Revered by all of the town's children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic world of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is firmly grounded in early reality. From the abusive drunkard who serves as Huckleberry's father, to Huck's first tentative grappling with issues of personal liberty and the unknown, Huckleberry Finn endeavors to delve quite a bit deeper into the complexities-both joyful and tragic of life.
Considered by some to be the greatest novel ever written, Anna Karenina is Tolstoy's classic tale of love and adultery set against the backdrop of high society in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. A rich and complex masterpiece, the novel charts the disastrous course of a love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer. Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, and in doing so captures a breathtaking tapestry of late-nineteenth-century Russian society. As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy, "We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life."
In 1880 Dostoevsky completed THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, the literary effort for which he had been preparing all his life. Compelling, profound, complex, it is the story of a patricide and the four sons who each had a motive for murder- Dmitry, the sensualist; Ivan, the intellectual; Alyosha, the mystic; and twisted, cunning Smerdyakov, the bastard child. Frequently lurid, nightmarish, always brilliant, the novel plunges the reader into a sordid love triangle, a pathological obsession, and a gripping courtroom drama. But throughout the whole, Dostoevsky searches for the truth- about man, about life, about the existence of God. A terrifying answer to man's eternal questions, this monumental work remains the crowning achievement of perhaps the finest novelist of all time.
This beloved novel tells the story of Edmond Dantès, wrongfully imprisoned for life in the supposedly impregnable sea fortress, the Château d'If. After a daring escape, and after unearthing a hidden treasure revealed to him by a fellow prisoner, he devotes the rest of his life to tracking down and punishing the enemies who wronged him. Though a brilliant storyteller, Dumas was given to repetitions and redundancies; this slightly streamlined version of the original 1846 English translation speeds the narrative flow while retaining most of the rich pictorial descriptions and all the essential details of Dumas's intricately plotted and thrilling masterpiece. Alexandre Dumas's epic novel of justice, retribution, and self-discovery--one of the most enduringly popular adventure tales ever written--in a newly revised translation.
Few creatures of horror have seized readers' imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the novel's enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron's. "We will each write a story," Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron's proposal. The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, "would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror -- one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart."
Emma is Austen's most technically accomplished novel, with a hidden plot, the full implications of which are only revealed by a second reading. It is here presented for the first time with a full scholarly apparatus. The text retains the spelling and the punctuation of the first edition of 1816, allowing readers to see the novel as Austen's contemporaries first encountered it. This volume, first published in 2005, provides comprehensive explanatory notes, an extensive critical introduction covering the context and publication history of the work, a chronology of Austen's life and an authoritative textual apparatus.
This innovative, scholarly edition of Moby Dick offers unprecedented access to the revisions Herman Melville made to the original 1851 American version of the novel and illuminates all changes which scholars have made to create the classic that readers know today. The fluid text feature illuminates the personal, social, and cultural context of Melville's work, right on the page, while also offering fresh contextual notes, illustrations, and other apparatus to make this the most reader-friendly - and therefore most teachable - edition available today.
The purpose in publishing this edition of The Pilgrim's Progress is to carry forward this treasured legacy for a new generation. With this as the objective, the text of this edition has only been lightly edited--to update archaic words and difficult sentence structure, while retaining the beauty and brilliance of the original story, and to let the story unfold with all the power, truth, and remarkable creativity of the original. It is our hope and prayer, then, that the following pages will fascinate and captivate the hearts and minds of this generation today, as was the case when The Pilgrim's Progress was first published more than three centuries ago.
Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbours she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter Pearl is the product of an illicit affair but no one knows the identity of Pearl's father. Hester's refusal to name him brings more condemnation upon her. But she stands strong in the face of public scorn, even when she is forced to wear the sign of her shame sewn onto her clothes: the scarlet letter "A" for "Adulteress." The story of Hester Prynne-found out in adultery, pilloried by her Puritan community, and abandoned, in different ways, by both her partner in sin and her vengeance-seeking husband-possesses a reality heightened by Hawthorne's pure human sympathy and his unmixed devotion to his supposedly fallen but fundamentally innocent heroine. In its moral force and the beauty of its conciliations, The Scarlet Letter rightly deserves its stature as the first great novel written by an American, the novel that announced an American literature equal to any in the world.
In William Thackeray's Vanity Fair, no one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia, however, longs only for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way through the tawdry glamour of Regency society, battles - military and domestic - are fought, fortunes made and lost. The one steadfast and honourable figure in this corrupt world is Dobbin with his devotion to Amelia, bringing pathos and depth to Thackeray's gloriously satirical epic of love and social adventure.
One wild, snowy night on the Yorkshire moors, a gentleman asks about Wuthering Heights, the remote farmhouse inhabited by his mysterious landlord. He is told about the tragic romance of the beautiful, headstrong Cathy and the orphan Heathcliff, who - although desperately in love her - is rejected in favour of a rich suitor. But Cathy cannot forget him, and he develops a lust for revenge that will take over his life as he attempts to win her back, and to destroy everyone, and everything, he considers responsible for his loss. One of the great novels of the nineteenth century, Emily Brontë's haunting tale of passion and greed remains unsurpassed in its depiction of destructive love. This beautiful Macmillan Collector's Library edition of Wuthering Heights features an afterword by David Pinching.Designed to appeal to the booklover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.