Micromegas and Other Stories
Voltaire’s ‘philosophical story’ Micromegas foreshadows science fiction, telling of a 650-year-old giant from Sirius who visits Earth and encounters the stupidity of the human race. This classic Enlightenment text is accompanied by a further 13 short tales, all newly translated.
Memories of London
and An Excursion to the Poor Districts of London
On his first (and only) visit to London in 1873, Italian author Edmondo De Amicis noted the magnificence of the metropolis – and recorded his impressions in the witty observational style that would later become his trademark. His essay is paired with a contrasting contemporaneous account of life in the deprived areas of the city by the French travel writer Louis Laurent Simonin.
The Intelligent Woman's Guide
to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism
In 1924, asked by his sister-in-law Mary Cholmondeley for ‘a few of [his] ideas of socialism’, George Bernard Shaw produced this panoramic survey of the competing ideologies of the day. Hailed by the Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald as ‘the most important book that humanity possesses’ after the Bible, it outlines Shaw’s belief that British institutions, from the state to the family, were ‘corrupted at the root by pecuniary interest’, and required not piecemeal reform but radical change.
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.