The Public Domain
A website after our own heart. Twice a month they publish
a review of an ex-classic, with links to the book itself. Sign up for their
The Internet Archive is the biggest collection of e-texts
available. Searching it can be a bit tricky, as the metadata is not held
consistently, but persistence can often pay off. The books are almost all
held as page images, and can be read online, or downloaded in a variety of
Books On-Line Index
index of books on the web. Ex-classics, classics, never-were-classics and
maybe-will-be-classics. This is the first place to look if you are trying to
find a book online
The original and best web
site for free books. Cannot be too highly commended. The late Michael Hart
spent 30 years building it up, and it's still going strong. He's a candidate
for beatification, at least.
Digital Book Index provides
links to more than 103,000 title records from more than 1800 commercial and
non-commercial publishers, universities, and various private sites. About
64,000 of these books, texts, and documents are available free, while many
others are available at very modest cost.
A huge library of online
books. They have collected together the books available at many other web
sites, including all the ones listed here, and the now defunct Blackmask. They are searchable by title,
author and subject, and are provided mosty
in pdf format. Unfortunately you have to register and pay money
-- but only $8.95 per year (in 2016), which is less than the price of a
single printed book.
Carey's Anti-Slavery Site
Dr. Brycchan Carey has
been collecting mainly 18th Century anti-slavery literature, including
accounts by former slaves & writings against slavery by English reformers
etc. Also a collection of Cornish folk songs.
Francis Galton Web
Galton was a
Nineteenth-century scholar, whose influence, for good or ill, reveberated through the first half of the Twentieth
century. Gavan Tredoux, the site's web master,
"Despite his colossal achievements, contemporary reputation and
far-reaching influence, Sir Francis Galton is no longer known or appreciated
beyond specialist circles, perhaps because many of his views have ceased to
command the respect of the polite society of university intellectuals. This
site corrects the record, collecting a large selection of Galton-related
material, including the full text of his autobiography, and the complete,
definitive biography by Karl Pearson. Pearson's outstanding biography has
long been unavailable, rare even in libraries."
Alonzo and Melissa and other works by Isaac Mitchell
These intriguing specimens of early American literature deserve to be
available to scholars and others.Hugh MacDougall,
Secretary, James Fenimore Cooper Society. Isaac
Mitchell (1759-1812) was primarily a Republican (Jeffersonian)
newspaperman. But he is known today primarily as the author of a work of
fiction, Alonzo and Melissa which, in turn, is best known for having been
successfully pirated by one Daniel Jackson, Jr., under whose name it was read
by countless readers through most of the 19th century.
Requested by Hugh MacDougall, Secretary, James Fenimore Cooper Society.
The Poems of Sidney Lanier
American Civil War Poet; Requested by Byron Marshall
The Ruins, or Meditation on the Revolutions of
Empires by Count Constantin Francois Chasseboeuf de
(orig. published, Paris, 1793). Hugh C. MacDougall, Secretary, The James Fenimore Cooper Society says:
"Almost immediately translated into English, it was printed and
reprinted throughout the first half of the 19th century. Several American
towns (New York and Virginia) were named after Volney,
and hundreds of parents inflicted Volney on their
male offspring as a first name. Volney, a French
Revolutionary who had travelled through tne Near
East, advanced a series of radical notions such as that: deserts and other
disasters to humanity are caused by Man, not by God; all religions collapse
in their own contradictions; provides a very early theory of the development
of religious ideas over time; forsees a world
government or united nations, based on rationalism; advances the notion that
many of Man's first intellectual ideas originated in Africa, amongst a people
now despised. His descriptions of the world as seen from space are also very
original (and seem to have influenced Shelley's early poem 'Queen
The Idea of a University by John Henry, Cardinal
His idea is of an institution dedicated to truth and wisdom, which would
teach, in addition to its academic curriculum, the ideals of gentlemanliness,
morality and self-discipline. The contemptible buzzwords
"entrepreneurship" and "post-modernism" occur
nowhere in it. No wonder it's out of print.
Requested by Professor Declan Kiberd of University
Originally written in Latin, approximately A.D. 61-65, by the Roman poet
Lucan, its powerful depiction of civil war and its consequences have haunted
readers for centuries, and prompted many Medieval and Renaissance poets to
regard Lucan among the ranks of Homer, Virgil, and Ovid.
Requested by Paulina Milner
translation of Montaigne
This is the version Shakespeare used. There are more modern translations, but
Florio is one of the great prose stylists.
Requested by Lee Harrison.
The Silver Fox, by Somerville and Ross
Edith OEnanthe Somerville and "Martin
Ross" (Violet Martin) are best known for their humourous
Irish R.M. stories; their novels The Real Charlotte and The Big House at
Inver are also still deservedly popular. The Silver Fox ,
a short novel, was first published in 1898 and reprinted several times in the
next ten years. It seems to have then fallen into complete obscurity and has
not been republished since. This is a pity, for it is a miniature
masterpiece. It has been included here at the request of Professor Declan Kiberd of University College, Dublin. Prof.
Kiberd devotes an entire chapter of his definitive
Irish Classics (Granta Books, 2000) to The Silver
Fox, describing it as "a novella of true genius". We agree.
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