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 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.
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.
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.
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 Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever.
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.
Part of the "Clothbound Classics" series, this title collects sonnets of Shakespeare's that deal with eternal subjects such as love and infidelity, memory and mortality, and the destruction wreaked by Time. It also includes the sonnet "A Lover's Complaint", in which a young woman is overheard lamenting her betrayal by a heartless seducer.
Confronted by natural and supernatural threats - shipwrecks, battles, monsters and the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon - Odysseus must use his wit and native cunning if he is to reach his homeland safely and overcome the obstacles that, even there, await him.
Presents the poems that combine 'karumi', or lightness of touch, with the Zen ideal of oneness with creation and evoke the natural world - the cherry blossom, the leaping frog, the summer moon or the winter snow - suggesting the smallness of human life in comparison to the vastness and drama of nature.
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.
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.
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