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Having been accused of theft and hounded out of a religious community many years previously, the weaver Silas Marner now lives alone in the village of Raveloe, hoarding the precious wealth he earns. But when Silas's beloved gold is stolen, and an orphaned girl finds her way into his home, he is given the opportunity to transform his selfish and embittered life. George Eliot's favourite novel - rich in symbolism, humour and social criticism - Silas Marner is one of the great nineteenth-century portrayals of rural life. Based on the most authoritative edition and edited using a fresh, intelligent editorial approach, this edition contains extensive notes on the text together with extra material about the author's life and works.
An unnamed young governess is sent to a country house to take charge of two orphans, Miles and Flora. Yet she is soon oppressed by a sense of foreboding and deep disquiet, becoming convinced that something dark is menacing her young charges. But are supernatural forces at work, or is the danger something altogether more earthly? Henry James's masterpiece, and widely considered to be the greatest ghost story ever written, The Turn of the Screw remains the apogee of suspenseful, haunting writing in the English language. This new edition of The Turn of the Screw offers students the definitive text and extensive appendices.
As the sensitive and delicate Gertrude begins to shrink from her drunken and violent husband, their marriage becomes a battleground. Gertrude turns increasingly towards her two eldest sons, William and Paul, and determines that they will not grow up to be coalminers living in poverty like their father. Yet soon William falls ill, and Paul seeks to escape his mother's suffocating influence through a series of relationships. Closely autobiographical, and widely considered to be the first English novel with a truly working-class background, Sons and Lovers is the affecting portrait of a mining family torn apart by class divisions and the conflict between filial love and the urge to follow one's own desires. Part of Alma Classics Evergreens series of popular classics, Sons and Lovers is here presented with an extensive critical apparatus, extra reading material including a section of photographs and notes.
Ravaged by years of war and civil conflict, Britain has changed its name to Airstrip One and become part of Oceania - one of the three totalitarian blocks dominating the world - which is ruled by a secretive leader called Big Brother, who keeps the population in thrall through strict surveillance and brutal police repression. In a society that continually promotes political ideology and the cult of personality, where the individual is suppressed and turned into a nonperson for not conforming and where not only personal thought, but also historical record and language itself are constantly being manipulated by the ruling regime, Ministry of Truth worker Winston Smith tries to make sense of the rebellious thoughts and passions that are stirring inside him, and finds himself impotent to fight the inexorable machine that surrounds him and threatens to crush him at any time. Arguably the greatest dystopian novel of all time and the most influential post-war work of fiction - which enriched the English language with words such as newspeak , doublethink and thoughtcrime - 1984 is a riveting read and a groundbreaking exploration of mass surveillance, censorship and mind control, which has a deep resonance with the world we live in.
Under the feckless husbandry of Mr Jones, Manor Farm has fallen into disrepair. Pushed into hardship, the animals decide to stage a revolt, and led by two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, they overthrow Mr Jones and drive him away from the farm. In the subsequent struggle for power, it is Napoleon that emerges as a victor: he renames the place Animal Farm , gets rid of his enemies and, by the way he behaves - expecting to be glorified above the others and turning the screw on his fellow beasts in order to keep them subjugated - begins to resemble more and more the former rulers of the farm, the hated humans. Written during the Second World War and published in 1945, this allegorical novel is a carefully constructed critique of the Russian Revolution and a sharp satire of the abuse of power. It remains unsurpassed both as a document of its time and as a testament to the versatility and creative genius of George Orwell. This new edition contains notes and extra material for students
Richard Carstone and Ada Clare are wards of the court in the interminable case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which has gone on for so long that it has become a subject of mirth in legal circles and a source of great profit to those professionally engaged in it. The pair fall in love and marry, but the weak and feckless Richard slowly comes under the spell of the promised riches of the legal dispute. Jarndyce and Jarndyce has also drawn in a diverse array of other characters, from baronets to crossing-sweepers, as well as one of the novel's narrators, the moralistic Esther Summerson. Yet, while the lawsuit drags ever onwards, greater mysteries unfold, including murder, blackmail and love. Dominated by the oppressive force of Chancery, and considered by many to be both Dickens' greatest work and the finest novel of the Victorian age, Bleak House is a dark, complex and intricately plotted mystery that culminates in one of the great chases of the detective genre.
For two and a half thousand years The Art of War has been the core text of military strategy and planning, providing leaders with enduring insights into tactics, psychology, discipline and the nature of power. Favoured by countless great generals and military tacticians throughout history, over the last century the book has found a new lease of life, inspiring business leaders, politicians and sporting figures, and offering a profound understanding of such diverse topics as managing others and outwitting competitors.
When the peaceful atmosphere of Barchester is destroyed by a scandal concerning the financial affairs of an almshouse, Septimus Harding, the kindly warden who devotes his life to the care of the establishment's twelve elderly residents, finds himself in conflict with his daughter's suitor, the zealous reformer Dr John Bold, who employs the full might of the press against his prospective father-in-law. The first in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series, The Warden is both a humorous satire of the Church of England and a poignant insight into the manner in which public matters impact private lives.
The shop owner Adolf Verloc, member of an anarchist group and secret agent for a foreign government, is summoned to meet Mr Vladimir, the country's ambassador, who asks him to carry out a terrorist attack at a famous London landmark. Verloc has misgivings, but Mr Vladimir knows how to make people do what he wants, and when the plan goes wrong, it is Verloc - as well as his young wife, Winnie - who must deal with the consequences. A story of espionage, intrigue and corruption based on a real-life attempted terrorist attack in Victorian London, The Secret Agent was one of literature's first political thrillers, and is widely considered to be among Conrad's most compelling works.
While spending the summer in the resort of Grand Isle with her husband and children, Edna Pontellier begins a process of self-discovery that is accelerated after she meets the charming Robert Lebrun. Yet, when Robert departs for Mexico and the summer vacation ends, Edna's new-found sense of independence and personal freedom mean that she isolates herself from New Orleans society and rejects her former lifestyle. Moving into a home of her own and choosing a lover, Edna soon becomes a protegee of the unconventional pianist Mademoiselle Reisz, through whom she learns that Robert still longs for her. Centring upon the conflict between Edna's increasingly unorthodox views on femininity and motherhood and the prevailing social attitudes of the fin de siecle American South, The Awakening is widely seen as a landmark of early feminism and a precursor of American modernism.
Having lived in the city of Orphalese for twelve years, the revered Prophet is about to board a ship taking him back to the isle of his birth. Before he departs, a group of people gather round and ask him to share his wisdom. Written as a collection of poetic essays, and detailing such diverse and sprawling topics as love, death, pleasure and prayer, The Prophet was an immediate success on its initial publication in 1923, and has since been translated into more than a hundred languages. This edition contains the original illustrations by the author himself.