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By: Klara Stroebe (1887-1932)

Book cover Norwegian Fairy Book

These Norwegian tales of elemental mountain, forest and sea spirits, have been handed down by hinds and huntsmen, wood choppers and fisher folk. They are men who led a hard and lonely life amid primitive surroundings. The Norwegian Fairy Book has an appeal for one and all, since it is a book in which the mirror of fairy-tale reflects human yearnings and aspirations, human loves, ambitions and disillusionments, in an imaginatively glamored, yet not distorted form. [from the book's preface]

By: Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909)

Book cover Crime, Its Causes and Remedies

Published as the third volume in the Modern Criminal Science Series, Cesare Lombroso, renowned Italian criminologist, collected a wealth of information regarding the incidence, classification, and causes of crime. Crime calendars, the geography of crime, unusual events and circumstances leading to more frequent crime, political motivations and associations of criminal enterprise and an assessment of the real value and effectiveness of prisons and reform programs are all included in this three part volume. - Summary by Leon Harvey

By: Robert van Bergen

Book cover Story of Japan

Robert van Bergen was one of the first Americans to enter Japan after the country opened its borders to foreign visitors following centuries of isolation. He taught English to Japanese aristocrats, eventually becoming principal of the Nobles' School in Tokyo. This book, which he wrote for young readers during his stay in the country, was first published in 1897. It includes many illustrations. From the preface: "Our schoolbooks on geography and general history touch but lightly upon the Japanese...

By: Gertrude Bell (1868-1926)

Book cover Syria: the Desert and the Sown

Gertrude Bell's Syria: The Desert and the Sown describes her travels in the Levant during the first years of the 20th century. In this vivid and painstakingly documented narrative, Bell recounts her visits to Damascus, Jerusalem, Beirut, Antioch and Alexandretta, as well as the time she spent in the deserts of the region. Fluent in Arabic and several other languages, Bell brings to her account a level of insight beyond the reach of an average travel writer. She would later go on to play a highly influential role in the politics of the Middle East, drawing on the knowledge and personal connections she built up during these and other travels...

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Book cover Christian Science

Christian Science is a 1907 collection of essays Mark Twain wrote about Christian Science, beginning with an article that was published in Cosmopolitan in 1899. Although Twain was interested in mental healing and the ideas behind Christian Science, he was hostile towards its founder, Mary Baker Eddy . He called her, according to American writer Caroline Fraser, "[g]rasping, sordid, penurious, famishing for everything she sees—money, power, glory—vain, untruthful, jealous, despotic, arrogant, insolent, pitiless where thinkers and hypnotists are concerned, illiterate, shallow, incapable of reasoning outside of commercial lines, immeasurably selfish...

By: James Gairdner (1828-1912)

Book cover Henry the Seventh

Henry VII, the founder of the Tudor dynasty, less known than his son, Henry VIII, or granddaughter Elizabeth I, is often overlooked. This King toppled the ruling House that had held England's throne for over four hundred years, the Plantagenets, and took a divided, war torn country and made one of the richest in Europe by the time of his death in 1609. Henry VII’s reign was characterized by thrift, prudence, and cool-headed political strategies. The author, James Gairdner , was a British historian. He specialized in 15th-century and early Tudor history. - Summary by Cavaet

By: Margaret Wilson (1882-1973)

Book cover Able McLaughlins

The Able McLaughlins won the Pulitzer Prize for a novel in 1924 in Margaret Wilson's debut work. Aptly described as "Little House on the Prairie - but for adults" the novel follows a group of Scottish families who pioneer the Iowa prairie in the 1860’s. The main storyline concerns Wully, the eldest McLaughlin son, who returns home from the Civil War to find that his sweetheart, Chirstie, has experienced an unspeakable tragedy that will profoundly affect the couple's lives. Their story is one of shame and honor, secrets and guilt, fear and loathing, revenge and forgiveness...

By: Joanna E. Wood (1867-1927)

Book cover Untempered Wind

Upon publication of “The Untempered Wind” in 1894, Joanna Wood quickly rose to international prominence, becoming in the next few years the most highly paid fiction-writer in Canada. In this novel, we find a detailed picture of village life. The narrative weaves through a variety of character types: the refined and the coarse, the humble and the self-righteous, the virtuous and the vicious. All these types are measured according to their treatment of Myron Holder, a young unwed mother — a “fallen woman” in the eyes of this “spiteful, narrow-minded village...

By: Various

Book cover Myths and Legends Around the World - Collection 06

You get to choose what you want to read! So long as the source is Public Domain for you, any short story or chapter that tells of legends, heroes, myths, or ancient lore, is welcome. We are looking for representations of many different cultures within each collection. If you have questions of whether a source is Public Domain for you , I recommend asking about that in this project's discussion before you begin recording. Simply post the question with a link to the source you've found. :) Limit of 2 sections per reader in a given Myths & Legends collection. - Summary by Lynette Caulkins

By: Frank Webb (1828-1894)

Book cover Garies and their Friends

The book which now appears before the public may be of interest in relation to a question which the late agitation of the subject of slavery has raised in many thoughtful minds, viz. — Are the race at present held as slaves capable of freedom, self-government, and progress. The author is a coloured young man, born and reared in the city of Philadelphia. This city, standing as it does on the frontier between free and slave territory, has accumulated naturally a large population of the mixed and African race...

By: Walter Waddington Shirley (1828-1866)

Book cover Scholasticism: A Lecture Delivered Before the University of Oxford

Walter Waddington Shirley was made Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford in 1863. This short work comprises the text of a lecture he gave at Oxford University in January, 1866. In it, he describes the historical setting in which scholasticism flourished and then summarizes its features. - Summary by Barry Ganong

By: James Ford Rhodes (1848-1927)

Book cover History of the Civil War, 1861-1865

Superbly written, this overview of the Civil War, won a Pulitzer Prize in History in 1918. Rhodes covers not only the battles and the generals of the war but gives us a good deal of insight into the politics, economics, international relations and the strategy/thinking of the times. When at times he brings forth an opinion it is clearly stated, so as not to be confused with the facts. Comprehensive and enjoyable, you will find this History of the Civil War both illuminating and captivating. NOTE: Footnotes will not be read but can be found online at https://archive.org/details/historycivilwar01rhodgoog/mode/2up.

By: Allen Glasser (1908-1971)

Book cover Martian

The water was evaporated by the ever-shining sun until there was none left for the thirsty plants. Every year more workers died in misery. A stranger from another world comes and experiences the attempts by two different cultures with different languages to understand what the other wants. Not all educated cultures are cordial or sympathetic to new arrivals. This book explores one potential outcome of the meeting of alien races. - Summary by Paul Harvey

By: Various

Book cover Myths and Legends Around the World - Collection 07

This collection is dedicated to recordings of short mythical or legendary works which are in the Public Domain. The stories tell of legends, heroes, myths, and ancient lore from many different cultures.

By: William Satchell (1861-1942)

Book cover Greenstone Door

The Greenstone Door is a historical novel, set between 1830-1860’s New Zealand. The main character, Cedric Tregarthen, is remembering his past, telling the story both from his vantage point as an old man remembering, and as a young man experiencing his life. The story starts with the sack of the Te Kuma pa and the death of his father, his subsequent adoption by the trader Purcell and protection of Te Waharoa. He grows up among the Maori people, with his foster sister Puhi-Huia and his friend, Rangiora...

By: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Book cover Original Stories from Real Life

Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the early promoters of gender equality long before other crusaders took up the cause. She is perhaps best known for her books, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” and “A Vindication of the Rights of Men” . But she also wrote widely on education and used fiction formats to promote her progressive views. This book using the genre of didactic children’s stories, was written the same year as her “Mary: A Fiction” 1788, but was first published anonymously...

By: Martha Finley (1828-1909)

Book cover Mildred at Home: With Something About Her Relatives and Friends

Book 5 of the story of Mildred Keith by Martha Finley. We join Mildred as she settles into home life as wife and mother. We also see the rest of the Keith children begin to make starts of their own - some near to home, and others far away and perhaps lost forever. The Dinsmore cousins continue to be part of the story as well. - Summary by Michelle Hannah

By: Herbert Wildon Carr (1857-1931)

Book cover Problem of Truth

A problem of philosophy is completely different from a problem of science. In science we accept our subject-matter as it is presented in unanalysed experience; in philosophy we examine the first principles and ultimate questions that concern conscious experience itself. The problem of truth is a problem of philosophy. It is not a problem of merely historical interest, but a present problem—a living controversy, the issue of which is undecided. Its present interest may be said to centre round the doctrine of pragmatism, which some fifteen years ago began to challenge the generally accepted principles of philosophy...

By: Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902)

Book cover On Famine Fever and Some of the Other Cognate Forms of Typhus

Rudolf Virchow , professor of medicine and pathology at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, published more than 2000 papers and dozens of books. His investigation of the 1847-1848 typhus epidemic in Upper Silesia laid the foundations of public health in Germany. During the Revolution of 1848, Virchow helped found a journal promoting medicine as a social science. For physicians, his contributions to the understanding of the pathophysiology of disease and to the working vocabulary of medicine were fundamental, but Virchow also believed that social injustice and political oppression lay at the heart of many illnesses and that "the physician is the natural attorney of the poor."

By: Sir Frederick Maurice Powicke (1879-1963)

Book cover Bismarck and the Origin of the German Empire

Despite its brevity, this Little Blue Book #142 by the Oxford historian, Sir F.M. Powicke, provides a valuable overview of the political history of Germany from medieval to modern times, culminating in the career of Otto von Bismarck , the Prussian Junker who masterminded the unification of Germany and served as its first Chancellor. - Summary by Pamela Nagami, M.D.

By: Various

Book cover Myths and Legends Around the World - Collection 08

This collection is dedicated to recordings of short mythical or legendary works which are in the Public Domain. The stories tell of legends, heroes, myths, and ancient lore from many different cultures.

By: Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (724-759)

Book cover Fables of Pilpay

These moralistic stories within stories date back to the Sanskrit text Panchatantra . They were first translated into Arabic by a Persian named Ruzbeh who named it Book of Kalilah and Dimna and then by Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa and later Joseph Harris in 1679 and then remodeled in 1818. Max Mueller noted that La Fontaine was indebted to the work and other scholars have noted that Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont and John Fletcher were both familiar with the fables. The Fables of Pilpay are a series of inter-woven fables, many of which deploy metaphors of anthropomorphized animals with human virtues and vices.

By: Johan Huizinga (1872-1945)

Book cover waning of the middle ages: a study of the forms of life, thought and art in France and the Netherlands in the XIVth and XVth centuries

The Waning of the Middle Ages , subtitled A study of the forms of life, thought and art in France and the Netherlands in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, is Johan Huizinga's most famous work. It was published in 1919 as Herfsttij der Middeleeuwen and first translated into English in 1924. Huizinga defends the idea that the exaggerated formality and romanticism of late medieval court society was a defense mechanism against the constantly increasing violence and brutality of life. The break off between Middle Ages and Renaissance was, according to him, a period of pessimism, cultural exhaustion, and nostalgia...

By: Rufus Jones (1863-1948)

Book cover Nature and Authority of Conscience

Rufus Matthew Jones was an American religious leader, writer, magazine editor, philosopher, and college professor. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Haverford Emergency Unit . One of the most influential Quakers of the 20th century, he was a Quaker historian and theologian as well as a philosopher. In 1917 he helped found the American Friends Service Committee. This work was delivered as a Swarthmore Lecture in August 1920 and was printed by the Swarthmore Press Ltd.

By: Olive Schreiner (1855-1920)

Book cover Thoughts on South Africa

'Thoughts on South Africa' is a collection of Schreiner's observations of colonial South Africa in the early 19th century, mostly regarding Boer-English relations. The book was published posthumously in 1923. Prospective listeners should be aware that it reflects the place, culture and language of the time in which it was written.

By: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Book cover Early Greek Philosophy & Other Essays (Version 2)

“The essays contained in this volume treat of various subjects. With the exception of perhaps one we must consider all these papers as fragments. Written during the early Seventies, and intended mostly as prefaces, they are extremely interesting, since traces of Nietzsche's later tenets—like Slave and Master morality, the Superman—can be found everywhere. But they are also very valuable on account of the young philosopher's daring and able handling of difficult and abstruse subjects. "Truth and Falsity," and "The Greek Woman" are probably the two essays which will prove most attractive to the average reader.” - Summary by Maximilian Mügge, Translator

By: Arthur Hassall (1853-1930)

Book cover Making of the British Empire (A.D. 1714-1832)

At its height, the British Empire was the largest in history. This short volume traces its development through the long 18th century, from 1714 to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Founded on the prosperity of Sir Robert Walpole's ministry , the Empire emerged from the Indian conquests of that gifted military amateur, Lord Clive, and was extended under the leadership of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who drove the English to victory in the Seven Years' War . Surmounting the loss of the American colonies and twenty years of conflict with France, by the first quarter of the 19th century, the British navy, master of the oceans, presided over an Empire upon which the sun never set.

By: Walter A. Wyckoff (1865-1908)

Book cover Workers - An Experiment in Reality: The West

A young scholar, recently graduated from Princeton College, travels across the United States as a member of the working class, taking any job he could find, enduring hardships and struggling to make a living. He travelled mainly on foot, designing for himself a social experiment on experiencing different class and culture structures and the reality of working conditions at the end of the 19th century. This volume continues the story that began in the first volume , and spans the region from Illinois to California - Summary by Phyllis Vincelli

By: Ida M. Tarbell (1857-1944)

Book cover Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1

Volume 1 of Ida Tarbell's biography of Lincoln covers his life from his boyhood to his election to the presidency in 1860. Tarbell, in addition to her famous work in investigative journalism , was a noted Lincoln scholar. Her writings on Lincoln, originally published as articles in McClure's Magazine, were highly acclaimed. - Summary by Ciufi Galeazzi LIfe of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2

By: Anonymous

Book cover St. Clair's Defeat 1791

St. Clair's defeat was a battle fought between the United States and the Western Confederacy of Native Americans on November 4, 1791, during the Northwest Indian War. Out of a US force of roughly 1000 men and officers, only 24 escaped unharmed. It has been cited as the most decisive defeat in the history of the American military and its largest defeat ever by Native Americans. This pamphlet is a compilation of three articles published in 1847, 1851 and 1864.

By: Thomas Davidson

Book cover Rousseau and Education According to Nature

In my Volume on Aristotle in this series, I tried to give an account of ancient, classical, and social Education; in the present volume I have endeavored to set forth the nature of modern, romantic, and unsocial Education. This education originates with Rousseau. With much reluctance I have been obliged to dwell, at considerable length, on the facts of his life, in order to show that his glittering structure rests, not upon any broad and firm foundation of well-generalized and well-sifted experience, but upon the private tastes and preferences of an exceptionally capricious and self-centered nature...

By: Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

Book cover In Old Plantation Days

With this collection of short stories, Dunbar sought to draw on the success of his dialect poems by recreating and portraying the southern plantation during slavery. The stories focus on the stereotypical portrait of slaves as obedient workers happy to spend their lives in service of their benevolent owner. His attempt to find success was only partially realized, as his stories drew not only criticism but, in some cases, anger at their very stereotypical nature. The book itself, however, proved to be more lucrative than previous fiction works had been for the author.


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