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Month: July 2021

The English Governess at the Siamese Court

The English Governess at the Siamese Court by Anna Harriette Leonowens

The English Governess at the Siamese Court by Anna Harriette Leonowens

1862 Anna Leonowens accepted an offer made by the Siamese consul in Singapore, Tan Kim Ching, to teach the wives and children of Mongkut, king of Siam. The king wished to give his 39 wives and concubines and 82 children a modern Western education on scientific secular lines, which earlier missionaries’ wives had not provided. Leonowens sent her daughter Avis to school in England, and took her son Louis with her to Bangkok. She succeeded Dan Beach Bradley, an American missionary, as teacher to the Siamese court.

Leonowens served at court until 1867, a period of nearly six years, first as a teacher and later as language secretary for the king. Although her position carried great respect and even a degree of political influence, she did not find the terms and conditions of her employment to her satisfaction, and came to be regarded by the king himself as a rather difficult woman.

In 1868 Leonowens was on leave for her health in England and had been negotiating a return to the court on better terms when Mongkut fell ill and died. The king mentioned Leonowens and her son in his will, though they did not receive the legacy. The new monarch, fifteen-year-old Chulalongkorn, who succeeded his father, wrote Leonowens a warm letter of thanks for her services.

By 1869 Leonowens was in New York, and began contributing travel articles to a Boston journal, Atlantic Monthly, including ‘The Favorite of the Harem’, reviewed by the New York Times as ‘an Eastern love story, having apparently a strong basis of truth’.She expanded her articles into two volumes of memoirs, beginning with The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870), which earned her immediate fame but also brought charges of sensationalism. In her writing she casts a critical eye over court life; the account is not always a flattering one, and has become the subject of controversy in Thailand; she has also been accused of exaggerating her influence with the king.”

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Some Haunted Houses

Some Haunted Houses by Elliott O'Donnell

Some Haunted Houses by Elliott O'Donnell

Old buildings necessarily have a history. It is not always a happy history and folklore abounds. Sometimes unhappy souls come back to haunt the current residents or their guests. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these narratives provide a fascinating insight into the history of the buildings and the hysteria they may induce.

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Indian Home Rule

Indian Home Rule by Mahatma Gandhi

Indian Home Rule by Mahatma Gandhi

First written in Gandhi’s native language Gujarati, this booklet advocates for Indian non-violent self-rule during the struggle for Indian independence against the British Empire. It is written as a dialogue between two characters. In it, the “Reader” serves as a typical Indian countryman (the targeted audience for Hind Swaraj), who voices common beliefs and arguments of the time concerning Indian independence, while Gandhi, the “Editor,” explains why those arguments are flawed and interjects his own valuable arguments of self-reliance, passive resistance and the Indian identity.

The Gujarati-language publication was banned from publication by the British in India, causing Gandhi to translate it to English himself to evade the British authorities, as well as rally support from English-speaking Indians and international supporters of independence. It is now considered the intellectual blueprint of India’s independence movement.

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Perfumes and Their Preparation

Perfumes and Their Preparation by George William Askinson

Perfumes and Their Preparation by George William Askinson

Most of us take for granted the sense of smell. It gives pleasure, warning, anticipation and a sense of nostalgia. People have used perfumes since the days of Ancient Persia and Egypt in order to improve their personal smell. In this work, Askinson traces the history of perfumery and gives us an overview of the sources of perfumes and how they are manipulated to enhance our lives.

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Growth of the Soil

Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun

Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun

WINNER Nobel Prize in Literature

Growth of the Soil is the novel by Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun which won him the Nobel Prize in Literature. The essential elements of this novel are expressed in the words of the English translator W.W. Worster in his footnote: ‘It is the life story of a man in the wilds, the genesis and gradual development of a homestead, the unit of humanity, in the unfilled, uncleared tracts that still remain in the Norwegian Highlands. It is an epic of earth; the history of a microcosm. Its dominant note is one of patient strength and simplicity; the mainstay of its working is the tacit, stern, yet loving alliance between Nature and the Man who faces her himself, trusting to himself and her for the physical means of life, and the spiritual contentment with life which she must grant if he be worthy. . .The story is epic in its magnitude, in its calm, steady progress and un-hurrying rhythm, in its vast and intimate humanity. The author looks upon his characters with a great, all-tolerant sympathy, aloof yet kindly, as a god.’

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E-books & Audiobooks to Improve your Confidence

All You Can Books: Your E-book hub

Confidence can be interpreted as an inspiration from a self-help book, or even your favorite character from a fictional book. It is time to get inspired and boost your confidence through these e-books and audiobook:

Laugh and Live by Douglas Fairbanks

Laugh and Live | Douglas Fairbanks

This book is available in e-book and audiobook format.

Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. was an American actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films such as The Thief of Baghdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro. His book, Laugh and Live, is a book about positive virtues and advice for leading a good, healthy, and successful life. An advisory about this book is in order. It was written at a time when “men went to work, women kept house, and supported their man”. Some of the writing and references are old-fashioned by today’s standards. Several ideas may be at odds with plans for successful lives today, especially for female listeners. Listeners should still find many valuable common-sense suggestions for leading a wholesome life

Thinking As A Science by Henry Hazlitt

Thinking As A Science | Henry Hazlitt

This book is available in e-book and audiobook format.

Written in a conversational style that will appeal to the younger person as well as seasoned professional, “Thinking as a Science” is timeless classic. Through eleven chapters, the last being a descriptive, annotated bibliography, Henry Hazlitt systematically takes the step-by-step on the process of introducing logic and context into the thinking process. The rather long chapter on “Reading and Thinking” clarifies several notions on where one needs to understand where mere knowledge acquisition ends and using reading the stimulate thinking begins. For an individual who was largely self taught, Hazlitt’s contribution to the process of thinking is a must-read

The Wisdom of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton

The Wisdom of Father Brown | G. K. Chesterton

This book is available in e-book and audiobook format.

This is the second of five books of short stories about G. K. Chesterton’s fictional detective. Father Brown is a short, nondescript Catholic Priest with shapeless clothes and a large umbrella who has an uncanny insight into human evil. His methods, unlike those of his near-contemporary Sherlock Holmes, although based on observation of details often unnoticed by others, tended to be intuitive rather than deductive. Although clearly devout, he always emphasizes rationality: despite his religiousness and his belief in God and miracles, he manages to see the perfectly ordinary, natural explanation of the problem. He is a devout, educated and “civilized” clergyman, who is totally familiar with contemporary and secular thought and behavior. His character was thought to be based on Father John O’Connor, a parish priest in Bradford, Yorkshire.

Making Your Own World by Warren Hilton

Making Your Own World | Warren Hilton

This book is available in e-book format.

I. All human achievement comes about through bodily activity.

II. All bodily activity is caused, controlled and directed by the mind.

To these two fundamental propositions we now append a third, which needs no proof, but follows as a natural and logical conclusion from the other two:

III. The Mind is the instrument you must employ for the accomplishment of any purpose.
Three Postulates for this Course

With these three fundamental propositions as postulates, it will be the end and aim of this Course of Reading to develop plain, simple and specific methods and directions for the most efficient use of the mind in the attainment of practical ends.

It Can Be Done

It Can Be Done |

This book is available in e-book and audiobook format.

This book contains many poems of inspiration, joy and hope. Just the thing to encourage our spirits and strengthen our backbone when troubles seem too much. The purpose of this volume is to bring men courage and resolution, to cheer them, to fire them with new confidence when they grow dispirited, to strengthen their faith that THINGS CAN BE DONE. It is better for this purpose than the entire works of any one poet, for it takes the cream of many and has greater diversity than any one writer can show. Besides the poems themselves, the volume contains helps to their understanding and enjoyment. The pieces are introduced by short comments; these serve the same purpose as the strain played by the pianist before the singer begins to sing; they create a mood, give a point of view, throw light on the meaning of what follows.

Do check out our lists of cookbooks & part 2, self-help, books of humor, Horror booksReligious BooksRomance Part 1 and Part 2Short Stories Children’s books part 2Books on Nature and Science and Language courses Part 1 and Part 2.

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