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History and criticism

Most popular at the top

  • The Romance of Tristanby Beroul; Alan Fedrick

    Penguin Books Ltd 2005; US$ 19.18

    One of the earliest extant versions of the Tristan and Yseut story, Beroul's French manuscript of The Romance of Tristan dates back to the middle of the twelfth century. It recounts the legend of Tristan, nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, and the king's Irish wife Yseut, who fall passionately in love after mistakenly drinking a potion. Their illicit... more...

  • The Count of Monte Cristoby Alexandre Dumas; David Coward

    Oxford University Press, UK 2009; US$ 4.49

    The young sailor Edmond Dant--egrave--;s is arrested on his wedding day and imprisoned in the island fortress of the Ch--acirc--;teau d'If. His daring escape, recovery of Monte Cristo's fabulous treasure, and revenge on his enemies make this one of the great thrillers of all time. This is a newly revised, unabridged translation. - ;'people... more...

  • Orlando Furiosoby Lodovico Ariosto; William Stewart Rose

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 5.99

    Orlando Furioso ("The Frenzy of Orlando", more literally "Mad Orlando"; in Italian furioso is seldom capitalized) is an Italian romantic epic by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on later culture. The earliest version appeared in 1516, although the poem was not published in its complete form until 1532. Orlando... more...

  • The Imaginary Invalidby Moliere; Charles Heron Wall

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 4.99

    The Imaginary Invalid is a three-part comedy about a miser who imagines illnesses for himself, and whose doctor milks his hypochondria for everything he can get. Their mutual greed and dishonesty lead to their downfall. It was the last play Moliere ever wrote, and he collapsed whilst playing the hypochondriac, shortly before he died. The play originally... more...

  • Essaysby Michel de Montaigne; Charles Cotton; William Carew Hazlitt

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 5.99

    Considered the inventor of the essay itself, Michel de Montaigne published Essays (Essais, literally "Attempts") in 1850. Known for his skill at merging serious intellectual debate with personal anecdotes, his vast work collects together some of the most influential essays the world has ever seen, shaping the thoughts Blaise Pascal, René... more...

  • Life Is a Dreamby Pedro Calderon de la Barca; Denis Florence Mac-Carthy

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 4.99

    Life is a Dream is a play about free will and fate. A king imprisons his son who, it is prophesied, will destroy the kingdom. The people believe the son to be dead, but when he is a grown man the king brings him before the public and asks them to chose his fate. The play was written in 1635 and is the most famous work by Spanish playwright Pedro Calderon... more...

  • Le Cidby Pierre Corneille; Roscoe Mongan

    The Floating Press 2009; US$ 4.99

    Pierre Corneille's tragicomedy Le Cid is based on the legend of the same name. It tells the story of Rodrigue and Chimene, whose fathers' feud violently interrupts their love. Though they never disavow their love for one another, revenge is deemed more important to each. Corneille's play sparked much dispute about dramatic method. more...

  • Estoire des Engleisby Geffrei Gaimar; Ian Short

    Oxford University Press 2009; US$ 169.99

    Geffrei Gaimar's Estoire des Engleis is the oldest surviving example of historiography in the French vernacular. It was written in Lincolnshire c.1136-37 and is, in large part, an Anglo-Norman verse adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Its narrative covers the period from the sixth century until the death of the Conqueror's son William... more...

  • Cyrano de Bergeracby Edmond Rostand; Gladys Thomas; Mary F. Guillemard

    The Floating Press 2010; US$ 3.99

    Very loosely based on the life of a French duelist and playwright, Cyrano de Bergerac is a play in verse that tells the tale of soldier who is gifted with every imaginable positive attribute -- except that of a handsome appearance. Because of his perceived ugliness (including a disproportionately large nose), Cyrano feels unworthy of the woman he loves... more...