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Knickerbocker’s History of New York

Knickerbocker's History of New York by Washington Irving

Knickerbocker's History of New York by Washington Irving

Washington Irving, an author, biographer, historian, and diplomat, completed his first major work, a satire of contemporary local history and politics entitled A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker in 1809. Prior to its publication, Irving started a promotional hoax (not unlike some modern-day publicity stunts?) by placing fake missing persons advertisements in local newspapers asking for help in locating Diedrich Knickerbocker. As a continuation of the hoax, Irving also published a notice purported to be written by the proprietor of the hotel where Knickbocker was staying, in which he threatened to publish a manuscript “left behind” by Knickerbocker if the hotel bill was not paid. From “The Author’s Apology”: “The main object of my work, in fact, had a bearing wide from the sober aim of history, but one which, I trust, will meet with some indulgence from poetic minds. It was to embody the traditions of our city in an amusing form; to illustrate its local humors, customs and peculiarities; to clothe home scenes and places and familiar names with those imaginative and whimsical associations so seldom met with in our new country, but which live like charms and spells about the cities of the old world, binding the heart of the native inhabitant to his home.” – (Summary by lubee930 from the text and adapted from Wikipedia)

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The Adventurers of England on Hudson Bay

The Adventurers of England on Hudson Bay by Agnes C. Laut

The Adventurers of England on Hudson Bay by Agnes C. Laut

The fur hunters were explorers who had blazed a trail across a continent and penetrated to the uttermost reaches of a northern empire the size of Europe. But it was fur these explorers were seeking when they pushed their canoes up the Saskatchewan, crossed the Rocky Mountains, went down the Columbia. Fur, not glory, was the quest when the dog bells went ringing over the wintry wastes from Saskatchewan to Athabaska, across the Barren Lands, and north to the Arctic.

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Celebrated Travels and Travellers – Volume 3

Celebrated Travels and Travellers - Volume 3 by Jules Verne

Celebrated Travels and Travellers – Volume 3 by Jules Verne

This volume, entitled “The great explorers of the 19th century”, forms the third of three volumes under the general title of “Celebrated travels and travellers”.

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A Popular History of Ireland – Volume 1

A Popular History of Ireland - Volume 1 by Thomas D'Arcy McGee

A Popular History of Ireland – Volume 1 by Thomas D'Arcy McGee

Thomas D’Arcy McGee was an Irish refugee and a father of the Canadian confederation. His work on Irish history is comprehensive, encompassing twelve books;

Book 1 begins with the earliest modern settlement of Ireland and ends with the 8th century.

Book 2 begins with the Norse or Danish invasion of the island and continues through the end of the Viking period.

Book 3 begins with the fortune of the family of Brian Boru and continues through the rise of the O’Conors to the political, economic, and religious condition of the island prior to the English invasion.

Book 4 begins with the first Norman invasion of the island and continues to the end of the 13th century.

Book 5 begins with the rise of the “Red Earl” and addresses the relations between Scotland and Ireland during the time of Robert the Bruce and his immediate successors.

Book 6 subtitled the Native, the Naturalized, and “The English Interest”, covers the 14th and 15th centuries.

Book 7 subtitled “Unionized Crowns of England and Ireland”, addresses the Tudor period, particularly the actions of Woolsey and Henry VIII, before the Reformation, in 1541.

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Cape Cod Stories

Cape Cod Stories by Joseph Crosby Lincoln

Cape Cod Stories by Joseph Crosby Lincoln

Lincoln’s work frequently appeared in popular magazines such as the Saturday Evening Post and The Delineator…. Lincoln claimed that he was satisfied “spinning yarns” that made readers feel good about themselves and their neighbors. Two of his stories have been adapted to film. Lincoln’s literary career celebrating “old Cape Cod” can partly be seen as an attempt to return to an Eden from which he had been driven by family tragedy. His literary portrayal of Cape Cod can also be understood as a pre-modern haven occupied by individuals of old Yankee stock which was offered to readers as an antidote to an America that was undergoing rapid modernization, urbanization, immigration, and industrialization.

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From North Carolina to Southern California

From North Carolina to Southern California by John Peele

From North Carolina to Southern California by John Peele

“… I have decided to write an account of a few of the many adventures and dangers that befell me while making my way, practically without a penny, from Tarboro, North Carolina, to Tucson, Arizona; and thence to the stricken city of San Francisco, Cal., and other points of interest throughout the West, including New Orleans, Dallas, Texas, Fort Worth, El Paso, Dalhart, Texas, Alamogordo, New Mexico, Juarez, Old Mexico, Bisbee, Arizona, Los Angeles, California, San Pedro, California, Searchlight, Nevada, Denver, Colorado, and more than a hundred other points of interest….” (From the Preface)

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Wild Wales

Wild Wales by George Henry Borrow

Wild Wales by George Henry Borrow

The book recounts Borrow’s experiences, insights and personal encounters whilst touring Wales alone on foot after a family holiday in Llangollen in 1854. Although contemporary critics dismissed its whimsical tone, it quickly became popular with readers as a travel book and more importantly as a very lively account of the literary, social and geographical history of Wales. Borrow’s engaging character comes across especially in his meetings with various itinerants – mostly native and peasant – along the muddy Welsh path. Borrow’s keen ear for dialogue may remind us of a Dickens or Trollope, and like the latter his wit and wisdom are rarely absent. Indeed the author has been described as an “eccentric, larger-than-life, jovial man whose laughter rings all through the book”.

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A Popular History of Ireland – Volume 2

A Popular History of Ireland - Volume 2 by Thomas D'Arcy McGee

A Popular History of Ireland – Volume 2 by Thomas D'Arcy McGee

Thomas D’Arcy McGee was an Irish refugee and a father of the Canadian confederation. His work on Irish history is comprehensive, encompassing twelve books

Book 8, subtitled “The Era of the Reformation”, addresses the late Tudor period, particularly the reigns of the children of Henry VIII, and ends with the end of the reign of Elizabeth I.

Book 9 subtitled “From the Accession of James I Till the Death of Cromwell”, addresses the early Stuart period’s unsettled history and the actions of that person, who, seen from the Irish perspective, was certainly one of the most villainous of men: Cromwell.

Book 10 subtitled “From the Restoration of Charles II to the Accession of George I”, addresses the period of the restoration and the further oppresion of the Irish people and religion.

Book 11 subtitled “From the Accession of George I to the Legislative Union of England and Ireland”, addresses the 1700s, the Georges, the further oppression of the Irish people, and the final dismissal of the Irish Parliament.

Book 12 subtitled “From the Union of Great Britain and Ireland to the Emancipation of the Catholics”, addresses the period of the creation of the United Kingdom to the granting of religious freedom in Ireland.

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The Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria

The Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria by W. Scott-Elliot

The Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria by W. Scott-Elliot

A theosophist and believer of the Occult, W. Scott-Elliot gives us a description of the history and structure of Atlantis and Lemuria, along with what he considers evidence of this.

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The Travels of Marco Polo – Volume 2

The Travels of Marco Polo - Volume 2 by Marco Polo and Rustichello da Pisa

The Travels of Marco Polo – Volume 2 by Marco Polo and Rustichello da Pisa

“The Travels of Marco Polo”, is a 13th-century travelogue written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo, describing the travels of the latter through Asia, Persia, China, and Indonesia between 1271 and 1291.It’s been a very famous and popular book since the 14th century, creating the image of Marco Polo as the icon of the bold traveller. Presenting Marco Polo as an important figure at the court of the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, the book was written in Old French by Rustichello da Pisa, a romance author of the time, who was reportedly working from accounts which he had heard from Marco Polo when they were imprisoned in Genoa, having been captured while on a ship.

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