Inspired by Homer and inspiration for Dante and Milton, the Aeneid is an immortal poem at the heart of Western life and culture. Virgil took Aeneas as his hero and in telling a story of dispossession and defeat, love and war, he portrayed human life in all its nobility and suffering.
Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law.
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever.
A tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan war forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats - from the witch Circe who turns his men into pigs, to the twin terrors of Scylla and Charybdis.
Marlow, a seaman and wanderer, recounts his physical and psychological journey in search of the infamous ivory trader Kurtz: dying, insane, and guilty of unspeakable atrocities. Travelling upriver to the heart of the African continent, he gradually becomes obsessed by this enigmatic, wraith-like figure.
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There, two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette.
Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading romances of chivalry that he determines to become a knight errant and pursue bold adventures, accompanied by his squire, the cunning Sancho Panza. As they roam the world together, the aging Quixote's fancy leads them wildly astray.
Set in the rich farmland of the Salinas Valley, California, this novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations hopelessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.