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Month: May 2017

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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