Five-year old Matilda longs for her parents to be good and loving and understanding, but they are none of these things. They are perfectly horrid to her. Matilda invents a game of punishing them each time they treat her badly and she soon discovers she has supernatural powers.
Biographical noteHermann Hesse was born in southern Germany in 1877. His most famous works are Siddhartha (1922), Journey to the East (1932), Demian (1919), Steppenwolf (1927), and Narcissus and Goldmund (1930). Hesse died at his home in Switzerland in 1962.Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and has become one of the most widely read authors in the world. Especially renowned for The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, he has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and has been translated into 66 languages. Main descriptionHermann Hesse's moving and inspirational chronicle of spiritual evolution, Siddhartha, includes a new introduction by bestselling author Paulo Coehlo in Penguin Classics. Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation. Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) suffered from depression, endured criticism for his pacifist views, and weathered series of personal crises which led him to undergo psychoanalysis with J. B. Lang; a process which resulted in Demian (1919), a novel whose main character is torn between the orderliness of bourgeois existence and the turbulent and enticing world of sensual experience. This dichotomy is prominent in Hesse's subsequent novels, including Siddhartha (1922), Steppenwolf (1927), Narcissus and Goldmund (1930) and his magnum opus, The Glass Bead Game (1943). Hesse was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and has become one of the most widely read authors in the world. Especially renowned for The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, he has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and has been translated into 66 languages. If you enjoyed Siddhartha, you might like Hesse's Steppenwolf, also available in Penguin Classics. 'A subtle distillation of wisdom, stylistic grace and symmetry of form'The Sunday Times 'A writer of genius'The Times
Biographical noteGustave Flaubert was born in Rouen in 1821. After illness interrupted a career in law, he retired to live with his widowed mother and devote himself to writing. His greatest works include Madame Bovary (1857), Sentimental Education (1857) and Bouvard et Pécuchet (1881). He achieved limited success in his own lifetime, but his fame and reputation grew steadily after his death in 1880. Geoffrey Wall is a literary biographer, translator and travel writer. His biography of Flaubert, published in 2001, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. His translations of Flaubert for Penguin include Madame Bovary, Selected Letters, The Dictionary of Received Ideas, Sentimental Education and Three Tales. Michèle Roberts is the half-English half-French writer of ten highly praised novels.
Biographical noteBorges was born in Buenos Aires in 1899. A poet, critic and short story writer, he received numerous awards for his work including the 1961 International Publisher's Prize (shared with Samuel Beckett). He died in 1986. He has a reasonable claim, with Kafka and Joyce, to be the most influential writer of the 20th Century. Andrew Hurley is Professor of English at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. He has translated works by Borges, Padilla and Arenas. Main descriptionThe most popular anthology of Jorge Luis Borges's short stories, Fictions is a wildly original and influential collection of fantastic tales, translated from the Spanish with an afterword by Andrew Hurley in Penguin Modern Classics. Jorge Luis Borges's Fictions introduced an entirely new voice into world literature. It is here that we find the astonishing accounts of 'Funes the Memorious', the man who can forget nothing; 'Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote', who recreates Miguel de Cervantes's epic word-for-word; a society run on the basis of an all-encompassing game of chance in 'The Lottery in Babylon'; the mysterious world of 'Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius' which seems to be supplanting our own ; and the 'Library of Babel', which contains every possible book in the whole universe. Here too are the philosophical detective stories and the haunting tales of Irish revolutionaries, gaucho knife fights and dreams within dreams which proved so influential (and yet impossible to imitate). This collection was eventually to bring Borges international fame; over fifty years later, it remains endlessly intriguing. Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A poet, critic and short story writer, he received numerous awards for his work including the 1961 International Publisher's Prize (shared with Samuel Beckett). He has a reasonable claim, along with Kafka and Joyce, to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. If you enjoyed Fictions, you might like Italo Calvino's The Complete Cosmicomics, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'Hurley's efforts at retranslating Borges are not anything but heroic. His visions are clear, elegant, crystalline'Ilan Savans, The Times Literary Supplement 'One of the most memorable artists of our age'Mario Vargas Llosa
Biographical noteVictor Hugo (1802-85) was the most forceful, prolific and versatile of French nineteenth-century writers. He wrote Romantic costume dramas, many volumes of lyrical and satirical verse, political and other journalism, criticism and several novels, the best known of which are Les Misérables (1862) and the youthful Notre-Dame de Paris (1831). A royalist and conservative as a young man, Hugo later became a committed social democrat and during the Second Empire of Napoleon III was exiled from France, living in the Channel Islands. He returned to Paris in 1870 and remained a great public figure until his death: his body lay in state under the Arc de Triomphe before being buried in the Panthéon. Main descriptionNow a major musical film from Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, and also featuring Amanda Seyfreid, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen, Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is one of the great works of western literature.Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. But his attempts to become a respected member of the community are constantly put under threat: by his own conscience, when, owing to a case of mistaken identity, another man is arrested in his place; and by the relentless investigations of the dogged Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). It is not simply for himself that Valjean must stay free, however, for he has sworn to protect the baby daughter of Fantine (Anne Hathaway), driven to prostitution by poverty. Victor Hugo (1802-85) wrote volumes of criticism, Romantic costume dramas, satirical verse and political journalism but is best remembered for his novels, especially Notre-Dame de Paris (1831), also known as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Misérables (1862) which was adapted into one of the most successful musicals of all time. 'All human life is here'Cameron Mackintosh, producer of the musical Les Misérables'One of the half-dozen greatest novels of the world'Upton Sinclair'A great writer - inventive, witty, sly, innovatory' A. S. Byatt, author of Possession
Biographical noteJoseph Conrad was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. In 1874 Conrad travelled to Marseilles, where he served in French merchant vessels before joining a British ship in 1878 as an apprentice. In 1886 he obtained British nationality. Eight years later he left the sea to devote himself to writing, publishing his first novel, Almayer's Folly, in 1895. The following year he settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as Youth, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. He continued to write until his death in 1924.Allan Simmons is Reader in English Literature at St Mary's College. He is the author of Joseph Conrad (2006) for Palgrave.J.H. Stape is the author of The Several Lives of Joseph Conrad (1996) and Conrad's Notes on Life and Letters (2004). Main descriptionThis compact novel, completed in 1900, as with so many of the great novels of the time, is at its baseline a book of the sea. An English boy in a simple town has dreams bigger than the outdoors and embarks at an early age into the sailor's life. The waters he travels reward him with the ability to explore the human spirit, while Joseph Conrad launches the story into both an exercise of his technical prowess and a delicately crafted picture of a character who reaches the status of a literary hero.
Biographical noteWalter Scott (1771-1832) was born and educated in Edinburgh. He trained as a lawyer and later entered the printing business. He published several volumes of poetry and turned down the offer of the laureateship before concentrating on fiction. He is credited with establishing the form of the historical novel and the short story.Graham Tulloch is a Reader in English at Flinders University, South Australia. He has published several books on Scott. Main descriptionIVANHOE (1819) was the first of Scott's novels to adopt a purely English subject and was also his first attempt to combine history and romance, which later influenced Victorian medievalism. Set at the time of the Norman Conquest, Ivanhoe returns from the Crusades to claim his inheritance and the love of Rowena and becomes involved in the struggle between Richard Coeur de Lion and his Norman brother John. The gripping narrative is structured by a series of conflicts: Saxon versus Norman, Christian versus Jew, men versus women, played out against Scott's unflinching moral realism.
Biographical noteSir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh where he qualified as a doctor, but it was his writing which brought him fame, with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the first scientific detective. He was also a convert to spiritualism and a social reformer who used his investigative skills to prove the innocence of individuals.Iain Sinclair is the author of Crash, Lights Out for the Territory and, with Rachel Lichtenstein, Rodinsky's Room. He is a regular broadcaster and interviewer.Ed Glinert is the author of A Literary Guide to London. Main descriptionSir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet is the literary debut of the world's most famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, introduced by Iain Sinclair with notes by Ed Glinert in Penguin Classics. Convalescing in London after a disastrous experience of war in Afghanistan, Dr John Watson finds himself sharing rooms with his enigmatic new acquaintance, Sherlock Holmes. But their quiet bachelor life at 221B Baker Street is soon interrupted by the grisly discovery of a dead man in a grimy 'ill-omened' house in south-east London, his face contorted by an expression of horror and hatred such as Watson has never seen before. On the wall, the word rache - German for 'revenge' - is written in blood, yet there are no wounds on the victim or signs of a struggle. Watson's head is in a whirl, but the formidable Holmes relishes this challenge to his deductive powers, and so begins their famous investigative partnership. In his introduction, Iain Sinclair discusses the links between Sherlock Holmes mysteries and the Jack the Ripper murders, Conan Doyle's narrative style and his depiction of London. This edition also includes further reading, a chronology and notes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born in Edinburgh where he qualified as a doctor, but it was his writing which brought him fame, with the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the first scientific detective. He was also a social reformer who used his investigative skills to prove the innocence of individuals. Iain Sinclair is the author of Downriver (winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Encore Award), and his latest book Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project is published by Penguin. Ed Glinert writes a regular column for Time Out magazine, and is the author of The Literary Guide to London. Glinert's latest book, The London Compendium, is published by Penguin. If you liked A Study in Scarlet you might enjoy The Hound of the Baskervilles, also available in Penguin Classics.
Walt doubts a confession of murder in this novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Cold Dish and Dry Bones, the fifth in the Longmire Series, the basis for the hit Netflix original series LONGMIRE.
Mr Willy Wonka, the most wondrous inventor in the world, opens his gates of his amazing chocolate factory to five lucky children. Gobstoppers, wriggle sweets and a river of melted chocolate delight await - Charlie needs just one Golden Ticket and these delicious treats could all be his.
Biographical noteBorn in Ireland, Wilde (1854-1900) was educated in Dublin and Oxford and became the leading exponent of aestheticism. His work includes plays, a novel, poetry and criticism. Imprisoned for homosexual acts, he died after his release in exile in Paris.Robert Mighall has written on Gothic fiction and is the editor of Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for Penguin Classics. Peter Ackroyd is a best-selling writer whose recent work includes biographies on Dickens and Blake. Main descriptionWilde's masterful and wonderfully entertaining exploration of art and morality, in a chic new deluxe editionEnthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman inthe eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The novel was a succès de scandale and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895. It has lost none of its power to fascinate and disturb.
Biographical noteThe author of thirteen novels, five plays, and numerous short stories, Don DeLillo was born in 1936. Americana (1971), his first novel, announced the arrival of a major literary talent, and the novels that followed confirmed his reputation as one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in late-twentieth-century American fiction. DeLillo's comic gifts come to the fore in White Noise (1985), which won the National Book Award, and Underworld (1997), with its vivid portraits of actor Jackie Gleason and standup comedian Lenny Bruce. Main descriptionHis first novel, Don DeLillo's Americana passionately articulates the neurotic landscape of contemporary American life through a disintegrating embodiment of the American dream. Prosperous, good-looking and empty inside, 28-year-old advertising executive David Bell appears on the surface to have everything. But he is a man on the brink of losing his sanity. Trapped in a Manhattan office with soulless sycophants as his only company, he makes an abrupt decision to leave New York for America's mid-west. His plan: to film the small-town lives of ordinary people and make contact with the true heart of his homeland. But as Bell puts his films together in his hotel room, he grows increasingly convinced that there is no heart to find. Modern America has become a land that has reached the end of its reel... Don DeLillo (b.1936) was born and raised in New York City. Americana (1971), his first novel, announced the arrival of a major literary talent, and the novels that followed confirmed his reputation as one of the most distinctive and compelling voices in late-twentieth-century American fiction. DeLillo's comic gifts come to the fore in White Noise (1985), which won the National Book Award, Underworld (1997), hailed by Martin Amis as 'the ascension of a great writer', Cosmopolis (2003), adapted into a film by David Cronenberg, due to be released later this year, and Falling Man (2007), a novel about the aftereffects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. If you enjoyed Americana, you might like DeLillo's Libra, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'He's a writer who, once you read him, makes you want to read everything he's done'Martin Amis, Sunday Times 'Witty, clever and incisive ... a marvellously realized plot'Time Out 'Nearly every sentence of Americana rings true ... DeLillo is a man of frightening perception'Joyce Carol Oates
Biographical noteJack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. In 1947, enthused by bebop, the rebel attitude of his friend Neal Cassady, and the throng of hobos, drug addicts and hustlers he encountered in New York, he decided to discover America and hitchhike across the country. His writing was openly autobiographical and he developed a style he referred to as 'spontaneous prose' which he used to record the experiences of the Beat Generation. Kerouac wrote a number of hugely influential and popular novels - most famously the international best-seller On the Road. Among his many other novels are Visions of Cody, The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums and Big Sur. As much as anything, he came to represent a philosophy, a way of life. He died in 1969. Main descriptionFrom the bard of the Beat Generation, Jack Kerouac's Maggie Cassidy is an autobiographical novel of young love, published in Penguin Modern Classics. Though publishers stopped Maggie Cassidy's Jack Duluoz and On the Road's Sal Paradise from sharing the same name, Kerouac meant the books to be two parts of the same life. While On the Road made Paradise (and Kerouac) a hero for generations to come of the disaffected and restless, Maggie Cassidy is an affectionate portrait of the teenager that made the man - of friendship and first love growing up in a New England mill town. Duluoz is a high school athletics and football star who meets Maggie Cassidy and begins a devoted, inconstant, tender adolescent love affair. It is one of the most sustained, poetic pieces of Kerouac's 'spontaneous prose'. Jack Kerouac (1922-69) was an American novelist, poet, artist and part of the Beat Generation. His first published novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that made Kerouac famous. Publication of his many other books followed, among them The Subterraneans, Big Sur, and The Dharma Bums. Kerouac died in Florida at the age of forty-seven. If you enjoyed Maggie Cassidy, you might like Kerouac's The Subterraneans and Pic, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A very unique cat - a French Canadian Hinayana Buddhist Beat Catholic savant' Allen Ginsberg
Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599. It is based on the life of King Henry V of England, and focuses on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, part 1 and Henry IV, part 2. The plot follows the young prince (a reckless and undisciplined character in Henry IV) as he matures into a man and embarks on an attempted conquest of France.
Biographical noteBorn Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, Mark Twain spent his youth in Hannibal, Missouri. Trying his hand at printing, typesetting and gold-mining, he eventually found his calling in journalism and travel writing. Twain died in 1910 after a colourful life of travelling, bankruptcy and great literary success. R. Kent Rasmussen has written nine books on Twain and more than a dozen other books. Main descriptionThe exploits of Tom Sawyer, a consummate prankster with a quick wit, captivate children of all ages. Yet through the novel's humorous escapades, from the episodes of the whitewashed fence and the ordeal in the cave to the trial of Injun Joe, Mark Twain explores deeper themes within the adult world Tom will one day join. These include the baser human instincts of dishonesty and superstition, murder and revenge, starvation and slavery. This edition features a new introduction and notes by leading Mark Twain scholar R. Kent Rasmussen.
Biographical noteEvelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was born in London and educated at Oxford. He quickly established a reputation with such social satirical novels as DECLINE AND FALL, VILE BODIES and SCOOP. Waugh became a Catholic in 1930, and his later books display a more serious attitude, as seen in the religious theme of BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, a nostalgic evocation of student days at Oxford. His diaries were published in 1976, and his letters in 1980. Main descriptionOne of Evelyn Waugh's most exuberant comedies, Scoop is a brilliantly irreverent satire of Fleet Street and its hectic pursuit of hot news. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction by Christopher Hitchens in Penguin Modern Classics. Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of The Daily Beast, has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another. Acting on a dinner party tip from Mrs Algernon Stitch, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. But for, pale, ineffectual William Boot, editor of the Daily Beast's 'nature notes' column, being mistaken for a competent journalist may prove to be a fatal error... Evelyn Waugh (1903-66) was born in Hampstead, second son of Arthur Waugh, publisher and literary critic, and brother of Alec Waugh, the popular novelist. In 1928 he published his first work, a life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies (1930), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). In 1939 he was commissioned in the Royal Marines and later transferred to the Royal Horse Guards, serving in the Middle East and in Yugoslavia. In 1942 he published Put Out More Flags and then in 1945 Brideshead Revisited. Men at Arms (1952) was the first volume of 'The Sword of Honour' trilogy, and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; the other volumes, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender, followed in 1955 and 1961. If you enjoyed Scoop, you might like Waugh's Decline and Fall, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'Waugh at the mid-season point of his perfect pitch'Christopher Hitchens
Renowned urban artist Shepard Fairey's new look for Orwell's timeless satire 'All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.' Mr Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organised to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges. . . Animal Farm - the history of a revolution that went wrong - is George Orwell's brilliant satire on the corrupting influence of power.
Biographical noteEdward Morgan Forster was born in London in 1879. He wrote six novels, four of which appeared before the First World War, Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905), The Longest Journey (1907), A Room with a View (1908), and Howard's End (1910). An interval of fourteen years elapsed before he published A Passage to India. It won both the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Maurice, his novel on a homosexual theme, finished in 1914, was published posthumously in 1971. He also published two volumes of short stories; two collections of essays; a critical work, Aspects of the Novel; The Hill of Devi, a fascinating record of two visits Forster made to the Indian State of Dewas Senior; two biographies; two books about Alexandria (where he worked for the Red Cross in the First World War); and, with Eric Crozier, the libretto for Britten's opera Billy Budd. He died in June 1970. Main descriptionA meticulously-observed drama of class warfare, E.M. Forster's Howards End explores the conflict inherent within English society, unveiling the character of a nation as never before. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction and notes by David Lodge. 'Only connect...' A chance acquaintance brings together the preposterous bourgeois Wilcox family and the clever, cultured and idealistic Schlegel sisters. As clear-eyed Margaret develops a friendship with Mrs Wilcox, the impetuous Helen brings into their midst a young bank clerk named Leonard Bast, who lives at the edge of poverty and ruin. When Mrs Wilcox dies, her family discovers that she wants to leave her country home, Howards End, to Margaret. Thus as Forster sets in motion a chain of events that will entangle three different families, he brilliantly portrays their aspirations to personal and social harmony. David Lodge's introduction provides an absorbing and eloquent overture to the 1910 novel that established Forster's reputation as an important writer, and that he himself later referred to as 'my best novel'. This edition also contains a note on the text, suggestions for further reading, and explanatory notes. E. M. Forster (1879-1970) was a noted English author and critic and a member of the Bloomsbury group. His first novel, Where Angels Fear To Tread appeared in 1905. The Longest Journey appeared in 1907, followed by A Room With A View (1908), based partly on the material from extended holidays in Italy with his mother. Howards End (1910) was a story that centered on an English country house and dealt with the clash between two families, one interested in art and literature, the other only in business. Maurice was revised several times during his life, and finally published posthumously in 1971. If you enjoyed Howard's End, you might like Forster's A Room with a View, also available in Penguin Classics.
In Ponyboy's world there are two types of people. There are the Socs, the rich society kids who get away with anything. Then there are the greasers, like Ponyboy, who aren't so lucky. Ponyboy has a few things he can count on: his older brothers, his friends, and trouble with the Socs, whose idea of a good time is beating up greasers like Ponyboy.
Biographical noteJohn le Carré was born in 1931. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, secured him a worldwide reputation, which was consolidated by the acclaim for his trilogy Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People. His recent novels include The Constant Gardener, A Most Wanted Man and Our Kind of Traitor. Main descriptionBeautiful 50th Anniversary special edition featuring archival material and with a special cover designAlec Leamas is tired. It's the 1960s, he's been out in the cold for years, spying in Berlin for his British masters, and has seen too many good agents murdered for their troubles. Now Control wants to bring him in at last - but only after one final assignment. He must travel deep into the heart of Communist Germany and betray his country, a job that he will do with his usual cynical professionalism. But when George Smiley tries to help a young woman Leamas has befriended, Leamas's mission may prove to be the worst thing he could ever have done. In le Carré's breakthrough work of 1963, the spy story is reborn as a gritty and terrible tale of men who are caught up in politics beyond their imagining.This 50th anniversary special edition features a wealth of original archival material, much of it from le Carré's own files, and from the making of the original 1965 film adaptation'Superbly constructed, with an atmosphere of chilly hell' J.B. Priestley'The best spy story I have ever read' Graham Greene'The master storyteller ... has lost none of his cunning' A. N. Wilson'I have re-read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold over and over again since I first encountered it in my teens, just to remind myself how extraordinary a work of fiction can be' Malcolm Gladwell'One of those very rare novels that changes the way you look at the world. Unflinching, highly sophisticated, superb' William BoydJohn le Carré was born in 1931 and attended the universities of Bern and Oxford. He taught at Eton and served briefly in British Intelligence during the Cold War. For the last 50 years he has lived by his pen. He divides his time between London and Cornwall.