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The Penguin Book of the British Short Story, Volume 1: From Daniel Defoe to PG Wodehouse

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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Hilarious, exuberant, subtle, tender, brutal, spectacular, and above all unexpected: these two extraordinary volumes contain the limitless possibilities of the British short story. This is the first anthology capacious enough to celebrate the full diversity and energy of its writers, subjects and tones. The most famous authors are here, and many others, including some ...more
Hardcover, 800 pages
Published November 5th 2015 by Penguin Classics
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Pamela
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Varied and inspiring collection of some of the most beautifully written British short stories. Philip Hensher has chosen an eclectic group of stories, some from famous names such as Defoe and Dickens, others by authors who are less well-known today like Stacy Aumonier and Viola Meynell.

There is a wide range of topics covered, including those which have a particular resonance today such as poverty, exploitation of workers and hostility towards immigrants. There are also entertaining detective
...more
Ian Russell
The Penguin Book of the British Short Story, Volume 1: Daniel Defoe to John Buchan.

Thirty-five stories by thirty-five authors, all significant writers of English literature. It’s like travelling through the history of the British short story, from 1705 to 1925.

It begins with Daniel Defoe’s A True Relation of the Apparition of Mrs Veal, the title itself giving a clue to this verbose and incomprehensible affair which I found almost unreadable. Then follows Swift’s advice to his footman, typically
...more
Karin
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Wonderful and varied collection of short stories, starting with a story by Daniel Defoe written in the early eighteens century. I’ve been dipping into this book over the last two years. Now on to the second volume of Philip Hensher’s selections, covering mostly the twentieth century, and ending with a story by Zadie Smith.
Colin
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love short stories and knew that this magisterial collection of the best of British short stories would be a must-have. A few not so subtle hints later it magically appeared in my Christmas stocking. I've been alternating reading it with my other books and am quite surprised that I've got through the first volume by mid-May. It's a beautifully produced book and wonderfully edited and introduced by Philip Hensher. I'd only read three of the stories of the many contained in this first volume ...more
Robert Hepple
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A truly awesome selection of 36 early British short stories, all by different authors, originally published between 1705 and 1926. The authors include a few that are still quite well known, together with others that have lost favour and vanished in the elapsed time. Consequently, the style varies considerably, yet the quality is high throughout. For example, stories by Conan Doyle, Saki, Chesterton and Kipling have been reprinted an incredible number of times, yet in the midst of this you will ...more
Mills College Library
823.0108 P3988 2015
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Hensher was born in South London, although he spent the majority of his childhood and adolescence in Sheffield, attending Tapton School.[2] He did his undergraduate degree at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford before attending Cambridge, where he was awarded a PhD for work on 18th century painting and satire. Early in his career he worked as a clerk in the House of Commons, from which he was fired over ...more