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By: Amelia B. Edwards (1831-1892)

Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys by Amelia B. Edwards Untrodden Peaks and Unfrequented Valleys

Amelia B. Edwards wrote this historical travelogue in in 1873. The book describes her travels through a relatively un-visited area in the South Tyrol district of Italy. The Dolomites are a part of that most famous of mountain chains, the Alps.In this book, the Writer and her friend and companion, L., travel from Southern Italy, having over-wintered there, to visit the Dolomite district. Her chatty style, dry sense of humor, accuracy of facts, and sympathy for humanity set her works apart. The slice of Victorian British life presented is quite captivating...

By: Susanna Moodie (1803-1885)

Life in the Clearings by Susanna Moodie Life in the Clearings

If you've read Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, the historical fiction novel that describes a gruesome double murder in Canada in 1843, you would be interested to know the sources that were used by Atwood during her research. Life in the Clearings by Susanna Moodie was one such reference book in which the author, Susanna Moodie recounts her meeting with the infamous murderess Grace Marks, a young house help who was convicted to life imprisonment for her role in the slaying of her employers. Susanna Moodie was an Englishwoman born in Suffolk...

Book cover Roughing It in the Bush

'Roughing It In the Bush' is Susanna Moodie's account of how she coped with the harshness of life in the woods of Upper Canada, as an Englishwoman homesteading abroad. Her narrative was constructed partly as a response to the glowing falsehoods European land-agents were circulating about life in the New World. Her chronicle is frank and humorous, and was a popular sensation at the time of its publication in 1852.

By: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

Book cover Through the Magic Door

I care not how humble your bookshelf may be, nor how lowly the room which it adorns. Close the door of that room behind you, shut off with it all the cares of the outer world, plunge back into the soothing company of the great dead, and then you are through the magic portal into that fair land whither worry and vexation can follow you no more. You have left all that is vulgar and all that is sordid behind you. There stand your noble, silent comrades, waiting in their ranks. Pass your eye down their files...

By: Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a Maryland plantation. He faced hardship as a child, but later encountered owners who were relatively liberal and allowed him to learn to read, write and be in contact with freed slaves. At the age of 20, he escaped from the plantation and made his way to New York. Though he remained a fugitive, he married and changed his name to avoid being caught. He continued his education and became involved in the Abolitionist Movement. He began touring the country, speaking passionately about the unjust, cruel and inhuman practice of slavery...

By: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

Book cover My Reminiscences

These Reminiscences were written and published by the Author in his fiftieth year, shortly before he started on a trip to Europe and America for his failing health in 1912. It was in the course of this trip that he wrote for the first time in the English language for publication. (from preface)

Creative Unity by Rabindranath Tagore Creative Unity

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore talks of the many things he feels is necessary for creativity through joy of unity, he covers many topics like the creative ideal, makes comparisons of creativity between the east and the west, the spirit of freedom and about his idea of an University.

By: Charles Morris (1833-1922)

The San Francisco Calamity by Earthquake and Fire by Charles Morris The San Francisco Calamity by Earthquake and Fire

The first half of this book describes the devastating earthquake that hit San Francisco in 1906, and the subsequent destruction caused by fire. Various eyewitnesses and victims give their account on the tragedy. In the second half, a number of different other earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are retold, like the eruption of the Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeij or the explosion of the Krakatoa, together with scientific explanations for the causes of earthquakes and the eruption of volcanos.

By: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

Published in 1796, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark is a personal travel narrative by the eighteenth-century British feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft. The twenty-five letters cover a wide range of topics, from sociological reflections on Scandinavia and its peoples to philosophical questions regarding identity. Published by Wollstonecraft's career-long publisher, Joseph Johnson, it was the last work issued during her lifetime. Wollstonecraft undertook her tour of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in order to retrieve a stolen treasure ship for her lover, Gilbert Imlay...

By: L. A. Abbott (1813-??)

Seven Wives and Seven Prisons by L. A. Abbott Seven Wives and Seven Prisons

This work the author claims is indeed a true story of how he happened to be married seven times to seven different women and the rollicking, hilarious events that led (or stumbled) to the marriages and the ah–disassembling/failing/failures of each said marriage which happened oftentimes to land him in prison. The summarist finds the work a very tongue-in-cheek diatribe/lament/account of his obsessive zeal in ‘marrying the right one’, but is also the mirthful chronicle of said author’s very unconventional adventures.

By: Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography

In his vital, illustrative and dynamic autobiography, Theodore Roosevelt let us into the life that formed one of the greatest and outspoken presidents in American history. Not only are we privy to the formation of his political ideals, but also to his love of the frontier and the great outdoors.

Through the Brazilian Wilderness by Theodore Roosevelt Through the Brazilian Wilderness

Roosevelt’s popular book Through the Brazilian Wilderness describes his expedition into the Brazilian jungle in 1913 as a member of the Roosevelt-Rondon Scientific Expedition co-named after its leader, Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon. The book describes all of the scientific discovery, scenic tropical vistas and exotic flora, fauna and wild life experienced on the expedition. One goal of the expedition was to find the headwaters of the Rio da Duvida, the River of Doubt, and trace it north to the Madeira and thence to the Amazon River...

By: Harriet Jacobs (1813-1897)

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself by Harriet Jacobs Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

Born in slavery, but being fortunate enough to be owned by a benevolent mistress, her life takes a tragic turn when her parents and her benefactor die. The new heir to the property (and slaves) is a cruel and lewd man who begins to make inappropriate advances to the lovely young slave-girl. In a bid to escape, she becomes entangled in a relationship with a neighboring landowner who promises a better life, and she even has two children. However, things become worse for her when her cruel owner decides to punish her by sending her and her children to a distant cotton plantation to be “broken in...

By: Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon (1821-1869)

Letters from Egypt by Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon Letters from Egypt

As a girl, Lady Duff-Gordon was noted both for her beauty and intelligence. As an author, she is most famous for this collection of letters from Egypt. Lady Duff-Gordon had tuberculosis, and went to Egypt for her health. This collection of her personal letters to her mother and her husband. By all accounts everyone loved her, and the letters are very personal in style and content. The letters are as much an introduction to her person as a record of her life on the Upper Nile.

By: Frederick Marryat (1792-1848)

Book cover Jacob Faithful

Rebelling against the career chosen for him by his wealthy family, Frederic Marryat joined the Royal Navy in 1806 at the age of 14. He first served as a midshipman in the 38-gun frigate "HMS Imperieuse" commanded by Lord Cochran, 10th Earl of Dundonald whose real life exploits were used by Marryat in his fiction and which formed the basis for other famous fictional characters like Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey. Having survived more than 50 sea battles and attained the rank of Post Captain, he resigned from the Navy and devoted the rest of his life to writing, drawing a good deal on his distinguished career in the Navy and is now considered the Father of Modern Nautical Fiction...

By: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Selected Letters of Beethoven by Ludwig van Beethoven Selected Letters of Beethoven

A selection of Beethoven’s letters from the compilation by Dr. Ludwig Nohl and translated by Lady Grace Wallace.

By: Elizabeth Prentiss (1818-1878)

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss Stepping Heavenward

"How dreadfully old I am getting! Sixteen!" Thus begins the lifelong diary of young Katherine as she pours out her hopes, dreams, and spiritual journey on the pages of her dear, old journal. Whimsical and charming Katherine is engagingly candid about her character flaws and her desire to know God. As you listen to her share her heart through these journal entries, you will be amazed and delighted by the depth of her character and the womanly wisdom and godliness she develops over the years. From the agonies of being a teenager to the delicate balancing act between being a wife/mother/daughter/neighbor, it is easy to relate to Katherine's triumphs and trials whether you are 16 or 60...

By: Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859)

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas de Quincey Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

“Thou hast the keys of Paradise, O just, subtle, and mighty Opium!” Though apparently presenting the reader with a collage of poignant memories, temporal digressions and random anecdotes, the Confessions is a work of immense sophistication and certainly one of the most impressive and influential of all autobiographies. The work is of great appeal to the contemporary reader, displaying a nervous (postmodern?) self-awareness, a spiralling obsession with the enigmas of its own composition and significance...

By: Catharine Parr Traill (1802-1899)

The Backwoods of Canada by Catharine Parr Traill The Backwoods of Canada

The writer is as earnest in recommending ladies who belong to the higher class of settlers to cultivate all the mental resources of a superior education, as she is to induce them to discard all irrational and artificial wants and mere useless pursuits. She would willingly direct their attention to the natural history and botany of this new country, in which they will find a never-failing source of amusement and instruction, at once enlightening and elevating the mind, and serving to fill up the void left by the absence of those lighter feminine accomplishments, the practice of which are necessarily superseded by imperative domestic duties...

By: James Boswell (1740-1795)

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson

Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson is widely considered to be the greatest English-language biography ever written. It was revolutionary in its efforts to represent Johnson as he was, celebrating his flaws as well as his genius, and in Boswell’s decision to represent Johnson primarily by quoting his writings and relating personal anecdotes rather than relying on matters of public record. From the time of its publication till now, The Life of Johnson has been one of the most popular and influential books ever written.

By: John Wesley Powell (1834-1902)

Canyons of the Colorado, or The exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons by John Wesley Powell Canyons of the Colorado, or The exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons

John Wesley Powell was a pioneer American explorer, ethnologist, and geologist in the 19th Century. In 1869 he set out to explore the Colorado and the Grand Canyon. He gathered nine men, four boats and food for ten months and set out from Green River, Wyoming, on May 24. Passing through dangerous rapids, the group passed down the Green River to its confluence with the Colorado River (then also known as the Grand River upriver from the junction), near present-day Moab, Utah. The expedition’s route...

By: George B. Grinnell

Blackfeet Indian Stories by George B. Grinnell Blackfeet Indian Stories

The Blackfeet were hunters, travelling from place to place on foot. They used implements of stone, wood, or bone, wore clothing made of skins, and lived in tents covered by hides. Dogs, their only tame animals, were used as beasts of burden to carry small packs and drag light loads. The stories here told come down to us from very ancient times. Grandfathers have told them to their grandchildren, and these again to their grandchildren, and so from mouth to mouth, through many generations, they have reached our time. (Sibella Denton)

By: Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova by Giacomo Casanova The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

This is the first of five volumes. – Giacomo Casanova (1725 in Venice – 1798 in Dux, Bohemia, now Duchcov, Czech Republic) was a famous Venetian adventurer, writer, and womanizer. He used charm, guile, threats, intimidation, and aggression, when necessary, to conquer women, sometimes leaving behind children or debt. In his autobiography Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century, he mentions 122 women with whom he had sex...

By: Peter Abelard (1079-1142)

The Story of My Misfortunes by Peter Abelard The Story of My Misfortunes

Autobiographies from remote historical periods can be especially fascinating. Modes of self-presentation vary greatly across the centuries, as of course does the very concept of Self. Peter Abelard, the medieval philosopher and composer, here gives a concise but vivid survey of his notoriously calamitous life. The work is couched in the form of a letter to an afflicted friend. Abelard’s abrasively competitive, often arrogant personality emerges at once in the brief Foreword, where he informs his correspondent: “(I)n comparing your sorrows with mine, you may discover that yours are in truth nought.. and so shall you come to bear them the more easily.”

By: Princess Der Ling

Two Years in the Forbidden City by Princess Der Ling Two Years in the Forbidden City

THE author of the following narrative has peculiar qualifications for her task. She is a daughter of Lord Yu Keng, a member of the Manchu White Banner Corps, and one of the most advanced and progressive Chinese officials of his generation. she became First Lady-in-Waiting to the Empress Dowager, and while serving at the Court in that capacity she received the impressions which provide the subject-matter of this book. Her opportunity to observe and estimate the characteristics of the remarkable woman who ruled China for so long was unique, and her narrative throws a new light on one of the most extraordinary personalities of modern times...

By: Leander Stillwell (1843-1934)

The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865 by Leander Stillwell The Story of a Common Soldier of Army Life in the Civil War, 1861-1865

Leander Stillwell was an 18-year-old Illinois farm boy, living with his family in a log cabin, when the U.S. Civil War broke out. Stillwell felt a duty “to help save the Nation;” but, as with many other young men, his Patriotism was tinged with bravura: “the idea of staying at home and turning over senseless clods on the farm with the cannon thundering so close at hand . . . was simply intolerable.” Stillwell volunteered for the 61st Illinois Infantry in January 1861. His youthful enthusiasm for the soldier’s life was soon tempered at Shiloh, where he first “saw a gun fired in anger,” and “saw a man die a violent death...

By: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington Up From Slavery

Up From Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his slow and steady rise from a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools—most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama—to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by the bootstraps. He reflects on the generosity of both teachers and philanthropists who helped in educating blacks and native Americans...

By: Rupert Brooke

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

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

By: Mary MacLane (1881-1929)

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

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

By: Noah Davis (b. 1804)

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

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

By: Sir Wilfred Grenfell (1865-1940)

Adrift on an Ice-Pan by Sir Wilfred Grenfell Adrift on an Ice-Pan

This autobiographical work describes the author’s harrowing experience caught on a small drifting piece of ice, while crossing a frozen bay by dog team on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland.

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...


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