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By: Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov The Seagull

The Seagull (Russian: Чайка, Chayka) is the first of what are generally considered to be the four major plays by the Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. The play was written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. It dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the ingenue Nina, the fading leading lady Irina Arkadina, her son the experimental playwright Konstantin Treplyov, and the famous middlebrow story writer Trigorin.

The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard is Russian playwright Anton Chekhov's last play. It premiered at the Moscow Art Theatre 17 January 1904 in a production directed by Constantin Stanislavski. Chekhov intended this play as a comedy and it does contain some elements of farce; however, Stanislavski insisted on directing the play as a tragedy. Since this initial production, directors have had to contend with the dual nature of this play. The play concerns an aristocratic Russian woman and her family as they return to the family's estate (which includes a large and well-known cherry orchard) just before it is auctioned to pay the mortgage...

Book cover Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya (subtitled “Scenes From Country Life”) is a tragicomedy by Anton Chekhov. It is set on the failing country estate of a retired professor, Serebrakoff, who returns after a long absence with his beautiful young wife, and throws the household into confusion. Rivalry, unrequited love, illicit romance, and attempted suicide are the result, punctuated throughout by Chekhov’s sad, wistful humor.

By: Omar Khayyám (1048-1131)

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyám The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Persian: رباعیات عمر خیام) is the title that Edward Fitz-Gerald gave to his translation of a selection of poems, originally written in Persian and of which there are about a thousand, attributed to Omar Khayyám (1048–1131), a Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer. A Persian ruba'i is a two-line stanza with two parts (or hemis-techs) per line, hence the word "Rubáiyát" (derived from the Arabic root word for "four"), meaning "quatrains".

By: Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

Book cover Celtic Literature

By: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw Pygmalion

If you've watched and loved the delightful musical My Fair Lady, then you'd love to read the wonderful play on which it is based. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is equally engrossing and as full of charm, wit and underlying pathos. First performed on stage in 1912, Pygmalion takes its title from the Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. In the ancient story, a brilliant sculptor, Pygmalion falls in love with one of his own creations, a ravishingly beautiful sculpture whom he names Galatea. He propitiates Aphrodite, who grants his wish that his statue would come to life and that he could marry her...

By: Herbert Allen Giles (1845-1935)

China and the Chinese by Herbert Allen Giles China and the Chinese

Herbert Allen Giles (1845-1935) spent several years as a diplomat in China and in 1897 was appointed Cambridge University’s second professor of Chinese. His published works cover Chinese language and literature, history and philosophy. This series of lectures, published as “China and the Chinese”, was given at Columbia University in 1902, to mark the establishment of a Chinese professorship there. The lectures were not intended for the specialist, more to urge a wider and more systematic study of China and its culture, and to encourage new students into the field...

By: Okakura Kakuzo (1863-1913)

The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo The Book of Tea

The Book of Tea was written by Okakura Kakuzo in the early 20th century. It was first published in 1906, and has since been republished many times. – In the book, Kakuzo introduces the term Teaism and how Tea has affected nearly every aspect of Japanese culture, thought, and life. The book is noted to be accessibile to Western audiences because though Kakuzo was born and raised Japanese, he was trained from a young age to speak English; and would speak it all his life, becoming proficient at communicating his thoughts in the Western Mind...

By: Epictetus (c.55-135)

The Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus The Golden Sayings of Epictetus

Aphorisms from the Stoic Greek.

By: Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916)

Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder) by Sholem Aleichem Jewish Children (Yudishe Kinder)

Although written from a child’s perspective, this is not a kids book but a series of funny, poignant, and sometimes disturbing stories about life in a late 19th-century Russian-Jewish village — the world of my grandparents. Sholem Rabinovich (1859-1916) was born in Pereiaslav, Ukraine and later immigrated to New York. His short stories about Tevye and his daughters were freely adapted into the musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. Rabinovich’s will contained the following injunction: “Let my name be recalled with laughter or not at all.” His translator, Hannah Berman, was Irish of Lithuanian descent.Some of these stories may be too intense for younger children.

By: Sophocles (495-406 BC)

Antigone by Sophocles Antigone

This is the final installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays, following Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. Oedipus's daughter Antigone deliberately breaks the laws of Thebes when she buries her brother's body and is sentenced to death. She clashes with Creon, the King of Thebes, over what constitutes justice and morality: the laws of the state or the laws of the individual.

By: Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol Dead Souls

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an “epic poem in prose”, and within the book as a “novel in verse”. Despite supposedly completing the trilogy’s second part, Gogol destroyed it shortly before his death. Although the novel ends in mid-sentence (like Sterne’s Sentimental Journey), it is usually regarded as complete in the extant form. In Russia before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, landowners were entitled to own serfs to farm their land...

Book cover Taras Bulba and Other Tales
Book cover The Inspector-General

By: Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC - 65)

Book cover L. Annaeus Seneca on Benefits

By: Paul Allardyce (1855-1895)

Stops, or How To Punctuate by Paul Allardyce Stops, or How To Punctuate

Throughout the ages, languages continue to adapt and change. English, being a relatively new language, is a nice example of that. Though the English vocabulary is continually evolving, the system of punctuation has remained constant for the most part. This means that grammar books from 1895 are still applicable today. Therefore, if the following sentence looks correct to you, perhaps listening to Paul Allardyce’s “Stops, or How to Punctuate” would be a good idea.

By: Eva March Tappan (1854-1930)

Makers of Many Things by Eva March Tappan Makers of Many Things

How are friction matches made? How do rags and trees become paper? Who makes the dishes on our tables? Published in 1916, this children's book explains the origins of everyday items in an entertaining and informative way. There are plenty of illustrations, so please feel free to read along.

Book cover Diggers in the Earth

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: 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: Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

Book cover Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker.
Book cover Academica
Book cover Treatises on Friendship and Old Age
Book cover Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero
Book cover The Letters of Cicero, Volume 1 The Whole Extant Correspodence in Chronological Order
Book cover The Academic Questions, Treatise De Finibus, and Tusculan Disputations, of M.T. Cicero, With a Sketch of the Greek Philosophers Mentioned by Cicero
Book cover De Amicitia, Scipio's Dream

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: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Book cover A Grammar of the English Tongue
Book cover Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language

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.


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