Narrator

Wanda McCaddon

Wanda McCaddon
  • Josephine Tey, a sharp-witted amateur sleuth based on the celebrated Golden Age mystery writer, returns in the seventh in Nicola Upson’s critically acclaimed series, perfect for readers of Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear.

    Called to the peaceful wooded churchyard of St John-at-Hampstead, Detective Chief Inspector Archie Penrose faces one of the most audacious and unusual murders of his career. The body of the church’s organist is found in an opened grave, together with a photograph of a manor house and a cryptic note. The image leads Archie to Cambridge, where the crisp autumn air has brought with it bustling life to the ancient university and town.

    Mystery author Josephine Tey and Archie’s lover Bridget Foley have each recently settled in Cambridge, though both women are not equally happy to see him. One has concealed an important secret from Archie which now threatens to come to light. Meanwhile, the change of seasons has also brought with it a series of vicious attacks against women in town, spreading fear and suspicion through the community.

    Soon, another body is revealed, and in the shadow of King’s College Chapel, Archie uncovers a connection twenty-five years old which haunted both victims—as well as some of their living companions. As Archie and Josephine each grapple with savage malefactors intent on making their victims pay, they must race to stop another attack in this beautifully written, intricately plotted mystery.

  • It is the autumn of 1278. The harvest is in. The air is crisp. Dusty summer breathes a last sigh before the dark seasons arrive.

    For Prioress Eleanor, dark times arrive early in Norfolk. The head of her order, Abbess Isabeau, has sent Father Etienne Davoir from their headquarters in France to inspect all aspects of Tyndal Priory, from its morals to its roofs. Surely the abbess would not have chosen her own brother for this rare and thorough investigation unless the cause was serious and she had reason to fear intervention from Rome. Prioress Eleanor knows something is terribly amiss.

    The situation turns calamitous when Davoir’s sick clerk dies from a potion sent by Sister Anne, Tyndal’s sub-infirmarian. Is Sister Anne guilty of simple incompetence—or murder? Or, Davoir asks, did Prioress Eleanor order the death to frighten him away before he discovered the truth behind accusations that she is unfit for her position?

    When Davoir himself is threatened, the priest roars for justice. Even expectant father Crowner Ralf, the local representative of the king’s justice, has lost all objectivity. The most likely suspects are Anne, the woman Ralf once loved, the prioress he respects, and the Tyndal monk, Thomas, who is his closest friend. Who among the French and English assembled at Tyndal has succumbed to Satan’s lullaby?

  • In the spring of 1277, Prioress Eleanor goes on a pilgrimage to a famous East Anglian shrine. There are rumors that King Edward may also visit the shrine soon to seek God’s blessing for his invasion of Wales. Lurking in this sacred place, however, is an assassin hoping to murder a king.

    Soon after Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas arrive, a nun falls to her death from the priory bell tower. Brother Thomas finds the body, and the pair quickly grasp that this nun’s death was not an accident. The circumstances point to murder, but this slaying is further tainted with treason. Among the pilgrims, merchants, and religious, too many betray an interest in this death—including a canny street child. At least one of them is most certainly a killer.

    Can Prioress Eleanor and Brother Thomas succeed in exposing the assassin, or will they also fall victim to the one who has made a covenant with hell?

  • It is May 1272, and Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal, recovering from a near-fatal winter fever, journeys to Amesbury Priory to visit her aunt in time for the Feast of Saint Melor. Although Eleanor hopes to regain her strength in the midst of pleasant childhood memories, death reveals a most troublesome fondness for her company.

    A ghost now haunts Amesbury. Is it perhaps the spirit of a pregnant woman who drowned herself in the River Avon? But soon the specter turns murderous. A man is decapitated near the river where the grim figure walks, yet Sister Beatrice, Eleanor’s aunt and acting prioress of Amesbury, shows an uncharacteristic hesitancy about taking charge of any investigation.

    As others apparently fall victim to the vengeful ghost, Eleanor struggles to put a human face on the restless spirit, and Brother Thomas, pursuing a secret mission for the church connected with the priory’s famous psaltery, finds that his own demons have unexpectedly taken on a very human form.

    Corpses grow in number. Death dances with glee. All hope of sweet spring begins to die, and even love takes on a somber hue.

  • In the winter of 1271, death stalks the corridors of Wynethorpe Castle on the Welsh border. When the Grim Reaper touches the beloved grandson of the castle lord, Baron Adam sends for his daughter, Prioress Eleanor of Tyndal, and her subinfirmarian, Sister Anne, to save the child with their prayers and healing talents. Escorting them to the remote fortress is Brother Thomas, an unwilling monk fighting his private demons.

    Death may be denied once in his quest for souls but never twice. Soon after the trio arrives, an important guest is murdered. The prioress’ brother, bloody dagger in hand, stands over the corpse. All others may believe in his guilt, but Eleanor is convinced her brother is innocent.

    Outside her priory, in a world of armed men, Eleanor may have little authority, but she is determined to untangle the Gordian knot of thwarted passions and old resentments even if it means defying her father, a man with whom she longs to make peace. As passions rise with the winter wind and time runs short, Eleanor, Anne, and Thomas struggle to find the real killer.

  • A royal birth, a nobleman’s death, and a scarlet woman’s murder

    In March 1279 Edward I takes a break from hammering the Welsh and bearing down on England’s Jews to vacation in Gloucestershire. The royal party breaks the journey at Woodstock Manor. There, one life begins as the queen gives birth to a daughter and one draws to an end as apoplexy fells Baron Adam Wynethorpe.

    Hastening to the baron’s deathbed is his eldest son, Hugh, a veteran of Edward’s Crusades who can’t shake off the battle horrors he has witnessed. The baron’s daughter, Prioress Eleanor, has already arrived to tend to her father, bringing along her subinfirmarian, Sister Anne, and the monk Brother Thomas. Awaiting Hugh is his illegitimate son, Richard, a youth filled with rebellion—and a secret.

    The royal manor is packed with troubling guests, including a sinister priest, an elderly Jewish mother mourning a son hanged for the treason of coin-clipping, contentious and greedy courtiers, and a lusty wife engaged with more than one lover. Quite soon, the wife is found hanged. Prioress Eleanor and Sister Anne persuade the high sheriff of Berkshire that Mistress Hawis’ death was not a suicide. In fact, many at the manor had reason to wish Hawis dead. And one of the suspects is Richard.

    In her twelfth novel, Royal once again “amplifies and deepens her series characters in the service of a clever plot that elevates her work to the top rank of historical mystery writers,” as Publishers Weekly said in a starred review of Satan’s Lullaby, the eleventh in a series recommended by Sharon Kay Penman and favorably compared to Ellis Peters’ Cadfael books.

  • Late summer, 1270. Although the Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, the smell of death still hangs over the land. In the small priory of Tyndal, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud long for a return to routine. Their hopes are dashed, however, when the young and inexperienced Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed their new prioress. Only a day after her arrival, a brutally murdered monk is found in the cloister gardens, and Brother Thomas, a young priest with a troubled past, arrives to bring her a more personal grief. Now Eleanor must not only struggle to gain the respect of her terrified and resentful flock but also cope with violence, lust, and greed.

  • Agatha Raisin’s detective agency has become so successful that now all she wants is some R&R. But as soon as she cuts back her hours, Agatha remembers that when she has too much quality time, she doesn’t know what to do with it. So it doesn’t take much for the vicar of a nearby village to persuade her to help publicize the church fete, especially when the fair’s organizer, George Selby, happens to be a gorgeous widower.

    The problem is that several of the offerings in the jam-tasting booth turn out to be poisoned, and the festive family event soon becomes a murder scene. Now Agatha must uncover the truth behind the jam tampering and expose the nasty secrets lurking in the seemingly innocent village—all while falling for handsome George, who just may have some secrets of his own.

  • Thomas Hardy’s moving story of star-crossed lovers shows human beings at the mercy of forces beyond their control, setting a tragic drama of human passion against a backdrop of space and scientific discovery.

    Unhappily married, Lady Constantine defies social standards when she falls in love with the youthful and socially inferior Swithin St. Cleeve. In an ancient monument converted into an astronomical observatory, they isolate themselves from society and create their own private universe—until the pressures of the outside world threaten to tear them apart.

  • Unlike quite a number of people, Agatha has not given up on Christmas. To have the perfect Christmas had been a childhood dream while surviving a rough upbringing in a Birmingham slum. Holly berries glistened, snow fell gently outside, and inside, all was Dickensian jollity. And in her dreams, James Lacey kissed her under the mistletoe, and like a middle-aged sleeping beauty, she would awake to passion once more.

    Agatha Raisin is bored. Her detective agency in the Cotswolds is thriving, but she’ll scream if she has to deal with another missing cat or dog. Only two things seem to offer potential excitement: Christmas and her ex, James Lacey. This year Agatha is sure that if she invites James to a splendid Christmas dinner, their love will rekindle like a warm Yule log. But that fantasy will have to wait for now.

    A wealthy widow—who had sent Agatha a letter saying a member of her family intended to kill her—has been found dead. Now Agatha must set out to find the murderer, even though, in her heart, she is still dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones she and James used to know.

  • Mary, unloved and selfish, finds friendship and happiness helping her neurotic, invalid cousin become strong and healthy. Nature's powerful magic touches both children as they toil to revive their secret garden. The story alludes to some very modern themes including the ability of mental beliefs to create health, the strength of group optimism, and the restorative power of nature.                                          

  • Sensual, rebellious Anna falls deeply and passionately in love with the handsome Count Vronsky. When she refuses to conduct the discreet affair that her cold, ambitious husband—and Russian high society—would condone, she is doomed. Set against the tragic love of Anna and Vronsky, the plight of the melancholy nobleman Konstantine Levin unfolds. In doubt about the meaning of life—a mirror of Tolstoy's own spiritual crisis—Konstantine is haunted by thoughts of suicide. Through these and other characters, Tolstoy weaves a vast and rich tapestry of nineteenth-century Russian society.

    A magnificent drama of vengeance, infidelity, and retribution, Anna Karenina tells the story of two characters whose emotional instincts conflict with the dominant social mores of their time.

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  • In 1927, classical liberalism—based on a belief in individualism, reason, capitalism, and free trade—was dying, when one of the twentieth century's greatest social thinkers wrote this combative and convincing restatement. Nowhere are the key principles of Mises' philosophy better represented than in this timeless work.

    Mises was a careful and logical theoretician who believed that ideas rule the world, and this especially comes to light in Liberalism. "The ultimate outcome of the struggle" between liberalism and totalitarianism, say Mises, "will not be decided by arms, but by ideas. It is ideas that group men into fighting factions, that press the weapons into their hands, and that determine against whom and for whom the weapons shall be used. It is they alone, and not arms, that, in the last analysis, turn the scales."

  • This impressionistic novel by Virginia Woolf marks the author’s first move toward the experimentation for which she would later become recognized. Through a montage of passing images, conversations, and stream-of-consciousness monologues, it tells the story of Jacob Flanders, an idealistic and sensitive young man attempting to reconcile his love of classical culture with the chaotic reality of contemporary society. As Jacob grows from childhood into adulthood, we follow his experiences in college and in travels, in love and in war, through the perspectives and impressions of the various people in his life.

    Jacob’s Room established Virginia Woolf's reputation as a highly poetic and symbolic writer who places emphasis not on plot or action but on the psychological realm of her characters. Hailed by friends such as T. S. Eliot, the book represents a turning point in the history of the English novel. Wrote E. M. Forster, “The impossible has occurred…A new type of fiction has swum into view.”

  • Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, distinguished historian, and bestselling author Barbara W. Tuchman finally turns her sights homeward. Here she analyzes the American Revolution in a brilliantly original way, placing the war in the historical context of the centuries-long conflicts between England and both France and Holland, demonstrating how the aid of both of these nations made the triumph of American independence possible. She sheds new light on the key role played by the contending navies, paints a magnificent portrait of General George Washington, and recounts in riveting detail the decisive campaign of the war at Yorktown. A compellingly written work of history, The First Salute presents a fresh, new view of the events that led from the first foreign salute to American nationhood in 1776 to the last campaign of the Revolution five years later. It brings vividly to life the people and events responsible for the birth of our nation.

  • In this Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, historian Barbara Tuchman brings to life the people and events that led up to World War I.

    This was the last gasp of the Gilded Age, of kings and kaisers and czars, of pointed or plumed hats, colored uniforms, and all the pomp and romance that went along with war. How quickly it all changed—and how horrible it became.

    Tuchman masterfully portrays this transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, focusing on the turning point in the year 1914, the month leading up to the war, and the first month of the war. With fine attention to detail, she reveals how and why the war started and why it could have been stopped but wasn't, managing to make the story utterly suspenseful even when we already know the outcome.

    A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, The Guns of August will not be forgotten.

  • A recognized classic and definitive account of its subject, The Origins of Totalitarianism traces the emergence of modern racism as an "ideological weapon for imperialism," begining with the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe in the nineteenth century and continuing through the New Imperialism period from 1884 to World War I.

    In her analysis of the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, Arendt focuses on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in the twentieth century: Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia, which she adroitly recognizes as two sides of the same coin rather than opposing philosophies of the Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the transformation of classes into masses, the role of propaganda, and the use of terror essential to this form of government. In her brilliant concluding chapter, she discusses the nature of individual isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

  • In the classic work that launched a play, a movie, and a song, Muriel Spark tells the darkly intriguing story of an eccentric Edinburgh teacher and the intense relationship she develops with six of her students.

    At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls, in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods, preaching the value of art, passion, and daring. She is also passionate in her attraction to the married art master, Teddy Lloyd, in her affair with the bachelor music master, Gordon Lowther, and—most important—in her dedication to "her girls," the students she selects to be her “creme de la creme.”

    Fanatically devoted, each member of the Brodie set—Eunice, Jenny, Mary, Monica, Rose, and Sandy—is "famous for something," and Miss Brodie strives to bring out the best in each one. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises her girls, "Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me."

    And they do. But one of them will betray her.

    Told from the unsympathetic perspective of one of Miss Brodie's students, this novel explores themes of innocence, betrayal, and the tension between cold rationality and unchecked emotionalism.

  • A “marvelous history”* of medieval Europe, from the bubonic plague and the Papal Schism to the Hundred Years’ War, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Guns of August
     

    *Lawrence Wright, author of The End of October, in The Wall Street Journal
     

    The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and the exquisitely decorated Books of Hours; and on the other, a time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world of chaos and the plague.

    Barbara Tuchman reveals both the great rhythms of history and the grain and texture of domestic life as it was lived. Here are the guilty passions, loyalties and treacheries, political assassinations, sea battles and sieges, corruption in high places and a yearning for reform, satire and humor, sorcery and demonology, and lust and sadism on the stage. Here are proud cardinals, beggars, feminists, university scholars, grocers, bankers, mercenaries, mystics, lawyers and tax collectors, and, dominating all, the knight in his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”

  • The fateful quarter century leading up to World War I was a time when the world of privilege still existed in Olympian luxury and the world of protest was “heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate.”

    The age was the climax of a century of the most accelerated rate of change to that point in history, a cataclysmic shaping of destiny.

    Barbara Tuchman brings to vivid life the people, places, and events that shaped the years leading up to the Great War: the Edwardian aristocracy; the anarchists of Europe and America; Germany and its self-depicted hero, Richard Strauss; Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet and Stravinsky’s music; the Dreyfus Affair; two peace conferences in the Hague; and, finally, the youth, ideals, enthusiasm, and tragedy of socialism, epitomized by the death of heroic Jean Jaurès on the night the war began and an epoch ended.

  • Written by an anonymous gentlewoman of the period, this book was a popular guide to manners and social customs for the late eighteenth–early nineteenth centuries in England. While devoted mostly to women’s dress, it also covers deportment, movement, propriety, correct dances, and aids to beauty and health—advice that would have been taken very much to heart by women of the time of Jane Austen and Napoleon. For anyone interested in the details of day-to-day life of this period, Regency Etiquette offers a unique look into the mindset and customs of a bygone age.

  • Anne Catherine Emmerich, mystic, stigmatist, and visionary, was born in Germany in 1774 to a poor Catholic peasant family. As a child she believed that angels, saints, and the Holy Family visited and talked with her as she worked in the fields. At twenty-four, she had her first mystic vision of the sufferings of Christ, accompanied by stigmata and bleeding as if from the crown of thorns. At twenty-nine, she became an Augustinian nun and continued to have visions and stigmata. Her visions recounted scenes from the life of Christ, which she seemed to have witnessed. These phenomena brought her fame and investigation by both scientists and the Church, and were recorded and collected by Catholic contemporaries as well as in Emmerich’s own journals, providing the source material for this fascinating book.

    This book was one of the sources for Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion of Christ.

  • Set in nineteenth-century England, Wives and Daughters centers on the story of the youthful Molly Gibson, raised by her doctor father. When he remarries, a new stepsister enters Molly’s quiet life, the loveable but worldly and troubling Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

    Wives and Daughters, generally thought to be Elizabeth Gaskell’s finest achievement, is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life. It offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society through the themes of Darwinism, the role of women, and the concept of Englishness.

  • Beatrix Potter's charming stories have enchanted children for over a hundred years. She brilliantly evokes the beauty of nature and country life, and each story brings to life characters listeners will remember and love for years to come. This collection includes eighteen favorite tales about Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs. Tittlemouse, and the others. Let your children share in the tradition of Beatrix Potter and her animal family, a literary treasure for generations to cherish.

  • Cranford is Elizabeth Gaskell’s gently comic picture of life and manners in an English country village during the 1830s. It describes the small adventures in the lives of two middle-aged sisters in reduced circumstances, Matilda and Deborah Jenkyns, who do their best to maintain their standards of propriety, decency, and kindness. At the center of the novel is Miss Matty, whose warm heart and tender ways compel affection and regard from everyone around her. Also revealed are the foibles and attributes of the pompous Mrs. Jamieson and her awesome butler, the genial Captain Brown, the loyal housemaid Martha, and others.

    Using an intimate, gossipy voice that never turns sentimental, Gaskell skillfully conveys the old-fashioned habits, subtle class distinctions, and genteel poverty of the townspeople. Cranford is one of the author’s best-loved works.

  • This 1870 memoir, which was the basis for the musical The King and I, vividly recounts the experiences of Anna Harriette Leonowens, who served as a governess for the sixty-plus children of King Mongkut of Siam and as translator and scribe for the King himself. Bright, young, and energetic, Leonowens was well-suited to her role, and her writings convey a heartfelt interest in the lives, legends, and languages of Siam’s rich and poor.

    She also tells of how she and the king often disagreed on matters domestic—this was the first time King Mongkut had met a woman who dared to contradict him, and the governess found the very idea of male domination intolerable. Her exchanges with His Majesty on topics like grammar, charity, slavery, politics, and religion add much to her diary’s rich, cross-cultural spirit and its East-meets-West appeal.

  • Miss Elizabeth Mapp, magnificent grande dame and heiress, is always on the lookout lest her neighbors fall outside the bounds of perfect, exemplary manners. Opera glasses and notebook in hand, she gazes out her window, ever the vigilant sentinel. But her tightly controlled world is soon beset on all sides by interlopers, first in the disturbingly masculine form of two very different retired army officers—both of whom are anything but retiring in their conflicting aims upon her heart. Second, there appears the elegant, insidiously evil shape of a ravishing Contessa possessed of dazzling charm and diabolical designs. Can Mapp, super-strategist of the drawing room and experienced provocateur of amorous intrigue, overcome all obstacles and be united with the object of her matrimonial desires? Whom could she possibly choose: the solid, traditional Major Flint or the mysteriously attractive Captain Puffin?

    This wonderfully humrous satire of British high society introduces one of E. F. Benson's most beloved characters.

  • Bookish, sensitive, and given to wild enthusiasms, Rickie Elliot is virtually made for a life at Cambridge, where he can subsist on a regimen of biscuits and philosophical debate. But the love-smitten Rickie leaves his natural habitat to marry the devastatingly practical Agnes Pembroke, who brings with her, as a sort of dowry, a teaching position at the abominable Sawston School.

    Out of this misalliance comes Forster's most stylistically daring novel. As it follows Rickie from the comforts of Cambridge to the petty intrigues of Sawston to the lush, haunted environs of rural Wiltshire, The Longest Journey gives us a comic yet immensely moving vision of a country split between pragmatism and imagination, sober conformity and redemptive eccentricity, upright Christianity and delirious paganism.

    This, the author's own favorite of his works, is an introspective novel of manners at once comic and tragic.

  • “May 7th—There were days last winter when I danced for sheer joy out in my frost-bound garden in spite of my years and children. But I did it behind a bush, having a due regard for the decencies.”

    Indoors are servants, meals, and furniture. There, too, is the Man of Wrath, her upright Teutonic husband, inspiring in Elizabeth a mixture of irritation, affection, and irreverence. But outside she can escape domestic routine, read favorite books, play with her three babies—and garden to her heart’s content.

    Through Elizabeth’s eyes and unique wit, we watch the seasons come and go, each bringing with it new events, friends, and neighbors.

  • Roger Mifflin is part pixie, part sage, part noble savage, and all God’s creature. With his traveling book wagon named Parnassus, he moves through the New England countryside of 1915 on an itinerant mission of enlightenment. Mifflin’s delight in books and authors is infectious—with his singular philosophy and bright eyes, he comes to represent the heart and soul of the book world. But a certain spirited spinster, disgruntled with her life, may have a hand in changing all that.

    This roaring good adventure yarn is spiced with fiery roadside brawls, heroic escapes from death, the most groaning boards in the history of Yankee cookery, and a rare love story—not to mention a glimpse at a feminist perspective from the early 1900s.

  • The last novel completed by Jane Austen before her death, Persuasion is often thought to reflect on the author’s own lost love.

    Sir Walter Elliot has raised his three daughters with his own sense of haughty pride. Elizabeth, at twenty-eight, has found no one good enough to marry, while Mary has, with some condescension, married the son of the local squire. The youngest, Anne, was persuaded to throw off her fiancé, Frederick Wentworth, eight years ago due to his lowly station in life.

    When Wentworth returns from the Napoleonic Wars as a captain of wealth and rank, Anne must confront her remorse and her unrequited love for him as he appears to court another woman.

    This is a story of second chances, humility, and the perseverance of love.

  • C. S. Lewis reworks the timeless myth of Cupid and Psyche into an enduring piece of contemporary fiction in this novel about the struggle between sacred and profane love. Set in the pre-Christian world of Glome on the outskirts of Greek civilization, it is a tale of two princesses: the beautiful Psyche, who is loved by the god of love himself, and Orual, Psyche’s unattractive and embittered older sister who loves Psyche with a destructive possessiveness. Her frustration and jealousy over Psyche’s fate sets Orual on the troubled path of self-discovery. Lewis’ last work of fiction, this is often considered his best by critics.

  • Often considered Jane Austen’s finest work, Emma is the story of a charmingly self-deluded heroine whose naive matchmaking schemes often lead to substantial mortification. Emma, “handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.” Her own great fortune has blinded Emma to the true feelings and motivations of others and leads her to some hilarious misjudgments. But it is through her mistakes that Emma finds humility, wisdom, and true love. Told with the shrewd wit and delicate irony which have made Jane Austen a master of the English novel, Emma is a comic masterpiece whose fanciful heroine has gained the affection of generations of readers.

  • Jane Austen’s debut novel is a brilliant tragicomedy of flirtation and folly in which two sisters who represent “sense” and “sensibility,” or restraint and emotionalism, experience love and heartbreak in their own separate ways.

    One daughter, the impetuous Marianne, falls passionately in love with the dashing John Willoughby and makes no secret of her affections. Meanwhile, Elinor and the mild-mannered Edward Ferras feel a mutual attraction, yet neither has the directness to acknowledge it.

    When it is revealed that Willoughby is in fact an unscrupulous fortune hunter and that Edward is bound by a previous commitment to another woman, each sister’s romantic hopes are dashed. As they bear their grief in their different ways, Marianne learns from Elinor’s quiet restraint, while Elinor learns the value of Marianne’s candid expression.

    In the end, both sisters are happily settled, having each developed a more balanced approach to life and love.

  • Named for Aristotle's son, Nicomachus, who was the first to edit this work, The Nicomachean Ethics plays a prominent role in defining Aristotelian ethics. In the ten books of this work, Aristotle explains the good life for man: the life of happiness.

    For Aristotle, happiness exists when the soul is in accordance with virtue. Virtue exists in a deliberate choice of actions that take a middle course between excess and deficiency; this is the famous doctrine of the "golden mean." Courage, for example, is the mean between cowardice and rashness. Justice is the mean between a man's getting more or less than his due. The supreme happiness, according to Aristotle, is to be found in a life of philosophical contemplation or, at least, in a virtuous life of political activity and public munificence.

    A student of Plato and a teacher of Alexander the Great, Aristotle is one of the towering figures in Western thought.

  • Doctor Dolittle, a little, lovable old doctor, had so many animal pets spread throughout his house and garden that patients would not come to him anymore. As a result, he became poorer and poorer.

    But Doctor Dolittle occupied nearly all of his time tending to his pets, and his fame as an animal doctor spread all over the world. When the monkeys in Africa were stricken with an epidemic, they gave the good doctor a call. He set sail at once.

    The adventures during his magnificent journey across the ocean, through the high kingdom of the Jolliginki and back again by way of the Canaries, combine to form a story filled with delight.

    An enduring classic, it will dazzle and delight readers young and old.

  • There were not less than seven people at the fashionable estate in Essex, England, who might have abided Emily Inglethorp if she were more dead than alive. There were not less than seven motives and no fewer than seven apparently fool-proof alibis when the wealthy lady of Styles lay dead in her own bed. Had the perfect crime been committed?

    Here is the famous first case that launched the legendary career of Hercule Poirot. Agatha Christie’s brilliant and eccentric detective steps out of retirement and into the shadows of a classic mystery. The victim is a wealthy heiress. The suspects are her fortune-hunting husband, her jealous relatives, her hired companion, and others. The solution is a deadly scheme that can only be revealed by the master detective himself, Hercule Poirot.

  • “If a woman really believes herself to be a lower kind of being, she should place herself in subjection….If not, let her show her power of choosing something better.” This is the challenge thrown down to George Eliot’s heroine, Esther Lyon, who dreams of marrying into a life of refinement. But as she struggles to make her choice between two men, Esther finds her values challenged.

    Felix Holt is a respectably educated young man who has relinquished opportunity for life as an artisan. An idealist, he burns to participate in political life so that he may improve the lot of his fellow artisans. Contrasted with Holt is the intelligent heir Harold Transome, whose political ambitions are a matter of business. Plot twists involving lines of inheritance and legitimacy complicate the love triangle.

  • George Eliot's brilliant fiction debut contains three stories from the lives of clergymen, with the aim of disclosing the value hidden in the commonplace.

    "The Sad Fortunes of the Rev. Amos Barton" portrays a character who is hard to like and generally despised—until his suffering shocks others into fellowship and sympathy.

    In "Mr. Gilfil's Love-Story," young Caterina is courted by two opposite men: Wybrow, who is capable of loving only himself, and Mr. Gilfil, whose love is selfless.

    "Janet's Repentance" recounts a conversion from sinfulness to righteousness, achieved through the selfless endeavors of an evangelical clergyman.        

    Written more than a decade after her break with the Christian faith, these tales represent Eliot's search for a "religion of humanity" compatible with the best qualities of Christianity.

  • The outcry when Conan Doyle pushed Sherlock Holmes over the Reichenbach Falls and the dismay when Freeling shot Van der Valk are nothing compared to the chaos that ensues when Lorinda Lucas tries to dispose of Miss Petunia and her siblings, Lily and Marigold. Not only does the lid blow off the fictional village of St. Waldemar Boniface, but the literary colony of Brimful Coffers is shaken to its foundations.

    Old feuds are resurrected and new feuds are born as a town full of mystery writers begins to wonder if life has imitated art or vice versa. Even the cats, Had-I, But-Known, and Roscoe, become embroiled and add their share to the motives for murder and frayed nerves in the community.

  • Henry James' classic morality tale tells of a triangle of friends and lovers doomed to treachery by overreaching desire.

    In early-twentieth-century London, Kate Croy is secretly engaged to Merton Denscher, a journalist possessed of all the qualities of an ideal husband except for money. By chance, Kate befriends American heiress Milly Theale, who is suffering from a mysterious and fatal illness. Kate, who truly cares for Milly, devises a scheme to maximize their combined assets: she encourages Merton to take an interest in Milly, to seduce her, and finally, to marry her. By lending her lover to brighten Milly's few remaining days, Kate intends to make him a rich widower whom she herself can marry. But such well laid plans are not enough for the subtlety of the heart.

    This is a brilliant and sophisticated satire of manners and morals in the best Jamesian tradition.

  • A traveling tinker, John Bunyan accepted long imprisonment rather than give up preaching the Gospel. He explained the life of the Spirit in language the common people could understand and in pictures that stuck in the mind. When he wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, his fame spread rapidly, and within fifty years of his death, the book was reputed to be in most English homes.

    John Brown’s biography of John Bunyan remains the standard, despite the lapse of over a hundred years since it was first published. The author was one of Bunyan’s successors as minister of the church in Bedford. He shows that many of the scenes familiar to readers of The Pilgrim’s Progress reflect local places and events and personal experience in the trials and joys of the Christian life.

  • This wonderful classic combines three unbeatable elements: a sea story, lively and dynamic characters, and a protagonist who undergoes a transformation.

    Harvey Cheyne is the pampered son of a multimillionaire who falls off an ocean liner and is rescued by a small fishing boat. After being punched in the nose by the captain of the small vessel for smart-mouthing him, Harvey quickly learns respect, toughness, and gratitude. He steps up from self-centeredness into the difficult but fulfilling realm of self-reliance and unselfishness.

    A popular favorite since its first publication in 1897, the novel remains a classic story of youthful initiation and a lively tribute to the author's famous code of bravery, loyalty, and honor among men.

  • Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia, was trained by Aristotle in every branch of human learning, conquered much of Asia, and was one of the greatest leaders in the history of the world. Conqueror of the Persian Empire, this military genius greatly influenced the spread of Hellenism and is responsible for profound changes in the course of world development. His actions and achievements would go on to inspire later conquerors such as Hannibal the Carthaginian and Napoleon. Agnes Savill’s illuminating biography transports listeners back to the era of this historical giant.

    “To be mystical and intensely practical, to dream greatly and to do greatly, is not given to many men,” says Agnes Savill; “it is this combination which gives Alexander his place apart in history. Aristotle had taught him that man’s highest good lay in right activity of mind and body both. [Alexander] gives a strangely vivid impression of one whose body was his servant.”

  • Dorothea Brooke is a thoughtful and idealistic young woman determined to make a difference with her life. Enamored of a man whom she believes is setting this example, she unwittingly traps herself into a loveless marriage.

    Her parallel is Tertius Lydgate, a visionary young doctor from the city, whose passionate ambition to spread the new science of medicine is complicated by his love for the wrong woman.

    Featuring a panoply of complex, brilliantly drawn characters from every walk of life, George Eliot's masterpiece is a rich and teeming portrait of provincial life in Victorian England. Yet her characters' struggles to retain their moral integrity in the midst of temptation and tragedy are strikingly modern in their painful ironies.

    The incomparable psychological insight of Middlemarch was pivotal in the shaping of twentieth-century literary realism.

  • Jane Austen's first major novel, a parody of the popular literature of the time, is an ironic tale of the romantic folly of men and women in pursuit of love, marriage, and money. The humorous adventures of young Catherine as she encounters "the difficulties and dangers of a six weeks' residence in Bath" lead to some of Austen's most brilliant social satire. There is Catherine's hilarious liaison with a paragon of bad manners and boastfulness, her disastrous friendship with an unforgettably crass coquette, and a whirl of cotillion dances with their timeless mortifications. A visit to ancient Northanger Abbey, the ancestral home of the novel's handsome hero, excites the irrepressible Catherine's hopes of romance amid gothic horrors. But what awaits her there is a drama of a different kind. This novel is the most youthfully exuberant and broadly comic of Jane Austen's works.

  • Possibly the first novel in the English language, Moll Flanders is the fictional autobiography of a delightfully scandalous young female rogue. Born in Newgate Prison in seventeenth-century England, Moll is predestined to poverty and lawlessness, yet relentlessly driven to overcome her fate. Donning whatever mask suits her best in the moment, she appraises theft, prostitution, and bigamy only in terms of their profit potential, her indomitable will undaunted by her bad luck. Eventually, however, a moral sense begins to intrude.

    Defoe creates a narrative that brilliantly commentates on morality and self-reliance within the period in which it is set.

  • Written when she was twenty-six, Agnes Grey is Anne Bront├½'s first novel. It tells the story of a rector's daughter who has to earn her living as a governess when her family enters a financial crisis. Drawing directly from her own experiences, Anne Bront├½ set out to describe the immense pressures that the governess' life involved: the frustration, the isolation, and the insensitive and cruel treatment on the part of employers and their families.

    Mature, insightful, and edged with a quiet irony, this debut displays a keen sense of moral responsibility and sharp eye for bourgeois attitudes and behavior—and the corrosive power of wealth.

  • One of Dickens’ most popular novels, Oliver Twist tells the story of a young workhouse orphan who escapes into the mean backstreets of Victorian London. There, he is thrust into a den of thieves where some of Dickens’ most depraved villains preside: the incorrigible Artful Dodger, the barbarous bully Bill Sikes, and the terrible Fagin, whose knavery threatens to send them all to the gallows. A novel with autobiographical overtones, this was the first of Dickens’ works to realistically portray London’s impoverished underworld and to illustrate his belief that poverty leads to crime. At the heart of the drama, however, is Oliver, the orphan whose unsullied goodness leads him to salvation, and who represents Dickens’ belief in the principle of good triumphing at last.

  • The lives of many famous artists have been shrouded in mystery and conjecture, but none have been more controversial than the life of Vincent van Gogh.

    Remembered for his swirling brushstrokes and burning colors, Vincent van Gogh is today one of the best-known painters. Though his career as a painter spanned less than ten years, he produced a body of work that remains one of the most enduring in all of modern art. In his lifetime, however, he received little recognition. Today his paintings sell for countless millions, yet during his lifetime, van Gogh managed to sell just one painting.

    Van Gogh's road to becoming a painter took a circuitous, often troublesome path. In his twenties, van Gogh served as a lay minister in a Belgian mining district. He practiced Christian virtues with such outward zeal that he found himself ostracized from society, which prompted him to set off for Brussels to study art. His religious zeal, his belief in the unimpeachable nature of man and his struggle, and his many tumultuous inner-turmoils all resonate through his extraordinary body of paintings.

  • Arguably Charlotte Bront├½'s most deeply felt work, Villette draws on her own profound loneliness following the deaths of her three siblings.

    Left to fend for herself after a family tragedy, Lucy Snowe flees from her unhappy past in England to begin a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school in the cosmopolitan capital of Villette. There, Lucy struggles to prove herself in her new circumstances and to manage both her unruly students and her inner grief. But her quest for independence and stability is soon challenged by her complex feelings for a worldly English doctor and then an autocratic professor. Brontë's strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free.

    Plain, poor, and lacking charm as well as any trace of self-esteem, Lucy is an unusual but utterly memorable heroine. As this thoughtful novel delves into her psyche, listeners will come to know and love her as a friend.

  • When Captain Chris Baldry, a World War I soldier, is sent home with a severe case of shellshock amnesia, he is a stranger to his wife, Kitty, and his adoring cousin, Jenny. Recoiling from the horrors of war and disillusioned with years of superficial married life, his mind has regressed fifteen years, where his heart may take refuge once again in the magic circle of his youth and of his first love, Margaret Allington.

    In this lyrical and poignant story of a wounded man and the three concerned women who seek to heal him, Rebecca West explores the complexity of the mind and its subtle strategies for coping with life’s painful realities. Only when Chris has the courage to face one pivotal moment of truth in his married life will he be able to awaken from his boyish fantasy and become, indeed, “every inch a soldier.”

  • "There is no book of mine about which I more thoroughly feel that I swear by every sentence as having been written with my best blood." Thus wrote George Eliot about Romola, the book which is central in her career as a novelist and amongst her most colorful, fluent, and persuasive works.

    Set in Florence in 1492, a time of great political and religious turmoil, Eliot's novel blends vivid fictional characters with historical figures such as Savonarola, Machiavelli, and the Medicis. When Romola, the virtuous daughter of a blind scholar, marries Tito Melema, a charismatic young Greek, she is bound to a man whose escalating betrayals threaten to destroy all that she holds dear. Profoundly inspired by Savonarola's teachings, then crushed by the religious leader's ultimate failure, Romola finds her salvation in noble self-sacrifice.

  • Trilby opens in the Latin Quarter of nineteenth-century Paris, where Trilby O'Ferrall is working as an artist's model. Her grace and ingenuous charm make a poignant contrast to the cruel magnetism of Svengali, under whose spell she falls. Using hypnotic powers, Svengali shapes her into a virtuoso singer—Europe's most captivating soprano—but her golden voice, and even her life, become fatally tied to him.

    A precursor to The Phantom of the OperaTrilby was all the rage when it appeared in 1894, spawning songs, shoes, and most famously, the Trilby hat. This novel holds the mirror up to the art and science of the fin de si├¿cle and its darkest obsessions—to anti-Semitism, crime, sexuality and the occult, music and mesmerism, and to new investigations of hysteria and the unconscious.

  • Like her sisters Emily and Charlotte, Anne Brontë published under a male pseudonym, yet still this novel was scorned by many for its exposure of the abusive male chauvinism that was concealed, like all things sexual, during the Victorian Era.

    Just as Anne had to use a male pseudonym in order to publish, Helen Graham, the novel’s protagonist and a battered wife, must assume an alias in order to gain freedom from her suffering. With her young child, Helen takes up residence at Wildfell Hall, shrouding her past in secrecy yet earning the attentions of a young unmarried country gentleman. Anne Brontë employs the atmosphere of the bleak Yorkshire moors and the cold, rugged gloom of the fictional mansion to set the stage for a tragedy that reveals the secret violence in a society considered well-mannered.

    With a powerful plot that reveals the troubles of the times, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is now lauded as a classic of Victorian literature.

  • Published to great acclaim in 1873, Walter Pater's compendium of idiosyncratic, impressionistic essays on the Renaissance gained him a reputation as a daring modern philosopher. Oscar Wilde called it the "holy writ of beauty." It was Pater's cry of "art for art's sake" that became the manifesto for the aesthetic movement. He believed that art should be sensual and that beauty should rank as the highest ideal. Marked by elegant fluency, Pater's essays discuss Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and other artists who, for him, embodied the spirit of the Renaissance. Pater's work survives to this day as one of the best pieces of cultural criticism to emerge from the nineteenth century.

    This collection is criticism as beautiful as the art it considers.

  • One of the masterpieces of English literature, Daniel Deronda tells the intertwined stories of two different characters as they each come to discover of the truth of their natures.

    Gwendolen Harleth is the high-spirited beauty of an impoverished upper-class family. In order to restore their fortunes, she unwittingly traps herself in an oppressive marriage. She turns for solace and guidance to the high-minded young Daniel Deronda, the adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman, who is searching for his own path in life. But when Deronda rescues a poor Jewish girl from drowning, he discovers a world of Jewish culture previously unknown to him. When he finally uncovers the long-hidden secret of his own parentage, he must confront his true identity and destiny.

  • Sayers’ most renowned amateur detective, the engaging and amusing Lord Peter Wimsey, sets out to unravel a puzzling case involving the disappearance of a wealthy financier and the discovery of a nude corpse, wearing gold pince-nez, in a bathtub. He does succeed in solving things to everyone’s ultimate satisfaction, but only after a series of bloodcurdling and hair-raising episodes that will hold the listener spellbound with anticipation.

    Long considered one of the top mystery authors, Dorothy L. Sayers has excelled herself in this delightfully macabre tale, a truly rare find for anyone interested in top-flight crime fiction.

  • First published in 1915, The Voyage Out marked the literary debut of one of the great pioneers of the modern novel, Virginia Woolf.

    Woolf’s witty and lyrical debut follows a group of lively, eccentric British tourists embarking on a sea voyage from London to South America. For Rachel Vinrace, a shy, motherless young lady traveling under the wing of her aunt Helen, this first voyage out into the world becomes a mythic rite of passage into emotional and intellectual maturity.

    As the narrative shifts point of view among the mismatched jumble of passengers, Woolf takes the opportunity to satirize Edwardian life while sketching the evolution of her heroine’s understanding.

    When the ship finally arrives at the village Santa Marina on the South American coast, Rachel is introduced to a group of English expatriates. Among them is the sensitive young Terence Hewet, an aspiring writer with whom she falls into a doomed romance.

  • Just after World War I, Tommy Beresford and Tuppence Cowley are desperately short of money.

    With a shortage of job opportunities, they form a partnership, hiring themselves out as “young adventurers, willing to do anything, go anywhere.” In their first dangerous assignment, they must use all their ingenuity to save not only their own lives but also the life of a mysterious girl.

    The girl in the photograph has been missing for five years. Neither her body nor the secret documents she was carrying have ever been found. Now postwar England’s economic recovery depends on finding her and getting the papers back.

    But the two young Brits, working undercover for the ministry, Tommy and Tuppence, know only that her name was Jane Finn and the only photo of her is in the hands of her rich American cousin. They don’t yet know about a mysterious and ruthless man called “Mr. Brown” or the beautiful but sinister older woman who knows all about Jane Finn—and therefore must die.

  • England between the wars was a paradise of calm and leisure for the very, very rich. Into this enclave is born Mrs. Emmeline Lucas—La Lucia, as she is known—a woman determined to lead a life quite different from the subdued formality of her class.

    With her cohort, Georgie Pillson, and her husband, Peppino, Lucia upends the greats of high society: the imperious Lady Ambermere and her equally imperious dog, Pug; the odious Piggy and Goosie Antrobus; the Christian Scientist Daisy Quantrock, with her penchant for the foreign; and all the rest of the small English town that the British rich call their country home. Beset on all sides by pretenders to her social throne, Lucia brings culture, fine art, excitement, and intrigue into this cloistered realm.

    Told with his usual dry British wit, E. F. Benson gives us the first tale in his classic Mapp and Lucia series.

  • Hector Monro, writing under the pseudonym of Saki, is justly renowned for his urbane and witty short stories. His eccentric characters, humorous dialogue, and engaging domestic situations all reveal a penetrating and sometimes disturbing insight into human nature. As a quixotic tour guide, Saki leads the reader from garden party to pig sty to political convention with the ease of one who is intimately familiar with the cares and foibles of the human condition, showing us this vista of life through the well-tempered lens of his gentle, British irony.

    In this definitive collection of seventy short stories, we can browse and sightsee at our leisure, cross borders of fresh insight, admire and enjoy each whimsical tale as we journey through the imaginative landscape of a truly artful writer.

  • Beautiful, spirited Isabel Archer, an American heiress newly arrived in Europe, is widely expected to quickly marry. But Isabel does not look to a man to furnish her with destiny; instead she desires, with grace and courage, to find it herself. Two eligible suitors are refused in favor of her pursuit of glorious independence. But then, Isabel becomes utterly captivated by the languid charms of the cunning Gilbert Osmond. To him, she represents a superior prize to be won; through him, she faces a tragic choice.

    A subtle and poignant psychological novel of love and betrayal, The Portrait of a Lady is widely considered to be James' masterpiece. F.R. Leavis declared that "we can't ask for a finer exhibition of James' peculiar gifts."

  • In the barren moor of Egdon Heath, a wild tract of country in the southwest of England, one native yearns to escape to city life while another has just returned from that life, unimpressed.

    Clym Yeobright, a former diamond merchant in Paris, returns home to become a schoolmaster in Egdon, where he falls passionately in love with the sensuous, free-spirited Eustacia Vye. Infatuated with his seeming glamour, she marries him in hopes of greater adventure—but when her hopes are disappointed, she rekindles an affair with Clym's reckless cousin, Damon.

    Injured by forces beyond their control, Hardy's characters struggle vainly in the net of destiny.In the end, only the face of the lonely heath remains untouched by fate. This masterpiece of tragic passion perfectly epitomizes the author's melancholy genius.

  • George Eliot's first full-length novel is the moving, realistic portrait of three people troubled by unwise love.

    Adam Bede is a hardy young carpenter who cares for his aging mother. His one weakness is the woman he loves blindly: the trifling town beauty, Hetty Sorrel, who delights only in her baubles—and the delusion that the careless Captain Donnithorne may ask for her hand.

    Betrayed by their innocence, both Adam and Hetty allow their foolish hearts to trap them in a triangle of seduction, murder, and retribution. Only in the lovely Dinah Morris, a preacher, does Adam find his redemption.

    Addressing questions of morality and the role of women in society, Adam Bedeexplores the dangers of relying on religious and social norms to govern destructive desires.

  • Jane Eyre, the plain yet spirited governess, introduced a new kind of heroine to literature: one whose virtuous integrity, sharp intellect, and tireless perseverance broke through class barriers to win equal stature with the man she loved.

    Orphaned and subject to a cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. How she takes up the post of governess at Thornfield Hall, meets and loves Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage are elements in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian society.

    Hailed by William Makepeace Thackeray as “the masterwork of a great genius,” this impassioned love story is still regarded, over a century after it first appeared, as one of the finest novels in literature.

  • A recipe for happiness: four women, one medieval Italian castle, plenty of wisteria, and solitude as needed

    Four very diverse women, all seeking revitalization from the dreary February rains of 1920s London, rent the small medieval castle of San Salvatore, nestled high above the bay of Portofino, Italy. Arriving at San Salvatore, they find it awash with the scent of flowers, its olive groves terracing down to the sun-warmed sea.

    Each has her reasons for desiring escape. Mrs. Wilkins and Mrs. Arbuthnot are glad to leave behind their insipid duties and unresponsive husbands. The elderly Mrs. Fisher wishes only to sit in the sun and replay her youthful memories, and the bewitchingly beautiful Lady Caroline Dester desires to have seclusion from all her adoring suitors. Amid the canopies of fragrant wisteria, in the sweet sunshine and melodious silence, fate has some surprises in store for all of them.

  • On Midsummer’s Eve, Dan and Una enact A Midsummer Night’s Dream three times over—right under Pook’s Hill. That is how they meet Puck, “the oldest Old Thing in England,” and the last of the People of the Hills.

    Through Puck, they are introduced to the nearly forgotten pages of old England’s history and to characters that can illuminate their own historical predicaments. The god Weland is freed from an unwanted heathen immortality by a novice monk, Hugh, who goes on to become a warrior and leader. The centurion, Parnesius, shows an insight which is absent from the higher echelons of the declining Roman Empire in cooperating with the Picts.

    Originally published in 1906, this collection of ten stories and accompanying poems were intended for both adults and children.

  • At one time, Corrie ten Boom would have laughed at the idea that she had a story to tell. For the first fifty years of her life, nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to her. She was an old-maid watchmaker living contentedly with her sister and their elderly father in the tiny Dutch house over their shop. Their uneventful days, as regulated as their own watches, revolved around their abiding love for one another.

    But with the Nazi invasion and occupation of Holland, everything changed. Corrie ten Boom and her family became leaders in the Dutch underground, hiding Jewish people in their home in a specially built room and aiding their escape from the Nazis. For their pains, all but Corrie found death in a concentration camp.

    Here is a story aglow with the glory of God and the courage of a quiet Christian spinster whose life was transformed by it.

  • Silas Marner, a gentle linen weaver, is framed by his best friend for a heinous theft. Exiled from his small community, Marner retreats into bitter and miserly reclusion, caring only for the gold he receives for his work. When his small treasure horde is stolen, Marner feels betrayed by life yet again—until one fateful New Year's Eve, an abandoned golden-haired child appears mysteriously on his doorstep. Through his unselfish love for this child, Marner's heart reawakens to spiritual rebirth and true happiness. George Eliot shows how good character is rewarded in this ageless, heartwarming novel of redemption.

    Though this story originally appeared in 1861, its themes and ideas are timeless.

  • Set in nineteenth-century England, this great novel of domestic realism sympathetically portrays a young woman’s vain efforts to adapt to her provincial world.

    Maggie Tulliver, whose father owns a mill perched on the banks of the River Floss, is intelligent and imaginative beyond the understanding of her community, her relatives, and particularly her brother, Tom. Despite their opposite temperaments, Maggie and Tom are united by a strong bond. But this bond suffers when Tom’s sense of family honor leads him to forbid her to associate with the one friend who appreciates her intelligence and imagination. Later, when Maggie falls in love with the handsome and passionate fiancé of her cousin and is caught in a compromising situation, she fears her relationship with Tom may never recover.

  • This retelling in prose of twenty of Shakespeare’s thirty-seven plays was originally published just for children. Keeping Shakespeare’s own words whenever possible but making the plots and language easily understandable, this very listenable collection has entertained and informed generations of adults as well. With such classic stories as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Hamlet, and more, Shakespeare’s most memorable characters come to life anew as magicians and fairies, fools and kings weave their magic, mischief, and madness.

    Contents include: 
    The Tempest
    A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    The Winter’s Tale
    Much Ado about Nothing
    As You Like It
    The Two Gentlemen of Verona
    The Merchant of Venice
    Cybeline
    King Lear
    Macbeth
    All’s Well That Ends Well
    The Taming of the Shrew
    The Comedy of Errors
    Measure for Measure
    Twelfth Night
    Timon of Athens
    Romeo and Juliet
    Hamlet
    Othello
    Pericles, Prince of Tyre

  • In this vibrant portrait of Edwardian England and the many intricacies of class relations in English society during the turn of the century, two families with conflicting values are brought together by an inheritance dispute over a charming country house called Howards End. Sisters Margaret and Helen Schlegel and their brother Tibby place their values in civilized culture, music, literature, and conversation with their friends. Henry Wilcox and his children, Charles, Paul, and Evie, are concerned with the business side of life and distrust emotions and imagination. Through a series of romantic entanglements, disappearing wills, and sudden tragedy, the conflict over the house emerges as a symbolic struggle for England's very future.

    Regarded by many as Forster's masterpiece, Howards End concerns the nature of class and social status and how they affect one's relationships and well-being—for better or for worse.

  • This classic biography should be mandatory reading for all academicians. Winsor, a historian, poet, literary critic, and fiction writer, retraces every important aspect of Columbus’ fascinating life, from his family origins to his beliefs and convictions. Columbus emerges as a living, breathing human being with passions and ideas: a man possessing intellect and imagination enough to believe that the earth was round, not flat. Winsor’s opus represents an honest search for the truth.

  • Realistic, moving, engrossing, and positively brilliant, this biography recreates Mozart, the man and his music, against the background of the world he lived in. For Marcia Davenport, the research and writing of Mozart was truly a labor of love, during which she retraced every journey he made, saw every dwelling (then extant) in which he had ever lived, every theater where his works were first performed, and every library and museum where his manuscripts were then to be seen. In this eloquent work of historical reconstruction, Davenport lets her characters tell their own stories. She builds from Mozart's infancy toward the climactic meeting in 1787 of Mozart, Lorenzo Da Ponte, and Casanova in Prague, when Don Giovanni was being written, to Mozart's tragically early death. The result is a biography of such commanding stature that it has remained unassailable since its publication in 1932.

  • Originally published in 1748, this is possibly the most masterful and influential book ever written on the subject of liberty and justice. Accordingly, it is a work that profoundly influenced America’s Founding Fathers. Its success was due partly to the fact that it was the first systematic treatise on politics, partly to Montesquieu’s championship of the nobility and the Parliaments, but above all to the brilliant style of his prose.

    By the “spirit of laws,” Montesquieu means their raison d’être and the conditions determining their origin, development, and forms. Montesquieu discusses numerous topics, including the general functions of government, relations between the sexes, the morals and customs of the nation, economics and religion, and the theory of law and legislative practice.

  • A Prussian soldier and writer, Clausewitz is said to have distilled Napoleon into theory. Perhaps best known among his numerous pronouncements is that war is a continuation of politics by other means. His theories and observations in this work have been heeded by military strategists for nearly two hundred years. Many have considered this to be the Bible of military strategy and tactics.

    This abridged version of Clausewitz’s magnum opus follows the text of the New and Revised Edition (edited by F.N. Maude in 1908) of Col. J.J. Graham’s translation. Of the original three volumes, this version includes all of Volume I (except for the last chapter on night fighting) and six of the nine chapters of Book Eight of Volume III (The Plan of War). The editor’s objective in this abridgement was to select those portions of the work which most closely relate to our own time.