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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...

By: Arthur Empey

Over the Top by Arthur Empey Over the Top

Arthur Guy Empey was an American who responded to the sinking of the Lusitania by enlisting with the British Army to fight in France. His experiences in the trenches, including his ultimate wounding and convalescence, became this book. When published in 1917, it was a major hit and helped the recruiting effort when America entered the Great War. If you’ve heard of the horror of trench warfare in WWI and want to see it from below dirt level, Empey offers it all here. Also included is Empey’s popular “Tommy’s Dictionary of the Trenches” which humorously demistifies the slang used by the British soldier.

By: Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)

Notes of a War Correspondent by Richard Harding Davis Notes of a War Correspondent

Experiences and observations of the journalist in the Cuban-Spanish War, the Greek-Turkish War, the Spanish-American War, the South African War, and the Japanese-Russian War, accompanied by "A War Correspondent’s Kit."

By: Saint Therese (1873-1897)

The Story of a Soul by Saint Therese The Story of a Soul

Marie Francoise Therese Martin, affectionately known as ‘The Little Flower’, was born on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France to Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin. She was the youngest and one of five surviving sisters of the nine Martin children. When Therese was 3, her mother died. Louis Martin moved his family to Lisieux to be closer to his late wife’s brother and his family. It was there that Therese’s sister, Pauline, entered the Carmel at Lisieux on October 2, 1882. Therese at that time also heard the Divine Call to religious life...

By: Arthur Ransome (1884-1967)

Book cover Russia in 1919

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: On August 27, 1914, in London, I made this note in a memorandum book: "Met Arthur Ransome at_____'s; discussed a book on the Russian's relation to the war in the light of psychological background--folklore." The book was not written but the idea that instinctively came to him pervades his every utterance on things Russian. The versatile man who commands more than respect as the biographer of Poe and Wilde; as the (translator of and commentator on Remy de Gourmont; as a folklorist, has shown himself to be consecrated to the truth...

By: John S. Mosby (1833-1916)

The Memoirs of Colonel John S. Mosby by John S. Mosby The Memoirs of Colonel John S. Mosby

This is not a work of fiction! These are the actual memoirs of a legendary leader of partisans who bedeviled the Union army for years, almost within sight of the capitol. With only a few local men under command, John Singleton Mosby’s ability to strike fast and then melt away before an effective pursuit could be organized kept the Yankee forces awake and often snarled in knots. With daring feats like capturing a Yankee general out of his bed within his defended headquarters, Mosby made his name a synonym for guerrilla warfare...

By: Thomas Hughes (1822-1896)

Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes Tom Brown's School Days

Tom Brown’s Schooldays is a novel by Thomas Hughes first published in 1857. The story is set at Rugby School, a public school for boys, in the 1830s. Hughes attended Rugby School from 1834 to 1842. The novel was originally published as being “by an Old Boy of Rugby”, and much of it is based on the author’s experiences. Tom Brown is largely based on the author’s brother, George Hughes; and George Arthur, another of the book’s main characters, is based on Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. The fictional Tom’s life also resembles the author’s in that the culminating event of his school career was a cricket match...

By: Xenophon

Xenophon's Anabasis by Xenophon Xenophon's Anabasis

Xenophon the Athenian was born 431 B.C. He was a pupil of Socrates. He marched with the Spartans, and was exiled from Athens. Sparta gave him land and property in Scillus, where he lived for many years before having to move once more, to settle in Corinth. He died in 354 B.C. “Anabasis” is a Greek work which meane “journey from the coast to the center of a country.” This is Xenophon’s account of his march to Persia with a troop of Greek mercenaries to aid Cyrus, who enlisted Greek help to try and take the throne from his brother Artaxerxes, and the ensuing return of the Greeks, in which Xenophon played a leading role...

By: Carlton McCarthy (1847-1936)

Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 by Carlton McCarthy Detailed Minutiae of Soldier Life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865

The author, who fought as a private in the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War, describes the Confederate soldier’s daily struggles with hunger, illness, fear, and the perils of combat; as well as his pride of service, love of comrades, and courage in the face of overwhelming odds

By: Mary Antin (1881-1949)

From Plotzk to Boston by Mary Antin From Plotzk to Boston

An intensely personal account of the immigration experience as related by a young Jewish girl from Plotzk (a town in the government of Vitebsk, Russia). Mary Antin, with her mother, sisters, and brother, set out from Plotzk in 1894 to join their father, who had journeyed to the “Promised Land” of America three years before. Fourth class railroad cars packed to suffocation, corrupt crossing guards, luggage and persons crudely “disinfected” by German officials who feared the cholera, locked “quarantine” portside, and, finally, the steamer voyage and a famiily reunited...

By: P. T. Barnum (1810-1891)

The Humbugs of the World by P. T. Barnum The Humbugs of the World

P. T. Barnum exposes some of the chief humbugs of the world with his usual entertaining style. He looks at medicine and quacks, ghosts, witchcraft, religious humbugs, money manias, adventurers, personal reminiscences, and much more.

By: Richard Burton Deane (1848-1940)

Mounted Police Life in Canada : a record of thirty-one years' service (1916) by Richard Burton Deane Mounted Police Life in Canada : a record of thirty-one years' service (1916)

Learn more about the famous and respected Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This book is the personal recollections of one ‘Mountie’; his life, experiences and trials as an officer in a new frontier – The Canadian Northwest.

By: Anna Harriette Leonowens

The English Governess at the Siamese Court by Anna Harriette Leonowens The English Governess at the Siamese Court

1862 Anna Leonowens accepted an offer made by the Siamese consul in Singapore, Tan Kim Ching, to teach the wives and children of Mongkut, king of Siam. The king wished to give his 39 wives and concubines and 82 children a modern Western education on scientific secular lines, which earlier missionaries’ wives had not provided. Leonowens sent her daughter Avis to school in England, and took her son Louis with her to Bangkok. She succeeded Dan Beach Bradley, an American missionary, as teacher to the Siamese court...

By: Eliza P. Donner Houghton (1843-1922)

The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic Fate by Eliza P. Donner Houghton The Expedition of the Donner Party and Its Tragic Fate

The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the “westering fever” of the 1840s. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846–1847, some of the emigrants resorted to cannibalism. Although this aspect of the tragedy has become synonymous with the Donner Party in the popular imagination, it actually was a minor part of the episode. The author was about 4 at the time. The first part of the book accounts the tragic journey and rescue attempts; the last half are reminiscences of the child orphan, passed from family to family while growing up.

By: Edmund Gosse (1849-1928)

Father and Son by Edmund Gosse Father and Son

Father and Son (1907) is a memoir by poet and critic Edmund Gosse, which he subtitled “a study of two temperaments.” The book describes Edmund’s early years in an exceptionally devout Plymouth Brethren home. His mother, who dies early and painfully of breast cancer, is a writer of Christian tracts. His father, Philip Henry Gosse, is an influential, though largely self-taught, invertebrate zoologist and student of marine biology who, after his wife’s death, takes Edmund to live in Devon...

By: Thornton Chase

In Galilee by Thornton Chase In Galilee

Thornton Chase (1847 – 1912) is commonly recognized as the first convert to the Bahá’í Faith of Occidental background. During his life he organized many Bahá’í activities in Chicago and Los Angeles and was considered a prominent Bahá’í. In 1907 Chase was able to go on pilgrimage. Though Chase was able to be with `Abdu’l Bahá in Akka for only three days, the experience transformed him. `Abdu’l Bahá, highly impressed by Chase’s qualities, conferred on him the title Thábit, “steadfast...

By: Chalkley J. Hambleton

A Gold Hunter's Experience by Chalkley J. Hambleton A Gold Hunter's Experience

“Early in the summer of 1860, I had an attack of gold fever. In Chicago, the conditions for such a malady were all favorable. Since the panic of 1857 there had been three years of general depression, money was scarce, there was little activity in business, the outlook was discouraging, and I, like hundreds of others, felt blue.” Thus Chalkley J. Hambleton begins his pithy and engrossing tale of participation in the Pike’s Peak gold rush. Four men in partnership hauled 24 tons of mining equipment by ox cart across the Great Plains from St...

By: Ferdinand Ossendowski (1876-1945)

Beasts, Men and Gods by Ferdinand Ossendowski Beasts, Men and Gods

“Beasts, Men and Gods” is an account of an epic journey, filled with perils and narrow escapes, in the mold of “The Lord of the Rings.”The difference is: it’s all true.Ferdinand Ossendowski was a Pole who found himself in Siberia and on the losing side during the Bolshevik Revolution. To escape being rounded up and shot, he set out with a friend to reach the Pacific, there to take ship back to Europe. During his journey he fell in with dozens of other military men who shared the same objective… but nearly every one of them perished on the way...

By: Henry Ford

My Life and Work by Henry Ford My Life and Work

Henry Ford profiles the events that shaped his personal philosophy, and the challenges he overcame on the road to founding the Ford Motor Company. Throughout his memoir, he stresses the importance of tangible service and physical production over relative value as judged by profits and money. He measures the worth of a business or government by the service it provides to all, not the profits in dollars it accumulates. He also makes the point that only service can provide for human needs, as opposed to laws or rules which can only prohibit specific actions and do not provide for the necessaries of life...

By: Kate Percival

The Life and Amours of the Beautiful, Gay and Dashing Kate Percival, the Belle of the Delaware by Kate Percival The Life and Amours of the Beautiful, Gay and Dashing Kate Percival, the Belle of the Delaware

This surprisingly explicit sample of Victorian erotica follows the sexual awakening and subsequent adventures of its author, Kate Percival, the "belle of the Delaware." Content warning: this one is definitely NC-17 rated.

By: Mary Rowlandson (c.1637-1711)

A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson by Mary Rowlandson A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

This is the story of Mary Rowlandson’s capture by American Indians in 1675. It is a blunt, frightening, and detailed work with several moments of off-color humor. Mary, the wife of a minister, was captured by Natives during King Philips War while living in a Lancaster town, most of which was decimated, and the people murdered. See through her eyes, which depict Indians as the instruments of Satan. Her accounts were a best-seller of the era, and a seminal work, being one of the first captivity narratives ever published by a woman...

By: Frances M. A. Roe

Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888 by Frances M. A. Roe Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888

"There appeared from the bushes in front of me, and right in the path, two immense gray wolves . . . Rollo saw them and stopped instantly, giving deep sighs, preparing to snort, I knew . . . To give myself courage, I talked to the horse, slowly turning him around . . . when out of the bushes in front of us, there came a third wolf! The situation was not pleasant and without stopping to think, I said ‘Rollo, we must run him down - now do your best’ and taking a firm hold of the bridle, and bracing myself in the saddle, I struck the horse with my whip and gave an awful scream...

By: Henry W. Lucy (1842-1924)

Book cover East by West: a Journey in the Recess

East by West: a Journey in the Recess is an account of British journalist Henry Lucy's travels across America and on to the Far East during the parliamentary recess in 1883. Lucy was one of the most influential journalists of his day and, as "Toby M.P.", a noted humorist in Punch magazine. His acute powers of observation and light touch make this a most engaging book. It is a fascinating insight into the Englishman's travels abroad within two decades of the American Civil War and the end of Japanese isolationism...

By: Sarah Elizabeth Harper Monmouth (1829-1887)

Living on Half a Dime a Day by Sarah Elizabeth Harper Monmouth Living on Half a Dime a Day

How to live on 5 cents a day! How to survive financial ruin without losing your house! How to keep to a bare bones budget and still have money left over to buy books! Tough questions! They were tough questions even in the 1870’s, when Sarah Elizabeth Harper Monmouth penned her quirky memoir, the subtitle of which was “How a Lady, Having Lost a Sufficient Income from Government Bonds by Misplaced Confidence, Reduced to a Little Homestead Whose Entire Income is But .00 per Annum, Resolved to Hold It, Incurring no Debts and Live Within it...

By: William Westgarth (1815-1889)

Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria by William Westgarth Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria

Son of John Westgarth, surveyor-general of customs for Scotland, was born at Edinburgh, in June 1815. He was educated at the high schools at Leith and Edinburgh, and at Dr Bruce’s school at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He then entered the office of G. Young and Company of Leith, who were engaged in the Australian trade, and realizing the possibilities of the new land, decided to emigrate to Australia. He arrived in Melbourne, then a town of three or four thousand inhabitants, in December 1840.When the new colony was constituted Westgarth headed the poll for Melbourne at the election for the legislative council...

By: Captain Rees Howell Gronow (1794-1865)

Reminiscences of Captain Gronow by Captain Rees Howell Gronow Reminiscences of Captain Gronow

A collection of memoirs about the Peninsular War, the Battle of Waterloo, and society and personalities of Regency London and 19th century Paris, by a sometime Grenadier Guards officer, unsuccessful parliamentarian, and dandy. Gronow displays social attitudes of the day which would now be regarded as unacceptable, but is a clever raconteur who brings to life both the horrors of war and the gaiety of high society.

By: Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900)

Being a Boy by Charles Dudley Warner Being a Boy

Warner's thoughtful and often humorous memoir of his life as a young farm-boy in Charlemont, Massachusetts. (Introduction by Mark Penfold)

By: Dame Shirley (d.1906)

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

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

By: William Bradford (1590-1657)

Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement by William Bradford Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement

The journal of William Bradford, who served five terms as governor of the Plymouth colony, is an indispensable document of the events of early American history. His eyewitness account includes the stories of the Pilgrims’ sojourn in the Netherlands, the voyage of the Mayflower, the hardships of the New World, relations with the Indians, and the colony’s growth from an endangered enterprise to a thriving city. This edition of Bradford’s Of Plimoth Plantation presents the text in language made more accessible to the modern reader

By: Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)

Book cover Helping Himself, or Grant Thornton's Ambition

Helping Himself, or Grant Thornton's Ambition deals with the grit and determination of Grant, a 15 year old farmer's boy whose father is dead and in order to pay his minister father's debts, and to help his mother deal with their abject poverty young Grant postpones his college education to take a job as a Wall Street broker's clerk. The first step is to deal with the avaricious and greedy man who is keeping them from obtaining the meager amount due them and which will at least allow them to eat...

By: Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)

Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant

"In preparing these volumes for the public, I have entered upon the task with the sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to any one, whether on the National or Confederate side, other than the unavoidable injustice of not making mention often where special mention is due. There must be many errors of omission in this work, because the subject is too large to be treated of in two volumes in such way as to do justice to all the officers and men engaged. There were thousands of instances, during the rebellion, of individual, company, regimental and brigade deeds of heroism which deserve special mention and are not here alluded to...

Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister by Ulysses S. Grant Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Father and His Youngest Sister

Among the national leaders whose names will always hold an honorable place in American history is Ulysses S. Grant, the simple-hearted man and capable soldier, to whose patriotism, courage, persistence, and skill was so largely due the successful termination of the war between the States, the contest which assured the foundations of the Republic. We are interested not only in learning what this man did, but in coming to know, as far as may be practicable, what manner of man he was. It is all-important in a study of development of character to have placed within reach the utterances of the man himself...


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