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Literary history and criticism

Most popular at the top

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Much Ado about Nothingby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    Shakespeare's comedy play Much Ado About Nothing pivots around the impediments to love for young betrothed Hero and Claudio when Hero is falsely accused of infidelity and the "lover's trap" set for the arrogant and assured Benedick who has sworn of marriage and his gentle adversary Beatrice. The merry war between Benedick and Beatrice... more...

  • King Learby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    King Lear is considered one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. King Lear decides to step down and divide his kingdom between his three daughters. When his youngest and favorite daughter refuses to compete and perform her love for him, he is enraged and disowns her. She remains loyal to him, however, though he slides into madness and his other children... more...

  • Twelfth Nightby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    Another case of mistaken identity from the king of the plot twist, Twelfth Night tells the tale of the beautiful young Viola who is separated from her twin brother, Sebastian, when their ship is lost at sea. Believing Sebastian to be dead Viol poses as a man and enters service with the Duke Orisino. When Olivia, the woman that Orisino loves, falls... more...

  • A Midsummer Night's Dreamby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2008; US$ 3.95

    Midsummer Night's Dream is Shakespeare's classic tale of two couples who can't quite pair up to everyone's satisfaction. Demetrius and Lysander love Hermia. Hermia loves Lysander but has been promised to Demetrius by her father. Hermia's best friend Helena loves Demetrius, but in his obsession for Hermia Demetrius barely even notices... more...