The Oxford Book of English Short Stories

The Oxford Book of English Short Stories

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Description

This anthology takes the English short story as its theme. The 37 stories featured here are selected from the 19th and 20th centuries, by authors ranging from Dickens, Trollope and Hardy to J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, and Ian McEwan, though many draw from the richness of earlier English literary writing. There are all sorts of threads of connection and contrast running through these stories. Their subjects vary from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the momentous to the trivial, from the grim to the farcical. There is English empiricism, English pragmatism, English starkness, English humour, English satire, English dandyism, English horror, and English whimsy. There are examples of social realism, from rural poverty to blitzed London; ghost stories and tales of the supernatural; surreal fantasy and science fiction. There are stories of sensibility, precisely delineated, from Hardy's reluctant bride to the shocked heroine of Elizabeth Taylor's "The Blush", from H.E. Bates's brilliant fusion of class, sex, death, and landscape, to D.H. Lawrence's exploration of a consciousness slowly detaching itself from its world. There are exuberant stories by Saki and Waugh, Wodehouse and Firbank, with a particularly English range from high irony to pure orchestrated farce. The very range and scope of the collection celebrates the eccentric differences and excellences of English short stories Some of A.S. Byatt's choices clearly take their place in the grand tradition of story-telling, while others are more unusual. Many break all the rules of unity of tone and narrative, appearing to be one kind of story before unexpectedly turning into another. They pack together comedy and tragedy, farce and delicacy, elegance and the grotesque, with language as various as the subject-matter.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 470 pages
  • 137.16 x 213.36 x 40.64mm | 612.35g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0192881116
  • 9780192881113

Table of contents

William Gilbert - "The Sacristan of St Botolph"; Charles Dickens - "The Haunted House"; Anthony Trollope - "Relics of General Chasse", "A Tale of Antwerp"; Thomas Hardy - "A Mere Interlude"; Mary Mann - "Little Brother"; M.R. James - "Two Doctors"; Arthur Morrison - "Behind the Shade"; Rudyard Kipling - "Wireless"; H.G. Wells - "Under the Knife"; Charlotte Mew - "A White Night"; Saki - "The Toys of Peace"; G.K. Chesterton - "The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown"; A.E. Coppard - "Some Talk of Alexander"; P.G. Wodehouse - "The Reverent Wooing of Archibald"; Virginia Woolf - "Solid Objects"; D.H. Lawrence - "The Man who Loved Islands"; Ronald Firbank - "A Tragedy in Green"; Sylvia Townsend Warner - "A Widow's Quilt"; Aldous Huxley - "Nuns at Luncheon"; Malachi Whitaker - "Landlord of the Crystal Fountain"; V.S. Pritchett - "On the Edge of the Cliff"; Rosamund Lehmann - "A Dream of Winter"; Evelyn Waugh - "An Englishman's Home"; Graham Greene - "The Destructors"; H.E. Bates - "The Waterfall"; T.H. White - "The Troll"; Elizabeth Taylor - "The Blush"; Penelope Fitzgerald - "At Hiruharama"; Leonora Carrington - "My Flannel Knickers"; Alan Sillitoe - "Enoch's Two Letters"; J.G. Ballard - "Dream Cargoes"; John Fuller - "Telephone"; John Fuller - "My Story"; Angela Carter - "The Kiss"; Rose Tremain - "The Beauty of the Dawn Shift"; Ian McEwan - "Solid Geometry"; Philip Hensher - "Dead Languages".show more

About A. S. Byatt

A.S. Byatt is a prize-winning novelist, essayist, reviewer, and broadcaster. Her books include Possession, The Matisse Stories, and Angels and Insects.show more

Review quote

"Byatt has cast her net widely and well.... Her long introduction--which might well stand as a capsule history of the subject--sensibly emphasizes 'the evocation of the concrete' as a common feature of English short fiction, while offering superb concise assessments of classic writers like Dickens, Trollope, Hardy, and Wells.... One of Oxford's best, and another feather in Byatt's richly decorated cap."--Kirkus Reviews "Byatt has cast her net widely and well.... Her long introduction--which might well stand as a capsule history of the subject--sensibly emphasizes 'the evocation of the concrete' as a common feature of English short fiction, while offering superb concise assessments of classic writers like Dickens, Trollope, Hardy, and Wells.... One of Oxford's best, and another feather in Byatt's richly decorated cap."--Kirkus Reviews "Byatt has cast her net widely and well.... Her long introduction--which might well stand as a capsule history of the subject--sensibly emphasizes 'the evocation of the concrete' as a common feature of English short fiction, while offering superb concise assessments of classic writers like Dickens, Trollope, Hardy, and Wells.... One of Oxford's best, and another feather in Byatt's richly decorated cap."--Kirkus Reviews "Byatt has cast her net widely and well.... Her long introduction--which might well stand as a capsule history of the subject--sensibly emphasizes 'the evocation of the concrete' as a common feature of English short fiction, while offering superb concise assessments of classic writers like Dickens, Trollope, Hardy, and Wells.... One of Oxford's best, and another feather in Byatt's richly decorated cap."--Kirkus Reviewsshow more

Rating details

190 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 24% (46)
4 35% (67)
3 35% (66)
2 4% (7)
1 2% (4)
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