Tag Archives: unlimited biography books

Secret Chambers and Hiding Places

Secret Chambers and Hiding Places by Allan Fea

Secret Chambers and Hiding Places by Allan Fea

“Secret Chambers and Hiding Places” is a collection of concealments and their uses, almost all within England, although a very few passages and chambers in continental Europe are mentioned, Jacobite hidey holes in Scotland, while the final chapter of the book covers Bonnie Prince Charlie’s wanderings around Scotland, among caves and other hiding places. Most chapters are devoted to historical events; such as the the seventeenth century persecution of Roman Catholics (with many large houses having specially constructed “priests’ holes”), or various unpopular monarchs and their hiding places. The text is scattered with legends and true stories, with occasional skeletons found, still hiding, long centuries after the searchers have left. The author describes hidden doors, passages, rooms and pits with enormous enthusiasm … and with considerable regret when he has to describe secret places lost to demolition or modernization. You’ll wish you could wander the country, poking into the darkest recesses of every old house you find!

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The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils is a famous work of fiction by Selma Lagerlöf, first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. The background for publication was a commission from the National Teachers Association to write a geography reader for the public schools. “She devoted three years to Nature study and to familiarizing herself with animal and bird life. She has sought out hitherto unpublished folklore and legends of the different provinces. These she has ingeniously woven into her story.”

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Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life

Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life by Lafcadio Hearn

Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life by Lafcadio Hearn

In an introductory paragraph, Lafcadio Hearn declares his intention: “The papers composing this volume treat of the inner rather than of the outer life of Japan, for which reason they have been grouped under the title Kokoro (heart). Written with the above character, this word signifies also mind, in the emotional sense; spirit; courage; resolve; sentiment; affection; and inner meaning, just as we say in English, “the heart of things.”” The result is a highly eclectic collection of stories, diary entries, cultural essays, and collected traditional texts that illustrate not only the state of Japanese society in the 1890s but also the endlessly fascinating issue of the intersection of cultures as demonstrated in a Westerner’s interpretations of what he observed in Japan. As much is revealed about the Western mind as the Japanese mind whenever such an intersection occurs.

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The City That Was

The City That Was by Will Irwin

The City That Was by Will Irwin

As all but Martians know (and who knows, perhaps even they), the city of San Francisco, California, was destroyed by massive earthquake and unquenchable fire in April, 1906. Will Irwin was a sometime San Franciscan who was then living in New York. He wrote a piece for the newspaper The Sun on April 21st, remembering and describing he city that was no more. He called it The City That Was. Four years later he returned to San Francisco and, amazed at the rebuilding, wrote a second piece for The San Francisco Call which he entitled The City That Is. The first endeavor became famous and was frequently reprinted; it made the reputation of Irwin as a reporter.

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The Night the Mountain Fell

The Night the Mountain Fell by Edmund Christopherson

The Night the Mountain Fell by Edmund Christopherson

A severe earthquake, centered in the vacation area of West Yellowstone, Montana, shook the ground and its inhabitants and visitors on August 17, 1959, at 11.37 pm. A mountainside fell, a lake formed, roads and houses disappeared, people were trapped, people died. The author of this narrative went to the area the day after the quake, took first-hand stories of the catastrophe, researched in the following months, and wrote this account within a year of the shaking. The printed source has many informative photographs.

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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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