- Gerard's Herbal.
This vast and exhaustive work of early modern botany, illustrated with
nearly two thousand woodcuts, had its final edition in 1633.
Almost every plant known to European herbalists at the time
is included, with a picture, description, uses, and anecdotes of
the plant, its discoverers and much more. Volume 1 is now available - the rest will follow. Part of our Gossip in a Library project -- see here for Gosse's article.
Added 21st August 2018.
Diary of a Lover of Literature by Thomas Green
was a bibliophile who flourished at the end of the 18th and start of
the 19th Century. This is his diary of his everyday doings, and of the
books he read, with his comments on them. A great insight into the mind
of a pre-romantic self-taught intellectual. Part of our Gossip in a Library project -- see here for Gosse's article.
Added 13th February 2018.
- Gossip in A Library, by Edmund Gosse
The noted bibliophile's reviews of some of his favourite books. Many
are ex-classics, and some are already on our site. We plan to publish
all of them we can find.
Added 11th November 2017.
- The Memoirs of Colonel Monro
Originally entitled Monro his expedition with the Worthy Scots Regiment called Mac-Keys Regiment.
It describes his seven years' service as a mercenary in the Thirty
Years' War from 1626 to 1634, where he served under Gustavus Adolphus,
King of Sweden, and took part in many battles. Colonel Monro himself
is not wholly unknown to those who have read A Legend of Montrose by Walter Scott; for it was he who
provided a good deal of the material for character of Dugald
soldier of fortune and military theorist, who returned to Scotland just in time
to take part in Montrose's campaigns, and to edify his brothers-in-arms with
endless reminiscences of the time when he followed "the invincible
Gustavus Adolphus, the Lion of the North, and the Bulwark of the Protestant
Added 30th October 2017.
History of Pompey the Little by Francis Coventry
Added 20th July 2017
Pompey the Little was an Italian lapdog. At an early age he was carried
away from the boudoir of his Italian mistress by Hillario, an English
gentleman illustrious for his gallantries, who brought him to
London. The rest of the history is really a chain of social episodes,
each closed by the incident that Pompey becomes the property of some
fresh person. In this way we find ourselves in a dozen successive
scenes, each strongly contrasted with the others. It is the art of the
author that he knows exactly how much to tell us without wearying our
attention, and is able to make the transition to the next scene a
- The Complete Cony-catcher by Robert Greene
The cozeners of Elizabethan England, and their artful ways of robbing and swindling. By the author of A Groat's-worth of Wit.
Added 14th May 2017.
in the Art of Rat-Catching, by H. C. Barkley
The classical education provided by English schools in the 19th century
hated by the pupils and did nothing to qualify them to make a living.
Barkley proposes to solve both these problems by teaching them
rat-catching, which boys love and which is an honourable and useful
profession. This is the definitive text-book of the art.
Added 26th January 2017.
- The True Story of John Carteret Pilkington
The early adventures and misfortunes of the youngest son and amanuensis
of Laetitia Pilkington, whose memoirs are also on this site. Also
contains the correspondence of Laetitia Pilkington and Lord Kingsborough, and some poems and a play scene by J.C. Pilkington.
Added 11th January 2017.
Memoirs of Mrs.Margaret Leeson
The leading courtesan and madam of late 18th Century Dublin, she
published these memoirs in old age. Funny and frankly written, they
show a wide panorama of life from debtors' prison to the Ascendancy
at the height of their power and irresponsibility.
Added 8th October 2016.
- More Crimes from the Newgate Calendar
Another batch of 172 18th Century pirates, highwayman, forgers and
sundry malefactors to add to our existing collection from the ex-classic compendium of crime
Added 26th July 2016.
- Radical Pamphlets from the English Civil War
the English Civil War and in the republic which followed, a wide range
of radical ideas and movements flourished. There were Seekers and
Ranters, Diggers and Levellers, Quakers, Fifth Monarchists and
Muggletonians; and a flood of remarkable pamphlets promoting their
ideas poured from the printing presses. Our selection includes
such classics as A Fiery Flying Roll, The Lamb's Officer is Gone Forth with the Lamb's Message, and the wonderfully-titled Tyranipocrit Discovered.
Added 14th February 2016.
- The Emperor's New Clothes -- Original Version
Christian Anderson rewrote this mediaeval Spanish tale for the more
fastidious audiences of the 19th Century. The original is well
Added 3rd February 2016.
- Lives and Anecdotes of Misers, by F. Somner Merryweather
As read by Silas Wegg to Mr. Boffin in Dickens' Our Mutual Friend.
Added 18th January 2016.
- The Metamorphosis of Ajax by Sir John Harington
first flush toilet, described together with a wealth of cloacal
learning and philosophy by Queen Elizabeth I's scapegrace godson.
Added 4th September 2015.
Poems of John Skelton
Skelton (1460?-1529) is a poet whose works have hovered on the edge of
the canon, never being forgotten or lacking advocates, but never making
it into the schools. Robert Graves thought him better than Milton.
Howard Fish, now the Grand Old Man of American Literary Criticism (and
proud to be the model for David Lodge's Morris Zapp) published a
book-length study of Skelton in 1965, and more recently, Helen Cooper,
professor of English at Cambridge, called him "one of the great figures
of English poetry."
Added 13th July 2015.
All the books as one Zip file
Ex-classics at Other Web Sites