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Veröffentlicht unter Chinesische Philosophie | 2 Kommentare

The Piazza Tales

The Piazza Tales – Herman Melville

‘The Piazza Tales’ is a collection of short stories by Herman Melville. The volume contains the following stories:

The Piazza
Bartleby
Benito Cereno
The Lightning-Rod Man
The Encantadas
The Bell-Tower

The Piazza Tales

The Piazza Tales

The Piazza Tales.

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9783849671693.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Some background on The Piazza Tales (from Wikipedia):

In addition to the five stories, Melville wrote an introductory story for which the volume was titled. Scholar Douglas Robillard believes that this served the purpose of making the stories to appear „more closely joined than they actually are.“

The contract for the book was signed on 17 March 1856, it was advertised on 5 April as „in press“ and should have been available by 15 May–though a copy was deposited for copyright on May 20. The volume was printed by Miller & Holman, Printers and Stereotypers, of New York, as a duodecimo volume of 431 pages, excluding seven pages of advertisements for other product by the same publishers. Biographer Parker observes that to reach that number of pages the book was padded out by leaving excessive white space. The front and back covers were ornamented by a border of rules and rosettes. The spine displayed the title, names of author and publishers stamped in gold, and the volume was priced at $1.00. In June the book was advertised together with another as „TWO GOOD SUMMER BOOKS“.

2,500 copies were printed, of which only 1,047 were sold by the end of August, not enough to cover expenses.

In 1922, three years after the centennial of Melville’s birth, the first reissue of the collection appeared as part of the Constable collected edition.

„The Lightning-Rod Man“ was chosen for inclusion in William Evans Burton’s Cyclopediae of Wit and Humor of 1857, with an illustration by Henry Louis Stephens. No other original illustration for one of his works appeared during Melville’s lifetime. Resissues of the book, under a variety of titles, appeared until 1898, making „The Lightning-Rod Man“ the one Melville tale to be available throughout his lifetime.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Melville, Herman | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Story Of Jesus

The Story Of Jesus – Ellen Gould White

‚The Story Of Jesus‘ is Ellen Gould White’s adaptation of her own work ‘Christ Our Saviour’ for a children’s audience. This beautiful narrative of Jesus‘ life on earth was prepared by the author’s son while he was working with mostly illiterate slaves in the South of the United States. It is wonderful to read and tell, even for persons with a limited vocabulary.

The Story Of Jesus

The Story Of Jesus

Format: Paperback.

The Story Of Jesus.

ISBN: 9783849671686.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Biography of Ellen Gould White (from wikipedia.com)

Ellen Gould White (née Harmon; November 26, 1827 – July 16, 1915) was a prolific author and an American Christian pioneer. Along with other Sabbatarian Adventist leaders such as Joseph Bates and her husband James White, she formed what became known as the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Smithsonian magazine named Ellen G. White among 100 Most Significant American Figures, in an acknowledgement of her influence on religion.

White reported her visionary experiences to her fellow believers. James White and others of the Adventist pioneers viewed these experiences as the Biblical gift of prophecy as outlined in Revelation 12:17 and Revelation 19:10 which describe the testimony of Jesus as the „spirit of prophecy“. Her Conflict of the Ages series of writings endeavor to showcase the hand of God in Biblical history and in church history. This cosmic conflict, referred to by Seventh-day Adventist theologians as the „Great Controversy theme“, became foundational to the development of Seventh-day Adventist theology. Her book on successful Christian living, Steps to Christ, has been published in more than 140 languages.

White was considered a somewhat controversial figure by her critics, with much of the controversy centering on her reports of visionary experiences and on the use of other sources in her writings. She experienced her first vision soon after the Millerite Great Disappointment of 1844. Historian Randall Balmer has described White as „one of the more important and colorful figures in the history of American religion“. Walter Martin described her as „one of the most fascinating and controversial personages ever to appear upon the horizon of religious history“. Arthur L. White, her grandson and biographer, writes that Ellen G. White is the most translated female non-fiction author in the history of literature, as well as the most translated American non-fiction author of either gender. Her writings covered a broad range of subjects, including religion, social relationships, prophecy, publishing, nutrition, creationism, agriculture, theology, evangelism, Christian lifestyle, education and health. She advocated vegetarianism. She promoted and was instrumental in the establishment of schools and medical centers. During her lifetime she wrote more than 5,000 periodical articles and 40 books. As of 2015 more than 100 White titles are available in English, including compilations from her 100,000 pages of manuscript. Some of her other notable books include The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Christology, The Sacred Books (English) | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

An Antarctic Mystery

An Antarctic Mystery – Jules Verne

Hardly ever in literature has any author adopted the plot of another and carried it forward beyond the lines of its creator. Yet this is precisely what Jules Verne has done with Poe’s story called Narrative of A. Gordon Pym, and the two great inventive minds thus unite in forming Verne’s tale entitled An Antarctic Mystery. The author has brought to the telling of his story all the old creative skill, the dashing love of adventure, and a surprising show of knowledge of the flora and fauna and the geography of the Antarctic seas. The hero of the book takes passage from the far-off Kerguelen Islands on the ship Halbrane, whose captain, Len Guy, had been very reluctant to carry him because it was impossible to tell where they might make port. But Mr. Joerling persisted and accomplished his purpose. The captain was an eccentric and silent man, yet when Mr. Joerling informed him that Connecticut was his home he showed a sudden interest. This was because the captain knew of the nearness of Connecticut to the Island of Nantucket, whence Pym and his companions had sailed on their disastrous voyage. It turns out that Len Guy is the brother of Poe’s Captain Guy, and that his sole aim in life is to discover this brother,—lost in the Arctic ice. In fulfilment of the purpose, which had become a monomania, the Halbrane sailed for the Arctic seas, and there adventures were encountered which will astonish and delight every reader, young or old. Indeed, an Antarctic mystery is essentially a book for young people, but, like its predecessor, it will startle the old as well.

An Antarctic Mystery

An Antarctic Mystery

Format: Paperback.

An Antarctic Mystery.

ISBN: 9783849671679.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of An Antarctic Mystery (from Wikipedia):

The story is set in 1839, eleven years after the events in Arthur Gordon Pym, one year after the publication of that book.

The narrator is a wealthy American Jeorling, who has entertained himself with private studies of the wildlife on the Kerguelen Islands and is now looking for a passage back to the USA. Halbrane is one of the first ships to arrive at Kerguelen, and its captain Len Guy somewhat reluctantly agrees to have Jeorling as a passenger as far as Tristan da Cunha.

Underway, they meet a stray iceberg with a dead body on it, which turns out to be a sailor from Jane. A note found with him indicates that he and several others including Jane’s captain William Guy had survived the assassination attempt at Tsalal and are still alive.

Guy, who had talked to Jeorling earlier about the subject of Pym, reveals himself to be the brother of William Guy. He decides to try to come to the rescue of Jane’s crew. After taking on provisions on Tristan da Cunha and the Falklands, they head South with Jeorling still on board. They also take aboard another mysterious sailor named Hunt who is eager to join the search for undisclosed reasons.

Extraordinarily mild weather allows the Halbrane to make good progress, and they break the pack ice barrier, which surrounds an ice-free Antarctic ocean, early in summer. They find first Bennet’s islet, where Jane had made a stop, and finally Tsalal. But the island is completely devastated, apparently by a recent massive earthquake, and deserted. They find the remains of Tsalal’s natives, who apparently died long beforethe earthquake, and the collar of Pym’s dog, Tiger, but no trace of Jane.

At this point, Hunt is revealed to be Dirk Peters. On their travel south of Tsalal, he and Pym had become separated, and only Peters made it safely back to the States where he, not Pym, instigated the publication of their voyage. Pym’s diary, in Peters‘ possession, had apparently been significantly embellished by Poe. Upon returning home, Peters took on a new identity, because he was too ashamed of having resorted to cannibalism on the wreck of Grampus.

Guy and Peters decide to push further south, much to the chagrin of a part of the crew led by one seaman Hearne, who feels they should abandon the rescue attempt and head home before the onset of winter.

Not much later, in a freak accident, Halbrane is thrown upon an iceberg and subsequently lost. The crew makes it safely onto the iceberg, but with only one small boat left, it is doomed to drift on. The iceberg drifts even past the South Pole, before the whole party is cast ashore on a hitherto unknown land mass still within the pack ice barrier. Hearne and his fellows steal the last remaining boat, trying to make it to the open sea on their own, and making the situation even bleaker for those left behind who now face the prospect of wintering in the Antarctic.

They are lucky, however, as shortly thereafter they see a small boat of aboriginal style drifting by. Peters is the first to react as he swims out toward the boat and secures it. But Peters finds more: In the boat, there are captain William Guy and the three surviving seamen of his crew, semiconscious and close to death by starvation. Peters brings them ashore, and the men from Halbrane nurse them back to life.

William Guy then recounts their story. Shortly after the explosion of Jane (and presumably the departure of Pym’s company), Tiger appeared again. Rabid, he bit and infected the natives who quickly fell victim to the new disease. Those who could fled to the neighboring islands, where they perished later in the course of the earthquake.

Up to this point, William Guy and his men had lived fairly comfortably on Tsalal, which was now their own, but after the quake found their position untenable and made a desperate attempt in the boat to escape north.

The combined crews of Halbrane and Jane decide to try to make it north in their newly acquired boat. They make good progress, until they notice the appearance of strong magnetic forces. They find the source of it, the Ice Sphinx: A huge mountain magnetically „charged“ by the particle streams that get focused on the poles through Earth’s magnetic field.

Here, they find the remains of Hearne’s team, which came to grief when the Ice Sphinx’s immense magnetic forces attracted their iron tools and boat components to it and smashed them on its rocks. The boat of Joerling and the others only escaped destruction because, being built by the natives, it contained no iron parts.

At the foot of the Sphinx, they also find the body of Pym, who came to death the same way. Peters dies from grief on the same spot. The others embark again in their boat, and finally reach the open ocean and are rescued.

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Verne, Jules | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

A Home Course in Mental Science

A Home Course in Mental Science – Helen Wilmans

You were meant to achieve a great success. You can learn how to be well, strong, prosperous and happy. You can overcome disease, poverty, fear, worry, weakness of all kinds. You can do, have, and be far more than you ever dared to attempt, or even thought possible. You have wonderful powers of mind and body, that you need only recognize and use in order to reach the very height of your noblest ambitions and aspirations. The mission of these lessons is to help you believe all this, and prove it. The author of the lessons did prove it, before writing the lessons. They are not rainbow dreams of speculation, but live chapters of personal experience taken from the record of a teacher, healer and philosopher known throughout the world as one of the most powerful thinkers and leaders that the world has produced. Millions of people today who are using practical psychology in their professional duties, business problems, home relations or personal life gained their first knowledge of how to succeed from the author of these lessons. Not only a teacher, but a teacher of teachers, this pioneer metaphysician gave to hundreds of teachers and healers a vision of what they could do for their students and patients, and a vital impulse and force irresistible and inexhaustible.

A Home Course in Mental Science

A Home Course in Mental Science

Format: Paperback.

A Home Course in Mental Science.

ISBN: 9783849671662.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Mental Science and New Thought (from Wikipedia):

Some time after his healing, William Walker Atkinson (a.k.a. Theron Q. Dumont) began to write articles on the truths he felt he had discovered, which were then known as Mental Science. In 1889, an article by him entitled „A Mental Science Catechism,“ appeared in Charles Fillmore’s new periodical, Modern Thought.

By the early 1890s Chicago had become a major centre for New Thought, mainly through the work of Emma Curtis Hopkins, and Atkinson decided to move there. Once in the city, he became an active promoter of the movement as an editor and author. He was responsible for publishing the magazines Suggestion (1900–1901), New Thought (1901–1905) and Advanced Thought (1906–1916).

In 1900 Atkinson worked as an associate editor of Suggestion, a New Thought Journal, and wrote his probable first book, Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life, being a series of lessons in personal magnetism, psychic influence, thought-force, concentration, will-power, and practical mental science.

He then met Sydney Flower, a well-known New Thought publisher and businessman, and teamed up with him. In December, 1901 he assumed editorship of Flower’s popular New Thought magazine, a post which he held until 1905. During these years he built for himself an enduring place in the hearts of its readers. Article after article flowed from his pen. Meanwhile, he also founded his own Psychic Club and the so-called „Atkinson School of Mental Science“. Both were located in the same building as Flower’s Psychic Research and New Thought Publishing Company.

Atkinson was a past president of the International New Thought Alliance.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Mind Power (English) | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Book Of Ceremonial Magic

The Book Of Ceremonial Magic – Arthur Edward Waite

This book is the second edition of a work which in its first edition was titled, more provocatively, The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts. This book is an attempt to synthesize the procedures of all of the famous Grimoires. It draws on the Key of Solomon, the Grimorium Verum, the apocryphal Fourth Book of Cornelius Agrippa, and many others, including the famous Black Pullet, or Poulet Noir. While Waite is careful in his analysis of the various Grimoires, he treats the subject matter skeptically. The result is an unparalleled look at the details of ceremonial magic.

The Book Of Ceremonial Magic

The Book Of Ceremonial Magic

Format: Paperback.

The Book Of Ceremonial Magic.

ISBN: 9783849672218.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Waite and the Order of the Golden Dawn (from wikipedia.com)

Waite joined the Outer Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in January 1891 after being introduced by E.W. Berridge. In 1893 he withdrew from the Golden Dawn. In 1896 he rejoined the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1899 he entered the Second order of the Golden Dawn. He became a Freemason in 1901, and entered the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia in 1902. In 1903 Waite founded the Independent and Rectified Order R. R. et A. C. This Order was disbanded in 1914. The Golden Dawn was torn by internal feuding until Waite’s departure in 1914; in July 1915 he formed the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, not to be confused with the Societas Rosicruciana. By that time there existed some half-dozen offshoots from the original Golden Dawn, and as a whole it never recovered.

Aleister Crowley, Waite’s foe, referred to him as the villainous „Arthwate“ in his novel Moonchild and referred to him as „Dead Waite“ in his magazine Equinox. Lovecraft has a villainous wizard in his short story „The Thing on the Doorstep“ called Ephraim Waite; according to Robert M. Price, this character was based on Waite.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Occultism, The Sacred Books (English) | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Life Of Mahomet

The Life Of Mahomet – Washington Irving

The poverty of our literature in reference to Mahomet and Mahometanism is so conspicuous and so inconvenient that we may well receive with gratitude the author’s very able endeavour to relieve it. With freedom from prejudice and independence of judgment, he combines an extensive and intimate knowledge of the most authentic sources of information, and, after several years of labour, has produced this volume in the hope of contributing to the complete elucidation and final settlement of Mahomet’s real character and claims. After a careful examination of them, and after comparing them with those of sundry of his predecessors and contemporaries, it appears to us that the author has abundant reason to be gratified with the success he has achieved. Most conscientiously prepared, and based on authorities whom the Moslems themselves appeal to as decisive, his work may be used with equal confidence both by the historian and the controversialist. We heartily commend it to every one who, on so important a subject, desires to have what, on the whole, is probably the best and most complete book in any language, and shall avail. ourselves of it and of other sources of information, in this paper, to present a few of the leading events of the Prophet’s life, with a view to a brief illustration of his character and of the means and meaning of his success.

The Life Of Mahomet

The Life Of Mahomet

Format: Paperback.

The Life Of Mahomet.

ISBN: 9783849672201.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Biography of Washington Irving (from Wikipedia):

Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories „Rip Van Winkle“ (1819) and „The Legend of Sleepy Hollow“ (1820), both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. His historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith, and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors and the Alhambra. Irving served as the U.S. ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

He made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. After moving to England for the family business in 1815, he achieved international fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. in 1819–20. He continued to publish regularly—and almost always successfully—throughout his life, and just eight months before his death (at age 76, in Tarrytown, New York), completed a five-volume biography of George Washington.

Irving, along with James Fenimore Cooper, was among the first American writers to earn acclaim in Europe, and Irving encouraged American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. Irving was also admired by some European writers, including Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Francis Jeffrey, and Charles Dickens. As United States first genuine internationally best-selling author, Irving advocated for writing as a legitimate profession and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Biographies (English), Classics of Fiction (English), Irving, Washington | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Begum’s Fortune

The Begum’s Fortune – Jules Verne

Jules Verne’s conceptions are as brilliant as ever. Dr. Sarrasin, a French savant, simple in taste and absorbed in science, delivers an address at the Brighton Scientific Association. The publication of it with his name in ‚ The Daily Telegraph‘ discovers him to a London lawyer as the lost heir of the Begum, whom his uncle had married in India. He inherits a moderate property of twenty-one millions sterling, all ready for him in the Bank of England. Dr. Schultz, a German professor, also a connection by marriage, threatens to dispute it. They settle the dispute by dividing it. Dr. Sarrasin founds in the Rocky Mountains a city of health, modelled on Dr. Richardson’s lines. Dr. Schultz founds at thirty miles distance a stupendous cannon manufactory. One piece fires a shot with a velocity and force that give it perpetual motion. He resolves to destroy Dr. Sarrasin’s city. How he fails and perishes by his own science the story must tell ; but it is prodigious. The magnificence and the verisimilitude are perfect.

The Begum's Fortune

The Begum’s Fortune

Format: Paperback.

The Begum’s Fortune.

ISBN: 9783849672195.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of The Begum’s Fortune (from Wikipedia):

Two men receive the news that they are part-inheritors to a vast fortune. They are the last surviving descendants of a French soldier-of-fortune who many years before settled in India and married the immensely rich widow of a native prince – the begum of the title.

One of the inheritors is a gentle French physician, Dr. Sarrasin, who has long been concerned with the unsanitary conditions of European cities. He decides to use his share of the inheritance to establish a utopian model city which would be constructed and maintained with public health as the primary concern of its government.

The other inheritor is a far from gentle German scientist Prof. Schultze – very stereotypically presented as an arrogant militarist and racist, who becomes increasingly power-mad in the course of the book. Though having had himself a French grandmother, (otherwise he would not have gotten the inheritance), he is completely convinced of the innate superiority of the „Saxon“ (i.e., German) over the „Latin“ (primarily, the French) which would lead to the eventual total destruction of the latter by the former. When first introduced to the reader, he is in the process of composing a supposedly scholarly paper entitled „Why do all French people suffer, to one degree or another, from hereditary degeneration?“, to be published in the German journal Physiological Annals (though his official academic specialty is chemistry). Later it is disclosed that Schultze had done considerable „research“ and published many articles conclusively „proving“ the superiority of the German race over the rest of humanity.

The Utopian plans of his distant French cousin not only seem to Schultze stupid and meaningless, but are positively wrong. They issue from a Frenchman and are designed to block „progress“ which decreed that the degenerate French are due to be subdued by the Germans. Schultze proposes to use his half of the inheritance for constructing his own kind of utopia – a city devoted to the production of ever more powerful and destructive weapons – and even before the first stone was laid in either city, vows to destroy Sarrasin’s creation.

The two (each one separately) quite improbably manage to get the United States to cede its sovereignty over large parts of the Pacific Northwest, in order to enable the creation of two competing city-states, located in southern Oregon at a distance of forty kilometres of each other on either side of the Cascades. One is a tranquil French city of 100,000 on the western side; the other is a bustling German city of 50,000 to the east, with its industrial and mining operations extending far eastward, causing extensive pollution and environmental destruction as far as the Red Desert in Wyoming).

Verne gives the precise location of Sarrasin’s „Ville-France“ (France-Ville or Frankville in English translations) – on the southern Oregon coast, eighty kilometres north of Cape Blanco, at 43°11’3″ North, 124°41’17“ West. This would place it at the southern end of Coos County, Oregon – a county which already existed at the time, though very thinly populated (and has remained so, having 62,779 inhabitants as of 2000).

The nearest real-life town seems to be Bandon (population 2,833 in the same 2000 census), located slightly north-east of the site of Ville-France, and which was founded by the Irish peer George Bennet in 1873 – one year after Verne’s date for the creation of Ville-France. The Coquille River, on whose southern bank Bandon is located, is presumably the unnamed „small river of sweet mountain waters“ which Verne describes as providing Ville-France’s water.

As depicted by Verne, brief negotiations with the Oregon Legislature in December 1871 suffice to secure the grant of a 16 kilometre-wide area extending from the Pacific shore to the peaks of the Cascades, „with a sovereignty similar to that of Monaco“ and the stipulation that after an unspecified number of years it would revert to full US sovereignty (Verne does not mention any United States Department of State or Congressional involvement in the deal). Actual construction begins in January 1872, and by April of the same year the first train from New York pulls into the Ville-France Railway Station, a trunk line from Sacramento having been completed.

The houses and public facilities of Ville-France are constructed by a large number of Chinese migrant workers – who are sent away once the city is complete, with the payment of their salaries specifically dependent on their signing an obligation never to return. Reviewer Paul Kincaid noted that „The Chinese coolies employed to build the French utopia are then hurriedly dispatched back to San Francisco, since they are not fit to reside in this best of all cities.“

The book justifies the exclusion of the Chinese as being a precaution needed in order to avoid in advance the „difficulties created in other places“ by the presence of Chinese communities. This might be an oblique reference to the Chinese Massacre of 1871, when a mob entered Los Angeles‘ Chinatown, indiscriminately burning Chinese-occupied buildings and killing at least 20 Chinese American residents out of a total of some 200 then living in the city.

Most of the action takes place in Schultze’s Stahlstadt („Steel City“). Steel City a vast industrial and mining complex, where ores are taken out of the earth and made into steel, and the steel is made into ever more deadly weapons. Steel city becomes in a few years the world’s biggest producer of arms. The now immensely rich Schultze is Steel City’s dictator, whose very word is law and who makes all significant decisions personally. There is no mention of Steel City’s precise legal status vis-à-vis the Oregon or US Federal authorities, but clearly Schultze behaves as a completely independent head of state (except that he uses Dollars rather than mint his own currency).

The strongly fortified city is built in concentric circles, each separated from the next by a high wall, with the mysterious „Tower of the Bull“ – Schultze’s own abode – at its center. The workers are under a semi-military discipline, with complex metallurgical operations carried out with a Teutonic split-second precision. A worker straying into where and what he is not authorized to see and know is punished with immediate expulsion in the outer sectors and with death in the sensitive inner ones. However, the workers‘ conditions seem rather decent by Nineteenth Century standards: there are none of the hovels which characterized many working-class districts of the time, and competence is rewarded with rapid promotion by the paternalistic Schultze and his underlings.

Dr. Sarrasin, in contrast, is a rather passive figure – a kind of non-hereditary constitutional monarch who, after the original initiative to found Ville-France, does not take any significant decision in the rest of the book. The book’s real protagonist, who offers active resistance to Schultze’s dark reign and his increasingly satanic designs, is a younger Frenchman – the Alsatian Marcel Bruckmann, native of the part of France forcibly annexed by Germany in the recent war.

The dashing Bruckmann – an Alsatian with a German family name and fiercely patriotic French heart – manages to penetrate Steel City. As an Alsatian, he is a fluent speaker of German, an indispensable condition for entering the thoroughly Germanised Steel City, and is able to pass himself off as being Swiss – „Elsässisch“, the German dialect spoken in Alsace, being very close to Swiss German. He quickly rises high in its hierarchy, gains Schultze’s personal confidence, spies out some of the tyrant’s well-kept secrets, and sends a warning to his French friends. It turns out that Schultze is not content to produce arms, but fully intends to use them himself – first against the hated Ville-France, as a first step towards his explicit ambition of establishing Germany’s worldwide rule. (He casually mentions a plan to seize „some islands off Japan“ in order to further the same.)

Two fearsome weapons are being made ready – a super-cannon capable of firing massive incendiary charges over a distance of 40 km (just the distance from Steel City to Ville-France), and shells filled with gas. The latter seems to give Verne credit for the very first prediction of chemical warfare, nearly twenty years before H. G. Wells’s „black smoke“ in The War of the Worlds. Schultze’s gas is designed not only to suffocate its victims but at the same time also freeze them. A special projectile is filled with compressed liquid carbon dioxide that, when released, instantly lowers the surrounding temperature to a hundred degrees Celsius below zero, quick-freezing every living thing in the vicinity.

Ville-France prepares as well as it can, but there is not very much to do against such weapons. Schultze, however, meets with poetic justice. Firstly, the incendiary charge fired by the super-cannon at Ville-France not only renders the cannon unusable, but also misses its mark. The charge flies harmlessly over the city and into space, apparently owing to Schultze’s failure to account for the roundness of the globe when firing a projectile over such distances. Secondly, as Schultze sits in his secret office, preparing for the final assault and writing out the order to his men to bring him the frozen bodies of Sarrasin and Bruckmann to be displayed in public, a gas projectile which he kept in the office accidentally explodes and feeds him his own deadly medicine.

The entire edifice of „Steel City“ collapses, since Schultze had kept everything in his own hands and never appointed any deputy. It goes bankrupt and becomes a ghost town. Bruckmann and his friend, Dr. Sarrasin’s son, take it over with the only resistance offered being from two rather dimwitted Schultze bodyguards who stayed behind when everybody else left. Schultze would remain forevermore in his self-made tomb, on display as he had planned to do to his foes, while the good Frenchmen take over direction of Steel City in order to let it „serve a good cause from now on.“ (Arms production would go on, however, so as „to make Ville-France so strong that nobody would dare attack it ever again“.)

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Classics of Fiction (English), Verne, Jules | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The Book Of Jeremiah

The Book Of Jeremiah – James Hastings

Here is a gold mine for the preacher, the teacher and the father and mother in the home who have it in mind to inculcate sound teaching, based upon the Word of God, so that the boys and girls of the congregations, Sunday-Schools and households may be thoroughly rooted and grounded in the essentials of the Christian faith. There are many volumes in this series of short addresses and they cover the entire range of the Holy Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation. The material gathered here is fresh and varied and there is just enough of it to furnish the groundwork of the preacher’s sermon, the Sunday school teacher’s talk and the parent’s reading and comment.

The Book Of Jeremiah

The Book Of Jeremiah

Format: Paperback.

The Book Of Jeremiah.

ISBN: 9783849672188.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Biography of James Hastings (from wikipedia)

He was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, the second son and fifth child of local miller James Hastings. His initial education was undertaken at Huntly School and Aberdeen Grammar School. He studied classics at the University of Aberdeen, graduating with a Master’s degree in 1876. He then attended the Free Church Divinity College in Aberdeen in preparation for ordination as a Free Church minister. While studying at the college, he also worked as a teacher at Chanonry House School, a private school for boys in Old Aberdeen.

Following a period as assistant minister in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Hastings was ordained in 1884, becoming minister at Kineff Free Church in Kincardineshire. After 13 years, he was called to Willison Church in Dundee, but returned to Kincardineshire in 1901, having struggled with his city placement. From 1901 until his retirement in 1911, he was the minister at the United Free Church in St Cyrus. During his period in office, he oversaw the erection of a new church building for the congregation.

In one obituary, his preaching was described as „evangelical in sentiment, thoughtful and expository in style, fluent in delivery, and fervent in application.“

Hastings married Ann Wilson Forsyth in 1884, the year of his ordination. They had two children: Edward (21 March 1890–1 August 1980) and Ann Wilson (21 April 1885–23 March 1975). Edward later also became a minister of the United Free Church.

He received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from the University of Aberdeen (1897) and Queen’s University in Nova Scotia (1920).

After his retirement, Hastings returned to Aberdeen, where he became a member of Beechgrove United Free Church. He died unexpectedly on 15 October 1922, survived by his wife and children. His funeral was held on 18 October, and he was buried at Springbank Cemetery in Aberdeen.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter Children's Great Bible Texts, The Sacred Books (English) | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Old Steamboat Days On The Hudson River

Old Steamboat Days On The Hudson River – David Lear Buckman

This is a short book that was originally called forth by a double anniversary, the centennial of the Fulton steamboat and the three hundredth anniversary of Hudson’s great discovery. The author has had the benefit of a long experience with the places which he describes, and his family has enjoyed unusual advantages through personal acquaintance with many of the river captains. After describing Fulton and his great invention, the author passes on to the development of the river navigation. He recounts the gradual evolution from the primitive crafts of the early nineteenth century to the palatial steamers of the present. He gives miscellaneous data relating to the monopoly of traffic, to disasters of historic importance; he includes a few anecdotes, and concludes his text with a brief narrative of Hudson’s voyage and the projected memorials.

Old Steamboat Days On The Hudson River

Old Steamboat Days On The Hudson River

Format: Paperback.

Old Steamboat Days On The Hudson River.

ISBN: 9783849672171.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Basics on the Hudson River (from Wikipedia):

The Hudson River is a 315-mile (507 km) river that flows from north to south primarily through eastern New York in the United States. The river originates in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, flows southward through the Hudson Valley, and eventually drains into the Atlantic Ocean at New York Harbor, between New York City and Jersey City. The river serves as a political boundary between the states of New Jersey and New York at its southern end. Further north, it marks local boundaries between several New York counties. The lower half of the river is a tidal estuary, deeper than the body of water into which it flows, occupying the Hudson Fjord, an inlet which formed during the most recent period of North American glaciation, estimated at 26,000 to 13,300 years ago. Tidal waters influence the Hudson’s flow from as far north as the city of Troy.

The river is named after Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who explored it in 1609, and after whom Hudson Bay in Canada is also named. It had previously been observed by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano sailing for King Francis I of France in 1524, as he became the first European known to have entered the Upper New York Bay, but he considered the river to be an estuary. The Dutch called the river the North River – with the Delaware River called the South River – and it formed the spine of the Dutch colony of New Netherland. Settlements of the colony clustered around the Hudson, and its strategic importance as the gateway to the American interior led to years of competition between the English and the Dutch over control of the river and colony.

During the eighteenth century, the river valley and its inhabitants were the subject and inspiration of Washington Irving, the first internationally acclaimed American author. In the nineteenth century, the area inspired the Hudson River School of landscape painting, an American pastoral style, as well as the concepts of environmentalism and wilderness. The Hudson was also the eastern outlet for the Erie Canal, which, when completed in 1825, became an important transportation artery for the early-19th-century United States.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter American History (English), New York | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

Historic Sketches At Washington

Historic Sketches At Washington – George Alfred Townsend

The purpose of this book, which was originally published at the beginning of the 20th century, was to make Washington visible to voters, so that they could be guided in criticism upon abuses such as have been related. The course of the chapters is purposely made discursive so that the mind can be carried through a variety of scenes without flagging.

Historic Sketches At Washington

Historic Sketches At Washington

Format: Paperback.

Historic Sketches At Washington.

ISBN: 9783849672164.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Basics on Washington, D.C. (from Wikipedia):

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States of America. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. Washington is the principal city of the Washington Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 6,131,977. Washington is described as the political Capital of the World, owing to its status as the seat of the United States Federal Government and numerous international institutions, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Washington is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.

The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country’s East Coast. The U.S. Constitutionprovided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of President George Washington, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.

Washington had an estimated population of 693,972 as of July 2017. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city’s population to more than one million during the workweek. The Washington metropolitan area, of which the District is the principal city, has a population of over 6 million, the sixth-largest metropolitan statistical area in the country.

All three branches of the U.S. Federal Government are centered in the District: U.S. Congress (legislative), President (executive), and the U.S. Supreme Court (judicial). Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, which are primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, and professional associations, including the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, NASA, the International Finance Corporation, and the American Red Cross.

A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. D.C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961.

 

(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

 

Publisher’s Note: This book is printed and distributed by Createspace a DBA of On-Demand Publishing LLC and is typically not available anywhere else than in stores owned and operated by Amazon or Createspace.

Veröffentlicht unter American History (English), District of Columbia | Hinterlasse einen Kommentar