Featuring epic fantasy adventures, gripping thrillers and sweeping romances, here are just some of our favourite books by British authors.
J. R. R. Tolkien | 1954-1955
Join the daring hobbits Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry as they embark on an epic quest to destroy the powerful and manipulative One Ring, defeat the evil Sauron and restore peace to Middle-earth, accompanied by a cast of courageous characters including Aragon, Legolas, Arwen and Gandalf. This legendary fantasy masterpiece was released in three volumes from 1954 to 1955 and has remained popular ever since. It was found to be Britain's best-loved book in the BBC's 'Big Read' survey of 2003.
Charlotte Bronte | 1847
A novel ahead of its time, Jane is the feisty, argumentative and keenly intelligent protagonist of this enthralling novel. She refuses to accept her designated position in society and resolves to find love on her own terms. She thinks she may have found it when she meets the dark and brooding Mr Rochester, but she will endure terrible tragedies, setbacks and challenges, from a difficult childhood with her cruel aunt, to shocking encounters and deadly fires. This rich and gripping work of literature is simply a must-read.
George Orwell | 1949
In London, Big Brother stares out from every poster, and the intimidating Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth, but when he finds love with Julia, he discovers that life needn't be dull and tedious, but rich and exciting. Winston and Julia start to question the Party and are increasingly drawn towards conspiracy theories. But Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - not even in the mind. This unsettling vision of a future dystopian society, ruled with an iron fist by a totalitarian government, will shock, move and engross its readers.
Lewis Carroll | 1865
Readers can immerse themselves in a dreamlike world with this thrilling book. Follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole and tumble into a world where all your normal worries disappear, and you must instead contend with the grinning Cheshire Cat, the nonsensical Mad Hatter and the cruel Queen of Hearts. This riveting read is full of wonderful wordplay, perplexing puzzles and curious characters.
Charles Dickens | 1861
Join little orphan Pip on all his adventures in this brilliant classic. Pip couldn't imagine how a terrifying encounter with a convict would later transform his life. But he's even more troubled by his visits to the strange old Miss Havisham, whose house full of memories disturbs him, and the beautiful Estella, who makes him feel ashamed of his country manners and coarse hands. Surely a young blacksmith's apprentice could never dream of winning Estella - but Pip's future may not turn out quite as he expected...
Mary Shelley | 1818
Victor Frankenstein, obsessed with the idea of creating life itself, ransacks graveyards for the material necessary to fashion a new being. He shocks the creature into life with electricity, but his botched being, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy its creator and all that he holds dear. This spine-chilling Gothic novel is filled with excitement, imagination and moral quandaries, and remains one of the world's most famous horror stories.
C. S. Lewis | 1950-1956
Readers have been enchanted by these thrilling, action-packed and spellbinding stories for decades. Discover a magical land, inhabited by all sorts of peculiar creatures, as well as a witch who imposes an eternal winter. Be swept away by incredible quests, exhilarating battles and plenty of fantastical beasts, including centaurs, giants, fauns, and the wise, magnificent lion, Aslan.
William Golding | 1954
This riveting classic novel has proved controversial in its time, but is nonetheless an iconic and engrossing read. Join a group of boys on an uninhabited island, the only survivors of a tragic plane crash. The boys must try to work together, but it's not long before cracks appear, their primal impulses take over and their memories of home and family vanish. This gripping novel offers a sharp commentary on society, posing many questions about how we live.
Jane Austen | 1813
This beloved book follows the provincial middle-class Bennet family. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks he's an arrogant, narcissistic individual. Similarly, he is indifferent to her beauty and vibrant mind. When Darcy starts to interfere in the relationship between his friend Bingley and Elizabeth's sister Jane, Elizabeth is determined to loathe him more than ever - but instead ends up falling in love. When it comes to romance, you can't beat this much-loved classic.
Philip Pullman | 1995-2000
Featuring three books - Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass - this captivating fantasy trilogy follows Lyra and her 'daemon', the animal embodiment of her inner self. Travel with Lyra to amazing fantastical settings, through snowy hills, to an otherworldly city, and even to the Land of the Dead, on all sorts of daring and dangerous quests.