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J.R.R. Tolkien spent much of his life studying, translating and teaching the great epic stories of northern Europe, filled with heroes, dragons, trolls, dwarves and magic. He was hugely influential for his advocacy of Beowulf as a great work of literature and, even if he had never written The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, would be recognised today as a significant figure in the rediscovery of these extraordinary tales.
Legends from the Ancient North brings together from Penguin Classics five of the key works behind Tolkien's fiction.They are startling, brutal, strange pieces of writing, with an elemental power brilliantly preserved in these translations.They plunge the reader into a world of treachery, quests, chivalry, trials of strength.They are the most ancient narratives that exist from northern Europe and bring us as near as we will ever get to the origins of the magical landscape of Middle-earth (Midgard) which Tolkien remade in the 20th century.
The Rivals, brimming with false identities and with romantic entanglements carried on amid a cloud of parental disapproval, satirizes the pretentiousness and sentimentality of the age. It features a cast of memorable characters, among them the lovely Lydia Languish, whose pretty head has been filled with nonsense from romantic novels; Capt. Jack Absolute, a young officer in love with Lydia; Sir Anthony Absolute, Jack's autocratic father; Sir Lucius O'Trigger, a fiery Irishman; and Jack's provincial neighbor, Bob Acres, a bumptious but lovable country squire in love with Lydia.
Hoping to win Lydia's affection, Captain Jack woos the pretty miss by pretending to be a penniless ensign named Beverley, an act that nearly incites a duel with Acres. His actions also provoke serious objections from Lydia's aunt, Mrs. Malaprop, a misspeaking matron whose ludicrous misuse of words gave the English language a new term: malapropism. Ultimately, the hilarious complications are resolved in a radiant comic masterpiece that will entertain and delight theater devotees and students of English drama alike.
nurse, is introduced to a series of suitors to her hand. Like Juliet,
she finds all of them unsatisfactory - and rightly so, for the audience
know that the nastiest of them is having an affair with her domineering
aunt. Like Juliet, Annabella is wooed by a sensitive and passionate
young man whose love she returns - but this young man happens to be her
own brother, Giovanni. When they consummate their love and she, to
avoid the scandal of extramarital pregnancy, agrees to marry her aunt's
lover, the tragic outcome is inevitable. John Ford, writing his
psychologically powerful and intellectually challenging tragedies in
the early years of King Charles I's reign, is a playwright of the first
rank, as 20th-century directors have shown both in the theatre and on
This student edition contains a lengthy Introduction with background on the author, date and sources, critical interpretation and stage history.
Robert N. Watson is Distinguished Professor of English at UCLA. His publications include Critical Essays on Ben Jonson (as editor) and Ben Jonson's Parodic Strategy. He also edited the New Mermaids edition of Every Man in His Humour.
John Webster's first independent play, The White Devil, originally performed in 1612, centres on the beautiful Vittoria Corombona and her lover, Duke Brachiano, whose passionate, adulterous affair unleashes the powerful revenge of their enemies. While clearly guilty of lust and murder, these unsavoury characters become startlingly heroic under pressure, challenging both conventional moral judgments and oppressive social forces.
This revised student edition contains a lengthy new Introduction with background on the author, date and sources, theme, critical interpretation and stage history. The Introduction discusses Webster's radical experimentation with tragic modes, his interest in the heroic potential of women, and evaluates the handling of both in recent stage productions.
· Extended excerpt of The Demonologist (in development with Robert Zemeckis and Universal Pictures)
· “Paradise Re-Read: An Essay”
· Q&A with Andrew Pyper
· “Demons of the World: A Selection”
A chilling and spellbinding literary horror story, The Demonologist follows Columbia professor David Ullman’s modern-day descent into hell. When his daughter, Tess, disappears, Professor Ullman—a lifelong skeptic—finds that he must suspend his disbelief and use his knowledge of demonic mythology, and Milton’s Paradise Lost, to rescue her from the Underworld.
THE CITY OF LADIES provides positive images of women, ranging from warriors and inventors, scholars to prophetesses, and artists to saints. The book also offers a fascinating insight into the debates and controversies about the position of women in medieval culture.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
This edition reproduces all of the plates to perfection, in their original size. The illustrations and the text of the poem appear on facing pages, so that the imaginative kinship of Doré and Coleridge is delightfully evident on every page: the illustrations capture all the moods of the poem in their full intensity, bringing the images evoked by the words into clear visual focus.
Unabridged and slightly rearranged republication of the 1878 American edition. Text slightly amended to conform to the authoritative 1834 edition of the poem.
Often compared to Shakespeare in terms of his dynamic plots and poetic lyricism, Webster created radical, profoundly original works that feature shifting perspectives and thought-provoking challenges to conventional moral judgments. Required reading for courses in seventeenth-century English literature, this provocative masterpiece from the Golden Age of English drama will not only be welcomed by students and teachers of English literature but also a wide audience of general readers.
Cline's translation, faithful to the highly synthetic, deliberately ornate nature of medieval French, follows Perceval from his home in Wales, through his rich and raucous adventures as a member of the fraternity of knights, to his climactic meeting with the Fisher King. Paralyzed by his first glimpse of the Grail, Perceval fails to save the ailing king. Distraught, the knight begins a new quest for the Grail, a journey on the road of penitence and faith. Perceval's venture, the true test of his knighthood, ends without conclusion; the death of author Chrétien de Troyes left unsaid and undetermined the success of Perceval's quest.
By remaining faithful to Chrétien's highly structured form, Cline preserves the pace, the pungency of proverbial expressions, and the work's poetical devices and word play in translating this archetypal tale of courtly love from Old French into modern English. Cline's introduction--containing a description of Arthur in history and literature, a discussion of courtly love, and an account of the continuations of the story of Lancelot and Guinevere--makes Lancelot an ideal classroom text.
A selection of Blake's most haunting verse, including 'The Songs of Innocence and Experience'.
One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics' huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries - including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants.
Both The Canterbury Tales and Troilus and Cressida are presented complete in this anthology, in fresh modern translations by Theodore Morrison that convey both the gravity and gaiety of the Middle English originals. The Portable Chaucer also contains selections from The Book of Duchess, The House of Fame, The Bird's Parliament, and The Legend of Good Women, together with short poems. Morrison's introduction is vital for its insights into Chaucer as man and artist, and as a product of the Middle Ages whose shrewdness, humor, and compassion have a wonderfully contemporary ring.
As Muldoon writes, "It's almost impossible to think of a world in which The Waste Land did not exist. So profound has its influence been not only on twentieth-century poetry but on how we’ve come to view the century as a whole, the poem itself risks being taken for granted." Famously elliptical, wildly allusive, at once transcendent and bleak, The Waste Land defined modernity after the First World War, forever transforming our understanding of ourselves, the broken world we live in, and the literature that was meant to make sense of it. In a voice that is arch, ironic, almost ebullient, and yet world-weary and tragic, T. S. Eliot mixes and remixes, drawing on a cast of ghosts to create a new literature for a new world. In the words of Edmund Wilson, "Eliot…is one of our only authentic poets…[The Waste Land is] one triumph after another."