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By: Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804)

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton The Federalist Papers

In order to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution in the late 1780s, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Hay wrote a series of 85 articles and essays explaining their reasons to support the constitution. Most of these articles were published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet and they later became known as “The Federalist Papers.” In reading the articles, one will encounter very interesting issues like Hamilton’s opposition to including the Bill of Rights in the Constitution and why he thinks a Union is better than a Confederation...

By: Alexander Pope

An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope An Essay on Criticism

An Essay on Criticism was the first major poem written by the English writer Alexander Pope (1688-1744). However, despite the title, the poem is not as much an original analysis as it is a compilation of Pope’s various literary opinions. A reading of the poem makes it clear that he is addressing not so much the ingenuous reader as the intending writer. It is written in a type of rhyming verse called heroic couplets.

By: Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870)

Celebrated Crimes by Alexandre Dumas Celebrated Crimes

Dumas's 'Celebrated Crimes' was not written for children. The novelist has spared no language -- has minced no words -- to describe the violent scenes of a violent time.In some instances facts appear distorted out of their true perspective, and in others the author makes unwarranted charges. The careful, mature reader, for whom the books are intended, will recognize, and allow for, this fact.The first volume comprises the annals of the Borgias and the Cenci. The name of the noted and notorious Florentine family has become a synonym for intrigue and violence, and yet the Borgias have not been without stanch defenders in history...

By: Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)

Is Mars Habitable? by Alfred Russel Wallace Is Mars Habitable?

In 1907 Wallace wrote the short book Is Mars Habitable? to criticize the claims made by Percival Lowell that there were Martian canals built by intelligent beings. Wallace did months of research, consulted various experts, and produced his own scientific analysis of the Martian climate and atmospheric conditions. Among other things Wallace pointed out that spectroscopic analysis had shown no signs of water vapor in the Martian atmosphere, that Lowell’s analysis of Mars’ climate was seriously flawed and badly overestimated the surface temperature, and that low atmospheric pressure would make liquid water, let alone a planet girding irrigation system, impossible.

By: Andrew Murray (1828-1917)

Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses by Andrew Murray Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses

This is a series of short messages written by the South African minister, Andrew Murray. They deal with the necessity and joy of surrendering our lives completely to God.

By: Anonymous

Irish Wit and Humor by Anonymous Irish Wit and Humor

Excerpted anecdotes from the biographies of Swift, Curran, O'Leary and O'Connell, relating humorous snippets of politics in 18th and 19th century Ireland. For some these may be poignant in addition to being humorous and for others they may be humorous in addition to being poignant. (

By: Anthony Pelcher (1897-1981)

Book cover Astounding Stories 04, April 1930

The fourth issue of Astounding Stories continues Ray Cummings serial "Brigands of the Moon", along with pulp sci-fi stories by Capt. S. P. Meek, Anthony Pelcher and other authors.

By: Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma (d. 17th century)

Chocolate: or, An Indian Drinke by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma Chocolate: or, An Indian Drinke

The Author sings the praises of Chocolate. “By the wise and Moderate use whereof, Health is preserved, Sicknesse Diverted, and Cured, especially the Plague of the Guts; vulgarly called _The New Disease_; Fluxes, Consumptions, & Coughs of the Lungs, with sundry other desperate Diseases. By it also, Conception is Caused, the Birth Hastened and facilitated, Beauty Gain’d and continued.”

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

Literary Taste: How to Form It by Arnold Bennett Literary Taste: How to Form It

Arnold Bennett describes a method for enjoying literature, and suggests the contents of a comprehensive library. Chapters 1-10 and 14 describe his method for learning to enjoy literature. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 contain detailed lists of the 337 volumes required to complete a comprehensive library of English works. This reading is from the 1913 version at Project Gutenberg, and so does not contain the revisions made by Swinnerton for the 1939 edition, which included authors of the early Twentieth Century. Swinnerton’s revisions are available from Wikipedia.

Self and Self-management: Essays about Existing by Arnold Bennett Self and Self-management: Essays about Existing

Bennett's essays always provide food for thought and bring a wry smile to the lips. Human nature, it appears, changes little over the ages, and Bennett's writing stands the test of time, though in the case of some of the essays in this eclectic collection, it is well to remember that they were written at the time of the First World War and the fight for women's suffrage.

The Human Machine by Arnold Bennett The Human Machine

Bennett asks us to consider our brains as the most wonderful machine, a machine which is the only thing in this world that we can control. As he writes: "I am simply bent on calling your attention to a fact which has perhaps wholly or partially escaped you -- namely, that you are the most fascinating bit of machinery that ever was."As ever, his prose is honeyed, his thoughts inspired, and his advice as relevant today as when it was written. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

By: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Book cover Silence Dogood Letters

As a teenager, Benjamin Franklin apprenticed with his brother James at the shop where The New-England Courant was printed. Since James would not publish any of Benjamin's works, fifteen-year-old Benjamin sent letters to The New England Courant under the pseudonym Silence Dogood. A total of fourteen letters were sent, one each fortnight, between April and December of 1722. (Introduction by Darcy Smittenaar)

By: Bliss Perry (1860-1954)

Fishing with a Worm by Bliss Perry Fishing with a Worm

Fishing with a Worm by Bliss Perry includes the poignant and philisophical observations of a fly fisherman lured by the worm. Bliss Perry was a professor of literature at Princeton and Harvard Universities and spent time in Vermont writing and fly fishing.

By: Bradford Torrey (1843-1912)

A Florida Sketch-Book by Bradford Torrey A Florida Sketch-Book

This is a series of late-19th Century essays about Florida’s flora & fauna written by a Massachusetts-based naturalist.

By: British Parliament

The Riot Act by British Parliament The Riot Act

The Riot Act was passed by the British Parliament in 1714, the first year of the reign of George I, and came into effect in August 1715. This was a time of widespread social disturbance, as the preamble describes; the Act sought to put an end to this. A group of twelve or more people, “being unlawfully, riotously and tumultuously assembled”, would be read a proclamation; they must disperse within an hour, on pain of death. The same fate would befall anyone preventing the reading of the proclamation, or damaging buildings while on a riot...

By: Bruce Barton (1886-1967)

It's a Good Old World by Bruce Barton It's a Good Old World

In this collection of essays, Bruce Barton, considered to be among the most influential advertising men of the 20th century, uses history, religion and current events of the 1920s to teach common sense ideals. From Jesus to Beethoven to Napoleon to Abraham Lincoln, Barton uses stories of great individuals to encourage the reader to make the most of life and at the same time to build strong character traits.

By: Captain S. P. Meek (1894-1972)

Astounding Stories 14, February 1931 by Captain S. P. Meek Astounding Stories 14, February 1931

This issue includes "Werewolves of War" by D. W. Hall, "The Tentacles from Below" by Anthony Gilmore, "The Black Lamp" by Captain S. P. Meek, "Phalanxes of Atlans" by F. V. W. Mason, and contues with "The Pirate Planet" by Charles W. Diffin,

By: Charles Dickens

Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People by Charles Dickens Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People

"Sketches by "Boz," Illustrative of Every-day Life and Every-day People (commonly known as Sketches by Boz) is a collection of short pieces published by Charles Dickens in 1836 accompanied by illustrations by George Cruikshank. The 56 sketches concern London scenes and people and are divided into four sections: "Our Parish", "Scenes", "Characters", and "Tales". The material in the first three of these sections is non-fiction. The last section comprises fictional stories. Originally, the sketches were published in various newspapers and periodicals from 1833-1836."

Charles Dickens 200th Anniversary Collection Vol. 1 by Charles Dickens Charles Dickens 200th Anniversary Collection Vol. 1

The Charles Dickens 200th Anniversary Collection comprises short works - fiction, essays, poetry, letters, magazine articles and speeches - and each volume will be a pot pourri of all genres and periods of his writing. This first volume is released on Dickens' 200th birthday, February 7th 2012. Further volumes will follow during the anniversary year.Volume 1 includes short stories including, amongst others, The Holly Tree, the first part of Holiday Romance and three pieces from Mugby Junction.Some...

The Uncommercial Traveller by Charles Dickens The Uncommercial Traveller

The Uncommercial Traveller is a collection of literary sketches and reminiscences written by Charles Dickens. In 1859 Dickens founded a new journal called All the Year Round and the Uncommercial Traveller articles would be among his main contributions. He seems to have chosen the title and persona of the Uncommercial Traveller as a result of a speech he gave on the 22 December 1859 to the Commercial Travellers' School London in his role as honorary chairman and treasurer. The persona sits well with a writer who liked to travel, not only as a tourist, but also to research and report what he found; visiting Europe, America and giving book readings throughout Britain...

By: Charles Mackay (1814-1889)

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

The book chronicles and vilifies its targets in three parts: “National Delusions”, “Peculiar Follies”, and “Philosophical Delusions”.The subjects of Mackay’s debunking include alchemy, beards (influence of politics and religion on), witch-hunts, crusades and duels. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles.

By: Charles McRae

Fathers of Biology by Charles McRae Fathers of Biology

An account given of the lives of five great naturalists (Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galen, Vesalius and Harvey) will not be found devoid of interest. The work of each one of them marked a definite advance in the science of Biology. There is often among students of anatomy and physiology a tendency to imagine that the facts with which they are now being made familiar have all been established by recent observation and experiment. But even the slight knowledge of the history of Biology, which may be obtained from a perusal of this little book, will show that, so far from such being the case, this branch of science is of venerable antiquity...

By: Charles W. Diffin (1884-1966)

Dark Moon by Charles W. Diffin Dark Moon

Mysterious, dark, out of the unknown deep comes a new satellite to lure three courageous Earthlings on to strange adventures.

By: Charles Willard Diffin (1884-1966)

Moon Master by Charles Willard Diffin Moon Master

Through Infinite Deeps of Space Jerry Foster Hurtles to the Moon—Only to be Trapped by a Barbaric Race and Offered as a Living Sacrifice to Oong, their Loathsome, Hypnotic God.

By: Chesterton, G. K.

The Superstition of Divorce by Chesterton, G. K. The Superstition of Divorce

This short book was written in 1920, and in it Chesterton, with his usual wit and incisive logic, presents a series of articles defending marriage and indicating the weaknesses in divorce. He did this 16 year before the first Christian denomination in the world allowed it’s members to divorce. Till then Christendom was unanimous in standing against it. Chesterton saw clearly the trends of this time, and delivered this defense.

By: Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

Book cover Mince Pie

Mince Pie is a compilation of humorous sketches, poetry, and essays written by Christopher Morley. Morley sets the tone in the preface: "If one asks what excuse there can be for prolonging the existence of these trifles, my answer is that there is no excuse. But a copy on the bedside shelf may possibly pave the way to easy slumber. Only a mind "debauched by learning" (in Doctor Johnson's phrase) will scrutinize them too anxiously."

Book cover Mince Pie

Mince Pie is a compilation of humorous sketches, poetry, and essays written by Christopher Morley. Morley sets the tone in the preface: "If one asks what excuse there can be for prolonging the existence of these trifles, my answer is that there is no excuse. But a copy on the bedside shelf may possibly pave the way to easy slumber. Only a mind "debauched by learning" (in Doctor Johnson's phrase) will scrutinize them too anxiously."

Book cover Pipefuls

A delightful collection of 48 essays on various topics of the human condition that caught his fancy. Witty, insightful and funny of course and on occasion thought provoking and even disturbing. From the preface "These sketches gave me pain to write; they will give the judicious patron pain to read; therefore we are quits. I think, as I look over their slattern paragraphs, of that most tragic hour—it falls about 4 p. m. in the office of an evening newspaper—when the unhappy compiler tries to round up the broodings of the day and still get home in time for supper...

By: Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)

Industrial Conspiracies by Clarence Darrow Industrial Conspiracies

By: D. B. Casteel (1877-1958)

Book cover Behavior of the Honey Bee in Pollen Collecting

The value of the honey bee in cross pollinating the flowers of fruit trees makes it desirable that exact information be available concerning the actions of the bee when gathering and manipulating the pollen. The results recorded in this manuscript are also of value as studies in the behavior of the bee and will prove interesting and valuable to the bee keeper. The work here recorded was done by Dr. Casteel during the summers of 1911 and 1912.

Book cover Behavior of the Honey Bee in Pollen Collecting

The value of the honey bee in cross pollinating the flowers of fruit trees makes it desirable that exact information be available concerning the actions of the bee when gathering and manipulating the pollen. The results recorded in this manuscript are also of value as studies in the behavior of the bee and will prove interesting and valuable to the bee keeper. The work here recorded was done by Dr. Casteel during the summers of 1911 and 1912.

By: Dame Shirley (d.1906)

The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52 by Dame Shirley The Shirley Letters from California Mines in 1851-52

Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe moved to California from Massachusetts during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800’s. During her travels, Louise was offered the opportunity to write for The Herald about her travel adventures. It was at this point that Louise chose the name “Shirley” as her pen name. Dame Shirley wrote a series of 23 letters to her sister Mary Jane (also known as Molly) in Massachusetts in 1851 and 1852. The “Shirley Letters”, as the collected whole later became known, gave true accounts of life in two gold mining camps on the Feather River in the 1850s...


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