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By: Robert Burton (1577-1640)

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy

The Anatomy of Melancholy is a book by Robert Burton, first published in 1621. On its surface, the book is a medical textbook in which Burton applies his large and varied learning in the scholastic manner to the subject of melancholia (which includes what is now termed clinical depression). Though presented as a medical text, The Anatomy of Melancholy is as much a sui generis work of literature as it is a scientific or philosophical text, and Burton addresses far more than his stated subject. In...

By: Blaise Pascal

Pensées by Blaise Pascal Pensées

Pascal’s Pensées is widely considered to be a masterpiece, and a landmark in French prose. When commenting on one particular section (Thought #72), Sainte-Beuve praised it as the finest pages in the French language. Will Durant, in his 11-volume, comprehensive The Story of Civilization series, hailed it as “the most eloquent book in French prose.” In Pensées, Pascal surveys several philosophical paradoxes: infinity and nothing, faith and reason, soul and matter, death and life, meaning and vanity—seemingly arriving at no definitive conclusions besides humility, ignorance, and grace. Rolling these into one he develops Pascal’s Wager.

By: Theodore Arnold Haultain (1857-1941)

Hints for Lovers by Theodore Arnold Haultain Hints for Lovers

“Hints for Lovers” is a thorough analysis of relationships between men and women, about everything that lovers should know, and delves deep into the psychology of men and women, and the philosophy of courtship, engagement, kissing, making love, marriage, etc, in a light-hearted tone, with refreshing humor.

By: Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933)

Bushido: The Soul of Japan by Inazo Nitobe Bushido: The Soul of Japan

Bushido: The Soul of Japan written by Inazo Nitobe was one of the first books on samurai ethics that was originally written in English for a Western audience, and has been subsequently translated into many other languages (also Japanese). Nitobe found in Bushido, the Way of the Warrior, the sources of the virtues most admired by his people: rectitude, courage, benevolence, politeness, sincerity, honor, loyalty and self-control, and he uses his deep knowledge of Western culture to draw comparisons with Medieval Chivalry, Philosophy, and Christianity.

By: Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is the only book-length philosophical work published by the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein during his lifetime. He wrote it as a soldier and a prisoner of war during World War I. The slim volume (fewer than eighty pages) comprises a system of short statements, numbered 1, 1.1, 1.11, 1.12, etc., through to 7, intended to be such that 1.1 is a comment on or elaboration of 1, 1.11 and 1.12 comments on 1.1, and so forth. It is an ambitious project to identify the relationship between language and reality and to define the limits of science.

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: J. O. Choules

Young Americans Abroad – Vacation in Europe by J. O. Choules Young Americans Abroad – Vacation in Europe

It’s 1851 and the Crystal Palace Exhibition is on in England. English American the Reverend Dr. Choules leaves Newport, Rhode Island with three teenaged students – James Robinson, George Vanderbuilt, and Weld French, who are forced to leave the fourth member of their blue-blooded quartet at home – and all four travelers promise to write to “Dear Charley”, Charles Duston, of later fame. The boys meet the Duke of Wellington, travel down the Rhine, and meet many friends along the way. While the letters are filled with some prejudice against the Catholic religion, they are a product of their time – a sometimes ignorant, but often dazzling, period of our history.

By: Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty by Jeremy Bentham Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He was a political radical and a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law. He is best known as an early advocate of utilitarianism and animal rights who influenced the development of liberalism. The essay Offences Against One’s Self (c. 1785), argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting homosexuality. The essay remained unpublished during Bentham’s lifetime for fear of offending public morality...

An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Jeremy Bentham's Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, a classic text in modern philosophy and jurisprudence, first published in 1789, focuses on the principle of utility and how this view of morality ties into legislative practices. Bentham's ambition in life was to create a complete Utilitarian code of law. The philosophy of utilitarianism argues that the right act or policy is that which would cause "the greatest good for the greatest number of people", also known as "the greatest happiness principle", or the principle of utility...

By: Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori The Montessori Method

In the early 1900’s Dr. Maria Montessori began to reform educational methods with her work the ‘Case dei Bambini’ in Rome, Italy. Montessori began her work by developing methods to educate mentally retarded children, the method she developed was used with several children who at age eight took the state examinations in reading and writing, the children passed with above average scores. Because of this success (which is known as the ‘first Montessori Miracle’) Dr. Montessori was asked to open a school for children in Rome which she did...

Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook by Maria Montessori Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook

This is the authoritative book written by Montessori to describe her methods. It gives an overview of the Montessori Method as developed for 3 to 6 year olds. It is a short work, intended as a manual for teachers and parents, detailing the materials used as well as her philosophy in developing them. "As a result of the widespread interest that has been taken in my method of child education, certain books have been issued, which may appear to the general reader to be authoritative expositions of the Montessori system...

By: John George Nicolay

A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln by John George Nicolay A Short Life of Abraham Lincoln

John G. Nicolay was Abraham Lincoln’s private White House secretary. With assistant secretary, John Hay, he wrote the two volume definitive biography of Lincoln, “Abraham Lincoln, a Biography.” Although this is a condensation by Nicolay of that biography, it is still a sizable work and a fairly thorough treatment of the life of the 16th president of the United States.

By: Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)

The Concept of Nature by Alfred North Whitehead The Concept of Nature

In The Concept of Nature, Alfred North Whitehead discusses the interrelatedness of time, space, and human perception.The idea of objects as ‘occasions of experience’, arguments against body-mind duality and the search for an all-encompassing ‘philosophy of nature’ are examined, with specific reference to contemporary (Einstein, with whose theory of relativity he has some complaints) and ancient (Plato, Aristotle) approaches.

By: Charles Mackay (1814-1889)

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

The book chronicles and vilifies its targets in three parts: “National Delusions”, “Peculiar Follies”, and “Philosophical Delusions”.The subjects of Mackay’s debunking include alchemy, beards (influence of politics and religion on), witch-hunts, crusades and duels. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles.

By: Frances Calderón de la Barca (1804-1882)

Life in Mexico by Frances Calderón de la Barca Life in Mexico

FRANCES CALDERON DE LA BARCA, born in Edinburgh, 1804, the daughter of William Inglis. After her father’s death she settled in America, where she married the Spanish diplomat, Don Angel Calderon de la Barca. She accompanied him on his various appointments to Mexico, Washington, and finally to Madrid, where she was created Marquesa de Calderon de la Barca by Alfonso XII and died in 1882. The present work is the result of observations made during a two years’ residence in Mexico, by a lady, whose position there made her intimately acquainted with its society, and opened to her the best sources of information in regard to whatever could interest an enlightened foreigner...

By: John R. Hale

Famous Sea Fights by John R. Hale Famous Sea Fights

I propose to tell in non-technical and popular language the story of some of the most remarkable episodes in the history of sea power. I shall begin with the first sea-fight of which we have a detailed history—the Battle of Salamis (B.C. 480), the victory by which Themistocles the Athenian proved the soundness of his maxim that “he who commands the sea commands all.” I shall end with the last and greatest of naval engagements, the Battle of Tsu-shima, an event that reversed the long experience of victory won by West over East, which began with Salamis more than two thousand years ago...

By: Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924)

Hero Tales from American History by Henry Cabot Lodge Hero Tales from American History

Its purpose … is to tell in simple fashion the story of some Americans who showed that they knew how to live and how to die; who proved their truth by their endeavor; and who joined to the stern and manly qualities which are essential to the well-being of a masterful race the virtues of gentleness, of patriotism, and of lofty adherence to an ideal. It is a good thing for all Americans … to remember the men who have given their lives in war and peace to the service of their fellow-countrymen, and to keep in mind the feats of daring and personal prowess done in time past by some of the many champions of the nation in the various crises of her history.

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...

By: Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon

Autobiography of Madame Guyon by Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon Autobiography of Madame Guyon

Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon (commonly known as Madame Guyon) (April 13, 1648 – June 9, 1717) was a French mystic and one of the key advocates of Quietism. Quietism was considered heretical by the Roman Catholic Church, and she was imprisoned from 1695 to 1703 after publishing a book on the topic, A Short and Easy Method of Prayer. This translation is by Thomas Taylor Allen was first published in 1897. Allen’s dates are unknown.

A Short and Easy Method of Prayer by Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

Originally published in 1685, Madame Guyon’s A Short and Easy Method of Prayer is considered a classic of Christian mysticism, influencing great writers and speakers such as John Wesley and Charles Spurgeon. In it, Madame Guyon carefully and briefly sets out her ‘unmethodical method’ by which any and all can commune with God at any time and under any circumstances.

By: Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904)

How I Found Livingstone by Sir Henry Morton Stanley How I Found Livingstone

Sir Henry Morton Stanley is famously quoted for saying “Dr Livingstone, i Presume?”. Born in Wales, he migrated over to the United States at the age of 18, and eventually became an overseas correspondent for the New York Herald. In 1869 Stanley was told by James Gordon Bennett Jr to find Livingstone, a scottish missionary and explorer, who was lost in central Africa. When Stanley commented on the cost Bennett’s reply was: “Well, I will tell you what you will do. Draw a thousand pounds now; and when you have gone through that, draw another thousand, and when that is spent, draw another thousand, and when you have finished that, draw another thousand, and so on; but, FIND LIVINGSTONE.

By: Frank Harris

Oscar Wilde: His Life and Confessions by Frank Harris Oscar Wilde: His Life and Confessions

Consumers of biography are familiar with the division between memoirs of the living or recently dead written by those who “knew” the subject more or less intimately, and the more objective or scholarly accounts produced by later generations.In the case of Wilde, as presented to us by Frank Harris, we are in a way doubly estranged from the subject. We meet with Oscar the charismatic talker, whose tone of voice can never be reproduced – even if a more scrupulous biographer had set down his words accurately – and we are perhaps already aware of him as Wilde the self-destructive celebrity who uneasily fills the place of the premier gay icon and martyr in our contemporary view...

By: St. George Stock (b. 1850)

Stoicism by St. George Stock Stoicism

This short book is part of the Philosophies Ancient and Modern series, which attempts to make Western philosophy more accessible to the general public. In this volume, George Stock provides a concise primer on Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that maintained that the universe is governed entirely by fate, and that humans can achieve happiness only by cultivating a calm acceptance of the vicissitudes of life. Among the Stoics of the Greek and Roman world were its founder, Zeno, the former slave Epictetus, and the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius...

By: Oliver Optic (1822-1897)

Up the River by Oliver Optic Up the River

Up the River is the sixth and last of “The Great Western Series.” The events of the story occur on the coast of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, and on the Mississippi River. The volume and the series close with the return of the hero, by a route not often taken by tourists, to his home in Michigan. His voyaging on the ocean, the Great Lakes, and the Father of Waters, is finished for the present; but the writer believes that his principal character has grown wiser and better since he was first introduced to the reader...

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: Lieh Tzu

Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure by Lieh Tzu Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure

At the Court of Liang at the period of Yang Chu, about 300 B.C., the philosophers were treated as guests of the reigning king, who reserved for them lodging and maintenance, and encouraged all who had any pretence to the pursuit of truth and wisdom. Whether or not Yang Chu was actually a native of the Wei State, or whether he came there drawn by the attraction of a critical and unrivalled audience, it is at least certain that he settled there as small proprietor, probably in the reign of King Hwei, and continued there till his death, about 250 B...

By: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

The Perfect Wagnerite by George Bernard Shaw The Perfect Wagnerite

The Perfect Wagnerite: A Commentary on the Niblung's Ring (originally published London, 1898) is a philosophical commentary on Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, by the Irish writer George Bernard Shaw. Shaw offered it to those enthusiastic admirers of Wagner who "were unable to follow his ideas, and do not in the least understand the dilemma of Wotan." He interprets the Ring in Marxian terms as an allegory of the collapse of capitalism from its internal contradictions. Musicologically, his...

By: Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Select Sermons of Jonathan Edwards by Jonathan Edwards Select Sermons of Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards was a colonial American Congregational preacher, theologian, and missionary to Native Americans. Edwards “is widely acknowledged to be America’s most important and original philosophical theologian.” His work is very broad in scope, but he is often associated with his defense of Calvinist theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. His famous sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” emphasized the just wrath of God against sin and contrasted it with the provision of God for salvation; the intensity of his preaching sometimes resulted in members of the audience fainting, swooning, and other more obtrusive reactions...

By: Henri Poincaré (1854-1912)

Science and Hypothesis by Henri Poincaré Science and Hypothesis

Jules Henri Poincaré (1854–1912) was one of France’s greatest mathematicians and theoretical physicists, and a philosopher of science. As a mathematician and physicist, he made many original fundamental contributions to pure and applied mathematics, mathematical physics, and celestial mechanics. He was responsible for formulating the Poincaré conjecture, one of the most famous problems in mathematics. In his research on the three-body problem, Poincaré became the first person to discover a chaotic deterministic system which laid the foundations of modern chaos theory...

By: Gilbert White (1720-1793)

The Natural History of Selborne by Gilbert White The Natural History of Selborne

The Reverend Gilbert White was the curate of the village of Selborne, a village in Hampshire, from 1784 to his death in 1793, living most of his life in the village. The book is in the form of a collection of letters to two friends, discussing the natural history of the areas that he knew, and natural history in general. White’s intense curiosity and his love for the world about him flow through his simple, straightforward style, and a gentle sense of humour colours many of his anecdotes.

By: Edward R. Shaw (1855-1903)

Discoverers and Explorers by Edward R. Shaw Discoverers and Explorers

Tales of the brave and daring explorers that ventured into the unknown “Sea of Darkness” where it was thought monsters and angry gods lived. They dared to sail near the equator which was thought to have such intense heat that it would boil the ocean water. It was also commonly thought at the time that the world was flat, and the ships would fall off the face of the earth. These men overcame these fears to explore and discover new lands.


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