Classic Love Stories

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    Anna Karenina is one of the most loved and memorable heroines of literature. Her overwhelming charm dominates a novel of unparalleled richness and density. War and Peace author Leo Tolstoy considered this book to be his first real attempt at a novel form, and it addresses the very nature of society at all levels - of destiny, death, human relationships and the irreconcilable contradictions of existence. It ends tragically, and there is much that evokes despair, yet set beside this is an abounding joy in life's many ephemeral pleasures, and an element of comic relief.

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    A young boy and girl meet by chance and fall instantly in love. But their families are bitter enemies, and in order to be together the two lovers must be prepared to risk everything. Set in a city torn apart by feuds, "Romeo and Juliet" is a dazzling combination of passion and hatred and tragedy.
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    'Sometimes when he didn't know he was being watched Meggie would look at him and try desperately to imprint his face upon her brain's core ...And he would turn to find her watching him, a look in his eyes of haunted grief, a doomed look. She understood the implicit message, or thought she did; he must go, back to the Church and his duties. Never again with the same spirit, perhaps, but more able to serve. For only those who have slipped and fallen know the vicissitudes of the way ...'
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    The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. The subject of major film and stage adaptations, the novel's prime movers, the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil, form an unholy alliance and turn seduction into a game - a game which they must win. This new translation gives Laclos a modern voice, and readers will be able a judge whether the novel is as 'diabolical' and 'infamous' as its critics have claimed, or whether it has much to tell us about the kind of world we ourselves live in. David Coward's introduction explodes myths about Laclos's own life and puts the book in its literary and cultural context. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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    "Doctor Zhivago" is the epic novel of Russia in the throes of revolution and one of the greatest love stories ever told. Yuri Zhivago, physician and poet, wrestles with the new order and confronts the changes cruel experience has made in him and the anguish of being torn between the love of two women.
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    Tomorrow is another day ...Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Civil War, Margaret Mitchell's magnificent historical epic is an unforgettable tale of love and loss, of a nation mortally divided and a people forever changed. Above all, it is the story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlett O'Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler. Since its first publication in 1936, Gone With The Wind has endured as a story for all our times.
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    'Connie was aware, however, of a growing restlessness...It thrilled inside her body, in her womb, somewhere, till she felt she must jump into water and swim to get away from it; a mad restlessness. It made her heart beat violently for no reason'. Lady Constance Chatterley is trapped in a loveless marriage to a man who is impotent. Oppressed by her dreary life, she is drawn to Mellors the gamekeeper. Breaking out against the constraints of society she yields to her instinctive desire for him and discovers the transforming power of physical love which leads them both towards fulfillment. Banned for many years for its frank depiction of sex, "Lady Chatterley's Lover" was first published by Penguin in 1960 and was at the centre of a sensational obscenity trial at the Old Bailey. D. H. Lawrence himself called it 'the most improper novel in the world'.
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    'You love the boy body and soul, plainly, directly, as he loves you ...'. Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, curious Mr Emerson and, most of all, his passionate son George. Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England, personified in her terminally dull fiance Cecil Vyse. Will she ever learn to follow her own heart? "A Room with a View" is a sunny, brilliantly witty comedy of manners.
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    Nobel prize winner and author of One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells a tale of an unrequited love that outlasts all rivals in his masterpiece Love in the Time of Cholera. 'It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.' Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza's impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Flornetino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again. When Fermina's husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives? "The most important writer of fiction in any language". (Bill Clinton). "An exquisite writer, wise, compassionate and extremely funny". (Sunday Telegraph). "An amazing celebration of the many kinds of love between men and women". (The Times). As one of the pioneers of magic realism and perhaps the most prominent voice of Latin American literature, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has received international recognition for his novels, works of non-fiction and collections of short stories. Those published in translation by Penguin include Autumn of the Patriarch, Bon Voyage Mr. President, Collected Stories, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The General in his Labyrinth, Innocent Erendira and Other Stories, In the Evil Hour, Leaf Storm, Living to Tell the Tale, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, News of a Kidnapping, No-one Writes to the Colonel, Of Love and Other Demons, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor and Strange Pilgrims.
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    'One ought to choose something very deliberately, and be faithful to that.' Isabel Archer is a young, intelligent, and spirited American girl, determined to relish her first experience of Europe. She rejects two eligible suitors in her fervent commitment to liberty and independence, declaring that she will never marry. Thanks to the generosity of her devoted cousin Ralph, she is free to make her own choice about her destiny. Yet in the intoxicating worlds of Paris, Florence, and Rome, her fond illusions of self-reliance are twisted by the machinations of her friends and apparent allies. What had seemed to be a vista of infinite promise steadily closes around her and becomes instead a 'house of suffocation'. Considered by many as one of the finest novels in the English language, this is Henry James's most poised achievement, written at the height of his fame in 1881. It is at once a dramatic Victorian tale of betrayal and a wholly modern psychological study of a woman caught in a web of relations she only comes to understand too late. This edition reproduces the revised New York Edition, with James's own Preface. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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    This is a new translation by Adam Thorpe. 'A great novel that is also an inexhaustible pleasure to read'. Guardian Emma Bovary is an avid reader of sentimental novels; brought up on a Normandy farm and convent-educated, she longs for romance. At first, Emma pins her hopes on marriage, but life with her well-meaning husband in the provinces leaves her bored and dissatisfied. She seeks escape through extravagant spending sprees and, eventually, adultery. As Emma pursues her impossible reverie she seals her own ruin. Madame Bovary is one of the greatest, most beguiling novels ever written. Thorpe's new translation is stunning and heartily recommended Scotsman. "Thorpe's new translation is to die for". ("Independent"). "[Thorpe's] hard work has yielded beauty. The rhythms are perfectly judged, unexpected enough to make the reader attend to every word". (Robert Chandler, "TLS").
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    This is the "Penguin English Library Edition" of "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte. "May you not rest, as long as I am living. You said I killed you - haunt me, then". Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past. "The Penguin English Library" - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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    This title comes with an introduction by Lynne Truss. The Vintage Classics Austen series is designed by the writer and illustrator Leanne Shapton and introduced by some of our finest contemporary writers and Austen fans: Alexander McCall Smith, Lynne Truss, Amanda Vickery, Francesca Segal, P.D. James and Andrew Motion. "It is a sort of private novel. In the heroine Anne Elliot, we have glimpses of Austen and what happened to her; the lost romance and the lost youth". (Julian Fellowes). Eight years ago Anne Elliot bowed to pressure from her family and made the decision not to marry the man she loved, Captain Wentworth. Now circumstances have conspired to bring him back into her social circle and Anne finds her old feelings for him reignited. However, when they meet again Wentworth behaves as if they are strangers and seems more interested in her friend Louisa. In this, her final novel, Jane Austen tells the story of a love that endures the tests of time and society with humour, insight and tenderness.
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    Kitty Fane is the beautiful but shallow wife of Walter, a bacteriologist stationed in Hong Kong. Unsatisfied by her marriage, she starts an affair with charming, attractive and exciting Charles Townsend. But when Walter discovers her deception, he exacts a strange and terrible vengeance: Kitty must accompany him to his new posting in remote mainland China, where a cholera epidemic rages...First published to a storm of protest, "The Painted Veil" is a classic story of a woman's spiritual awakening.
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    "The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!" Jane Austen's novel tells the story of Marianne Dashwood, who 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 sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love - and its threatened loss - the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love. The Penguin English Library includes 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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    'That evening more firmly than ever fastened into my soul the conviction that Fate was of stone, and Hope a false idol - blind, bloodless, and of granite core. I felt, too, that the trial God had appointed me was gaining its climax, and must now be turned by my own hands, hot, feeble, trembling as they were'. With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls' boarding school in the small town of Villette. There she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, an initially suspicious headmaster and her own complex feelings, first for the school's English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor Paul Emmanuel. Drawing on her own deeply unhappy experiences as a governess in Brussels, Charlotte Bronte's last and most autobiographical novel is a powerfully moving study of isolation and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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    Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy's novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.
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    Three extraordinary characters caught in a web of fatal obsession are at the centre of Hugo's novel. The grotesque hunchback Quasimodo, bell-ringer of Notre-Dame, owes his life to the austere archdeacon, Claude Frollo, who in turn is bound by a hopeless passion to the gypsy dancer Esmeralda. She, meanwhile, is bewitched by a handsome, empty-headed officer, but by an unthinking act of kindness wins Quasimodo's selfless devotion. Behind the central figures moves a pageant of picturesque characters, ranging from the cruel, superstitious king, Louis XI, to the underworld of beggars and petty criminals. These disreputable truands' night-time assault on the cathedral is one of the most spectacular set-pieces of Romantic literature. Hugo vividly depicts medieval Paris, where all life is dominated by the massive cathedral. His passionate enthusiasm for Gothic architecture is set within the context of an epic view of mankind's history, to which he attaches even more importance than to the novel's compelling story. Alban Krailsheimer's new translation is a fresh approach to this monumental classic by France's most celebrated Romantic. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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    When the mysterious and beautiful young widow Helen Graham becomes the new tenant at Wildfell Hall rumours immediately begin to swirl around her. As her neighbour Gilbert Markham comes to discover, Helen has painful secrets buried in her past that even his love for her cannot easily overcome.
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    In love with the beautiful heiress Laura Fairlie, the impoverished art teacher Walter Hartright finds his romantic desires thwarted by her previous engagement to Sir Percival Glyde. But all is not as it seems with Sir Percival, as becomes clear when he arrives with his eccentric friend Count Fosco. The mystery and intrigue are further deepened by the ghostly appearances of a woman in white, apparently harbouring a secret that concerns Sir Percival's past.A tale of love, madness, deceit and redemption, boasting sublime Gothic settings and pulse-quickening suspense, The Woman in White was the first best-selling Victorian sensation novel, sparking off a huge trend in the fiction of the time with its compulsive, fascinating narrative.
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    'She looked absolutely pure. Nature, in her fantastic trickery, had set such a seal of maidenhood upon Tess's countenance that he gazed at her with a stupefied air: "Tess- say it is not true! No, it is not true!"' Young Tess Durbeyfield attempts to restore her family's fortunes by claiming their connection with the aristocratic d'Urbervilles. But Alec d'Urberville is a rich wastrel who seduces her and makes her life miserable. When Tess meets Angel Clare, she is offered true love and happiness, but her past catches up with her and she faces an agonizing moral choice. Hardy's indictment of society's double standards, and his depiction of Tess as 'a pure woman', caused controversy in his day and has held the imagination of readers ever since. Hardy thought it his finest novel, and Tess the most deeply felt character he ever created. This unique critical text is taken from the authoritative Clarendon edition, which is based on the manuscript collated with all Hardy's subsequent revisions. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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    This is the only critical edition of this perennially popular story. Sally Shuttleworth's introduction finds, beneath the idyllic evocation of rural bliss and a tale of love and high adventure, a startling sub-text which rigidly defends Victorian values, and portrays a 'manly' hero constantly having to prove his masculinity to himself. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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    Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to 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 to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. A huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s, Dumas was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment when writing his epic tale of suffering and retribution.
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    First published in 1796, Camilla deals with the matrimonial concerns of a group of young people-Camilla Tyrold and her sisters, the daughters of a country parson, and their cousin Indiana Lynmere-and, in particular, with the love affair between Camilla herself and her eligible suitor, Edgar Mandlebert. The path of true love, however, is strewn with intrigue, contretemps and misunderstanding. An enormously popular eighteenth-century novel, Camilla is touched at many points by the advancing spirit of romanticism. As in Evelina, Fanny Burney weaves into her novel strands of light and dark, comic episodes and gothic shudders, and creates a pattern of social and moral dilemmas which emphasize and illuminate the gap between generations. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.