly recommended. There’s a reason movie-makers took inspiration from it, and this new edition is the perfect way to do the same yourself.  While reading the book, it’s worth considering the alleged political undertones of the story - the author was a political activist in the 1890s, and especially interested in the monetary standard of gold and silver. As a result, it’s been asserted that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written as an allegory about the demonetisation of silver, with the tornado symbolising economic upheaval, the yellow brick road symbolising the gold standard, and Dorothy's silver shoes symbolising the pro-silver movement. Yep, you read that right - in the book, her ruby slippers are silver. Film-makers made them red so they'd show up more strikingly against the yellow brick road.