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Literary history and criticism

Most popular at the top

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • The School for Scandalby Richard Brinsley Sheridan

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 4.50

    The School for Scandal debuted at Drury Lane Theater in London in 1777. The play is still popular and regularly performed today. It is a comedy of manners about "the deceptive nature of appearances, the fickleness of reputation, [and] the often disreputable guises behind which goodness and honesty can conceal itself." more...

  • Romeo and Julietby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's early tragedies. The two young title characters fall madly in love, but are the children of feuding houses whose hatred for each other works to a devastating end. The play was immensely popular in Shakespeare's lifetime and is the most enduring of his plays along with Hamlet. Romeo and Juliet is considered... more...

  • Hamletby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    Hamlet is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601. The play, set in Denmark, recounts how Prince Hamlet exacts revenge on his uncle Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father, the King, and then taken the throne and married Hamlet's mother. The play vividly charts the course of real and feigned... more...

  • The Merchant of Veniceby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    The Merchant of Venice is classed as one of Shakespeare's comedies, but is more often remembered for its dramatic characters and situations. Though the villain of the piece, the Jewish moneylender Shylock is often the most prominent and well-remembered character of the play. As he can be played and directed either sympathetically or wholly villainous,... more...