Werwolves

Werwolves by Elliott O'Donnell

Werwolves by Elliott O'Donnell

There is scarcely a country in the world in which belief in a werwolf, or in some other form of lycanthropy, has not once existed, though it may have ceased to exist now. But whereas in some countries the werwolf is considered wholly physical, in others it is looked upon as partly, if not entirely, super physical. And whilst in some countries it is restricted to the male sex, in others it is confined to the female; and, again, in others it is to be met with in both sexes.

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Beric the Briton : a Story of the Roman Invasion

Beric the Briton : a Story of the Roman Invasion by G. A. Henty

Beric the Briton : a Story of the Roman Invasion by G. A. Henty

My series of stories dealing with the wars of England would be altogether incomplete did it not include the period when the Romans were the masters of the country. The valor with which the natives of this island defended themselves was acknowledged by the Roman historians, and it was only the superior discipline of the invaders that enabled them finally to triumph over the bravery and the superior physical strength of the Britons. The Roman conquest for the time was undoubtedly of immense advantage to the people — who had previously wasted their energies in perpetual tribal wars — as it introduced among them the civilization of Rome. In the end, however, it proved disastrous to the islanders, who lost all their military virtues. Having been defended from the savages of the north by the soldiers of Rome, the Britons were, when the legions were recalled, unable to offer any effectual resistance to the Saxons, who, coming under the guise of friendship, speedily became their masters, imposing a yoke infinitely more burdensome than that of Rome, and erasing almost every sign of the civilization that had been engrafted upon them. How far the British population disappeared under the subsequent invasion and the still more oppressive yoke of the Danes is uncertain; but as the invaders would naturally desire to retain the people to cultivate the land for them, it is probable that the great mass of the Britons were not exterminated. It is at any rate pleasant to believe that with the Saxon, Danish, and Norman blood in our veins, there is still a large admixture of that of the warriors who fought so bravely against Caesar, and who rose under Boadicea in a desperate effort to shake off the oppressive rule of Rome.

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Johann Sebastian Bach : The story of the boy who sang in the streets

Johann Sebastian Bach : The story of the boy who sang in the streets by Thomas Tapper

Johann Sebastian Bach : The story of the boy who sang in the streets by Thomas Tapper

This is a collection of ten short, entertaining, informative picture-book biographies of famous composers. Each book tells about the childhood and great achievements of a composer, and includes a short musical example.

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Kitchener’s Mob, Adventures of an American in the British Army

Kitchener's Mob, Adventures of an American in the British Army by James Norman Hall

Kitchener's Mob, Adventures of an American in the British Army by James Norman Hall

“Pvt Ryan”, “Platoon”, “A Soldier’s Home”, “Kitchener’s Mob”. These aren’t happy stories, they are about the experience of War. War at different times, and although modern warfare may be more sanitized, the adventure, the horror, the emotions don’t change. James Norman Hall has been there. He “Saw the Elephant”, and his portrayal of his WWI experience is a tribute to those ordinary people who do such extraordinary things.

Those who have served will identify with at least some part if not all of this book, be it the rigors of training, the camaraderie, or possibly those memories that try as you may, you can never make go away. Those who haven’t may gain insight and possibly more respect for those who have.

Tommy Atkins is a universal soldier, be he the cook that serves up a hot meal, the sniper that keeps score on the stock of his rifle, or the machine gunner who hates his job.

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Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World

Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World by Mark Twain

Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World by Mark Twain

Following the Equator (American English title) or More Tramps Abroad (English title) is a non-fiction travelogue published by American author Mark Twain.

Twain was practically bankrupt in 1894 due to a failed investment into a “revolutionary” typesetting machine. In an attempt to extricate himself from debt of $100,000 (equivalent of about $2 million in 2005) he undertook a tour of the British Empire in 1895, a route chosen to provide numerous opportunities for lectures in the English language.

In Following the Equator, the author unmasks and criticizes racism, imperialism and missionary zeal in observations woven into the narrative with classical Twain wit.

Of particular interest, historically, are Twain’s references to Cecil Rhodes in Australia and South Africa, the in-depth description of “Thugs” and “Thuggee” in India and the Boer War period and diamonds in South Africa.

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The Colonel’s Dream

The Colonel's Dream by Charles W. Chesnutt

The Colonel's Dream by Charles W. Chesnutt

In this novel, Chesnutt described the hopelessness of Reconstruction in a post-Civil War South that was bent on reestablishing the former status quo and rebuilding itself as a region of the United States where new forms of “slavery” would replace the old. This novel illustrated how race hatred and the impotence of a reluctant Federal Government trumped the rule of law, ultimately setting the stage for the rise of institutions such as Jim Crow, lynching, chain gangs and work farms–all established with the intent of disenfranchising African Americans.

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The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad by William Still

The Underground Railroad by William Still

William Still is often called the Father of the Underground Railroad. Over 14 years, he helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom in Canada. Still was committed to preserving the stories of the bondmen and he kept careful records of the many escaped slaves who passed through the Philadelphia “station”. The Underground Railroad was published from Still’s records and diaries.

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The Rape of the Lock

The Rape of the Lock  by Alexander Pope

The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

The Rape of the Lock is a mock-heroic narrative poem written by Alexander Pope. The poem satirizes a petty squabble by comparing it to the epic world of the gods.

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Comic History of the United States

Comic History of the United States by Bill Nye

Comic History of the United States by Bill Nye

This text takes the reader on a comical journey from the time of the first European settlement through the Civil War. The author’s caustic wit is evident throughout the book in his numerous sarcastic and humorous remarks. The reader will enjoy a “different” type of history book based on facts, yet caustically embellished for entertainment purposes.

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English Costume

English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop

English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop

The world, if we choose to see it so, is a complicated picture of people dressing and undressing. The history of the world is composed of the chat of a little band of tailors seated cross-legged on their boards; they gossip across the centuries, feeling, as they should, very busy and important. As you will see, I have devoted myself entirely to civil costume—that is, the clothes a man or a woman would wear from choice, and not by reason of an appointment to some ecclesiastical post, or to a military calling, or to the Bar, or the Bench. Such clothes are but symbols of their trades and professions, and have been dealt with by persons who specialize in those professions.

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