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5 Best Books

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Five books that have changed me as a writer; list created for giveaway

Middlemarch

George Eliot's masterpiece, groundbreaking in its psychological insight into powerful clashes of obligation and desire, Middlemarch is edited with notes and an introduction by Rosemary Ashton in Penguin Classics.George Eliot's most ambitious novel is a masterly evocation of diverse lives and changing fortunes in a provincial English community prior to the Reform Bill of 1832. Peopling its landscape are Dorothea Brooke, a young idealist whose search for intellectual fulfilment leads her into a disastrous marriage to the pedantic scholar Casaubon; the charming but tactless Dr Lydgate, whose marriage to the spendthrift beauty Rosamund and pioneering medical methods threaten to undermine his career; passionate, idealistic and penniless artist Will Ladislaw; and the religious hypocrite Bulstrode, hiding scandalous crimes from his past. As their stories interweave, George Eliot creates a richly nuanced and moving drama.This edition uses the text of the second edition of 1874. In her introduction, Rosemary Ashton, biographer of George Eliot, discusses the themes of change in Middlemarch, and examines the novels as an imaginative embodiment of Eliot's humanist beliefs.Mary Ann Evans (1819-80) began her literary career as a translator and later editor of the Westminster Review. In 1857, she published Scenes of Clerical Life, the first of eight novels she would publish under the name of 'George Eliot', including The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda.If you enjoyed Middlemarch, you might like Charles Dickens's Bleak House, also available in Penguin Classics.'No Victorian novel approaches Middlemarch in its width of reference, its intellectual power, or the imperturbable spaciousness of its narrative'V. S. Pritchett'One of the few English novels written for adult people'Virginia Woolf

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The Elements of Style

You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.

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Left Hand of Darkness, The

Winter is an Earth-like planet with two major differences: conditions are semi artic even at the warmest time of the year, and the inhabitants are all of the same sex. Tucked away in a remote corner of the universe, they have no knowledge of space travel or of life beyond their own world. And when a strange envoy from space brings news of a vast coalition of planets which they are invited to join, he is met with fear, mistrust and disbelief. . .'The Left Hand of Darkness' is a groundbreaking work of feminist science fiction, an imaginative masterpiece which poses challenging questions about sexuality, sexism and the organisation of society.

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