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 magnificent stories never republished since their first appearance in magazines and periodicals. The Penguin Book of the British Short Story has a permanent authority, and will be reached for year in and year out. This volume takes the story from its origins with Defoe, Swift and Fielding to the \047golden age\047 of the fin de siecle and Edwardian period. Edited and with an introduction by Philip Hensher, the award-winning novelist, critic and journalist.