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Literary history and criticism

Most popular at the top

  • The Days of My Lifeby Margaret Oliphant

    The Floating Press 2014; US$ 3.99

    Against all odds, Scottish-born writer Margaret Oliphant made a name for herself as a major literary voice in the Victorian era. Through her writing, she was able for a time to provide financial security for a large extended family amidst a series of grave circumstances and unspeakable tragedies. The cleverly structured memoir The Days of My Life tells... more...

  • Pygmalionby George Bernard Shaw

    The Floating Press 1912; US$ 3.95

    In George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion a phonetician believes the power of speech is such that he can introduce a Cockney flower girl to polite society after careful language and etiquette training, and no one will discern her true roots. The professor and the flower girl grown close, but after her successful debut she rejects the professor and... more...

  • King Richard IIIby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    Richard III belongs to Shakespeare's folio of King Richard plays, and is the longest of his plays after Hamlet. It is classified variously as a tragedy and a history, showing the reign of Richard III in an unflattering light. The play's length springs in part from its reference to the other Richard plays, with which Shakespeare assumed his... more...

  • Macbethby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    Macbeth is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and one of his best-known plays. Often referred to as an archetypal tale, it warns against lust for power and the betrayal of friends. Shakespeare based the play loosely on a King Macbeth of Scotland. The play is traditionally considered "cursed", and thus many actors refer to it as "The... more...

  • Othelloby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    Othello, The Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603. The work revolves around four central characters: Othello, his wife Desdemona, his lieutenant Cassio, and his trusted advisor Iago. Attesting to its enduring popularity, the play appeared in 7 editions between 1622 and 1705. Because... more...

  • Paradise Lostby John Milton

    The Floating Press 1900; US$ 4.50

    Paradise Lost is one of the most epic, complex theological works to date. Milton's masterpiece in blank verse tells the story of the fall from grace. His protagonist is often read as Satan, who rebels against the omnipotent God, though he cannot win. Milton expresses the paradox of free will within the creation of an all-knowing God. more...

  • Essays in the Art of Writingby Robert Louis Stevenson

    The Floating Press 1905; US$ 6.95

    There is nothing more disenchanting to man than to be shown the springs and mechanism of any art. All our arts and occupations lie wholly on the surface; it is on the surface that we perceive their beauty, fitness, and significance; and to pry below is to be appalled by their emptiness and shocked by the coarseness of the strings and pulleys. In a... more...

  • The Importance of Being Earnestby Oscar Wilde

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 5.95

    The Importance of Being Earnest is the last play Oscar Wilde ever wrote, and remains his most enduringly popular. It makes fun of social graces in the late Victorian era. Two seemingly unrelated parties are thrown into ridiculous entanglement when their fake identities, maintained in order to escape social responsibilities, grow ever more complicated... more...

  • Arms and the Manby George Bernard Shaw

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 5.95

    Arms and the Man was George Bernard Shaw's first commercially successful play. It is a comedy about idealized love versus true love. A young Serbian woman idealizes her war-hero fiance and thinks the Swiss soldier who begs her to hide him a terrible coward. After the war she reverses her opinions, though the tangle of relationships must be resolved... more...

  • She Stoops to Conquerby Oliver Goldsmith

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 4.50

    She Stoops to Conquer was first performed in 1773, and remains popular today. Written by Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith, it is a comedy of errors spanning the events of one night. more...