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The Mirror of the Sea

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad

The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of autobiographical essays first published in various magazines. Conrad early in his life earned his bread as a Master Mariner in sailing ships. In his Author’s Note to this work, Conrad states,”Beyond the line of the sea horizon the world for me did not exist….Within these pages I make a full confession not of my sins but of my emotions. It is the best tribute my piety can offer to the ultimate shapers of my character, convictions, and, in a sense, destiny—to the imperishable sea, to the ships that are no more, and to the simple men who have had their day.”

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The Outlet

The Outlet by Andy Adams

The Outlet by Andy Adams

Andy Adams worked as a cowboy on trail drives from Texas for eight years. This is an account of a drive when he was the foreman of a herd of Texas cattle being driven to Montana. Expect the same quality writing as found in other books by Adams.

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Under the Andes

Under the Andes by Rex Stout

Under the Andes by Rex Stout

Under the Andes was written by Rex Stout years before his creation of the immensely popular Nero Wolfe series of novels, and while perhaps his future writing style is still blossoming, certainly his knack for weaving a fantastic tale of mystery and adventure will have most readers anxious for the next phase of adventure at every turn. The story finds two brothers and a pretty female companion on a journey which eventually takes them to a series of underground caves under the Andes of South America, where they encounter a lost tribe of Incas who have apparently survived hundreds of years oblivious of the outside world. The apparent ‘king’ of the tribe has become infatuated with the fair-skinned female intruder of the group and, well, suffice it to say there’s a lot of action, attempted escapes, heroism, and peculiar interactions between all, reminiscent of H. Rider Haggard with a touch of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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Our Old Home

Our Old Home by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Our Old Home by Nathaniel Hawthorne

These essays, based on Hawthorne’s stay in England from 1853 to 1857 as American Consul in Liverpool.

In these writings, he displays his humor, his empathetic nature, his pride in his country, and sometimes his sharp judgment of others. He shares with us the difficulties of being a consul in the 1850’s, takes us on a tour with him through rural England and Scotland, shows us the splendors of London, and the horrors of the poverty that so many suffered.

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How I Found Livingstone

How I Found Livingstone by Sir Henry Morton Stanley

How I Found Livingstone by Sir Henry Morton Stanley

Sir Henry Morton Stanley is famously quoted for saying “Dr Livingstone, i Presume?”. Born in Wales, he migrated over to the United States at the age of 18, and eventually became an overseas correspondent for the New York Herald. In 1869 Stanley was told by James Gordon Bennett Jr to find Livingstone, a scottish missionary and explorer, who was lost in central Africa. When Stanley commented on the cost Bennett’s reply was: “Well, I will tell you what you will do. Draw a thousand pounds now; and when you have gone through that, draw another thousand, and when that is spent, draw another thousand, and when you have finished that, draw another thousand, and so on; but, FIND LIVINGSTONE.”

How I Found Livingstone is Stanley’s personnel account of his 8 month trip from Zanzibar to Lake Tanganyika on this quest, including time spent exploring the area with Livingstone.

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A Lady’s Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia

A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia by Ellen Clacy

A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia by Ellen Clacy

“If you have visions of a middle-aged parasol-bearing lady smiling sweetly from her carriage as she tours Bendigo think again. In 1852, 20 year old clergyman’s daughter Ellen and her brother boarded ship for Melbourne then set off to walk to Bendigo. Dressed in her blue serge skirt which doubled as nightwear, she camped under a tent made of blankets, had mutton, damper and tea most meals and on arrival lent her hand to gold washing. And seemed to enjoy it !
And amongst other things she tells of colonial life , transportation, emigration and other gold-fields.
But you will need to listen to hear more about bush-rangers and orphans as well as what she did with her parasol.”

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Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria

Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria by William Westgarth

Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria by William Westgarth

Son of John Westgarth, surveyor-general of customs for Scotland, was born at Edinburgh. He was educated at the high schools at Leith and Edinburgh, and at Dr Bruce’s school at Newcastle-on-Tyne. He then entered the office of G. Young and Company of Leith, who were engaged in the Australian trade, and realizing the possibilities of the new land, decided to emigrate to Australia. He arrived in Melbourne, then a town of three or four thousand inhabitants, in December 1840.
When the new colony was constituted Westgarth headed the poll for Melbourne at the election for the legislative council. He had had many activities during the previous 10 years.
He revisited Australia in 1888 and was everywhere welcomed. When the Melbourne international exhibition was opened he walked in the procession through the avenue of nations alongside Mr Francis Henty, then the sole survivor of the brotherhood who founded Victoria. As a result of his visit two volumes appeared Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne and Victoria, in 1888, and Half a Century of Australasian Progress, in 1889. Returning to Great Britain Westgarth died suddenly at Edinburgh on 28 October 1889. He married in 1853 and left a widow and two daughters.

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Pictures from Italy

Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens

Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens

Dickens takes time off his novels to give an account of travels which he and his family undertook in France and Italy. There are vivid descriptions of the places, but also of the people and their lives.

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Roughing It in the Bush

Roughing It in the Bush by Susanna Moodie

Roughing It in the Bush by Susanna Moodie

‘Roughing It In the Bush’ is Susanna Moodie’s account of how she coped with the harshness of life in the woods of Upper Canada, as an Englishwoman homesteading abroad. Her narrative was constructed partly as a response to the glowing falsehoods European land-agents were circulating about life in the New World. Her chronicle is frank and humorous, and was a popular sensation at the time of its publication in 1852.

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The Story of Gösta Berling

The Story of Gösta Berling  by Selma Lagerlöf

The Story of Gösta Berling by Selma Lagerlöf

The tales are founded on actual occurrences and depict the life in the province of Värmland at the beginning of the 19th Century century. Värmland is a lonely tract in the southern part of Sweden, and has retained many of its old customs, while mining is the principal industry of its sparse population. It consists of great stretches of forest, sloping down to long, narrow lakes, connected by rivers.

Miss Lagerlöf has grown up in the midst of the wild legends of her country, and, deeply imbued with their spirit, interprets them with a living force all her own.

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