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Literary study guides from educational experts feature in Book People's hand-picked selection. They're ideal for anyone who is interested in English literature.

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Literary Study Guides

Literary study guides from educational experts feature in Book People's hand-picked selection. They're ideal for anyone who is interested in English literature.

  • 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.
    • £17.99
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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!
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • One Hundred Writers in One Box: Postcards from Penguin Modern Classics

    Product Code: ACWTI
    Paperback
    To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of "Penguin Modern Classics" we are publishing an incredibly desirable and collectable postcard collection of 100 "Modern Classics" authors. Following the success of "Postcards from Penguin" this is a must-have box of beautifully produced postcards with memorable, often iconic photographs of writers such as Camus, Steinbeck, Orwell, Waugh, Nabokov. Each postcard is designed to evoke the iconic look of the "Modern Classics" series.
    • £12.19
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Daily Rituals

    Mason Currey

    Product Code: BUMGN
    Hardback
    A second book from Mason Currey, author of Daily Rituals. Daily Rituals: Women at Work includes over one hundred profiles of female creators: artists, writers, film-makers, choreographers, and musicians. In Daily Rituals, Mason Currey brought us the daily routines of some of the world's most famous creative brains. But there was a problem. Only 17% of those profiles were about women: 'My idea for the book had been to profile the "great minds" of Western culture from the last few hundred years. Unfortunately, the side effect of focusing on the most well-known figures in Western literature, painting, and classical music is that they are overwhelmingly men.' In Daily Rituals: Women at Work, we see how brilliant female creators got to work, often in the face of sexism and opposition from those around them. Barbara Hepworth sculpted outdoors and Janet Frame wrote wearing earmuffs to block out the noise. Kate Chopin wrote with her six children `swarming around her' whereas the artist Rosa Bonheur filled her bedroom with the sixty birds that inspired her work. Louise May Alcott wrote so vigorously - skipping sleep and meals - that she had to learn to write with her left hand to give her cramped right hand a break. From Virginia Woolf and Charlotte Bronte to Nina Simone and Jane Campion, this is a book full of the day-to-day lives of some of the world's most brilliant creative minds who - no matter what stood in their way - found the time and got to work.
    • £12.89
    • RRP £14.99
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  • The Man in the Iron Mask

    Alexandre Dumas

    Product Code: AHHVY
    Paperback
    One of France's best-selling writers at the time of the novel's composition, Dumas here combines what he considered to be life's essentials - 'l'action et l'amour'. This historical romance is the climax of his epic of chivalry and valour that began with The Three Musketeers, and it is here that Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and their friend d'Artagnan, once invincible, meet their destinies. This edition provides background information and notes crucial to an understanding of the legend and the novel's setting. 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.
    • £8.39
    • RRP £8.99
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  • Our Fatal Magic

    Tai Shani (Royal College of Ar

    Product Code: CBRTV
    Paperback
    Feminist science fiction that anticipates a post-patriarchal future. Our Fatal Magic is a collection of feminist science fiction by contemporary artist Tai Shani. Foregrounding explorations of sensation, experience, and interiority, these twelve fantastical prose vignettes refract their ideas through a series of curious characters, from Medieval Mystics to Cubes of Flesh, from Sirens to Neanderthal Hermaphrodites. Drawing on the speculative narrative strategies pioneered by writers like Marge Piercy, Octavia Butler and others, Our Fatal Magic metabolizes new and necessary fictions from feminist and queer theory to propose an erotic, often violent space of critique in which gender constructs are destabilized, alternative histories imagined, and post-patriarchal futures proposed.
    • £12.99
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  • Russian Opera and the Symbolist Movement, Second Edition

    Simon Morrison

    Product Code: CAYTV
    Hardback
    Acclaimed for treading new ground in operatic studies of the period, Simon Morrison's influential and now-classic text explores music and the occult during the Russian Symbolist movement. Including previously unavailable archival materials about Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, this wholly revised edition is both up to date and revelatory. Topics range from decadence to pantheism, musical devilry to narcotic-infused evocations of heaven, the influence of Wagner, and the significance of contemporaneous Russian literature. Symbolism tested boundaries and reached for extremes so as to imagine art uniting people, facilitating communion with nature, and ultimately transcending reality. Within this framework, Morrison examines four lesser-known works by canonical composers-Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexander Scriabin, and Sergey Prokofiev-and in this new edition also considers Alexandre Gretchaninoff's Sister Beatrice and Alexander Kastalsky's Klara Milich, while also making the case for reviving Vladimir Rebikov's The Christmas Tree.
    • £54.00
    • RRP £58.00
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  • Tragedy Since 9/11

    Jennifer Wallace (Peterhouse C

    Product Code: BZUFO
    Paperback
    From the trauma of September 11th, through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the environmental warning signs of climate change, this book reflects on the crises and terrifying events of the early 21st century and argues that a knowledge of tragedy from the works of Sophocles to Shakespeare to Samuel Beckett can help us understand them. Jennifer Wallace offers a cultural analysis of the tragic events of the past two decades with reference to a litany of key dramatic texts, including Aeschylus' Oresteia, Euripides' Hecuba, Iphigenia in Aulis, Trojan Women and Bacchae, Homer's Iliad, Ibsen's Emperor and Galilean and Enemy of the People, and Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Macbeth and King Lear, among others.
    • £18.99
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  • Cain's Jawbone

    Ernest Powys Mathers

    Product Code: BZOVZ
    Other
    Six murders. One hundred pages. Millions of possible combinations... but only one is correct. Can you solve Torquemada's murder mystery? In 1934, the Observer's cryptic crossword compiler, Edward Powys Mathers (aka Torquemada), released a novel that was simultaneously a murder mystery and the most fiendishly difficult literary puzzle ever written. The pages have been printed in an entirely haphazard order, but it is possible - through logic and intelligent reading - to sort the pages into the only correct order, revealing six murder victims and their respective murderers. Only two puzzlers have ever solved the mystery of Cain's Jawbone: do you have what it takes to join their ranks? Please note: this puzzle is extremely difficult and not for the faint-hearted.
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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  • The Beats

    A. Robert Lee

    Product Code: BZQOW
    Paperback
    This book pairs close readings with a strong overview of the movement and ranges from Women's Beat Writing to African American Beats to the canonical texts, including 'Howl', On the Road and Naked Lunch. A closing chapter maps post-Beat writing and the ways Beat has morphed into new, even postmodern, forms.
    • £19.99
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  • Tales of the Troubled Dead

    Catherine Belsey

    Product Code: BZQOQ
    Paperback
    What do they want, the ghosts that even in the age of science still haunt our storytelling? Taking Shakespeare's Ghost in Hamlet as a turning point in the history of the genre, Catherine Belsey uncovers the ancient sources the play relies on to trace Gothic writing and tales of the uncanny up to the present, from Homer and the Icelandic Sagas to Lincoln in the Bardo. Follow this vividly recounted ghostly trail through accredited records of apparitions and fiction by such writers as Ann Radcliffe, Washington Irving, Emily Bront , Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, M. R. James and Susan Hill. In recent blockbusting movies, too, ghost stories bring us fragments of news from the unknown.
    • £14.99
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  • Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy

    Anne Boyd Rioux

    Product Code: BZMAU
    Paperback
    Soon after its publication on 30 September 1868, Little Women became an enormous international bestseller. When Anne Boyd Rioux read it in her twenties, it had a powerful effect on her and through teaching it, she has seen its effect on many others. In Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, she recounts Louisa May Alcott's inspiration for the book and examines why this tale set in the American Civil War has resonated through time. Alcott's novel has moved generations of women, amongst them writers such as Simone de Beauvoir, J.K. Rowling, Cynthia Ozick and Ursula K. Le Guin. Rioux sees the novel's beating heart in its portrayal of family resilience and its look at the struggles of girls growing into women. In gauging its current status, she shows why it remains a book with such power that people carry its characters and spirit throughout their lives.
    • £11.99
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  • Literature of the 1990s

    Peter Marks

    Product Code: BZIKL
    Paperback
    Placing literary creativity within a changing cultural and political context that saw the end of Margaret Thatcher and rise of New Labour, this book offers fresh interpretations of mainstream and marginal works from all parts of Britain. Based on a framework of thematically-structured accounts, the individual chapters cover national identity, ethnicity, sexuality, class, celebrity culture, history and fantasy in literature from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England. It offers its readers a comprehensive view of the changing and challenging literary landscape in this period, critically examining the fiction, poetry and drama as well as representative films, art and music. Placed within the broader context of a transformative political and cultural environment that included Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, Damian Hirst and Princess Diana, the book captures the energetic and sometimes provocative experimentation that typified the final decade of the twentieth century.
    • £19.99
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  • Legal Reform in English Renaissance Literature

    Virginia Lee Strain

    Product Code: BZIKC
    Paperback
    This book investigates rhetorical and representational practices that were used to monitor English law at the turn of the seventeenth century. The late-Elizabethan and early-Jacobean surge in the policies and enforcement of the reformation of manners has been well-documented. What has gone unnoticed, however, is the degree to which the law itself was the focus of reform for legislators, the judiciary, preachers, and writers alike. While the majority of law and literature studies characterize the law as a force of coercion and subjugation, this book instead treats in greater depth the law's own vulnerability, both to corruption and to correction. In readings of Spenser's Faerie Queene, the Gesta Grayorum, Donne's 'Satyre V', and Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and The Winter's Tale, Strain argues that the terms and techniques of legal reform provided modes of analysis through which legal authorities and literary writers alike imagined and evaluated form and character.
    • £19.99
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  • Contemporary Feminism and Women's Short Stories

    Emma Young

    Product Code: BZIIT
    Paperback
    The short story has received renewed attention and notable popular acclaim in the twenty-first century. This book offers a wide-ranging survey of contemporary women's short stories and introduces a new way of theorising feminism in the genre through the concept of 'the moment'. By considering the prominent themes of motherhood, marriage, domesticity, sexuality, masculinity and femininity, this work engages with a spectrum of issues that are central to feminism today and, in the process, offers insightful new readings of the contemporary short story. Readers will find new perspectives on both canonical as well as lesser-discussed contemporary writers, including Kate Atkinson, Nicola Barker, A.S. Byatt, Aminatta Forna, Victoria Hislop, Jackie Kay, Andrea Levy, Hilary Mantel, Kate Mosse, Mich le Roberts, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith and Rose Tremain. While serving as a comprehensive introduction to the central themes of feminist politics, the study shows what makes the short story a desirable literary vehicle for creatively and critically contributing to feminist debates.
    • £19.99
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  • Writing the Radio War

    Ian Whittington

    Product Code: BZIIM
    Paperback
    Writing the Radio War positions the Second World War as a critical moment in the history of cultural mediation in Britain. Through chapters focusing on the middlebrow radicalism of J.B. Priestley, ground-breaking works by Louis MacNeice and James Hanley at the BBC Features Department, frontline reporting by Denis Johnston, and the emergence of a West Indian literary identity in the broadcasts of Una Marson, Writing the Radio War explores how these writers capitalised on the particularities of the sonic medium to communicate their visions of wartime and postwar Britain and its empire. By combining literary aesthetics with the acoustics of space, accent, and dialect, writers created aural communities that at times converged, and at times contended, with official wartime versions of Britain and Britishness.
    • £19.99
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  • Woven Shades of Green

    Tim Wenzell

    Product Code: BZIEL
    Paperback
    Woven Shades of Green is an annotated selection of literature from authors who focus on the natural world and the beauty of Ireland. The anthology begins with the Irish monks and their largely anonymous nature poetry, written at a time when Ireland was heavily forested. A section follows devoted to the changing Irish landscape, through both deforestation and famine, including the nature poetry of William Allingham, James Clarence Mangan, essays from Thomas Gainford and William Thackerary, and novel excerpts from William Carleton and Emily Lawless. The anthology then turns to the nature literature of the Irish Literary Revival, including Yeats and Synge, but also the poetry of many others, and an excerpt from George Moore's novel The Lake. Part four of the anthology shifts to modern Irish nature poetry, beginning with Patrick Kavanaugh, and continuing with late twentieth-century, early twenty-first-century poetry of Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland, and others. Finally, the anthology concludes with a section on various Irish naturalist writers, and the unique prose and philosophical nature writing of John Moriarty, followed by a comprehensive list of environmental organizations in Ireland, which seek to preserve the natural beauty of this unique country.
    • £25.50
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  • American Travel Literature, Gendered Aesthetics and the Italian Tour, 1824 62

    Brigitte Bailey

    Product Code: BZGCF
    Paperback
    American Travel Literature analyses US tourist writings about Italy from 1824 to 1862 to explain what roles transatlantic travel, aesthetic response, and the genre of tourist writing played in the formation of the United States. Its interdisciplinary methodology draws on antebellum visual culture, tourist practices, and shifting class and gender identities to describe tourism and tourist writing as shapers of an elite (and then normative) national subjectivity. Bringing perspectives from art history and aesthetics, the book historicises aesthetic practices by tracing nineteenth-century US representations of Italy. It draws connections between tourist writing and visual culture as means of understanding the depth of Americans' turn towards visual iconography in articulating social and national identities.
    • £24.99
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  • Conversations with Allen Ginsberg

    David Stephen Calonne

    Product Code: BYMLH
    Paperback
    Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was one of the most famous American poets of the twentieth century. Yet, his career is distinguished by not only his strong contributions to literature but also social justice. Conversations with Allen Ginsberg collects interviews from 1962 to 1997 that chart Ginsberg's intellectual, spiritual, and political evolution. Ginsberg's mother, Naomi, was afflicted by mental illness, and Ginsberg's childhood was marked by his difficult relationship with her; however, he also gained from her a sense of the necessity to fight against social injustice that would mark his political commitments. While a student at Columbia University, Ginsberg would meet Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, and Gregory Corso, and the Beat Generation was born. Ginsberg researched deeply the social issues he cared about, and this becomes clear with each interview. Ginsberg discusses all manner of topics including censorship laws, the legalization of marijuana, and gay rights. A particularly interesting aspect of the book is the inclusion of interviews that explore Ginsberg's interests in Buddhist philosophy and his intensive reading in a variety of spiritual traditions. Conversations with Allen Ginsberg also explores the poet's relationship with Bob Dylan and the Beatles, and the final interviews concentrate on his various musical projects involving the adapting of poems by William Blake as well as settings of his own poetry. This is an essential collection for all those interested in Beat literature and twentieth-century American culture.
    • £24.95
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  • The Dictator Novel

    Magali Armillas-Tiseyra

    Product Code: BYMHP
    Paperback
    Where there are dictators, there are novels about dictators. But "dictator novels" do not simply respond to the reality of dictatorship. As this genre has developed and cohered, it has acquired a self-generating force distinct from its historical referents. The dictator novel has become a space in which writers consider the difficulties of national consolidation, explore the role of external and global forces in sustaining dictatorship, and even interrogate the political functions of writing itself. Liteary representations of the dictator, therefore, provide ground for a self-conscious and self-critical theorization of the relationship between writing and politics itself. The Dictator Novel positions novels about dictators as a vital genre in the literatures of the Global South. Primarily identified with Latin America, the dictator novel also has underacknowledged importance in the postcolonial literatures of francophone and anglophone Africa. Although scholars have noted similarities, this book is the first extensive comparative analysis of these traditions; it includes discussions of authors including Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Alejo Carpentier, Augusto Roa Bastos, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Jose Marmol, Esteban Echeverria, Ousmane Sembene , Chinua Achebe, Aminata Sow Fall, Henri Lopes, Sony Labou Tansi, and Ahmadou Kourouma. This juxtaposition illuminates the internal dynamics of the dictator novel as a literary genre. In so doing, Armillas-Tiseyra puts forward a comparative model relevant to scholars working across the Global South.
    • £39.50
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  • Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know

    Colm Toibin

    Product Code: BYLSL
    Paperback
    An intimate study of three of Ireland's greatest writers from one of its best-loved contemporary voices 'A father...is a necessary evil.' Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses In Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know Colm Toibin turns his incisive gaze to three of Ireland's greatest writers, Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats and James Joyce, and their earliest influences: their fathers. From Wilde's doctor father, a brilliant statistician and amateur archaeologist, who was taken to court by an obsessed lover in a strange premonition of what would happen to his son; to Yeats' father, an impoverished artist and brilliant letter-writer who could never finish apainting; to John Stanislus Joyce, a singer, drinker and story-teller, a man unwilling to provide for his large family, whom his son James memorialised in his work. Colm Toibin illuminates not only the complex relationships between three of the greatest writers in the English language and their fathers, but also illustrates the surprising ways they surface in their work.
    • £7.99
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  • Mud and Stars

    Sara Wheeler

    Product Code: BYIBD
    Hardback
    There is a literal Russian landscape, and there is its emotional, literary counterpart. In Mud and Stars, award-winning writer Sara Wheeler sets out to explore both. With the writers of the Golden Age as her guides - Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gogol and Turgenev, among others - Wheeler travels across eight time zones, from rinsed north-western beetroot fields and far-eastern Arctic tundra to the cauldron of ethnic soup that is the Caucasus. She follows nineteenth-century footsteps to make connections between then and now: between the places where flashing-epauletted Lermontov died in the aromatic air of Pyatigorsk, and sheaves of corn still stand like soldiers on a blazing afternoon, just like in Gogol's stories. On the Trans-Siberian railway in winter she crunches across snowy platforms to buy dried fish from babushki, and in summer she sails the Black Sea where dolphins leapt in front of violet Abkhazian peaks. She also spends months in fourth-floor 1950s apartments, watching television with her hosts, her new friends bent over devices and moaning about Ukraine. At a time of deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, Wheeler searches for a Russia not in the news - a Russia of humanity and daily struggles. She gives voice to the `ordinary' people of Russia, and discovers how the writers of the Golden Age continue to represent their country today.
    • £16.00
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  • Words & Pictures

    Jenny Uglow

    Product Code: BYIAV
    Paperback
    As children, learning to read, we look first at the illustrations - but how do these tell their stories differently to the words? Words & Pictures explores this question through three encounters between writers and artists. It looks at how artists have responded to two great, contrasting works, Paradise Lost and Pilgrim's Progress; at Hogarth and Fielding, great innovators, sharing common aims; and at Wordsworth and Bewick, a poet and engraver, both working separately, but both imbued with the spirit of their age. A brief coda turns to a fourth relationship: writers and artists who collaborate from the start, like Dickens and Phiz, and Lewis Carroll and Tenniel. Sometimes amusing, sometimes moving, this is a book to pore over and enjoy. The visions it considers link daily life to the universal, the passionate and the sublime.
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
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  • At Home in the World

    Maria DiBattista

    Product Code: BYAZV
    Paperback
    A bold literary history that says women's writing is defined less by domestic concerns than by an engagement with public life In a bold and sweeping reevaluation of the past two centuries of women's writing, At Home in the World argues that this work has been defined less by domestic concerns than by an active engagement with the most pressing issues of public life: from class and religious divisions, slavery, warfare, and labor unrest to democracy, tyranny, globalism, and the clash of cultures. Maria DiBattista and Deborah Epstein Nord show that even the most seemingly traditional works by British, American, and other English-language women writers redefine the domestic sphere in ways that incorporate the concerns of public life. Exploring works by a wide range of writers, including canonical, neglected, and contemporary figures, this compelling and concise literary history uncovers the public concerns of women writers who ventured into ever-wider geographical, cultural, and political territories, forging new definitions of what it means to create a home in the world.
    • £14.89
    • RRP £16.99
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