The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".
"My favorite book this year."
War and Peace is one of the greatest monuments in world literature. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, it examines the relationship between the individual and the relentless march of history. Here are the universal themes of love and hate, ambition and despair, youth and age, expressed with a swirling vitality which makes the book as accessible today as it was when it was first published in 1869.
"A Truly Great Book and a Truly Astounding Narrator"
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. But his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths that take place in seven days and nights of apocalyptic terror. Brother William turns detective, and a uniquely deft one at that. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon-- all sharpened to a glistening edge by his wry humor and ferocious curiosity.
"Technical Problems Solved"
"A long book, but at least the chapters are short"
This is one of the most popular re-tellings of the story of King Arthur. Like The Lord of the Rings, this fantasy novel has been equally popular among younger readers and adults. White takes an inventive approach that involves animals who speak and Robin Hood! A true Arthurian classic.
"I've been waiting for this..."
Swann’s Way is the first of seven volumes in Remembrance of Things Past. It sets the scene with the narrator’s memories being famously provoked by the taste of that little cake, the madeleine, accompanied by a cup of lime-flowered tea. It is an unmatched portrait of fin-de-siècle France.
"Not a book one reads but inhabits & floats through"
Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th century literature. Within a Budding Grove is the second of seven volumes. The young narrator, experiencing his youthful sexuality, falls under the spell of a group of adolescent girls, succumbs to the charms of the enchanting Gilberte, and visits a brothel where he meets Rachel. His impressions of life are also stimulated by the painter, Elstir, and his encounter with another girl, Albertine.
"One young nubile girl and then another ..."
An Italian Mannerist architect and painter, Giorgio Vasari was acquainted with many of the most famous artists of his day. He is best-known today for his biographies of artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian and Giotto. This recording is read with clarity and authority by Neville Jason.
"A Personal History"
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi is an impassioned response to the Holocaust: Consisting of 21 short stories, each possessing the name of a chemical element, the collection tells of the author's experiences as a Jewish-Italian chemist before, during, and after Auschwitz in luminous, clear, and unfailingly beautiful prose. It has been named the best science book ever by the Royal Institution of Great Britain and is considered to be Levi's crowning achievement.
Remembrance of Things Past is one of the monuments of 20th-century literature. The Guermantes Way is the third of seven volumes. The narrator penetrates the inner sanctum of Paris high society and falls in love with the fascinating Duchesse de Guermantes. Proust describes vividly the struggles for political, social, and sexual supremacy played out beneath a veneer of elegant manners. He also finds himself pursued by the predatory Baron de Charlus.
"Makes a very big reading project a breeze!"
Sigmund Freud revolutionized the way in which we think about ourselves. From its beginnings as a theory of neurosis Freud developed psychoanalysis into a general psychology, which became widely accepted as the predominant mode of discussing personality and interpersonal relationships. Anthony Storr goes one step further and investigates the status of Freud's legacy today and the disputes that surround it.
"best for starters and reviewers"
When Prince Dmitri Nekhludov is called for jury duty on a murder case, he little knows how the experience will change his life. Faced with the accused, a prostitute, he recognizes Katusha, the young girl he seduced and abandoned many years before, and realizes his responsibility for the life of degradation she has been forced to lead. His determination to make amends leads him into the darkest reaches of the Tsarist prison system, and to the beginning of his spiritual regeneration.
"Same Mood, The Same Power, Resurrected"
Rousseau's Discourse sets out to explore the origin of inequality among people, a journey that sees him trace the evolution of humans from the savage man to the foundations of civil society. With verve and passion, the philosopher argues that the birth of private property was the "beginning of evil". Throughout the book we are led to consider the development of language, reason, self-preservation, benevolence, pity, and law - all through the lens of perhaps the most original thinker of the 18th century.
Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. In The Social Contract, Rousseau explores the concept of freedom and the political structures that may enable people to acquire it. He argues that the sovereign power of a state lies not in any one ruler but in the will of the general population. Rousseau argues that the ideal state would be a direct democracy where executive decision making is carried out by citizens who meet in assembly, as they would in the ancient city-state of Athens.
Voltaire's razor-sharp satire on philosophical optimism, Candide, is coupled here with another of the author's most celebrated works, Zadig. Both challenge the moral and philosophical orthodoxies of the day with humor and sly wit, while parodying the clichéd formulas of so many contemporary novels.
David Timson talks about Charles Dickens, much loved for his great contribution to classic English Literature. Listen to The Pickwick Papers narrated by Anton Lesser.
"Not quite an introduction."
This, the first audio-biography of Marcel Proust, tells the story of one of the world's most original and admired literary geniuses. From his youth in the salons of Belle Epoque Paris, we follow his progress through to his later years when, as a near recluse, he writes through the nights in his cork-lined bedroom.
"A fine intro to Proust"
Sexually innocent Jude Fawley is trapped into marriage by seductive Arabella Donn, but their union is an unhappy one and Arabella leaves him. Jude's welcome freedom allows him to pursue his obsession with his pretty cousin Sue Bridehead, a brilliant, charismatic free-thinker who would be his ideal soul-mate if not for her aversion to physical love. When Jude and Sue decide to lead their lives outside marriage they bring down on themselves all the force of a repressive society.
Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War is one of the most famous, influential, and moving works of genuine history in our traditions. His brilliant account of the civil war among the Greeks redefined how we should analyze the past, driving a permanent wedge between accounts based on myth and folk traditions and those based on empirical investigation and a rational inquiry into human motives. The work is also a profoundly tragic illumination, not merely of the self-destructive events of the civil war, but also of the future course of human history.
"Entire Chapters Are Completely Skipped Over"
Accidentally witnessing an encounter between the Baron de Charlus and the tailor Jupien, the narrator’s eyes are opened to a world hidden from him until now; he suspects that Albertine is attracted to her own sex.
"Looking back obliquely on Proust's fourth volume"