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Literary history and criticism

Most popular at the top

  • 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...

  • Major Barbaraby George Bernard Shaw

    The Floating Press 1907; US$ 4.95

    Major Barbara is a 1905 play by George Bernard Shaw. Andrew Undershaft, a wealthy weapons trader, despises poverty believing "The greatest of our evils and the worst of our crimes is poverty ... our first duty, to which every other consideration should be sacrificed, is not to be poor". His daughter, Barbara, devotes herself to charity. When... more...

  • The Soul of Man under Socialismby Oscar Wilde

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 3.95

    The Soul of Man under Socialism is an 1891 essay by Oscar Wilde. Wilde puts forth the argument that within a capitalist system "the majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism - are forced, indeed, so to spoil them" - that the necessity of solving the problems that capitalism creates draws away the talent... more...

  • Lady Windermere's Fanby Oscar Wilde

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 5.95

    Lady Windermere's Fan: A Play About a Good Woman is a play by Oscar Wilde, who uses his sharp wit to satirize Victorian ideals about marriage. Lady Windemere suspects her husband of infidelity and retaliates by taking a lover. Her husband's suspected lover follows her, begging her to return to Lord Windemere. The lover sacrifices her own reputation... more...

  • Heartbreak Houseby George Bernard Shaw

    The Floating Press 1916; US$ 4.95

    Written in 1919, George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House is equal parts tragedy and comedy. Centering on a dinner party, held as Europe teeters on the brink of the First World War; Shaw's play is as much about the inexorable drift of the British gentry toward catastrophe as it is about the love triangle that seems to take centre stage. more...

  • Salomeby Oscar Wilde; Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 4.95

    Salome is a tragic play written by Oscar Wilde, which tells the biblical story of Salome. Salome dances the Dance of the Seven Veils so well that she receives a boon from her stepfather Herod Antipas. Much to his dismay and her mother's delight she requests the head of John the Baptist on a silver platter. Though John is a favorite of Herod and... more...

  • Shakespeare's Sonnetsby William Shakespeare

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 4.95

    The Sonnets compiles 154 Sonnets written by Shakespeare on all manner of themes from love and fidelity to politics and lineage. Many of the sonnets - in particular the first 17, commonly called the procreation sonnets - were commissioned, a fact which calls a simple, romantic reading into question. 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...