By: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)
The French Revolution
“It is, for that matter, self-evident that if one community decides in one fashion, another, also sovereign, in the opposite fashion, both cannot be right. Reasoning men have also protested, and justly, against the conception that what a majority in numbers, or even (what is more compelling still) a unanimity of decision in a community may order, may not only be wrong but may be something which that community has no authority to order since, though it possesses a civil and temporal authority, it acts against that ultimate authority which is its own consciousness of right...
Europe and the Faith
The Catholic brings to history (when I say "history" in these pages I mean the history of Christendom) self-knowledge. As a man in the confessional accuses himself of what he knows to be true and what other people cannot judge, so a Catholic, talking of the united European civilization, when he blames it, blames it for motives and for acts which are his own. He himself could have done those things in person. He is not relatively right in his blame, he is absolutely right. As a man can testify to his own motive so can the Catholic testify to unjust, irrelevant, or ignorant conceptions of the European story; for he knows why and how it proceeded...
First and Last
“When a man weighs anchor in a little ship or a large one he does a jolly thing! He cuts himself off and he starts for freedom and for the chance of things. He pulls the jib a-weather, he leans to her slowly pulling round, he sees the wind getting into the mainsail, and he feels that she feels the helm. He has her on a slant of the wind, and he makes out between the harbour piers.” (quotation from Hilaire Belloc)
“Now that story is a symbol, and tells the truth. We see some one thing in this world, and suddenly it becomes particular and sacramental; a woman and a child, a man at evening, a troop of soldiers; we hear notes of music, we smell the smell that went with a passed time, or we discover after the long night a shaft of light upon the tops of the hills at morning: there is a resurrection, and we are refreshed and renewed.” – Hilaire Belloc
On Nothing & Kindred Subjects
“I knew a man once, Maurice, who was at Oxford for three years, and after that went down with no degree. At College, while his friends were seeking for Truth in funny brown German Philosophies, Sham Religions, stinking bottles and identical equations, he was lying on his back in Eynsham meadows thinking of Nothing, and got the Truth by this parallel road of his much more quickly than did they by theirs; for the asses are still seeking, mildly disputing, and, in a cultivated manner, following the...
The Free Press
I propose to discuss in what follows the evil of the great modern Capitalist Press, its function in vitiating and misinforming opinion and in putting power into ignoble hands; its correction by the formation of small independent organs, and the probably increasing effect of these last. (Introduction by Hilaire Belloc)
By: Ida Laura Pfeiffer
A Visit to the Holy Land, Egypt, and Italy
Ida Pfeiffer travelled alone in an era when women didn’t travel. She went first on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, then went on to Egypt and Italy. Understanding the difficulties a woman would face travelling alone and on a budget, she made a will before she left. Go she did, however; and upon her return she wrote this book. She used the proceeds to finance her next trip – six months in Iceland.
By: Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)
Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll
Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll (1833–1899) was a Civil War veteran, American political leader and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought, noted for his defense of atheism. This book is the first of two volumes collecting Ingersoll’s speeches.
|The Ghosts And Other Lectures
|The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Volume VIII. Interviews
By: Justus Liebig (1803-1873)
Familiar Letters on Chemistry
Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) was a German chemist who made major contributions to agricultural and biological chemistry and is known for his discovery of nitrogen as an essential plant nutrient. These letters “were written for the especial purpose of exciting the attention of governments, and an enlightened public, to the necessity of establishing Schools of Chemistry, and of promoting by every means, the study of a science so intimately connected with the arts, pursuits, and social well-being of modern civilised nations.”
By: US Army Corps of Engineers, Manhattan District
The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki
This is the official report, published nearly 11 months after the first and only atomic bombings in history (to date), of a group of military physicians and engineers who accompanied the initial contingent of U.S. soldiers into the destroyed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The report presents a clinical description of the devastation, loss of life and continued suffering of the survivors that resulted from the world’s first and only atomic bombings. The appendix is an eyewitness account, contrasting...
By: Rufus Estes (b. 1857)
Good Things to Eat as Suggested by Rufus
Rufus Estes was born a slave in 1857 in Tennessee, and experienced first hand the turmoil of the Civil War. He began working in a Nashville restaurant at the age of 16, and in 1883 took up employment as a Pullman cook. In 1897, he was hired as principal chef for the private railway car of U.S. Steel magnates (the fin-de-siecle equivalent of today’s Lear Jets for corporate travel). There he served succulent fare for the rich and famous at the turn of the 20th century.
By: Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798)
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: Elizabeth Davis Bancroft (1803-1886)
Letters from England, 1846-1849
Elizabeth Bancroft went to England with her husband, historian George Bancroft, for three of the most dynamicy years in European hstory. As Ambassador to England from the United States, George moved in the highest circles. In his wife’s letters to their sons, her uncle, her brother, and Mrs. Polk (the President’s wife), we see glimpses not only of early Victorian English life, but also of Queen Victoria herself! Mrs. Bancroft speaks of dinners with Benjamin Disraeli, visits to Wordsworth, weekends in the country with Louis Napolean and Sir Robert Peel with such matter of fact aplomb that one cannot help being impressed.
By: Charles Hoy Fort
The Book of the Damned
The Book of the Damned was the first published nonfiction work of the author Charles Fort (first edition 1919). Dealing with various types of anomalous phenomena including UFOs, strange falls of both organic and inorganic materials from the sky, odd weather patterns, the possible existence of creatures generally held to be mythological, disappearances of people under strange circumstances, and many other phenomena, the book is historically considered to be the first written in the specific field of anomalistics. –
By: Peter Abelard (1079-1142)
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: Elsie Lincoln Benedict
How to Analyze People on Sight Through the Science of Human Analysis: The Five Human Types
In this popular American book from the 1920s, accomplished public speaker and self-help charlatan Elsie Lincoln Benedict outlines her pseudo-scientific system of "Human Analysis". She proposes that, within the human race, five sub-types have developed through evolutionary processes, each with its own distinct character traits and corresponding outward appearance. She offers to teach the reader how to recognise these five types of people and understand their innate differences. Her ideas have never been taken seriously by the scientific community, but this book is considered a classic within its genre and remains in print today. Summary by Carl Manchester.
By: Christopher Morley (1890-1957)
Mince Pie is a compilation of humorous sketches, poetry, and essays written by Christopher Morley. Morley sets the tone in the preface: "If one asks what excuse there can be for prolonging the existence of these trifles, my answer is that there is no excuse. But a copy on the bedside shelf may possibly pave the way to easy slumber. Only a mind "debauched by learning" (in Doctor Johnson's phrase) will scrutinize them too anxiously."
By: James Norman Hall
Kitchener's Mob Adventures of an American in the British Army
“Pvt Ryan”, “Platoon”, “A Soldier’s Home”, “Kitchener’s Mob”. These aren’t happy stories, they are about the experience of War. War at different times, and although modern warfare may be more sanitized, the adventure, the horror, the emotions don’t change. James Norman Hall has been there. He “Saw the Elephant”, and his portrayal of his WWI experience is a tribute to those ordinary people who do such extraordinary things. Those who have served will identify with at least some part if not all of this book, be it the rigors of training, the camaraderie, or possibly those memories that try as you may, you can never make go away...
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: Wallace D. Wattles (1860-1911)
The Science of Being Well
If you are seeking better health and ways to stay well…This book is for you! Wallace D. Wattles was an American author and a pioneer success new thought movement writer. His most famous work and first book is a book called The Science of Getting Rich in which he explains how to get rich. Additionally, In the Science of Getting Well, Wattles suggests the reader to think and ACT in a Certain Way. As with his first book, Wattles explains in simple concepts the keys to Getting Well. With faith and discipline, Wattles suggests you can stay well...
By: Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c75 - c160 AD)
The Lives of the Twelve Caesars
The Twelve Caesars is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire. The work was written in 121 during the reign of the emperor Hadrian, while Suetonius was Hadrian’s personal secretary. On the Life of the Caesars concentrates on the acts and personalities of the Julio-Claudians and their immediate successors. Together with Tacitus’ Annals, this work is a major source for the historical details in Robert Graves’ novels “I Claudius” and “Claudius the God”.
By: Paul Allardyce (1855-1895)
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: Mallanaga Vatsyayana
The Kama Sutra
The Kama Sutra, or Aphorisms on Love, has survived at least 1400 years as a dominant text on sexual relations between men and women. Vatsyayana claimed to have written the Kama Sutra while a religious student, “in contemplation of the Deity” - but references to older works, shrewd disputations by Vatsyayana of those authors' recommendations, and careful cataloging of practices in various of the Indian states indicate much more emphasis on kama, or sensual gratification. Part of the book discusses the 64 arts of love employed by masters of coitus...
By: Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians
Martin Luther strove to give a verse by verse exegesis of the Epistle to the Galatians in the work. The original work, written in Latin in around 1516, was much longer. This translation by Theodore Graebner (1876-1950) strove to produce a copy of the work in a format and with wording much more applicable to the general English-speaking American public.
The Smalcald Articles
MANUAL OF SURGERY, OXFORD MEDICAL PUBLICATIONSBY ALEXIS THOMSON, F.R.C.S.Ed.PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION Much has happened since this Manual was last revised, and many surgical lessons have been learned in the hard school of war. Some may yet have to be unlearned, and others have but little bearing on the problems presented to the civilian surgeon. Save in its broadest principles, the surgery of warfare is a thing apart from the general surgery of civil life, and the exhaustive literature now available on every aspect of it makes it unnecessary that it should receive detailed consideration in a manual for students...
By: Walter Besant (1836-1901)
The History of London
Walter Besant was a novelist and historian, and his topographical and historical writings, ranging from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century, were probably best known through the detailed 10-volume Survey of London published after his death. This earlier single volume covers, in less depth, the whole period from prehistory until the 19th century. The book appears originally to have been written for boys, and, indeed, the chapters are called “Lessons”. However, it is a very readable history and provides a fascinating insight into both London’s past and the government of the City at the time the book was written (1894).
By: Thomas Carlyle
Early Kings of Norway
“The Icelanders, in their long winter, had a great habit of writing; and were, and still are, excellent in penmanship. It is to this fact, that any little history there is of the Norse Kings and their old tragedies, crimes and heroisms, is almost all due. The Icelanders, it seems, not only made beautiful letters on their paper or parchment, but were laudably observant and desirous of accuracy; and have left us such a collection of narratives (Sagas, literally “Says”) as, for quantity and quality, is unexampled among rude nations...
By: General Sir John Miller Adye (1819-1900)
Indian Frontier Policy, an Historical Sketch
“The subject of our policy on the North-West frontier of India is one of great importance, as affecting the general welfare of our Eastern Empire, and is specially interesting at the present time, when military operations on a considerable scale are being conducted against a combination of the independent tribes along the frontier. It must be understood that the present condition of affairs is no mere sudden outbreak on the part of our turbulent neighbours. Its causes lie far deeper, and are the consequences of events in bygone years”. (From the author’s Preface, 1897).
By: Leander Stillwell (1843-1934)
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: Roald Amundsen (1872-1928)
The South Pole; an account of the Norwegian Antarctic expedition in the Fram, 1910-12
In contrast to Scott’s South Pole expedition, Amundsen’s expedition benefited from good equipment, appropriate clothing, and a fundamentally different primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs) Amundsen had a better understanding of dogs and their handling, and he used of skis more effectively. He pioneered an entirely new route to the Pole and they returned. In Amundsen’s own words: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it...