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By: Louisa May Alcott

An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott An Old-Fashioned Girl

Polly Milton, a 14-year-old country girl, visits her friend Fanny Shaw and her wealthy family in the city for the first time. Poor Polly is overwhelmed by the splendor at the Shaws’ and their urbanized, fashionable lifestyles, fancy clothes and some other habits she considers weird and, mostly, unlikable. However, Polly’s warmth, support and kindness eventually win her the hearts of all the family members. Six years later, Polly comes back to the city to become a music teacher.

Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott Jo's Boys

Jo’s Boys is the third book in the Little Women trilogy by Louisa May Alcott, published in 1886. In it, Jo’s “children”, now grown, are caught up in real world troubles. All three books – although fiction – are highly autobiographical and describe characters that were really in Alcott’s life. This book contains romance as the childhood playmates become flirtatious young men and women. The characters are growing up, going out into the world and deciding their futures.

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: Jesse Lyman Hurlbut (1843-1930)

Hurlbut's Story of the Bible by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut Hurlbut's Story of the Bible

As a parent, many of us would like our children to be familiar with our sacred books, no matter to which religion or faith we belong. However, very young children may find the language and the ideas quite difficult to assimilate. Yet the stories are so memorable and valuable that we want our children to know them as early as possible. Published in 1905, Hurlbut's Story of The Bible – 1 is a wonderful compilation of some of the most important and delightful stories to be found in both the Old and New Testaments...

By: Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865)

The Life Of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell The Life Of Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë was a British author, the eldest of the three famous Brontë sisters who have become standards of English literature. She is best known for her novel Jane Eyre, one of the greatest classics of all time. Just two years after Charlotte’s death, her friend Elizabeth Gaskell wrote her biography. Want to know more about Charlotte Brontë? If you do, please read this biography.

By: Edith Wharton (1862-1937)

Fighting France, from Dunkerque to Belfort by Edith Wharton Fighting France, from Dunkerque to Belfort

American novelist Edith Wharton was living in Paris when World War I broke out in 1914. She obtained permission to visit sites behind the lines, including hospitals, ravaged villages, and trenches. Fighting France records her travels along the front in 1914 and 1915, and celebrates the indomitable spirit of the French people.

By: Henry Gray

Anatomy of the Human Body by Henry Gray Anatomy of the Human Body

Henry Gray’s classic anatomy textbook was first published in 1858 and has been in continuous publication ever since, revised and expanded through many successive editions. This recording is of the public-domain 1918 US edition (some information may be outdated).

By: Stephen Leacock (1869-1944)

Chronicles of Canada -- Dawn of Canadian History: Aboriginal Canada by Stephen Leacock Chronicles of Canada -- Dawn of Canadian History: Aboriginal Canada

Most readers of Stephen Leacock's works are familiar with his witty and humorous writings, but few may be aware that he was also a gifted teacher, political ideologue, economist and fiction writer. Though he wrote six books on Canadian history, none of them attained the status of a standard text on the subject and were regarded more as opinion pieces without much academic foundation. Yet, the Chronicles of Canada series by Stephen Leacock remains an interesting and entertaining read. In this volume, Dawn of Canadian History: Aboriginal Canada, which is part of a thirty-two book series of short and simple essays, Leacock explores the little known origins of Canada's past...

The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice by Stephen Leacock The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice

This lengthy political essay by noted Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock was written while he was professor of political economy at McGill University. He argues for a middle ground between individualism/capitalism and pure socialism. Listeners in the early 21st century may find this 90-year old essay oddly topical.

By: George MacDonald

Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald Unspoken Sermons

George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. In his day he was considered one of the great Victorian authors on par with Dickens, Thackeray, Kipling and the like. His reputation as an author, however, has not fared as well largely because of the ubiquitous and fervent presence of religion throughout his works.MacDonald's theology, though sprinkled liberally throughout his fairly substantial number of books, is perhaps nowhere more palpable than in Unspoken Sermons. These sermons, though by no means amongst the most popular of MacDonald's work, have had theological impact from their first appearance...

By: Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil

Beyond Good and Evil, by Friedrich Nietzsche A searing indictment of concepts like “truth” and “language” Beyond Good and Evil, by Friedrich Nietzsche is a deeply thought provoking book that forms one of the keystones of modern thought and politics. In this book, Nietzsche takes the position that our subservience to fixed perspectives that are forced on us by our language and our ideals make us incapable of perceiving reality. He propounds the theory that ideals are not fixed but change over time, often dramatically, and end up becoming the exact opposite of what they originally were...

The Antichrist by Friedrich Nietzsche The Antichrist

Save for his raucous, rhapsodical autobiography, Ecce Homo, The Antichrist is the last thing that Nietzsche ever wrote, and so it may be accepted as a statement of some of his most salient ideas in their final form. Of all Nietzsche’s books, The Antichrist comes nearest to conventionality in form. It presents a connected argument with very few interludes, and has a beginning, a middle and an end.

The Twilight of the Idols or How to Philosophise with the Hammer by Friedrich Nietzsche The Twilight of the Idols or How to Philosophise with the Hammer

Of The Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche says in Ecce Homo: “If anyone should desire to obtain a rapid sketch of how everything before my time was standing on its head, he should begin reading me in this book. That which is called ‘Idols’ on the title-page is simply the old truth that has been believed in hitherto. In plain English, The Twilight of the Idols means that the old truth is on its last legs.” Certain it is that, for a rapid survey of the whole of Nietzsche’s doctrine, no book, save perhaps the section entitled “Of Old and New Tables” in Thus Spake Zarathustra, could be of more real value than The Twilight of the Idols...

By: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad The Mirror of the Sea

The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of autobiographical essays first published in various magazines 1904-6. Conrad early in his life earned his bread as a Master Mariner in sailing ships. In his Author’s Note to this work, Conrad states,”Beyond the line of the sea horizon the world for me did not exist….Within these pages I make a full confession not of my sins but of my emotions. It is the best tribute my piety can offer to the ultimate shapers of my character, convictions, and, in a sense, destiny—to the imperishable sea, to the ships that are no more, and to the simple men who have had their day.”

By: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

Book cover American Woman's Home

By: Jacob Abbott (1803-1879)

Peter the Great by Jacob Abbott Peter the Great

“There are very few persons who have not heard of the fame of Peter the Great, the founder, as he is generally regarded by mankind, of Russian civilization. The celebrity, however, of the great Muscovite sovereign among young persons is due in a great measure to the circumstance of his having repaired personally to Holland, in the course of his efforts to introduce the industrial arts among his people, in order to study himself the art and mystery of shipbuilding, and of his having worked with his own hands in a ship-yard there...

Hannibal by Jacob Abbott Hannibal

There are certain names which are familiar, as names, to all mankind; and every person who seeks for any degree of mental cultivation, feels desirous of informing himself of the leading outlines of their history, that he may know, in brief, what it was in their characters or their doings which has given them so widely-extended a fame. Consequently, great historical names alone are selected; and it has been the writer's aim to present the prominent and leading traits in their characters, and all the important events in their lives, in a bold and free manner, and yet in the plain and simple language which is so obviously required in works which aim at permanent and practical usefulness...

Mary Queen of Scots by Jacob Abbott Mary Queen of Scots

There are certain names which are familiar, as names, to all mankind; and every person who seeks for any degree of mental cultivation, feels desirous of informing himself of the leading outlines of their history, that he may know, in brief, what it was in their characters or their doings which has given them so widely-extended a fame. Consequently, great historical names alone are selected; and it has been the writer’s aim to present the prominent and leading traits in their characters, and all the important events in their lives, in a bold and free manner, and yet in the plain and simple language which is so obviously required in works which aim at permanent and practical usefulness...

History of Julius Caesar by Jacob Abbott History of Julius Caesar

The book chronicles the extraordinary life and leadership of Rome’s Emperor Julius Caesar, from his early years to his assassination.

Richard I by Jacob Abbott Richard I

There are certain names which are familiar, as names, to all mankind; and every person who seeks for any degree of mental cultivation, feels desirous of informing himself of the leading outlines of their history, that he may know, in brief, what it was in their characters or their doings which has given them so widely-extended a fame. Consequently, great historical names alone are selected; and it has been the writer’s aim to present the prominent and leading traits in their characters, and all the important events in their lives, in a bold and free manner, and yet in the plain and simple language which is so obviously required in works which aim at permanent and practical usefulness...

Charles I by Jacob Abbott Charles I

There are certain names which are familiar, as names, to all mankind; and every person who seeks for any degree of mental cultivation, feels desirous of informing himself of the leading outlines of their history, that he may know, in brief, what it was in their characters or their doings which has given them so widely-extended a fame. Consequently, great historical names alone are selected; and it has been the writer’s aim to present the prominent and leading traits in their characters, and all the important events in their lives, in a bold and free manner, and yet in the plain and simple language which is so obviously required in works which aim at permanent and practical usefulness...

Richard III by Jacob Abbott Richard III

Jacob Abbott chronicles the unspeakably treacherous rise of Richard III to the throne of England in the midst of the war between the Yorks and the Lancasters and his ultimate fall on the Field of Bosworth. (Introduction by Cathy Barratt)

Richard II, Makers of History by Jacob Abbott Richard II, Makers of History

Chronicles the life of Richard II, born in 1367 in Bordeaux, France, who later wore the crown of King of England.

Gentle Measures in the Management and Training of the Young by Jacob Abbott Gentle Measures in the Management and Training of the Young

Subtitled, "The principles on which a firm parental authority may be established and maintained, without violence or anger, and the right development of the moral and mental capacities be promoted by methods in harmony with the structure and the characteristics of the juvenile mind." This book gives practical advice on how to raise children using "gentle measures" that do not damage the children's emotions or self esteem. Most of the information is as relevant and practical today as it was when published in 1871.

Book cover The Teacher Or, Moral Influences Employed in the Instruction and Government of the Young

By: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Walking by Henry David Thoreau Walking

This was originally a lecture given by Thoreau in 1851 at the Concord lyceum titled “The Wild” . He revised it before his death and it was included as part of the June 1862 edition of Atlantic Monthly. This essay appears, on the surface, to be simply expounding the qualities of Nature and man’s place therein. Through this medium he not only touches those subjects, but with the implications of such a respect for nature, or lack thereof.

Book cover Wild Apples

By: Henry James (1843-1916)

A Small Boy and Others by Henry James A Small Boy and Others

A Small Boy and Others is a book of autobiography by Henry James published in 1913. The book covers James’s earliest years and discusses his intellectually active family, his intermittent schooling, and his first trips to Europe.

By: John B. Bury (1861-1927)

A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great by John B. Bury A History of Greece to the Death of Alexander the Great

For the Irish historian John Bagnell Bury, history should be treated as a science and not a mere branch of literature. Many contemporary histories written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were poetic and heroic in tone, blending fact and fiction, myths and legends. They sometimes relied on sources from Shakespeare and classical poets. For Bury, the facts of history may be legendary or romantic in nature, but they should be recounted in a scholarly and non-judgmental manner, without the accompanying emotions...

The Students' Roman Empire by John B. Bury The Students' Roman Empire

The writings of J. B. Bury (1861-1927), on subjects ranging from ancient Greece to the 19th-century papacy, are at once scholarly and accessible to the layman. This work covers the period from the beginning of the Roman Empire until Gibbon begins; from Augustus through Marcus Aurelius and the Antoinine Emporers.

By: Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal

A satirical essay written by one of the most renowned satirists, Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal expresses the author’s exasperation with the ill treatment of impoverished Irish citizens as a result of English exploitation and social inertia. Furthermore, Swift ventilates the severity of Ireland’s political incompetence, the tyrannical English policies, the callous attitudes of the wealthy, and the destitution faced by the Irish people. Focusing on numerous aspects of society including government exploitation, reckless greed, hypocrisy, apathy, and prejudice, the essay successfully exemplifies Swift’s satirical skills...

By: Anthony Trollope (1815-1882)

The Life of Cicero by Anthony Trollope The Life of Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43BC) was an orator, statesman, philosopher and prolific correspondent, who rose as a ‘new man’ in Rome in the turbulent last years of its republican government. Anthony Trollope, best known as a novelist, admired Cicero greatly and wrote this biography late in life in order to argue his virtues against authors who had granted him literary greatness but questioned his strength as a politician and as a man. He takes a personal approach, affording us an insight into his own mind and times as well as those of his subject...


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