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By: Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Of Peace of Mind by Lucius Annaeus Seneca Of Peace of Mind

How to maintain a tranquil mind amongst social upheaval and turmoil, addressed to Serenus. (Introduction by Jonathan Hockey)

Book cover Of the Shortness of Life

De Brevitate Vitae ("Of the Shortness of Life") is a moral essay written by Seneca the Younger, a Roman Stoic philosopher, to his friend Paulinus. The philosopher brings up many Stoic principles on the nature of time, namely that men waste much of it in meaningless pursuits. According to the essay, nature gives man enough time to do what is really important and the individual must allot it properly. In general, time can be best used in the study of philosophy, according to Seneca.

By: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818-1893)

The First Battle of Bull Run by Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard The First Battle of Bull Run

General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was one of the senior commanders of Southern forces during the Civil War. It was he who initiated the hostilities by opening fire on Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor, in April, 1861. In July of that year, having taken command of the Confederate Army of the Potomac, he triumphed in the first serious clash of the war, at Manassas, Virginia. His army, aided by reinforcements from Johnston’s army in the Shenandoah Valley, routed a Federal army under General McDowell...

By: Eusebius of Caesarea (263-339 AD)

Eusebius' History of the Christian Church by Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius' History of the Christian Church

Eusebius presents the history of the Church from the apostles to his own time, with special regard to the following points:1. the successions of bishops in the principal sees2. the history of Christian teachers3. the history of heresies4. the history of the Jews5. the relations to the heathen6. the martyrdoms.

By: Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c75 - c160 AD)

The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus 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 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: Mallanaga Vatsyayana

The Kama Sutra 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)

The Large Catechism by Martin Luther The Large Catechism

Luther’s Large Catechism consisted of works written by Martin Luther and compiled Christian canonical texts, published in April of 1529. This book was addressed particularly to clergymen to aid them in teaching their congregations. Luther’s Large Catechism is divided into five parts: The Ten Commandments, The Apostles’ Creed, The Lord’s Prayer, Holy Baptism, and The Sacrament of the Altar. It and related documents was published in The Book of Concord in 1580.

Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther 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.

Book cover The Small Catechism

Luther's Small Catechism (Der Kleine Katechismus) was written by Martin Luther and published in 1529 for the training of children. Luther's Small Catechism reviews The Ten Commandments, The Apostles' Creed, The Lord's Prayer, The Sacrament of Holy Baptism, The Office of the Keys & Confession, and The Sacrament of the Eucharist. It is included in the Lutheran Book of Concord as an authoritative statement of what Lutherans believe. The Small Catechism is widely used today in Lutheran churches as part of youth education and Confirmation.

Book cover 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: Sir Arthur Cotton (1803-1899)

Arabic Primer by Sir Arthur Cotton Arabic Primer

“Languages”, Sir Arthur Cotton writes, “are usually learnt as if it took a long time to learn the grammar &c., but that to speak with a good pronunciation and expression, and freely, and to catch the words from a speaker by the ear were easily and quickly acquired, but this is exactly contrary to fact.” Cotton’s “Vocal system” differs from the traditional grammatical method of learning languages in that it emphasises the development of correct pronunciation and the gradual acquisition of correct expressions and vocabulary...

By: Walter Besant (1836-1901)

The History of London by Walter Besant 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).

The Art of Fiction by Walter Besant The Art of Fiction

A lecture on the art of fiction, given by the English critic Walter Besant on April 25, 1884, and an answer to the lecture by American writer Henry James in the same year.

By: Thomas Carlyle

Early Kings of Norway 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: Nagarjuna

She-rab Dong-bu (The Tree of Wisdom) by Nagarjuna She-rab Dong-bu (The Tree of Wisdom)

The She-rab Dong-bu (Tree of Wisdom) is a metrical translation in Tibetan of a Sanscrit ethical work entitled Prajnya Danda, written by Nagarjuna who flourished in the fourth century of the Buddhist era (about 100 B.C.), The Tibetan version was probably made about the 11th century of our era but the exact date has not been determined. It is included in the Ten-gyur, ངོ་ section, volume གོ་, beginning at leaf 165. The Tibetan translator describes it as the second volume but I cannot say whether the remainder of the work has been preserved in Tibetan – the Sanscrit original is apparently lost.

By: General Sir John Miller Adye (1819-1900)

Indian Frontier Policy, an Historical Sketch by General Sir John Miller Adye 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 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: Saint Patrick (d. 461 or 493)

Collected Works of Saint Patrick by Saint Patrick Collected Works of Saint Patrick

St. Patrick’s Breastplate – This prayer is attributed to St. Patrick and his diciples. It is written with some celtic pagan elements, but is definitely a Christian prayer asking God for protection through daily life. A Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus – Patrick writes this letter to excommunicate the soldiers of Coroticus’ army who pillaged villages in Ireland and forced many Christian converts into slavery. Confession – A short autobiography by St. Patrick who tells of being abducted...

By: Roald Amundsen (1872-1928)

The South Pole; an account of the Norwegian Antarctic expedition in the Fram, 1910-12 by Roald Amundsen 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...

By: Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Army Life in a Black Regiment by Thomas Wentworth Higginson Army Life in a Black Regiment

These pages record some of the adventures of the First South Carolina Volunteers, the first slave regiment mustered into the service of the United States during the late civil war. It was, indeed, the first colored regiment of any kind so mustered, except a portion of the troops raised by Major-General Butler at New Orleans. These scarcely belonged to the same class, however, being recruited from the free colored population of that city, a comparatively self-reliant and educated race. (From the text)

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: James Edward Austen-Leigh (1798-1874)

Memoir of Jane Austen by James Edward Austen-Leigh Memoir of Jane Austen

“The Memoir of my Aunt, Jane Austen, has been received with more favour than I had ventured to expect. The notices taken of it in the periodical press, as well as letters addressed to me by many with whom I am not personally acquainted, show that an unabated interest is still taken in every particular that can be told about her. I am thus encouraged not only to offer a Second Edition of the Memoir, but also to enlarge it with some additional matter which I might have scrupled to intrude on the public if they had not thus seemed to call for it...

By: John Burroughs (1837-1921)

Squirrels and other Fur-Bearers by John Burroughs Squirrels and other Fur-Bearers

Squirrels and other Fur-Bearers, a collection of essays by American naturalist and essayist, John Burroughs, provides fascinating insight into the daily life of small woodland creatures. Included in these essays are Burrough’s personal observations of squirrels, rabbits, mink, and chipmunks, as well as numerous other small mammals. Highly recommended for anyone, both young and old, with an interest in nature and wildlife!

John James Audubon by John Burroughs John James Audubon

Audubon’s life naturally divides itself into three periods: his youth, which was on the whole a gay and happy one, and which lasted till the time of his marriage at the age of twenty-eight; his business career which followed, lasting ten or more years, and consisting mainly in getting rid of the fortune his father had left him; and his career as an ornithologist which, though attended with great hardships and privations, brought him much happiness and, long before the end, substantial pecuniary rewards.

Nature Near Home and Other Papers by John Burroughs Nature Near Home and Other Papers

Nature Near Home is one of many books on natural history by John Burroughs. It is full of simple observations about rural scenes and charming stories about animals, plants, and even people! Burroughs loves the creatures around him and derives great pleasure from his walks and studies in nature’s scenes.

Book cover Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes, and Other Papers

Probably no other American writer has a greater sympathy with, and a keener enjoyment of, country life in all its phases—farming, camping, fishing, walking—than has John Burroughs. His books are redolent of the soil, and have such "freshness and primal sweetness," that we need not be told that the pleasure he gets from his walks and excursions is by no means over when he steps inside his doors again. As he tells us on more than one occasion, he finds he can get much more out of his outdoor experiences by thinking them over, and writing them out afterwards...

By: Allan Fea (1860-1956)

Secret Chambers and Hiding Places by Allan Fea Secret Chambers and Hiding Places

“Secret Chambers and Hiding Places” is a collection of concealments and their uses, almost all within England, although a very few passages and chambers in continental Europe are mentioned, Jacobite hidey holes in Scotland, while the final chapter of the book covers Bonnie Prince Charlie’s wanderings around Scotland, among caves and other hiding places. Most chapters are devoted to historical events; such as the the seventeenth century persecution of roman catholics (with many large houses having specially constructed “priests’ holes”), or various unpopular monarchs and their hiding places...

By: Eva March Tappan (1854-1930)

Heroes of the Middle Ages by Eva March Tappan Heroes of the Middle Ages

“The object of this book is to bring together stories of the most important movements in the history of Europe during the Middle Ages, and to make familiar the names of the most important figures in those scenes. I have endeavoured to weave a tapestry in which, with due colour, may be traced the history of the rise and fall of the various nationalities and the circumstances and mode of life of each—in short, to give the young reader an approximation to the background for the study of his country’s history which a wide reading gives to a man.”

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.

When Knights Were Bold by Eva March Tappan When Knights Were Bold

This book is in no degree an attempt to relate the involved and intricate history of the Middle Ages. Its plan is, rather, to present pictures of the manner of life and habits of thought of the people who lived between the eighth and fifteenth centuries. Our writings and our everyday conversation are full of their phrases and of allusions to their ideas. Many of our thoughts and feelings and instincts, of our very follies and superstitions, have descended to us from them. To become better acquainted with them is to explain ourselves.

By: Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

Has a Frog a Soul? by Thomas Henry Huxley Has a Frog a Soul?

Thomas Huxley, known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” for his championing and development of Darwinism, was perhaps the most important Victorian biologist after Darwin himself. This speech to the Metaphysical Society in 1870 is one of Huxley’s best known texts outside the sphere of his specialism, and remains read today by students of philosophy. In it, Huxley argues from the results of vivisection to metaphysics.


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