Humbert Humbert is a middle-aged, fastidious college professor. He also likes little girls. And none more so than Lolita, who he'll do anything to possess. Is he in love or insane? A silver-tongued poet or a pervert? A tortured soul or a monster?! Or is he all of these?
Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent reader of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment and the consequences are devastating. Flaubert's erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: 'Madame Bovary, c'est moi'.
«Limonov n'est pas un personnage de fiction. Il existe. Je le connais. Il a été voyou en Ukraine ; idole de l'underground soviétique sous Brejnev ; clochard, puis valet de chambre d'un milliardaire à Manhattan ; écrivain branché à Paris ; soldat perdu dans les guerres des Balkans ; et maintenant, dans l'immense bordel de l'après-communisme en Russie, vieux chef charismatique d'un parti de jeunes desperados. Lui-même se voit comme un héros, on peut le considérer comme un salaud : je suspends pour ma part mon jugement.» Emmanuel Carrère.
On a June morning in 1923, Clarissa Dalloway is preparing for a party and remembering her past. Elsewhere in London, Septimus Smith is suffering from shell-shock and on the brink of madness. Their days interweave and their lives converge as the party reaches its glittering climax. Here, Virginia Woolf perfected the interior monologue and the novel's lyricism and accessibility have made it one of her most popular works.
In early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall, a country estate owned by the mysteriously remote Mr. Rochester.
George Eliot's masterful classic, in a gorgeous new clothbound edition George Eliot's most ambitious novel is a masterly evocation of diverse lives and changing fortunes in a provincial community. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfillment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career; and the religious hypocrite Bulstrode, hiding scandalous crimes from his past. As their stories interweave, George Eliot creates a richly nuanced and moving drama, hailed by Virginia Woolf as 'one of the few English novels written for adult people'.
A brand new series of five of Woolf's major works, in beautifully designed hardback editions Written for Virginia Woolf's intimate friend, the charismatic, bisexual writers Vita Sackville-West, Orlando is a playful mock 'biography' of a chameleon-like historical figure who changes sex and identity at will. First masculine, then feminine, Orlando begins life as a young sixteenth-century nobleman, then gallops through the centuries to end up as a woman writer in Virginia Woolf's own time.
A wry commentary on gender roles and modes of history, Orlando is also, in Woolf's own words, a light-hearted 'writer's holiday' which delights in its ambiguity and capriciousness.
Chronicles David Copperfield's extraordinary journey through life, as he encounters villains, saviours, eccentrics and grotesques, including the wicked Mr Murdstone, stout-hearted Peggotty, formidable Betsey Trotwood, impecunious Micawber and odious Uriah Heep.
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. With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls' boarding school in the small town of Villette. There, she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, the hostility of headmistress Madame Beck, and her own complex feelings - first for the school's English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor Paul Emanuel. Drawing on her own deeply unhappy experiences as a governess in Brussels, Charlotte Bronte'sautobiographical novel, the last published during her lifetime, is a powerfully moving study of loneliness and isolation, and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances. Helen M. Cooper's new introduction places the novel in the context of Bronte's life and career and argues for the importance of the novel as an exploration of imperialism. 'I am only just returned to a sense of real wonder about me, for I have been reading Villette ' George Eliot 'Her finest novel' Virginia Woolf
Part of a beautiful collection of hardcover classics, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.
Part of a beautiful collection of hardcover classics, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith. 'I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole ... without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Lewis Carroll, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. His dream worlds of nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig, time is abandoned at a disorderly tea-party and a chaotic game of chess makes a seven-year-old girl a Queen. But amongst the anarchic humour and sparkling word play, puzzles and riddles, are poignant moments of nostalgia for lost childhood.
A stunning clothbound edition of John Kennedy Toole's savagely funny, satirical masterpiece, designed by the acclaimed Coralie-Bickford Smith. A monument to sloth, rant and contempt, a behemoth of fat, flatulence and furious suspicion of anything modern - this is Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, noble crusader against a world of dunces. The ordinary folk of New Orleans seem to think he is unhinged. Ignatius ignores them, heaving his vast bulk through the city's fleshpots in a noble crusade against vice, modernity and ignorance. But his momma has a nasty surprise in store for him: Ignatius must get a job. Undaunted, he uses his new-found employment to further his mission - and now he has a pirate costume and a hot-dog cart to do it with... 'A pungent work of slapstick, satire and intellectual incongruities ... it is nothing less than a grand comic fugue' The New York Times
This new edition of Emily Bronte's classic 1847 novel uses the authoritative Clarendon text. Patsy Stoneman's introduction considers the bewildering variety of critical interpretation to which the novel has been subject, as well as offering some provocative new insights for the modern reader.
Chosen as a Book of the Year in The Times Literary Supplement , the Evening Standard , the Daily Telegraph , the Guardian , The Times 'A brilliant novel of deception, love and trust to join his supreme cannon' Evening Standard 'Vintage le Carre. Immensely clever, breathtaking. Really, not since The Spy Who Came in from the Cold has le Carre exercised his gift as a storyteller so powerfully and to such thrilling effect' John Banville, Guardian Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, has retired to his family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London are to be scrutinised by a generation with no memory of the Cold War. Somebody must be made to pay for innocent blood once spilt in the name of the greater good. Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own story, John le Carre has given us a novel of superb and enduring quality. ' Utterly engrossing and perfectly pitched. There is only one le Carre. Eloquent, subtle, sublimely paced' Daily Mail ' Splendid , fast-paced, riveting' Andrew Marr, Sunday Times 'Remarkable. Vintage John le Carre . It gives the reader, at long last, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that have been missing for 54 years. Like wine, le Carre's writing has got richer with age. Don't wait for the paperback ' The Times 'Perhaps the most significant novelist of the second half of the 20th century in Britain. He's in the first rank' Ian McEwan 'The literary event of the Autumn' Evening Standard 'One of those writers who will be read a century from now' Robert Harris
C'est « la vague Baudelaire » et ses effets dans l'art et la littérature que Roberto Calasso analyse et raconte ici avec l'érudition et le talent narratif qui sont les siens. S'appuyant sur un réseau enchevêtré de citations et de rapprochements, le grand écrivain italien nous propose de déambuler dans un Salon imprévisible où seraient exposées des images de toutes sortes, il nous fait circuler dans les méandres de ce système nerveux qui s'appelait Baudelaire, il nous introduit, enfin, dans un monde réel ou fantasmé peuplé par des personnages comme Ingres, Delacroix, Manet, Courbet, Sainte-Beuve, Flaubert, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Lautréamont, Degas, Valéry. La Folie Baudelaire se constitue autour d'un emblème qui remonte a Sainte-Beuve : « M. Baudelaire a trouvé moyen de se bâtir, à l'extrémité d'une langue de terre réputée inhabitable et par delà les confins du romantisme connu, un kiosque bizarre, fort orné, fort tourmenté, mais coquet et mystérieux, où on lit de l'Edgar Poe, où l'on récite des sonnets exquis, où l'on s'enivre avec le haschisch pour en raisonner après, où l'on prend de l'opium et mille drogues abominables dans des tasses d'une porcelaine achevée. Ce singulier kiosque, fait en marqueterie, d'une originalité concertée et composite, qui, depuis quelque temps, attire les regards à la pointe extrême du Kamtchatka romantique, j'appelle cela la Folie Baudelaire.
L'auteur est content d'avoir fait quelque chose d'impossible, là où on ne croyait pas que personne pût aller ». L'enjeu de ce livre est de montrer, avec le maximum de précision possible, que cette Folie attrayante, désolée et dangereuse eut, après Baudelaire, bien d'autres visiteurs, puisque finalement ce lieu se révélera coïncider avec le territoire de la littérature absolue.