Find Books

 

Detail from Lithograph by Alexander Ver Huell

Author Index

Subject Index

Title Index

Search Site

Facebook Page

The Ex-Classics Web Site

The Reader, by Alexander Ver Huell, c. 1880

About Us

The Ex-Classics project was founded in 2000 to fill an unmet need.  When reading the blurb etc. to a book by Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte, say, we would often come across sentences like "Favourite reading included . . ."  If  it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us. So off we go to the library or bookshop, to be met first with blank stares and then with the information that the book has been out of print for decades. Our first two books were Gil Blas and Hudibras, which are prime examples of this This web site is dedicated to rescuing these works from obscurity and making them available online, both for reading directly, and for downloading.

Book of the Month -- May 2021

 A Counterblast to Tobacco
by
King James VI of Scotland and I of England
 

Portrait of King James

By the end of the 16th Century smoking had become widespread and popular in Britain. Christopher Marlowe declared that "all they that love not tobacco and boys are fools." Many disagreed, however, and King James, though a lover of boys, abhorred tobacco. In 1604  he initiated a two-pronged attack on the habit, imposing a heavy tax on it, and publishing this pamphlet. He attacks the habit of smoking from several angles, culminating in a rousing peroration where he describes it as

"A custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof, nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless."

For many years afterwards, James was dismissed as a silly and puritanical bigot; however his views are now commonplace, even orthodox. How times change: the pendulum swings, and then swings back.


What do you think?

Any comments about this site or its contents? E-mail me (Click here) We have an occasional newsletter - please say if you want to be added to the mailing list. We never give out your details to spammers, or anyone else, for that matter.

No-Copyright notice

This site and its contents are public domain and free to the world. Anything in it may be copied and distributed free of charge or obligation. [There are one or two exceptions to this, which are clearly marked where they occur.] We expect this policy to be passed on - anyone who copies our texts or web pages and tries to claim copyright for themselves is stealing - not from us, but from you, and from everyone. An example of what we mean.

 

Extras

Max Adeler contemplating the Patent Office Report, by Arthur B. Frost

Latest Additions

In Preparation

All the books as one Zip file

Ex-classics at Other Web Sites