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    Literature: history & criticism

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    C. S. Lewis: A Biography

    This acclaimed biography charts the progress of the brilliant, prolific writer, C. S. Lewis.

    Seminary Boy

    One of the most extraordinary memoirs of recent years, the acclaimed writer John Cornwell has finally written his own story, and the story of a choice he had to make between the Church and a life lived outside its confines.

    September 1, 1939: W. H. Auden and the Afterlife of a Poem

    This is a book about a poet, about a poem, about a city, and about a world at a point of change. More than a work of literary criticism or literary biography, it is a record of why and how we create and respond to great poetry.

    Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Great

    From the very first book publication in 1920 to the upcoming film release of Death on the Nile, this investigation into Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot celebrates a century of probably the world's favourite fictional detective.

    Inventing Ireland

    A critical history of modern Irish literature. Kiberd develops his story through subtle readings of such writers as Joyce, O'Casey, Beckett and Bowen. Giving a controversial interpretation of post-colonial Ireland, he then surveys more recent works, from Brian Friel to the younger Dublin writers.

    Shakespearean Tragedy

    Approaching the tragedies as drama, wondering about their characters as he might have wondered about people in novels or in life, the author gives us a true sense of 'the tragedies joining up with life, with all our lives; leading us into a perspective of possibilities that stretch forward and back in time, and in our total awareness of things.

    Twelfth Night

    Separated from her twin brother Sebastian after a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as a boy to serve the Duke of Illyria. Wooing a countess on his behalf, she is stunned to find herself the object of his beloved's affections.

    John Donne

    From the raucous streets of late sixteenth-century London to the personal and political intrigues of Donne's family and public life, from the horrors of the Reformation to the delight of Donne's poetry, this book offers a biography of an extraordinary man, as well as a compelling portrait of England at a time of bewildering transformation.


    Jorge Luis Borges wrote playful and deeply imaginative short stories that explored philosophy, paradox and the nature of existence. Penguin Modern Classics publish all of his most famous works, including Labyrinths, The Aleph and Fictions.


    Camus and his writing are intimately bound up with his native Algeria. These three essays evoke different aspects of the place - the title essay The Minotaur and The Return to Tipasa.

    Literature: history & criticism