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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: 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: 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: 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...

Book cover Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland
Book cover Johnson's Lives of the Poets
Book cover Lives of the English Poets : Waller, Milton, Cowley
Book cover Lives of the English Poets : Prior, Congreve, Blackmore, Pope

By: Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

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)

Book cover William Penn

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: 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: 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)

Book cover The Story of the Upper Canadian Rebellion, Volume 1

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: Harold MacGrath (1871-1932)

Book cover The Puppet Crown

By: Horace Walpole (1717-1797)

Book cover The Letters of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford — Volume 1
Book cover Historic Doubts on the Life and Reign of King Richard the Third

By: Marie Belloc Lowndes (1868-1947)

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes The Lodger

The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes was inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders. An older couple, the Buntings, are forced to take in lodgers to make ends meet. They are on the verge of starvation when a mysterious man, Mr. Sleuth, appears at their door and asks for lodging, paying in advance. However, when the murders of young women in London attributed to a man known only as “The Avenger” continue, the Buntings, particularly Mrs. Bunting, grow fearful that their lodger may be the murderer.

By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

Book cover The Brethren

Set in the days of the Crusaders, this books tells of a young maiden named Rosamund, and her twin cousins. Godwin is the grey eyed thoughtful man, and Wulf is the blue eyed warrior. They are both knights of England and they are both in love with their fair cousin. But the riddle of the story is which does Rosamund love?The adventure begins when Rosamund is taken from England and carried to the East. The plot thickens as the two young knights follow her in hopes of rescuing her from the Muslim leader, Saladin...

By: Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

Book cover Child of Storm
Book cover Cleopatra
Book cover The Lady of Blossholme
Book cover Swallow: a tale of the great trek
Book cover Moon of Israel
Book cover Red Eve
Book cover Morning Star

By: J. O. Choules

Young Americans Abroad – Vacation in Europe by J. O. Choules Young Americans Abroad – Vacation in Europe

It’s 1851 and the Crystal Palace Exhibition is on in England. English American the Reverend Dr. Choules leaves Newport, Rhode Island with three teenaged students – James Robinson, George Vanderbuilt, and Weld French, who are forced to leave the fourth member of their blue-blooded quartet at home – and all four travelers promise to write to “Dear Charley”, Charles Duston, of later fame. The boys meet the Duke of Wellington, travel down the Rhine, and meet many friends along the way. While the letters are filled with some prejudice against the Catholic religion, they are a product of their time – a sometimes ignorant, but often dazzling, period of our history.

By: Walter Scott (1771-1832)

Book cover Quentin Durward
Book cover The Fair Maid of Perth Or, St. Valentine's Day
Book cover Peveril of the Peak
Book cover Rob Roy — Volume 01
Book cover Marmion

By: John George Nicolay

A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln by John George Nicolay A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln

John G. Nicolay was Abraham Lincoln’s private White House secretary. With assistant secretary, John Hay, he wrote the two volume definitive biography of Lincoln, “Abraham Lincoln, a Biography.” Although this is a condensation by Nicolay of that biography, it is still a sizable work and a fairly thorough treatment of the life of the 16th president of the United States.

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: Frances Calderón de la Barca (1804-1882)

Life in Mexico by Frances Calderón de la Barca Life in Mexico

FRANCES CALDERON DE LA BARCA, born in Edinburgh, 1804, the daughter of William Inglis. After her father’s death she settled in America, where she married the Spanish diplomat, Don Angel Calderon de la Barca. She accompanied him on his various appointments to Mexico, Washington, and finally to Madrid, where she was created Marquesa de Calderon de la Barca by Alfonso XII and died in 1882. The present work is the result of observations made during a two years’ residence in Mexico, by a lady, whose position there made her intimately acquainted with its society, and opened to her the best sources of information in regard to whatever could interest an enlightened foreigner...

By: John R. Hale

Famous Sea Fights by John R. Hale Famous Sea Fights

I propose to tell in non-technical and popular language the story of some of the most remarkable episodes in the history of sea power. I shall begin with the first sea-fight of which we have a detailed history—the Battle of Salamis (B.C. 480), the victory by which Themistocles the Athenian proved the soundness of his maxim that “he who commands the sea commands all.” I shall end with the last and greatest of naval engagements, the Battle of Tsu-shima, an event that reversed the long experience of victory won by West over East, which began with Salamis more than two thousand years ago...

By: Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924)

Hero Tales from American History by Henry Cabot Lodge Hero Tales from American History

Its purpose … is to tell in simple fashion the story of some Americans who showed that they knew how to live and how to die; who proved their truth by their endeavor; and who joined to the stern and manly qualities which are essential to the well-being of a masterful race the virtues of gentleness, of patriotism, and of lofty adherence to an ideal. It is a good thing for all Americans … to remember the men who have given their lives in war and peace to the service of their fellow-countrymen, and to keep in mind the feats of daring and personal prowess done in time past by some of the many champions of the nation in the various crises of her history.

By: Isabella L. Bird (1831-1904)

A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains

Isabella Bird began travelling while in her early twenties to help alleviate illness that had plagued her since childhood. She was a single woman in her early forties when she made her treck through the Rocky Mountains. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains details this fascinating account of her travels through a series of letters written to her sister, Henrietta. These letters are filled with beautiful, vivid descriptions of the scenery, the people she encountered, the way of life, and a mountain man named Jim Nugent, that was as rough as they come, but a complete gentleman with Ms...

By: Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904)

How I Found Livingstone by Sir Henry Morton Stanley How I Found Livingstone

Sir Henry Morton Stanley is famously quoted for saying “Dr Livingstone, i Presume?”. Born in Wales, he migrated over to the United States at the age of 18, and eventually became an overseas correspondent for the New York Herald. In 1869 Stanley was told by James Gordon Bennett Jr to find Livingstone, a scottish missionary and explorer, who was lost in central Africa. When Stanley commented on the cost Bennett’s reply was: “Well, I will tell you what you will do. Draw a thousand pounds now; and when you have gone through that, draw another thousand, and when that is spent, draw another thousand, and when you have finished that, draw another thousand, and so on; but, FIND LIVINGSTONE.

By: St. George Stock (b. 1850)

Stoicism by St. George Stock Stoicism

This short book is part of the Philosophies Ancient and Modern series, which attempts to make Western philosophy more accessible to the general public. In this volume, George Stock provides a concise primer on Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that maintained that the universe is governed entirely by fate, and that humans can achieve happiness only by cultivating a calm acceptance of the vicissitudes of life. Among the Stoics of the Greek and Roman world were its founder, Zeno, the former slave Epictetus, and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius...

By: Oliver Optic

Down South or Yacht Adventure in Florida by Oliver Optic Down South or Yacht Adventure in Florida

"Down South" is the fifth and last volume but one of the "Great Western Series." The action of the story is confined entirely to Florida; and this fact may seem to belie the title of the Series. But the young yachtsman still maintains his hold upon the scenes of his earlier life in Michigan, and his letters come regularly from that State. If he were old enough to vote, he could do so only in Michigan; and therefore he has not lost his right to claim a residence there during his temporary sojourn in the South...

Book cover Within The Enemy's Lines
Book cover On The Blockade
Book cover Stand By The Union
Book cover Fighting for the Right
Book cover Taken by the Enemy
Book cover A Lieutenant at Eighteen
Book cover An Undivided Union
Book cover A Victorious Union
Book cover The Young Lieutenant or, The Adventures of an Army Officer
Book cover Hope and Have or, Fanny Grant Among the Indians, A Story for Young People

By: J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)

Book cover Margaret Ogilvy

By: Alexandre Exquemelin (c. 1645-1707)

The Pirates of Panama by Alexandre Exquemelin The Pirates of Panama

This volume was originally written in Dutch by John Esquemeling, and first published in Amsterdam in 1678 under the title of De Americaeneche Zee Roovers. It immediately became very popular and this first hand history of the Buccaneers of America was soon translated into the principal European languages. The first English edition was printed in 1684. Esquemeling served the Buccaneers in the capacity of barber-surgeon, and was present at all their exploits. Little did he suspect that his first hand observations would some day be cherished as the only authentic and true history of the Buccaneers and Marooners of the Spanish Main...


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