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The Very Best Books

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The Very Best Books:

Wormwood: A Drama of Paris by Marie Corelli
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

For twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. And the Azkaban guards heard Black muttering in his sleep, "He's at Hogwarts . . . he's at Hogwarts." Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school, surrounded by his friends. Because on top of it all, there may well be a traitor in their midst.


With these words, the reader is ushered into an isolated gray stone mansion on the windswept Cornish coast, as the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter recalls the chilling events that transpired as she began her new life as the young bride of a husband she barely knew. For in every corner of every room were phantoms of a time dead but not forgotten—a past devotedly preserved by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers: a suite immaculate and untouched, clothing laid out and ready to be worn, but not by any of the great house's current occupants. With an eerie presentiment of evil tightening her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter walked in the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, determined to uncover the darkest secrets and shattering truths about Maxim's first wife—the late and hauntingly beautiful Rebecca. This special edition of Rebecca includes excerpts from Daphne du Maurier's The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories, an essay on the real Manderley, du Maurier's original epilogue to the book, and more.

Tess of the D'Ubervilles

An exciting new TV adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic Tess of the D'Urbervilles has arrived on BBC 1, and this is the official tie-in edition with an exclusive introduction from the programme's producer David Snodin. A tragic tale of love, seduction and betrayal,Tess of the D'Urbervilles was named the nation's 12th favourite book in a poll for World Book Day in 2007 and 2008 marks the 80th anniversary of the death of Thomas Hardy. This new four-part series has been written by award-winning novelist and screenwriter David Nicholls. David wrote Starter for Ten, which he then adapted to film starring James McAvoy, as well as the screenplay of And When Did You Last See Your Father? starring Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth. Tess of the D'Urbervilles has a stellar cast with big-screen names and familiar faces from a number major TV dramas including Gemma Arterton (James Bond: Quantum Of Solace, St Trinian's) playing Tess, Hans Matheson (The Virgin Queen, Dr Zhivago) as her seducer Alec, Eddie Redmayne (Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl) as Angel and Jodie Whittaker (Venus) playing Tess's best friend Izzy. The drama also features Ruth Jones (Gavin and Stacey, Saxondale) as Tess's mother Joan, and Anna Massey (Oliver Twist, The Importance Of Being Earnest) as Mrs D'Urberville.

Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte's only novel, a work of tremendous and far-reaching influence, the Penguin Classics edition of Wuthering Heights is the definitive edition of the text, edited with an introduction by Pauline Nestor. Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff's bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past. In this edition, a new preface by Lucasta Miller, author of The Bronte Myth, looks at the ways in which the novel has been interpreted, from Charlotte Bronte onwards. This complements Pauline Nestor's introduction, which discusses changing critical receptions of the novel, as well as Emily Bronte's influences and background. Emily Bronte (1818-48), along with her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, was one of the most significant literary figures of the 19th century. She wrote just one strikingly innovative novel, Wuthering Heights, but was also a gifted and intense poet. If you enjoyed Wuthering Heights, you may like Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Wuthering Heights is commonly thought of as "romantic", but try rereading it without being astonished by the comfortableness with which Bronte's characters subject one another to extremes of physical and psychological violence' Jeanette Winterson 'As a first novel, there is very little that can compare to it. Even Shakespeare took over a decade to reach the clifftop extremities of King Lear' Sarah Waters

Published poet & short story writer. Lover of writing, reading, fencing and sleeping. Inspiration found in the Romantic/Gothic period. Current WIP: Victorian historical fiction, entitled ... Show More

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