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By: Henry William Haygarth (1821-1903)

Book cover Recollections of Bush life in Australia

This was written in the mid 1800’s at time when Australia saw an influx of immigration from Europe and when England was sending some prisoners to Australia rather than to prisons. Haygarth shows us what it is like, and what it takes, to live in the Australian Bush. He shows us about the different life on a cattle/sheep station, living miles from the nearest neighbor, getting to town just a few times a year and that it may be several hundred miles away. From his own experiences relates dealings with BushRangers (thieves), building and running a station, breaking wild horses, helping neighbors in times of need...

By: Herbert George Jenkins (1876-1923)

Book cover Bindle

Herbert Jenkins' most popular fictional creation was Mr. Joseph Bindle, who first appeared in a humorous novel in 1916 and in a number of sequels. In the preface to the books, T. P. O'Connor said that "Bindle is the greatest Cockney that has come into being through the medium of literature since Dickens wrote Pickwick Papers". The stories are based on the comedic drama of life at work, at home and all the adventures that take place along the way. Bindle leaves a path of good-natured destruction behind him and walks away unscathed every time...

By: Hiram Bingham (1875-1956)

Book cover Explorer in the Air Service

Explorer Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu in 1911, as recounted in his book Inca Lands, now released on Librivox at http://librivox.org/inca-lands-by-hiram-bingham/. In 1917, he became an aviator and organized the United States Schools of Military Aeronautics at eight universities to provide ground school training for aviation cadets, and then in Issoudun, France, Bingham commanded the primary Air Service flying school. He became a supporter of the Air Service in their post-war quest for independence from the Army and supported that effort, in part, with the publication of this book of his wartime experiences published in 1920 by Yale University Press.

By: Hiram Chase

Two Years and Four Months in a Lunatic Asylum by Hiram Chase Two Years and Four Months in a Lunatic Asylum

Hiram Chase is a well liked Reverend in a small ministry in Utica. When his mental and physical health deteriorates, he is taken to Utica lunatic asylum. After his stay in the asylum, Hiram documents his experiences and those of other patients in the asylum. He describes his daily routine and the negative experiences he had, along with praising certain individuals whom he met during his "Two Years and Four Months in a Lunatic Asylum".

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: Irving Bacheller (1859-1950)

Book cover Silas Strong

Per the author: "The book has one high ambition. It has tried to tell the sad story of the wilderness itself—to show, from the woodsman's view-point, the play of great forces which have been tearing down his home and turning it into the flesh and bone of cities." But this story is much more than that. It revolves around Silas Strong and his distaste for the modernization and destruction of his beloved forest surroundings, and how it pleases him to teach younger folk how to appreciate that which has been given us...

By: Isaac Mason (1822-?)

Book cover Life of Isaac Mason as a Slave

Isaac Mason was born into slavery. As a young man, he escaped to freedom and made a life for himself. An intelligent man, he gave lectures on his experiences and was later encouraged to publish them in book form.

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...

Book cover Among the Tibetans

Isabella L. Bird was an English traveller, writer and natural historian. She was travelling in the Far East alone at a time when such endeavours were risky and dangerous even for men and large, better equipped parties. In "Among the Tibetans", Bird describes her tour through Tibet with her usual keen eye: From descriptions of the landscape and flora to the manners, customs and religion of the local people we get a fascinating account of a world long past.

By: Ivan Goncharov (1812-1891)

Book cover Oblomov

Oblomov is the best known novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Oblomov is also the central character of the novel, often seen as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature. Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Spoiled as a child to the point of not even being able to put on his own socks, Oblomov is unprepared to deal with the smallest difficulty of adult life...

By: Jack London (1876-1916)

John Barleycorn or Alcoholic Memoirs by Jack London John Barleycorn or Alcoholic Memoirs

Jack London died at the age of forty. In this autobiographical work, London describes his life as seen through the eyes of John Barleycorn (alcohol). There is much controversy about the cause of his death just as there is about alcoholism and addiction. London’s brutally frank and honest analysis of his own struggles and bouts with alcohol was way before its time and more modern theories of addiction. With remarkable candor and insight, London describes the demons and gods he encountered through both friend and enemy, John Barleycorn.

The Cruise of the Snark by Jack London The Cruise of the Snark

The Cruise of the Snark (1913) is a memoir of Jack and Charmian London’s 1907-1909 voyage across the Pacific. His descriptions of “surf-riding”, which he dubbed a “royal sport”, helped introduce it to and popularize it with the mainland. London writes: Through the white crest of a breaker suddenly appears a dark figure, erect, a man-fish or a sea-god, on the very forward face of the crest where the top falls over and down, driving in toward shore, buried to his loins in smoking spray, caught up by the sea and flung landward, bodily, a quarter of a mile...

The People of the Abyss by Jack London The People of the Abyss

Jack London lived for a time within the grim and grimy world of the East End of London, where half a million people scraped together hardly enough on which to survive. Even if they were able to work, they were paid only enough to allow them a pitiful existence. He grew to know and empathise with these forgotten (or ignored) people as he spoke with them and tasted the workhouse, life on the streets, … and the food, which was cheap, barely nutritious, and foul.He writes about his experiences in...

Book cover Road

Jack London credited his skill of story-telling to the days he spent as a hobo learning to fabricate tales to get meals from sympathetic strangers. In The Road, he relates the tales and memories of his days on the hobo road, including how the hobos would elude train crews and his travels with Kelly’s Army.

By: Jacob Stroyer (1849-1908)

My Life in the South by Jacob Stroyer My Life in the South

My Life in the South is the vivid and touching autobiography of African-American former slave, Jacob Stroyer. It recounts experiences from his early childhood on the planation up to his involvement in the Confederacy's war effort and eventually his experience of becoming a free man.

By: Jacob William Wright

The Long Ago by Jacob William Wright The Long Ago

Short memory of boyhood by a little-known American poet based in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California.

By: James Berry (1852-1913)

Book cover My Experiences as an Executioner

From 1884 until 1891, James Berry was an executioner. In this time he carried out 131 hangings. In this memoir he writes about the methods he used, and the final moments of some of those he executed.

By: James Boswell (1740-1795)

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson

Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson is widely considered to be the greatest English-language biography ever written. It was revolutionary in its efforts to represent Johnson as he was, celebrating his flaws as well as his genius, and in Boswell’s decision to represent Johnson primarily by quoting his writings and relating personal anecdotes rather than relying on matters of public record. From the time of its publication till now, The Life of Johnson has been one of the most popular and influential books ever written.

By: James Orton (1830-1877)

The Andes and the Amazon by James Orton The Andes and the Amazon

This book, with the subtitle "Across the Continent of South America" describes the scientific expedion of 1867 to the equatorial Andes and the Amazon. The route was from Guayaquil to Quito, over the Cordillera, through the forest to Napo, and, finally, on the Rio Napo to Pebas on the Maranon. Besides this record, the expedition - under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute - collected samples of rocks and plants, and numerous specimen of animals. The scientists also compiled a vocabulary of local languages and produced a new map of equatorial America...

By: James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

Book cover Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Johnson's only novel, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, was originally published anonymously in 1912. It is a fictional novel written as a memoir of an unnamed biracial narrator who grew up in the South during the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras. It is a story in which the narrator relates how as a young boy he initially assumed that he was white, and how his notions of racial identity were suddenly turned upside down one day—how from that moment on he was inclined to view himself and the world about him from the perspective of blackness. The novel received very little notoriety until Johnson republished it in 1927, this time taking full credit as its author.

By: Jane Addams (1860-1935)

Twenty Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams Twenty Years at Hull-House

Jane Addams was the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In a long, complex career, she was a pioneer settlement worker and founder of Hull-House in Chicago, public philosopher (the first American woman in that role), author, and leader in woman suffrage and world peace. She was the most prominent woman of the Progressive Era and helped turn the nation to issues of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, public health and world peace. She emphasized that women have a special responsibility to clean up their communities and make them better places to live, arguing they needed the vote to be effective...

By: Jane Barlow (1857-1917)

Book cover Irish Idylls

Irish Idylls is a collection of short stories about Irish peasantry during the 19th Century. Ms Jane Barlow, an Irish lass, having, unbelievably, an uncertain date of birth, has a turn of phrase that delights and simultaneously enmeshes the reader/listener with compassion for her tableau. She captures the tune and lilt of dialogue so delightfully. A tiny sample: "So, by hook or by crook, Lisconnel holds together from year to year, with no particular prospect of changes; though it would be safe enough to prophesy that should any occur, they will tend towards the falling in of derelict roofs, and the growth of weeds round deserted hearthstones and crumbling walls...

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Confessions

Considered to mark the emergence of a new literary form, the unvarnished autobiography, Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau was first published in 1782, four years after his death. The philosopher and educationist whose political philosophy is credited with having inspired the French Revolution, Rousseau was a man of immense wit, talent and depth of thinking. His skill in art, music, literature and cooking along with his magnificent body of work in philosophy, politics, education and sociology have made him a legendary figure...

By: Jesse James, Jr. (1875-1951)

Book cover Jesse James, My Father

A biography of Jesse James as told by his son, Jesse James, Jr. We are treated to inside tales of Jesse's childhood and home life; what drove him to become a Confederate guerrilla during the Civil War; his life after the war and how he became a wanted man. Since it was written by his son, it is a little biased and we are not told anything about any crimes Jesse and his gang committed. Some of the stories of Jesse's war adventures are a little hard to believe, but a good read nonetheless.

By: Johanna Brandt (1876-1964)

The Petticoat Commando by Johanna Brandt The Petticoat Commando

In introducing the English version of this book I venture to bespeak a welcome for it, not only for the light which it throws on some little-known incidents of the South African war, but also because of the keen personal interest of the events recorded. It is more than a history. It is a dramatic picture of the hopes and fears, the devotion and bitterness with which some patriotic women in Pretoria watched and, as far as they could, took part in the war which was slowly drawing to its conclusion on the veld outside...

By: John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)

Book cover Random Reminiscences of Men and Events

A good book by the oil revolutionist of the 20th century. As they say "Men should listen to experience" and this book is all about the experience of the second highest taxpayer of the US during the 20's. Though it is not in the book, this is a small poem he wrote:I was early taught to work as well as play,My life has been one long, happy holiday;Full of work and full of play-I dropped the worry on the way- And God was good to me everyday.

By: John L. Ransom (1843-1919)

Book cover Andersonville Diary, Escape And List Of The Dead

John L. Ransom was the quartermaster of Company A, 9th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry during the American Civil War and a Union prisoner in the infamous Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia. This is his diary which he published some few years after the end of the Civil War. Note that in pages 193 through 301 are included 1) List of the Dead and 2) Recapitulation of Deaths By States; both of these sections are omitted from this Librivox reading. The Andersonville National Historic Site, located near Andersonville, Georgia, preserves the former Camp Sumter (also known as Andersonville Prison), a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp during the American Civil War…...

By: John Muir (1838-1914)

My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir My First Summer in the Sierra

The journal of nature-lover John Muir who spent the summer of 1869 walking California’s Sierra Nevada range. From French Bar to Mono Lake and the Yosemite Valley, Muir was awestruck by everything he saw. The antics of the smallest “insect people” amazed him as much as stunted thousand-year old Juniper trees growing with inconceivable tenacity from tiny cracks in the stone. Muir spent the rest of his life working to preserve the high Sierra, believing that “the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” John Muir (1838-1914) was born in Dunbar, Scotland and grew up in Wisconsin, USA. This recording commemorates the 140th anniversary of that first summer.

The Story of My Boyhood and Youth by John Muir The Story of My Boyhood and Youth

“The only fire for the whole house was the kitchen stove, with a fire box about eighteen inches long and eight inches wide and deep,- scant space for three or four small sticks, around which in hard zero weather all the family of ten shivered, and beneath which in the morning we found our socks and coarse, soggy boots frozen solid.” Thus, with perceptive eye for detail, the American naturalist, John Muir, describes life on a pioneer Wisconsin farm in the 1850’s. Muir was only eleven years old when his father uprooted the family from a relatively comfortable life in Dunbar, Scotland, to settle in the backwoods of North America...

Travels in Alaska by John Muir Travels in Alaska

In 1879 John Muir went to Alaska for the first time. Its stupendous living glaciers aroused his unbounded interest, for they enabled him to verify his theories of glacial action. Again and again he returned to this continental laboratory of landscapes. The greatest of the tide-water glaciers appropriately commemorates his name. Upon this book of Alaska travels, all but finished before his unforeseen departure, John Muir expended the last months of his life.

Steep Trails by John Muir Steep Trails

A collection of Muir's previously unpublished essays, released shortly after his death. "This volume will meet, in every way, the high expectations of Muir's readers. The recital of his experiences during a stormy night on the summit of Mount Shasta will take rank among the most thrilling of his records of adventure. His observations on the dead towns of Nevada, and on the Indians gathering their harvest of pine nuts, recall a phase of Western life that has left few traces in American literature...

By: John R. Lynch (1847-1939)

Book cover The Facts of Reconstruction

After the American Civil War, John R. Lynch, who had been a slave in Mississippi, began his political career in 1869 by first becoming Justice of the Peace, and then Mississippi State Representative. He was only 26 when he was elected to the US Congress in 1873. There, he continued to be an activist, introducing many bills and arguing on their behalf. Perhaps his greatest effort was in the long debate supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to ban discrimination in public accommodations.In 1884 Lynch was the first African American nominated after a moving speech by Theodore Roosevelt to the position of Temporary Chairman of the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois...

By: John Relly Beard (1800-1876)

Toussaint L’Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography by John Relly Beard Toussaint L’Ouverture: A Biography and Autobiography

François-Dominique Toussaint L’Ouverture (1743-1803) rose to fame in 1791 during the Haitian struggle for independence. In this revolt, he led thousands of slaves on the island of Hispañola to fight against the colonial European powers of France, Spain and England. The former slaves ultimately established the independent state of Haiti and expelled the Europeans. L’Ouverture eventually became the governor and Commander-In-Chief of Haiti before recognizing and submitting to French rule in 1801...

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: John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Book cover Autobiography of John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873), British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament, was an influential liberal thinker of the 19th century. He was an exponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham, although his conception of it was very different from Bentham's. He was a forceful proponent in the fight for government intervention in social reform.

By: John Wesley Powell (1834-1902)

Canyons of the Colorado, or The exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons by John Wesley Powell Canyons of the Colorado, or The exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons

John Wesley Powell was a pioneer American explorer, ethnologist, and geologist in the 19th Century. In 1869 he set out to explore the Colorado and the Grand Canyon. He gathered nine men, four boats and food for ten months and set out from Green River, Wyoming, on May 24. Passing through dangerous rapids, the group passed down the Green River to its confluence with the Colorado River (then also known as the Grand River upriver from the junction), near present-day Moab, Utah. The expedition’s route...

By: Joseph Benjamin Polley (1840-1918)

Book cover Soldier's Letters to Charming Nellie

Whether written in camp, in hospital, or in hospitable home, the letters tell a plain, unvarnished, and true story of the observations and experiences, the impressions and feelings, of a soldier whose only personal regret is that he could not be one of those whose paroles at Appomattox are patents incontestable that they fought for the right as they saw it, as long as there was a hope to encourage them. Though not intended as history, they are historical in the respect that they narrate actual occurrences in camp, on the march, and in the battle...

By: Joseph Lievesley Beeston

Five Months at Anzac by Joseph Lievesley Beeston Five Months at Anzac

A Narrative of Personal Experiences of the Officer Commanding the 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Imperial Force from his leaving Australia December 1914 till his evacuation due to illness after 5 months at Gallipoli. Read to remember those who were there. (Introduction by Annise)

By: Joseph Plumb Martin (1760-1850)

A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier by Joseph Plumb Martin A Narrative of a Revolutionary Soldier

Joining the Continental Army as a teenager, Joseph Plumb Martin spent the next eight years fighting in the Revolutionary War as an enlisted man. His memoirs tell in detail his experiences during that time...the bitter cold, hunger, loss of life, long marches, and fear of battle. He also includes tales of fishing, hunting, and other activities...including encounters with a "saucy miss". His narrative reveals much about American life at the time and is one of the fullest and best accounts of the Revolutionary War, presented from a private's point of view.The book has been later republished under the names Private Yankee Doodle and Memoir of a Revolutionary Soldier.

By: Joseph Smeaton Chase (1864-1923)

Book cover California Coast Trails

In 1911, decades before California's coast Highway 1 was built, an Englishman rode 2000 miles on horseback the length of California, from Mexico to Oregon. On the way he is courteously received at isolated ranches, has many quiet adventures, and is generally amazed by the beauty of our coast. A classic early California travelog. Chase was born in Islington (London) and but lived most of this life in the California desert.Here are Chase's major landmarks, first going south and then turning north:Chap...

By: Kate John Finzi

Book cover Eighteen Months in the War Zone: A Record of a Woman's Work on the Western Front

"But it is not for those who heard the call in the later months so much as in memory of those early heroes of Mons, who knew the bitterness of a valiant retreat, the horror of forced marches along parched roads, with only the prod of the next man's bayonet to keep him awake, and only a flap cut from the tail of his shirt between the pitiless sun and the dreaded delirium that would leave him a prey to the Huns' barbarities; in memory of these it is that I take up the pen to run the gauntlet of a thousand critical eyes on a way fraught with difficulties." ~ Kate John Finzi

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: Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)

The Golden Age by Kenneth Grahame The Golden Age

If you've loved and cherished The Wind in The Willows, you'll be delighted to read The Golden Age. In this book of reminiscences by Kenneth Grahame, the much loved creator of Winnie The Pooh, readers are granted an insight into the writer's childhood. The opening lines of the Prologue provide a poignant reminder of Grahame's childhood. When he was just five, his mother died in childbirth and his father who had a long standing problem with alcoholism consigned his four children, including the newborn baby, to the care of their grandmother in Berkshire...

By: Ki no Tsurayuki (872-945)

The Tosa Diary by Ki no Tsurayuki The Tosa Diary

Ki no Tsurayuki was a Japanese waka poet of the Heian period. In 905, he was one of the poets ordered to compile the "Kokinshu - Collected Japanese Poems of Ancient and Modern Times". He is also one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals of Japan. The Tosa Diary, written in 935, is considered the major work of Tsurayuki. It is an account of his return to the capital Kyoto from Tosa province, where he had served as governor since 930. The journey is by boat, and Tsurayuki tells about his sea sickness and fear of pirates, his impressions of the coast, and the various offerings to placate the gods of the sea...

By: L. A. Abbott (1813-??)

Seven Wives and Seven Prisons by L. A. Abbott Seven Wives and Seven Prisons

This work the author claims is indeed a true story of how he happened to be married seven times to seven different women and the rollicking, hilarious events that led (or stumbled) to the marriages and the ah–disassembling/failing/failures of each said marriage which happened oftentimes to land him in prison. The summarist finds the work a very tongue-in-cheek diatribe/lament/account of his obsessive zeal in ‘marrying the right one’, but is also the mirthful chronicle of said author’s very unconventional adventures.

By: Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon (1821-1869)

Letters from Egypt by Lady Lucie Duff-Gordon Letters from Egypt

As a girl, Lady Duff-Gordon was noted both for her beauty and intelligence. As an author, she is most famous for this collection of letters from Egypt. Lady Duff-Gordon had tuberculosis, and went to Egypt for her health. This collection of her personal letters to her mother and her husband. By all accounts everyone loved her, and the letters are very personal in style and content. The letters are as much an introduction to her person as a record of her life on the Upper Nile.

By: Lady Sarah Wilson (1865-1929)

South African Memories by Lady Sarah Wilson South African Memories

Lady Sarah Isabella Augusta Wilson was the aunt of Winston Spencer Churchill. In 1899 she became the first woman war correspondent when she was recruited to cover the Siege of Mafeking for the Daily Mail during the Boer War. She moved to Mafeking with her husband at the start of the war, where he was aide-de-camp to Colonel Robert Baden-Powell. Baden-Powell asked her to leave Mafeking for her own safety after the Boers threatened to storm the British garrison. This she duly did, and set off on a...

By: Lavinia Honeyman Porter

By Ox Team to California - A Narrative of Crossing the Plains in 1860 by Lavinia Honeyman Porter By Ox Team to California - A Narrative of Crossing the Plains in 1860

Imagine a young, twenty-something woman in 1860, reared “in the indolent life of the ordinary Southern girl” (which means she has never learned to cook); married to a professional man who knows “nothing of manual labor;” who is mother to a young son; and who has just found out she is pregnant with their second child. Imagine that this couple has become “embarrassed financially” by “imprudent speculations,” and that they are discussing what to do. They decide to buy a wagon and three yoke of unbroke oxen and head overland to California...

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: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

Childhood (English trans.) by Leo Tolstoy Childhood (English trans.)

Childhood, published in 1852, is the first novel in Leo Tolstoy’s autobiographical trilogy, which also includes Boyhood, and Youth. Published when Tolstoy was twenty-three, the book gained immediate notice among Russian writers including Ivan Turgenev, and heralded the young Tolstoy as a major figure in Russian letters. Childhood is an expressionist exploration of the internal life of a young boy, Nikolenka, and was a new form in Russian writing, mixing fact, fiction and emotions to render the moods and reactions of the narrator. Childhood is Tolstoy’s first published work. Translated into English by C. J. Hogarth.

Boyhood by Leo Tolstoy Boyhood

Boyhood is the second in Tolstoy's trilogy of three autobiographical novels, including Childhood and Youth, published in a literary journal during the 1850s. (Introduction by Bill Boerst)

Book cover My Confession

"My Confession" is a brief autobiographical story of Leo Tolstoy's struggle with a mid-life existential crisis of melancholia. It describes his search for answers to the profound questions "What will come of my life?" and "What is the meaning of life?", without answers to which life, for him, had become "impossible." Tolstoy reflects on the arc of his philosophical life until then: his childhood abandonment of his Russian orthodox faith; his mastery of strength, will, power, and reason; and how, after he had achieved tremendous financial success and social status, life to him seemed meaningless...

By: Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev (1871-1919)

Book cover Man Who Found the Truth

An old man, accused of having murdered his family as a young man, spends a lifetime in prison. With brilliant psychological insight so characteristic of Leonid Andreyev's work, we follow this man telling his story about his obsession with truth and lies and his religion of the iron grate, tinged with madness, and not necessarily reliable..

By: Lord Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860)

Autobiography of a Seaman, Vol. 1 by Lord Thomas Cochrane Autobiography of a Seaman, Vol. 1

This two volume work is the autobiography of Lord Cochrane, a naval captain of the Napoleonic period. His adventures are seminal to the development of naval fiction as a genre. Marryat sailed with Cochrane, while later writers borrowed incidents from this biography for their fictions. Most notable among these is Patrick O'Brian, three of whose novels have clear parallels to incidents in the life of Cochrane. This first volume covers Cochrane's earlier life, during which he is most active militarily. (Introduction by Timothy Ferguson)

By: Louis Hughes (1832-1913)

Thirty Years A Slave by Louis Hughes Thirty Years A Slave

Louis Hughes was born a slave near Charlottesville, Virginia to a white father and a black slave woman. Throughout his life he worked mostly as a house servant, but was privy to the intimate details and workings of the entire McGee cotton plantation and empire.In Thirty Years A Slave Hughes provides vivid descriptions and explicit accounts of how the McGee plantation in Mississippi, and the McGee mansion in Tennessee functioned--accounts of the lives of the many slaves that lived, suffered and sometimes died under the cruel and unusual punishments meted out by Boss and his monstrously unstable and vindictive wife...

By: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott Hospital Sketches

Alcott in 1862 served as a nurse in Georgetown, D.C during the Civil War. She wrote home what she observed there. Those harrowing and sometimes humorous letters compiled make up Hospital Sketches.

By: Lucy Ann Delaney (c. 1830-?)

Book cover From the Darkness Cometh the Light, or Struggles for Freedom

In From the Darkness Cometh the Light, or Struggles for Freedom Delaney tells the story of how she was born into slavery of her mother--a freeborn black woman who had been kidnapped and sold on the blocks--but escaped while a teenager and eventually sued in court for her freedom. After the Civil War, Delaney spent the rest of her life inspiring other African Americans to take advantage of the new opportunities available to them as a result of their new found freedom, and to constantly strive to improve their lives and the lives of their progeny

By: Lucy Leavenworth Wilder Morris (1865-1935)

Book cover Old Rail Fence Corners

Old Rail Fence Corners is an historical treasure trove containing the stories of the first significant waves of European-American settlers in the now state of Minnesota (United States of America). This book has direct accounts of mid-19th century lives and experiences on the frontier, recounted by the frontiersmen and women when many of them were in their mid-90s. A group of volunteer women -- the Book Committee -- sought to record these recollections before they were lost with the passing of these remarkable adventurers...

By: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Selected Letters of Beethoven by Ludwig van Beethoven Selected Letters of Beethoven

A selection of Beethoven’s letters from the compilation by Dr. Ludwig Nohl and translated by Lady Grace Wallace.

By: Margaret Fuller (1810-1850)

Woman in the Nineteenth Century and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition, and Duties of Women by Margaret Fuller Woman in the Nineteenth Century and Kindred Papers Relating to the Sphere, Condition, and Duties of Women

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) was an American feminist, writer, and intellectual associated with the Transcendentalist movement. Her book Woman in the Nineteenth Century (1845) is considered the first major feminist work in the United States. Her life was short but full. She became the first editor of the transcendentalist journal The Dial in 1840, before joining the staff of the New York Tribune under Horace Greeley in 1844. By the time she was in her 30s, Fuller had earned a reputation as the best-read person in New England, male or female, and became the first woman allowed to use the library at Harvard College...

By: Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849)

Book cover Castle Rackrent

By: Maria Gowen Brooks (1794-1845)

Book cover Idomen, or The Vale of Yumuri

Idomen (1843) is the creative-nonfiction memoir of the beautiful and brilliant American poetess Maria Gowen Brooks, who was compared in the 19th century to Byron and Swinburne. In it she tells the story of an ill-fated love affair she had twenty years earlier while traveling with her young son in Canada following the death of her much older husband. The traumatic breakup led to suicide attempts on her part, which romantic masochist Brooks byronically relates in full, albeit changing everybody's name...

By: Maria W. Stewart (1803-1879)

Book cover Meditations from the Pen

Maria W. Stewart was America's first black woman political writer. Between 1831 and 1833, she gave four speeches on the topics of slavery and women's rights. Meditations From The Pen of Mrs. Maria W. Stewart—published in 1879 shortly before her death—is a collection of those speeches as well as her memoir, some meditations and prayers. They are political, poetical and sermon all at the same time; but in the mileu in which she lectured, they were a critically important part of the abolitionist movement years before the contributions of others such as Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth...

By: Marie Sukloff (1885-)

Book cover Life-Story of a Russian Exile

Hero or assassin? Victim or criminal? Marie Sukloff fits no easy category. A young peasant woman who became a political radical and activist, Sukloff carried out an assassination plot against a Russian governor known for murderous pogroms and rampages against the Jews of his province. This mesmerizing autobiographical account tells the story of Sukloff's peasant childhood, radicalization, direct action, exile to Siberia, and escape. She tells her story with a colorful verve, sincerity, intensity, and simplicity that makes it almost impossible to put down, raising questions of political philosophy and responsibility that challenge the complacency of every reader.

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain Life on the Mississippi

A river memoir documenting Twain’s early days as an apprentice steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War. Reminiscing about his happy experiences as a young man under the instruction of an experienced mentor, the autobiographical tale depicts one of the most vivid illustrations of river life. Furthermore, the book captures the author’s nostalgic emotions through his resonant depiction of one of the most notable periods of his life. Twain begins his memoir with a rich historical account of the Mississippi River including its exploration by early explorers, its evolution, and its vastness...

The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain The Innocents Abroad

When you dive into Mark Twain’s (Samuel Clemens’) The Innocents Abroad, you have to be ready to learn more about the unadorned, ungilded reality of 19th century “touring” than you might think you want to learn. This is a tough, literary journey. It was tough for Twain and his fellow “pilgrims”, both religious and otherwise. They set out, on a June day in 1867, to visit major tourist sites in Europe and the near east, including Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, “the Holy Land”, and Egypt...

Roughing It by Mark Twain Roughing It

The semiautobiographical travel memoir records Twain’s, more or less, personal journey across the Wild West in search of adventure while exploring variable locations. Accompanying his brother on what becomes a trip of a lifetime, the young Samuel Clemens finds himself in many different vocational roles as he explores and observes the magnificence of the American West. Not refraining from the usual social commentary, Twain directs criticism on various social and moral issues which he approaches through his sly and witty style...

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, Volumes 1 & 2 by Mark Twain Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, Volumes 1 & 2

Mark Twain’s work on Joan of Arc is titled in full “Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by the Sieur Louis de Conte.” De Conte is identified as Joan’s page and secretary. For those who’ve always wanted to “get behind” the Joan of Arc story and to better understand just what happened, Twain’s narrative makes the story personal and very accessible. The work is fictionally presented as a translation from the manuscript by Jean Francois Alden, or, in the words of the published book, “Freely Translated out of the Ancient French into Modern English from the Original Unpublished Manuscript in the National Archives of France...

By: Martha Summerhayes (1844-1911)

Book cover Vanished Arizona: Recollections of the Army Life of a New England Woman

This is the lively autobiography of Martha Summerhayes, the wife of an officer in the American Army. Here, she tells many stories about life and conditions in different camps and forts in which she lived with her expanding family, people along the way, and Journeys.

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: Mary Chesnut

A Diary from Dixie by Mary Chesnut A Diary from Dixie

Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut, a well-educated South Carolina woman who was the wife of a Confederate general, kept extensive journals during the Civil War. Mrs. Chesnut moved in elite circles of Southern society and had a keen interest in politics. Her diary is both an important historic document and, due to her sharp wit and often irreverent attitude, a fascinating window into Southern society of the time. This recording is of the first published edition of the diary, compiled from Mrs. Chesnut's revisions of her original journals.

By: Mary MacLane (1881-1929)

The Story of Mary MacLane by Mary MacLane The Story of Mary MacLane

At the age of 19 in 1902, MacLane published her first book, The Story of Mary MacLane. It sold 100,000 copies in the first month and was popular among young girls, but was strongly criticized by conservative readers, and lightly ridiculed by H. L. Mencken. She had always chafed at living in Butte, which was a small mining town, and used the money from sales of this book to move to Greenwich Village where she continued to write books and newspaper articles. Some critics have suggested that even by today’s standards, MacLane’s writing is raw, honest, unflinching, self-aware, sensual and extreme...

By: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958)

Book cover Through Glacier Park

This is about a three-hundred mile trip across the Rocky Mountains on horseback with Howard Eaton. It is about fishing, and cool nights around a camp-fire, and long days on the trail. It is about a party of all sorts, from everywhere, of men and women, old and young, experienced folk and novices, who had yielded to a desire to belong to the sportsmen of the road. And it is by way of being advice also. Your true convert must always preach. (Introduction by Mary Roberts Rinehart quoted from the text.)

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: Mary Stuart Boyd (1860-1937)

Book cover Versailles Christmas-Tide

The Boy has fallen ill with scarlet fever while at school in France. His parents rush to his side. A touching memoir.

By: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)

Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark by Mary Wollstonecraft Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

Published in 1796, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark is a personal travel narrative by the eighteenth-century British feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft. The twenty-five letters cover a wide range of topics, from sociological reflections on Scandinavia and its peoples to philosophical questions regarding identity. Published by Wollstonecraft's career-long publisher, Joseph Johnson, it was the last work issued during her lifetime. Wollstonecraft undertook her tour of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark in order to retrieve a stolen treasure ship for her lover, Gilbert Imlay...

By: Matthew A. Henson (1866-1955)

Book cover Negro Explorer at the North Pole

In this fascinating memoir, Matthew Henson describes the incredibly dangerous, exhausting, and bone-chilling trip to what was until then the never-before reached point on earth, the North Pole. "Robert Peary is remembered as the intrepid explorer who successfully reached the North Pole in 1909. Far less celebrated is his companion, Matthew Henson, a black man from Maryland. Henson's gripping memoir, first published in 1912, tells this unsung hero's story in his own words. Henson...was indispensable to the famous explorer's journey; he learned the language of the Eskimos, was an expert dog-sled driver and even built the sleds...

By: May Kellogg Sullivan

A Woman Who Went to Alaska by May Kellogg Sullivan A Woman Who Went to Alaska

Alaska has only been a state since 1959, and the breathtaking terrain remains mostly unspoiled and natural. In modern times, many of us have had the pleasure of visiting Alaska via a luxurious cruise ship, where we enjoyed gourmet meals, amazing entertainment, and a climate-controlled environment. It's easy to also book a land package that enables you to see more of the country by train.Imagine what it was like to visit the same wild, untamed countryside in 1899. Instead of boarding a sleek, stylish cruise ship, you travel for weeks on a steamer...

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

Book cover Our Old Home

These essays, based on Hawthorne’s stay in England from 1853 to 1857 as American Consul in Liverpool, were first published in the form of a series of travel articles for The Atlantic Monthly.In these writings, he displays his humor, his empathetic nature, his pride in his country, and sometimes his sharp judgment of others. He shares with us the difficulties of being a consul in the 1850’s, takes us on a tour with him through rural England and Scotland, shows us the splendors of London, and the horrors of the poverty that so many suffered. (Introduction by Margaret)

By: Nellie McClung (1873-1951)

Book cover Three Times and Out

The true story of M. C. Simmons, a Canadian soldier captured by the German Army during the early days of World War I. We read of his sixteen months of imprisonment, his encounters with other captured troops of the other Allied armies and his observations of the nature of his captors and their countrymen. Most compellingly we read of his escape from POW camp, his recapture and punishment, and then the capture and punishment following his second escape attempt, climaxing in his third escape attempt and daring travel through enemy territory against all odds...

By: Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)

Book cover "My Inventions" and Other Works, The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla, Electrical Experimenter February to October 1919

Between February and October 1919, Nikola Tesla submitted many articles to the magazine Electrical Experimenter. The most famous of these works is a six part series titled "My Inventions", which is an autobiographical account of Nikola Tesla's life and his most celebrated discoveries. This work has been compiled and republished as a stand-alone book several times under different names, but has been a cause of some controversy due to some versions deviating from the original text without explanation...

By: Noah Davis (b. 1804)

A Narrative of the Life of Rev. Noah Davis, A Colored Man by Noah Davis A Narrative of the Life of Rev. Noah Davis, A Colored Man

The object of the writer, in preparing this account of himself, is to RAISE SUFFICIENT MEANS TO FREE HIS LAST TWO CHILDREN FROM SLAVERY. Having already, within twelve years past, purchased himself, his wife, and five of his children, at a cost, altogether, of over four thousand dollars, he now earnestly desires a humane and Christian public to AID HIM IN THE SALE OF THIS BOOK, for the purpose of finishing the task in which he has so long and anxiously labored. God has blessed him in an extraordinary...

By: Olive Gilbert (?-?) & Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

The Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Olive Gilbert (?-?) & Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) The Narrative of Sojourner Truth

The Narrative of Sojourner Truth is the gripping autobiographical account of Sojourner Truth's life as a slave in pre-Civil War New York State, and her eventual escape to Freedom. Since Sojourner could neither read or write, she dictated her story to Olive Gilbert after they met at a Women’s Rights rally. The Narrative was first published in 1850, and was widely distributed by the Abolitionist Movement. It was one of the catalysts for the rise of anti-slavery public opinion in the years leading up to the Civil War...

By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

De Profundis by Oscar Wilde De Profundis

This is a letter written from prison in 1897 by Oscar Wilde to Lord Alfred Douglas, in which he recounts how he came to be in prison and charts his spiritual development.

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: Pat O'Brien (1890-1920)

Book cover Outwitting The Hun; My Escape From A German Prison Camp

A true war narrative, published in 1918 while WWI was still going on.

By: Pearl White (1889-1938)

Just Me by Pearl White Just Me

Perhaps the first memoir written by a film celebrity, Pearl White's Just Me gives a first-person account of the actress' rise to stardom. White guides us through her early childhood, her development as a performer, and finally to her breakout role in The Perils of Pauline--a role that made her the most popular "serial queen" of early cinema. Although romanticized and somewhat embellished, this book gives us a fascinating glimpse into the film industry's earliest years and the various myths of film stardom.

By: Peter Abelard (1079-1142)

The Story of My Misfortunes by Peter Abelard 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: Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman by Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman

Philip Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield, was at one time Ambassador to the Hague, negotiated the second Treaty of Vienna, was a founding governor of London’s Foundling Hospital, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, and Secretary of State. Having no legitimate children, his heir was his third cousin (another Philip) whom he adopted. Although known as a hard, calculating man, he is most well known for his letters to his natural son (i.e., illegitimate son) (also called Philip). When Philip died in 1768, the letters are addressed to his grandchildren (Philip’s two sons, Charles, and, yes, Philip!)...

By: Phoebe Yates Pember (1823-1913)

Book cover Reminiscences of a Southern Hospital, by Its Matron

Phoebe Yates Pember served as a matron in the Confederate Chimborazo military hospital in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War, overseeing a dietary kitchen serving meals to 300 or more wounded soldiers daily. Reminiscences of a Southern Hospital is her vivid recounting of hospital life and of her tribulations (and personal growth) as a female administrator. To follow her from day one, when she is greeted with “ill-repressed disgust” that “one of them had come,” and she, herself, “could...

By: Pierre Loti (1850-1923)

War by Pierre Loti War

Pierre Loti [Julien Viaud] (1850-1923) was a French naval officer and novelist. The present book is one of his few works of non-fiction, a small collection of letters and diary entries that describe his views and experiences in the wars and military operations in which he participated. Besides World War I, he also sheds light upon his views and involvement in the preparations for the Turkish Revolution of 1923, for which until today a famous hill and popular café in Istanbul are named after him.

By: Princess Der Ling

Two Years in the Forbidden City 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: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

Book cover My Reminiscences

These Reminiscences were written and published by the Author in his fiftieth year, shortly before he started on a trip to Europe and America for his failing health in 1912. It was in the course of this trip that he wrote for the first time in the English language for publication. (from preface)

Creative Unity by Rabindranath Tagore Creative Unity

Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore talks of the many things he feels is necessary for creativity through joy of unity, he covers many topics like the creative ideal, makes comparisons of creativity between the east and the west, the spirit of freedom and about his idea of an University.

By: Reuben Gold Thwaites (1853-1913)

Afloat on the Ohio by Reuben Gold Thwaites Afloat on the Ohio

Afloat on the Ohio, An Historical Pilgrimage, of a Thousand Miles in a Skiff, From Redstone to Cairo.There were four of us pilgrims—my Wife, our Boy of ten and a half years, the Doctor, and I. My object in going—the others went for the outing—was to gather "local color" for work in Western history. The Ohio River was an important factor in the development of the West. I wished to know the great waterway intimately in its various phases,—to see with my own eyes what the borderers saw; in imagination, to redress the pioneer stage, and repeople it. ( From the Preface )

Historic Waterways by Reuben Gold Thwaites Historic Waterways

Historic Waterways, Six Hundred Miles of Canoeing down the Rock, Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.This volume is the record of six hundred miles of canoeing experiences on historic waterways in Wisconsin and Illinois during the summer of 1887. There has been no attempt at exaggeration, to color its homely incidents, or to picture charms where none exist. It is intended to be a simple, truthful narrative of what was seen and done upon a series of novel outings through the heart of the Northwest. If it may induce others to undertake similar excursions, and thus increase the little navy of healthy and self-satisfied canoeists, the object of the publication will have been attained.

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: 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: Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815-1882)

Book cover Two Years Before the Mast

By: Robert Falcon Scott (1868-1912)

The Journals of Robert Falcon Scott by Robert Falcon Scott The Journals of Robert Falcon Scott

Capt. Robert F. Scott's bid to be the leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole is one of the most famous journeys of all time. What started as a scientific expedition turned out to be an unwilling race against a team lead by R. Admunsen to reach the Pole. The Norwegian flag already stood at the end of the trail when Scott's party reached their target. All the five men of the Scott expedition who took part in the last march to the Pole perished on their way back to safety. Robert F. Scott kept a journal throughout the journey, all the way to the tragic end, documenting all aspects of the expedition...


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