The Ex-Classics Web Site
at Other Web Sites
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 formats.
The Open Library
A project of the Internet Archive which allows you to "borrow"
(available to read online in your browser for a limited period) a very
large collection of books including many which are still in copyright. It
is the only way of getting copyright e-books (that we know of) which is
both free and legal.
LibriVox is a group of worldwide volunteers who read and record
public domain texts creating free public domain audiobooks for download
from their website and other digital library hosting sites on the
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.
This is the place to go if you
want an actual paper book. They have a vast library of books as page scans
in .pdf format, assembled from the Internet Archive, Google Books and other
sources. They print any of them on demand, at reasonable prices. However,
don't pay them for downloads — you should be able to get the book free from
one of the other sites listed here.
Brycchan Carey's Anti-Slavery
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 Site
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, says:
"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
A treasure-trove of
hand-picked, original Victoriana from British and American magazines of the
1800's. You'll find a wealth of ideas on decorating your home or table in
the Victorian style, plus delicious recipes (perfect for hosting your own
authentic Victorian tea!) and inspiring craft projects and patterns. Plus,
enjoy whimsical stories and poetry, illustrations, pictorial features and
cartoons. Taking you from the royal palace to the humble country cottage,
every issue brings you a unique, first-hand look at Victorian life.
|Internet Sacred Text Archive
large database of e-books, specialising in the sacred books of the
world's religions, but also containing much else of interest --
Archaeology, Folklore, Epic Poetry, and more..
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.
Poems of Sidney Lanier
American Civil War Poet; Requested by Byron Marshall
Ruins, or Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires by Count Constantin
Francois Chasseboeuf de Volney
(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 Mab.')."
Idea of a University by John Henry, Cardinal Newman
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
Requested by Professor Declan Kiberd of
University College Dublin.
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
Florio's translation of
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 Public Domain Review
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 newsletter now!
Here you'll find articles and lists with thousands of books that have been
neglected, overlooked, forgotten, or stranded by changing tides in critical
or popular taste.
Here you may read
all about some very strange books including Moles and their Meaning, How
to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction, The Cardinal's Mistress by
Benito Mussolini, and many more. Special features about
the notorious rascal Frank Harris (1856-1931), author of that most
lascivious and lying autobiography My Life and Loves; Amanda McKittrick Ros (1860-1939),
considered by some to be the worst ever novelist and poet, or about Webster
Edgerly (1852-1926), a misanthropic writer of dozens of books of self-help
and pseudo-scientific crankery
A Penguin a Week
Karyn Reeves, an Australian
bibliophile, has set out to collect every Penguin book published before the
introduction of ISBN numbers — about 3,000 in all. She also read and
reviewed one a week for several years, and the reviews are on this site.
These links are provided as a convenience for you. We take no responsibilty for their contents. In particular, we know
nothing about the copyright status of any works accessed via these links. You
are advised to check this before making any use of them.
Anywhere that needs disclaimers has too many lawyers.
Back to Ex-Classics
All the books as one Zip file