Fiction

Poetry & Language

  • PBHE
    Julie Blake
    • £4.99
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    From Hardy to Heaney and Pope to Plath, this treasury of poems will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.

    All great for reciting and reading out aloud, you'll find familiar and unknown poems and works covering the themes of love and war. There are poems that recreate the world we know and poems written about the dark side of the moon.

    Every poem has been chosen for its suitability for learning and reciting and they're all sure to appeal to language lovers of any age.
  • CRLS
    Andrew Gant
    • £3.99
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    Everyone loves a good Christmas carol, and Christmas Carols: From Village Green to Church Choir by Andrew Gant is filled with 20 festive favourites alongside little-known histories, great anecdotes and heart-warming stories about each of the best-loved Christmas songs.

    Carols have the power to evoke a special kind of winter ambience - but how do they do it? In the book, Andrew Gant unravels the captivating - and sometimes surprising - tales of great musicians, thinkers, saints, monks and drunks, helping readers to discover the stories of how their favourite Christmas carols came to be.

    Brimming with expert knowledge, charming tales and all of the lyrics and melodic scores you will need to perform the best-loved yuletide classics, Christmas Carols is a fittingly festive and joyous account of the time-honoured tradition of Christmas caroling.
  • MPSL
    Michael Palin
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    Have you ever wondered what happened to the young fellow from Malta who bought his grandfather an alter? How about the camper called Jack who found a huge snack in his pack? And there's also an eccentric landowner called Grey that spent Christmas in a very strange way...

    All written by the ever-popular and intrepid Michael Palin, this Sackful of Limericks will give you further information - and hilarious answers - to all these tales. There are so many other limericks that will bring a smile to your face, too.

    Illustrated by Tony Ross, this is a laugh-out-loud collection of limericks that are wondrously witty and fabulously festive.
  • MSCR
    Carol Ann Duffy
    (4)
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    Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy's modern retelling of Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol is the perfect festive read.

    On the coldest Christmas Eve on record, Mrs Scrooge finds herself outside the local supermarket, protesting against consumerism and waste. Just like her husband Ebenezer before her, Mrs Scrooge has a lot to learn from the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas yet to come...

    Filled with bright illustrations by the talented Posy Simmonds, this modern take the timeless story makes for a perfect Christmas gift that will be enjoyed time and time again.
  • CRPM
    Jane McMorland-Hunter
    (1)
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    Classic Readings & Poems for Weddings, Christenings, Funerals and All Occasions will help ensure you have the right words for every important life event.

    Hand-picked by Jane McMorland Hunter, the book features everything from familiar favourites to lesser-known, yet no less stunning, pieces that can mark anything from a birth to a death; an engagement to a retirement and a wedding to a memorial service.

    Among the poems and readings are works from the poets Longfellow, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson as well as famous writers like William Blake, Wordsworth and William Shakespeare. There are also Apache prayers and Irish blessings, as well as quotes from books and speeches that mark moments of new life, unions, loss and solitude.
  • Faber War Poets Collection - 6 Books - Collection - 9780571316106 - David Jones, Rupert Brooke, Ro
    FWPT
    David Jones, Rupert Brooke, Ro
    (1)
    • £8.99
    • RRP £53.94
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    • Just £1.50 per book
    In the year that marks the centenary of the First World War, this six-paperback-book collection brings together the work of some of the finest poets of the era.

    Compiled by Faber, the books all feature specially commissioned covers by leading print makers and contain introductions to the famous poems by some of the leading poets and biographers of the present day.

    The likes of Rupert Brooke, Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, David Jones and Edward Thomas are all poets synonymous with the Great War and this set showcases the poignant poems from them that provided a glimpse into life in the trenches.
  • ABBUP
    Philip Larkin
    • £10.59
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    Larkin's final collection of poems shows, as does all his best work, his ability to adapt contemporary speech rhythms and everyday vocabulary to subtle metrical patterns and poetic forms. Many of the poems in the collection, which includes some of his best-known pieces ("The Old Fools", "This Be the Verse", "The Explosion", and the title poem) show the preoccupation with death and transience that is so typical of the poet. Rather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass, And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless. - from "High Windows".
  • ACDIW 14 years +
    William Shakespeare
    14 years +
    • £10.39
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    William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is acknowledged as the greatest dramatist of all time. He excels in plot, poetry and wit, and his talent encompasses the great tragedies of "Hamlet", "King Lear", "Othello", and "Macbeth" as well as the moving history plays and the comedies such as "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "The Taming of the Shrew" and "As You Like It" with their magical combination of humour, ribaldry and tenderness. This volume is a reprint of the Shakespeare Head Press edition, and it presents all the plays in chronological order in which they were written. It also includes Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as his longer poems "Venus and Adonis" and "The Rape of Lucrece".
  • ACOXH
    Henry Hitchings
    • £9.89
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    The English language is a battlefield. Since the age of Shakespeare, arguments over correct usage have been acrimonious, and those involved have always really been contesting values - to do with morality, politics and class. THE LANGUAGE WARS examines the present state of the conflict, its history and its future. Above all, it uses the past as a way of illuminating the present. Moving chronologically, the book explores the most persistent issues to do with English and unpacks the history of 'proper' usage. Where did these ideas spring from? Which of today's bugbears and annoyances are actually venerable? Who has been on the front line in the language wars? THE LANGUAGE WARS examines grammar rules, regional accents, swearing, spelling, dictionaries, political correctness, and the role of electronic media in reshaping language. It also takes a look at such niggling concerns as the split infinitive, elocution and text messaging. Peopled with intriguing characters such as Jonathan Swift, H. W. Fowler and George Orwell as well as the more disparate figures of Lewis Carroll, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lenny Bruce, THE LANGUAGE WARS is an essential volume for anyone interested in the state of the English language today or intrigued about its future.
  • AAEEG
    John Milton
    • £7.19
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    'Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste Brought death into the world...Sing heavenly muse' From almost the moment of its first publication in 1667, Paradise Lost was considered a classic. It is difficult now to appreciate both how audacious an undertaking it represents, and how astonishing its immediate and continued success was. Over the course of twelve books Milton wrote an epic poem that would 'justify the ways of God to men', a mission that required a complex drama whose source is both historical and deeply personal. The struggle for ascendancy between God and Satan is played out across hell, heaven, and earth but the consequences of the Fall are all too humanly tragic - pride, ambition, and aspiration the motivating forces. In this new edition derived from their acclaimed Oxford Authors text, Stephen Orgel and Jonathan Goldberg discuss the complexity of Milton's poem in a new introduction, and on-page notes explain its language and allusions.
  • AAEVE 14 years +
    Carol Ann Duffy
    14 years +
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    Another cleverly constructed collection of poems from Carol Ann Duffy, The World?s Wife gives a hilarious and at times deeply meaningful voice to many women who never had their say. With her unique interpretation of the relationships endured by the likes of Mrs Aesop, Nancy Sinatra and Frau Freud, the British poet produces some fascinatingly witty and observant works of verse. Breezing through some of the best historical myths and bringing them to life in some style, this collection is fresh, cheeky and enormously entertaining.

  • ADCZI
    Jon Stallworthy
    • £10.39
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    There are almost as many definitions and different sorts of love as there are poets. Edited on the assumption that any poem which speaks of one human's desire for another is a qualifying factor, "The New Penguin Book of Love Poetry" is a rich and diverse anthology which ranges through time and fashion. Passion, urgency, simplicity, heartbreak and renunciation are all here in a volume that superbly represents 'man's changeless responses to the changeless changing seasons of his heart'.
  • ADCHP
    Matthew George Walter
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    This anthology reflects the diversity of voices it contains: the poems are arranged thematically and the themes reflect the different experiences of war not just for the soldiers but for those left behind. This is what makes this volume more accessible and satisfying than others. In addition to the established canon, there are poems rarely anthologised and a selection of soldiers' songs to reflect the voices of the soldiers themselves.
  • AGDJC
    Emily Berry
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    "Dear Boy" is the dramatic and inventive debut by Emily Berry. These characterful, intelligent and darkly witty poems explore lives lived strangely in unusual worlds, through a series of deft and seductive soliloquies. In a collection with a taste for ventriloquy and wickedness, and a flair for vocal cross-dressing, the balance of power is always shifting in an unexpected direction - an ingenue masquerades as a femme fatale, a doctor appears more disturbed than his patient, and parents seem more unruly than their children. Eccentric, intimate, arch, anxious, decadent and sometimes mournful, the book's confiding, conversational voices tell stories recognisable and refracted, carried along by the undercurrent on which the collection ebbs and rides: the anguish and energy brought about by a long-distance love affair, which propels and terrorises and ultimately unites the work. "Dear Boy" is an irresistible and enlivening collection by a new poet of startling and various gifts.
  • ADBUO
    W. B. Yeats
    • £8.49
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    This selection of the works of W B Yeats, includes the final book from the unfairly neglected narrative poem "The Wanderings of Oisin" and a number of lyrics from Yeats' work as poetic dramatist. It breaks new ground by allowing the reader to engage with a dozen poems in alternative versions; in many other cases it provides significant variants, so that Yeats's struggle to revise his poetry can be experienced with unusual immediacy.
  • AEWPT
    Homer
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    'War, the bringer of tears...' For 2,700 years the Iliad has gripped listeners and readers with the story of Achilles' anger and Hector's death. This tragic episode during the siege of Troy, sparked by a quarrel between the leader of the Greek army and its mightiest warrior, Achilles, is played out between mortals and gods, with devastating human consequences. It is a story of many truths, speaking of awesome emotions, the quest for fame and revenge, the plight of women, and the lighthearted laughter of the gods. Above all, it confronts us with war in all its brutality - and with fleeting images of peace, which punctuate the poem as distant memories, startling comparisons, and doomed aspirations. The Iliad's extraordinary power testifies to the commitment of its many readers, who have turned to it in their own struggles to understand life and death. This elegant and compelling new translation is accompanied by a full introduction and notes that guide the reader in understanding the poem and the many different contexts in which it was performed and read.
  • AHIRT
    William Blake
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    "Songs of Innocence and of Experience" is a rare and wonderful book, its seeming simplicity belying its visionary wisdom. Internationally recognised as a masterpiece of English literature, it also occupies a key position in the history of western art. This unique edition of the work allows Blake to communicate with his readers as he intended, reproducing Blake's own illumination and lettering from the finest existing example of the original work. In this way, readers can experience the mystery and beauty of Blake's poems as he first created them, discovering for themselves the intricate web of symbol and meaning that connects word and image. Each poem is accompanied by a literal transcription, and the volume is introduced by the renowned historian and critic, Richard Holmes. This beautiful edition of "The Songs of Innocence and Experience" will be essential for those familiar with Blake's work, but also offers an ideal way into his visionary world for those encountering Blake for the first time.
  • AAGMA
    Seamus Heaney
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    Composed towards the end of the first millennium of our era, the Anglo-Saxon poem "Beowulf" is a Northern epic and a classic of European literature. In this new translation, Seamus Heaney has produced a work that is true, line by line, to the original poem.
  • AEJFR
    • £6.39
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    This new pocketbook selection of 100 essential poems from the trilogy is a Staying Alive travel companion.

    As well as selecting favourite poems from the trilogy - readers' and writers' choices as well as his own favourites - editor Neil Astley provides background notes on the poets and poems. This format makes it even more suitable as a gift book for all those people you're sure would love modern poetry if only they were familiar with these kinds of poems.

    These essential poems are all about being human, being alive and staying alive: about love and loss; fear and longing; hurt and wonder; war and death; grief and suffering; birth, growing up and family; time, ageing and mortality; memory, self and identity; faith, hope and belief; acceptance of inadequacy and making do - all of human life in a hundred highly individual, universal poems.

    Neil Artley's Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2015.
  • AMKWR
    Virgil
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    'Arms and the man I sing of Troy...' So begins one of the greatest works of literature in any language. Written by the Roman poet Virgil more than two thousand years ago, the story of Aeneas' seven-year journey from the ruins of Troy to Italy, where he becomes the founding ancestor of Rome, is a narrative on an epic scale: Aeneas and his companions contend not only with human enemies but with the whim of the gods. His destiny preordained by Jupiter, Aeneas is nevertheless assailed by dangers invoked by the goddess Juno, and by the torments of love, loyalty, and despair. Virgil's supreme achievement is not only to reveal Rome's imperial future for his patron Augustus, but to invest it with both passion and suffering for all those caught up in the fates of others. Frederick Ahl's new translation echoes the Virgilian hexameter in a thrillingly accurate and engaging style. An Introduction by Elaine Fantham, and Ahl's comprehensive notes and invaluable indexed glossary complement the translation. 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.
  • AGQTV 16 years +
    Carol Ann Duffy
    16 years +
    • £7.99
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    In her prize-winning fourth collection, Mean Time, Carol Ann Duffy dramatizes scenes from childhood, adolescence and adulthood, finding moments of grace or consolation in memory, love and language amid the complexities of life. These are powerful poems of loss, betrayal and desire.
  • AADFH
    Laura Barber
    • £7.99
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    Taking its inspiration from Shakespeare's idea of the "seven ages" of a human life, this new anthology brings together the best-loved poems in English to inspire, comfort and delight readers for a lifetime. Beginning with babies, the book is divided into sections on childhood, growing up, making a living and making love, family life, getting older, and approaching death, ending with poems of mourning and commemoration. Ranging from Chaucer to Carol Ann Duffy, via Shakespeare, Keats, and Lemn Sissay, this book offers something for each of those moments in life - whether falling in love, finding your first grey hair or saying your final goodbyes - when only a poem will do.
  • AADFT
    Homer
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    The epic tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats - shipwrecks, battles, monsters and the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon - Odysseus must test his bravery and native cunning to the full if he is to reach his homeland safely and overcome the obstacles that, even there, await him.
  • AAGKT
    Griff Rhys Jones
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    In 1995 BBC Television's "Bookworm" programme conducted a poll amongst viewers to determine their favourite poems. The top 100 are presented in this book. They include the winner, Kipling's "If", and many other classics, as well as modern verse by writers such as Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes.