How the World Works - 3 Books
Each volume in this series forms an illustrated introduction to one branch of knowledge, with an outline of the most important concepts and principles as well as information on key figures and historical developments. The three titles included in this set are: The Universe (Read more...) Astronomy (Read more...) Physics (Read more...)
Brain Boosters - 2 Books
Aiming to help children become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, each workbook in the engaging Brain Boosters series comprises interactive puzzles and brainteasers to teach numeracy and logic skills and practice questions to test the learning. Age 6+ The two titles included in this set are: Times Tables and Multiplication Activity Book (Read more...) Adding and Subtracting Activity Book (Read more...)
To the Lighthouse
Tracing the conflicts of family and friends through ten years, Virginia Woolf’s novel begins with the Ramsay family’s first holiday on Skye in 1910, when their youngest son asks to visit the lighthouse they can see from the house, and ends after the war, when they can revisit the island.
Thus Spake Zarathustra
This profoundly influential literary-philosophical experiment – a book of aphorisms put into the mouth of the Persian sage Zarathustra – contains the kernel of Nietzsche's thought: his famous proclamation that 'God is dead', and the much-misinterpreted theory of the rise of the Übermensch that has attained a higher, enhanced humanity. First published in four parts in 1883–85.
The Social Contract
‘Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains’, so begins one of the most profoundly influential works of Western political philosophy. Written in 1762, The Social Contract puts forward Rousseau’s theory of the general will and the sovereignty of the whole citizen body – ideas that were taken up by the French revolutionaries and political thinkers as far-flung as Jefferson in America and Tolstoy in Russia.
Translated, with an introduction by the Oxford classicist Benjamin Jowett (1817–1893), Plato’s Republic is widely regarded as the finest of the Socratic dialogues, bringing together political thought and philosophy. Among the issues debated in the dialogue are the meaning of justice and the just man, immortality of the soul, the theory of Forms, and the ideal state ruled by its philosopher king.
Notes from Underground and the Double
Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, the ‘diary’ of an embittered former civil servant, is widely regarded as one of the first existentialist novels. It is joined here by the story of Golyadkin, a man who meets his double, then finds his life being taken over by the doppelgänger.
Meditations on First Philosophy
and Other Metaphysical Writings
This collection of writings by René Descartes (1596–1650) begins with the short, yet tremendously important Discourse on the Method, with the famous assertion cogito ergo sum within the discussion of knowledge, the existence of God and the distinction between mind and body. The Meditations then expand on Descartes’ metaphysical arguments, and selections from The Principles of Philosophy complete the volume.
Human, All Too Human
Published in 1878, two years after Nietzsche broke with German Romanticism and his former friend, Richard Wagner, this is his first philosophical book written in aphoristic style. Here he describes the ‘free spirits’ that will transcend traditional Christianity, challenges the Christian notions of good and evil, and introduces the concept of the will to power.
Heart of Darkness
And Tales of Unrest
Joseph Conrad's dark and profoundly influential novel is narrated by Marlow, a mariner who recalls his journey up-river into the densely forested depths of Africa on a mission to find the enigmatic trading company agent, Kurtz. In this edition, it is accompanied by the Tales of Unrest (1898), including Conrad’s ‘best story’, An Outpost of Progress.
In Swift's great satire on early 18th-century politics and society, Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon, narrates his astonishing travels among the tiny Lilliputians, the Brobdingnag giants and the ludicrous intellectuals of Laputa, and in the lands of the noble Houyhnhnms and brutish Yahoo.
Crime and Punishment
Ground-breaking in its realism and psychological depth, Dostoevsky’s novel tells the story of Raskolnikov, the impoverished student who justified to himself the murder of a miserly pawnbroker and the theft of her money, yet suffers moral anguish in the aftermath of his brutal crime.
The Art of Rhetoric
Written around the time that Aristotle (384–322 BCE) established his own school in Athens, this is a guide to what was a critical skill in ancient Greece: the art of arguing persuasively in debate and public speaking. A seminal text that has shaped theory and practice down to modern times, the book sets out the contexts and types of rhetoric, the strategies of persuasion, and the style of delivery.
On Mr Jones’s farm, the animals revolt against their human masters. The pigs become the leaders, but corrupted by power, they turn into the new tyrants. A satire on revolutionary and Stalinist Russia, Orwell’s novel has remained as vivid and as relevant as when it first appeared in 1945.
Since 1609, when they were first published, Shakespeare’s sonnets have fascinated readers, both with the depth of the poet’s insight into the variety of love and the passage of time and with the mysteries of the beautiful Young Man, the Rival Poet and the Dark Lady. This volume presents all 154 sonnets, with a brief introduction.
The Great Artists
Claude Monet (1840–1926) was one of the original Impressionist group whose subjects were modern life and the play of light on people and landscape. This richly illustrated introduction to his life and work traces Monet’s style and preoccupations from early success at the official Salon (with Camille in 1866) to his final paintings of the waterlilies in his garden at Giverny.
The Complete Sourcebook of Methods and Media
From preparing canvas to framing and storing finished artwork, this source book is a practical, up-to-date guide to materials for artists, amateur and professional. Starting with oils, the book covers acrylic, encaustic and tempera painting, watercolours, gouache and drawing materials; there are chapters on pigments, colour mixing, brushes and other applicators and, finally, guidance on working safely with artists’ materials.
Vincent van Gogh
The Great Artists
Susie Hodge traces the life of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) from his childhood in the Netherlands, through the places that were so important to his art – Paris, Arles and Saint-Rémy – to his illness and death in Auvers. Among the topics discussed are van Gogh’s letters, his depiction of the poor in The Potato Eaters (1885) and the self-portraits.
The Legend and Legacy of the Warriors of God
Both a religious order and a private army, the Templars were answerable only to the Pope and dominated the politics of the Middle East during the tumultuous age of the Crusades. This book traces the history and changing fortunes of the order, from its foundation in 1119 to its suppression amid accusations of heresy less than two centuries later.
The Strange and Infinite World of Numbers
For devotees of recreational mathematics, Tim Sole presents 28 numbers, starting with .301 (concerning Newcomb’s formula for the proportion of naturally occurring numbers beginning with the digit N) and ending ‘Beyond Infinity’ with Cantor’s amazing discovery that there are an infinite number of numbers bigger than infinity. Among chapters on topics such as the fundamental constant of music (1.059) and Euler’s identity, there are 38 conundrums (with answers) for the mathematically inclined.
The Great Artists
Thomas Stevens introduces Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), one of the original group of French Impressionist painters, with reproductions and commentary on his enduringly popular paintings such as La Loge (1874), which was Renoir’s principal exhibit at the first Impressionist show, Dance at the Moulin de la Galette (1876) and The Umbrellas.
The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
Along with an introduction to the life and work of the great Renaissance ‘artist-engineer’, this volume brings together extracts from his writings, facsimile pages of his notebooks, plans and drawings, and reproductions of paintings including The Last Supper and Mona Lisa, illustrating the tremendous scope of Leonardo’s genius. The book is bound in gilt-embossed scarlet linen and slip-cased.
Mapping the Planets
Discovering the Worlds Beyond Our Own
The rings of Saturn or Jupiter’s Great Red Spot are familiar images, although they are invisible to the naked eye: this book explains how we know what they look like. After a chapter describing the mapping of planetary orbits, it discusses each planet and its moons, from Earth’s near neighbours to the distant ice giants Neptune and Uranus, showing how their surfaces have been mapped and depicted, and examining the range of scientific information that different types of imaging provide.
Mapping the Oceans
Discovering the World Beneath Our Seas
Produced in association with the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, Mapping the Oceans records millennia of human efforts to navigate and chart the seas, first for trade and more recently for research. Illustrated with historic maps, paintings and prints, it explores the development of navigational instruments, the principles of latitude and longitude, marine biology, and the new technologies that have allowed scientists to probe the oceans’ depths.
Knowledge in a Nutshell
Historically, dual interpretations of physical phenomena as waves or particles became unified in quantum theory, which revolutionized views of the universe. However, topics such as Schrödinger’s (imaginary) cat and the double-slit experiment are notorious for being misinterpreted or badly explained. This illustrated guide by a NASA scientist aims to dispel confusion, while introducing key players such as Planck, Bohr and Feynman.
Knowledge in a Nutshell
After explaining how astrophysicists use ‘tools’ such as the electromagnetic spectrum, telescopes and photography to discover how astronomical systems are formed and evolve through time, Dr Odenwald covers some of the key themes in modern astrophysics: the structure and evolution of the Sun, planetary systems, stars and galaxies, and the cosmic structure, the Big Bang and the physics of the origin of the universe.
An Illustrated History of Science
From Agriculture to Artificial Intelligence
Reflecting how science is ‘as complex and multifaceted as the problems it seeks to unpick’, this very accessible, illustrated history approaches the subject both chronologically, from around 3000 BCE to the 21st century, and in the context of 16 different disciplines. Starting with mathematics, medicine and philosophy in antiquity, it follows the discoveries that heralded new branches of science, with a final chapter looking ahead to the possibilities of environmental science, medicine, AI and space exploration.
The Periodic Table
How the World Works
Identifying the fundamental chemical building blocks of nature, the periodic table of elements was first proposed by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. This introduction explores the history of scientific discovery that led to this codification and explains how it works and has been refined since.
How the World Works: Philosophy
From the Ancient Greeks to Great Thinkers of Modern Times
In the Apology Plato quotes Socrates as saying, at his trial for impiety, ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’. For those new to philosophy, this very accessible, illustrated survey of the development and various strands of Western thought offers a guide to starting that philosophical examination of life, tackling the big questions, including Is there a God? What can we know? and How should we live?
How the World Works
From the creation of Stonehenge to the invention of telescopes and the emerging field of astrobiology, this volume traces humanity’s fascination with the cosmos and our place in it, recording the advances in technology that have expanded our knowledge but also revealed new areas to explore.
The Great Artists
AN Hodge explores the life and loves of the Viennese artist Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) and the progress of his art, from a traditionally academic style, through the Viennese Secession to the erotic drawings and his increasingly stylized, ornate and gilded paintings of women, including the now famous Kiss.
The Great Mathematicians
Unravelling the Mysteries of the Universe
From Thales and Pythagoras in ancient Greece to Grigori Perelman’s solution to the Poincaré Conjecture in 2003, this accessible survey of mathematics and mathematicians explains their achievements in historical context and in terms of their application to everyday life, whether Archimedes’ invention of the screw for raising water, Huygens’ pendulum clocks, or the Turing test and AI.
The Ancient Brotherhood Revealed
This introduction outlines the history and practices of Freemasonry, from its legendary origins to modern incarnations around the world. The author argues that, although the Craft has frequently been viewed with suspicion, Masonic ideals are a force for good.
The Essential Guide to Drawing
Key Skills for Every Artist
Suitable for beginners as well as artists with some experience, this complete guide builds on basic techniques and exercises to explore topics including perspective, composition and anatomy. Each skill is introduced in relation to drawing still life, figures, landscapes or portraits, with numerous examples of each and comprehensive instructions.
Drawing Still Life
A Practical Course for Artists
Using easy-to-follow illustrations and practice exercises, Barrington Barber guides students of all levels through the fundamental steps of still life drawing. He offers advice on materials and techniques, ways of representing different objects and textures, composition, and choosing a theme.
A Practical Course for Artists
Using famous examples from the history of art as well as his original drawings, the artist and teacher Barrington Barber provides inspiration and encouragement as well as practical information on materials and techniques, and he offers insights into the possibilities and the pitfalls of portraiture. After the basics of proportion and composition, the course covers topics including group portraits, dress and props, animals, self-portraits and the art of caricature.
A Practical Course for Artists
Designed for artists of all abilities, this course focuses on the human figure and the techniques required to draw the human body, clothed or unclothed, at rest or in motion. Barber begins with anatomy, from the skeleton to elements such as hands and feet, and goes on to explain how to tackle clothes, various poses, action and facial features, using his own drawings as step-by-step examples and gradually building up to more advanced techniques of figure drawing.
The Dictionary of Mythology
An A–Z of Themes, Legends and Heroes
From Scandinavia to the Pacific Islands, ancient cultures around the world have developed rich mythologies to answer humans’ most fundamental questions. This abridgement of Coleman’s sizeable reference work focuses on recurring themes, such as the significance of twins, dogs and rainbows in different belief systems. It also covers the mass of stories clustered around specific legendary figures, especially King Arthur, and events including Creation and the Trojan War.
Myths and Legends of the Ancient World
Jason’s quest for the golden fleece, Echo’s doomed love for Narcissus and the visits to Hades by Ulysses and Aeneas are among the 49 Greco-Roman myths retold here by expert storytellers of the 19th and early 20th century. Inspired by the versions of ancient authors, they recreate an age when mortal heroes mixed with vengeful gods and faced such dangerous creatures as the Sirens and the Minotaur.
A study of conflict between father and daughter, this is the story of Catherine, the plain, obedient daughter of Dr August Sloper of Washington Square, New York. When Morris Townsend, a handsome man-about-town, proposes to Catherine, her father forbids the marriage, believing Townsend to be after his daughter’s inheritance.
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Written in 1792, and possibly the earliest work of feminist literature, Mary Wollstonecraft’s pamphlet argued for the equality of the sexes and women’s right to education – the freedom to study or pursue a career rather than be condemned, as most women were at that time, to living within the domestic sphere.
The Underground Railroad
A Selection of Authentic Narratives
William Still (1821–1902) was the son of a fugitive slave and an activist in the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society and Vigilance Committee, aiding escaping slaves. Published in 1872, his famous book tells the stories of the African Americans who used the ‘Underground Railroad’ network of ‘conductors’ in their bid for freedom. Abridged.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Beautiful and spirited, but also impoverished and mistreated, Tess suffers through the hypocrisy of Victorian society, and falls victim to injustice. Controversial at the time of writing and censored when it was first published, the novel is now considered Hardy’s masterwork.
Stories of the Dreamlands
‘Well do I remember the night of the great Aurora, when over the swamp played the shocking coruscations of the daemon-light’: one sentence from ‘Polaris’ and we are in the alien dimension of Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle. Here are all 23 stories, including ‘The Cats of Ulthar’, ‘Nyarlathotep’ and ‘Cool Air’.
Ernest Shackleton’s third Antarctic expedition in 1914–17 aimed to cross the southern continent via the Pole, but when their ship Endurance was crushed by ice floes, the team escaped to the relative safety of Elephant Island. From there, Shackleton and three of his men made the perilous trek to fetch help. A story of tremendous endurance and courage, this is Shackleton’s account of one of the most famous Antarctic expeditions. First published in 1919.