In 1957, four years before his death, Carl Gustav Jung, psychiatrist and psychologist, began writing his life story. But what started as an exercise in autobiography soon morphed into an altogether more profound undertaking.
Regular price: £32.29
It can be said of very few books that the world was changed as a result of its publication - but this is certainly the case of Capital: A Critique of Political Economy by Karl Marx (1818-1883). Volume 1 appeared (in German) in 1867, and the two subsequent volumes appeared at later dates after the author's death - completed from extensive notes left by Marx himself.
Regular price: £52.79
First published in 1900, when Thomas Mann was 25, Buddenbrooks is a minutely imagined chronicle of four generations of a North German mercantile family - a work so true to life that it scandalized the author’s former neighbours in his native Lübeck.
Regular price: £50.29
The Mabinogion, the earliest literary jewel of Wales, is a collection of ancient tales and legends compiled around the 12th and 13th century deriving from storytelling and the songs of bards handed down over the ages. It is a remarkable document in many ways. From an historical perspective, it is the earliest prose literature of Britain. But it is in its drama that many surprises await, not least the central role of King Arthur, his wife, Gwenhwyvar, and his court at Caerlleon upon Usk.
Regular price: £20.29
Stefan Zweig's memoir, The World of Yesterday, recalls the golden age of prewar Europe - its seeming permanence, its promise and its devastating fall with the onset of two world wars. Zweig's passionate, evocative prose paints a stunning portrait of an era that danced brilliantly on the brink of extinction. It is an unusually humane account of Europe from the closing years of the 19th century through to World War II, seen through the eyes of one of the most famous writers of his era.
Regular price: £32.29
'Lady B. stays to tea. (Mem.: Bread-and-butter too thick. Speak to Ethel.) We talk some more about bulbs, the Dutch School of Painting, our Vicar's wife, sciatica, and All Quiet on the Western Front. (Query: is it possible to cultivate the art of conversation when living in the country all the year round?)' If the question suggests a qualified answer, there is no doubt that the art of diary writing is alive and well and very, very funny in Devonshire in the 1920s. At least in the hands of E. M. Delafield.
Regular price: £14.09
The Republic is perhaps the single most important, the most studied and the most quoted text of all of Plato's Socratic Dialogues. Through the medium of Socrates, Plato outlines his view and ideas concerning the ideal working of the city-state. Socrates narrates a conversation that took place the previous day with Cephalus, Glaucon, Thrasymachus and others. The dialogue is organised into 10 books and covers a broad range of topics, including the ideal community and the ideal rulers of the community.
Regular price: £24.29
This series of 28 lectures was given by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), the founder of psychoanalysis, during the First World War and first published in English in 1920. The purpose of this general introduction was to present his work and ideas - as they had matured at that point - to a general public; and even though there was to be considerable development and change over the ensuing years, these talks still offer a valuable and remarkably approachable entry point to his revolutionary concepts.
Regular price: £35.29
Thus Spoke Zarathustra is one of the most extraordinary - and important - texts in Western philosophy. It was written by Friedrich Nietzsche between 1883 and 1885. He cast it in the form of a novel in the hope that his urgent message of the 'death of God' and the rise of the superman (Ubermensch) would have greater emotional as well as intellectual impact.
Regular price: £24.29
The Enchiridion is the famous manual of ethical advice given in the second century by the Stoic philosopher Epictetus. Born to a Greek slave, Epictetus grew up in the environment of the Roman Empire and, having been released from bonds of slavery, became a stoic in the tradition of its originators, Zeno (third Century BCE) and Seneca (first century CE).
Regular price: £26.29
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud is one of the most significant books of the 20th century. Though dreams and their role in human consciousness have been a continuing thread in religion and art and life down the centuries, Freud's look at the subject through the prism of his emerging practice and study of psychoanalysis provided a startlingly new and challenging perspective.
Regular price: £44.29
Schopenhauer was just 30 when his magnum opus, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, a work of considerable learning and innovation of thought, first appeared in 1818.
Much to his chagrin and puzzlement (so convinced was he of its merits), it didn't have an immediate effect on European philosophy, views and culture. It was only decades later that it was recognised as one of the major intellectual landmarks of the 19th century.
Regular price: £40.29
The Gay Science (The Joyful Wisdom) is one of Nietzsche's greatest books. His wonderfully fertile mind roams over mankind, his thoughts, his emotions, his behaviour and his weaknesses with remarkable clarity, with insight - but also with humour!In this work are 383 separate paragraphs, some short, some long, but all singular observations - the epitome of his famous aphoristic style. 'Morality is the herd instinct in the individual.'
Regular price: £20.29
The Consolation of Philosophy is one of the key works in the rich tradition of Western philosophy, partly because of the circumstances in which it was written. Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (c480-c524) was of aristocratic Roman birth and became consul and then master of offices at Ravenna, one of the highest posts under the Ostrogothic Roman ruler Theodoric. But Boethius was unjustly charged with treason in 524, and this led to house arrest, then torture and execution.
Regular price: £12.79
In the twilight of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a young cavalry officer is invited to a dance at the home of a rich landowner. There - with a small act of attempted charity - he commits a simple faux pas. But from this seemingly insignificant blunder comes a tale of catastrophe arising from kindness and of honour poisoned by self-regard. Beware of Pity has all the intensity and the formidable sense of torment and of character of the very best of Zweig's work. Definitive translation by the award-winning Anthea Bell.
Regular price: £29.29
'The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.' So opens Murphy, Samuel Beckett's first novel, published in 1938. Its work-shy eponymous hero, adrift in London, realises that desire can never be satisfied and withdraws from life, in search of stupor. Murphy's lovestruck fiancée, Celia, tries with tragic pathos to draw him back, but her attempts are doomed to failure. In Dublin, Murphy's friends and familiars are simulacra of him, fragmented and incomplete. They come to London in search of him.
Regular price: £17.79
The Arthurian Romances by Chrétien de Troyes form the wellspring of the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Stories of knightly valour in the Welsh Marches had existed before the 12th century, but it was the magnificent poetry and imagination of Chrétien, the 12th century French poet and trouvère, which brought alive the great characters of Arthur, his wife Guinevere, Lancelot and others.
Regular price: £33.29
Poetics and Rhetoric are the two major works by Aristotle which, after more than 2,000 years, remain key behavioural handbooks for anyone interested in story, performance, presentation and indeed psychology. The continuing influence of Poetics, for example, is readily discernible even among the scriptwriters of Hollywood!
Regular price: £21.29
The Provincial Lady Goes Further is the immediate sequel to Diary of a Provincial Lady - and life mirrors art. Our Provincial Lady has found herself, unexpectedly, with a literary success on her hands! She is suddenly 'somebody', both in her Devonshire environs and in London, where she establishes a bolthole - ostensibly so she could concentrate on the much-awaited sequel, but also so that she can enjoy the fruits of being a best-selling author!
Regular price: £14.09
Here are three key works by Sigmund Freud which, published in the first decades of the 20th century, underpinned his developing views and had such a dramatic effect on world society. In the uncompromising Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), he declared that 'sexual aberrations' are not limited to the insane but exist in 'normal' people to a greater or lesser degree. The three essays are divided between sexual perversions, childhood sexuality and puberty.
Regular price: £21.59