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Alan Bennett – The History Boys

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Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White

In love with the beautiful heiress Laura Fairlie, the impoverished art teacher Walter Hartright finds his romantic desires thwarted by her previous engagement to Sir Percival Glyde. But all is not as it seems with Sir Percival, as becomes clear when he arrives with his eccentric friend Count Fosco. The mystery and intrigue are further deepened by the ghostly appearances of a woman in white, apparently harbouring a secret that concerns Sir Percival's past.A tale of love, madness, deceit and redemption, boasting sublime Gothic settings and pulse-quickening suspense, The Woman in White was the first best-selling Victorian sensation novel, sparking off a huge trend in the fiction of the time with its compulsive, fascinating narrative. ABOUT THE SERIES: Alma Evergreens is a series of popular classics. All the titles in the series are provided with an extensive critical apparatus, extra reading material including a section of photographs and notes. The texts are based on the most authoritative edition (or collated from the most authoritative editions or manuscripts) and edited using a fresh, intelligent editorial approach. With an emphasis on the production, editorial and typographical values of a book, Alma Classics aspires to revitalize the whole experience of reading the classics.

Franz Kafka – The Metamorphosis

"The Metamorphosis" (original German title: "Die Verwandlung") is a short novel by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century and is widely studied in colleges and universities across the western world. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into an insect. This hugely influential work inspired George Orwell, Albert Camus, Jorge Louis Borges, and Ray Bradbury, while continuing to unsettle millions of readers. Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” "Amerika", "The Trial",  and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.

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.

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.

Homer – The Odyssey

Part of Penguin's beautiful hardback Clothbound Classics series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. The epic tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats - shipwrecks, battles, monsters and the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon - Odysseus must use his wit and native cunning if he is to reach his homeland safely and overcome the obstacles that, even there, await him.

Rumi – The Friendship 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 perfectly express the universal importance of friendship in its many forms. A perfect gift to celebrate a special friendship, allow Rumi to exquisitely express the deeper meanings of being, and having, a friend in your life. With intricately designed and richly coloured 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. Find Yourself a Friend find yourself a friend who is willing to tolerated you with patience put to the test the essence of the best incense by putting it in fire drink a cup of poison if handed to you by a friend when filled with love and grace step into the fire like the chosen prophet the secret love will change hot flames to a garden covered with blossoms roses and hyacinths and willow spinning and throwing you a true friend can hold you like God and his universe

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.

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.

Alfred Lord Tennyson – Selected Poems

As Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria's reign, Alfred Lord Tennyson's spellbinding poetry epitomized the Victorian age, and Selected Poems is edited with an introduction and notes by Christopher Ricks. 'Into the jaw of Death Into the mouth of Hell Rode the six hundred' The works in this volume trace nearly sixty years in the literary career of one of the nineteenth century's greatest poets, and show the wide variety of poetic forms he mastered. This selection gives some of Tennyson's most famous works in full, including Maud, depicting a tragic love affair, and In Memoriam, a profound tribute to his dearest friend. Excerpts from Idylls of the King show a lifelong passion for Arthurian legend, also seen in the dream-like The Lady of Shalot and in Morte d'Arthur. Other works respond to contemporary events, such as Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington, written in Tennyson's official role as Poet Laureate, or the patriotic Charge of the Light Brigade, while Locksley Hall provides a Utopian vision of the future, and the late poem Crossing the Bar is a haunting meditation on his own mortality. In his introduction, Christopher Ricks discusses aspects of Tennyson's life and works, his revisions of his poems, and his friendship with Arthur Hallam. This edition also includes a chronology, further reading and notes. Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) was born at Somersby, Lincolnshire, the sixth of eleven children. His first important book, Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, was published in 1830, and was not a critical success, but his two volumes of Poems, 1842, which contain some of his finest work, established him as the leading poet of his generation. If you enjoyed Selected Poems, you might like William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge'sLyrical Ballads, also available in Penguin Classics. 'He had the finest ear of any English poet since Milton' T.S. Eliot

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.
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