Free Classics

Free Classic: The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Every Friday, Marilyn Knapp Litt, who blogs at ClassicKindle.com, brings us her recommendation of a free classic book to discover (or rediscover) on Kindle. Find more of Marilyn’s recommendations at her blog, ClassicKindle.com, a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the Kindle. You can also get Marilyn’s blog on Kindle and I recommend that you “Like” the Classic Kindle Facebook page as well so you don’t miss anything. Here’s Marilyn’s post:

The Pilgrim’s Progress is a Christian Allegory from 1678 by John Bunyan. The book has never been out of print. It cannot easily be dismissed as old and out of step, because Progress has had a big influence on many classics that came after.

The edition offered here is Part I only. (Part 2 is the journey by the Pilgrim’s wife.) The Kindle version gets very good reviews

{11} In this plight, therefore, he went home and refrained himself as long as he could, that his wife and children should not perceive his distress; but he could not be silent long, because that his trouble increased. Wherefore at length he brake his mind to his wife and children; and thus he began to talk to them: O my dear wife, said he, and you the children of my bowels, I, your dear friend, am in myself undone by reason of a burden that lieth hard upon me; moreover, I am for certain informed that this our city will be burned with fire from heaven; in which fearful overthrow, both myself, with thee my wife, and you my sweet babes, shall miserably come to ruin, except (the which yet I see not) some way of escape can be found, whereby we may be delivered. At this his relations were sore amazed; not for that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but because they thought that some frenzy distemper had got into his head; therefore, it drawing towards night, and they hoping that sleep might settle his brains, with all haste they got him to bed. But the night was as troublesome to him as the day; wherefore, instead of sleeping, he spent it in sighs and tears. So, when the morning was come, they would know how he did. He told them, Worse and worse: he also set to talking to them again; but they began to be hardened. They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriages to him; sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him. Wherefore he began to retire himself to his chamber, to pray for and pity them, and also to condole his own misery; he would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading, and sometimes praying: and thus for some days he spent his time.

You readily get the idea. He is going to set out on his famous quest and he will meet Vanity Fair and dodge the Slough of Despond.

Thou hast met with something, as I perceive, already; for I see the dirt of the Slough of Despond is upon thee; but that slough is the beginning of the sorrows that do attend those that go on in that way. Hear me, I am older than thou; thou art like to meet with, in the way which thou goest, wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger, perils, nakedness, sword, lions, dragons, darkness, and, in a word, death, and what not!

Click here to get your free copy of Pilgrim’s Progress >>>

Free Classic: Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

Every Friday, Marilyn Knapp Litt, who blogs at ClassicKindle.com, brings us her recommendation of a free classic book to discover (or rediscover) on Kindle. Find more of Marilyn’s recommendations at her blog, ClassicKindle.com, a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the Kindle. You can also get Marilyn’s blog on Kindle and I recommend that you “Like” the Classic Kindle Facebook page as well so you don’t miss anything. Here’s Marilyn’s post:

Nicholas Nickleby; I love this Charles Dickens novel. I read it immediately after seeing a multi-hour stage adaptation that introduced me to characters I will remember my whole life. It may be that this novel was somewhat overlooked until that 1980 theatrical adaptation.

Amazon has a feature where they show Kindle readers favorite passages from a book. They are from the highlighting feature on Kindle. I actually found it annoying and turned it off, but I enjoy looking at the Amazon reviews and seeing the favorite quotes.

Here is one: “Dreams are the bright creatures of poem and legend, who sport on earth in the night season, and melt away in the first beam of the sun, which lights grim care and stern reality on their daily pilgrimage through the world.” Sounds sort of Shakespearean. And Dickens and Shakespeare have this in common; they knew people through and through.

‘Well, ma’am,’ said Ralph, impatiently, ‘the creditors have administered, you tell me, and there’s nothing left for you?’

‘Nothing,’ replied Mrs Nickleby.

‘And you spent what little money you had, in coming all the way to London, to see what I could do for you?’ pursued Ralph.

‘I hoped,’ faltered Mrs Nickleby, buynolvadexonlineshop.com ‘that you might have an opportunity of doing something for your brother’s children. It was his dying wish that I should appeal to you in their behalf.’

‘I don’t know how it is,’ muttered Ralph, walking up and down the room, ‘but whenever a man dies without any property of his own, he always seems to think he has a right to dispose of other people’s. What is your daughter fit for, ma’am?’

‘Kate has been well educated,’ sobbed Mrs Nickleby. ‘Tell your uncle, my dear, how far you went in French and extras.’

The poor girl was about to murmur something, when her uncle stopped her, very unceremoniously.

‘We must try and get you apprenticed at some boarding-school,’ said Ralph. ‘You have not been brought up too delicately for that, I hope?’

Here is a review of Nicholas Nickleby by a particularly intrepid Amazon reviewer who has done over a thousand reviews. “…Dickens turns his sights toward the abuse of Yorkshire schools – a national disgrace – in which children were effectively abandoned for a fee. Neglect, physical abuse, malnourishment, cold, and ill health were endemic. This political attack becomes the setting for an expansive tale of the Nickleby family and their ongoing struggle against the evil of their uncle Ralph. The usual collection of sub-plots, comedy and Dickensian characters rounds out a lengthy but fulfilling read that nobody will be sorry they started.”

You will miss these characters when you close the book. I should say you will miss these people that Dickens has introduced you to.

Click here to get your free copy of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens >>>

Free Classic: A Book of Remarkable Criminals by Henry Brodribb Irving

Every Friday, Marilyn Knapp Litt, who blogs at ClassicKindle.com, brings us her recommendation of a free classic book to discover (or rediscover) on Kindle. Find more of Marilyn’s recommendations at her blog, ClassicKindle.com, a guide to the best free and inexpensive classic literature for the Kindle. You can also get Marilyn’s blog on Kindle and I recommend that you “Like” the Classic Kindle Facebook page as well so you don’t miss anything. Here’s Marilyn’s post:

A Book of Remarkable Criminals by Henry Brodribb Irving is a nice little find if you are a crime buff. The criminals who are detailed are not familiar. You won’t find Jack the Ripper here or any infamous criminals. That is what makes the book a fun read. It was all new to me.

Such as:

It is not often that the gaunt spectre of murder invades the cloistered calm of academic life. Yet such a strange and unwonted tragedy befell Harvard University in the year 1849, when John W. Webster, Professor of Chemistry, took the life of Dr. George Parkman, a distinguished citizen of Boston. The scene of the crime, the old Medical School, now a Dental Hospital, is still standing, or was when the present writer visited Boston in 1907.

And:

Jenny Amenaide Brecourt was born in Paris in the year 1837. Her father was a printer, her mother sold vegetables. The parents neglected the child, but a lady of title took pity on her, and when she was five years old adopted her. Even as a little girl she was haughty and imperious. At the age of eight she refused to play with another child on the ground of her companion’s social inferiority. “The daughter of a Baroness,” she said, “cannot play with the daughter of a wine-merchant.” When she was eleven years old, her parents took her away from her protectress and sent her into the streets to sell gingerbread—a dangerous experience for a child of tender years.

Do you know either of those stories? I didn’t!

The book may be old –published 1918 – but that does not mean it can’t be creepy:

A man who worked for Holmes as a handy man at the castle stated to the police that in 1892 Holmes had given him a skeleton of a man to mount, and in January, 1893, showed him in the laboratory another male skeleton with some flesh still on it, which also he asked him to mount. As there was a set of surgical instruments in the laboratory and also a tank filled with a fluid preparation for removing flesh, the handy man thought that Holmes was engaged in some kind of surgical work.

The essay at the beginning has some footnotes in the text with a funky type, but the rest of the text seems to fine.

Click here to get your free copy of A Book of Remarkable Criminals by Henry Brodribb Irving >>>