Universitas publishes classics of British, American, Canadian, Australian and world literature in editions that promise to be reader-friendly. This means that the quality of the books and the version of the texts enhance the reader’s experience. The classical text, fiction or non-fiction, is put into perspective by an Introduction that considers the relevancy of the text to today’s reader, drawing links between the text and contemporary issues or discussing angles of interpretation not considered so far. The editions are prepared by experts who teach the novels and as such address the many questions raised by today’s students, in the AP English and undergraduate literature courses. Our titles include: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen); The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde); Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (John Cleland); Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen); Ana Isabel, a Respectable Girl (Antonia Palacios); Frankenstein (Mary Shelley); American Notes for General Circulation (Charles Dickens); The Trail of the Serpent (Mary Elizabeth Braddon).
Just as Jane Austen herself has been misinterpreted, so have her novels. The perception that Austen’s stories are little more than simple romantic vignettes of English country life and social custom has generally been an accepted reading. This interpretation of her work is based more on our nostalgic re-construction of the Regency period, influenced in part by Hollywood’s understanding of Austen’s novels, as well as a failure to read beneath the author’s satiric humour. Read more . . .
The existential complexity of Wilde’s novel emerges largely from its uneasy enmeshing of embodied life and fetishized death, of stable and changing selves, clearly anticipating the more Modernist literary experiments with the sentient self in the works of Woolf and Joyce. Transforming an ancient myth of soul-selling and eternal damnation into a moving and unsettling story of human fantasies, fears, retribution and redemption, The Picture of Dorian Gray richly deserves the prized status of a literary classic it enjoys today. Read more . . .
First published in 1749 in London, John Cleland’s novel remained banned until 1963 in the US and until 1970 in the UK. Since the ban was lifted, it has been the object of academic study and one of the most frequently read novels of the eighteenth-century. The erotic adventures of Fanny Hill are a pretext for a detailed account of social relations and sexual practises in 18th-century London. At the same time a bawdy tale of endless amorous encounters and a vivid chronicle of mores in the tradition of picaresque realism, Memoirs is also a story of passionate and consuming love. Read more . . .
Sense and Sensibility is the novel that introduced Jane Austen to the reading world. Austen was a realist; she liked novels that presented realistic characters in realistic situations. She also had a perceptive sense of humour and loved to satirize people and literature. In this novel, Austen satirizes novels of sensibility, but she also satirizes condemnation of sensibility. The human experience requires a combination of reason and emotion. Austen sees excessive amounts of either as destructive and both genders are susceptible. Read more . . .
Paperback, 136 pages, 5 x 8
Release Date:03 Jun 2016
This is the first English translation of one of the key works of 20th-century Venezuelan fiction. Published in 1949, Ana Isabel: A Respectable Girl by Antonia Palacios is a classic coming-of-age story set in Caracas in the 1920s, exploring issues of race, class, and gender and exposing the colonial and patriarchal legacy of the country in the era before urban development and the dependence on an oil economy. A modern Latin American classic Ana Isabel broke with the symbolic realist genre in vogue in Latin American narrative works and inaugurated a new form of expression. Read more . . .
Release Date:01 Jul 2016
With its powerful, unsettling plot, isolated characters, and the wretched creature at its center, it has become part of the Western cultural fabric. Mary Shelley reminds us that the error of the scientist can have dreadful consequences if the rest of society proves to be irresponsible. Frankenstein’s one sin is a sin of omission, rather than a sin of commission: he fails to accept the responsibilities of his creativity, and for this he is punished. The real villain of the work is mankind, the social animal that blindly abuses his tools. Read more . . .
American Notes for General Circulation was published shortly after Dickens’s return from his six-month trip to North America. While his intention to publish a travel narrative was not publicly disclosed before or during his trip, it was widely assumed that he would write a travel book. After all, many European visitors, especially authors, had written such books in the past. In 1842 Dickens was arguably the most famous novelist in the world, so, naturally, English and American readers eagerly anticipated a book based on his visit. Read more . . .
Victorian England’s best-selling woman novelist Mary Elizabeth Braddon still captivates readers with this chilling story of murder, betrayal, and friendship. Hailed as the first detective novel, The Trail of the Serpent is enjoying a much deserved revival. The Trail is both a sensation novel and a detective novel. It has all of the usual elements of a sensation novel, including family secrets, crime, and adultery (a ruse, in this case), and it depicts these as features of middle- and upper-class life. Yet The Trail’s role as a detective novel is arguably more important, for while it is an early example of both genres, it has the distinction of being the first British detective novel. Read more . . .