John Milton (1608-1674) spent his early years in scholarly pursuit. In 1649 he took up the cause for the new Commonwealth, defending the English revolution both in English and Latin - and sacrificing his eyesight in the process. He risked his lifeby publishing The Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth on the eve of the Restoration (1660). His great poems were published after this political defeat.
John Leonard is a Professor of English at the University of Western Ontario.
A 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 - from the witch Circe who turns his men into pigs, to the twin terrors of Scylla and Charybdis.
Presents a masterpiece of world literature and the progenitor of all samurai stories. Legendary for its magnificent and vivid set battle scenes, this book is filled with intimate human dramas and emotions, contemplating Buddhist themes of suffering and separation, as well as universal insights into love, loss and loyalty.
Tells the story of darkest episode in "Trojan War". At its centre is Achilles, greatest warrior-champion of Greeks, and his refusal to fight after being humiliated by his leader Agamemnon. But when Trojan Hector kills Achilles' close friend Patroclus, he storms back into battle to take revenge - even though he knows this may ensure his own death.
The poems of Emily Jane Bronte are passionate and powerful works that convey the vitality of the human spirit and of the natural world. This book contains poems attributed to her that describe the mythic country of Gondal and its citizens that she imagined with Anne, and remain the only surviving record of their joint creation.
From joyful poems such as "The Flea", which transforms the image of a louse into the intimate and intense Holy Sonnets, the author breathed vigour into poetry by drawing lucid and often startling metaphors from the world in which he lived.
Ovid's witty and exuberant epic starts with the creation of the world and brings together a series of ingeniously linked Greek and Roman myths and legends in which men and women are transformed, often by love - into flowers, trees, stones and stars.
Tells the story of an epic voyage in which Aeneas crosses stormy seas, becomes entangled in a tragic love affair with Dido of Cathage, descends to the world of the dead - all the way tormented by the vengeful Juno, Queen of the Gods - and finally reaches Italy, where he will fulfil his destiny: to found the Roman people.
A series of reflections, strongly influenced by Epictetus, which represent a Stoic outlook on life. It offers a range of fascinating spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the leader struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe.
Obsessed with the idea of creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material with which to fashion a new being, shocking his creation to life with electricity. But this botched creature, rejected by its creator and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy Frankenstein and all that he holds dear.
From almost the moment of its publication in 1667, Paradise Lost was considered a classic. This new edition is derived from the editors modernized Oxford Authors text, with a new introduction that discusses the poem's complexity and critical history, and on-page notes to gloss language and allusions.
Tells the story of orphaned Jane Eyre, who grows up in the home of her heartless aunt, enduring loneliness and cruelty. This troubled childhood strengthens Jane's natural independence and spirit - which prove necessary when she finds employment as a governess to the young ward of Byronic, brooding Mr Rochester.
Explores the cosmological, moral and spiritual origins of man's existence. In this title, the author produced poem of epic scale, conjuring up a cosmos and ranging across huge tracts of space and time, populated by a memorable gallery of grotesques.
One of the great storybooks of the middle ages: a master storyteller from the thirteenth century recounts classic tales of Icelandic mythology along with a lesson to young poets on the importance of learning, respecting, and continuing traditional Icelandic poetic styles.
Intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class.
When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London house, he makes horrifying discoveries in his client's castle. Soon afterwards, disturbing incidents unfold in England: a ship runs aground on the shores of Whitby, its crew vanished; and the lunatic Renfield raves about the imminent arrival of his 'master'.
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