The book’s ostensible function was the advertisement of the advantages of travel by steamship, but few, after reading the passengers’ accounts of their voyage, would, if they took them seriously, ever venture off shore. The book’s principal sources of amusement – infirmities of the human body (seasickness), the peculiarities of spelling and grammar that arise from faulty or defective education, the cultural mores of other races and lower classes, and the outrageous punning.
Delving into an enormous archive of comic novels, jestbooks, farces, variety shows, and cartoons, Dickie finds a vast repository of jokes about cripples, blind men, rape, and wife-beating. Epigrams about syphilis and scurvy sit alongside one-act comedies about hunchbacks in love. He shows us that everyone—rich and poor, women as well as men—laughed along. In the process, Dickie also expands our understanding of many of the century’s major authors, including Samuel Richardson, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Tobias Smollett, Frances Burney, and Jane Austen. He devotes particular attention to Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews, a novel that reflects repeatedly on the limits of compassion and the ethical problems of laughter. Cruelty and Laughter is an engaging, far-reaching study of the other side of culture in eighteenth-century Britain.
Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed Edmond Dantès spends fourteen bitter years imprisoned in the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsive for his incarceration. No longer the naïve sailor who disappeared into the dungeon all those years ago, he reinvents himself as the charming, mysterious and powerful Count of Monte Cristo. Inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, The Count of Monte Cristo was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s, and has been a fixture of western literature ever since, the subject of countless film and TV adaptations.
Robin Buss' lively translation is complete and unabridged, and remains faithful to the style of Dumas' original. This edition also includes an introduction, explanatory notes, a new chronology and updated suggestions for further reading.
'What makes The Count Of Monte Cristo such a superior story is that revenge is not the only emotion driving the plot ... it is an almost perfect story - also in the mix are love, friendship, jealousy, faith, education, snobbery and class' Sunday Express
The Sherlock Holmes Book is packed with witty illustrations, clear graphics, and memorable quotes that make it the perfect Sherlock Holmes guide, covering every case of the world's greatest detective, from A Study in Scarlet to The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place, placing the sorties in a wider context. Stories include at-a-glance flowcharts that show how Holmes reaches his conclusions through deductive reasoning, and character guides provide handy reference for readers and an invaluable resource for fans of the Sherlock Holmes films and TV series.
The Sherlock Holmes Book holds a magnifying glass to the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary detective.