By: Jerry White
London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll call of storytellers includes cultural giants like Shakespeare, Defoe, and Dickens, and an innumerable host of writers of all sorts who sought to capture the essence of the place.
Acclaimed historian Jerry White has collected some twenty-six stories to illustrate the extraordinary diversity of both London life and writing over the past four centuries, from Shakespeare’s day to the present.
These are stories of fact and fiction and occasionally something in between, some from well-known voices and others practically unknown. Here are dramatic views of such iconic events as the plague, the Great Fire of London, and the Blitz, but also William Thackeray’s account of going to see a man hanged, Thomas De Quincey’s friendship with a teenaged prostitute, and Doris Lessing’s defense of the Underground.
This literary London encompasses the famous Baker Street residence of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and the bombed-out moonscape of Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime streets, Charles Dicken’s treacherous River Thames and Frederick Treves’s tragic Elephant Man. Graham Greene, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, and Hanif Kureishi are among the many great writers who give us their varied Londons here, revealing a city of boundless wealth and ragged squalor, of moving tragedy and riotous joy.
Published in 2014.
Published by: Everyman's Library
Haunted houses, mysterious Counts, weeping widows and restless souls, here is the definitive anthology of all that goes bump in the night. Hand-picked by award-winning author Louise Welsh, this beautiful collection of 97 ghost stories will delight, unnerve, and entertain any fiction lover brave enough...
Here are gothic classics, modern masters, Booker Prize-winners, ancient folk tales and stylish noirs, proving that every writer has a skeleton or two in their closet.
The all-star cast of authors inlude:
Hilary Mantel, William Faulkner, Kate Atkinson, Henry James, Kazuo Ishiguro, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Franz Kafka, Ruth Rendell, Edgar Allan Poe, William Trevor, Helen Simpson, Haruki Murakami, Dylan Thomas, Bram Stoker, H.P Lovecraft, Lydia Davis, Sir Walter Scott, Annie Proulx, Bram Stoker, Angela Carter and Stephen King.
Published in 2015.
A gathering of the best maritime fiction from the last two hundred years: tales of shipwrecks and storms at sea, of creatures from the deep, of voyages that test human limits on the wild and limitless waters.
Classic adventures stories by Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Stephen Crane, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Jack London mix with marvelously imaginative tales by Isak Dinesen, Patricia Highsmith, and J. G. Ballard.
Robert Olen Butler explores the memories of a Titanic victim who has become part of the sea that swallowed him; Ray Bradbury’s “The Fog Horn” summons something primeval and lonely from the ocean depths; John Updike’s vacationing lovers retrace the route of Homer’s Odyssey on a cruise ship. From Edgar Allan Poe’s dramatic “A Descent into the Maelstrom” to Ernest Hemingway’s chilling “After the Storm” to Mark Helprin’s heartbreaking “Sail Shining in White,” the stories here are as wide-ranging and entrancing as the sea itself.
Published in 2010.
An anthology of literary love stories—in a beautiful hardcover Pocket Classics edition—perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Here are nineteen stories from a rich array of writers. The objects of passion in these stories range from a glamorous silent-movie starlet in Elizabeth Bowen’s haunting “Dead Mabelle” and a faithful ghost in Yasunari Kawabata’s “Immortality” to a heart surgeon in Margaret Atwood’s “Bluebeard’s Egg” who spends his days penetrating the mysteries of the human heart but who seems oddly emotionally opaque himself. Jhumpa Lahiri plumbs the despair of a husband and wife sundered by tragedy while Lorrie Moore movingly portrays a couple brought together by it. Katherine Mansfield, Tobias Wolff, and William Trevor explore the intricacies of long-term relationships, while Guy de Maupassant, Italo Calvino, and T. C. Boyle portray the elemental force of love in extremely different ways.
As alluring, moving, and intoxicating as its timeless theme, this collection makes an enticing gift for lovers at any stage of life.
Published in 2009.