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By: Aeschylus (c. 525/524-456/455 BC)

Book cover Prometheus Bound (Buckley Translation)

"Prometheus Bound" is the only complete tragedy of the Prometheia trilogy, traditionally assumed to be the work of Aeschylus. Jupiter has turned against Prometheus for protecting mankind and has ordered him to be chained to a rock. But Prometheus is comforted by his knowledge of a way to bring about the downfall of Jupiter.

By: Anonymous

Book cover How to Write a Novel

I address myself to the man or woman of talent—those people who have writing ability, but who need instruction in the manipulation of characters, the formation of plots, and a host of other points with which I shall deal hereafter. Although no school could turn out novelists to order there is yet enough common material in all art-work to be mapped out in a course of lessons. I shall show that the two great requisites of novel-writing are (1) a good story to tell, and (2) ability to tell it effectively...

By: Apollonius Rhodius (3rd Cent. -3rd Cent.)

Book cover Argonautica

The story of how Jason and a group of famous heroes of Greece took to sea in the Argos has been told many times, before and after Apollonius of Rhodes, wrote his Argonautica, in the 3rd century b.C.. It is not only the oldest full version of the tale to arrive to our days, but also the only extant example of Hellenistic epic. This was already a popular myth by the times of Apollonius, who makes the story of how Jason and the Argonauts sail to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece, and have to go through a lot of adventures to fulfill their task, a mix of simple narrative and scholarly catalog. The Argonautica had a deep impact on European literature as a whole.

By: Aristophanes (446-389 BCE)

Book cover Frogs

Athens is in a sorry state of affairs. The great tragedian, Euripides, is dead, and Dionysus, the god of the theater, has to listen to third-rate poetry. So, he determines to pack his belongings onto his trusty slave, Xanthias, and journey to the underworld to bring back Euripides! Hi-jinks ensue.

By: Confucius 孔子 (551-479 BCE)

Book cover Analects of Confucius

The Analects, or Lunyu, also known as the Analects of Confucius, are considered a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held. Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 475 BC - 221 BC), the Analects is the representative work of Confucianism and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today. William Jennings was a rector of Grasmere, and late colonial chaplain. He served at St. John's Cathedral in Hong Kong.

By: Cuey-na-Gael (1858-1937)

Book cover Irishman's difficulties with the Dutch language

Jack O'Neill, an Irishman, has just returned from a month's holiday in The Netherlands. Before he left, he had boasted to his friends that he would learn the Dutch language within a fortnight. On his return, he has to admit that it wasn't quite that easy... He tells his friends stories about his clumsy attempts to speak Dutch, leading to many funny scenes.This audiobook contains both "An Irishman's difficulties with the Dutch language" and its sequel "Jack O'Neill's further adventures in Holland"...

By: Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884)

Book cover Kalevala, The Land of the Heroes (Kirby translation)

The Kalevala is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology. It is regarded as the national epic of Karelia and Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature. The Kalevala played an instrumental role in the development of the Finnish national identity, the intensification of Finland's language strife and the growing sense of nationality that ultimately led to Finland's independence from Russia in 1917...

By: Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC)

Book cover Iphigenia in Tauris (Murray Translation)

The apparent sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis by her own father Agamemnon was forestalled by the godness Artemis, who by an adroit sleight of hand that fooled all participants, substituted a deer for the daughter. Wafted magically away to the “Friendless Shores” of savage Tauris and installed as chief priestess presiding over the human sacrifice of all luckless foreigners, Iphigenia broods over her “murder” by her parents and longs for some Greeks to be shipwrecked on her shores so she can wreak a vicarious vengeance on them...

Book cover Alcestis

Alcestis is the earliest surviving play by Euripides. Alcestis, the devoted wife of King Admetus, has agreed to die in his place, and at the beginning of the play she is close to death. In the first scene, Apollo argues with Thanatos (Death), asking to prolong Alcestis' life, but Thanatos refuses. Apollo leaves, but suggests that a man will come to Pherae who will save Alcestis. Euripides' play is perhaps the most unusual Greek drama ever written: a tragedy that is not a tragedy.

By: Hesiod

Book cover Works and Days, The Theogony, and The Shield of Heracles

Works and Days provides advice on agrarian matters and personal conduct. The Theogony explains the ancestry of the gods. The Shield of Heracles is the adventure of Heracles accepting an enemy's challenge to fight.

By: Plato (Πλάτων) (c. 428 BC - c. 347 BC)

Book cover Republic (version 2)

The Republic is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato around 380 BC concerning the definition of justice and the order and character of the just city-state and the just man. It is Plato's best-known work and has proven to be one of the most intellectually and historically influential works of philosophy and political theory. In it, Socrates along with various Athenians and foreigners discuss the meaning of justice and examine whether or not the just man is happier than the unjust man by considering a series of different cities coming into existence "in speech", culminating in a city (Kallipolis) ruled by philosopher-kings; and by examining the nature of existing regimes...

Book cover Gorgias

This dialogue brings Socrates face to face with the famous sophist Gorgias and his followers. It is a work likely completed around the time of "Republic" and illuminates many of the spiritual ideas of Plato. The spirituality, as Jowett points out in his wonderful introduction, has many ideas akin to Christianity, but is more generous as it reserves damnation only for the tyrants of the world. Some of the truths of Socrates, as presented by Plato, shine forth in this wonderful work on sophistry and other forms of persuasion or cookery.

Book cover Protagoras

Jowett, in his always informative introduction, sees this dialogue as transitional between the early and middle dialogues. Socrates meets with Protagoras and other sophists and pursues his inquiry into virtue. The dialectic brings the thinkers to a surprising ending. Socrates narrates this dialogue.

Book cover Critias

This is an incomplete dialogue from the late period of Plato's life. Plato most likely created it after Republic and it contains the famous story of Atlantis, that Plato tells with such skill that many have believed the story to be true. Critias, a friend of Socrates, and uncle of Plato was infamous as one of the bloody thirty tyrants.

Book cover Alcibiades I

As Jowett relates in his brilliant introduction, 95% of Plato's writing is certain and his reputation rests soundly on this foundation. The Alcibiades 1 appears to be a short work by Plato with only two characters: Socrates and Alcibiades. This dialogue has little dramatic verisimilitude but centres on the question of what knowledge one needs for political life. Like the early dialogues, the question is on whether the virtues needed by a statesman can be taught, on the importance of self-knowledge as a starting point for any leader...

Book cover Lesser Hippias

This work may not be by Plato, or his entirely, but Jowett has offered his sublime translation, and seems to lean towards including it in the canon. Socrates tempted by irony to deflate the pretentious know-it-all Hippias, an arrogant polymath, appears to follow humour more than honour in this short dialogue.

By: Pliny the Younger (61 - ca. 112)

Book cover Letters of Pliny

The largest surviving body of Pliny's work is his Epistulae (Letters), a series of personal missives directed to his friends, associates and the Emperor Trajan. These letters are a unique testimony of Roman administrative history and everyday life in the 1st century CE. Especially noteworthy among the letters are two in which he describes the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in August 79, during which his uncle Pliny the Elder died (65 and 66 in this edition), and one in which he asks the Emperor for instructions regarding official policy concerning Christians (Trajan Letter 97)...

By: Raphael Kühner (1802-1878)

Book cover Elementary Greek Grammar

We have followed the Grammars of Kühner, known as his "Large" and "School" Grammars. [...] Omitting the learned dissertations and numerous details of the original, we have endeavored to furnish to the student, in a concise and simple form, whatever is of general application." (From the Foreword by Charles O'Leary)

By: Virgil (70 BC - 19 BC)

Book cover Aeneid, prose translation

The Aeneid is the most famous Latin epic poem, written by Virgil in the 1st century BC. The story revolves around the legendary hero Aeneas, a Trojan prince who left behind the ruins of his city and led his fellow citizens to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. The first six of the poem’s twelve books tell the story of Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy to Italy, while the poem’s second half treats the Trojans’ victorious war upon the Latins. This is the recording of J.W.MacKail's prose translation.

By: Aesop (620 BC - 563 BC)

Aesop's Fables by Aesop Aesop's Fables

As children, our first experience of the magic of talking animals, the conflict between good and evil, the battle of wits between the cunning and the innocent most probably came from Aesop's Fables. These delightful, pithy and brief narratives are simple, easy to understand and convey their message in a memorable and charming fashion. Aesop's Fables by Aesop consists of about 600 tales, some well-loved and familiar, others less known but just as entertaining and educative and help us map the perimeters of our moral universe...

By: Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837)

Book cover Daughter of the Commandant

"The Daughter of the Commandant" (better known as "The Captain's Daughter") is a historical novel by the Russian writer Alexander Pushkin, and is considered to be his finest prose work. The novel is a romanticized account of Pugachev's Rebellion in 1773-1774. The 17-year-old Pyotr Andreyich is sent by his father to military service in a remote Russian outpost, where he leans honor and love while being caught up in a violent uprising of tribal groups against the imperial government.

By: Alfred Ayres (1826-1902)

The Verbalist by Alfred Ayres The Verbalist

Ayres arranges usage problems alphabetically and treats certain areas in greater detail as he sees fit. For example, his first entry is A-AN (articles). His second is ABILITY-CAPACITY, in which he distinguishes between the meanings. The alphabetical arrangement continues through to YOURS. (Introduction by Bill Boerst)

By: Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

The Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang The Arabian Nights

The Arabian Nights is a collection of Perso-Arabic folk tales and other stories. The collection, or at least certain stories drawn from it (or purporting to be drawn from it), became widely known in the West from the 18th century, after it was translated from the Arabic — first into French and then into English and other European languages. The first English language edition, based on Galland’s French rather than the original Arabic, rendered the title as The Arabian Nights’ Entertainment – and this, or simply The Arabian Nights, has been the title by which it has been best known to English-speaking people ever since.

By: Anonymous (1821-1890)

The Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night by Anonymous The Book of A Thousand Nights and a Night

This is a collection of stories collected over thousands of years by various authors, translators and scholars. The are an amalgam of mythology and folk tales from the Indian sub-continent, Persia, and Arabia. No original manuscript has ever been found for the collection, but several versions date the collection’s genesis to somewhere between AD 800-900. The stories are wound together under the device of a long series of cliff-hangers told by Shahrazad to her husband Shahryar, to prevent him from executing her...

English as She is Wrote by Anonymous English as She is Wrote

"...Showing Curious ways in which the English Language may be made to convey Ideas or obscure them." A collection of unintentionally humorous uses of the English language. Sections of the work: How she is wrote by the Inaccurate, By Advertisers and on Sign-boards, For Epitaphs, By Correspondents, By the Effusive, How she can be oddly wrote, and By the Untutored.

My Very First Little German Book by Anonymous My Very First Little German Book

An adorable picture book with 29 little lessons in German. Learn many simple and useful phrases, such as "How big the sea is!" and "Have you ever been to the farm?" The English parts of the book are read by Kara, and the German parts by Elli.

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.

Swan Song by Anton Chekhov Swan Song

In 'The Swan Song' an aging actor reminisces about his life and the parts he's played. The piece takes a tragic look at ambition and the sacrifices that must be made in order to succeed. Chekhov’s ability to capture and explore human nature and experience is showcased here.

Book cover House With The Mezzanine And Other Stories

Six short stories and a novella by the Russian master. (david wales)

Book cover Ivanov

Nicolai (anglicised Nicholas in this translation) Ivanov, a middle-aged public servant, is unhappy. His wife Anna, disinherited by her family after converting from Judaism, is dying of tuberculosis. He is deeply in debt. And his best friend’s daughter is infatuated with him. Comedy and tragedy ensue in truly Chekhovian fashion. An example of the young Chekhov’s maturing style, Ivanov is an early harbinger of themes that would recur throughout his work.

Book cover Schoolmaster and Other Stories

Anton Chekhov, perhaps better known as a world famous classical playwright for works such as "Uncle Vanya" and "The Cherry Orchard" was also a prolific short story writer. "The Schoolmaster and Other Stories" is one of several of his collections. It's a compilation of 30 short stories. Some bizarre, some comical but all very interesting.

By: Aristophanes (446BC - 385BC)

Lysistrata by Aristophanes Lysistrata

Lysistrata read by the Classics Drama Company at DePaul. The Classics Drama Company at DePaul is a new gathering of Thespians and Classicists dedicated to performing and understanding ancient literature. If you live in Chicago and attend DePaul University, we welcome new additions to our group. Contact Dr. Kirk Shellko (kshellko@depaul.edu), if interested.First performed in classical Athens c. 411 B.C.E., Aristophanes’ Lysistrata is the original battle of the sexes. One woman, Lysistrata, brings together the women of all Greece, exhorting them to withhold sexual contact from all men in order that they negotiate a treaty...

By: Aristotle (384 BCE-322 BCE)

Rhetoric by Aristotle Rhetoric

The Rhetoric was developed by Aristotle during two periods when he was in Athens, the first between 367 to 347 BCE (when he was seconded to Plato in the Academy), and the second between 335 to 322 BCE (when he was running his own school, the Lyceum). The Rhetoric consists of three books. Book I offers a general overview, presenting the purposes of rhetoric and a working definition; it also offers a detailed discussion of the major contexts and types of rhetoric. Book II discusses in detail the three means of persuasion that an orator must rely on: those grounded in credibility (ethos), in the emotions and psychology of the audience (pathos), and in patterns of reasoning (logos)...

On Interpretation by Aristotle On Interpretation

Aristotle's On Interpretation (Greek Peri Hermeneias) or De Interpretatione (the Latin title) is the second of Aristotle's six texts on logic which are collectively known as the Organon. On Interpretation is one of the earliest surviving philosophical works in the Western tradition to deal with the relationship between language and logic in a comprehensive, explicit, and formal way. The work begins by analyzing simple categoric propositions, and draws a series of basic conclusions on the routine...

By: Charles Lamb

The Adventures of Ulysses by Charles Lamb The Adventures of Ulysses

In The Adventures of Ulysses, Charles Lamb re-tells the story of Ulysses’s journey from Troy to his own kingdom of Ithaca. The book uses Homer’s The Odyssey as the basis for the story, but it isn’t a direct translation of the Greek classic. The book is considered a modern version of the epic tale when it was published in 1808. In the preface of the book, Lamb said that he made the narration of the story faster so that more readers would be attracted to it. To begin with, Homer’s Odyssey is already a classic and in re-telling this story, Charles Lamb aimed to make this epic poem more comprehensible to the average person...

By: Confucius (551-479 BC)

The Sayings of Confucius by Confucius The Sayings of Confucius

A treasure trove of wise and pithy sayings, reflections on education, family values, the ideal human being, life and living, politics, art, culture and timeless wisdom, The Sayings of Confucius is indeed an invaluable addition to your bookshelf. Ever since Chinese literary works first began to be translated into European languages, the works of the legendary Chinese philosopher and teacher Confucius, who lived in present day Qufu in the Shandong province of China, more than two thousand years ago, have held universal appeal...

Confucian Analects by Confucius Confucian Analects

The Analects, or Lunyu (simplified Chinese: 论语; traditional Chinese: 論語; pinyin: Lún Yǔ; literally "Classified/Ordered Sayings"), also known as the Analects of Confucius, are considered a record of the words and acts of the central Chinese thinker and philosopher Confucius and his disciples, as well as the discussions they held. Written during the Spring and Autumn Period through the Warring States Period (ca. 475 BC - 221 BC), the Analects is the representative work of Confucianism and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today...

By: Dandin (6th Century)

Book cover Twenty Two Goblins

These 22 stories are told by the Goblin to the King Vikram. King Vikram faces many difficulties in bringing the vetala to the tantric. Each time Vikram tries to capture the vetala, it tells a story that ends with a riddle. If Vikram cannot answer the question correctly, the vampire consents to remain in captivity. If the king answers the question correctly, the vampire would escape and return to his tree. In some variations, the king is required to speak if he knows the answer, else his head will burst...

By: Epictetus (c.55-135)

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

Aphorisms from the Stoic Greek.

By: Euripides (480-406 BC)

The Trojan Women by Euripides The Trojan Women

Euripides' play follows the fates of the women of Troy after their city has been sacked, their husbands killed, and as their remaining families are about to be taken away as slaves. However, it begins first with the gods Athena and Poseidon discussing ways to punish the Greek armies because they condoned Ajax the Lesser for dragging Cassandra away from Athena's temple. What follows shows how much the Trojan women have suffered as their grief is compounded when the Greeks dole out additional deaths and divide their shares of women.

Book cover Medea

Euripides' tragedy focuses on the disintegration of the relationship between Jason, the hero who captured the Golden Fleece, and Medea, the sorceress who returned with him to Corinth and had two sons with him. As the play opens, Jason plans to marry the daughter of King Creon, and the lovesick Medea plots how to take her revenge.

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.

By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment

A mysterious crime is being plotted in a tiny garret above a dilapidated apartment building in St Petersburg in Russia. The plotter, Rodion Raskolinikov, is a poor student who has delusions of ridding the world of “worthless vermin” and counter balancing these crimes with good deeds. He commits a murder to test his own theories and prove that crime comes naturally to the human species. Crime and Punishment is a path-breaking novel of ideas that changed the course of novel writing in the 20th century...

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Notes from the Underground

One of the earliest polished examples of existential literature, Notes from the Underground follows the life of a recluse and depicts his antagonistic attitude toward society. Written in two parts with a first person narration, the novella explores various themes expressing the misleading notion of rationalism and utopianism, existentialism, alienation and human inaction. The psychological novel begins with a monologue in which the protagonist introduces and characterizes himself. Referred...

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky The Brothers Karamazov

Set in 19th century Russia, The Brothers Karamazov (Russian: Братья Карамазовы) is the last novel written by the illustrious author Fyodor Dostoyevsky who died a few months before the book's publication. The deeply philosophical and passionate novel tells the story of Fyodor Karamazov, an immoral debauch whose sole aim in life is the acquisition of wealth. Twice married, he has three sons whose welfare and upbringing, he cares nothing about. At the beginning of the story, Dimitri Karamazov, the eldest son who is now a twenty-eight year old war veteran, returns to his home town to claim the inheritance left to him by his dead mother...

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky The Idiot

The extraordinary child-adult Prince Myshkin, confined for several years in a Swiss sanatorium suffering from severe epilepsy, returns to Russia to claim his inheritance and to find a place in healthy human society.The teeming St Petersburg community he enters is far from receptive to an innocent like himself, despite some early successes and relentless pursuit by grotesque fortune-hunters. His naive gaucheries give rise to extreme reactions among his new acquaintance, ranging from anguished protectiveness to mockery and contempt...

The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky The Gambler

The Gambler is a short novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky about a young tutor in the employment of a formerly wealthy Russian general. The novella reflects Dostoevsky's own addiction to roulette, which was in more ways than one the inspiration for the book: Dostoevsky completed the novella under a strict deadline so he could pay off gambling debts.

Book cover Possessed

By: Gaius Petronius Arbiter

Book cover The Satyricon

Satyricon (or Satyrica) is a Latin work of fiction in a mixture of prose and poetry. It is believed to have been written by Gaius Petronius, though the manuscript tradition identifies the author as a certain Titus Petronius. As with the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, classical scholars often describe it as a "Roman novel", without necessarily implying continuity with the modern literary form.The surviving portions of the text detail the misadventures of the narrator, Encolpius, and his lover, a handsome sixteen-year-old boy named Giton...

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: George F. Dillon (1836-1893)

Book cover Song Celestial; Or, Bhagavad-Gîtâ

By: George Lovell Cary

An Introduction to the Greek of the New Testament by George Lovell Cary An Introduction to the Greek of the New Testament

A collection of lessons (primarily in grammar) for New Testament Greek (also known as Koine) collected by a professor at Meadville Theological School of Pennsylvania. There are over 80 short lessons, each covering an aspect of verbs, nouns, etc.

By: Gerard Nolst Trenité

The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité The Chaos

“The Chaos” is a poem which demonstrates the irregularity of English spelling and pronunciation, written by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946), also known under the pseudonym Charivarius. It first appeared in an appendix to the author’s 1920 textbook Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen.

By: Grenville Kleiser (1868-1953)

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases by Grenville Kleiser Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases is a practical handbook written by Grenville Kleiser. Grenville is known for his writings on humor, positive thinking and inspirational thought. This serves as a handbook of pertinent expressions, striking similes and terms for embellishing speech and literature. This book can be used to improve vocabulary for reading, writing and speaking alike. Through mastery of words, the most powerful and perfect expression of thought can be delivered orally. Choosing the correct words conveys ideas in a crisp and clear way that will hold and audience's attention...

By: Helen Fryer

The Esperanto Teacher by Helen Fryer The Esperanto Teacher

The international language Esperanto was first released to the world in 1887, when L. L. Zamenhof published his first book, “Dr. Esperanto’s International Language”. Since that time, many learning books have been developed to help the beginner attain a proficiency in the language. Helen Fryer’s “Esperanto Teacher” is one of the earliest of these attempts in English. Divided into 45 short and easy lessons and supplemented with sections on joining words, exclamations, compound words, arrangement...

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: 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: Homer

The Odyssey by Homer The Odyssey

A wandering king who's a war-hero doomed to roam the earth by a vengeful God, a plethora of fantastic experiences, a wife battling the invasion of suitors who wish to replace her missing husband, a son in search of his father - the Odyssey is a rich tapestry of incredible experiences and unforgettable characters. A must-read classic for anyone who wants to understand the fundamentals of Western mythology, it is a sequel to the Illiad which recounts the magnificent saga of the Trojan War. The Odyssey continues on, describing the trials and tribulations of the Greeks under the leadership of Odysseus...

The Iliad by Homer The Iliad

A divinely beautiful woman who becomes the cause of a terrible war in which the gods themselves take sides. Valor and villainy, sacrifices and betrayals, triumphs and tragedies play their part in this three thousand year old saga. The Iliad throws us right into the thick of battle. It opens when the Trojan War has already been raging for nine long years. An uneasy truce has been declared between the Trojans and the Greeks (Achaeans as they're called in The Iliad.) In the Greek camp, Agamemnon the King of Mycenae and Achilles the proud and valiant warrior of Phthia are locked in a fierce contest to claim the spoils of war...

By: Ivan S. Turgenev (1818-1883)

Book cover Rudin

Rudin is the first and perhaps least known novel by Ivan Turgenev, a famous Russian writer best known for his short stories and the novel Fathers and Sons. The story focuses on a romantic involvement between Rudin and Natalya, a serious, intelligent young woman. The topic of the “superfluous man” and his inability to act, which was a major theme of Turgenev's literary work, is explored. – Adapted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudin by Lee Smalley

Book cover On the Eve

On the Eve appeared in 1860, two years before Fathers and Sons, Turgenev's most famous novel. It is set in the prior decade (by the end of the novel, the Crimean War (1853-56) has already broken out. It centers on the young Elena Nikolaevna Stakhov, daughter of Nikolai Arteyemvitch and Anna Vassilyevna Stahov. Misunderstood by both her parents (Nikolai Artemyevitch is at least as interested in his German mistress as in members of her family) she is on friendly terms with both the would-be professor Andrei Petrovitch Bersenyev and the rising young sculptor Pavel Yakovitch Shubin, both of whom might be -- or might not be -- in love with her...

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: John Casper Branner

A Brief Grammar of the Portuguese Language by John Casper Branner A Brief Grammar of the Portuguese Language

Dr. Branner was a recognized authority on the geology of South American republics, especially Brazil, having organized and headed the Stanford Expedition to Brazil in 1911, among others. In 1910 he published this "little book", as the author himself calls it, for the use of English-speaking students who needed a fast and practical way of learning Portuguese. Contrary to the belief of many back then, John C. Branner claims that Brazilian Portuguese isn't "badly spoken Portuguese", and, even though using examples from both Portuguese and Brazilian writers, seems to give more proeminence to Brazilian Portuguese.

By: Joseph Devlin

How to Speak and Write Correctly by Joseph Devlin How to Speak and Write Correctly

A book on improving eloquence, proficiency and grammar in everyday communication. ‘How to Speak and Write Correctly’ is not a manual of the styles to use in speaking and writing, nor is it a manual for grammar. It is a simple, useful book for helping ordinary people in effective communication. It lays down and explains broad rules of communication, further giving useful tips for effective communication. The book also lists common mistakes in communication and offers suggestions on how best to avoid them...

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: Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things

Most of the following Kwaidan, or Weird Tales, have been taken from old Japanese books,— such as the Yaso-Kidan, Bukkyo-Hyakkwa-Zensho, Kokon-Chomonshu, Tama-Sudare, and Hyaku-Monogatari. Some of the stories may have had a Chinese origin: the very remarkable "Dream of Akinosuke," for example, is certainly from a Chinese source. But the story-teller, in every case, has so recolored and reshaped his borrowing as to naturalize it… One queer tale, "Yuki-Onna," was told me by a farmer of Chofu, Nishitama-gori, in Musashi province, as a legend of his native village...

By: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace chronicles the lives of five Russian aristocratic families during Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Many considered this book to be the best Russian work of literature of all time and it is massive in scale. The book is divided in four volumes and the chapters don't just contain the narrative of the plot to the novel but philosophical discussions as well. This may be intimidating to average book readers but they shouldn't be discouraged to try reading War and Peace. After all, this book was written for all and not just for intellectuals...

Childhood (English trans.) by Leo Tolstoy Childhood (English trans.)

Childhood, published in 1852, is the first novel in Leo Tolstoy’s autobiographical trilogy, which also includes Boyhood, and Youth. Published when Tolstoy was twenty-three, the book gained immediate notice among Russian writers including Ivan Turgenev, and heralded the young Tolstoy as a major figure in Russian letters. Childhood is an expressionist exploration of the internal life of a young boy, Nikolenka, and was a new form in Russian writing, mixing fact, fiction and emotions to render the moods and reactions of the narrator. Childhood is Tolstoy’s first published work. Translated into English by C. J. Hogarth.

What Men Live By and Other Tales by Leo Tolstoy What Men Live By and Other Tales

Although Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a wealthy landowner, in his later life he had what was considered a “religious awakening.” This experience went on to inform his writing and his lifestyle in profound ways. His views transcended the specifics of religion, as known in his day – so much so he came to be a helpful guide both to Mohandas Gandhi and to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The four stories in this collection ask profound questions and gently supply helpful, non-dogmatic hints to their...

Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy Resurrection

Book 1. Resurrection is the last of Tolstoy's major fiction works published in his lifetime. Tolstoy intended the novel as an exposition of injustice of man-made laws and the hypocrisy of institutionalized church. It was first published serially in the magazine Niva as an effort to raise funds for the resettlement of the Dukhobors. The story concerns a nobleman named Nekhlyudov, who seeks redemption for a sin committed years earlier. His brief affair with a maid resulted in her being fired and ending up in prostitution. The book treats his attempts to help her out of her current misery, but also focuses on his personal mental and moral struggle.

Boyhood by Leo Tolstoy Boyhood

Boyhood is the second in Tolstoy's trilogy of three autobiographical novels, including Childhood and Youth, published in a literary journal during the 1850s. (Introduction by Bill Boerst)

Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy Master and Man

A land owner, Vasili Andreevich, takes along one of his peasants, Nikita, for a short journey to another town. He wishes to get to the town quickly ‘for business’. They find themselves in the middle of a blizzard, but the master in his avarice wishes to press on. They eventually get lost off the road and they try to camp. The master’s peasant soon finds himself about to die from hypothermia. The master leaves him on the horse to stubbornly try to find the road. When he returns, he attains a spiritual/moral revelation, and Tolstoy once again repeats one of his famous themes: that the only true happiness in life is found by living for others. (Wikipedia)

The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy The Cossacks

The Cossacks (1863) is an unfinished novel which describes the Cossack life and people through a story of Dmitri Olenin, a Russian aristocrat in love with a Cossack girl. This text was acclaimed by Ivan Bunin as one of the finest in the language.

Ivan the Fool by Leo Tolstoy Ivan the Fool

Written after Tolstoy suffered a spiritual crisis, Ivan the Fool is a fairy tale that offers children instruction in how to live rightly, simply, and generously. The story emphasizes the destructive aspects of materialism and militarism while idealizing manual labor and the peasant life. (Introduction by Dorlene Kaplan)

Youth by Leo Tolstoy Youth

Youth is the third in Tolstoy's trilogy of three autobiographical novels, including Childhood and Boyhood, published in a literary journal during the 1850s. (Introduction by Bill Boerst)

Father Sergius by Leo Tolstoy Father Sergius

Prince Stepan Kasatsky experiences a disappointment with his fiancé and decides to become a monk! There is a story line, but beneath it, Father Sergius struggles to find peace and, if not happiness, then at least contentment. But he is always disillusioned and ultimately unsatisfied. Only in the end does he find his way by letting go of what he struggled to attain all his life, i.e. to be better than everyone else in whatever he did, and settle for the mundane.

By: Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev (1871-1919)

Book cover Man Who Found the Truth

An old man, accused of having murdered his family as a young man, spends a lifetime in prison. With brilliant psychological insight so characteristic of Leonid Andreyev's work, we follow this man telling his story about his obsession with truth and lies and his religion of the iron grate, tinged with madness, and not necessarily reliable..

By: Lucian of Samosata (120—180)

Trips to the Moon by Lucian of Samosata Trips to the Moon

The endeavour of small Greek historians to add interest to their work by magnifying the exploits of their countrymen, and piling wonder upon wonder, Lucian first condemned in his Instructions for Writing History, and then caricatured in his True History, wherein is contained the account of a trip to the moon, a piece which must have been enjoyed by Rabelais, which suggested to Cyrano de Bergerac his Voyages to the Moon and to the Sun, and insensibly contributed, perhaps, directly or through Bergerac, to the conception of Gulliver’s Travels. The Icaro-Menippus Dialogue describes another trip to the moon, though its satire is more especially directed against the philosophers.

By: M.L. Nesbitt

Book cover Grammar-Land

In this charming 1877 book of grammar instruction for children, we are introduced to the nine parts of speech and learn about the rules that govern them in Grammar-Land."Judge Grammar is far mightier than any Fairy Queen, for he rules over real kings and queens down here in Matter-of-fact-land. Our kings and queens have all to obey Judge Grammar’s laws, or else they would talk what is called bad grammar; and then, even their own subjects would laugh at them, and would say: “Poor things!They are funny fellows, these nine Parts-of-Speech...

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: Mark Twain

The Awful German Language by Mark Twain The Awful German Language

This long essay is a work of mock philology, one of several appendices to Twain’s travel novel, A Tramp Abroad. In it, Twain explains, complains about, and shows how one might improve upon various aspects of the (awful) German language. His examples of precisely how the German language is awful include the famed “separable verb” – which allows one to put the first part of a given verb at the beginning – and its second part at the end – of a given clause or sentence (which may, indeed, be very long)...

By: Mikhail Yurevich Lermontov (1814-1841)

Book cover Hero of Our Time

A Hero of Our Time is indeed a portrait, but not of one man. It is a portrait built up of all our generation's vices in full bloom. You will again tell me that a human being cannot be so wicked, and I will reply that if you can believe in the existence of all the villains of tragedy and romance, why wouldn't believe that there was a Pechorin? If you could admire far more terrifying and repulsive types, why aren't you more merciful to this character, even if it is fictitious? Isn't it because there's more truth in it than you might wish?

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...

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: 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: Padraic Colum (1881-1972)

The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy by Padraic Colum The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy

Also known as “The Children’s Homer,” this is Irish writer Padraic Colum’s retelling of the events of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey for young people. Colum’s rich, evocative prose narrates the travails of Odysseus, King of Ithaca: his experiences fighting the Trojan War, and his ten years’ journey home to his faithful wife Penelope and his son Telemachus.

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: Percival Leigh (1813-1889)

Book cover Comic English Grammar

This is a basic grammar, treating of the parts of speech, syntax, versification, pronunciation and punctuation. The listener is warned that there is quite a dated feel about this little grammar as the author, in keeping with the times (1840), is a frightful snob about social classes, scathing about 'vulgar speech' and also sometimes quite rude about American turns of phrase. The author is not remotely as comical as he thinks he is, but it has its moments.

By: Phaedrus (c. 15 BC - c. AD 50)

The Fables of Phaedrus by Phaedrus The Fables of Phaedrus

The fable is a small narrative, in prose or verse, which has as its main characteristic the aim of conveying a moral lesson (the “moral”), implicitly or, more normally, explicitly expressed. Even though the modern concept of fable is that it should have animals or inanimated objects as characters – an idea supported by the works of famous fabulists such as Aesop and La Fontaine – Phaedrus, the most important Latin fabulist, is innovative in his writing. Although many of his fables do depict animals or objects assuming speech, he also has many short stories about men, writing narratives that seem to the modern eye more like short tales than fables...

By: Plato (427-347)

Plato's Republic by Plato Plato's Republic

Plato's Republic is a Socratic dialogue which deals mainly with the definition of justice, the characteristics of a just city state and the just man. Although it was written more than two thousand years ago, many of the ideas and thoughts expounded here are still very much relevant to modern society. This is Plato's best known work and is also considered his most influential especially when it comes to the fields of philosophy and political theory. The Republic is divided into ten books and in each book Socrates discusses different topics from the immortality of the soul to the meaning of justice with his disciples like Glaucon, Thrasymachus, Adeimantus and others...

Euthyphro by Plato Euthyphro

Awaiting his trial on charges of impiety and heresy, Socrates encounters Euthyphro, a self-proclaimed authority on matters of piety and the will of the gods. Socrates, desiring instruction in these matters, converses with Euthyphro, but as usual, the man who professes to know nothing fares better than the man who claims to be an expert. One of Plato’s well-known Socratic Dialogues, Euthyphro probes the nature of piety, and notably poses the so-called Euthyphro Dilemma: Do the gods love a thing because it is holy, or is a thing holy because it is loved by the gods?

The Symposium by Plato The Symposium

The Symposium (Ancient Greek: Συμπόσιον) is a philosophical book written by Plato sometime after 385 BCE. On one level the book deals with the genealogy, nature and purpose of love, on another level the book deals with the topic of knowledge, specifically how does one know what one knows. The topic of love is taken up in the form of a group of speeches, given by a group of men at a symposium or a wine drinking party at the house of the tragedian Agathon at Athens. Plato constructed the Symposium as a story within a story within a story...

Ion by Plato Ion

In Plato’s Ion, Socrates questions Ion on whether he should really claim laud and glory for his ‘rhapsodic’ recitals of Homer’s poetry.

Timaeus by Plato Timaeus

“Our intention is, that Timaeus, who is the most of an astronomer amongst us, and has made the nature of the universe his special study, should speak first, beginning with the generation of the world and going down to the creation of man…” ‘Timaeus’ is usually regarded as one of Plato’s later dialogues, and provides an account of the creation of the universe, with physical, metaphysical and ethical dimensions, which had great influence over philosophers for centuries following. It attributes the order and beauty of the universe to a benevolent demiurge – a ‘craftsman’ or god – fashioning the physical world after the pattern of an ideal, eternal one...

Phaedo by Plato Phaedo

Plato's Phaedo is one of the great dialogues of his middle period, along with the Republic and the Symposium. The Phaedo, which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato's seventh and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days (the first six being Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Sophist, Statesman, Apology, and Crito).In the dialogue, Socrates discusses the nature of the afterlife on his last day before being executed by drinking hemlock. Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Athenian jury for not believing in the gods of the state and for corrupting the youth of the city...

Phaedrus by Plato Phaedrus

“For there is no light of justice or temperance, or any of the higher ideas which are precious to souls, in the earthly copies of them: they are seen through a glass, dimly…”Socrates and his earnest friend Phaedrus, enjoying the Athenian equivalent of a lunchtime stroll in the park, exchange views on love and on the power of words, spoken and written.Phaedrus is the most enchanting of Plato’s Erotic dialogues (capitalised in honour of the god). The barefoot philosopher urges an eager young...

Book cover Apology

The Apology of Socrates is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he unsuccessfully defended himself in 399 BC against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel" (24b). "Apology" here has its earlier meaning (now usually expressed by the word "apologia") of speaking in defense of a cause or of one's beliefs or actions (from the Ancient Greek ἀπολογία).

Book cover Meno

Meno (Ancient Greek: Μένων) is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato. Written in the Socratic dialectic style, it attempts to determine the definition of virtue, or arete, meaning in this case virtue in general, rather than particular virtues, such as justice or temperance. The goal is a common definition that applies equally to all particular virtues. Socrates moves the discussion past the philosophical confusion, or aporia, created by Meno's paradox (aka the learner's paradox) with the introduction of new Platonic ideas: the theory of knowledge as recollection, anamnesis, and in the final lines a movement towards Platonic idealism.. (Introduction by Wikipedia)


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