Adapted from the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.... Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective of them all. He sits in his room, and smokes his pipe. He listens, and watches, and thinks. He listens to the steps coming up the stairs; he watches the door opening – and he knows what question the stranger will ask.
In these three of his best stories, Holmes has three visitors to the famous flat in Baker Street – visitors who bring their troubles to the only man in the world who can help them.
’Please, Mr Murdstone! Don’t beat me! I’ve tried to learn my lessons, really I have, sir!’ sobs David. Although he is only eight years old, Mr Murdstone does beat him, and David is so frightened that he bites his cruel stepfather’s hand. For that, he is kept locked in his room for five days and nights, and nobody is allowed to speak to him. As David grows up, he learns that life is full of trouble and misery and cruelty. But he also finds laughter and kindness, trust and friendship . . . and love.
Sometimes the Dashwood girls do not seem like sisters. Elinor is all calmness and reason, and can be relied upon for practical, common sense opinions. Marianne, on the other hand, is all sensibility, full of passionate and romantic feeling. She has no time for dull common sense - or for middle-aged men of 35, long past the age of marriage. True love can only be felt by the young, of course. And if your heart is broken at the age of 17, how can you ever expect to recover from the passionate misery that fills your life, waking and sleeping?
"Classical and very good novel"
In a gloomy, neglected house Miss Havisham sits, as she has sat year after year, in a wedding dress and veil that were once white, and are now faded and yellow with age. Her face is like a death’s head; her dark eyes burn with bitterness and hate. By her side sits a proud and beautiful girl, and in front of her, trembling with fear in his thick country boots, stands young Pip.
"The moment I first met you, I noticed your pride, your sense of superiority, and your selfish disdain for the feelings of others. You are the last man in the world whom I could ever be persuaded to marry," said Elizabeth Bennet. And so Elizabeth rejects the proud Mr Darcy. Can nothing overcome her prejudice against him? This famous novel by Jane Austen is full of wise and humorous observation of the people and manners of her times.
Jane Eyre is alone in the world. Disliked by her aunt’s family, she is sent away to school. Here she learns that a young girl, with neither money nor family to support her, can expect little from the world. She survives, but she wants more from life than simply to survive: she wants respect, and love. When she goes to work for Mr Rochester, she hopes she has found both at once. But the sound of strange laughter, late at night, behind a locked door, warns her that her troubles are only beginning.
Bathsheba Everdene is young, proud, and beautiful. She is an independent woman and can marry any man she chooses - if she chooses. In fact, she likes her independence, and she likes fighting her own battles in a man’s world. But it is never wise to ignore the power of love. There are three men who would very much like to marry Bathsheba. When she falls in love with one of them, she soon wishes she had kept her independence.
"Read as a truly engaging drama"
The wind is strong on the Yorkshire moors. There are few trees, and fewer houses, to block its path. There is one house, however, that does not hide from the wind. It stands out from the hill and challenges the wind to do its worst. The house is called Wuthering Heights. When Mr Earnshaw brings a strange, small, dark child back home to Wuthering Heights, it seems he has opened his doors to trouble. He has invited in something that, like the wind, is safer kept out of the house.
A pretty young girl has to leave home to make money for her family. She is clever and a good worker; but she is uneducated and does not know the cruel ways of the world. So, when a rich young man says he loves her, she is careful - but not careful enough. He is persuasive, and she is overwhelmed. It is not her fault, but the world says it is.... An Oxford Bookworms Library reader for learners of English, adapted from the Thomas Hardy original by Clare West.
"Tess from Fifty Shades"