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Haunted London

Haunted London by Walter Thornbury

Haunted London by Walter Thornbury

London: one of the oldest and most populous cities in the world. Surely it holds a few secrets within its ancient walls and the stories of ghostly presences abound.

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A Traveller in War-Time

A Traveller in War-Time by Winston Churchill

A Traveller in War-Time by Winston Churchill

This is a collection of a series of journalistic articles written during his travels throughout WWI era Europe that Churchill — the American author, not the famed British statesman. The writing is sharp, straightforward, and rarely sentimental, with loads of local color and occasional humor

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Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada

Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada by Clarence King

Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada by Clarence King

“Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada” is a memoir by Clarence King of his adventures and work with the California Geological Survey. King later led a major survey along the 40th Parallel in the American West and then was appointed the first director of the new U.S. Geological Survey.

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Thirty-Seven Days of Peril

Thirty-Seven Days of Peril by Truman Everts

Thirty-Seven Days of Peril by Truman Everts

Survival story of Everts trek through Yellowstone. Full of such vivid detail from the land to the animals.

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The Voyage of the Beagle

The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin

The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin

The book, also known as Darwin’s Journal of Researches, is a vivid and exciting travel memoir as well as a detailed scientific field journal covering biology, geology, and anthropology that demonstrates Darwin’s keen powers of observation, written at a time when Western Europeans were still discovering and exploring much of the rest of the world. Although Darwin revisited some areas during the expedition, for clarity the chapters of the book are ordered by reference to places and locations rather than chronologically. With hindsight, ideas which Darwin would later develop into his theory of evolution by natural selection are hinted at in his notes and in the book

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The Stones of Venice, Volume 1

The Stones of Venice, Volume 1 by John Ruskin

The Stones of Venice, Volume 1 by John Ruskin

The Stones of Venice is a three-volume treatise on Venetian art and architecture by English art historian John Ruskin. Intending to prove how the architecture in Venice exemplified the principles he discussed in his earlier work, The Seven Lamps of Architecture, Ruskin examined the city in detail, describing for example over eighty churches. He discusses architecture of Venice’s Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance periods, and provides a general history of the city as well. The book aroused considerable interest in Victorian Britain and beyond.

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Introduction to the Philosophy of History

Introduction to the Philosophy of History by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Introduction to the Philosophy of History by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

The introduction to Hegel’s lectures on the philosophy of world history is often used to introduce students to Hegel’s philosophy, in part because Hegel’s sometimes difficult style is muted in the lectures, and he discourses on accessible themes such as world events in order to explain his philosophy. Much of the work is spent defining and characterizing Geist or spirit. Geist is similar to the culture of people, and is constantly reworking itself to keep up with the changes of society, while at the same time working to produce those changes through what Hegel called the “cunning of reason”. Another important theme of the text is the focus on world history, rather than regional or state history.

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The Story of Cole Younger

The Story of Cole Younger by Cole Younger

The Story of Cole Younger by Cole Younger

Autobiography of Cole Younger, American Civil War veteran and member of the Jesse James gang. Cole Younger was a member of Quantrill’s Raiders during the Civil War and along with his brother, Jim Younger and the James brothers, robbed banks and trains during the 1870’s.

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Fearsome Island

Fearsome Island by Albert Kinross

Fearsome Island by Albert Kinross

No ordinary sailor’s tale, this. Based allegedly on the real experiences of Silas Fordred, Master Mariner of Hythe, this is a story of shipwreck on an uncharted island and his supernatural adventures there with a witch, a hairy man, and various devilish devices and traps. The author, Kinross, adds an appendix purporting to explain the marvels which Fordred encountered.

Kinross claims to have stolen the sailor’s original account from Hythe Town Hall while helping the Town Clerk to sort newly discovered old papers. This is credible, as it is well-known that there were many such documents rescued from destruction in the late nineteenth century. The names of Fordred and his shipmate Snoad are also old-established Hythe families. However, even if Fordred’s account is mentioned in the annals of Hythe Borough, it is impossible to know how much was invented by Kinross. “Believe or doubt!” the author says. Much as I would like to believe, I know which way I incline.

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The Natural History of Chocolate

The Natural History of Chocolate by D. Quélus

The Natural History of Chocolate by D. Quélus

The Natural History of Chocolate being a Distinct and Particular Account of the Cocoa-tree, its Growth and Culture, and the Preparation, Excellent Properties, and Medicinal Virtues of its Fruit. Wherein the Errors of those who have wrote upon this Subject are discovered; the Best Way of Making Chocolate is explained; and several Uncommon Medicines drawn from it, are communicated.

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