Stories of the Grimm and Gruesome
In this collection inspired by the work of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, some of today's finest fantasy and horror writers have created modern – and decidedly darker – versions of classic folk tales. Interspersed with less-familiar ghost stories and tales from Grimm, and illustrated with drawings by Alan Lee, here are Hansel and Gretel, Shock-Headed Peter, elves and rich merchants in far-off lands, re-imagined for adult readers.
The Girl Who Would Be Queen
A classic of historical fiction, Young Bess was first published in 1944 and made into a film starring Jean Simmons in 1953. It tells the story of the young Princess Elizabeth, declared a bastard and banished from her father's court, yet facing even greater challenges after Henry VIII's death.
Set in Victorian London, where a young artists' model, Eliza Dunlop, meets the illusionist Hector Crumhall, aka Devil Wix, and his companions at the run-down Palmyra Theatre, this is the story of one woman and four men and the dark threads that entangle them. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Fifth Heart
In the Great Hiatus (after the Reichenbach Falls incident), Sherlock Holmes is in America with Henry James investigating the 'suicide' of Clover, wife of Henry Adams. James is disturbed by a deeply troubled Sherlock as the great detective questions what is real and what is not in Dan Simmons's literary hall of mirrors.
The Many Lives of Amory Clay
William Boyd's novel tells the life story of Amory Clay, whose career as a photographer starts in 1920s London and Berlin, and takes her to New York in the 1930s, through the Second World War as a war photographer, then on to other wars, lovers, husbands and children.
Miss Carter's War
After a dangerous war as an SOE agent, Marguerite Carter dedicates herself to educating girls and fighting injustice. Through the story of this fictional but believable woman, actress and bestselling author Sheila Hancock creates a panorama of British history from the 1940s to the rise of Thatcher. Slightly off-mint.
The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll
As well as the complete Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (with John Tenniel's original illustrations) and The Hunting of the Snark, this edition contains the whole bewildering range of Carroll's verses, puzzles, 'phantasmagoria' and stories, plus a miscellany of letters and prose pieces on topics that include women students, vivisection and dining room etiquette.
Elizabeth Taylor: Three Novels
Memorably described by fellow novelist Paul Bailey as 'reports from the chintz-bedecked battlefields', the novels of Elizabeth Taylor (1912-1975) are subtle, sophisticated portraits of English domestic life, its cruelties and its inadvertent comedy. Our three are A View of the Harbour (1947), set in a small coastal community; Angel (1957), the life of a writer of very bad novels; and Taylor's penultimate book, Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont (1971). With introductions by Sarah Waters, Hilary Mantel and Paul Bailey.
The First Murder
A Historical Mystery by the Medieval Murderers
When, in 1154, the first performance of The Play of Adam at Oseney Priory ends in tragedy, the playwright issues a grim warning for generations to come: 'beware the sins of envy and vainglory, else foul murder ends your story'. In four acts, a prologue and an epilogue, the Medieval Murderers trace Prior Wigod's curse, from medieval Oxfordshire to Surrey, 1944.
Jonathan Coe: Three Novels
This set of three novels by the award-winning author of What a Carve Up! comprises his first book, The Accidental Woman (1987); The Dwarves of Death (1990), in which a small-time rock-band musician becomes embroiled in a murder mystery; and Coe's funny and painfully honest story of boys growing up in the 1970s, The Rotters' Club (2001).
The Liz Carlyle novels draw on Rimington's own experience as a former head of MI5 and are much-acclaimed for their authenticity and pace. Here, Ms Carlyle's Counter Terrorism unit in MI5 is charged with watching the international arms trade after an agent is attacked in a Middle Eastern souk.
Theodore Boone: The Activist
Theodore Boone, the 13-year-old lawyer, is campaigning to stop his friend's house being bulldozed to make way for a bypass; but things become complicated when he stumbles upon a terrible secret about the corrupt developers – a secret it is illegal for him to know. Age 9+
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
Thomas De Quincey's powerful autobiographical study describes the psychological effects of his addiction to opium: childhood experience turning into dreams, at first euphoric, but becoming horrific as dependence on the drug deepened. Published in 1822, the book brought De Quincey literary fame and was an important influence on later writers. It is read here by Gunnar Cauthery. Unabridged.
The Essential Edgar Allan Poe
Stories. Poems. Biography
Although stories such as The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Murders in the Rue Morgue have remained popular to this day, Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) felt that his vocation was poetry. This collection includes both stories and poems, plus a biography of Poe. The works are unabridged and read by Kerry Shale, William Roberts and John Chancer.
The Golden Notebook
Set in London in the late 1950s, this novel by the Nobel laureate Doris Lessing (1919–2013) describes the challenges of life in the aftermath of war. It follows the psychological turmoil of Anna, a novelist and a single mother – as Lessing was – struggling to cope as her personal life and political certainties collapse around her. The Golden Notebook (1962) is read here by Juliet Stevenson. Unabridged.
Jane Austen's first novel, Lady Susan is written in epistolary style and tells the story of the recently widowed Lady Susan Vernon, an intelligent and highly manipulative woman intent on procuring financially secure matches for herself and her daughter. The novel is read here by a full cast led by Harriet Walter.
Echo's Bones was originally intended as an end-piece for More Pricks Than Kicks (1934); but although the publisher had requested the extra story, it was declared 'a nightmare' and remained unpublished. The story of Belacqua's resurrection in all its brilliant improbability is here edited, introduced and annotated by Mark Nixon.
This final volume in Adler’s Shoah trilogy (following The Journey and Panorama) tells the story of Arthur Landau, the survivor of a wartime atrocity who struggles with nightmares and his memories as he tries to make a new life for himself and reconcile past and present. This highly acclaimed novel was first published in Austria in 1989. Translated by Peter Filkins. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Far From the Madding Crowd
As a young, independent woman taking over the running of a rural estate, Bathsheba Everdene attracts the attentions of three very different men: a respectable local farmer, a dashing soldier, and a devoted young shepherd, Gabriel Oak, who works on her land. This was the first of Hardy’s great novels, first published in 1874.
Volume 3 of the Cazalet Chronicle
Volume three of Elizabeth Jane Howard's absorbing saga opens in 1942, with the country at war and the Cazalet family in turmoil following Sybil's death and Rupert being posted as ‘missing’ in France. With a 'catch-up' Foreword for those who have not read volumes one and two.
A dual collection of erotic literature, Agent Provocateur can be read from both ends: the Pink Side with erotic short stories, articles and poems; or the Dark Side, also made up of stories and poems, but with a wilder, sadomasochistic streak. The book is illustrated with drawings by David Bray. Bound in black and pink embossed covers, with a black silk marker. Sexually explicit.
I Live Under a Black Sun
Although it takes its inspiration from the life and correspondence of Jonathan Swift, Sitwell's novel is set during and after the First World War. It follows Jonathan Hare, a writer and misogynist - much like Swift himself - through his tragic relationships with two women, also based on real people in Swift's life. Described by Evelyn Waugh as 'like a magnesium flame in a cavern' when it was published in 1937, this was Sitwell's only novel.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Ian Holm narrates the famous tale of Dr Henry Jekyll and the elixir which he hoped would help him explore the hidden depths of his personality. Jekyll's experiments coincided with the appearance of Mr Edward Hyde on London's streets; but how are the two men related and how can the evil Hyde be stopped? 2 CDs, running time 2.5 hours.