The Oxford Book of English Short Stories

Paperback | April 10, 2009

EditorA. S. Byatt

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The Oxford Book of English Short Stories , edited by A. S. Byatt, herself the author of several collections of short stories, is the first anthology to specifically take the English short story as its theme. The 37 stories featured here are selected from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,ranging from Dickens, Trollope, and Hardy to J. G. Ballard, Angela Carter, and Ian McEwan, though many draw ingeniously from the richness of earlier English literary writing.There are all sorts of threads of connection and contrast running through these stories. Their subjects vary from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the momentous to the trivial, from the grim to the farcical. There is English empiricism, English pragmatism, English starkness, English humour,English satire, English dandyism, English horror, and English whimsy. There are examples of social realism, from rural poverty to blitzed London; ghost stories and tales of the supernatural; surreal fantasy and science fiction. There are stories of sensibility, precisely delineated, from Hardy'sreluctant bride to the shocked heroine of Elizabeth Taylor's The Blush, from H. E. Bates's brilliant fusion of class, sex, death, and landscape, to D. H. Lawrence's exploration of a consciousness slowly detaching itself from its world. There are exuberant stories by Saki and Waugh, Wodehouse andFirbank, with a particularly English range from high irony to pure orchestrated farce.The very range and scope of the collection celebrates the eccentric differences and excellences of English short stories. Some of A. S. Byatt's choices clearly take their place in the grand tradition of story-telling, while others are more unusual. Many break all the rules of unity of tone andnarrative, appearing to be one kind of story before unexpectedly turning into another. They pack together comedy and tragedy, farce and delicacy, elegance and the grotesque, with language as various as the subject matter. As A. S. Byatt explains: 'My only criterion was that those stories I selectedshould be startling and satisfying, and if possible make the hairs on the neck prickle with excitement, aesthetic or narrative'.

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The Oxford Book of English Short Stories , edited by A. S. Byatt, herself the author of several collections of short stories, is the first anthology to specifically take the English short story as its theme. The 37 stories featured here are selected from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,ranging from Dickens, Trollope, and Hardy t...

A.S. Byatt, 1936 - A.S. Byatt was born on August 24, 1936 in Sheffield, England to John Frederick Drabble, a judge, and Kathleen Marie (Bloor) Drabble. She received a B.A. from Newnham College, Cambridge in 1957, did graduate study at Bryn Mawr College from 1957-58 and attended Somerville College, Oxford from 1958-59. In 1959, she marr...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:472 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.06 inPublished:April 10, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199561605

ISBN - 13:9780199561605

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Table of Contents

A. S. Byatt: IntroductionWilliam Gilbert: The Sacristan of St BotolphCharles Dickens: The Haunted HouseAnthony Trollope: Relics of General Chasse, A Tale of AntwerpThomas Hardy: A Mere InterludeMary Mann: Little BrotherM. R. James: Two DoctorsArthur Morrison: Behind the ShadeRudyard Kipling: WirelessH. G. Wells: Under the KnifeCharlotte Mew: A White NightSaki: The Toys of PeaceG. K. Chesterton: The Tremendous Adventures of Major BrownA. E. Coppard: Some Talk of AlexanderP. G. Wodehouse: The Reverent Wooing of ArchibaldVirginia Woolf: Solid ObjectsD. H. Lawrence: The Man who Loved IslandsRonald Firbank: A Tragedy in GreenSylvia Townsend Warner: A Widow's QuiltAldous Huxley: Nuns at LuncheonMalachi Whitaker: Landlord of the Crystal FountainV. S. Pritchett: On the Edge of the CliffRosamund Lehmann: A Dream of WinterEvelyn Waugh: An Englishman's HomeGraham Greene: The DestructorsH. E. Bates: The WaterfallT. H. White: The TrollElizabeth Taylor: The BlushPenelope Fitzgerald: At HiruharamaLeonora Carrington: My Flannel KnickersAlan Sillitoe: Enoch's Two LettersJ. G. Ballard: Dream CargoesJohn Fuller: TelephoneJohn Fuller: My StoryAngela Carter: The KissRose Tremain: The Beauty of the Dawn ShiftIan McEwan: Solid GeometryPhilip Hensher: Dead Languages