Set against the backdrop of the Gordon Riots of 1780, Barnaby Rudge is a story of mystery and suspense which begins with an unsolved double murder and goes on to involve conspiracy, blackmail, abduction and retribution. Through the course of the novel fathers and sons become opposed, apprentices plot against their masters and Protestants clash with Catholics on the streets. And, as London erupts into riot, Barnaby Rudge himself struggles to escape the curse of his own past. With its dramatic descriptions of public violence and private horror, its strange secrets and ghostly doublings, Barnaby Rudge is a powerful, disturbing blend of historical realism and Gothic melodrama.
Who poisoned the wealthy Emily Inglethorp and how did the murderer penetrate and escape from her locked bedroom? Suspects abound in the quaint village of Styles St. Mary—from the heiress's fawning new husband to her two stepsons, her volatile housekeeper, and a pretty nurse who works in a hospital dispensary.
With impeccable timing, and making his unforgettable debut, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is on the case.
Hercule Poirot comes out of retirement in one of Agatha Christie’s ten favorite novels, The Murder of Rojer Ackroyd.
Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with an apparent drug overdose.
However the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information, but before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death. Luckily one of Roger’s friends and the newest resident to retire to this normally quiet village takes over—none other than Monsieur Hercule Poirot.
Charles Dickens's first published book, Sketches by Boz (1836) heralded an exciting new voice in English literature. This richly varied collection of observation, fancy and fiction shows the London he knew so intimately at its best and worst - its streets, theatres, inns, pawnshops, law courts, prisons, omnibuses and the river Thames - in honest and visionary descriptions of everyday life and people. Through pen portraits that often anticipate characters from his great novels, we see the condemned man in his prison cell, garrulous matrons, vulgar young clerks and Scrooge-like bachelors, while Dickens's powers for social critique are never far from the surface, in unflinching depictions of the vast metropolis's forgotten citizens, from child workers to prostitutes. A startling mixture of humour and pathos, these Sketches reveal London as wonderful terrain for an extraordinary young writer.
As the interminable case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce grinds its way through the Court of Chancery, it draws together a disparate group of people: Ada and Richard Clare, whose inheritance is gradually being devoured by legal costs; Esther Summerson, a ward of court, whose parentage is a source of deepening mystery; the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn; the determined sleuth Inspector Bucket; and even Jo, the destitute little crossing-sweeper. A savage, but often comic, indictment of a society that is rotten to the core, Bleak House is one of Dickens's most ambitious novels, with a range that extends from the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to the poorest of London slums.
Dickens was profoundly affected by the disaster, and a year later, he published The Signalman, a supremely atmospheric ghost story in which the narrator, while investigating a dank and lonely railway cutting, meets the signalman who works there. His new acquaintance appears to live under the shadow of an unbearable secret, haunted by an apparition whose appearance prefigures terrible rail accidents.
Drawing on Dickens own experiences, and introduced by Simon Bradley, author of The Railways, The Signalman is both an important piece of rail history, and a sinister tale which will make you think twice next time you enter the quiet carriage.
• All of the original full-color and b&w illustrations by John Leech
• 20 additional woodcut engravings by Sol Eytinge Jr. from the 1869 American edition by Ticknor & Fields
• A helpful introduction, author bio, and bibliography
Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old curmudgeon who spurns Christmas as a “humbug,” is given the chance to redeem himself through the intervention of four Spirits on Christmas Eve. If reading Dickens’s most beloved story doesn't put you in the true spirit of Christmas, you may be beyond redemption.
As Scrooge’s nephew Fred said, “I have always thought of Christmas time…as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
Or as Tiny Tim put it more succinctly, “God bless us every one!”
This Macmillan Collector's Library edition is illustrated by H. K. Browne ('Phiz'), with an afterword by Ned Halley.
Designed to appeal to the book lover, the Macmillan Collector's Library is a series of beautiful gift editions of much loved classic titles. Macmillan Collector's Library are books to love and treasure.
The work of a young novelist at the height of his powers, Nicholas Nickleby is one of the touchstones of the English comic novel. Around the central story of Nicholas Nickleby and the misfortunes of his family, Dickens created some of his most wonderful characters: the muddle-headed Mrs Nickleby, the gloriously theatrical Crummles, the slow-witted orphan Smike, the pretentious Mantalinis and the mindlessly cruel Squeers and his wife. The novel's loose, haphazard progress harks back to the picaresque novels of the 18th century, particularly those of Smollett and Fielding. Yet its exuberant atmosphere of romance, adventure and freedom is overshadowed by Dickens' awareness of social ills and financial and class insecurity.
‘But the cloud never comes in that quarter of the horizon from which we watch for it.’
When Margaret Hale is uprooted from Hampshire and moves to the industrial town of Milton in the North of England, her whole world changes. As her sympathy for the town’s mill workers grows, her sense of social injustice piques and she passionately fights their corner. However, just as she disputes the mill owner, John Thornton’s treatment of his workers, she cannot deny her growing attraction to him. Highlighting the changing landscape of nineteenth-century Britain and championing the role of women in Victorian society, Gaskell brilliantly captures the lives of ordinary people through one of her strongest female characters in literature.
A Study in Scarlet is the genre-defining work with which popular crime fiction was born. A potent mix of serial murder, suspense, cryptic clues, red herrings and revenge, the novel introduces us to the world-famous characters of Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Inspector Lestrade and sees Sherlock and Dr Watson meet and join forces for the first time as they track a mysterious killer that stalks London's streets.
In addition to the original text, this edition also has an introduction by Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat, who explains how it inspired the Sherlock script.
“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.
Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
“What more . . . can a mystery addict desire?”—New York Times
‘It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage.’
Set in fictitious Coketown, England during the Industrial Revolution of the 1850s, Dickens wished to expose the enormous gulf between the rich and poor through his writing. In Hard Times, the social and moral purpose of his work is at its most evident. Openly ironic and satirical in its tone, Dickens suggests a mechanization of society, where the wealthy are ruthless and uncharitable towards those less fortunate than themselves.
Siblings Louisa and Tom Gradgrind are raised by their father, a harsh and pragmatic educator and his influence means that they go on to lead lives that are lacking in all areas. Louisa marries the arrogant and greedy Josiah Bounderby, ending in an unhappy pairing and the unfeeling and villainous Tom robs his own brother-in-law’s bank. As their father watches their plight, he realises that his own principles may have led to their downfall.
It is Egypt in 2000 BC, where death gives meaning to life. At the foot of a cliff lies the broken, twisted body of Nofret, concubine to a ka-priest. Young, beautiful, and venomous, most agree that it was fate—she deserved to die like a snake!
But at her father's house on the banks of the Nile, the priest's daughter Renisenb believes that the woman's death is suspicious. Increasingly, she becomes convinced that the source of evil lurks within their household—and watches helplessly as the family's passions explode in murder. . . .
One of the most famous and beloved mysteries from the queen of suspense, Agatha Christie! More than 100 million copies sold and now a Lifetime TV movie.
Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a isolated mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…
Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
At Christmas time we so often associate Charles Dickens with his classic A Christmas Carol. In this unlikely Christmas tale, first published in 1894, in Christmas Stories you won’t find many mentions of Yuletide feasts or golden stores. Instead you will be treated to a story of a different ilk. In a very Clue-like scenario, the host invites several guests to take residence in the house for one night, the Twelfth Night of Christmas, each taking a room of their own--The Clock Room, The Cupboard Room, The Garden Room, and so on.
Dickens also used this story as the setting for a collection of stories in which he commissioned various writers to take on a character and a room from the story he had written, and detail the character's encounter with the ghost of the room. Watch for each of these stories to come in the Paranormal Parlor collection!