Middlemarch

Middlemarch

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

George Eliot's Victorian masterpiece: a magnificent portrait of a provincial town and its inhabitantsGeorge Eliot’s novel, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, explores a fictional nineteenth-century Midlands town in the midst of modern changes. The proposed Reform Bill promises political change; the building of railroads alters both the physical and cultural landscape; new scientific approaches to medicine incite public division; and scandal lurks behind respectability. The quiet drama of ordinary lives and flawed choices are played out in the complexly portrayed central characters of the novel—the idealistic Dorothea Brooke; the ambitious Dr. Lydgate; the spendthrift Fred Vincy; and the steadfast Mary Garth. The appearance of two outsiders further disrupts the town’s equilibrium—Will Ladislaw, the spirited nephew of Dorothea’s husband, the Rev. Edward Casaubon, and the sinister John Raffles, who threatens to expose the hidden past of one of the town’s elite. Middlemarch displays George Eliot’s clear-eyed yet humane understanding of characters caught up in the mysterious unfolding of self-knowledge. This Penguin Classics edition uses the second edition of 1874 and features an introduction and notes by Eliot-biographer Rosemary Ashton. In her introduction, Ashton discusses themes of social change in Middlemarch, and examines the novel as an imaginative embodiment of Eliot's humanist beliefs.For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Animal Farm

Animal Farm & 1984

George Orwell

Fiction / Politics / Journalism

As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.
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The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

This Eliot novel tells the story of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, a pair of siblings who grow up together on a river in early nineteenth century England. While Tom’s reserved nature and Maggie’s idealism produce differences that strain their love in times of hardship, the two ultimately reconcile when confronted with certain death. A powerful work on individual tenacity in the face of oppressive circumstance, The Mill on the Floss remains one of Eliot’s most powerful works on unconditional solidarity and love.
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Adam Bede

Adam Bede

George Eliot

Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Journalism

With an Introduction and Notes by Doreen Roberts University of Kent at Canterbury 'Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your immediate feelings...' Adam Bede (1859), George Eliot's first full-length novel, marked the emergence of an artist to rank with Scott and Dickens. Set in the English Midlands of farmers and village craftsmen at the turn of the eighteenth century, the book relates a story of seduction issuing in 'the inward suffering which is the worst form of Nemesis'. But it is also a rich and pioneering record - drawing on intimate knowledge and affectionate memory - of a rural world that we have lost. The movement of the narration between social realism and reflection on its own processes, the exploration of motives, and the constant authorial presence all bespeak an art that strives to connect the fictional with the actual.
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The Bookseller of Kabul

The Bookseller of Kabul

Åsne Seierstad

Nonfiction / Journalism

In spring 2002, following the fall of the Taliban, Åsne Seierstad spent four months living with a bookseller and his family in Kabul. For more than twenty years Sultan Khan defied the authorities—be they communist or Taliban—to supply books to the people of Kabul. He was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned by the communists, and watched illiterate Taliban soldiers burn piles of his books in the street. He even resorted to hiding most of his stock—almost ten thousand books—in attics all over Kabul. But while Khan is passionate in his love of books and his hatred of censorship, he also has strict views on family life and the role of women. As an outsider, Åsne Seierstad found herself in a unique position, able to move freely between the private, restricted sphere of the women—including Khan’s two wives—and the freer, more public lives of the men. It is an experience that Seierstad finds both fascinating and frustrating. As she steps back from the page and allows the Khans to speak for themselves, we learn of proposals and marriages, hope and fear, crime and punishment. The result is a genuinely gripping and moving portrait of a family, and a clear-eyed assessment of a country struggling to free itself from history.' to 'This mesmerizing portrait of a proud man who, through three decades and successive repressive regimes, heroically braved persecution to bring books to the people of Kabul has elicited extraordinary praise throughout the world and become a phenomenal international bestseller. The Bookseller of Kabul is startling in its intimacy and its details—a revelation of the plight of Afghan women and a window into the surprising realities of daily life in today’s Afghanistan.'
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Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays

Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays

George Orwell

Fiction / Politics / Journalism

George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist. From his earliest published article in 1928 to his untimely death in 1950, he produced an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflectedas it was for Yeats to versify or Dickens to invent."Facing Unpleasant Facts charts Orwell's development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites classics such as "Shooting an Elephant" with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell's boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these narrative essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex. Contents: The Spike Clink A Hanging Shooting an Elephant Bookshop Memories Marrakech My Country Right or Left War-time Diary England Your England Dear Doktor Goebbels - Your British Friends Are Feeding Fine! Looking Back on the Spanish War As I Please, 1 As I Please, 2 As I Please, 3 As I Please, 16 Revenge Is Sour The Case for the Open Fire The Sporting Spirit In Defence of English Cooking A Nice Cup of Tea The Moon Under Water In Front of Your Nose Some Thoughts on the Common Toad A Good Word for the Vicar of Bray Why I Write How the Poor Die Such, Such Were the Joys
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The Complete Novels of George Orwell

The Complete Novels of George Orwell

George Orwell

Fiction / Politics / Journalism

George Orwell's best-known novels, *Animal Farm*, describing a revolution that goes horribly wrong, and *Nineteen Eighty-Four*, portraying a world where human freedom has been crushed, are two of the most famous, well-quoted and influential political satires ever written. The other novels in this volume also tell stories of people at odds with repressive institutions: the corrupt imperialism of *Burmese Days*, disaffection with materialistic society in *Keep the Aspidistra Flying*, the perils of modern suburban living in *Coming Up for Air *and surviving on the streets in *A Clergyman's Daughter*. All the novels brought together here display Orwell's humour, his understanding of human nature and his great compassion.
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The Enemy

The Enemy

Christopher Hitchens

Politics / Essays / Journalism

In a brilliant essay on the death of Osama bin Laden, Christopher Hitchens insists that the necessity to resist the threat of theocratic fanaticism is by no means cancelled. Hitchens argues that bin Laden and his adherents represented the most serious and determined and bloodthirsty attempt to revive totalitarian and racist ideology since 1945. Further, that while the unending struggle for reason is entitled to take some especial comfort in his demise, the values of secularism, libertarianism, internationalism, and solidarity will always need to be defended and reaffirmed.
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Why I Write

Why I Write

George Orwell

Fiction / Politics / Journalism

Whether puncturing the lies of politicians, wittily dissecting the English character or telling unpalatable truths about war, Orwell's timeless, uncompromising essays are more relevant, entertaining and essential than ever in today's era of spin.
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Homage to Catalonia

Homage to Catalonia

George Orwell

Fiction / Politics / Journalism

In this chronicle of his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic and brutal episode in European history.
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And Yet ...

And Yet ...

Christopher Hitchens

Politics / Essays / Journalism

The death of Christopher Hitchens in December 2011 prematurely silenced a voice that was among the most admired of contemporary writers. For more than forty years, Hitchens delivered to numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic essays that were astonishingly wide-ranging and provocative. The judges for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, posthumously bestowed on Hitchens, praised him for the way he wrote “with fervor about the books and writers he loved and with unbridled venom about ideas and political figures he loathed.” He could write, the judges went on to say, with “undisguised brio, mining the resources of the language as if alert to every possibility of color and inflection.” He was, as Benjamin Schwarz, his editor at The Atlantic magazine, recalled, “slashing and lively, biting and funny—and with a nuanced sensibility and a refined ear that he kept in tune with his encyclopedic knowledge and near photographic memory of English poetry.” And as Michael Dirda, writing in the Times Literary Supplement, observed, Hitchens “was a flail and a scourge, but also a gift to readers everywhere.” The author of five previous volumes of selected writings, including the international bestseller Arguably, Hitchens left at his death nearly 250,000 words of essays not yet published in book form. And Yet… assembles a selection that usefully adds to Hitchens’s oeuvre. It ranges from the literary to the political and is, by turns, a banquet of entertaining and instructive delights, including essays on Orwell, Lermontov, Chesterton, Fleming, Naipaul, Rushdie, Pamuk, and Dickens, among others, as well as his laugh-out-loud self-mocking “makeover.” The range and quality of Hitchens’s essays transcend the particular occasions for which they were originally written. Often prescient, always pugnacious, and formidably learned, Hitchens was a polemicist for the ages. With this posthumous volume, his reputation and his readers will continue to grow. Christopher Hitchens was the cartographer of his own literary and political explorations. He sought assiduously to affirm—and to reaffirm—the ideas of secularism, reason, libertarianism, internationalism, and solidarity, values always under siege and ever in need of defending. Henry James once remarked, “Nothing is my last word on anything.” For Hitchens, as for James, there was always more to be said.
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Down and Out in Paris and London

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell

Fiction / Politics / Journalism

This unusual fictional account - in good part autobiographical - narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. The Parisian episode is fascinating for its expose of the kitchens of posh French restaurants, where the narrator works at the bottom of the culinary echelon as dishwasher, or plongeur. In London, while waiting for a job, he experiences the world of tramps, street people, and free lodging houses. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society.
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Decline of the English Murder

Decline of the English Murder

George Orwell

Fiction / Politics / Journalism

In these timeless and witty essays George Orwell explores the English love of reading about a good murder in the papers (and lament the passing of the heyday of the 'perfect' murder involving class, sex and poisoning), as well as unfolding his trenchant views on everything from boys' weeklies and naughty seaside postcards to being arrested in East End.
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