Tag Archives: free audio books

On a Chinese Screen

On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham

On a Chinese Screen by W. Somerset Maugham

This is a non-fiction collection of Maugham’s observations of life in Asia in the early 20th Century.

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The Fall River Tragedy

The Fall River Tragedy by Edwin H. Porter

The Fall River Tragedy by Edwin H. Porter

The story of how Lizzie Borden supposedly murdered her parents has passed into American folklore, partly thanks to the albeit inaccurate playground rhyme, “Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.” Here we have the ‘true’ story, as reported by the local police reporter who attended the trial and lived only streets away from the Borden home with his young wife. After the trial, Porter ‘disappeared’ and it was widely speculated he had either been murdered or bribed to disappear in order to suppress the book. His reappearance some time later put paid to the first theory. After his death at age 39 from tuberculosis, a new theory emerged, that he had been away for treatment while keeping his illness secret. Meanwhile, the trial itself was noteworthy for several reasons: it was one of the first to be followed by nationwide press, providing a template for today’s tabloid and cable coverage of major trials; it also had some distinguished personnel: one of the prosecutors, Frank Moody, later became the attorney general of the United States and was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Theodore Roosevelt; and Borden’s defense attorney, George Robinson, was the former governor of Massachusetts. The appearance of Professor Wood of Harvard University was an early use of an expert witness at trial.

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The Financier

The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

In Philadelphia, Frank Cowperwood, whose father is a banker, makes his first money by buying cheap soaps on the market and selling it back with profit to a grocer. Later, he gets a job in Henry Waterman & Company, and leaves it for Tighe & Company. He also marries an affluent widow, in spite of his young age. Over the years, he starts embezzling municipal funds. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire redounds to a stock market crash, prompting him to be bankrupt and exposed. Although he attempts to browbeat his way out of being sentenced to jail by intimidating Mr Stener, politicians from the Republican Party use their influence to use him as a scapegoat for their own corrupt practices. Meanwhile, he has an affair with Aileen Butler, a young girl, subsequent to losing faith in his wife. She vows to wait for him after his jail sentence. Her father, Mr Butler dies; she grows apart from her family. Frank divorces his wife. Sometime after being released, he invests in stocks subsequent to the Panic of 1873, and becomes a millionaire again. He decides to move out of Philadelphia and start a new life in the West.

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Richard III

Richard III by Jacob Abbott

Richard III by Jacob Abbott

Jacob Abbott chronicles the unspeakably treacherous rise of Richard III to the throne of England in the midst of the war between the Yorks and the Lancasters and his ultimate fall on the Field of Bosworth.

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Saint Bartholomew’s Eve

Saint Bartholomew's Eve by G. A. Henty

Saint Bartholomew's Eve by G. A. Henty

Set in the days of the religious wars of Europe, St. Bartholomew’s Eve is the tale of the Huguenot’s desperate fight for freedom of worship in France. As the struggle intensifies the plot thickens, culminating in the dreadful Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve. Henty, “The Boy’s Own Storyteller” weaves the life and adventures of Philip Fletcher and his cousin, Francois DeLaville, into the historical background with thrilling battles, sieges and escapes along the way (not to mention a fair damsel in distress!).

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Modern European History

Modern European History by Eugene Lieber

Modern European History by Eugene Lieber

Lecture on the history of Modern Europe, From the world wars to post war Europe.

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From October to Brest-Litovsk

From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon Trotsky

From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon Trotsky

This account by Trotsky is of the events in Russia from the October Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd, to his signing of the Brest-Litovsk treaty with Germany on 3rd March 1918 which took Russia out of the First World War. The treaty exacted heavy losses for Russia in terms of annexations of land and financial indemnities to Germany. In this extended essay, Trotsky argues the reasons as to why he decided to sign what appears to be a disastrous agreement for Russia.

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Tamburlaine the Great – Part 1

Tamburlaine the Great - Part 1 by Christopher Marlowe

Tamburlaine the Great – Part 1 by Christopher Marlowe

Tamburlaine the Great is the name of a play in two parts by Christopher Marlowe. It is loosely based on the life of the Central Asian emperor, Timur ‘the lame’. The play is a milestone in Elizabethan public drama; it marks a turning away from the clumsy language and loose plotting of the earlier Tudor dramatists, and a new interest in fresh and vivid language, memorable action, and intellectual complexity. Along with Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy, it may be considered the first popular success of London’s public stage.

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Pitching in a Pinch

Pitching in a Pinch by Christy Mathewson

Pitching in a Pinch by Christy Mathewson

In this book Mathewson is telling the reader of the game as it is played in the Big Leagues…. It’s as good as his pitching and some exciting things have happened in the Big Leagues, stories that never found their way into the newspapers. Matty has told them. This is a true tale of Big Leaguers, their habits and their methods of playing the game, written by one of them.

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The Aeneid

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Aeneid is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. The first six of the poem’s twelve books tell the story of Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy to Italy, and the poem’s second half treats the Trojans’ ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed. The poem was commissioned from Vergil by the Emperor Augustus to glorify Rome. Several critics think that the hero Aeneas’ abandonment of the Cartheginian Queen Dido, is meant as a statement of how Augustus’ enemy, Mark Anthony, should have behaved with the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.

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