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By: Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

Has a Frog a Soul? by Thomas Henry Huxley Has a Frog a Soul?

Thomas Huxley, known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his championing and development of Darwinism, was perhaps the most important Victorian biologist after Darwin himself. This speech to the Metaphysical Society in 1870 is one of Huxley’s best known texts outside the sphere of his specialism, and remains read today by students of philosophy. In it, Huxley argues from the results of vivisection to metaphysics.

By: R. Talbot Kelly (1861-1934)

Peeps at Many Lands: Egypt by R. Talbot Kelly Peeps at Many Lands: Egypt

A short travelogue of Egypt, this book was written as part of an early 20th century series of travelogues on exotic destinations.

By: H Rider Haggard

She and Allan by H Rider Haggard She and Allan

H Rider Haggard’s “She and Allan”, first published in 1921 is a gripping adventure about Allan Quatermain, who together with Hans, the Hottentot and, the Zulu-Chief Omslopogaas and at the bidding of the old Witch Doctor Zikali seeks out Ayesha, the daughter of Isis to find answers to their questions about life and death, and their many, sometimes strange, Adventures on their way. Written by Lars Rolander

By: Eleanor M. Ingram (1886-1921)

The Thing from the Lake by Eleanor M. Ingram The Thing from the Lake

To get away from city life periodically, New Yorker Roger Locke purchases an abandoned farm house in rural Connecticut, and with the assistance of his cousin Phillida and her beau Ethan Vere, he sets about fixing up the place. Immediately however, an unseen mysterious woman begins giving him warnings during nocturnal visits to leave the house at once. Soon he begins hearing strange ominous sounds emanating from the tiny lake at the back of the house coupled with a permeation of sickly odors. An evil presence then begins to visit him during the witching hours of the late night, challenging him to a battle of wits from which there can be only one victor...

By: Laura Rountree Smith (1876-1924)

Little Bear by Laura Rountree Smith Little Bear

A story for children about a little bear with no name, “there were not enough names to go round,” and his adventures in finding one.

By: Josephus

The Wars of the Jews by Josephus The Wars of the Jews

The Wars of the Jews (or The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, or as it usually appears in modern English translations, The Jewish War – original title: Phlauiou Iôsêpou historia Ioudaïkou polemou pros Rhômaious bibliona) is a book written by the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus. It is a description of Jewish history from the capture of Jerusalem by the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 164 BC to the fall and destruction of Jerusalem in the First Jewish-Roman War in AD 70...

By: Abraham Merritt

The Metal Monster by Abraham Merritt The Metal Monster

The Metal Monster is an Abraham Merritt fantasy novel.Dr. Goodwin is on a botanical expedition in the Himalayas. There hemeets Dick Drake, the son of one of his old science acquaintances. They are witnesses of a strange aurora-like effect, but seemingly a deliberate one. As they go out to investigate, they meet Goodwin’s old friends Martin and Ruth Ventnor, brother and sister scientists. The two are besieged by Persians as Darius III led when Alexander of Macedon conquered them more than two thousand years ago.(Wikipedia)

The Moon Pool by Abraham Merritt The Moon Pool

Dr. David Throckmartin’s scientific expedition to the South Sea Islands discovers among ancient ruins a portal into Muria, an unknown underground world. After the disappearance of Throckmartin, his wife and two companions, his old friend Dr. Walter Goodwin enters Muria with a rescue party, only to confront an fantastic world filled with incredible beings, astounding scientific advances, and the worship of the most evil of all creatures, The Dweller. (Introduction by Mark Nelson)

By: Grant Allen

The Woman Who Did by Grant Allen The Woman Who Did

Most times, especially in the time when this book was written (1895), it is just as nature and society would wish: a man and woman “fall in love” and get married. But it is not so for Herminia Barton and Alan Merrick. They do indeed fall in love, but Herminia has a deeply held belief in freedom for women, and she holds immutable views against what she perceives as the slavery of marriage.Alan unwillingly agrees to her strong wish to remain unmarried and to live together as “close and dear friends”...

The British Barbarians by Grant Allen The British Barbarians

After Civil Servant Philip Christy crosses paths with the mysterious Bertram Ingledew in the respectable suburb of Brackenhurst, Philip and his sister Frida, married to the wealthy Scot Robert Monteith, become friends with the stranger. Bertram has some unconventional concepts about society, and as the story unfolds, his beliefs and actions cause much disruption in the family and the neighbourhood.Who is Bertram? Where does he come from? Allen explores some interesting ideas about society, some of which are curiously relevant today...

Hilda Wade, A Woman With Tenacity of Purpose by Grant Allen Hilda Wade, A Woman With Tenacity of Purpose

In this early detective novel, the detective is Hilda Wade. She is a very capable nurse, but there is something mysterious about her from the moment she arrives at the hospital. Upon meeting her, Dr. Hubert Cumberledge greatly admires her and becomes a devoted friend. It turns out that Hilda has one purpose in life, and in pursuit of that purpose she will travel across the world, from London to South Africa, Rhodesia, India, Nepaul, Tibet and back. With Cumberledge's support, her extraordinary logic and clear thinking lead her on through deadly perils. But will that be enough to accomplish the secret purpose which has driven her so long and so far?

The Type-Writer Girl by Grant Allen The Type-Writer Girl

“There is no more pathetic figure in our world to-day than the common figure of the poor young lady, crushed between classes above and below, and left with scarce a chance of earning her bread with decency.” So says Juliet Appleton’s boss, encouraging her to put her story into print. How will this college-educated 23-year-old survive the Darwinian Battle of Life in late Victorian England? She’s fundless in London but armed, by way of adaptive structures, with those two high-tech devices of the day: a bicycle for mobility and a typewriter for utility.

Miss Cayley's Adventures by Grant Allen Miss Cayley's Adventures

Fun stories of Miss Lois Cayley, independent young woman, as she, beginning with only twopence in her pocket, travels the world.

By: G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Wine, Water and Song by G. K. Chesterton Wine, Water and Song

A collection of 16 poems by G.K. Chesterton. All of the poems in this book, except for "The Strange Ascetic" are taken from "The Flying Inn", a book by the same author.

Book cover Magic: A Fantastic Comedy
Book cover Wild Knight and Other Poems

A collection of poems that tend to revolve around the theme of the wonder of the world. It includes the short, poetic play, "The Wild Knight".

Book cover Greybeards at Play

G.K. Chesterton's first publication, "Greybeards at Play" is a collection of poetry and accompanying illustrations. The work is marked by the irreverent whimsy and ancient delight that would eventually be recognized as Chesterton's signature style. Short (only four poems long and a dedication), playful, and with a touch of awe, Chesterton's first piece (written at 26) is appropriately titled: it is the work of an amateur, mature in his spirit, young in his play. -

By: Florence Scovel Shinn (1871-1940)

The Game of Life and How to Play It by Florence Scovel Shinn The Game of Life and How to Play It

Florence Scovel Shinn, an illustrator living in New York City, became a teacher of New Thought after a divorce. New Thought was a movement which holds the belief that individuals can create their own reality through intentional thoughts and prayer, much like the current Law of Attraction movement. The Game of Life and How to Play It is her first book, and is remarkable for being written by a woman and meant for a genteel female audience.

By: Benvenuto Cellini ((1500-1571))

The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini by Benvenuto Cellini The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

Cellini’s autobiographical memoirs, which he began writing in Florence in 1558, give a detailed account of his singular career, as well as his loves, hatreds, passions, and delights, written in an energetic, direct, and racy style. They show a great self-regard and self-assertion, sometimes running into extravagances which are impossible to credit. He even writes in a complacent way of how he contemplated his murders before carrying them out. He writes of his time in Paris: Parts of his tale recount...

By: William H. Hudson (1841-1922)

Far Away and Long Ago by William H. Hudson Far Away and Long Ago

William Henry Hudson (August 1841 – 1922) was an author, naturalist and ornithologist. Hudson was born of U.S. parents living in the Quilmes Partido in Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, where he spent his youth studying the local flora and fauna and observing both natural and human dramas on what was then a lawless frontier. ‘Far Away and Long Ago’ is a classic memoir of a boy, fascinated by nature, on the Pampas in the 19th century.

Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by William H. Hudson Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest

“Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest” is a narration of his life story by Abel, a Venezuelan, to a comrade. Once a wealthy young man, he meddled in politics to the extent of provoking a revolution… which failed.Escaping into the tropical forests of Guyana Abel takes up gold hunting, then journal-writing, and fails at both. Now with no aim for his life, he drifts until he takes up residence with a remote Indian tribe. Soon he learns of a wood the Indians avoid, as it is inhabited by a dangerous Daughter of the Didi, who, they say, slew one of them with magic...

By: W. M. Flinders Petrie

Egyptian Tales, translated from the Papyri, Series One by W. M. Flinders Petrie Egyptian Tales, translated from the Papyri, Series One

Brief, and in some cases incomplete, stories of magic from ancient Egypt.

By: Rupert Brooke

Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke by Rupert Brooke Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke

Rupert Chawner Brooke (August 3, 1887 – April 23, 1915) was an English poet known for his idealistic War Sonnets written during the First World War (especially The Soldier), as well as for his poetry written outside of war, especially The Old Vicarage, Grantchester and The Great Lover. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as “the handsomest young man in England”.

By: Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)

The Coming Race by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton The Coming Race

Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803-1873) was an English novelist, poet, playright, and politician. Lord Lytton was a florid, popular writer of his day, who coined such phrases as “the great unwashed”, “pursuit of the almighty dollar”, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, and the infamous incipit “It was a dark and stormy night.” Despite his popularity in his heyday, today his name is known as a byword for bad writing. San Jose State University holds...

By: Samuel Cheetham

History of the Christian church by Samuel Cheetham History of the Christian church

The intention of this work is to provide a sketch of the History of the Church in the first six centuries of its existence, resting throughout on original authorities, and also giving references to the principal modern works which have dealt specially with its several portions. It is hoped that it may be found to supply a convenient summary for those who can give but little time to the study, and also to serve as a guide for those who desire to make themselves acquainted with the principal documents from which the History is drawn.

By: Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

Book cover Century of Roundels

A roundel (not to be confused with the rondel) is a form of verse used in English language poetry devised by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837–1909). It is a variation of the French rondeau form. It makes use of refrains, repeated according to a certain stylized pattern. A roundel consists of nine lines each having the same number of syllables, plus a refrain after the third line and after the last line. The refrain must be identical with the beginning of the first line: it may be a half-line, and rhymes with the second line...

By: Adele Garrison

Revelations of a Wife by Adele Garrison Revelations of a Wife

Adele Garrison was the nom de plume of Nana Springer White, an American writer. Her career included time as a schoolteacher in Milwaukee. She later worked as an editor for the Milwaukee Sentinel and then a reporter and writer for the Chicago Examiner and Chicago American. “Revelations of a Wife” ran as a serial story in her daily newspaper column in multiple American newspapers from 1915 until the Depression. It told the story of the marital ups and downs of Margaret “Madge” Graham, an independent-minded former schoolteacher, and her husband Dicky, an artist. At the height of the story’s popularity, it had one million regular readers.

By: Publius Ovidius Naso

Book cover Metamorphoses

The Metamorphoses of Ovid is probably one of the best known, certainly one of the most influential works of the Ancient world. It consists of a narrative poem in fifteen books that describes the creation and history of the world through mythological tales, starting with a cosmogony and finishing with the deification of Julius Caesar. Published around 8 AD, the Metamorphoses are a source, sometimes the only source, for many of the most famous ancient myths, such as the stories of Daedalus and Icarus, Arachne or Narcisus...

Heroides by Publius Ovidius Naso Heroides

The Heroides, also known as the Heroines, the Letters of the Heroines or simply as Epistles are a very famous collection of poems by Ovid, not only for their interesting subject – letters by famous mythological characters addressed to their beloved ones – but also because it’s considered by some the first example of the Epistle as a literary genre – a statement made by Ovid himself in his Ars Amatoria. The book as we have it nowadays consists of 21 letters, divided in two parts. The first...

By: Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)

The Philosophy of Style by Herbert Spencer The Philosophy of Style

“The Philosophy of Style,” explored a growing trend of formalist approaches to writing. Highly focused on the proper placement and ordering of the parts of an English sentence, [Spencer] created a guide for effective composition. Spencer’s aim was to free prose writing from as much “friction and inertia” as possible, so that the reader would not be slowed by strenuous deliberations concerning the proper context and meaning of a sentence.

By: Edith Œnone Somerville (1858-1949)

Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. by Edith Œnone Somerville Some Experiences of an Irish R.M.

This is the first of three novels which Edith Somerville and her cousin Violet Martin wrote about the English Major Sinclair Yates who leaves the army to take up a position of Resident Magistrate in the West of Ireland in about 1895. The tales tell in a humorous way of his struggles with a new job, new culture, and with his landlord and neighbour Mr. ‘Flurry’ Knox whose prime, if not only, interest is in hunting, which forms the background to all the stories. Miss Somerville was herself the first woman anywhere to become an M.F.H.

By: Mary MacLane (1881-1929)

The Story of Mary MacLane by Mary MacLane The Story of Mary MacLane

At the age of 19 in 1902, MacLane published her first book, The Story of Mary MacLane. It sold 100,000 copies in the first month and was popular among young girls, but was strongly criticized by conservative readers, and lightly ridiculed by H. L. Mencken. She had always chafed at living in Butte, which was a small mining town, and used the money from sales of this book to move to Greenwich Village where she continued to write books and newspaper articles. Some critics have suggested that even by today’s standards, MacLane’s writing is raw, honest, unflinching, self-aware, sensual and extreme...

By: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Herland

Herland is a utopian novel from 1915, written by feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book describes an isolated society comprised entirely of Aryan women who reproduce via parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). The result is an ideal social order, free of war, conflict and domination. It first appeared as a serial in Perkin’s monthly magazine Forerunner.

What Diantha Did by Charlotte Perkins Gilman What Diantha Did

Charlotte Perkins Gilman opens a window of history through which we see a small part of the determined efforts made by women to elevate the circumstances of women in the early 20th century.Diantha Bell is a normal young woman desiring marriage and a home, but also she desires a challenging career in new territory that raises many eyebrows and sets malicious tongues wagging. Her effort to elevate housework and cooking to a regulated and even a scientific business, for the relief of homemakers, is a depiction of the late 19th century movement to promote Domestic Science, or Home Economics, as a means of providing more healthful home life, as well as career paths for women...

By: Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875)

Book cover Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid" (Danish: Den lille havfrue, literally: "the little sea lady") is a very well known fairy tale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince. The tale was first published in 1837 and has been adapted to various media including musical theatre and animated film. But this tale is not the Disney version, all cleaned up and made pretty. This is the way Andersen wrote it...

Book cover Ice-Maiden: and Other Tales

Short-stories/fairy tales by H. C. Anderson, includes The Ice-maiden -- The Butterfly -- The Psyche -- The Snail and the Rose-treeThe Ice-Maiden: Written toward the end of Hans Christian Andersen's career, "The Ice-Maiden" is the story of Rudy, a boy who's mother died in the ice of the mountains while he survives, saved by the kiss of the Ice-Maiden. The Ice-Maiden, jealous that the boy she claimed has escaped her embrace, pursues him through the rest of his life.The Butterfly: A butterfly searches for the perfect flower to be his bride...

By: Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan by Winston Churchill The River War: An Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan

When the self-proclaimed Mahdi (“Guided One”) gathered Islamic forces and kicked the Anglo-Egyptians out of the Sudan, he unleashed a backlash. With the image of the heroic General Charles Gordon dying at Khartoum, the British public was ready to support a war to reclaim the lost territories. And when the political time was right, a British-Egyptian-Sudanese expedition led by the redoubtable Herbert Kitchener set out to do just that.The river involved was the Nile. For millennia, its annual flood has made habitable a slender strip, though hundreds of miles of deserts, between its tributaries and its delta...

A Traveller in War-Time by Winston Churchill A Traveller in War-Time

This is a collection of a series of journalistic articles written during his travels throughout WWI era Europe that Churchill — the American author, not the famed British statesman — published in 1917; the book version came out in 1918. The writing is sharp, straightforward, and rarely sentimental, with loads of local color and occasional humor.

By: Bliss Carman

Ballads of Lost Haven: A Book of the Sea by Bliss Carman Ballads of Lost Haven: A Book of the Sea

This collection of lyric poems evokes the sea in every line, from birth (A Son of the Sea) to death (Outbound). The smells, sights and sounds of the Canada's East Coast feature prominently.

By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Book cover Rainy Day

MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...

By: Noah Davis (b. 1804)

A Narrative of the Life of Rev. Noah Davis, A Colored Man by Noah Davis A Narrative of the Life of Rev. Noah Davis, A Colored Man

The object of the writer, in preparing this account of himself, is to RAISE SUFFICIENT MEANS TO FREE HIS LAST TWO CHILDREN FROM SLAVERY. Having already, within twelve years past, purchased himself, his wife, and five of his children, at a cost, altogether, of over four thousand dollars, he now earnestly desires a humane and Christian public to AID HIM IN THE SALE OF THIS BOOK, for the purpose of finishing the task in which he has so long and anxiously labored. God has blessed him in an extraordinary...

By: William Le Queux (1864-1927)

The Czar's Spy by William Le Queux The Czar's Spy

William Le Queux was a British novelist and prolific writer of mysteries. Indeed, mystery surrounds the author himself as to whether he was a spy or rather just a self-promoter. Regardless of which is true, Le Queux brings us a story of intrigue and espionage that travels across Europe in the true spirit of a good mystery. There are shootings, burglaries, romances, escapes from prisons, and intricate conspiracies that may surprise and leave you scratching your head as you try to solve this “whodunit”. In the best tradition of a good mystery however, you may need to wait for the final chapters to discover the truth.

Hushed Up! A Mystery of London by William Le Queux Hushed Up! A Mystery of London

A young man, Owen Biddulph, is drawn to a beautiful young woman with a mysterious past... a past that seems to have returned to cause her disappearance! Is she his new found love or his nemesis? And who is this mysterious clergyman that warns him to avoid this young woman, at risk of his very life! What possible harm could this sweet young woman inflict? Written by one of the Masters of Mystery, William Le Queux. (Introduction by Tom Weiss)

The Seven Secrets by William Le Queux The Seven Secrets

A true “whodunit” with as many twists and turns as an English country road. Old man Courtenay is found murdered in his bed. Dr. Ralph Boyd is summoned to Courtenay Manor to examine the slain man and discovers a clue that might solve the case. But, he decides to keep the clue private for personal reasons. In the meantime, Scotland Yard has no clues as the culprits or the motive. Dr. Boyd, because of his new found clue, is sure he knows who is the murderer. Or, is it a murderess? His intimate acquaintance, Ambler Jevons, is also investigating the crime but Dr...

The Stretton Street Affair by William Le Queux The Stretton Street Affair

Hugh Gabriel has recently been repatriated from the war and has rejoined his old firm as an electrical engineer. On the way to visit his uncle one night, he is asked by a servant if he would be willing to meet with his wealthy master who is in some distress. Hugh becomes witness to, and directly involved with, a dastardly murder. Or has he? Who is this mysterious millionaire Oswald De Gex he has been asked to meet with? Is Doctor Moroni an honest physician or a diabolical monster? And what about...

The Great White Queen by William Le Queux The Great White Queen

How to describe this book? In a word – savage. For those regular Le Queux mystery listeners, this book is a step in a different direction by the author. The book starts out like most Le Queux. Our hero, Richard Scarsmere, befriends an individual (Omar) at an English boarding school who turns out to be an African prince from a kingdom called Mo. Omar receives a visit from one of his mother’s trusted advisers. His mother, the Great White Queen, seeks him to return home immediately. Omar convinces Scarsmere to return to Africa with him since there is little opportunity awaiting him in London. What follows is a tale of deceit, treachery, barbarity, and mystery.

The Four Faces by William Le Queux The Four Faces

Michael Berrington is a bachelor leading a quiet life in London. Overhearing a conversation at his club one day, he becomes interested in a discussion regarding a man named Gastrell. Gastrell is somewhat of a mystery to the club members in spite of his renting a house from one of them. Berrington’s interest in Gastrell intensifies as his fiancé, Dulcie Challoner, befriends a wealthy widow, Mrs. Connie Stapleton who evidently has some type of relationship with Gastrell. As the plot progresses,...

The Invasion by William Le Queux The Invasion

This novel, also known as The Invasion of 1910, is a 1906 novel written mainly by William Le Queux (with H. W. Wilson providing the naval chapters). It is one of the more famous examples of Invasion literature and is an example of pre-World War I Germanophobia, as it preached the need to prepare for war with Germany. The book takes the form of a military history and includes excerpts from the characters' journals and letters and descriptions of the fictional German campaign itself. The novel originally appeared in serial form in the Daily Mail newspaper from 19 March 1906, and was a huge success...

The Sign of Silence by William Le Queux The Sign of Silence

Edward Royle is the head of a well-known chemical manufacturer in England, which he has inherited. He is engaged to the daughter of his father’s former partner, Phrida Shand, who lives with her mother. One night he is asked by his friend, Sir Digby Kemsley – a very famous railroad engineer, to come to his flat to discuss something although Kemsley is quite mysterious on the telephone. Royle visits, then returns home only to be summoned again by Kemsley, this time imploring him to return at once...

By: Peter Newell (1862-1924)

The Slant Book by Peter Newell The Slant Book

The Slant Book is literally the shape of a parallelogram, with the spine of the book running down one side. When opened, facing pages form a “V” shape. All the pictures on the slanted recto pages show a way-too-precocious infant in a carriage [the "go-cart" of yesteryear] racing downhill who has somehow gotten away from his nanny, gleefully creating havoc all along the way! The facing verso pages contain two stanzas of commentary on the charming –if alarming!– illustrations. This book pioneered the “special format” children’s literature of today, such as pop-up books or cutout books like Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar...

The Rocket Book by Peter Newell The Rocket Book

The Rocket Book begins when the son of a building superintendent sets a match to a rocket he discovered in the basement. Suddenly, the rocket blasts its way up through apartment after apartment in a high-rise, disrupting and transforming the humdrum goings-on of twenty families till it is finally stopped cold by something in the attic. An elliptical hole is punched in each of the book’s pages and illustrations to signify where the rocket passed through every apartment! As in all of Newell’s books, the verse on the verso-page provides commentary on the recto-page illustration...

By: Henri Bergson (1859-1941)

An Introduction to Metaphysics by Henri Bergson An Introduction to Metaphysics

An Introduction to Metaphysics (Introduction a la Metaphysique) is a 1903 essay by Henri Bergson that explores the concept of reality. For Bergson, reality occurs not in a series of discrete states but as a process similar to that described by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. Reality is fluid and cannot be completely understood through reductionistic analysis, which he said “implies that we go around an object”, gaining knowledge from various perspectives which are relative. Instead, reality can be grasped absolutely only through intuition, which Bergson expressed as “entering into” the object.

By: Harrison Ainsworth

The Lancashire Witches by Harrison Ainsworth The Lancashire Witches

The Lancashire Witches is a highly fictionalised account of the activities of the notorious witches Demdike, Chattox and Alice Nutter who, together with others terrorised the district of Lancashire around Pendle Hill and the Forest of Bowland during the early seventeenth century. The witches named in the book were real enough, if not as witches then as people. Ainsworth, in his story brings in the dissolution of Whalley Abbey and the historic families of Assheton, Braddyll and Nowell and takes us through to the final trial and execution at Lancaster Castle in 1612. (Summary by Andy Minter)

By: Katherine Pyle (1863-1938)

The Counterpane Fairy by Katherine Pyle The Counterpane Fairy

A little boy, recuperating from a lengthy illness, is entertained by visits from the Counterpane Fairy, who treats him to stories associated with each of the squares in the counterpane (quilt) on his sickbed. She has him concentrate on one of the squares until it turns into something like a doorway into the story. Once inside the story, he becomes its lead character until it fades out as if he’s awakening from a dream.

By: Frank Froest (1858-1930)

The Grell Mystery by Frank Froest The Grell Mystery

Mr Robert Grell, millionaire and socialite, is found murdered in his study on a stormy evening. It’s up to Heldon Foyle, the detective, to unravel the mystery.

By: Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Philippics by Marcus Tullius Cicero The Philippics

A philippic is a fiery, damning speech delivered to condemn a particular political actor. The term originates with Demosthenes, who delivered an attack on Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century BCE.Cicero consciously modeled his own attacks on Mark Antony, in 44 BC and 43 BC, on Demosthenes’s speeches, and if the correspondence between M. Brutus and Cicero are genuine [ad Brut. ii 3.4, ii 4.2], at least the fifth and seventh speeches were referred to as the Philippics in Cicero’s time. They were also called the Antonian Orations by Aulus Gellius...

By: Lytton Strachey (1880-1932)

Queen Victoria by Lytton Strachey Queen Victoria

Lytton Strachey’s first great success, and his most famous achievement, was “Eminent Victorians” (1918), a collection of four short biographies of Victorian heroes. With a dry wit, he exposed the human failings of his subjects and what he saw as the hypocrisy at the centre of Victorian morality. This work was followed in the same style by “Queen Victoria” (1921).

By: Giles Lytton Strachey (1880-1932)

Book cover Eminent Victorians

On Modern Library's list of 100 Best Non-Fiction books, "Eminent Victorians" marked an epoch in the art of biography; it also helped to crack the old myths of high Victorianism and to usher in a new spirit by which chauvinism, hypocrisy and the stiff upper lip were debunked. In it, Strachey cleverly exposes the self-seeking ambitions of Cardinal Manning and the manipulative, neurotic Florence Nightingale; and in his essays on Dr Arnold and General Gordon, his quarries are not only his subjects but also the public-school system and the whole structure of nineteenth-century liberal values.

By: Amy Steedman

In  God's Garden by Amy Steedman In God's Garden

“In this book you will not find the stories of all God’s saints. I have gathered a few together, just as one gathers a little posy from a garden full of roses. But the stories I have chosen to tell are those that I hope children will love best to hear.” (excerpt from In God’s Garden by Amy Steedman)

Book cover Knights of Art - Stories of the Italian Painters

A children's version of the Lives of Artists by Vassari with many Illustrations. Of course we won't be able to show the paintings but the descriptions and the anecdotes are interesting and may lead a child to further interest.

By: Kabir (1440-1518)

Songs of Kabir by Kabir Songs of Kabir

Kabir (1440 - 1518) was a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement.The name Kabir comes from Arabic Al-Kabir which means 'The Great' - the 37th Name of God in the Qur'an.Kabir was influenced by the prevailing religious mood of his times, such as old Brahmanic Hinduism, Hindu and Buddhist Tantrism, the teachings of Nath yogis and the personal devotionalism of South India mixed with the imageless God of Islam. The influence of these various doctrines is clearly evident in Kabir's verses...

By: James Champlin Fernald (1838-1918)

Book cover English Synonyms and Antonyms

English Synonyms and Antonyms is basically a vocabulary builder that students might use as they prepare for entrance or exit exams. Each entry gives a list of synonyms, followed by a paragraph that briefly explains or exemplifies the subtle distinctions between the listed words. The entries sometimes close with a few words on the prepositions that follow selected synonyms, but more often with a list of antonyms.By "synonyms" we usually understand words that coincide or nearly coincide in some part of their meaning, and may hence within certain limits be used interchangeably, while outside of those limits they may differ very greatly in meaning and use...

By: Irwin Leslie Gordon (1888-1954)

Who Was Who: 5000 BC – 1914 by Irwin Leslie Gordon Who Was Who: 5000 BC – 1914

A short, humorous biography of famous people from 5000 BC to 1914. — S. McGaughey From the Introduction, “The editor begs leave to inform the public that only persons who can produce proper evidence of their demise will be admitted to Who Was Who. Press Agent notices or complimentary comments are absolutely excluded, and those offering to pay for the insertion of names will be prosecuted. As persons become eligible they will be included without solicitation, while the pages will be expurgated of others should good luck warrant.”

By: Marcel Dupont (1879-1964)

In the Field (1914-1915) by Marcel Dupont In the Field (1914-1915)

I have merely tried to make a written record of some of the hours I have lived through during the course of this war. A modest Lieutenant of Chasseurs, I cannot claim to form any opinion as to the operations which have been carried out for the last nine months on an immense front. I only speak of things I have seen with my own eyes, in the little corner of the battlefield occupied by my regiment.

By: Haggard, H. Rider (1856-1925)

Ayesha, the Return of She by Haggard, H. Rider Ayesha, the Return of She

Ayesha, the return of She, is set 16 years after the previous novel She. Horace Holly and Leo Vincey have spent the years travelling the world looking for Ayesha, along the way they experience many adventures, including avalanches, glaciers and even death-hounds before finally arriving in the court of Kaloon. At the court, they hear tell of a woman who Leo suspects to be Ayesha, however things are never simple and conflict soon follows them to Ayesha’s court. (Summarised from Wikipedia)

By: Robert Williams Wood (1868-1955)

How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers by Robert Williams Wood How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers

How do you tell apart a parrot from a carrot? A plover from a clover? A bay from a jay? Although there are several ways of differentiating, R. W. Wood’s use of pun and rhyme is one of the most entertaining!

By: Samuel Johnson

Plan and Preface to a Dictionary of English by Samuel Johnson Plan and Preface to a Dictionary of English

The published dictionary was a huge book: with pages nearly 1½ feet tall and 20 inches wide, it contained 42,773 words; it also sold for the huge price of £4/10s. ($400?). It would be years before “Johnson’s Dictionary”, as it came to be known, would ever turn a profit; authors’ royalities being unknown at that time, Johnson, once his contract to deliver the book was fulfilled, received no further monies connected to the book. Johnson, once again a freelance writer, albeit now a famous one, faced a grim hand-to-mouth existence; however, in July 1762 the twenty-four year old King George III granted Johnson an annual pension of £300...

Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia by Samuel Johnson Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia

In this enchanting fable (subtitled The Choice of Life), Rasselas and his retinue burrow their way out of the totalitarian paradise of the Happy Valley in search of that triad of eighteenth-century aspiration – life, liberty and happiness.According to that quirky authority, James Boswell, Johnson penned his only work of prose fiction in a handful of days to cover the cost of his mother’s funeral. The stylistic elegance of the book and its wide-ranging philosophical concerns give no hint of haste or superficiality...

By: Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, normally known simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe The Jew of Malta

Christopher “Kit” Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death. The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean...

Book cover Hero and Leander

“Who ever lov’d, that lov’d not at first sight?” The wonder-decade of the English drama was suddenly interrupted in 1592, when serious plague broke out in London, forcing the closure of the theatres. Leading playwrights took to penning languorously erotic poetry to make ends meet: so we have Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece - and Marlowe’s blazing masterpiece, Hero and Leander. Marlowe’s poem became more notorious than either of Shakespeare’s, due not only to its homophile provocations but also to the scandal attaching to every aspect of Marlowe’s brief life, violently ended in a mysterious brawl, leaving the poem in an unfinished state...

Tamburlaine the Great by Christopher Marlowe Tamburlaine the Great

Tamburlaine the Great is the name of a play in two parts by Christopher Marlowe. It is loosely based on the life of the Central Asian emperor, Timur 'the lame'. Written in 1587 or 1588, the play is a milestone in Elizabethan public drama; it marks a turning away from the clumsy language and loose plotting of the earlier Tudor dramatists, and a new interest in fresh and vivid language, memorable action, and intellectual complexity. Along with Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, it may be considered the first popular success of London's public stage...

Book cover Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1616 version)

The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe's death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play. "No Elizabethan play outside the Shakespeare canon has raised more controversy than Doctor Faustus. There is no agreement concerning the nature of the text and the date of composition...

Book cover Edward II

Christopher Marlowe's Elizabethan tragedy focuses on the downfall of King Edward II, whose love for his favorite courtier, Piers Gaveston, leads to rebellion.

By: George Hodges (1856-1919)

When the King Came: Stories from the Four Gospels by George Hodges When the King Came: Stories from the Four Gospels

THIS tells how once the King of Glory came from heaven to visit us here on earth and live amongst us; how He was born in Bethlehem and brought up in Nazareth; how He went about telling people of the Heavenly Kingdom, and doing good, ministering to the sick and the poor; how He was misunderstood, and disliked, and even hated, till at last they took Him in Jerusalem and nailed Him to a cross so that He died; and how, after that, He came to life again, and went back into heaven, promising to return.

By: Winston S. Churchill

Selected House of Commons Speeches by Winston S. Churchill Selected House of Commons Speeches

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874 – 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historical writer, and an artist.

By: Tom Godwin (1915-1980)

Space Prison by Tom Godwin Space Prison

AFTER TWO CENTURIES….The sound came swiftly nearer, rising in pitch and swelling in volume. Then it broke through the clouds, tall and black and beautifully deadly — the Gern battle cruiser, come to seek them out and destroy them. Humbolt dropped inside the stockade, exulting. For two hundred years his people had been waiting for the chance to fight the mighty Gern Empire … with bows and arrows against blasters and bombs!

By: Samuel Richardson

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded

Now first Published In order to cultivate the Principles of Virtue and Religion in the Minds of the YOUTH of BOTH SEXES.A Narrative which has its Foundation in TRUTH and NATURE; and at the same time that it agreeably entertains, by a Variety of curious and affecting Incidents, is intirely divested of all those Images, which, in too many Pieces calculated for Amusement only, tend to inflame the Minds they should instruct.(From the frontspiece of the first edition)Pamela tells the story of a 14 year old lady’s maid named Pamela whose master, Mr...

Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady

Clarissa Harlowe, the tragic heroine of Clarissa, is a beautiful and virtuous young lady whose family has become very wealthy only in recent years and is now eager to become part of the aristocracy by acquiring estates and titles through advantageous pairings. Clarissa’s relatives attempt to force her to marry a rich but heartless man (Roger Solmes) against her will and, more importantly, against her own sense of virtue. Desperate to remain free, she is tricked by a young gentleman of her acquaintance, Lovelace, into escaping with him. However, she refuses to marry him, longing — unusual for a girl in her time — to live by herself in peace.

By: Ruth Stiles Gannett (1923-)

My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett My Father's Dragon

A story about a boy who befriends a cat and then sets off on an adventure to rescue a dragon. Illustrations from the original book can be seen at the e-text link.

By: Lawrence Beesley (1877-1967)

The Loss of the S. S. Titanic by Lawrence Beesley The Loss of the S. S. Titanic

This is a 1st hand account written by a survivor of the Titanic about that fateful night and the events leading up to it as well as the events that followed its sinking.

By: Henry A. Beers

A Brief History of English and American Literature by Henry A. Beers A Brief History of English and American Literature

Henry Augustin Beers (1847-?), native of Buffalo, NY and professor of English at Yale, with the help of John Fletcher Hurst (1834-1903), Methodist bishop and first Chancellor of American University, has written a sweeping thousand 900 year history of English literature, up to the end of the 19th century. Although at times biased and sometimes misguided (as when he dismisses Mark Twain as a humorist noteworthy in his time but not for the ages), his research is sound and his criticism is interesting and quite often very balanced...

By: Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (75 BC - c. 15 BC)

Ten Books on Architecture by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio Ten Books on Architecture

On Architecture is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus as a guide for building projects. The work is one of the most important sources of modern knowledge of Roman building methods as well as the planning and design of structures, both large (aqueducts, buildings, baths, harbours) and small (machines, measuring devices, instruments). He is also the prime source of the famous story of Archimedes and his bath-time discovery.

By: William Walker Atkinson (1862-1932)

Thought Vibration, or The Law of Attraction in the Thought by William Walker Atkinson Thought Vibration, or The Law of Attraction in the Thought

William Walker Atkinson (December 5, 1862 – November 22, 1932) was an attorney, merchant, publisher, and author, as well as an occultist and an American pioneer of the New Thought movement.Atkinson was a prolific writer, and his many books achieved wide circulation among New Thought devotees and occult practitioners. He published under several pen names, including Magus Incognito, Theodore Sheldon, Theron Q. Dumont, Swami Panchadasi, Yogi Ramacharaka, Swami Bhakta Vishita, and probably other names not identified at present...

Book cover Hindu-Yogi Science Of Breath

Increase your awareness about the forgotten art of breathing as researched, practiced and written by our Eastern brothers. Inside you will find how our Western society has perhaps forgotten the proper way to breath, hence leaving us more susceptible to disease and poor health. This book explains in layman's terms what happens inside our bodies when we inhale and then exhale. And the effects improper breathing has on both our internal and external extremities. It describes nature's proximity for the respiratory, and circulatory systems. The final sections include invaluable Yogi breathing exercises for increased breathing awareness and better health. Salaam. (Mike Justice)

Book cover Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga

The Book talks on the internal world of the self. The real nature of the subconscious mind, the way to control it, how ego comes into play and most frequently asked questions like "Who am I" are attempted to answer.

By: Joseph Lewis French (1858-1936)

Great Pirate Stories by Joseph Lewis French Great Pirate Stories

Piracy embodies the romance of the sea at its highest expression. It is a sad but inevitable commentary on our civilization, that, so far as the sea is concerned, it has developed from its infancy down to a century or so ago, under one phase or another of piracy. If men were savages on land they were doubly so at sea, and all the years of maritime adventure–years that added to the map of the world till there was little left to discover–could not wholly eradicate the piratical germ.

By: John Charles Dent (1841-1888)

The Gerrard Street Mystery and Other Weird Tales by John Charles Dent The Gerrard Street Mystery and Other Weird Tales

John Charles Dent, the author of the following remarkable stories, was born in Kendal, Westmorland, England, in 1841. His parents emigrated to Canada shortly after that event, bringing with them, of course, the youth who was afterwards to become the Canadian author and historian. Mr. Dent received his primary education in Canadian schools, and afterwards studied law, becoming in due course a member of the Upper Canada Bar. He only practised for a few years, then returned to England to pursue a literary career, writing mostly for periodicals...

By: Giambattista Basile (1566 or 1575-1632)

Stories from Pentamerone by Giambattista Basile Stories from Pentamerone

This is one of the oldest written collections of fairy tales. Although the names are different, listeners should recognise many of the stories as the basis of modern fairy tales. Be warned however, that these stories are a lot more violent and gruesome then the Disney versions you may be familiar with. Parents should listen to the files to gauge their suitability before allowing children to listen to them.

By: Einhard (c.775-840)

The Life of Charlemagne by Einhard The Life of Charlemagne

Einhard was employed by Charlemagne as a court historian. At the request of Charlemagne’s son and successor Louis the Pious, he wrote a biography of Charlemagne, the Vita Karoli Magni or Life of Charlemagne (c. 817–830), which provides much direct information about Charlemagne’s life and character. In composing this he made full use of the Frankish Royal annals. Einhard’s literary model was the classical work of the Roman historian Suetonius, the Lives of the Caesars. (adapted from Wikipedia)

By: Mary A. Hamilton

The Story of Abraham Lincoln by Mary A. Hamilton The Story of Abraham Lincoln

In this biography for young adults, Mary A. Hamilton gives a British person’s perspective on the 16th President of the United States. A glowing tribute to “Honest Abe”, the author traces Lincoln’s ancestral roots and recounts his birth in Kentucky, his youth in Indiana, his adult life in Illinois and his years in the White House. She also provides a good background on the causes and course of the American Civil War. Hamilton is not always historically precise. For example, she erroneously names Jefferson Davis as the Southern Democratic candidate for president running against Lincoln and Douglas in 1860 rather than John C...

By: Augusta Groner (1850-1929)

The Case of the Pocket Diary Found in the Snow by Augusta Groner The Case of the Pocket Diary Found in the Snow

The account of some adventures in the professional experience of a member of the Imperial Austrian Police. (from the text)

By: Albert Bigelow Pain

The Boys' Life of Mark Twain by Albert Bigelow Pain The Boys' Life of Mark Twain

Albert Bigelow Paine was Samuel Langhorne Clemens’ (Mark Twain’s) biographer. He lived with Twain, collecting ideas and material for a biography, for a few years before Twain’s death in 1910. Six years later Paine published this “story of a man who made the world laugh and love him.” For those who have read or listened to Mark Twain’s works, Paine’s work is an invaluable resource to better understand Twain, the stories behind his stories and his life with those he loved and with whom he worked.

By: Harold MacGrath (1871-1932)

The Drums of Jeopardy by Harold MacGrath The Drums of Jeopardy

The Drums of Jeopardy is a 1920 American novel by Harold MacGrath. The story was serialized by the The Saturday Evening Post beginning in January of 1920.In 1922 the book was made into a Broadway play and the following year a motion picture. A second film version appeared in 1931.It is said that a young Boris Karloff, who previously had a few uncredited film roles, chose his stage name for his first screen credit in 1920 from a Russian mad scientist character named “Boris Karlov” in this novel...

The Pagan Madonna by Harold MacGrath The Pagan Madonna

The Pagan Madonna, one of Harold MacGrath's numerous novels, set in Shanghai, tells a story of intrigue, murder, and illicit art “collecting.” The paths of Jean Norman, a Red Cross nurse from the United States, Ling Foo, a shifty pawn shop keeper, and Anthony Cleigh, millionaire art collector, cross and recross in growing intrigue over a string of beads. It is a world where “. . . every move you make is governed by Chance--the Blind Madonna of the Pagan . . . .” (Introduction by Don Jenkins)

By: Horace Walpole

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto

The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by HoraceWalpole. It is generally held to be the first gothic novel,initiating a literary genre which would become extremelypopular in the later 18th century and early 19thcentury. Thus, Castle, and Walpole by extension isarguably the forerunner to such authors as AnnRadcliffe, Bram Stoker, Daphne du Maurier, andStephen King.

By: Roy J. Snell (1878-1959)

The Blue Envelope by Roy J. Snell The Blue Envelope

A mystery and adventure story for girls set in Alaska.

By: Warner Van Lorne

Wanted – 7 Fearless Engineers! by Warner Van Lorne Wanted – 7 Fearless Engineers!

A great civilization’s fate lay in Dick Barrow’s hands as he led his courageous fellow engineers into a strange and unknown land. None of them knew what lay ahead–what dangers awaited them–or what rewards. But they did not hesitate because the first question asked them had been: “Are you a brave man?”

By: St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila The Interior Castle

El Castillo Interior or Las Moradas (trans.:The Interior Castle or The Mansions) was written by Saint Teresa of Ávila in 1577. After being ordered to write her autobiographical La Vida de la Santa Madre Teresa de Jesús (The Life of S. Teresa of Jesus), Teresa was hesitant to begin writing again on her views of the perfection found in internal prayer. In the hands of the Inquisition at that time, her Life was commonly believed to be the weight in the scale of whether to call her experiences heretical or not...

Book cover Book of the Foundations

Essentially the sequel to The Life of St. Teresa, Teresa recounts the foundations of the Discalced Carmelite monasteries in Spain, both for men and women. This book tells of all the triumphs and troubles, and about the many people who helped her.(Introduction by Ann Boulais)


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