The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, June 2012 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


VINTAGE CLASSICS have brought out three of Anthony Trollope's novels which taken together give a fair sampling of his work: The Warden ([pounds sterling]5.99) was published in 1855 and was the first of his famous Barchester series; Can You Forgive Her? ([pounds sterling]8.99), published serially in 1864-5, is likewise the first of a series, in this case his equally famous Palliser novels; The Way We Live Now ([pounds sterling]8.99) was published in 1875 and stands alone as an example of Trollope's social criticism of a way of life-that has, sadly, much in common with our own. Also from Vintage we have Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist ([pounds sterling]5.99) issued to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth. This edition is based on the 1846 revised edition and contains Cruickshank's original drawings. Of all Dickens' works this gave us some of his most memorable characters, from Fagin and Sikes to the Artful Dodger. Vintage continues its publication of three of the last century's most important writers. The first is Aldous Huxley's works with Grey Eminence ([pounds sterling]9.99) his 1941 biography of Francois Leclerc du Tremblay, the original eminence grise who advised Cardinal Richelieu, and his 1952 historical novel, The Devils of Loudun ([pounds sterling]9.99), a story of religious and sexual obsession which allowed Huxley to vent his hatred of Christianity. The second is Angela Carter's novels with two new titles: Nights at the Circus ([pounds sterling]8.99), her historically based fantasy published in 1984, and Wise Children ([pounds sterling]8.99), her last novel, written after she was diagnosed with cancer, as well as two collection of shorter fiction. These are her 1979 collection, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories ([pounds sterling]7.99) which also developed her love of fairy stories, and Burning Your Boats: Collected Stories ([pounds sterling]9.99), the volume which appeared after her death and which includes the works first published in earlier collections plus six stories not published before she died in 1992. The third writer is Graham Greene and we now have one of his most famous novels, The End of the Affair ([pounds sterling]9.99), his 1951 story of love, rejection and obsession.

Vintage has also started publishing the works of Anthony Burgess with The Complete Enderby ([pounds sterling]10.99), the four Enderby novels written between 1963 and 1984: Inside Mr Enderby, Enderby Outside, The Clockwork Testament, and Enderby's Dark Lady, or No End of Enderby which critics saw as a falling off when compared to the first three which trace the life story of the poet Francis Xavier Enderby. Other Burgess titles include his last novel, Byrne ([pounds sterling]7.99), published after his death and written in the same ottava rima that was used by Boccaccio and Byron and Little Wilson and Big God ([pounds sterling]0.99) his 1987 autobiography. Also from Vintage we have: Martin Amis's Money: A Suicide Note ([pounds sterling]9.99), his 1984 dissection of an obsessive go-getter in New York and London; Pablo Neruda's Selected Poems ([pounds sterling]10.99), a reprint of the edition published by Cape in 1970; Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea ([pounds sterling]0.99), like Greene's The End of the Affair, a story of love rejected and revenge planned; and John Fowles' famous historic novel, The French Lieutenant's Woman ([pounds sterling]9.99). Apart from fiction we also have Tom Payne's new and fresh translation of Ovid's The Art of Love, The Cures for Love and Treatments for the Feminine Face ([pounds sterling]5.99), and a new edition of Robert Falcon Scott's classic The Last Expedition ([pounds sterling]8.99), written by Scott of the Antarctica as he faced death. This has an important introduction by his biographer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Sir Edwin Lutyens remains famous for his monumental architecture--New Delhi and the Cenotaph - but during his lifetime he was also famous for his domestic architecture in which he used traditional English design to build homes marked by a pleasing domesticity for the wealthy of the twentieth century. …

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