Penguin Black Classics 

A collection of classics of English Literature with elegant black covers featuring artworks appropriate to the topics and periods of the titles.

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    Austen's most popular novel, the unforgettable story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.Few have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet in Austen’s beloved classic Pride and Prejudice. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her...

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    Austen's witty exploration of the perils of mistaking fiction for reality.During an eventful season at Bath, young, naïve Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: flirtatious Isabella, who shares Catherine's love of Gothic romance and horror, and sophisticated Henry and...

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    The greatest love story in English, William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a play of starcrossed lovers who take a valiant stand against social convention, with tragic consequences. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited with notes by T.J.B. Spencer, and an introduction by Adrian Poole.'What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other...

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    William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is both a witty comedy and a moving exploration of bigotry and stigmatisation, and this Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by W. Moelwyn Merchant with an introduction by Peter Holland. Bassanio, a noble but impoverished Venetian, asks his friend the merchant Antonio for a loan to impress an heiress. Antonio...

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    When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; beautiful Lucy Westenra slowly succumbs to a mysterious, wasting illness, her blood drained...

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    Mary Shelley's timeless gothic novel presents the epic battle between man and monster at its greatest literary pitch. In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his...

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    Charles Dickens's Great Expectations charts the course of orphan Pip Pirrip's life as it is transformed by a vast, mysterious inheritance. A terrifying encounter with the escaped convict Abel Magwitch in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decrepit Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella at Satis House;...

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    Oscar Wilde was at once a family man and a homosexual outsider, a socialite, socialist, and Irish nationalist. His contradictions inspired him to ponder the roles and masks donned in conventional society, and his acute and wry insights are wonderfully displayed in this collection of his essential plays. Known not only for his brilliant, epigrammatic...

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    The first modern tale of alien invasion, H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds remains one of the most influential science fiction novels ever published.The night after a shooting star is seen streaking through the sky from Mars, a cylinder is discovered on Horsell Common in London. At first, naïve locals approach the cylinder armed just with a white flag -...

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    A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman's quest for freedom. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she...

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    The name of governess, I soon found, was a mere mockery… my pupils had no more notion of obedience than a wild, unbroken colt. When her family becomes impoverished after a disastrous financial speculation, Agnes Grey determines to find work as a governess in order to contribute to their meagre income and assert her independence. But Agnes’s enthusiasm is...

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    The poems of Emily Jane Bronte are passionate and powerful works that convey the vitality of the human spirit and of the natural world. Only twenty-one of her poems were published during her lifetime. This volume contains those and all others attributed to her. Many poems describe the mythic country of Gondal and its citizens that she imagined with Anne,...

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    Stevenson's famous exploration of humanity's basest capacity for evil.Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde have become synonymous with the idea of a split personality. More than a morality tale, this dark psychological fantasy is also a product of its time, drawing on contemporary theories of class, evolution, criminality, and secret lives. Also in this volume are...

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    William Blake is the rebel par excellence of English poetry. The personal issues with which he wrestled seemed to him to be also the salient problems of human life. They include questions of the proper place of intellectual control in the personality, the place of impulse, the relations between authority and those it controls (and therefore between...

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    Oscar Wilde’s only novel is the dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. In this celebrated work Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on...

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    This collection includes many of the famous cases and great strokes of brilliance  that made the legendary Sherlock Holmes one of fiction's most popular creations. With his devoted amanuensis, Dr Watson, Holmes emerges from his smoke filled rooms in Baker Street to grapple with the forces of treachery, intrigue and evil in such cases as The Speckled...

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    Charles Darwin's seminal formulation of the theory of Evolution, On the Origin of Species continues to be as controversial today as when it was first published.Written for a general readership, On the Origin of Species sold out on the day of its publication and has remained in print ever since. Instantly and persistently controversial, the concept of...

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    Austen’s hilarious early stories and sketches—complete with her delightfully quirky spelling habits—now collected in one volume, including Lady Susan, the basis for Whit Stillman's feature film Love and Friendship starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloë SevignyJane Austen’s earliest writing dates from when she was just eleven-years-old, and already shows the...

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    Referred to by superstitious actors as 'the Scottish play', William Shakespeare's Macbeth is a tragedy in which appalling earthly crimes have lasting supernatural repercussions. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by George Hunter with an introduction by Carol Rutter. 'By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes'. Promised a...

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    Shakespeare's bleak and brutal tragedy begins when an ageing king, seeking a successor, rejects the young daughter who loves him and misplaces his trust in her malevolent sisters. In return they strip him of his power and condemn him to a wretched wasteland of horror and insanity. Set in a pitiless universe, King Lear is a towering, elemental masterpiece...

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    Gulliver's Travels describes the four voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon. In Lilliput he discovers a world in miniature; towering over the people and their city, he is able to view their society from the viewpoint of a god. However, in Brobdingnag, a land of giants, tiny Gulliver himself comes under observation, exhibited as a curiosity at...

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    Beautiful, clever, rich—and single—Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith,...

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    Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities portrays a world on fire, split between Paris and London during the brutal and bloody events of the French Revolution. After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There, two very different men, Charles Darnay, an...

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    Jane Austen's first published work, meticulously constructed and sparkling with her unique witMarianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always...

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    A gripping portrayal of London's dark criminal underbelly, published in Penguin Classics with an introduction by Philip Horne. The story of Oliver Twist - orphaned, and set upon by evil and adversity from his first breath - shocked readers when it was published. After running away from the workhouse and pompous beadle Mr Bumble, Oliver finds himself...

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    Original, experimental, and unparalleled in their charm, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There have enchanted readers for generations. The topsy-turvy dream worlds of Wonderland and the Looking-Glass realm are full of the unexpected: A baby turns into a pig, time stands still at a “mad”...

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    Perhaps the single most influential work of English drama, William Shakespeare's Hamlet is a timeless tragedy of the conflicted loyalties, madness, betrayal and terrible revenge. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by T.J.B. Spencer with an introduction by Alan Sinfield. 'To be or not to be - that is the question' Something is rotten in the state...

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    Inexorably poisoned against the woman he loves by his trusted friend Iago, Shakespeare's Othello is a timeless tragic figure. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by Kenneth Muir with an introduction by Tom McAlindon. 'O! beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on.' A popular soldier and newly...

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    William Shakespeare's Henry VIII is a compelling history play, recreating a crucial moment in the Tudor dynasty, and the events that marked the beginning of the English Reformation. This Penguin Shakespeare edition is edited by A.R. Humphreys, with an introduction by C.M.S. Alexander. 'O, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours!'...

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    Taken from the poverty of her parents' home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle's absence in Antigua, the Crawford's arrive in the neighbourhood bringing with them the glamour of London life and a reckless taste for...

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    Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, regarded by many to be first novel in English, is also the original tale of a castaway struggling to survive on a remote desert island. This Penguin Classics is edited with an introduction and notes by John Richetti. The sole survivor of a shipwreck, Robinson Crusoe is washed up on a desert island. In his journal he...

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