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The Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens –by: G. K. Chesterton

“These papers were originally published as prefaces to the separate books of Dickens in one of the most extensive of those cheap libraries of the classics which are one of the real improvements of recent times. Thus they were harmless, being diluted by, or rather drowned in Dickens. My scrap of theory was a mere dry biscuit to be taken with the grand tawny port of great English comedy; and by most people it was not taken at all–like the biscuit.

Nevertheless the essays were not in intention so aimless as they appear in fact. I had a general notion of what needed saying about Dicke...

The Story of Electricity –by: John Munro

In the book's preface, the author writes: "Let anyone stop to consider how he individually would be affected if all electrical service were suddenly to cease, and he cannot fail to appreciate the claims of electricity to attentive study."

In these days when we take for granted all kinds of technology - communications, entertainment, medical, military, industrial and domestic - it is interesting to learn what progress had been made in the fields of electricity and technology by the beginning of the 20th century.

Including the dawn of hydro-electric power, the x-ray, the p...

Lincoln at Cooper Union –by: Abraham Lincoln

On 27 February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave this address at the Cooper Union in New York City. When he gave the speech, Lincoln was considered by many to be just a country lawyer. After he gave the speech, he soon became his party’s nominee for president.

First Page:

THE PAPERS AND WRITINGS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

VOLUME FIVE

CONSTITUTIONAL EDITION

By Abraham Lincoln

Edited by Arthur Brooks Lapsley

THE WRITINGS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Volume Five, 1858 1862

TO SYDNEY SPRING, GRAYVILLE, ILL.

SPRINGFIELD, June 19, 1858.

SYDNEY SPRING, Esq.

MY DEAR...

Young Americans Abroad

It’s 1851 and the Crystal Palace Exhibition is on in England. English American the Reverend Dr. Choules leaves Newport, Rhode Island with three teenaged students – James Robinson, George Vanderbuilt, and Weld French, who are forced to leave the fourth member of their blue-blooded quartet at home – and all four travelers promise to write to “Dear Charley”, Charles Duston, of later fame. The boys meet the Duke of Wellington, travel down the Rhine, and meet many friends along the way. While the letters are filled with some prejudice against the Catholic religion, they are a product o...

The Madman And The Pirate –by: Robert Michael Ballantyne

R. M. Ballantyne (April 24, 1825 – February 8, 1894) was a Scottish juvenile fiction writer.

Born Robert Michael Ballantyne in Edinburgh, he was part of a famous family of printers and publishers. At the age of 16 he went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He returned to Scotland in 1847, and published his first book the following year, Hudson’s Bay: or, Life in the Wilds of North America. For some time he was employed by Messrs Constable, the publishers, but in 1856 he gave up business for the profession of literature, and began the series o...

The South Pole; an account of the Norwegian Antarctic expedition in the Fram, 1910-12 –by: Roald Amundsen

In contrast to Scott’s South Pole expedition, Amundsen’s expedition benefited from good equipment, appropriate clothing, and a fundamentally different primary task (Amundsen did no surveying on his route south and is known to have taken only two photographs) Amundsen had a better understanding of dogs and their handling, and he used of skis more effectively. He pioneered an entirely new route to the Pole and they returned. In Amundsen’s own words: “Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessa...

Domestic Cookery, Useful Receipts, and Hints to Young Housekeepers

The compiler of [this book] having entered early in life upon a train of duties, was frequently embarrassed by her ignorance of domestic affairs. For, whilst receipt books for elegant preparations were often seen, those connected with the ordinary, but far more useful part of household duties, were not easily procured; thus situated, she applied to persons of experience, and embodied the information collected in a book, to which, since years have matured her judgment, she has added much that is the result of her own experiments.

Familiar, then, with the difficulties a young housekeepe...

Canyons of the Colorado, or The exploration of the Colorado River and its Canyons –by: John Wesley Powell

John Wesley Powell was a pioneer American explorer, ethnologist, and geologist in the 19th Century. In 1869 he set out to explore the Colorado and the Grand Canyon. He gathered nine men, four boats and food for ten months and set out from Green River, Wyoming, on May 24. Passing through dangerous rapids, the group passed down the Green River to its confluence with the Colorado River (then also known as the Grand River upriver from the junction), near present-day Moab, Utah.

The expedition’s route traveled through the Utah canyons of the Colorado River, which Powell described in his ...

Poetics –by: Aristotle

Aristotle’s Poetics from the 4th century B.C. aims to give a short study of storytelling. It discusses things like unity of plot, reversal of situation, and character in the context of Greek tragedy, comedy and epic poetry. But it still applies today. It is especially popular with screenwriters as seen in many script gurus’ how-to books.

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