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Our literature studies books will teach you all about the greatest literary works of all time. They're perfect for English lit teachers and students.

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Literature Studies

Our literature studies books will teach you all about the greatest literary works of all time. They're perfect for English lit teachers and students.

  • The Shakespeare Companion

    Product Code: SHCM
    Paperback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Featuring summaries of the Bard's plays and characters, The Shakespeare Companion is the perfect read for anyone interested in his works, or those who are new to one of the most influential writers of all time.

    Complete with a foreword by Dame Judi Dench, this book will enlighten you about Shakespeare's writing and help you enjoy his plays even more. It provides synopses of plays and even a resume of each performance's history.

    There is also a look back at the history of Shakespearean theatre and those plays that he did not write that have been wrongly attributed to him.
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  • Mapping Shakespeare

    Jeremy Black

    Product Code: MPSH
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    This visual exploration of the time in which William Shakespeare lived is filled with jaw-dropping facts and observations. It considers what The Bard was like as a man and covers the cultural changes that took place during his lifetime - 1564-1616.

    From the time of the Tudors to Elizabeth I's reign and the first of the Stuart kings, this book reflects the political changes that were reflected in his works and explains how he worked through maps and illustrations to look at how powerful people viewed their positions in the world.

    Author Jeremy Black also explores the locations of Shakespeare's plays and examines the reasons why he chose to set them in these locations.
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  • Classic Victorian and Edwardian Ghost Stories

    Rex Collings

    Product Code: BIHIL
    Paperback
    This is a book to be read by a blazing fire on a winter's night, with the curtains drawn close and the doors securely locked. The unquiet souls of the dead, both as fictional creations and as 'real' apparitions, roam the pages of this haunting selection of ghost stories by Rex Collings. Some of these stories are classics while others are lesser-known gems unearthed from this vintage era of tales of the supernatural. There are stories from distant lands - 'Fisher's Ghost' by John Lang is set in Australia and 'A Ghostly Manifestation' by 'A Clergyman' is set in Calcutta. In this selection, Sir Walter Scott (a Victorian in spirit if not in fact), keeps company with Edgar Allen Poe, Sheridan Le Fanu and other illustrious masters of the genre.
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  • The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries

    Otto Penzler

    Product Code: BRZIA
    Hardback
    Christmas whodunits starring Poirot, Marple, Rebus, More, Rumpole, Sherlock, Cadfael and many many more. Festive felonies, unscrupulous santas, deadly puddings, and misdemeanors under the mistletoe... From Victorian detective stories to modern mysteries, police procedurals to pulp fiction, comic gems to cozy crime, there's something for every festive mood in this must-read collection starring sixty of the world's favourite detectives. Featuring an all-star cast of authors including Isaac Asimov, Mary Higgins Clark, Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Colin Dexter, Thomas Hardy, H.R.F. Keating, Ngaio Marsh, John Mortimer, Ellis Peters, Sara Paretsky, Robert Louis Stevenson and - of course - Agatha Christie, this is the biggest and best Christmas crime anthology in print today.
    • £20.00
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  • We Should All be Feminists

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Product Code: ALJOY
    Paperback
    A personal and powerful essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the bestselling author of 'Americanah' and 'Half of a Yellow Sun', based on her 2013 TEDx Talk of the same name. What does "feminism" mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay - adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name - by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of 'Americanah' and 'Half of a Yellow Sun'. With humour and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century - one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviours that marginalise women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences - in the U.S., in her native Nigeria - offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a best-selling novelist, here is one remarkable author's exploration of what it means to be a woman today - and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
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  • Fame

    Andy Warhol

    Product Code: BMGWO
    Paperback
    'Good b.o means good "box office." You can smell it from a mile away'The legendary sixties New York pop artist Andy Warhol's hilarious and insightful vignettes and aphorisms on the topics of love, fame and beauty.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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  • Letters of Note

    Shaun Usher

    Product Code: AVGBL
    Paperback
    Letters of Note is a collection of over one hundred of the world's most entertaining, inspiring and unusual letters, based on the seismically popular website of the same name - an online museum of correspondence visited by over 70 million people. From Virginia Woolf's heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II's recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression 'OMG' in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi's appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop's beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci's remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives.
    • £15.99
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  • A Literary Christmas

    British Library

    Product Code: BQXNR
    Hardback
    This seasonal compendium collects together poems, short stories, and prose extracts by some of the greatest poets and writers in the English language. Like Charles Dickens's ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, they are representative of times old and new--from John Donne's Elizabethan hymn over the baby Jesus to Benjamin Zephaniah's "Talking Turkeys," from Thomas Tusser counting the cost of a Tudor feast to P. G. Wodehouse's wry story about Christmas on a diet. Enjoy a Christmas Day as described by Samuel Pepys, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, or Nancy Mitford. Venture out into the snow in the company of Jane Austen, Henry James, and Dickens's Mr. Pickwick. Entertain the children with the seasonal tales of Dylan Thomas, Kenneth Grahame, and Oscar Wilde.
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  • The East India Company, 1600-1858

    Ian Barrow

    Product Code: BLNJG
    Paperback
    In existence for 258 years, the English East India Company ran a complex, highly integrated global trading network. It supplied the tea for the Boston Tea Party, the cotton textiles used to purchase slaves in Africa, and the opium for China's nineteenth-century addiction. In India it expanded from a few small coastal settlements to govern territories that far exceeded the British Isles in extent and population. It minted coins in its name, established law courts and prisons, and prosecuted wars with one of the world's largest armies. Over time, the Company developed a pronounced and aggressive colonialism that laid the foundation for Britain's Eastern empire. A study of the Company, therefore, is a study of the rise of the modern world. In clear, engaging prose, Ian Barrow sets the rise and fall of the Company into political, economic, and cultural contexts and explains how and why the Company was transformed from a maritime trading entity into a territorial colonial state. Excerpts from eighteen primary documents illustrate the main themes and ideas discussed in the text. Maps, illustrations, a glossary, and a chronology are also included.
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  • The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories

    Product Code: CAWJO
    Hardback
    Truman Capote makes whiskey-soaked fruitcake in Alabama; Laurie Lee slides across a frozen pond in Gloucestershire; and Shirley Jackson is outwitted by a wily Santa Claus at the bank. Ghosts haunt the Christmases of Muriel Spark and Elizabeth Bowen, while Dostoyevsky, Daphne du Maurier and Italo Calvino take a cynical view of the season and Selma Lagerlof and Angela Carter celebrate its miracles. Ranging from Cork to Lagos to the Wild West, and from Paris to San Paolo to outer space, this is Christmas as imagined by some of the greatest short story writers of all time.
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  • A Children's Literary Christmas

    British Library

    Product Code: BZPDE
    Hardback
    Immerse yourself in some truly festive magic with this brand-new collection of the finest Christmas stories, prose, songs and poetry from some of the greatest writers in the English language. Inspired by the approach and style of the British Library's 2018 bestseller A Literary Christmas, this carefully chosen anthology moves its focus to those most deeply involved in the wonders of Christmas, the Christmas girls and Christmas boys. Twenty-four seasonal chapters allow the excitement to build as parents and grandparents can share pages of unforgettable adventures, festive traditions, tales of elves, snowmen and reindeer, fairytales, folklore and family fun. Age-old pleasures from those essential Christmas favourites, including Dickens, Kenneth Grahame, George Mackay Brown, Robert L. May and Ezra Jack Keats, are presented alongside charming, but often more edgy, award-wining contemporary voices. This treasure trove of stories is brought to life by an equally beautiful selection of seasonal illustrations from the collections of the Library and the artwork of some of the great modern book illustrators.
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  • March of the Lemmings

    Stewart Lee

    Product Code: BZPUH
    Paperback
    As a Metropolitan Elitist Snowflake, Stewart Lee was disappointed by the Brexit referendum result of 2016. But he knew how to weaponise his inconvenience. He would treat all his subsequent writing, until we left the EU, as interrelated episodes of a complete work. The cast of characters include Lemming-obsessed Michael Gove, violent tanning-salon entrepreneur Tommy Robinson and Boris Piccaninny Watermelon Bumboys Letterbox Cake Disaster Weightloss Haircut Bullshit Johnson. A dramatic chorus is made up of online commenters and Kremlin bots. And Lee himself would play the defeated, unreliable narrator-hero, whose resolve and tolerance would gradually unravel as the horror show dragged on. Until the 29 March, 2019, when it would all definitely be over. Drawing on three years of newspaper columns, a complete transcript of the Content Provider stand-up show, and Lee's caustic footnote commentary, March of the Lemmings is the scathing, riotous record the Brexit era deserves.
    • £11.99
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  • The Measure of Malice

    Martin Edwards

    Product Code: BZLCI
    Paperback
    The detective's role is simple: to catch the culprit. Yet behind each casual observation lies a learned mind, trained on finding the key to the mystery. Crimes, whatever their form, are often best solved through deliberations of logic - preferably amid complicated gadgetry and a pile of hefty scientific volumes. The detectives in this collection are masters of scientific deduction, whether they are identifying the perpetrator from a single scrap of fabric, or picking out the poison from a sinister line-up. Containing stories by R Austin Freeman, J J Connington and the master of logical reasoning, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Measure of Malice collects tales of rational thinking to prove the power of the human brain over villainous deeds.
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  • How Not to be a Doctor

    John Launer

    Product Code: BYYPE
    Paperback
    How Not to Be A Doctor contains a selection of essays by John Launer, doctor and medical columnist, on the practice and teaching of medicine. Taken together, they set out an argument that being a doctor - a real doctor - should mean drawing on every aspect of yourself, your interests and your experiences, no matter how remote they seem from the medical task at hand. Originating from the popular columns Launer has written for medical journals over his career, How Not to be a Doctor includes over fifty essays covering a range of topics including music, poetry, literature, and psychoanalysis, as well as contemporary medical politics and the personal experiences of being a doctor. From lessons on what they don't teach you in medical school to the author's poignant account of being a patient himself as he received treatment for a life-threatening illness, the essays in How Not to Be a Doctor combine erudition with humour, candour, and the human touch that will inform and entertain readers on both ends of the stethoscope.
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  • Who is Mickey Mouse?

    Francesco Artibani

    Product Code: BYIKU
    Paperback
    When Mickey is struck with amnesia, it's up to his closest friends to remind him who he is and what he stands for! Join Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, Eega Beeva, and more as they help celebrate the True Original that is Mickey Mouse in a story that will resonate with Disney fans young and old. Drawn by eight of Disney's top artists, this special collection is the perfect way to celebrate Mickey's magical milestone! Starting in November 2018 and running through November 2019 Disney will be celebrating Mickey Mouse's 90th anniversary.
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  • Dear Fahrenheit 451

    Annie Spence

    Product Code: BUIFK
    Paperback
    Have you ever wished you could tell your favourite books just what they mean to you? Or wanted to give a piece of your mind to the `must-read' book that you wish you hadn't? Librarian Annie Spence has done just that, writing letters to the books under her care, from love letters to Matilda and The Goldfinch, to snarky break-up notes to Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hobbit. Annie's letters will make you laugh, remind you why you love your favourite books, and give you lots of new entries for your reading list. She's also on-hand to help out with your bookish dilemmas: recommendations for lazy readers; excuses to tell your friends when you'd rather stay home reading; and how to turn your lover into a reader. Hilarious, compassionate and smart, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is the consummate book-lover's book.
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  • Notes on Camp

    Susan Sontag

    Product Code: BMGZE
    Paperback
    'The ultimate Camp statement: it's good because it's awful.'These two classic essays were the first works of criticism to break down the boundaries between 'high' and 'low' culture, and made Susan Sontag a literary sensation.Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York's underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
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  • The Secret History,

    Procopius

    Product Code: BJYHJ
    Paperback
    A trusted member of the Byzantine establishment, Procopius was the Empire's official chronicler, and his History of the Wars of Justinian proclaimed the strength and wisdom of the Emperor's reign. Yet all the while the dutiful scribe was working on a very different - and dangerous - history to be published only once its author was safely in his grave. The Secret History portrays the 'great lawgiver' Justinian as a rampant king of corruption and tyranny, the Empress Theodora as a sorceress and whore, and the brilliant general Belisarius as the pliable dupe of his scheming wife Antonina. Magnificently hyperbolic and highly opinionated, The Secret History is a work of explosive energy, depicting holy Byzantium as a hell of murder and misrule.
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  • Classic Adventures According to Spike Milligan

    Spike Milligan

    Product Code: ATOML
    Paperback
    Spike Milligan wrote the book on today's sense of humour' 'But why keep me in the dark, Holmes?' 'It saves electicity, Watson.' 'What is a black spot? Is it an accident?' 'He gave a groan and he was alive! He spoke as he sat up, 'Have you got a fag, mate?' Welcome to the world of the classic adventure story, hilariously retold by legendary comic Spike Milligan. Relive Robin Hood, in which Little John becomes Big Dick and the Merry Men are joined by Groucho Marx. give yourself the willies with Frankenstein, whose monster comes to life craving a cigarette. join Sherlock Holmes for The Hound Of Baskervilles, where Guinness and Newcastle Brown are taken intravenously and a woman cries in the night. Thrill to Black Beauty as told by the horse himself. And the hunt for buried treasure with Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins and ...Groucho Marx in Treasure Island. Spike Milligan, the much-loved entertainer, broadcaster and writer, was widely regarded as the most influential British comedian since the Second World War. On his death in 2002, he was remembered as an 'irreverent and hysterical presence' by Prince Charles. Fellow comedian and writer Stephen Fry described Milligan's writing as 'abosutely immortal'.
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  • Second-Hand Time

    Svetlana Alexievich

    Product Code: ATIHE
    Paperback
    Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, Second-hand Time is the latest work from Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for inventing 'a new kind of literary genre'.

    Here she brings together the voices of dozens of witnesses to the collapse of the USSR in a formidable attempt to chart the disappearance of a culture and to surmise what new kind of man may emerge from the rubble.

    Fashioning a singular, polyphonic literary form by combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, Alexievich creates a magnificent requiem to a civilization in ruins, a brilliant, poignant and unique portrait of post-Soviet society out of the stories of ordinary women and men.
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  • The Penguin Book Quiz

    James Walton

    Product Code: CAXZS
    Paperback
    The perfect gift for Christmas Which Haruki Murakami novel shares its title with a Beatles song? In Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, what is Charlie's surname? What is heavy-drinking Rachel Watson known as in the title of a 21st-century bestseller? And what do you get if you add the number of Bennet sisters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to the number of Karamazov brothers in Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov? With four hundred questions covering books from literary classics to modern bestsellers, through iconic children's books and books you say that you've read but really you haven't, The Penguin Book Quiz is as appropriate for making you look well-read at a party as it is for a book-loving family to tuck into after Christmas dinner: it's as enjoyable to read as it is to play. Featuring the work of everyone from Antony Beevor to Zadie Smith, books from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Ulysses, and with movie, music, television, theatre and literary references abounding, this entertaining quiz tickles the fancy (and the brains) of light and heavy readers alike. Answers: - Norwegian Wood - Bucket - The Girl on the Train - Eight (five sisters, three brothers) 'Unceasingly enormous fun' Alan Connor, author of The Joy of Quiz 'I'll definitely be buying copies of this book as gifts' Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing 'The greatest social lubricant since the invention of alcohol' John Preston, author of A Very English Scandal
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  • Geoffrey Chaucer: A Very Short Introduction

    David Wallace (Judith Rodin Pr

    Product Code: BZNAE
    Paperback
    Originally writing over 600 years ago, Geoffrey Chaucer is today enjoying a global renaissance. Why do poets, translators, and audiences from so many cultures, from the mountains of Iran to the islands of Japan, find Chaucer so inspiring? In part this is down to the character and sheer inventiveness of Chaucer's work. At the time Chaucer's writings were not just literary adventures, but also a means of convincing the world that poetry and science, tragedy and astrology, could all be explored through the English language. French was still England's aristocratic language of choice when Chaucer was born; Latin was used for university education, theological discussion, and for burying the dead. Could a hybrid tongue such as English ever generate great writing to compare with French and Latin? Chaucer, miraculously, believed that it could, through gradual expansion of expressiveness and scientific precision. He was never paid to do this; he was valued, rather, as a capable civil servant, regulating the export of wool and the building of seating for royal tournaments. Such experiences, however, fed his writing, leading him to achieve a range of social registers, from noble tragedy to barnyard farce, unrivalled for centuries. His tale-telling geography is vast, his fascination with varieties of religious belief endless, and his desire to voice female experience especially remarkable. Many Chaucerian poets and performers, today, are women. In this Very Short Introduction David Wallace introduces the life, performance, and poetry of Chaucer, and analyses his astonishing and enduring appeal. Previously published in hardback as Geoffrey Chaucer: A New Introduction ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks?, Vol. 1 (manga)

    Dachima Inaka

    Product Code: BZHDQ
    Paperback
    High school gamer Masato Oosuki is stoked to be transported into a video game world and show off his chops...but why is his doting, embarrassing mother in the game with him, too?! And why is she so good at it?! Welcome to a whole new kind of momcom role-playing adventure based on the original light novel series!
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  • Notes to Self

    Emilie Pine

    Product Code: BXYWP
    Paperback
    The extraordinary #1 bestseller - a word-of-mouth literary phenomenon 'Do not read this book in public: it will make you cry' Anne Enright 'Every line pulses with the pain and joy and complexity of an extraordinary life' Mark O'Connell 'I am afraid of being the disruptive woman. And of not being disruptive enough. I am afraid. But I am doing it anyway.' In this dazzling debut, Emilie Pine speaks to the business of living as a woman in the 21st century - its extraordinary pain and its extraordinary joy. Courageous, humane and uncompromising, she writes with radical honesty on birth and death, on the grief of infertility, on caring for her alcoholic father, on taboos around female bodies and female pain, on sexual violence and violence against the self. Devastatingly poignant and profoundly wise - and joyful against the odds - Notes to Self offers a portrait not just of its author but of a whole generation.
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