Habits that Handicap

Habits that Handicap by Charles B. Towns

Habits that Handicap by Charles B. Towns

Habits that Handicap is one of three novels about alcoholism and drug addiction written by Charles B. Towns. Towns was an expert on alcoholism and drug addiction who helped draft drug control legislation in the United States. He also founded the Towns Hospital in New York City, which aimed at drying out the well-to-do patient.

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Thirty Years a Slave

Thirty Years a Slave by Louis Hughes

Thirty Years a Slave by Louis Hughes

Louis Hughes was born a slave near Charlottesville, Virginia to a white father and a black slave woman. Throughout his life he worked mostly as a house servant, but was privy to the intimate details and workings of the entire McGee cotton plantation and empire. In Thirty Years A Slave Hughes provides vivid descriptions and explicit accounts of how the McGee plantation in Mississippi, and the McGee mansion in Tennessee functioned–accounts of the lives of the many slaves that lived, suffered and sometimes died under the cruel and unusual punishments meted out by Boss and his monstrously unstable and vindictive wife. He described the profane manner in which this peculiar institution dehumanized, on a daily basis, not only the black man but even more so the white man. Ultimately, Thirty Years A Slave is an expression of Hughes’s desire to accurately describe the nature of the influence that the institution of slavery had on this country during the two hundred years in which it existed here, and the influence it continues to have on the heart and soul of a post-Civil War, post-14th Amendment United States.

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The Escaping Club

The Escaping Club by A. J. Evans

The Escaping Club by A. J. Evans

Described by some as one of the greatest escape books published. The Escaping Club recounts Evans’ escape to Switzerland from a supposedly “escape-proof” German prison camp during World War I. After repatriation and rejoining the war, Evans again finds himself captured, this time first by Arabs and then by Turks. He again manages to escape. A detailed look at the trials faced by Allied POWs during World War I.

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Tom Brown’s School Days

Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes

Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes

Tom Brown’s School Days is a novel by Thomas Hughes. The story is set at Rugby School, a public school for boys, in the 1830s.

The novel was originally published as being “by an Old Boy of Rugby”, and much of it is based on the author’s experiences. Tom Brown is largely based on the author’s brother, George Hughes; and George Arthur, another of the book’s main characters, is based on Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. The fictional Tom’s life also resembles the author’s in that the culminating event of his school career was a cricket match.

Tom Brown was tremendously influential on the genre of British school novels, which began in the 19th century, and is one of the few still in print.

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The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century

The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century by Thomas Henry Huxley

The Advance of Science in the Last Half-Century by Thomas Henry Huxley

Thomas H. Huxley, an English biologist and essayist, was an advocate of the theory of evolution and a self-proclaimed agnostic. A talented writer, his essays helped to popularize science in the 19th century, and he is credited with the quote, “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” In The Advance of Science in the Last Half Century, he presents a summary of the major developments in Physics, Chemistry and Biology during the period 1839-1889 and their impact on society, within the historical context of philosophical thought and scientific inquiry going back to Aristotle. Huxley’s clear and readable prose makes this subject equally enjoyable for both the student of scientific history and the casual listener alike

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The Education of Henry Adams

The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams

The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams

The Education of Henry Adams records the struggle of Bostonian Henry Adams, in early old age, to come to terms with the dawning 20th century, so different from the world of his youth. It is also a sharp critique of 19th century educational theory and practice. In 1907, Adams began privately circulating copies of a limited edition printed at his own expense. Commercial publication had to await its author’s 1918 death, whereupon it won the 1919 Pulitzer Prize. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

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On the Irrawaddy

On the Irrawaddy by G. A. Henty

On the Irrawaddy by G. A. Henty

With the exception of the terrible retreat from Afghanistan, none of England’s many little wars have been so fatal–in proportion to the number of those engaged–as our first expedition to Burma. It was undertaken without any due comprehension of the difficulties to be encountered, from the effects of climate and the deficiency of transport; the power, and still more the obstinacy and arrogance of the court of Ava were altogether underrated; and it was considered that our possession of her ports would assuredly bring the enemy, who had wantonly forced the struggle upon us, to submission. Events, however, proved the completeness of the error. The Burman policy of carrying off every boat on the river, laying waste the whole country, and driving away the inhabitants and the herds, maintained our army as prisoners in Rangoon through the first wet season; and caused the loss of half the white officers and men first sent there. The subsequent campaign was no less fatal and, although large reinforcements had been sent, fifty percent of the whole died; so that less than two thousand fighting men remained in the ranks, when the expedition arrived within a short distance of Ava. Not until the last Burmese army had been scattered did the court of Ava submit to the by no means onerous terms we imposed

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Scrambles Amongst the Alps

Scrambles Amongst the Alps by Edward Whymper

Scrambles Amongst the Alps by Edward Whymper

Scrambles Amongst the Alps is one the great classics (some would say the greatest) of early mountaineering literature, and Edward Whymper one of the leading figures of the early years of Alpine climbing. He is best known, of course, for his many attempts on the Matterhorn, and for the loss of four members of his climbing party after the successful first ascent of the peak in July, 1865. Although the Matterhorn stands in ways in the center of his book, there are descriptions of many other ascents as well, in the Alps of France and Italy, as well as those of Switzerland.

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The Autobiography of Charles Darwin

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin by Charles Darwin

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin by Charles Darwin

The Autobiography of Charles Darwin is the autobiography of the British naturalist Charles Darwin.

Darwin wrote the book, which he entitled Recollections of the Development of my Mind and Character, for his family. He states that he started writing it on about May 28, 1876 and had finished it by August 3.

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Religio Medici and Hydriotaphia

Religio Medici and Hydriotaphia by Sir Thomas Browne

Religio Medici and Hydriotaphia by Sir Thomas Browne

Religio Medici (The Religion of a Doctor) sets out Sir Thomas Browne’s spiritual testament as well as being an early psychological self-portrait.

Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial, or a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk. Its nominal subject was the discovery of a Roman urn burial in Norfolk.

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