Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. Its plot is based on an Italian tale, translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1567. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but, to expand the plot, developed supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. This text was of poor quality, and later editions corrected it, bringing it more in line with Shakespeare's original.
Shakespeare's use of his poetic dramatic structure, especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story, has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play.
Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical and opera. During the English Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by William Davenant. David Garrick's 18th-century version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and Georg Benda's operatic adaptation omitted much of the action and added a happy ending. Performances in the 19th century, including Charlotte Cushman's, restored the original text, and focused on greater realism. John Gielgud's 1935 version kept very close to Shakespeare's text, and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama. In the 20th and into the 21st century, the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as George Cukor's comparatively faithful 1936 production, Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version, Baz Luhrmann's 1996 MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet and the 2013non-Shakespearian adaptation by Carlo Carlei.
Alice and all her many friends will never be forgotten so long as books for children are published. The fascinating adventures of this timeless little girl as she plunges down the rabbit-hole, shrinks and grows, meets the pack of cards and the chess pieces -- should be read regularly by all ages for their totally original fantasy, their humor, and their charm.
In this work, which gave its name to the whole genre of books and movements hypothesizing an ideal society, More envisioned a patriarchal island kingdom that practiced religious tolerance, in which everybody worked, no one has more than his fellows, all goods were community-owned, and violence, bloodshed, and vice nonexistent. Based to some extent on the writings of Plato and other earlier authors, Utopia nevertheless contained much that was original with More.
In the nearly 500 years since the book's publication, there have been many attempts at establishing "Utopias" both in theory and in practice. All of them, however, seem to embody ideas already present in More's classic treatise: optimistic faith in human nature, emphasis on the environment and proper education, nostalgia for a lost innocence, and other positive elements.
In this new, inexpensive edition, readers can study for themselves the essentials of More's utopian vision and how, although the ideal society he envisioned is still unrealized, at least some of his proposals have come to pass in today's world.
When her dear friend and bestselling novelist Orla Hart invites Millie to spend the summer with her in Cornwall, Millie leaps at the chance to spend the summer alone, recovering from a bad breakup. But Orla has other ideas.
Envisioning Millie as the heroine of her next novel, Orla is determined that Millie should meet the man of her dreams this summer. The trouble is, Millie's taste in men doesn't match with Orla's at all.
Hugh Emerson, dashing young widower, is the one who really interests her. He is also the one man Orla insists she shouldn't get involved with.
With dropped wallets, rollerskating gorillagrams, the world's most flirtatious boss, and a helicopter in the back garden, It's sure to be an unforgettable summer...
A fresh and fun British women's fiction and a great romantic book with plenty of humor, friendship, and some madcap fun.
Fans of Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding and Jennifer Weiner will want to escape to Cornwall this summer to find their own romance.What readers are saying about Millie's Fling:
"a delightfully funny romance"
"comparable to a good Romantic Comedy movie."
"the goings on and misunderstandings down in Cornwall reminded me of a MASH-UP OF AUSTEN AND SHAKESPEARE."
"a typical not-at-all-perfect heroine, stuck between jobs and with a mixed up family and a few wacky friends."
"FRESH AND WITTY"
"a non-stop roller coaster ride full of ROLLICKING FUN and laughs"What reviewers are saying about Millie's Fling:
"Millie's Fling is a super cute and wicked funny book and I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading it. "—Night Owl Romance
"Readers will find a CHARMING ROMP in Jill Mansell'sMillie's Fling."—BookPage
"Ms. Mansell creates such likable and heartwarming characters (like Millie and Orla) that the reader can't help but root for them."—Booking Mama
"Millie's Fling is a feel-good book for chick lit fans or readers looking for a light and funny novel packed with memorable characters."—Diary of an EccentricWhat everyone is saying about the queen of British chick lit, Jill Mansell:
"Fans of chick lit - if you haven't read Mansell yet - what are you waiting for!?" —A Bookworm's World
"Pick this up at your peril: you won't get a thing done till it's finished." —Heat magazine
"A romantic romp full of larger-than-life characters." — Express
"FAST, FURIOUS AND FABULOUS FUN. To read it is to devour it." — Company
"Expect to run the gamut of emotions, as this book is both laugh-out-loud funny and tear-jerkingly sad. Basically, you won't put it down." — New Woman
Gulliver's Travels is, of course, his world-renowned masterpiece in the genre; however, Swift wrote other, shorter works that also offer excellent evidence of his inspired lampoonery. Perhaps the most famous of these is "A Modest Proposal," in which he straight-facedly suggests that Ireland could solve its hunger problems by using its children for food. Also included in this collection are "The Battle of the Books," "A Meditation upon a Broomstick," "A Discourse Concerning the Mechanical Operation of the Spirit," and "An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity in England." This inexpensive edition will certainly be welcomed by teachers and students of English literature, but its appeal extends to any reader who delights in watching a master satirist wield words as weapons.
The full anthology comprises six bound volumes, together with an extensive website component; the latter has been edited, annotated, and designed according to the same high standards as the bound book component of the anthology, and is accessible by using the passcode obtained with the purchase of one or more of the bound volumes.
The two-volume Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition provides an attractive alternative to the full six-volume anthology. Though much more compact, the concise edition nevertheless provides instructors with substantial choice, offering both a strong selection of canonical authors and a sampling of lesser-known works. With an unparalleled number of illustrations and contextual materials, accessible and engaging introductions, and full explanatory annotations, the concise edition of this acclaimed Broadview anthology provides focused yet wide-ranging coverage for British literature survey courses.
The second edition of this volume includes Chaucer’s “To Rosamond,” an expanded selection from Sidney’s Astrophil and Stella, and additional material from Elizabeth I. The new edition also offers an expanded selection from Paradise Lost as well as Pope’s Essay on Criticism and a new Contexts section on transatlantic literary currents.
Widely acknowledged as the most brilliant talker of his age, Wilde once explained to André Gide, "I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works." This fine collection of nearly 400 quotes, organized by category, contains quotations from both his works and his conversation, including gems from his personal life with which even devotees may be unfamiliar. The result is a splendid introduction to Wilde's mind and personality, embodied in a feast of the English language's most brilliant and perceptive witticisms.
This collection includes, of course, such famous poems as “The Lady of Shalott” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” There are extracts from all the major masterpieces—“Idylls of the King,” “The Princess,” “In Memoriam”—and several complete long poems, such as “Ulysses” and “Demeter and Persephone,” that demonstrate his narrative grace. Finally, there are many of the short lyrical poems, such as “Come into the Garden, Maud” and “Break, Break, Break,” for which he is justly celebrated.
From his sensational public appearances to the obsessive love affair that led him to betray, deceive, and break with those closest to him, Charles Dickens: A Life is a triumph of the biographer’s craft, a comedy that turns to tragedy in a story worthy of Dickens’ own pen.
Dexter Yates has the looks, the money, the swanky apartment, and girlfriends galore. But it's not until his niece, Delphi, is born that Dex falls in love for the first time in his life.
Then tragedy strikes when Dex's sister Laura dies in an accident. Suddenly, Dex finds himself a new parent and a single father to boot. With no idea how to raise an eight-month-old baby girl on his own, Dex decides to move into his weekend home in the small village of Briarwood in the Cotswolds.
The quirky neighborhood welcomes him with open arms, especially next—door neighbor and gifted cartoonist Molly who offers to help with Delphi. Molly won't put up with any nonsense and her messy romantic past makes her cautious.
If they can learn to trust each other, there might be a happily-ever-after for all three.
A fresh and fun British women's fiction and a great romantic book with plenty of humor and friendship.
Fans of Meg Cabot, Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding and Jennifer Weiner will love Mansell's quirky humor and the "will they, won't they" relationship between Molly and Dex.What readers are saying about Don't Want To Miss A Thing:
"reading a Jill Mansell novel is like that first satisfying sip of tea after a hard day and this one was, thankfully, no different"
"This was A BRILLIANT BOOK that I just couldn't put down"
"A SINGLE, HOT BRITISH GUY with a baby? Yep, Ms Mansell has hit the JACKPOT"
"a great cast of characters and always SO MUCH WARMTH."
"My first Jill Mansell and it was a most delicious experience. I actually give this book 10 stars. I can't find a flaw, not one."
"COMPLICATED, QUIRKY, WHIMSICAL"What reviewers are saying about Don't Want To Miss A Thing:
"A little bundle of joy changes everything in this quirky chick—lit tale... charmingly well charted. " -Publishers Weekly
" her signature blend of humor, romance, and multiple happy endings, " -Booklist
"Utterly charming from the first page, Mansell's engaging tale is as welcome and warming as a cup of tea on a rainy night. " -RT Book Reviews
"One of the masters of fun, upbeat fiction with twists of romance..." -Shelf Awareness
"sweet, funny, and even a tiny bit sad but oh so fantastic!" -Peeking Between the Pages
" With a charming English village, a baby, and a playboy, chick—lit enthusiasts can go wrong with this book!" -Debbie's Book BagWhat everyone is saying about the queen of British chick lit, Jill Mansell:
"Fans of chick lit — if you haven't read Mansell yet WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?" -A Bookworm's World
"Pick this up at your peril: you won't get a thing done till it's finished." — Heat magazine
"A romantic romp full of larger-than-life characters."— Express
"Fast, furious and fabulous fun. To read it is to devour it." — Company
"Expect to run the gamut of emotions, as this book is both laugh-out-loud funny and tear-jerkingly sad. Basically, you won't put it down." — New Woman
Here are two thousand years of London’s history and folklore, its chroniclers and criminals and plain citizens, its food and drink and countless pleasures. Blackfriar’s and Charing Cross, Paddington and Bedlam. Westminster Abbey and St. Martin in the Fields. Cockneys and vagrants. Immigrants, peasants, and punks. The Plague, the Great Fire, the Blitz. London at all times of day and night, and in all kinds of weather. In well-chosen anecdotes, keen observations, and the words of hundreds of its citizens and visitors, Ackroyd reveals the ingenuity and grit and vitality of London. Through a unique thematic tour of the physical city and its inimitable soul, the city comes alive.
The four Grace sisters-Liz, Sal, Tilly, and Addie-love their quiet life in the country village of Chevis Green. To some, their insular world might seem dull, but the sisters and their father, Mr. Grace, never seem to run out of conversation, jokes, and pleasant ways to pass the time together. They truly are the happiest of families.
That is, until Aunt Rona comes to town. Rona intends to stay with the Graces indefinitely, and her superior, meddlesome attitude immediately sets the sisters' teeth on edge. Throw in another unexpected houseguest, some potential suitors, and a case of mistaken intentions, and the members of the Grace family suddenly find themselves quite out of their element. Will they manage to make it through the summer and return to their quiet ways? Or will their close-knit family change forever?
The Four Graces is another heartwarming tale from D.E. Stevenson, beloved author of Miss Buncle's Book
Readers Love The Four Graces:
"Reading D.E. Stevenson is simultaneously profoundly entertaining and heart-wrenching."
This anthology of Stapledon's work offers many of his fictional gems, including sections of his best-known novels, Last and First Men, Darkness and the Light, and Star Maker, and the complete test of a novella, The Flames: A Fantasy and the story "Old Man in New World." Many previously unpublished writings, such as Stapledon's essays, poems, memoirs, and letters round out this collection.
Sophie Wells is a successful photographer with a focus on putting the past firmly behind her. When Josh Strachan returns to the seaside town of Cornwall from the States to run his family's hotel, he can't understand why the fun, sexy girl has zero interest in letting him-or any man for that matter-into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited. Both girls remain mum about the reasons behind Sophie's indifference to love. But that doesn't mean Josh is going to quit trying...
Facing Unpleasant Facts charts Orwell's development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites such classics as "Shooting an Elephant" with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell's boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex.
Ostensibly an elaborately systematized medical treatise dealing with various morbid mental states — their causes, symptoms, and cures — the Anatomy is much more: a compendium of memorable utterances on the human condition in general, compiled from classical, scholastic, and contemporary sources. For this edition, the editors carefully selected passages of the most psychological and general interest, eliminating the nonessential material but retaining the incomparable humor, eccentric charm, imagination, and thought-provoking appeal of the original.
In short, readers will find here the essence of Burton's vast book — the passages that, according to noted scholar W. H. D. Rouse, reveal the author's "eternal freshness, his own ingenuous interest, [and] his boyish delight in a good story."
The work is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often called "split personality", referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. In this case, there are two personalities within Dr. Jekyll, one apparently good and the other evil. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" coming to mean a person who is vastly different in moral character from one situation to the next.
There have been many audio recordings of the novella, with some of the more famous readers including Tom Baker, Roger Rees, Christopher Lee, Anthony Quayle, Martin Jarvis, Tim Pigott-Smith, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Gene Lockhart.
First editions of Ulysses rank among the modern rare book trade's most valuable finds. This reprint of the original edition is not only the least expensive version available but also the truest to the author's vision. Many experts have reinterpreted the novel's surviving drafts to produce revised texts, but this edition remains the version that Joyce himself reviewed and corrected prior to the initial publication. A new Introduction by Joyce scholar Enda Duffy offers an enlightening and enthusiastic welcome to a landmark of modern literature.
Where do they get the money? Coming up redheaded curates from the county Leitrim, rinsing empties and old man in the cellar. Then, lo and behold, they blossom out as Adam Findlaters or Dan Tallons. Then thin of the competition. General thirst. Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub. Save it they can't. Off the drunks perhaps. Put down three and carry five. What is that, a bob here and there, dribs and drabs. On the wholesale orders perhaps. Doing a double shuffle with the town travellers. Square it you with the boss and we'll split the job, see?
How much would that tot to off the porter in the month? Say ten barrels of stuff. Say he got ten per cent off. O more. Fifteen. He passed Saint Joseph's National school. Brats' clamour. Windows open. Fresh air helps memory. Or a lilt. Ahbeesee defeegee kelomen opeecue rustyouvee doubleyou. Boys are they? Yes. Inishturk. Inishark. Inishboffin. At their joggerfry. Mine. Slieve Bloom.
He halted before Dlugacz's window, staring at the hanks of sausages, polonies, black and white. Fifteen multiplied by. The figures whitened in his mind, unsolved: displeased, he let them fade. The shiny links, packed with forcemeat, fed his gaze and he breathed in tranquilly the lukewarm breath of cooked spicy pigs' blood.
A kidney oozed bloodgouts on the willowpatterned dish: the last. He stood by the nextdoor girl at the counter. Would she buy it too, calling the items from a slip in her hand? Chapped: washingsoda. And a pound and a half of Denny's sausages. His eyes rested on her vigorous hips. Woods his name is. Wonder what he does. Wife is oldish. New blood. No followers allowed. Strong pair of arms. Whacking a carpet on the clothesline. She does whack it, by George. The way her crooked skirt swings at each whack.
The ferreteyed porkbutcher folded the sausages he had snipped off with blotchy fingers, sausagepink. Sound meat there: like a stallfed heifer.
He took a page up from the pile of cut sheets: the model farm at Kinnereth on the lakeshore of Tiberias. Can become ideal winter sanatorium. Moses Montefiore. I thought he was. Farmhouse, wall round it, blurred cattle cropping. He held the page from him: interesting: read it nearer, the title, the blurred cropping cattle, the page rustling. A young white heifer. Those mornings in the cattlemarket, the beasts lowing in their pens, branded sheep, flop and fall of dung, the breeders in hobnailed boots trudging through the litter, slapping a palm on a ripemeated hindquarter, there's a prime one, unpeeled switches in their hands. He held the page aslant patiently, bending his senses and his will, his soft subject gaze at rest. The crooked skirt swinging, whack by whack by whack.
The porkbutcher snapped two sheets from the pile, wrapped up her prime sausages and made a red grimace.
“My way of joking is to tell the truth: It is the funniest joke in the world.”—G. B. Shaw
With an Introduction by Eric Bentley
and an Afterword by Norman Lloyd
A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Tree
What Christmas is as we Grow Older
The Poor Relation's Story
The Child's Story
The Schoolboy's Story
Mrs. Lirriper's Legacy
Going into Society
Mrs. Lirriper's Lodgings
The Christmas Goblins
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Loosely based on the life of Paul Gauguin, Maugham's timeless masterpiece is storytelling at its best — an insightful work focusing on artistic fixation that propels the artist beyond the commonplace into the selfish realm of genius.
Included are such timeless observations as: "All that glitters is not gold," "Brevity is the soul of wit," "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is/ To have a thankless child"; "While you live, tell truth and shame the devil!"; "The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream," and many more. Romantic thoughts receive a particularly rich treatment; extensive selections on the subject of love include quotes from the plays ("The course of true love never did run smooth"; "Speak low if you speak love") and sonnets ("For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings,/ That then I scorn to change my state with kings"). Each quote bears a complete citation.
Ideal for writers, speakers, students of literature, and any lover of Shakespeare's works, this inexpensive treasury lends itself admirably to a virtually endless number of uses, from casual browsing to designing personal greeting cards.
This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition contains newly commissioned notes.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman, Mr. Bennet living in Longbourn.
Page 2 of a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra (11 June 1799) in which she first mentions Pride and Prejudice, using its working title First Impressions. (NLA)
Set in England in the early 19th century, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet's five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy has difficulty adapting to local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth.
Pride and Prejudice retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of "most loved books." It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies, and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen's memorable characters or themes.
Poet and playwright Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) wrote sparkling comedies that were the toast of London's West End in the 1890s. The master of the witty epigram who could resist anything except temptation, Wilde was imprisoned by an unjust society and died in obscurity, but his enduring works continue to enchant readers and audiences.
The Irish author's only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, appears in this splendid showcase of his philosophy and wit. Additional selections include Wilde's ever-popular comedies The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband; his essay on aestheticism, "The Decay of Lying: An Observation"; his deeply moving prison letter, "De Profundis"; and fairy tales from A House of Pomegranates and The Happy Prince.
Though first published in quarto in 1598, the play's title page suggests a revision of an earlier version of the play. While there are no obvious sources for the play's plot, the four main characters are loosely based on historical figures. The use of apostrophes in the play's title varies in early editions, though it is most commonly given as Love's Labour's Lost.
The historical personages portrayed and the political situation in Europe relating to the setting and action of the play were familiar to Shakespeare's audiences. Scholars suggest that the play lost popularity as these historical and political portrayals of Navarre's court became dated and less accessible to theatergoers of later generations. The play's sophisticated wordplay, pedantic humour and dated literary allusions may also be reasons for its relative obscurity, as compared with Shakespeare's more popular works. Love's Labour's Lost was staged rarely in the 19th century, but it has been seen more often in the 20th and 21st centuries, with productions by both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre, among others. It has also been adapted as a musical, an opera, for radio and television and as a musical film.
"The Forsyte Saga" was the title originally destined for that part of it which is called "The Man of Property"; and to adopt it for the collected chronicles of the Forsyte family has indulged the Forsytean tenacity that is in all of us. The word Saga might be objected to on the ground that it connotes the heroic and that there is little heroism in these pages. But it is used with a suitable irony; and, after all, this long tale, though it may deal with folk in frock coats, furbelows, and a gilt-edged period, is not devoid of the essential heat of conflict. Discounting for the gigantic stature and blood-thirstiness of old days, as they have come down to us in fairy-tale and legend, the folk of the old Sagas were Forsytes, assuredly, in their possessive instincts, and as little proof against the inroads of beauty and passion as Swithin, Soames, or even Young Jolyon. And if heroic figures, in days that never were, seem to startle out from their surroundings in fashion unbecoming to a Forsyte of the Victorian era, we may be sure that tribal instinct was even then the prime force, and that "family" and the sense of home and property counted as they do to this day, for all the recent efforts to "talk them out."
So many people have written and claimed that their families were the originals of the Forsytes that one has been almost encouraged to believe in the typicality of an imagined species. Manners change and modes evolve, and "Timothy's on the Bayswater Road" becomes a nest of the unbelievable in all except essentials; we shall not look upon its like again, nor perhaps on such a one as James or Old Jolyon. And yet the figures of Insurance Societies and the utterances of Judges reassure us daily that our earthly paradise is still a rich preserve, where the wild raiders, Beauty and Passion, come stealing in, filching security from beneath our noses. As surely as a dog will bark at a brass band, so will the essential Soames in human nature ever rise up uneasily against the dissolution which hovers round the folds of ownership. "Let the dead Past bury its dead" would be a better saying if the Past ever died. The persistence of the Past is one of those tragi-comic blessings which each new age denies, coming cocksure on to the stage to mouth its claim to a perfect novelty.
- Desperate Remedies
- Under the Greenwood Tree
- A Pair of Blue Eyes
- Far From the Madding Crowd
- The Hand of Ethelberta
- The Return of the Native
- The Trumpet-Major
- A Laodicean
- Two on a Tower
- The Romantic Adventures of a Milkmaid
- The Mayor of Casterbridge
- The Woodlanders
- Tess of the D’Urbervilles
- Jude the Obscure
- The Well–Beloved
The novel is relatively unknown today, though it was very popular up through the Second World War. In fact, Doyle himself regarded this and his other historical novels more highly than the Sherlock Holmes adventures for which he is mainly remembered.
The "White Company" of the title is a free company of archers, led by one of the main characters. The name is taken from a real-life 14th-Century Italian mercenary company, led by John Hawkwood.
The play is believed to have been written between 1599 and 1606, and is most commonly dated 1606. The earliest account of a performance of what was probably Shakespeare's play is the Summer of 1606, when Simon Forman recorded seeing such a play at the Globe Theatre. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book. It was most likely written during the reign of James I, who had been James VI of Scotland before he succeeded to the English throne in 1603. James was a patron of Shakespeare's acting company, and of all the plays Shakespeare wrote during James's reign, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with the sovereign.
Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy, and tells the story of a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia, and he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler as he is forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and death.
Shakespeare's source for the tragedy is the account of Macbeth, King of Scotland, Macduff, and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, although the events in the play differ extensively from the history of the real Macbeth. In recent scholarship, the events of the tragedy are usually associated more closely with the execution of Henry Garnett for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, and will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "the Scottish play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It has been adapted to film, television, opera, novels, comic books, and other media.
They were all at Charing Cross to see Lilia off—Philip, Harriet, Irma, Mrs. Herriton herself. Even Mrs. Theobald, squired by Mr. Kingcroft, had braved the journey from Yorkshire to bid her only daughter good-bye. Miss Abbott was likewise attended by numerous relatives, and the sight of so many people talking at once and saying such different things caused Lilia to break into ungovernable peals of laughter.
"Quite an ovation," she cried, sprawling out of her first-class carriage. "They'll take us for royalty. Oh, Mr. Kingcroft, get us foot-warmers."
The good-natured young man hurried away, and Philip, taking his place, flooded her with a final stream of advice and injunctions—where to stop, how to learn Italian, when to use mosquito-nets, what pictures to look at. "Remember," he concluded, "that it is only by going off the track that you get to know the country. See the little towns—Gubbio, Pienza, Cortona, San Gemignano, Monteriano. And don't, let me beg you, go with that awful tourist idea that Italy's only a museum of antiquities and art. Love and understand the Italians, for the people are more marvellous than the land."
"How I wish you were coming, Philip," she said, flattered at the unwonted notice her brother-in-law was giving her.