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Showing 1 - 20 of 5674 items
By Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. 2000
Obsession infatuation and sexual deviance fill this controversial psychodrama Titillating and taboo Venus in Furs tells the… story of one nineteenth-century gentleman of means Severin von Kusiemski and his voracious lover Wanda von Dunajew Severin falls so deeply in love with his mistress that he asks the bemused paramour to enslave him Severin gets his wish The beautiful Wanda who has a real talent for despotism takes to her role with unsettling aplomb Days pass and as she debases and brutalizes Severin Wanda transforms into the whip-cracking dominatrix of his dreams But even while Severin settles into his fantasy events are unfolding that threaten to disrupt the power balance This classic tale of sexual domination is as thrilling today as it was when it was originally published more than a century ago This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices
By Margery Williams. 2005
Margery Williams’s magical nursery tale of a stuffed rabbit and his quest to become real Christmas morning, the room filled… with the hustle and bustle of preparation, a rabbit stitched of velveteen sits perched on top of the little boy’s stocking. Those first two hours are the best of the young rabbit’s life: filled with hugs and play. But like most children, the boy is fickle and easily distracted—after Christmas morning, the Velveteen Rabbit is forgotten. Shy and intimidated by the new mechanical toys who sneer at him for being simple, the sawdust-filled rabbit sits quietly at the top of the toy closet, aching to be loved the way he was that wonderful Christmas morning. He’s soon taken in by the wise old Skin Horse, who sets him straight on the way to become real. It’s not about expensive mechanisms or shiny paint jobs. No, becoming real is all about the unadulterated love of a child. The Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless story about the importance of love, honesty, and friendship. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
This classic story of two nineteenth-century social climbers is the basis for countless films and TV series, and one of… the UK’s “Best-Loved Novels.” Before the Real Housewives, there were Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley. Ruthless and cunning, Becky may have been born in a lower class, but now that she’s graduated from school, she’s ready to climb up to a better life—and do whatever it takes to get there. Her friend Emmy, however, is the opposite. She may have mastered music, dancing, and embroidery like any young woman of her class, but she utterly lacks a backbone. Together these friends navigate the perils of Regency society as they search for love and happiness. Social battles are waged against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, and when the smoke finally clears, there’s no telling who will come out victorious. A satirical masterpiece, Vanity Fair was #14 on The Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Novels and #122 in the BBC’s “Big Read” poll for the UK’s best-loved novel. It has inspired numerous adaptations, from early silent films to a 2004 movie by Mira Nair starring Reese Witherspoon as Becky.
By John William Polidori. 1990
This classic vampire story has inspired generations of authors, from Bram Stoker to Charlaine Harris. A young English gentleman of… means, Aubrey is immediately intrigued by Lord Ruthven, the mysterious newcomer among society’s elite. His unknown origin and curious behavior tantalizes Aubrey’s imagination. But the young man soon discovers a sinister character hidden behind his new friend’s glamorous facade. When the two are set upon by bandits while traveling together in Europe, Ruthven is fatally injured. Before drawing his last breath, he makes the odd request that Aubrey keep his death and crimes secret for a year and a day. But when Ruthven resurfaces in London—making overtures toward Aubrey’s sister—Aubrey realizes this immortal fiend is a vampyre. John William Polidori’s The Vampyre is both a classic tale of gothic horror and the progenitor of the modern romantic vampire myth that has been fodder for artists ranging from Anne Rice to Alan Ball to Francis Ford Coppola. Originally published in 1819, many decades before Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and misattributed to Polidori’s friend Lord Byron, The Vampyre has kept readers up at night for nearly two hundred years. This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.
Family secrets and sinister plots abound in this beautifully atmospheric Victorian gothic thriller from a celebrated Irish author … For Maud Ruthyn life is lonely in a mansion with no family besides her melancholic father But when Madame de la Rougierre is hired to be her governess Maud finds herself in the clutches of a mysterious and malevolent woman When her caregiver is eventually dismissed Maud is relieved to have the woman out of her life But it isn t long before she encounters the madame again With the passing of her father Maud is sent to live with her Uncle Silas at Bartram-Haugh until she can inherit the family estate Feeling increasingly trapped in her uncle s home Maud is shocked to learn that Madame de la Rougierre is at her uncle s service And when Madame is instructed to escort Maud to London the young girl begins to see through the shadows of deceit No one intends for her to leave Bartram-Haugh alive J Sheridan Le Fanu s most famous novel Uncle Silas is an eerie psychological thriller and has been translated into several languages as well as adapted for film This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices
By Winifred Holtby, Marion Shaw. 1954
When Sarah Burton returns to her hometown as headmistress she is full of ambition, determined to create a great school… and to inspire her girls to take all they can from life. But in the aftermath of the First World War, the country is in depression and ideals are hard won. Lydia Holly, the scholarship girl from the shacks, is the most brilliant student Sarah has ever taught, but when her mother's health fails, her education must be sacrificed - there is nobody else to care for the children.Robert Carne of Maythorpe Hall stands for everything Sarah despises: his family has farmed the South Riding for generations, their position uncontested. Yet Sarah cannot help being drawn to this proud, haunted - and almost ruined - man.South Riding is a rich, panoramic novel, bringing vividly to life a rural community on the brink of change.
By Elizabeth Jane Howard, Elizabeth Taylor. 2011
'Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great… depth. As a reader, I have found huge pleasure in returning to Taylor's novels and short stories many times over. As a writer I've returned to her too - in awe of her achievements, and trying to work out how she does it' Sarah WatersAn intelligent, haunting love story, with echoes of Brief Encounter, by one of the best British writers of the 20th century.During summer games of hide and seek Harriet falls in love with Vesey and his elusive, teasing ways. When he goes to Oxford she cherishes his photograph and waits for the letter that never comes. Years pass, and Harriet stifles her imaginings; with a husband and daughter, she excels at respectability. But then Vesey reappears and her marriage seems to melt away. Harriet is older, it is much too late, but she is still in love with him.
By Elizabeth Taylor, Jonathan Keates, Jonathon Keates. 1976
A finely nuanced exploration of responsibility, snobbery and culture clash from one of the twentieth centrury's finest novelists.'How deeply I… envy any reader coming to her for the first time!' Elizabeth Jane HowardWhen Amy's husband dies on holiday in Istanbul, she is supported by the kindly but rather slovenly Martha, a young American novelist who lives in London. Upon their return to England, Amy is ungratefully reluctant to maintain their friendship, but the skeins of their existence seem inextricably linked as grief gives way to resilience and again to tragedy. Reversals of fortune and a compelling cast of characters, including Ernie, ex-sailor turned housekeeper, and Amy's wonderfully precocious granddaughters, add spice to a novel that delights even as it unveils the most uncomfortable human emotions.
By Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Russell Taylor. 1991
In a Summer Season is one of Elizabeth Taylor's finest novels in which, in a moving and powerful climax, she… reveals love to be the thing it is: beautiful, often funny, and sometimes tragic.'You taste of rain', he said, kissing her. 'People say I married her for her money', he thought contentedly, and for the moment was full of the self-respect that loving her had given him.Kate Heron is a wealthy, charming widow who marries, much to the disapproval of friends and neighbours, a man ten years her junior: the attractive, feckless Dermot. Then comes the return of Kate's old friend Charles - intelligent, kind and now widowed, with his beautiful young daughter. Kate watches happily as their two families are drawn together, finding his presence reassuringly familiar, but slowly she becomes aware of subtle undercurrents that begin to disturb the calm surface of their friendship. Before long, even she cannot ignore the gathering storm . . .
By Paul Bailey, Elizabeth Taylor. 1971
On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend… her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel.
By Antonia White. 1981
With uncompromising clarity, in her careful, delicate prose, antonia White looks at the pains and joys of growing up, of… falling in and out of love, the borderlands between love and loneliness, sanity and madness, belief and the loss of faith. First published in 1954, STRANGERS is here extended to include her autobiographical story, 'Surprise Visit'; together they present some of Antonia White's finest writing.
By Elizabeth Taylor, Charlotte Mendelson. 1968
'You know,' Midge began, and paused. She was rather taken aback, and could not at once think of anything to… say. 'Perhaps there's nothing so dangerous as having led a sheltered life.' Cressy has grown up in a world of women, presided over by her eccentric, artistic grandfather Harry Bretton. Rebelling against the wholesome, organic values of her home life, Cressy decides to leave home in search of more ephemeral pleasures. Taking a job in an antiques shop, she meets David, a self-satisfied journalist, also looking for means of fleeing the family nest. But as Cressy cannot fend for herself and David is securely tied to his mother's apron strings, this act of escape for both of them proves a powerful form of bondage.
By Sarah Dunant, Elizabeth Von Arnim. 1922
A discreet advertisement in 'The Times', addressed to 'Those who Apppreciate Wisteria and Sunshine...' is the impetus for a revelatory… month for four very different women. High above the bay on the Italian Riviera stands San Salvatore, a mediaeval castle. Beckoned to this haven are Mrs. Wilkins, Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Fisher and Lady Caroline Dester, each quietly craving a respite. Lulled by the Mediterranean spirit, they gradually shed their skins and discover a harmony each of them has longed for but never known.First published in 1922 and reminscient of 'Elizabeth and her German Garden', this delightful novel is imbued with the descriptive power and light-hearted irreverence for which Elizabeth von Arnin is renowned.
By George Bernard Shaw. 2012
Sidney Trefusis is a proselytizing socialist. Armed with irony and paradox, he is determined to overthrow a society riddled with… class and sexual exploitation. Henrietta, his adoring wife, 'loves' him: he must abandon her. Son of a millionaire, he gives up everything to pose as an 'umble peasant'. But when this unsocial socialist goes to work as a gardener in the vicinity of a girls' school he meets his match - for Agatha Wylie is a new kind of woman, perfectly armed: and she doesn't love him. With the character of his clown-prophet Trefusis, George Bernard Shaw presented for the first time his view of what the relationship between the sexes should be. Galloping, exuberant, and irresistibly entertaining, AN UNSOCIAL SOCIALIST is a brilliant satire on social prejudice from a great author of the past.
By Daphne Du Maurier. 1994
'His first instinct was to stretch out his hands to the sky. The white clouds seemed so near to him,… surely they were easy to hold and to caress, strange-moving things belonging to the wide blue space of heaven . . . 'Julius Levy grows up in a peasant family in a village on the banks of the Seine. A quick-witted urchin caught up in the Franco-Prussian War, he is soon forced by tragedy to escape to Algeria. Once there, he learns the ease of swindling, the rewards of love affairs and the value of secrecy. Before he's twenty, he is in London, where his empire-building begins in earnest, and he becomes a rich and very ruthless man. Throughout his life, Julius is driven by a hunger for power, his one weakness his daughter, Gabriel . . . A chilling story of ambition, Daphne du Maurier's third novel has lost none of its ability to unsettle and disturb.
By Daphne Du Maurier, Nina Bawden. 1994
Both a spellbinding love story and a superb evocation of Cornwall's mythic past, Castle Dor is a book with unique… and fascinating origins. It began life as the unfinished last novel of Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, the celebrated 'Q', and was passed by his daughter to Daphne du Maurier whose storytelling skills were perfectly suited to the task of completing the old master's tale.The result is this magical, compelling recreation of the legend of Tristan and Iseult, transplanted in time to nineteenth-century Cornwall. A chance encounter between a Breton onion-seller, Amyot Trestane, and the newly-wed Linnet Lewarne launches their tragic story, taking them in the fateful footsteps of the doomed lovers of Cornish legend . . .
By Daphne Du Maurier, Michele Roberts. 1931
Cornwall, 1900s. Plyn Boat Yard is a hive of activity, and Janet Coombe longs to share in the excitement of… seafaring: to travel, to have adventures, to know freedom. But constrained by the times, instead she marries her cousin Thomas, a boat builder, and settles down to raise a family.Janet's loving spirit - the passionate yearning for adventure and for love - is passed down to her son, and through him to his children's children. As generations of the family struggle against hardship and loss, their intricately plotted history is set against the greater backdrop of war and social change in Britain. Her debut novel, The Loving Spirit established du Maurier's reputation and style with an inimitable blend of romance, history and adventure.
By Richard W. Hatch, Marion Freeman Wakeman. 2018
An American Wind in the Willows, this charming tale of Mr. Lobster and his underwater and dry land friends celebrates… curiousity and having an open mind, and will be sure to delight children and parents.Whether you are five or one hundred and five, chances are you’ve never met a lobster as learned and charming as Mr. Lobster—and he’d be the very first to tell you so. Mr. Lobster has evaded the fisherman’s trap for decades, but life in his corner of the ocean seems duller by the day. The time has come to seek new adventures, new friends, and even—gasp!—new, dry lands. Dry land is of course perilous for a saltwater-dwelling creature, as are the folks you can meet there, like badgers, bears, birds, and snakes. But Mr. Lobster has a way of turning every enemy into a dear friend and of escaping the scrapes his curiosity gets him into.An American Wind in the Willows, The Curious Lobster stories have been delighting a small and devoted fellowship of readers for going on eighty years. Sweet but not cloying, instructive but not didactic, they acknowledge the challenges of getting along with others and celebrate the possibilities of a life lived beyond the normal swim of things.This edition collects all of Richard W. Hatch’s Mr. Lobster stories, originally published in two volumes The Curious Lobster and The Curious Lobster’s Island.
Set in China during the early twentieth century, Pearl S. Buck's timeless trilogy is the powerful story of a family--and… a nation--in transition The Good Earth is Buck's classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning story of Wang Lung, a Chinese peasant farmer, and his wife, O-lan, a former slave. With luck and hard work, the couple's fortunes improve over the years: They are blessed with sons, and save steadily until one day they can afford to buy property in the House of Wang--the very house in which O-lan used to work. But success brings with it a new set of problems. Wang soon finds himself the target of jealousy, and as good harvests come and go, so does the social order. Will Wang's family cherish the estate after he's gone? The family's story continues in Sons and A House Divided, when the Revolution sweeping through China further unsettles Wang Lung's family in this rich and unforgettable portrait of a family and a country in the throes of widespread national change.
By George Bernard Shaw. 2012
With his inimitable wit and sparkle, George Bernard Shaw brings us the character of Owen Jack, a salty non-conformist composer… said to have been suggested by Beethoven. The relations between Jack and the other wayward bohemians of the story with the more conventional socialites around them offers shrewd insight into the nature of the artistic temperament, with its needs for a kind of commitment that overrides the everyday claims of the heart. A novel which anticipated Shaw's first plays by more than ten years, LOVE AMONG THE ARTISTS shows him already mocking the respectable morality of the Victorian society around him.