The Sphinx Without A Secret by Oscar Wilde - HTML preview

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Welcome to EFL Classics: a new and unique series of books designed for learners of the English language.

Here you can find a collection of some of the best writers in English: classic British authors like Dickens, Jerome K Jerome and Thomas Hardy: famous American authors including Mark Twain and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Every genre is represented: horror stories by Edgar Allen Poe, war dramas by Ambrose Bierce; tales of pirates and adventure on the seas by Harriet Beecher Stowe, R M Ballantyne and Louis Becke; humorous tales by TS Arthur and Saki; social commentary by DH Lawrence and Mary Mitford; mysteries by Robert Louis Stephenson and Daniel Defoe.

The idea behind the series is simple. Short stories are perfect for English learners looking to read widely in English.

Firstly, these are complete tales. They are not very short versions of much longer books. You are reading the words which the authors wrote, not a simple copy for English learners.

Secondly, the short story is ideal for the busy lives of many students who must combine work and study. With the aid of apps and ebook readers, it is possible to read these works on the way to work: on the metro, on the bus or on the train. With free audio available for every book, you can simply listen along as you read.

Thirdly, even with great motivation, most students cannot read a classic three hundred page book in a foreign language. It is simply too slow. These short stories (on average between 2000 and 4500 words) can be read in only a few study sessions. This greatly increases a student's sense of achievement, and desire to read more.

There are sixty books in total in this series. I very much enjoyed editing and working on them. Although I have read English books all my life, I have found something new and exciting here.

I hope you too can experience some of these pleasures of English literature, while you continue to learn and improve your English language.

Ian Sumter


BA, MA, MPhil Oxford University

Qualified TEFL Teacher