Franklin wrote his autobiography in the form of an extended letter to his son. While recording the events of his life, he adds instructions for good living which makes this work America’s first “How to Succeed” book.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a memoir and treatise on abolition written by famous orator and ex-slave, Frederick Douglass. It is generally held to be the most famous of a number of narratives written by former slaves during the same period. In factual detail, the text describes the events of his life and is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of literature to fuel the abolitionist movement of the early 19th Century in the United States.
This short work of Wilde's was written during his two year incarceration for "gross indecency". This work is a letter which sorts out his life, and his love toward Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde wrote this as a farewell letter to Douglas.
Barnum, P. T.
Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman, businessman, and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
His successes may have made him the first "show business" millionaire. Although Barnum was also an author, publisher, philanthropist, and for some time a politician, he said of himself, "I am a showman by profession...and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me," and his personal aims were "to put money in his own coffers".
This is the first of five volumes. - Giacomo Casanova (1725 in Venice – 1798 in Dux, Bohemia, now Duchcov, Czech Republic) was a famous Venetian adventurer, writer, and womanizer. He used charm, guile, threats, intimidation, and aggression, when necessary, to conquer women, sometimes leaving behind children or debt. In his autobiography Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century, he mentions 122 women with whom he had sex.
Although he is often associated with Don Juan because both seduced many women, Casanova is in fact very different from his fictitious counterpart. While Don Juan is a legend, Casanova is a historical character.
Washington, Booker T.
Up From Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his slow and steady rise from a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools—most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama—to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by the bootstraps. He reflects on the generosity of both teachers and philanthropists who helped in educating blacks and native Americans. He describes his efforts to instill manners, breeding, health and a feeling of dignity to students.
The Story of My Life is a personal account of Helen Keller's life, from her early days to those as an adult. It includes how she came to meet her teacher Ann Sullivan, and learnt to communicate using the manual alphabet. It then goes on to chronicle her days as a college student.
This autobiography of Andrew Carnegie is a very well written and interesting history of one of the most wealthy men in the United states. He was born in Scotland in 1835 and emigrated to America in 1848. Among his many accomplishments and philanthropic works, he was an author, having written, besides this autobiography, Triumphant Democracy (1886; rev. ed. 1893), The Gospel of Wealth, a collection of essays (1900), The Empire of Business (1902), and Problems of To-day (1908)]. Although this autobiography was written in 1919, it was published posthumously in 1920.
Authentic Narratives of the Most Celebrated Sea Robbers.
Loyola, St. Ignatius
This account of the life of St. Ignatius, dictated by himself to Father Gonzalez, is a most valuable record of the great Founder of the Society of Jesus. It, more than any other work, gives an insight into the spiritual life of St. Ignatius. Few works in ascetical literature, except the writings of St. Teresa and St. Augustine, impart such a knowledge of the soul.The saint in his narrative always refers to himself in the third person, and this mode of speech has here been retained. Many persons who have neither the time, nor, perhaps, the inclination, to read larger works, will read, we trust, with pleasure and profit this autobiography. Ignatius, as he lay wounded in his brother's house, read the lives of the saints to while away the time. Touched by grace, he cried, "What St. Francis and St. Dominic have done, that, by God's grace, I will do." May this little book, in like manner, inspire its readers with the desire of imitating St. Ignatius. This autobiography is a valuable key for the understanding of his Spiritual Exercises. It was kept in the archives for about 150 years
Dyer, Frank Lewis
A detailed biography of Thomas Alva Edison, inventor of such things as the telephone, the microphone, the electric motor, the storage battery, and the electric light. In the words of the authors, "It is designed in these pages to bring the reader face to face with Edison; to glance at an interesting childhood and a youthful period marked by a capacity for doing things, and by an insatiable thirst for knowledge; then to accompany him into the great creative stretch of forty years, during which he has done so much. This book shows him plunged deeply into work for which he has always had an incredible capacity, reveals the exercise of his unsurpassed inventive ability, his keen reasoning powers, his tenacious memory, his fertility of resource; follows him through a series of innumerable experiments, conducted methodically, reaching out like rays of search-light into all the regions of science and nature, and finally exhibits him emerging triumphantly from countless difficulties bearing with him in new arts the fruits of victorious struggle." (written by Justin Barrett, with authors' quote taken from the work itself)
The Autobiography of Charles Darwin is the autobiography of the British naturalist Charles Darwin which was published in 1887, five years after his death.
Darwin wrote the book, which he entitled Recollections of the Development of my Mind and Character, for his family. He states that he started writing it on about May 28, 1876 and had finished it by August 3.
The book was edited by Charles Darwin's son Francis Darwin, who removed several passages about Darwin's critical views of God and Christianity (see Charles Darwin's views on religion).
The Lives of the Most Excellent Italian Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, from Cimabue to Our Times, or Le Vite delle più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori, as it was originally known in Italian, is a series of artist biographies written by 16th century Italian painter and architect Giorgio Vasari, which is considered "perhaps the most famous, and even today the most- read work of the older literature of art", "some of the Italian Renaissance's most influential writing on art", and "one of the founding texts in art history".
Vasari's work has been described as "by far the most influential single text for the history of Renaissance art" and "the most important work of Renaissance biography of artists". Its influence is situated mainly in three domains: as an example for contemporary and later biographers and art historians, as a defining factor in the view on the Renaissance and the role of Florence and Rome in it, and as a major source of information on the lives and works of early Italian artists.
Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) began writing his autobiography long before the 1906 publications of these Chapters from my Autobiography. He originally planned to have his memoirs published only after his death but realized, once he’d passed his 70th year, that a lot of the material might be OK to publish before his departure. These chapters were published in serial form in the North American Review during 1906-1907. While much of the material consists of stories about the people, places and incidents of his long life, there’re also several sections from his daughter, which he calls “Susy’s biography of me”.
Rockefeller, John D.
A good book by the oil revolutionist of the 20th century. As they say "Men should listen to experience" and this book is all about the experience of the second highest taxpayer of the US during the 20's. Though it is not in the book, this is a small poem he wrote:
I was early taught to work as well as play,
My life has been one long, happy holiday;
Full of work and full of play-
I dropped the worry on the way-
And God was good to me everyday.
The World I Live In by Helen Keller is a collection of essays that poignantly tells of her impressions of the world, through her sense of touch, smell, her imagination and dreams.
My hand is to me what your hearing and sight together are to you. In large measure we travel the same highways, read the same books, speak the same language, yet our experiences are different. All my comings and goings turn on the hand as on a pivot. It is the hand that binds me to the world of men and women. The hand is my feeler with which I reach through isolation and darkness and seize every pleasure, every activity that my fingers encounter. With the dropping of a little word from another's hand into mine, a slight flutter of the fingers, began the intelligence, the joy, the fullness of my life. Helen Keller, quoted from her essay, The Seeing Hand
J. Hudson Taylor
Join James Hudson Taylor on the God-led journey through his calling, time of preparation, and life work in China. This British Christian missionary founded China Inland Mission (CIM), now known as OMF International.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Col. Ingersoll begins his lectures on famous people as follows: "It is hard to overstate the debt we owe to the men and women of genius. Take from our world what they have given, and all the niches would be empty, all the walls naked—meaning and connection would fall from words of poetry and fiction, music would go back to common air, and all the forms of subtle and enchanting Art would lose proportion and become the unmeaning waste and shattered spoil of thoughtless Chance." One of the most famous orators of his day, a contemporary and personal friend of Mark Twain and General Grant, Ingersoll's lectures on famous people in this series include: SHAKESPEARE, ROBERT BURNS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VOLTAIRE, WALT WHITMAN; followed by inspiring speeches on THE GREAT INFIDELS; WHICH WAY? (science or superstition); and ABOUT THE HOLY BIBLE.Each lecture in Volume 3, plus 2 lectures on HUMBOLDT and THOMAS PAINE from Volume 1, and an essay on ERNEST RENAN from Volume 11 (of the 12 volume Dresden Edition), are presented on Librivox as a separate audiobook in the series called Ingersoll Lectures, Famous People. ( Michele Fry)
An intriguing look at well known women in history from BC 500 to the mid 1800's. Each chapter is a brief overview of one woman's life. An interesting read.
These volumes of slave narratives are the product of the Federal Writers Project sponsored by the Library of Congress and the Work Project Administration. They consist of verbatim records of personal interviews with former slaves conducted during 1936-1938.
"These life histories, taken down as far as possible in the narrators' words, constitute an invaluable body of unconscious evidence or indirect source material, . . . The narratives belong to folk history—history recovered from the memories and lips of participants or eye-witnesses,” This is volume two for the state of North Carolina.
Gordon, Irwin Leslie
A short, humorous biography of famous people from 5000 BC to 1914. -- S. McGaughey
From the Introduction, "The editor begs leave to inform the public that only persons who can produce proper evidence of their demise will be admitted to Who Was Who. Press Agent notices or complimentary comments are absolutely excluded, and those offering to pay for the insertion of names will be prosecuted. As persons become eligible they will be included without solicitation, while the pages will be expurgated of others should good luck warrant."
This is the biography of Abraham Lincoln, written by two of his private secretaries.
Lodge, Henry Cabot
Its purpose … is to tell in simple fashion the story of some Americans who showed that they knew how to live and how to die; who proved their truth by their endeavor; and who joined to the stern and manly qualities which are essential to the well-being of a masterful race the virtues of gentleness, of patriotism, and of lofty adherence to an ideal.
It is a good thing for all Americans … to remember the men who have given their lives in war and peace to the service of their fellow-countrymen, and to keep in mind the feats of daring and personal prowess done in time past by some of the many champions of the nation in the various crises of her history.
Being a Jew in Russia at the end of the 19th century was not easy at all. Jews were persecuted because of their religion. So the Jews found comfort in their ancient traditions. When Mary Antin's father decided that keeping to his traditions did not suit him anymore, he found no place in Russia. So he emigrated to America with his family. Life was not easy, though as a child, Mary describes life in Boston as almost perfect. A smart and dignified girl, Mary takes the good things in anything and writes her autobiography with a smile.
When you listen to Bridget reading this wonderful book, you can almost feel Mary Antin's trials and joys.
Eastman, Charles Alexander (Ohiyesa)
EVERY age, every race, has its leaders and heroes. There were over sixty distinct tribes of Indians on this continent, each of which boasted its notable men. The names and deeds of some of these men will live in American history, yet in the true sense they are unknown, because misunderstood. I should like to present some of the greatest chiefs of modern times in the light of the native character and ideals, believing that the American people will gladly do them tardy justice.
Guyon, Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte
Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon (commonly known as Madame Guyon) (April 13, 1648 - June 9, 1717) was a French mystic and one of the key advocates of Quietism. Quietism was considered heretical by the Roman Catholic Church, and she was imprisoned from 1695 to 1703 after publishing a book on the topic, A Short and Easy Method of Prayer. This translation is by Thomas Taylor Allen was first published in 1897. Allen's dates are unknown.
Bryant, Walter W.
This biography of Johannes Kepler begins with an account of what the world of astronomy was like before his time, then proceeds to a look at his early years. Two chapters deal with his working relationship with Tycho Brahe. These are followed by a look at Kepler's laws and his last years.
The book chronicles the extraordinary life and leadership of Rome’s Emperor Julius Caesar, from his early years to his assassination.
John McCrae, physician, soldier, and poet, died in France a Lieutenant-Colonel with the Canadian forces.
The poem which gives this collection of his lovely verse its name has been extensively reprinted, and received with unusual enthusiasm.The volume contains, as well, a striking essay in character by his friend, Sir Andrew MacPhail.
Mark Twain pulls no punches while exposing the "real" Percy Shelley in this scathing condemnation of Edward Dowden's "Life of Shelley". Even though, as Twain writes, "Shelley's life has the one indelible blot upon it, but is otherwise worshipfully noble and beautiful", Twain shows how Shelley's extra-marital conduct might easily be seen to have been the cause of his wife Harriet's suicide.
“Who can help laughing when an ordinary journalist seriously proposes to limit the subject-matter at the disposal of the artist?”
“We are dominated by journalism.... Journalism governs for ever and ever.”[/i]
One of the nastiest of the British tabloids was founded a year too late to join in the moral panic generated to accompany Oscar Wilde’s court appearances in 1895. Yet there was no shortage of hypocritical journalists posing as moral arbiters to the nation, then as now.
This compendium work - skilfully assembled by the editor, Stuart Mason - ends with transcript of Wilde’s first appearance in the Old Bailey, when he was cross-examined on the alleged immorality of his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The disastrous outcome of these trials provides an ironic conclusion to the earlier knockabout exchanges between Oscar and his reviewers. In these he is at his flamboyant best, revelling in the publicity he pretends to disdain. His brave performances in the dock did nothing, however, to save him from hard labour, the treadmill and complete physical and moral breakdown which the law found it necessary to inflict on him.
In contrast to the hacks and lawyers, two refreshingly open-minded Americans write perceptively about the novel, as does Walter Pater, the grand old man of Aestheticism.
This solo Librivox project complements a new dramatised reading of The Picture of Dorian Gray, currently in preparation, featuring the present reader as Narrator.
A Small Boy and Others is a book of autobiography by Henry James published in 1913. The book covers James's earliest years and discusses his intellectually active family, his intermittent schooling, and his first trips to Europe.
Browne, E. Gordon
This book is about the life of Queen Victoria (1819 to 1901). All nine of her children married into the royal houses of Europe. She became the longest reigning monarch and more. This book is a fascinating read about the woman behind the British Empire.
A biography of the Polish composer and virtuoso pianist Frédéric Chopin and a critical analysis of his work by American music writer and critic James Huneker.
Keysor, Jennie Ellis
Biographies of Raphael Santi, Murillo, Peter Paul Rubens, and Albrecht Durer. This is a wonderful tool for art study as there are references for further study, as well as ideas for language arts to incorporate into the study
Abbott, John S.C.
David "Davy" Crockett (August 17, 1786 – March 6, 1836) was a celebrated 19th century American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician. He is commonly referred to in popular culture by the epithet “King of the Wild Frontier.” He represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives, served in the Texas Revolution, and died at the Battle of the Alamo. This narrative attempts faithfully to record the influences under which David Crockett was reared and the incidents of his wild and wondrous life. It begins with his ancestors' immigration to the American wilderness, his adventures among the Indians, his political career in Tennessee and beyond, and ending with his heroic stand at the Alamo.
Bolton, Sarah Knowles
This book is a collection of short biographies of notable women, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, Florence Nightingale, and many others.
Henry Walton Bibb was born a slave. His father was white although his identity was not positively known. Bibb was separated from his mother at a very young age and hired out to other slave owners for most of his childhood. Always yearning for his freedom, he made his first escape from slavery in 1842. He was recaptured and escaped, recaptured and escaped over and over; but he never gave up on his desire to be a man in control of his own destiny.
Bibb eventually escaped the bondage of servitude for good and dedicated his life to speaking out against the institution of slavery. In the process he helped others obtain their freedom. He published Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, and American Slave in 1849 telling the story of his daily life as a slave, as a runaway and as a free man. He also illustrated the depravity of that “man-destroying system” and the “idea of utter helplessness in perpetual bondage.”
Bibb stated in his Author's Preface that there were other very popular slave narratives published before his own; nevertheless, the uniqueness of his story is in the details of his experiences which, like the others, shine a glaringly truthful beam of light on the sins of this nation. Ultimately Bibb made his way to Canada where in 1851 he published the first black newspaper of that Country, Voice of the Fugitive. He died in 1854 at the age of 39.
Nicolay, John George
John G. Nicolay was Abraham Lincoln’s private White House secretary. With assistant secretary, John Hay, he wrote the two volume definitive biography of Lincoln, "Abraham Lincoln, a Biography." Although this is a condensation by Nicolay of that biography, it is still a sizable work and a fairly thorough treatment of the life of the 16th president of the United States.
An account given of the lives of five great naturalists (Hippocrates, Aristotle, Galen, Vesalius and Harvey) will not be found devoid of interest. The work of each one of them marked a definite advance in the science of Biology.
There is often among students of anatomy and physiology a tendency to imagine that the facts with which they are now being made familiar have all been established by recent observation and experiment. But even the slight knowledge of the history of Biology, which may be obtained from a perusal of this little book, will show that, so far from such being the case, this branch of science is of venerable antiquity. And, further, if in the place of this misconception a desire is aroused in the reader for a fuller acquaintance with the writings of the early anatomists the chief aim of the author will have been fulfilled.
Mary Stoyell Stimpson
In every country there have been certain men and women whose busy lives have made the world better or wiser. The names of such are heard so often that every child should know a few facts about them. It is hoped the very short stories told here may make boys and girls eager to learn more about these famous people. (from the Forward of the text)
Williams, Henry L.
The Abraham Lincoln Statue at Chicago is accepted as the typical Westerner of the forum, the rostrum, and the tribune, as he stood to be inaugurated under the war-cloud in 1861. But there is another Lincoln as dear to the common people--the Lincoln of happy quotations, the speaker of household words. Instead of the erect, impressive, penetrative platform orator we see a long, gaunt figure, divided between two chairs for comfort, the head bent forward, smiling broadly, the lips curved in laughter, the deep eyes irradiating their caves of wisdom; the story-telling Lincoln, enjoying the enjoyment he gave to others.
Benjamin Griffith Brawley
Noted African-American author and educator, Benjamin Brawley, presents short biographies of other African-Americans in the fields of literature and other arts including poets, artists, musicians, and orators. These range from well known figures such as poets Paul Laurence Dunbar and William Stanley Braithwaite to lesser known artists such as composer Will Marion Cook and sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller. Works from many of the authors discussed are available in the LibriVox catalog.
Ellis, Edward S.
Christopher Carson, or as he was familiarly called, Kit Carson, was a man whose real worth was understood only by those with whom he was associated or who closely studied his character. He was more than hunter, trapper, guide, Indian agent and Colonel in the United States Army....His lot was cast on the extreme western frontier, where, when but a youth, he earned the respect of the tough and frequently lawless men with whom he came in contact. Integrity, bravery, loyalty to friends, marvelous quickness in making right decisions, in crisis of danger, consummate knowledge of woodcraft, a leadership as skilful as it was daring; all these were distinguishing traits in the composition of Carson and were the foundations of the broader fame which he acquired as the friend and invaluable counselor of Fremont, the Pathfinder, in his expeditions across the Rocky Mountains.
"If, in these pages, written in remembrance of my father, I should tell you, my dear friends, nothing new of him, I can, at least, promise you that what I shall tell will be told faithfully, if simply, and perhaps there may be some things not familiar to you." So begins chapter one of My Father as I Recall Him, the personal recollections of Mary Dickens, (Mamie, as she was called), the oldest daughter of the great novelist, Charles Dickens.
In all the region of autobiography, so far as I know it, I do not know quite the like of Mr. Garland's story of his life, and I should rank it with the very greatest of that kind in literature. . . . It is the poet who sees the vast scale of human struggle with nature or the things she will withhold unless they are forced from her by man's tireless toil and mighty mechanism, and in the vision he knows a battle-joy as distinctive of this Son of the Middle Border as his fidelity to the sordid and squalid details of the campaign, or his exultation of the beauty of the West which he has so passionately hated and finally so passionately loves. As you read the story of his life you realize it the memorial of a generation, of a whole order of American experience; as you review it you perceive it an epic of such mood and make as has not been imagined before.
Sir Frank T. Marzials
Early biography of Charles Dickens published just 17 years after Dickens' death. Summary by Colleen McMahon
Frederika Richardson Macdonald
Twenty years ago, now, I attempted (but was not especially successful in the task) to establish upon the personal knowledge that my own residence as a pupil in the historical Pensionnat in the Rue d'Isabelle, at Bruxelles gave me of the facts of Charlotte Brontë's relationships to Monsieur and Madame Heger, right impressions about the experiences and emotions she underwent between 1842 and 1846, and that supply the key and clue to the right interpretation of her genius. Every opinion I then ventured to state, not upon the authority of any special power of divination or of psychological insight of my own, but solely upon the authority of this personal knowledge of Monsieur and Madame Heger in my early girlhood, and also of the information I owed to the friendship and kind assistance given me, in my endeavour to rectify false judgments, by the Heger family, has quite recently, not only been confirmed, but established upon entirely incontrovertible evidence, by the generous gift made to English readers throughout the world of the key needed to unlock once and for ever the tragical but romantic 'Secret' of Charlotte Brontë.
Lighton, William R.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark - In the years 1804, 1805, and 1806, two men commanded an expedition which explored the wilderness that stretched from the mouth of the Missouri River to where the Columbia enters the Pacific,
and dedicated to civilization a new empire. Their names were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. This book relates that adventure from it's inception through it's completion as well as the effect the expedition had upon the history of the United States.
Warner, Charles Dudley
Warner's thoughtful and often humorous memoir of his life as a young farm-boy in Charlemont, Massachusetts.