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Alan Bennett – The History Boys

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Aldous Huxley – Island

For over a hundred years the Pacific island of Pala has been the scene of a unique experiment in civilisation. Its inhabitants live in a society where western science has been brought together with Eastern philosophy to create a paradise on earth. When cynical journalist, Will Farnaby, arrives to research potential oil reserves on Pala, he quickly falls in love with the way of life on the island. Soon the need to complete his mission becomes an intolerable burden and he must make a difficult choice. In counterpoint to Brave New World and Ape and Essence, in Island Huxley gives us his vision of utopia.

George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four

George Orwell's masterwork, now in the Penguin Clothbound Classics series with a cover designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith One of the BBC's '100 Novels that Shaped the World'

Pablo Neruda – Twenty Love Poems: And A Song Of Despair

The Chilean Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) was probably the greatest and certainly the most prolific of twentieth-century Latin American poets. He brought out his first collection at the age of seventeen, and quickly developed an assured and distinctive poetic voice. His third book, Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada - Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair- was published in 1924 and attracted international acclaim. It remains one of the most celebrated and admired books of erotic poetry published in the last hundred years, with over a million copies sold worldwide. Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1971.

Albert Camus – Plague, Fall, Exile And The Kingdom And Selected Essays

Once overshadowed by Sartre, Camus has proved the more durable of the two most celebrated French writer-philosophers of the last century. This collection of his work makes the reasons for his survival self-evident. In prose of bleak but piercing clarity, Camus cuts to the heart of each story he tells. After The Outsider (also published in Everyman) The Plague is his most powerful novel, at once an account of heroic attempts to contain an epidemic in Algeria and a parable of the human condition. In The Fall a once-successful Parisian lawyer tells his own tale of decline and self-discovery, Exile and the Kingdom collect together a number of short stories which explore the existentialist predicament from various viewpoints. This volume also contains two important essays - The Myth of Sisyphus and Reflections on the Guillotine - which reflect on the themes developed in the fiction.

Jules Verne – Around the World in Eighty Days

One night in the reform club, Phileas Fogg bets his companions that he can travel across the globe in just eighty days. Breaking the well-established routine of his daily life, he immediately sets off for Dover with his astonished valet Passepartout. Passing through exotic lands and dangerous locations, they seize whatever transportation is at hand - whether train or elephant - overcoming set-backs and always racing against the clock.

Virgil – The Aeneid

Virgil's masterpiece and one of the greatest works in all of literature, now in a beautiful clothbound edition designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith Virgil's Aeneid, inspired by Homer and the inspiration for Dante and Milton, is an immortal poem that sits at the heart of Western life and culture. Virgil took as his hero Aeneas, legendary survivor of the fall of Troy and father of the Roman race. In telling a story of dispossession and defeat, love and war, he portrayed human life in all its nobility and suffering, in its physicality and its mystery.

Hans Christian Andersen – Complete Fairy Tales

All the best-loved fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, including “The Ugly Duckling,” “Thumbelina,” “The Red Shoes,” “The Princess on the Pea,” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” fill the pages of this beautiful leather-bound collector’s edition. Also included is “The Tallow Candle” — one of the earliest stories written by Andersen, just discovered recently! With both short and long anecdotes, this is a great book of bedtime stories or for rainy-day reading. The attached bookmark ribbon ensures readers will never lose their place as they wander through the imagination of one of the most popular children’s writers of all time.

Herman Hesse – Siddhartha

Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation. If you enjoyed Siddhartha, you might like Hesse's Steppenwolf, also available on our website.

E. M. Forster – A Room With A View

'"But you do," he went on, not waiting for contradiction. "You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you, and no other word expresses it ..." Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George. Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart? The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

Rumi – The Love Poems of Rumi

For more than eight centuries, Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi Rumi—commonly referred to simply as Rumi—has enchanted and enthralled readers from every faith and background with his universal themes of love, friendship, and spirituality, which he seamlessly wove into resplendent poetry. The verses herein perfectly express and are centered on the theme of love, along with the quest, desire, and deeper meanings of love for not only ourselves, but also of our fellow humankind. The Sweetheart the sweetheart who is blocking my sleep demands tears on my knees throwing me silently into the waves changing the water to liquid sweet With intricately designed and richly colored covers that mirror the beauty of the words within, the Timeless Rumi series presents themed collections of poems from the great Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Muhammad Balkhi Rumi that serve as cherished tools for self-reflection.
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