Middlemarch is considered one of the masterpieces of English fiction. Published in 1874, it is the seventh and penultimate novel by George Eliot. It pursues a number of underlying themes, including the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism and self-interest, religion and hypocrisy, political reform, and education.
"I Loved It!"
Late one night, a drawing teacher meets a mysterious woman dressed in white. Who is she, and what is her connection to the teacher's new pupil, a beautiful heiress? Serialized in 1859 - 1860, and first published in book form in 1860 it is still regarded still as one of the best plots in English literature. Told from multiple perspectives, the story is brought to life by its marvellous villains and complex, spirited and believable female characters.
"A Book which keeps one guessing --- wrong"
The Brothers Karamazov is the final novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky and is generally considered the culmination of his life's work. Published in November 1880, Dostoevsky spent nearly two years writing the novel set in 19th-century Russia. Fydor Karamazov, a mean and disreputable landowner, has three sons, Dmitry, a profligate army officer; Ivan, a writer with revolutionary ideas; and Alexey, a religious novice.
"The Brothers Karamozov"
Inspired by Oscar Wilde's classic story of hedonism and corruption, The Confessions of Dorian Gray imagines a world where Dorian Gray was real, and his friendship with Oscar Wilde once spawned the notorious novel. Starring Alexander Vlahos as Dorian Gray, The Spirits of Christmas comprises two hour-long festive episodes pitching Dorian against a slew of festive horrors.
The story, composed entirely of letters written by the various characters to each other, tells of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade others, uncaring of those who face social ruin or whose hearts are broken. It depicts a decadent and corrupt aristocracy exposing the perversions of the so-called Ancien Regime. The relevance of this grew due to the ensuing the French Revolution.
First published in three volumes in 1860 it tells the story of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, a brother and sister growing up on the river Floss. Maggie is deeply attached to her brother but their conflicting temperaments and outlook produce only stress and misunderstanding until they are finally reconciled in a moment of revelation before tragedy overtakes them.
"Flawed and depressing"
First Serialised under the title The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club between April 1836 and November 1837 when Dickens was in his mid-twenties. Mr Samuel Pickwick is the founder and chairman of the absurd Pickwick Club which consists Tupman, Snodgrass and Winkle who go through various highly amusing and often quite ridiculous adventures. Charles Dickens (1812 - 9 June 1870) is arguably the greatest novelist England ever produced.
Romola is the fourth novel from the great Victorian novelist George Eliot and her first historical novel. Published in 1862 - 63, it is set in Florence at the end of the fifteenth century and events during the Italian Renaissance, and includes in its plot several notable figures from Florentine history. The story is of a girl's devotion to her blind father, her marriage to and betrayal by a young Greek and ultimate life of self-sacrifice.
"Passion, Intrigue and Betrayal"
First published in 1861 it tells the tale of the lonely weaver Silas Marner who, after suffering betrayal and rejection, leaves his community to become a recluse obsessed only with accumulating money. One day Silas's money is stolen by Dunstan Cass, a dissolute son of Squire Cass, the town's leading landowner. The loss of his gold drives Silas into a deep gloom, until one day a little golden-haired orphan girl wanders into his home to change his life forever.
"If you like classic literature..."
Little Women or, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott. Written and published in two parts in 1868 and 1869, the novel tells the story of a year in the life of the March family. We hear of their troubles and joys and come to sympathise with each character: maturing Meg, gifted Jo, gentle Beth and lively Amy, as they extend their kindness to all around them. Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888) was an American novelist.
"Only the first half of the book!"
The Scarifyers is a series of rip-roaring tales of comedic supernatural intrigue set in 1930s Britain, distilling the likes of Dick Barton, The Avengers, The Devil Rides Out and Quatermass into cracking new audio adventures. The Scarifyers is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra, and has been described in the national press as 'rollicking good fun', 'a slice of audio perfection', 'the smartest and most enjoyable thing on British radio' and 'like Tintin but with the lights out.'
First published in 1883, Treasure Island remains one of Robert Louis Stevenson's best-known and best-loved works.
A classic coming of age adventure, featuring buried treasure, treacherous pirates, and the eponymous Long John Silver, Treasure Island tells the enthralling story of Jim Hawkins, a young cabin boy, who sets sail on an 18th century voyage in search of a pirate's buried gold.
"Fantastic story, unprofessional recording"
First published in 1897, this murder mystery relates the story of a young Frenchman, Louis, who, having grown up in England, returns to France at the false invitation of his Uncle Bernac. Louis quickly finds himself in personal danger as well as involved in a conspiracy against Napoleon.
"Average Book, Average Narration"