Hesperus Press LTD Digital

  • A captivating portrait of some of Charles Dickens' most memorable female characters presented by popular actress Miriam Margolyes to accompany her hugely successful one-woman show touring the world in 2012. In his novels Dickens presents a series of unrivalled portraits of women, young and old. From Little Nell to Miss Havisham, these girls and women speak to us today, making us laugh and sometimes cry. The popular British actress Miriam Margolyes will be touring the world in 2012, the bicentenary of Dickens birth, with a one-woman show about Dickens' women, and this book accompanies the show by building on the script and expanding to include many more of the female characters Dickens described and analysed so astutely in his novels. 'Mrs Pipchin was a marvellous ill-favoured, ill-conditioned old lady, of a stooping figure, with a mottled face, like bad marble, a hook nose, and a hard grey eye, that looked as if it might have been hammered at on an anvil without sustaining any injury.

  • The four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy live in Concord, Massachussetts, with their beloved mother while their father is stationed far away as an army chaplain in the civil war. Although not well off financially they are nonetheless well known in the neighbourhood for their charitable work. The girls amuse themselves at home with imaginative fun and games, including performing plays and writing sketches. They are the picture of a loving family and each daughter has her own part to play in it. As time passes each sister grows to understand her own strengths and weaknesses. By trial and frequent error, under the supportive eye of their mother, they grow in confidence and find their characters. Many people in the community become very fond of the girls and they forge friendships with numerous neighbours. But difficult situations and decisions lie ahead for the four sisters as the story unfolds. The March girls are so deftly and vividly drawn that everyone who reads this book will identify with one sister in the story, whether they are reading Little Women for the first time as a child or rereading it for the hundredth time as an adult.

  • Charlotte Brontë's first ever book, The Professor, is a love story full of feeling and emotion told from a male viewpoint – a must read for Brontë fans. The first book ever to emerge from Charlotte Brontë's pen, The Professor is an autobiographically inspired romantic love story set in Brussels. Thinly veiling her personal experiences, Brontë unusually uses a male narrator, making this a fascinating and unique read. With the action played out in dark boarding-school classrooms and windy streets, Brontë weaves a tale of much emotion – one that foresees the longer, better-known saga Villette that was to follow many years later. Fresh out of Eton, orphaned William Crimsworth finds himself in an unenviable situation – a clerk to his little-educated, caddish mill-owner brother – until opportunity presents itself for a complete change of fortune. Crimsworth is offered a job in Brussels as a teacher in an all-girls boarding school, run by a M Pelet. Later headhunted to a better position by the beguiling Zoraide Reuter, Crimsworth believes himself slightly enamoured with his new employer – only to discover her secretly and perfidiously engaged to M Pelet. His new position almost intolerable, Crimsworth finds solace in teaching Frances Henri, a young Swiss-English seamstress teacher with promising intelligence and ear for language. Mlle Reuter though, jealous of the young professor's obvious partiality, dismisses Frances from her position. Crimsworth, in despair, is forced to resign from the school and takes up a ghostly existence in Brussels, roaming the streets in the hopes of finding his Frances. An often neglected classic, The Professor is not only a compellingly written novel but fascinating in its concern with gender issues, religion and social class, making it a book still studied today.

  • Once seen as a prediction of the sinking of the Titanic, The Wreck of the Titan was written fourteen years before that ill-fated event of 1912. Now, on the centenary anniversary of the sinking, the striking similarities between the fate of the Titan and Titanic can be examined again in this new edition. In this 1898 novella, John Rowland, a disgraced former Royal Navy lieutenant, has taken employment as a lowly deck hand aboard the largest ship ever to have sailed, the Titan. One night in deep fog in the North Atlantic, the Titan strikes a gigantic iceberg and sinks almost immediately. The foreword is by Sam Leith, who has examined chance and coincidence in his novel, The Coincidence Machine.

  • John Milton's poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained are among the greatest pieces of writing in the English language. Like other writers of his time, Milton had only a sketchy idea of Islam and the Arab world, from travellers and linguists who had made the arduous journey to and from the Middle East. But buried in his works are signs that Milton had absorbed ideas and influences from Islam and Arab culture. Professor Dahiyat shows how from the Middle Ages, partly as an attempt to counteract Islam with Christianity, a wide range of writers and researchers spoke, read and wrote Arabic and published books in the earliest days of printing which Milton could have read. Dahiyat then shows how many different references there are to the Orient and Islam in Milton's writings, and discusses the later response of Arab writers and scholars to Milton's major works.

  • Five Russian Dog Stories presents touching narratives from three giants in Russian literature. Some heart-warming, some tear jerking, none will easily be forgotten. Turgenev's Mumu is rescued from drowning by a mute serf, Gerasim, and quickly becomes his closest friend and comforter until Gerasim's mistress intervenes with tragic consequences. Shchedrin's Trezor is the perfect embodiment of canine fidelity, carrying out his duties to the letter, despite being chained up, badly treated and sometimes not even fed. Chekhov's Kashtanka, when lost, is taken in by a circus clown and trained for an act in the ring. However, she prefers to return to her former abusive master, sitting in the audience at her first performance, rather than remain with her new caring, thoughtful owner. These stories have long been held in high esteem, tugging at the readers' heartstrings. When Turgenev died in 1883 a wreath was sent to the grave of 'the author of Moomoo' by British Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

  • Travel to the land of Oz with Dorothy and find out what inspired the forthcoming film blockbuster Oz: The Great and Powerful

  • The sequel to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz sees our hero, a young boy named Tip, escaping from evil witch Mombi and fleeing to the Emerald City.

  • The Emerald City is under attack from the cunning Nome King - can Dorothy help defeat him?

  • The last book in the Oz series sees Glinda, the most powerful sorceress of Oz, coming to the rescue of Dorothy and Princess Ozma.

  • A moving and insightful biography of the later years of classic British author E.M. Forster's life, written by his close personal friend Tim Leggatt. In 1946, many years after the last of his acclaimed novels was published, E.M. Forster was made a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, where he was to spend much of his later life. It was here that he met Tim Leggatt, a young undergraduate who was to become a firm friend. In this memoir Leggatt draws for the first time on the previously unpublished correspondence he exchanged with Forster, as well as journals of their travels together, Forster's own confidential diary and his Commonplace Book. In Forster's declining years his thoughts often concerned his tangled sex life and his health, his increasing blindness and deafness and his hospital visits, all of which led him think about death, how he would meet it, and how others did. Included are many of his sharp and attractive descriptions of people and scenes, those of a very perceptive and thoughtful writer.A moving and insightful biography of the later years of classic British author E.M. Forster's life, written by his close personal friend Tim Leggatt. In 1946, many years after the last of his acclaimed novels was published, E.M. Forster was made a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, where he was to spend much of his later life. It was here that he met Tim Leggatt, a young undergraduate who was to become a firm friend. In this memoir Leggatt draws for the first time on the previously unpublished correspondence he exchanged with Forster, as well as journals of their travels together, Forster's own confidential diary and his Commonplace Book. In Forster's declining years his thoughts often concerned his tangled sex life and his health, his increasing blindness and deafness and his hospital visits, all of which led him think about death, how he would meet it, and how others did. Included are many of his sharp and attractive descriptions of people and scenes, those of a very perceptive and thoughtful writer.

  • Addressed to a petrified Victorian society, this spine-chilling volume, long of out print and here republished in a modern edition, brings together a collection of unnerving stories of live burials and narrow escapes. An assortment of anecdotes based on historical materials and real accounts, Premature Burial was written to reassure or warn nineteenth-century readers concerned about being buried alive. This was seemingly an alarmingly frequent occurrence; one of the book's authors himself, Dr Vollum, had narrowly escaped live sepulture after almost drowning. Gruesome stories abound: desperate men and women attempting to claw their way out of coffins; a family tradition of stabbing dead bodies in the heart to prevent live burial that results in a father stabbing his own daughter (who turned out to have been alive). There are also the more cheery tales of apparently dead bodies waking in the middle of their own funerals and accounts of last minute miracle reprieves. The authors uncovered a truly fearsome number of stories and gathered a large amount of scientific detail from a multitude of countries. Presenting detailed descriptions of a coffin that detects a breathing 'corpse' and sounds an alarm and giving the specifics of a waiting mortuary staffed twenty-four hours a day in which 'dead' bodies are given a chance to come round (or putrefy), Premature Burial offers potential solutions as well as terrifying anecdotes.Addressed to a petrified Victorian society, this spine-chilling volume, long of out print and here republished in a modern edition, brings together a collection of unnerving stories of live burials and narrow escapes. An assortment of anecdotes based on historical materials and real accounts, Premature Burial was written to reassure or warn nineteenth-century readers concerned about being buried alive. This was seemingly an alarmingly frequent occurrence; one of the book's authors himself, Dr Vollum, had narrowly escaped live sepulture after almost drowning. Gruesome stories abound: desperate men and women attempting to claw their way out of coffins; a family tradition of stabbing dead bodies in the heart to prevent live burial that results in a father stabbing his own daughter (who turned out to have been alive). There are also the more cheery tales of apparently dead bodies waking in the middle of their own funerals and accounts of last minute miracle reprieves. The authors uncovered a truly fearsome number of stories and gathered a large amount of scientific detail from a multitude of countries. Presenting detailed descriptions of a coffin that detects a breathing 'corpse' and sounds an alarm and giving the specifics of a waiting mortuary staffed twenty-four hours a day in which 'dead' bodies are given a chance to come round (or putrefy), Premature Burial offers potential solutions as well as terrifying anecdotes.

  • In one of his best-known books, From the Earth to the Moon, Jules Verne described how a group of men in The Gun Club of Baltimore used a giant cannon to send a spacecraft to the moon. Now, in this sequel, the gun is brought into use again to achieve an equally ambitious aim - to tilt the earth's axis so that the North Pole is displaced to the Tropics. The plotters believe there are limitless resources of coal at the North Pole and their cunning plan will allow them to exploit these resources to become rich. In spite of its disregard for anything approaching scientific plausibility, this enjoyable book has a modern resonance in a world in which conserving energy is increasingly important, and the dangers of climate change - one huge consequence if the Gun Club's plot succeeds - are daily in the forefront of the news.

  • Set at the turn of the century, The Time of Man tells the moving story of Ellen Chesser, a young woman with a mind of her own. She and her family travel from one small community to another in rural Kentucky, eking out a living as itinerant farmworkers. Initially she feels isolated and lonely, resenting the hardship of her life and longing to be with her childhood friends. Yet slowly she learns what it means to fall in love and forges lasting friendships with other young people at the local dances. She is left stunned, therefore, when the man she is to marry comes to her to confess a dark secret. His past is shameful to him and heartbreaking for her, but Ellen's independent spirit and strength of character sustain her in the aftermath. When further accusations come to light, they threaten to disturb the tranquility of her life and that of the community where she lives forever. Written in the subtle, soaring prose for which Elizabeth Madox Roberts was known, The Time of Man is a spectacular coming of age story. As she grows older, Ellen Chesser is forced to confront the darker side of human nature but ultimately manages to overcome the difficulties she faces with a resolute dignity.

  • In 1902, the young German writer Rainer Maria Rilke travelled to Paris to write a monograph on the sculptor Auguste Rodin. He returned to the city many times over the course of his life, by turns inspired and appalled by the high culture and low society. Paris was a lifelong source of inspiration for Rilke. Perhaps most significantly, the letters he wrote about it formed the basis of his prose masterpiece, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. This volume brings together a new translation of Rilke's essay on poetry, Notes on the Melody of Things, and the first English translation of Rilke's experiences in Paris as observed by his French translator, Maurice Betz.

  • First published in 1930 and shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, The Great Meadow is a historical novel set in the early days of the settling of Kentucky. Intertwined with a flowing romantic sage of young love on the Kentucky trail are richly painted scenes of colonial America.First published in 1930 and shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, The Great Meadow is a historical novel set in the early days of the settling of Kentucky. Intertwined with a flowing romantic sage of young love on the Kentucky trail are richly painted scenes of colonial America.

  • As part of The Living you cannot die. As part of The Living you have no free will. Yet one man is born who is different to the rest; one who could bring society crashing down. A stunning and sinister vision of a dystopian future by a critically acclaimed young Russian author.

  • A light, comical exploration by the Russian writer, Ilya Boyashov. On his journey from his war-torn village, Muri the cat travels through Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden, meeting on the way an unlikely "€“ but helpful "€“ group of creatures, from a sperm whale to a paraplegic mountaineer and a wandering Jew. This is no children's book, but a witty exploration of the human condition through the people and objects Muri meets on his travels. Somewhere in the mix, Boyashov introduces us to two eminent professors, one from Cambridge, one from Geneva, who take opposite views on the question: Is man in a perpetual and aimless state of wandering or must he always have a goal in mind? The book is intended to be read on two levels "€“ as a narrated story of real (fictional) characters and as an allegory. It has been compared with Sophie's World.A light, comical exploration by the Russian writer, Ilya Boyashov. On his journey from his war-torn village, Muri the cat travels through Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden, meeting on the way an unlikely – but helpful – group of creatures, from a sperm whale to a paraplegic mountaineer and a wandering Jew. This is no children's book, but a witty exploration of the human condition through the people and objects Muri meets on his travels. Somewhere in the mix, Boyashov introduces us to two eminent professors, one from Cambridge, one from Geneva, who take opposite views on the question: Is man in a perpetual and aimless state of wandering or must he always have a goal in mind? The book is intended to be read on two levels – as a narrated story of real (fictional) characters and as an allegory. It has been compared with Sophie's World.

  • Once upon a time there lived a king who was deeply in love with a princess, but she could not marry anyone, because she was under an enchantment. So the King set out to seek a fairy, and asked what he could do to win the Princess's love... The Blue Fairy Book is the first in a series of fairy-tale anthologies beloved of children in the last century. Each fairy book is a veritable treasure trove of stories for children and adults alike, spellbinding and special. Hesperus is very proud to present the first anthology, The Blue Fairy Book, which includes wonderful renditions of the old favourites such as Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel, as well as some intriguing fairy tales that modern audiences have yet to discover such as Why the Sea is Salt, Prince Hyacinth and The Dear Little Princess. Andrew Lang collected stories from communities and traditions all over the world for his fairy books: from the Arabian nights, China and the Brothers Grimm. Many of the tales were translated into English for the first time for these anthologies, from languages as diverse as Russian, Norse and Japanese. The book is republished here with a stunning blue jacket, accompanied throughout by the original illustrations. With its accompanying volume The Red Fairy Book and with more books in the series to come in 2014, the Fairy Book series is one to be treasured and would make a welcome addition to any family's home.

  • Once upon a time, in the middle of winter when the snowflakes were falling like feathers on the earth, a Queen sat at a window framed in black ebony and sewed. And as she sewed and gazed out to the white landscape, she pricked her finger with the needle, and three drops of blood fell on the snow outside... Andrew Lang began gathering fairy tales in the late nineteenth century with the aim of conserving 'the old stories that have pleased so many generations'. This bold and eclectic anthology contains wonderful renditions of old favourites such as Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, as well as some little-known stories like The Death of Koschei the Deathless and The Nettle Spinner. Be transported to a land full of marvels and magic: a world of enchanted forests and isolated castles; of giants, fairies and trolls; of treasure, music and promise. Andrew Lang's fairy books helped to lay the foundation for our continuing fascination with fairy tales as entertainment and cultural objects. Each fairy book is a veritable treasure trove of stories for children and adults alike. The Red Fairy Book is republished here with a stunning red jacket, accompanied throughout by the original illustrations.

  • Journey through the subject of melancholia in this easily accessible volume, touching on topics from love and sex to religion and geography. A new volume to add to Hesperus's unique and bestselling 'On' series.

  • A travel writing classic ready to be rediscovered, Europe in the Looking Glass describes, with a mixture of laugh-out-loud humour and perceptive commentary on art and architecture, how three rich young Englishmen cross pre-World-War-Two Europe in an old car. Best known as the author of The Road to Oxiana, published in 1937, Robert Byron developed his considerable writing skills on a travel book which has not been in print since 1926. Europe in the Looking Glass describes a journey Byron made with three friends, driving across Europe between two world wars, and mixes political and historical analysis with architectural insights, classical scholarship and the day-to-day adventures of three young and not very experienced travelers. For fans of Robert Byron's work this will be a discovery; for others it will be an introduction. Turning a corner we suddenly found ourselves sliding down a precipice, tilted so far forward that it was necessary to hold ourselves back with our hands pressed against the dashboard, as half a dozen Apennine valleys beckoned invitingly below... Here [St Peter's] Popes with black faces and golden crowns are wallowing twice life-size in the titanic folds of marble tablecloths, their ormolu fringes festooning upon the arms of graceful skeletons to disclose some Alice-in-Wonderland door or the grim hinges of some sepulchral grill...A travel writing classic ready to be rediscovered, Europe in the Looking Glass describes, with a mixture of laugh-out-loud humour and perceptive commentary on art and architecture, how three rich young Englishmen cross pre-World-War-Two Europe in an old car. Best known as the author of The Road to Oxiana, published in 1937, Robert Byron developed his considerable writing skills on a travel book which has not been in print since 1926. Europe in the Looking Glass describes a journey Byron made with three friends, driving across Europe between two world wars, and mixes political and historical analysis with architectural insights, classical scholarship and the day-to-day adventures of three young and not very experienced travelers. For fans of Robert Byron's work this will be a discovery; for others it will be an introduction. Turning a corner we suddenly found ourselves sliding down a precipice, tilted so far forward that it was necessary to hold ourselves back with our hands pressed against the dashboard, as half a dozen Apennine valleys beckoned invitingly below... Here [St Peter's] Popes with black faces and golden crowns are wallowing twice life-size in the titanic folds of marble tablecloths, their ormolu fringes festooning upon the arms of graceful skeletons to disclose some Alice-in-Wonderland door or the grim hinges of some sepulchral grill...

  • On the unexplained is a brand new selection of Arthur Conan Doyle's writings on all things supernatural taken from Edge of the Unknown. Best known for the creation of Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle had many more strings to his bow. On the unexplained contains accounts of séances, automatic writing, trips to haunted country houses, passages on his incredible relationship with Houdini and in-depth philosophical analysis of the thinking behind the supernatural recorded by the author. As well as creating one of the most famous and recognisable fictional detectives of our time, Conan Doyle was a political campaigner (most memorably in his defence of the Boer War); he believed in the existence of fairies; he played amateur sleuth, taking up closed cases to prove miscarriage of justice. Perhaps most intriguing of all though was the fact that, following the deaths of a number of his family, Conan Doyle began to take an interest in what was then termed 'spiritualism' (trying to prove the existence of life beyond the grave), he became a member of the paranormal association The Ghost Sense Club and he also joined the British Society of Psychical Research. This latest book in Hesperus's On series is a must have for the Conan Doyle enthusiast or the intrigued reader alike.

  • You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever. One of the most hugely influential vampire stories of all time, Le Fanu's Carmilla was written before Bram Stoker's Dracula. A true gothic novel, it is eery, rich in character and place and bathed in blood and moonlight. When a mysterious carriage crashes outside their castle home in Styria, Austria, Laura and her father agree to take in its injured passenger, a young woman named Carmilla. Delighted to have some company of her own age, Laura is instantly drawn to Carmilla. But as their friendship grows, Carmilla's character changes and she becomes increasingly secretive and volatile. As Carmilla's moods shift and change, Laura starts to become ill, experiencing fiendish nightmares, her health deteriorating night after night. It is not until she and her father, increasingly concerned for Laura's well-being, set out on a trip to discover more about the mysterious Carmilla that the terrifying truth reveals itself...You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever. One of the most hugely influential vampire stories of all time, Le Fanu's Carmilla was written before Bram Stoker's Dracula. A true gothic novel, it is eery, rich in character and place and bathed in blood and moonlight. When a mysterious carriage crashes outside their castle home in Styria, Austria, Laura and her father agree to take in its injured passenger, a young woman named Carmilla. Delighted to have some company of her own age, Laura is instantly drawn to Carmilla. But as their friendship grows, Carmilla's character changes and she becomes increasingly secretive and volatile. As Carmilla's moods shift and change, Laura starts to become ill, experiencing fiendish nightmares, her health deteriorating night after night. It is not until she and her father, increasingly concerned for Laura's well-being, set out on a trip to discover more about the mysterious Carmilla that the terrifying truth reveals itself...

empty