You are browsing the archive for Texts: Non-fiction.

Twelve Years a Slave (1859)

- January 14, 2014 in collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Internet Archive, Library of Congress, memoir, memoirs, slave plantations, slavery, solomon northup, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Memoirs, Texts: Non-fiction, true story, twelve years a slave, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

The memoir by Solomon Northup upon which the recent much acclaimed feature film, Twelve Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen, was based. The narrative tells the harrowing true story of Northup, who was born free in New York state but kidnapped in Washington, D.C., sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana.

Letters to my sister of our experiences on our first trip to Europe, 1913

- December 29, 2013 in 1913, collections, diary, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Europe, first world war, Internet Archive, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Non-fiction, Underlying Work: PD US, University of Toronto Libraries, world war one, ww1

Letters to my sister of our experiences on our first trip to Europe 1913, by Lilian McCarron; publishing date most likely 1914, publisher unknown. A book of letters written by (the American or perhaps Canadian) Lilian McCarron to her sister detailing a trip she made around Europe in the latter half of 1913. A year later and Europe would be plunged into the beginnings of the First World War which would last 4 years and claim the lives of more than 9 million soldiers and devastate the lands on which it was played out. A certain sense of dramatic irony permeates the diary entries now, in which she describes the “pleasant” and “charming” cities of France and Germany, knowing as we do the horrors that would come in the following years. McCarron spends a large proportion of the trip in Germany, and in particular Berlin, arriving there only a few days after a military airship (a Zeppelin, the kind which would be instrumental in WW1) had crashed killing many experienced German Navy personnel. Her trip also coincided with the Empress’s birthday which saw much of the army on the streets, a sight which gave McCarron the impression that Berlin was […]

Account of a Very Remarkable Young Musician (1769)

- December 5, 2013 in collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Internet Archive, mozart, Royal Society, texts, Texts: 18th, Texts: Non-fiction, The Royal Society, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, young

Account of a Very Remarkable Young Musician. In a Letter from the Honourable Daines Barrington, F. R. S. to Mathew Maty, M. D. Sec. R. S.; 1770; Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of history’s most famous composers, began showing his talents when he was just 3 years old. By the age of 6 he was touring with his father and elder sister, also a talented musician. It was the young Mozart however who wowed the audiences. After a concert at the court of the Prince-elector Maximilian III of Bavaria in Munich, and at the Imperial Court in Vienna and Prague, the Mozart family embarked on a 3 and half year concert tour around the courts of Munich, Mannheim, Paris, London, The Hague, again to Paris, and back home via Zurich, Donaueschingen, and Munich. While in London, an 8 year old Mozart proved a huge sensation. But with his child prodigy status came questions from a skeptical few. Was he really so young? Was he really that talented? One person eager to test the truth of these doubts was Daines Barrington, a lawyer, antiquary, naturalist and Friend of the Royal Society. In a few visits […]

Phenomena of Materialisation (1923)

- October 31, 2013 in Boston Public Library, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, eva carrière, hoax, Internet Archive, occult, seance, spiritualism, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Miscellaneous, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Science, Underlying Work: PD US

Phenomena of Materialisation, a contribution to the investigation of mediumistic teleplastics, by Baron von Schrenck Notzing, translated by E. E. Fournier d’Albe; 1923; K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, E. P. Dutton in London, New York. English translation of Phenomena of Materialisation, a book by German physician and psychic researcher Baron von Schrenck-Notzing which focuses on a series of séances witnessed between the years 1909 and 1913 involving the French medium Eva Carrière, or Eva C. Born Marthe Béraud, Carrière changed her name in 1909 to begin her career afresh after a series of seances she held in 1905 were exposed as a fraud. Her psychic performances as Eva C gained the attention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery series, who believed she was genuine, and also Harry Houdini, who was not so convinced. Another researcher who became interested in her case was Albert von Schrenck-Notzing. A series of tests he devised between the years 1909 and 1913 convinced him that Eva C was the real deal and in 1913 he published his Phenomena of Materialisation detailing the sessions and the reasons for his belief. It has been noted that these sessions with Schrenck-Notzing verged on the […]

An Account of a Chinese Cabinet (1753)

- October 23, 2013 in british museum, cabinet of curiosties, china, chinese cabinet, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, hans sloane, Internet Archive, Royal Society, texts, Texts: 18th, Texts: Non-fiction, The Royal Society, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

“A Further Account of What Was Contain’d in the Chinese Cabinet”, by Hans Sloane, M. D. from Philosophical Transactions, January 1753; London. An account by Sir Hans Sloane detailing the contents of a Chinese cabinet (which includes a “Sea Horse Tooth”) procured by a Mr Buckley during travels in China. A physician by trade Sloane was also an avid collector of natural curiosities and upon his death, bequeathed the entirety of his collection to the nation and, together with George II’s royal library, it was opened to the public as the British Museum in 1759. A note at the end of this account, which appears in the January 1753 accounts of the Royal Society (the same month that Sloane would pass away), praises the collecting of Mr Buckley: It were to be wished other travellers into Foreign parts would make such enquiries (as Mr Buckly [sic] who sent these to the Royal Society has done) into the Instruments and Materials made use of in the places where they come, that are any manner of way for the Benefit or innocent delight of Mankind, that we may content our selves with our own Inventions, where we go beyond them, and imitate […]

Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1785)

- October 15, 2013 in collections, dictionary, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, english, Internet Archive, language, samuel johnson, texts, Texts: 18th, Texts: Non-fiction, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, University of Toronto Libraries

Volume 1 of the 6th edition of Samuel Johnson’s epic achievement A Dictionary of the English Language, published a year after his death in 1785.

A Pamphlet on Verdi (1901)

- October 10, 2013 in California Digital Library, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Internet Archive, Music, opera, texts, Texts: 20th, Texts: Non-fiction, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, verdi

A small pamphlet (in the series "Little journeys to the homes of great musicians") on the life of the Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi, beginning with a fictionalised account of his childhood meeting with his early patron Signior Barezzi and his eldest daughter Margherita, with whom Verdi ended up falling in love.

The World According to Pitt

- October 1, 2013 in childhood, collections, Curator's Choice, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, georgian, Hester Pitt, letters, National Archives, texts, Texts: 18th, Texts: Non-fiction, UK National Archives, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, Wikimedia Commons, William Pitt, William Pitt the Younger

Jo Pugh, researcher at the UK National Archives, explores the newly digitised letters of former British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger and his sister Hester, and how their contents shed an intimate light on one of the most politically influential families in British history.

That to Study Philosophy is to Learn to Die (1580)

- August 29, 2013 in collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Essays, Internet Archive, Michel de Montaigne, texts, Texts: 16th and older, Texts: Non-fiction, That to study philosophy is to learn to die. death, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, University of Toronto Libraries

…let us learn bravely to stand our ground, and fight him. And to begin to deprive him of the greatest advantage he has over us, let us take a way quite contrary to the common course. Let us disarm him of his novelty and strangeness, let us converse and be familiar with him, and have nothing so frequent in our thoughts as death. Upon all occasions represent him to our imagination in his every shape; at the stumbling of a horse, at the falling of a tile, at the least prick with a pin, let us presently consider, and say to ourselves, ‘Well, and what if it had been death itself?’ and, thereupon, let us encourage and fortify ourselves. Let us evermore, amidst our jollity and feasting, set the remembrance of our frail condition before our eyes, never suffering ourselves to be so far transported with our delights, but that we have some intervals of reflecting upon, and considering how many several ways this jollity of ours tends to death, and with how many dangers it threatens it. The Egyptians were wont to do after this manner, who in the height of their feasting and mirth, caused a dried skeleton […]

The Wisdom of Robert Louis Stevenson (1904)

- August 15, 2013 in collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Internet Archive, Library of Congress, robert louis stevenson, texts, Texts: 19th, Texts: Non-fiction, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, wisdom

The Wisdom of Robert Louis Stevenson collected and arranged from his writings; 1904; Scott-Thaw Co., New York. A book of posthumously collected extracts from the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer, most famous for his books Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. For more RLS related material check out his “Baby Book”, a remarkable record of the first few years of his life, as noted down by his mother. Housed at: Internet Archive | From: Library of Congress Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights Download: PDF | Kindle | EPUB | Torrent HELP TO KEEP US AFLOAT The Public Domain Review is a not-for-profit project and we rely on support from our readers to stay afloat. If you like what we do then please do consider making a donation. We welcome all contributions, big or small - everything helps! Become a Patron Small angel : £3.00 GBP - monthly Medium sized hero : £5.00 GBP - monthly Large emperor : £10.00 GBP - monthly Vast deity : £20.00 GBP - monthly Make a one off Donation SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up […]