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The great war epic of Western literature, translated by acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles   Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and…

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A 'romance of many dimensions' that has fascinated generations of readers with its clever blend of social satire and mathematical theory, the Penguin Classics edition of Edwin A. Abbott's Flatland introduction by Alan Lightman. A work that continues to pose…

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An enchanting story that has inspired generations of writers, including Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats  Written towards the end of the second century AD, The Golden Ass tells the story of the many adventures of a young man whose fascination with…

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One of the great books of world literature--an unforgettable tale of jealousy, unrequited love, greed, and vengeance. Based on Viking Age poems and composed in thirteenth-century Iceland, The Saga of the Volsungs combines mythology, legend, and sheer human drama…

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Juvenal's  Satires  create a fascinating (and immediately familiar) world of whores, fortune-tellers, boozy politicians, slick lawyers, shameless sycophants, ageing flirts and downtrodden teachers Perhaps more than any other writer, Juvenal (c. 55-138…

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The quintessential adventure story that first established pirates in the popular imagination  When a mysterious sailor dies in sinister circumstances at the Admiral Benbow inn, young Jim Hawkins stumbles across a treasure map among the dead man's…

The Italian

by Ann Radcliffe

|February 1, 2001

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From the first moment Vincentio di Vivaldi, a young nobleman, sets eyes on the veiled figure of Ellena, he is captivated by her enigmatic beauty and grace. But his haughty and manipulative mother is against the match and enlists the help of her confessor to come…

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‘Kissing, Joseph, is but a Prologue to a Play. Can I believe a young Fellow of your Age and Complexion will be content with Kissing?’ Joseph Andrews , Henry Fielding’s first full-length novel, depicts the many colourful and often hilarious…

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‘You are ambitious, Eustacia–no not exactly ambitious, luxurious. I ought to be of the same vein, to make you happy, I suppose’ Tempestuous Eustacia Vye passes her days dreaming of passionate love and the escape it may bring from the small…

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'My hour is come ... the clock of eternity is about to strike, but its knell must be unheard by mortal ears!' Created by an Irish clergyman, Melmoth is one of the most fiendish characters in literature. In a satanic bargain, Melmoth exchanges his soul for…

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Ostensibly a biography of the gaucho barbarian Juan Facundo Quiroga, Facundo is also a complex, passionate work of history, sociology, and political commentary, and Latin America's most important essay of the nineteenth century.

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A fascinating insight into the debates and controversies about the position of women in medieval culture, written by France's first professional woman of letters The pioneering Book of the City of Ladies begins when, feeling frustrated and miserable after…