The Dawn Watch
Joseph Conrad in a Global World
The novelist Joseph Conrad lived at a time of rapid and unsettling change, which he reflected in his work. Blending history, biography and travelogue, this book explores his childhood and youth in Russian-occupied Poland, his experiences as a sea-captain, and his life as an emigrant. It argues that the forces that shaped his world – migration, nationalism, revolution and terrorism – are still shaping ours, which is why his books resonate so strongly today.
The Most Dangerous Book
The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses
Although considered a literary masterpiece now, Ulysses was widely banned as obscene for more than a decade. This account of the disputes surrounding the book is based on years of research in unpublished archival material. It traces in detail the long, painful process by which Joyce and his supporters fought to publish the novel on both sides of the Atlantic – and thereby changed the law’s definition of literature.
Love Without End
A Story of Heloise and Abelard
Brilliant young scholar Heloise falls in love with her tutor Abelard in medieval Paris, but their romance turns to tragedy. Reimagining their true story, Melvyn Bragg explores its moral complexity, and the lovers’ journey from erotic excess to sublime mysticism.
Eden-Olympia is a hi-tech business enclave, where residents live and work in secure, isolated luxury. When Dr Jane Sinclair takes a job at the park’s clinic, her husband looks for reasons why, in this smooth-functioning ‘intelligent city’, Jane’s predecessor went on a suicidal shooting spree.
The Body in the Castle Well
A Bruno, Chief of Police Novel
Set in rural France, this detective story begins with the death of a wealthy American art student, apparently from falling down a well. The investigation reveals motives for her murder and connections to art forgery and conspiracy dating from the end of the Second World War.
Acts of Vanishing
One winter evening in Stockholm a cyber-attack triggers a power blackout, including internet and phone services. Similar attacks follow across Europe. A journalist and her daughter struggle to reach her husband, a cyber-security expert who has disappeared but who may be searching for the truth.
Smilla's Sense of Snow
When Smilla Jaspersen discovers that her neighbour, a neglected six-year-old boy, has died in a tragic accident, her intuition tells her it was murder. First published in 1992 this classic thriller introduced Scandi Noir to the world. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Now We Are Dead
Inspired by his mugging-up on Winnie the Pooh for Celebrity Mastermind, Stuart MacBride describes his book as ‘the story of what happens to Detective Chief Inspector Roberta Steel after she was caught being Very, Very Naughty in In the Cold Dark Ground’. Now, the man she was accused of fitting up is freed and back on the streets of Aberdeen – but Roberta knows he is guilty.
His Life and His World
Starting with the puzzles surrounding his birth in Dublin in 1667, this highly regarded biography re-examines the evidence for Jonathan Swift’s life, gives new accounts of many aspects of the writer’s personal relationships, and shows how Swift created a deliberately misleading version of his own public life.
Chartism, Social Agency and the Victorian Novel, 1832–1867
Examining social agency from a historical rather than theoretical perspective, this study investigates how the Victorians thought about issues such as land ownership, agricultural reform and trade unionism through studies of novels by, among others, Dickens, Disraeli and Elizabeth Gaskell. No jacket.
Manuscripts Don't Burn
Mikhail Bulgakov: A Life in Letters and Diaries
Mikhail Bulgakov (1871–1940), is best known as the author of The Master and Margarita, a novel written in the 1930s and unpublished in full until 1973. Like his writings, details of Bulgakov’s life remained inaccessible for decades. Published in 1991, this book brings together letters to and from the writer, and his diaries from the 1920s and the period 1933–40, providing a vivid account of what it was like to be a writer in Stalin’s Soviet Union.
A highly respected poet and editor, Mick Imlah (1956–2009) was noted for his critical pieces, whether writing on canonical figures, such as Anthony Trollope and WB Yeats, or in response to fellow poets and contemporaries. This volume brings together his essays on 40 writers, plus eight book reviews on topics as diverse as aviation and the social history of drink, and an interview from Oxford Poetry in 1983.
An MFS Reader
In this collection of 20 essays drawn from the first 50 years of the Modern Fiction Studies journal, Brenda Silver’s ‘What’s Woolf Got to Do with It?’ (1992) serves as an introduction to Woolf criticism, followed by sections on the art of fiction, subjectivity, and Woolf’s ethical and political imagination.
A Bibliography 1997–2013
This is the first definitive bibliography of JK Rowling's work, from the Harry Potter series to the adult fiction published under her own name and the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Compiled with the co-operation of Rowling herself, her agent and key publishing figures, it provides details of each English-language edition published in the UK and the USA. Including extracts from correspondence and archives, the book sheds new light on the author's career and dispels many rumours.
The Humanist Comedy
Since the time of the ancient Greeks, authors in the Western literary tradition have applied a sceptical or contrarian perspective to religious beliefs and practices by using the freedom ceded to comedy. This study, which ranges from Aristophanes through Erasmus and Molière to the Nobel Prize-winning José Saramago, charts the history of such humanist humour and its use as a means of making room for multiple points of view and easing the negotiation of differences.
The Summer of Dead Toys
Taken off one case for beating up a suspected human trafficker, Inspector Salgado is sent to investigate a teenager’s death in uptown Barcelona. The boy’s fatal fall appears to be an accident, but Salgado uncovers sinister links between powerful families and two seemingly insoluble cases.
Hometown Tales: Yorkshire
Taking the meaning of home as their theme, each of the titles in the Hometown Tales series features two stories, one by an established author and one by an emerging voice. Using their local knowledge, the writers champion regional diversity, with a narrative set in a place they are most familiar with.In her poignant memoir The Yorkshire Years Cathy Rentzenbrink returns to the scene of her brother’s fatal accident in Snaith, the subject of her bestselling memoir, The Last Act of Love. The second memoir in this collection, The Island upon the Moor, recalls a carefree childhood in Holme-upon-Spalding-Moor in the late 1980s and 1990s, before the writer suffered deep bouts of depression.
Hometown Tales: Birmingham
Taking the meaning of home as their theme, each of the titles in the Hometown Tales series features two stories, one by an established author and one by an emerging voice. Using their local knowledge, the writers champion regional diversity, with a narrative set in a place they are most familiar with. This volume opens with Silver in the Quarter, a coming-of-age story in which a boy is caught up in the 1974 pub bombings. In the second contribution, In the Ape’s Shadow, comedian Stewart Lee, born in Solihull in 1968, explores the post-punk music scene that encouraged him to take to the stage.
Hometown Tales: Wales
Taking the meaning of home as their theme, each of the titles in the Hometown Tales series features two stories, one by an established author and one by an emerging voice. Using their local knowledge, the writers champion regional diversity, with a narrative set in a place they are most familiar with. In Last Seen Leaving award-winning writer Tyler Keevil recounts the days following the disappearance of a man from a mid-Wales town and the impact on those who knew him. For Welsh-born writer Eluned Gramich it is the language protests in 1970s Carmarthenshire and the resulting tensions in a small community that inspired her contribution to this volume, The Lion and the Star.
Hometown Tales: Highlands and Hebrides
Taking the meaning of home as their theme, each of the titles in the Hometown Tales series features two stories, one by an established author and one by an emerging voice. Using their local knowledge, the writers champion regional diversity, with a narrative set in a place they are most familiar with. In his memoir, The Boy in the Bubble, Colin MacIntyre recalls a childhood on the Isle of Mull in the 1980s, before he founded a successful career in music. It is paired here with A9, the modern tale of a young gay woman torn between her familiar world of Inverness and the opportunity to start a new life in Canada.
The Complete Ghost Stories of MR James
The unnerving ghost stories of MR James (1862–1936) broke the mould of Gothic horror fiction and set the supernatural in normal surroundings before building uneasiness up to ‘the final flash or stab of horror’. This volume presents all 45 stories, including his novel The Five Jars.
Uncanny Tales of Cosmic Horror and Unspeakable Terror
An ideal introduction to the work of HP Lovecraft (1890–1937), whose stories combine fantasy, science fiction and horror, this selection presents ten of his finest tales, including The Call of Cthulhu, The Rats in the Walls and The Shadow Out of Time.
The Big Red Book of Modern Chinese Literature
In ‘a search for the soul of modern China’, the literary scholar and poet Yunte Huang has gathered Chinese works of fiction, poetry, essays and letters spanning almost a century. From Lu Xun’s autobiographical Preface to ‘Call to Arms’ published in 1922, a decade after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty, nearly 50 Chinese writers and thinkers are represented, up to Gao Xingjian, China’s first Nobel laureate in literature, represented here by excerpts from Soul Mountain (2000).
The Pocket Essential Guide to Fiction, Film and TV
Identifying Ellis Peters’ Cadfael books as a starting point for a huge expansion in the writing of historical crime, this review of the genre profiles key writers, novels, TV programmes and films, and includes a number of interviews with authors.
Puzzles and Conundrums in Mary Shelley's Monstrous Masterpiece
Starting with a chapter on the background to the composition of Frankenstein (1818), John Sutherland explores the conundrums and ‘narrative obstacles’ in the novel, posing questions such as ‘Who makes the Creature’s trousers?’ and ‘Why go to the North Pole to commit suicide?’
Shakespeare's Strangest Tales
Extraordinary but True Tales from 400 Years of Shakespearean Theatre
Spanning more than four centuries, this anthology of 90 stories related to the life and legacy of William Shakespeare considers such diverse topics as his passion for litigation, the company that stage silent performances of his plays and the Orson Welles production of Macbeth set in Haiti.
The Food Lovers' Anthology
Originally compiled by Peter Hunt and published as Eating and Drinking: An Anthology for Epicures in 1961, this volume of poetry and prose is full of unexpected delights: the ladies of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford faced with the insurmountable problem of peas and two-pronged forks; Fitzroy Maclean’s account of ‘an unsatisfactory vegetable’ during his desert travels in Eastern Approaches; food-related limericks from Edward Lear; and words of wisdom from the great gastronome Brillat-Saverin.
The World Broke in Two
Virginia Woolf, TS Eliot, DH Lawrence, EM Forster and the Year That Changed Literature
The beginning of 1922 found the four subjects of this study troubled by self-doubt, money worries, relationship difficulties and the intellectual challenge posed by James Joyce’s Ulysses. Investigating their friendships and rivalries, the book looks at their creative regeneration in works such as Eliot’s The Waste Land, Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway, Forster’s Passage to India and Lawrence’s important if underrated Kangaroo – works now recognized as landmarks of literary modernism. American-cut pages
A History of Despots Through Their Writing
From Mein Kampf to Mao’s Little Red Book, dictators have often sought to expound their ideology in print, while some have even turned their hand to creative writing. Starting with the Big Five of 20th-century tyranny – Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler and Mao – this study also examines the memoirs of Enver Hoxha, the poetry of Serb warlords, the historical fiction of Saddam Hussein and the speeches of Fidel Castro to provide a chilling insight into the despotic mindset.
Shaw, Lady Gregory and the Abbey
A Correspondence and a Record
Bernard Shaw, who made his reputation in London, and Augusta Gregory, founder of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, are often seen as belonging to different worlds. But when Shaw’s play The Shewing-up of Blanco Posnet was banned in England, it was to the Abbey that he turned. This complete edition of the witty, informal letters that passed between him and Lady Gregory sheds light on the politics of the day, and emphasizes Shaw’s important yet unrecognized contribution to the Irish theatre.
The British Library Stefan Zweig Collection
Catalogue of the Literary and Historical Manuscripts
From the age of 16 the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) was a passionate collector of literary and historical autograph manuscripts, and his collection of unique pieces included poems by Rilke and Baudelaire, drafts by Robespierre, Darwin and Dostoevsky and lecture notes by Nietzsche. The collection was donated to the British Library by Zweig’s heirs in 1986, and is catalogued in this volume with full descriptions, commentary and 74 reproductions of manuscript pages.
The Secret Library
A Book-Lovers' Journey Through Curiosities of History
Tearle traces the history of Western civilization through its books, from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey to The Gutenberg Galaxy, a 1962 publication that predicted the replacement of print culture with electronic media. With examples of now forgotten books, such as Austen’s History of England, which contains ‘very few Dates’, and a cook book by Charles Dickens’s wife, it reveals neglected gems and surprising literary connections.
Rooms of One's Own
50 Places that Made Literary History
Virginia Woolf famously said that to write, a woman must have a room of her own. This book explores the rooms of writers of both genders over the past two centuries, and reflects on the way their surroundings may have influenced their work. The result is an entertaining and richly informative tour that ranges from Dr Johnson’s London house to the Brontë parsonage at Haworth; from Dorothy Parker’s room in New York’s Algonquin Hotel to Dostoevsky’s St Petersburg apartment.
The Angels of Lovely Lane
In 1953, five very different girls arrive at the nurses’ home in Lovely Lane, Liverpool, to start their training at St Angelus Hospital. They are still adapting to its rules and hierarchies when a girl is admitted after a botched back-street abortion and a tragedy begins to unfold.
Smuggled out of North Korea, these seven short stories reveal the lives of ordinary people under the dictatorship of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il, including a mother whose son misbehaves at a rally, a disillusioned war hero, and a woman in trouble who meets the leader. American-cut pages.
Hornblower and the Atropos
A Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars, Horatio Hornblower was created by CS Forester in 1937 and his adventures continued through eleven novels and many more adaptations for film and television. For his first assignment as captain, Hornblower has command of HMS Atropos, which is to be the flagship for the Nelson’s funeral procession before leaving for the Mediterranean and a daring salvage mission in Turkish waters.
Hornblower in the West Indies
A Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars, Horatio Hornblower was created by CS Forester in 1937 and his adventures continued through eleven novels and many more adaptations for film and television. Hornblower is now Commander-in-Chief of His Majesty’s ships in the West Indies, struggling to impose order in the chaotic aftermath of the French wars, dealing with violent pirates and revolutionaries and weathering a hurricane.
Priestess of Morphine
The Lost Writings of Marie-Madeleine in the Time of Nazis
In 1900 a teenage Jewish girl from a remote East Prussian village wrote a book of sensuous poetry that became a scandalous bestseller. Marrying into Prussian aristocracy, she lived as a respectable baroness while publishing morphine-fuelled verses and stories that pulsed with lesbian eroticism under the pseudonym Marie-Madeleine. This groundbreaking volume translates a selection of her writing for the first time, while probing the mysteries of her double life, her drug habit, and her death in a Nazi-run addiction clinic.
The Trip to Echo Spring
On Writers and Drinking
Having grown up in an alcoholic family, Olivia Laing felt drawn to investigate the link between drink and creativity through the lives and work of six great American authors: F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever and Raymond Carver. In a journey across the USA that is both exploratory and redemptive, she asks whether writing and addiction are fuelled by the same inner dissatisfaction, and contemplates the possibility of recovery.
The Book of Imaginary Beings
Indulging in ‘out-of-the-way erudition’, Borges mined sources ancient and modern to compile this miscellany of 120 creatures of the imagination, from the A Bao A Qu that inhabits the first step of an Indian staircase to the living island of Zaratan. Translated by Norman Thomas di Giovanni in collaboration with Borges.
Kipling and War
From 'Tommy' to 'My Boy Jack'
Though never a soldier himself, Kipling wrote extensively about war. This selection of his journalism, fiction and verse ranges from Egypt and India to Sudan and South Africa. Featuring his eye-witness reports from the Boer War, his commentary on the First World War, and celebrated poems such as ‘Tommy’, ‘Gunga Din’ and ‘Recessional’, it reflects both his sympathy for the lot of the common soldier and his opinion of high command.
The End of the End of the Earth
Concentrating on his great loves – literature, which ‘invites you to ask whether you might be somewhat wrong’, and birds, from East African warblers to Antarctic penguins – Franzen’s collection of frank, ironic pieces reflect his thoughts on the modern world and environmental changes in particular.
Cambridge Companion to European Modernism
Contributors to this study of Modernist literature were asked to consider what ‘this cosmopolitan movement in the arts can teach us about life as a citizen of Europe and of the world’. The 15 essays examine Modernism within national and regional literatures – including studies of the former Habsburg Empire and pre-revolutionary Russia – but also discuss the movement across borders of ideas and forms and of writers such as Rilke, Joyce, Svevo and Maiakovskii. Off-mint.
The Classicist Writings of Thomas Walsingham
'Worldly Cares' at St Albans Abbey in the Fourteenth Century
Sylvia Federico provides a historical and literary reading of neglected works by the head of the St Albans scriptorium, alongside texts by his contemporary Chaucer. Her study illuminates their reception of the Latin classics and explores the idea of ‘humanism’ in the late Middle Ages.
Robert Louis Stevenson
This anthology was a long-cherished, but never realized project of the Argentinian writers Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares. Using their list of selected works, MacNeil presents a volume of rare essays and fictions that sheds a Borgesian light on Stevenson. Slightly off-mint.
Well Done God!
Selected Prose and Drama of BS Johnson
BS Johnson was an English experimental writer in the tradition of Joyce and Beckett. Since his death in 1973 his reputation has grown steadily, aided by his biographer Jonathan Coe, who introduces this selection. It includes the semi-autobiographical Aren’t You Rather Young To Be Writing Your Memoirs?, six radio and television plays, and newspaper and magazine articles on subjects from fishing to censorship, showcasing his unconventional but readable prose style.
Set in 13th-century Florence, part autobiography and part religious allegory, Dante's early masterpiece follows his quest to find a poetic idiom worthy of Beatrice, whom he had loved since boyhood. Her early death plunges him into an emotional turmoil that finds relief only through his faith in her continuing spiritual influence. The work is presented here in a verse translation by Anthony Mortimer.
The Medieval Book and a Modern Collector
Essays in Honour of Toshiyuki Takamiya
These 40 essays in honour of Professor Takamiya’s 60th birthday reflect his research interests in medieval manuscripts and early printed books, Arthurian literature, and 19th- and 20th-century medievalism. The collection starts with a memoir of the professor’s time in Cambridge by Derek Brewer and the essay subjects include works by Dante, Chaucer, Gower, Nicholas Love, Sir Thomas Malory, John Hardyng and Tolkien.
Chaos and Cosmos
Literary Roots of Modern Ecology in the British Nineteenth Century
Studying prose and poetry from the Romantic and Victorian eras alongside recent ecological writings, Heidi Scott discusses how the 19th-century literary concepts of chaos and microcosm have been adopted into ecology’s scientific epistemology.
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous critical study of Lord Byron. Beginning with a biographical outline, the book provides an original reappraisal of the poet’s work, examines critical responses and concludes with a detailed bibliography and index.
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous critical study of Dickens. Beginning with a biographical outline, the book provides an original reappraisal of the novelist’s work, examines critical responses and concludes with a detailed bibliography and index.
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous critical study of Andrew Marvell. Beginning with a biographical outline, the book provides an original reappraisal of the poet’s work, examines critical responses and concludes with a detailed bibliography and index.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous critical study of Shelley. Beginning with a biographical outline, the book provides an original reappraisal of the poet’s work, examines critical responses and concludes with a detailed bibliography and index.
Early Modern Sonneteers: From Wyatt to Milton
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous study of early modern sonneteers, including Dante, Spenser, Drayton, Shakespeare and Donne. The book begins with a chapter on the invention of the sonnet, then discusses the work of 15 poets and concludes with a short appraisal of criticism of the sonnet form. With a select bibliography and index.
Chaucer's Pardoner and Wife of Bath
Can an outrageously immoral man or a scandalous woman teach morality or lead people to virtue? Does personal fallibility devalue one’s words and deeds? Can individual failing be separated from official function? Chaucer addressed these issues through his portraits of the Pardoner, the immoral seller of indulgences, and the sexually rapacious Wife of Bath. In this study of these two ‘fallible authors’, Minnis reveals them as aspects of Chaucer’s radical experiment, confronting the relationship between objective authority and subjective fallibility.
Writers and Their Work
In a combination of commentary and critique, Robert Miles explores how Jane Austen ‘creates the illusion of personality within her work’; addresses the issues of class, money and gender in the novelist’s cultural background; and discusses the contemporary conventions of the novel.
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous critical study of Emily Brontë. Beginning with a biographical outline, the book provides an original reappraisal of the novelist’s work, examines critical responses and concludes with a detailed bibliography and index.
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous critical study of Tennyson. Beginning with a biographical outline, the book provides an original reappraisal of the poet’s work, examines critical responses and concludes with a detailed bibliography and index.
Shades of Difference
Mythologies of Skin Color in Early Modern England
Sujata Iyengar’s term ‘mythologies of color’ refers to a complex of early modern beliefs surrounding the significance of skin colour, whether white, black, red, green, yellow or transparent. She explores these cultural mythologies in their historical, geographical and literary contexts during the period when colonial expansion and the slave trade introduced Britons to more dark-skinned persons than they had previously encountered.
The Works of Walter Quin
An Irishman at the Stuart Courts
Born in Dublin, Walter Quin (d. 1640) was poet to the Stuart court and his poetry and prose (in English, Latin, French and Italian) includes works in support of James VI, along with historical and philosophical writing. This first edition of Quin’s work includes a biographical introduction and translations of his non-English texts.
William Langland: Piers Plowman
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a concise critical study of William Langland’s Piers Plowman, discussing new approaches to the poem’s complex allegory. The book sets Langland’s work in literary and historical context and provides a narrative synopsis of the poem.
Writers and Their Work
Part of the Writers and their Work series, this is a brief yet rigorous critical study of Swift. Beginning with a biographical outline, the book provides an original reappraisal of the novelist’s work, examines critical responses and concludes with a detailed bibliography and index.