In 2010 Jolyon Connell, founder of popular current affairs magazines The Week and MoneyWeek, tried to help his daughter Flora with her A-level English text for The Tempest, and was astonished by the lack of accessible, up-to-date guides that would help him (and Flora) understand the finer points of the play. Adapting the principles of The Week to English texts, Jolyon commissioned experts in various literary fields to write guide books to great novels, poems and plays on the main English syllabuses.
The English collection now comprises 57 books, and is still growing. Our books are more than just study guides; they are great reads themselves –scholarly, yet approachable and entertaining.
Each book brings to life a single work of literature and provides an intelligent, illuminating discussion by an academic or critic at the very top of his or her field; writers with passion and something to say. Connell Guides put forward, clearly and concisely (but without losing any subtlety of thought), an authoritative and compelling interpretation of what a work is about; what it tells us about the world and human nature, and why it has endured.
All too often people are put off reading about history, usually by the dense, forbidding way information is presented and by the sheer length of most history books. The Connell Guides History series was launched in 2016 to address these issues and now consists of 17 books, each book focusing on a person or a period of historical importance. As with the English Literature series, the History Guides draw on the views of different historians, offering different perspectives of the same event.