The Iliad Of Homer

The Iliad Of Homer – Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang, assisted by Walter Leaf and Ernest Myers, has put the old Greek epos into contemporary English prose. The subject of the Iliad, as the first line proclaims, is the “anger of Achilles.” The manner in which this subject is worked out will appear from the following summary in which we distinguish (1) the plot, i.e. the story of the quarrel, (2) the main course of the war, which forms a sort of underplot, and (3) subordinate episodes.

The Iliad Of Homer

The Iliad Of Homer

Format: Paperback.

The Iliad Of Homer.

ISBN: 9783849675158.

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Short biography of Andrew Lang (from Wikipedia):

Lang was born in Selkirk. He was the eldest of the eight children born to John Lang, the town clerk of Selkirk, and his wife Jane Plenderleath Sellar, who was the daughter of Patrick Sellar, factor to the first duke of Sutherland. On 17 April 1875, he married Leonora Blanche Alleyne, youngest daughter of C. T. Alleyne of Clifton and Barbados. She was (or should have been) variously credited as author, collaborator, or translator of Lang’s Color/Rainbow Fairy Books which he edited.

He was educated at Selkirk Grammar School, Loretto, and at the Edinburgh Academy, St Andrews University and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he took a first class in the final classical schools in 1868, becoming a fellow and subsequently honorary fellow of Merton College. He soon made a reputation as one of the most able and versatile writers of the day as a journalist, poet, critic, and historian. In 1906, he was elected FBA.

He died of angina pectoris at the Tor-na-Coille Hotel in Banchory, Banchory, survived by his wife. He was buried in the cathedral precincts at St Andrews, where a monument can be visited in the south-east corner of the 19th century section.

 

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

 

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White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-War

White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-War – Herman Melville

White-Jacket is a novel that perfectly reflects on the American naval life of the 19th century and is widely based on his own experiences when he sailed on the USS United States as a seaman.


White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-War

White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-WarFormat: Paperback

White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-War.

ISBN: 9783849675141.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Overview on White-Jacket (from Wikipedia):

Based on Melville’s experiences as a common seaman aboard the frigate USS United States from 1843 to 1844 and stories that other sailors told him, the novel is severely critical of virtually every aspect of American naval life and thus qualifies as Melville’s most politically strident work. At the time, though, the one thing that journalists and politicians focused on in the novel was its graphic descriptions of flogging and the horrors caused by its arbitrary use; in fact, because Harper & Bros. made sure the book got into the hands of every member of Congress, White-Jacket was instrumental in abolishing flogging in the U.S. Navy forever. Melville scholars also acknowledge the huge number of parallels between White-Jacket and Billy Budd and view the former as a rich source for possible interpretations of the latter.

The novel takes its title from the outer garment that the eponymous main character fashions for himself on board ship, with materials at hand, being in need of a coat sufficient for the rounding of Cape Horn. Due to a ship-wide rationing of tar, however, White-Jacket is forever denied his wish to tar the exterior of his coat and thus waterproof it. This causes him to have two near-death experiences, once when he is reclining among the canvases in the main-top and, his jacket blending in with the surrounding material, he is nearly unfurled along with the main sail; and once when, having been pitched overboard while reeving the halyards, he has to cut himself free from the coat in order not to drown. Having done so, his shipmates mistake the discarded jacket for a great white shark and harpoon it, sending it to a watery grave.

The symbolism of the color white, introduced in this novel in the form of the narrator’s jacket, is more fully expanded upon in Moby-Dick, where it becomes an all-encompassing „blankness.“ The mixture of journalism, history, and fiction; the presentation of a sequence of striking characters; the metaphor of a sailing ship as the world in miniature—all of these prefigure his next novel, Moby-Dick.

 

(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.

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Walden

Walden – Henry David Thoreau

In 1854, Thoreau published the book by which he will always be best known, Walden, or Life in the Woods. It is by far the deepest, richest, and most closely jointed of his books. It shows Thoreau at his best, and contains all that he had to say to the world. In fact, he is a man of one book, and that book is Walden. In plan, it is open to the same objection as „A Week“, and might almost plead guilty to the charge of obtaining a hearing under false pretences. „Life in the woods“ suggests the atmosphere of As You Like It and the Robin Hood ballads, but not moralizings on economy and the duty of being yourself. The reader who takes up the book with the idea that he is going to enjoy another Robinson Crusoe will not be pleased to find that every now and then he will have to listen to a lay sermon, or a lyceum lecture.

Walden

Walden

Walden.

ISBN: 9783849675134.

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Plot summary of Walden (from Wikipedia):

Part memoir and part spiritual quest, Walden opens with the announcement that Thoreau spent two years at Walden Pond living a simple life without support of any kind. Readers are reminded that at the time of publication, Thoreau is back to living among the civilized again. The book is separated into specific chapters that each focus on specific themes:

Economy: In this first and longest chapter, Thoreau outlines his project: a two-year, two-month, and two-day stay at a cozy, „tightly shingled and plastered“, English-style 10′ × 15′ cottage in the woods near Walden Pond. He does this, he says, to illustrate the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle. He easily supplies the four necessities of life (food, shelter, clothing, and fuel) with the help of family and friends, particularly his mother, his best friend, and Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Waldo Emerson. The latter provided Thoreau with a work exchange – he could build a small house and plant a garden if he cleared some land on the woodlot and did other chores while there. Thoreau meticulously records his expenditures and earnings, demonstrating his understanding of „economy“, as he builds his house and buys and grows food. For a home and freedom, he spent a mere $28.12½, in 1845 (about $867 in 2017 dollars). At the end of this chapter, Thoreau inserts a poem, „The Pretensions of Poverty“, by seventeenth-century English poet Thomas Carew. The poem criticizes those who think that their poverty gives them unearned moral and intellectual superiority. Much attention is devoted to the skepticism and wonderment with which townspeople greeted both him and his project as he tries to protect his views from those of the townspeople who seem to view society as the only place to live. He recounts the reasons for his move to Walden Pond along with detailed steps back to the construction of his new home (methods, support, etc.).

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For: Thoreau recollects thoughts of places he stayed at before selecting Walden Pond, and quotes Roman Philosopher Cato’s advice „consider buying a farm very carefully before signing the papers“. His possibilities included a nearby Hollowell farm (where the „wife“ unexpectedly decided she wanted to keep the farm). Thoreau takes to the woods dreaming of an existence free of obligations and full of leisure. He announces that he resides far from social relationships that mail represents (post office) and the majority of the chapter focuses on his thoughts while constructing and living in his new home at Walden.

Reading: Thoreau discusses the benefits of classical literature, preferably in the original Greek or Latin, and bemoans the lack of sophistication in Concord evident in the popularity of unsophisticated literature. He also loved to read books by world travelers. He yearns for a time when each New England village supports „wise men“ to educate and thereby ennoble the population.

Sounds: Thoreau encourages the reader to be “forever on the alert” and “looking always at what is to be seen.” Although truth can be found in literature, it can equally be found in nature. In addition to self-development, an advantage of developing one’s perceptiveness is its tendency to alleviate boredom. Rather than “look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre,” Thoreau’s own life, including supposedly dull pastimes like housework, becomes a source of amusement that “never ceases to be novel.” Likewise, he obtains pleasure in the sounds that ring around his cabin: church bells ringing, carriages rattling and rumbling, cows lowing, whip-poor-wills singing, owls hooting, frogs croaking, and cockerels crowing. “All sound heard at the greatest possible distance,” he contends “produces one and the same effect.” Likening the train’s cloud of steam to a comet tail and its commotion to “the scream of a hawk,” the train becomes homologous with nature and Thoreau praises its associated commerce for its enterprise, bravery, and cosmopolitanism, proclaiming: “I watch the passage of the morning cars with the same feeling that I do the rising of the sun.”

Solitude: Thoreau reflects on the feeling of solitude. He explains how loneliness can occur even amid companions if one’s heart is not open to them. Thoreau meditates on the pleasures of escaping society and the petty things that society entails (gossip, fights, etc.). He also reflects on his new companion, an old settler who arrives nearby and an old woman with great memory („memory runs back farther than mythology“). Thoreau repeatedly reflects on the benefits of nature and of his deep communion with it and states that the only „medicine he needs is a draught of morning air“.

Visitors: Thoreau talks about how he enjoys companionship (despite his love for solitude) and always leaves three chairs ready for visitors. The entire chapter focuses on the coming and going of visitors, and how he has more comers in Walden than he did in the city. He receives visits from those living or working nearby and gives special attention to a French Canadian born woodsman named Alec Thérien. Unlike Thoreau, Thérien cannot read or write and is described as leading an „animal life“. He compares Thérien to Walden Pond itself. Thoreau then reflects on the women and children who seem to enjoy the pond more than men…and how men are limited because their lives are taken up.

The Bean-Field: Reflection on Thoreau’s planting and his enjoyment of this new job/hobby. He touches upon the joys of his environment, the sights and sounds of nature, but also on the military sounds nearby. The rest of the chapter focuses on his earnings and his cultivation of crops (including how he spends just under fifteen dollars on this).

The Village: The chapter focuses on Thoreau’s second bath and on his reflections on the journeys he takes several times a week to Concord, where he gathers the latest gossip and meets with townsmen. On one of his journeys into Concord, Thoreau is detained and jailed for his refusal to pay a poll tax to the „state that buys and sells men, women, and children, like cattle at the door of its senate-house“.

The Ponds: In autumn, Thoreau discusses the countryside and writes down his observations about the geography of Walden Pond and its neighbors: Flint’s Pond (or Sandy Pond), White Pond, and Goose Pond. Although Flint’s is the largest, Thoreau’s favorites are Walden and White ponds, which he describes as lovelier than diamonds.

Baker Farm: While on an afternoon ramble in the woods, Thoreau gets caught in a rainstorm and takes shelter in the dirty, dismal hut of John Field, a penniless but hard-working Irish farmhand, and his wife and children. Thoreau urges Field to live a simple but independent and fulfilling life in the woods, thereby freeing himself of employers and creditors. But the Irishman won’t give up his aspirations of luxury and the quest for the American dream.

Higher Laws: Thoreau discusses whether hunting wild animals and eating meat is necessary. He concludes that the primitive, carnal sensuality of humans drives them to kill and eat animals, and that a person who transcends this propensity is superior to those who cannot. (Thoreau eats fish and occasionally salt pork and woodchuck.)[5] In addition to vegetarianism, he lauds chastity, work, and teetotalism. He also recognizes that Native Americans need to hunt and kill moose for survival in „The Maine Woods“, and ate moose on a trip to Maine while he was living at Walden. Here is a list of the laws that he mentions:

One must love that of the wild just as much as one loves that of the good.
What men already know instinctively is true humanity.
The hunter is the greatest friend of the animal which is hunted.
No human older than an adolescent would wantonly murder any creature which reveres its own life as much as the killer.
If the day and the night make one joyful, one is successful.
The highest form of self-restraint is when one can subsist not on other animals, but of plants and crops cultivated from the earth.

Brute Neighbors: is a simplified version of one of Thoreau’s conversations with William Ellery Channing, who sometimes accompanied Thoreau on fishing trips when Channing had come up from Concord. The conversation is about a hermit (himself) and a poet (Channing) and how the poet is absorbed in the clouds while the hermit is occupied with the more practical task of getting fish for dinner and how in the end, the poet regrets his failure to catch fish. The chapter also mentions Thoreau’s interaction with a mouse that he lives with, the scene in which an ant battles a smaller ant, and his frequent encounters with cats.

House-Warming: After picking November berries in the woods, Thoreau adds a chimney, and finally plasters the walls of his sturdy house to stave off the cold of the oncoming winter. He also lays in a good supply of firewood, and expresses affection for wood and fire.

Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors: Thoreau relates the stories of people who formerly lived in the vicinity of Walden Pond. Then he talks about a few of the visitors he receives during the winter: a farmer, a woodchopper, and his best friend, the poet Ellery Channing.

Winter Animals: Thoreau amuses himself by watching wildlife during the winter. He relates his observations of owls, hares, red squirrels, mice, and various birds as they hunt, sing, and eat the scraps and corn he put out for them. He also describes a fox hunt that passes by.

The Pond in Winter: Thoreau describes Walden Pond as it appears during the winter. He claims to have sounded its depths and located an underground outlet. Then he recounts how 100 laborers came to cut great blocks of ice from the pond, the ice to be shipped to the Carolinas.

Spring: As spring arrives, Walden and the other ponds melt with powerful thundering and rumbling. Thoreau enjoys watching the thaw, and grows ecstatic as he witnesses the green rebirth of nature. He watches the geese winging their way north, and a hawk playing by itself in the sky. As nature is reborn, the narrator implies, so is he. He departs Walden on September 6, 1847.

Conclusion: This final chapter is more passionate and urgent than its predecessors. In it, he criticizes conformity: „If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away“, By doing so, men may find happiness and self-fulfillment.

I do not say that John or Jonathan will realize all this; but such is the character of that morrow which mere lapse of time can never make to dawn. The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us. Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.

 

(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.

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A Textbook Of Theosophy

A Textbook Of Theosophy – C. W. Leadbeater

Theosophy is not only a basis of religion; it is also a philosophy of life. As such, its main teachings are reincarnation and the law of Karma. Karma is the outcome of the collective life, a law of ethical causation. In the past incarnation the ego had acquired certain faculties, set in motion certain causes. The effect of these causes and of causes set in motion in previous incarnations and not yet exhausted are its Karma and determine the conditions into which the ego is reborn. Thus inequalities of natural gifts, e.g. genius, of temperament and of character are explained. The law of progress is the law of involution and evolution, the returning of the Divine Spark into a unity with Spirit through various reincarnations, which are viewed as a process of purification. Sin, poverty, and misery are the fruits of ignorance, and are gradually removed as the spirit in us becomes freed from earthly dross. There is no heaven nor Hell. Death is the passage from this state of life to another. There is an evolution behind and before, with absolute certainty of final attainment for every human soul, i.e. to be one with the Absolute. As man advances in this process his spirit becomes stronger, and can develop latent powers, not shown in ordinary mortals. This textbook is your portal to a new sight of life and religion.

A Textbook Of Theosophy

A Textbook Of Theosophy

Format: Paperback.

A Textbook Of Theosophy.

ISBN: 9783849675127.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Common characteristic of theosophy (from wikipedia.com)

Theosophy actually designates a specific flow of thought or tradition within the modern study of esotericism. Thus, it follows the path starting from the more modern period of the 15th century onward. Faivre describes the „theosophic current“ or theosophy as a single esoteric current among seven other esoteric currents in early modern Western thought (i.e., alchemy, astrology, Neo-Alexandrian Hermeticism, Christian Kabbalah, Paracelsism (i.e., the studying of the „prognostications“ of Paracelsus), philosophia occulta and Rosicrucianism). Christian theosophy is an under-researched area; a general history of it has never been written.

Faivre noted that there are „obvious similarities“ between earlier theosophy and modern Theosophy as both play an important part in Western esotericism and both claim to deal with wisdom from a gnostic perspective. But he says there are also differences, since they do not actually rely on the same reference works; and their style is different. The referential corpus of earlier theosophy „belongs essentially to the Judeo-Christian type“, while that of modern Theosophy „reveals a more universal aspect“. Although there are many differences between Christian theosophy and the Theosophical movement begun by Helena Blavatsky, the differences „are not important enough to cause an insurmountable barrier.“ When referring to the ideas related to Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society, the word „Theosophy“ is capitalized; otherwise it is not. Theosophy and theosophists refer to Blavatsky’s philosophy while theosophy and theosophers refer to Christian theosophy. Some Theosophists were also theosophers. Blavatsky linked her use of the word theosophy to the Neoplatonists and Ammonius Saccas, rather than to the later Christian theosophers.

Theosophers engage in analysis of the universe, humanity, divinity, and the reciprocal effects of each on the other. The starting point for theosophers may be knowledge of external things in the world or inner experiences and the aim of the theosopher is to discover deeper meanings in the natural or divine realm. Antoine Faivre notes, „the theosophist dedicates his energy to inventing (in the word’s original sense of ‚discovering‘) the articulation of all things visible and invisible, by examining both divinity and nature in the smallest detail.“ The knowledge that is acquired through meditation is believed to change the being of the meditator.

Faivre identified three characteristics of theosophy. The three characteristics of theosophy are listed below.

Theosophy:

Divine/Human/Nature Triangle: The inspired analysis which circles through these three angles. The intradivine within; the origin, death and placement of the human relating to Divinity and Nature; Nature as alive, the external, intellectual and material. All three complex correlations synthesize via the intellect and imaginative processes of Mind.

Primacy of the Mythic: The creative Imagination, an external world of symbols, glyphs, myths, synchronicities and the myriad, along with image, all as a universal reality for the interplay conjoined by creative mind.

Access to Supreme Worlds: The awakening within, inherently possessing the faculty to directly connect to the Divine world(s). The existence of a special human ability to create this connection. The ability to connect and explore all levels of reality; co-penetrate the human with the divine; to bond to all reality and experience a unique inner awakening.

 

(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.

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The Little White Bird

The Little White Bird – James M. Barrie

Where did Peter Pan come from? There is a very general conception that he stepped from Mr. Barrie’s day-dreams straight upon the boards. But those who remember that delicate piece of sentiment, „The Little White Bird, or Adventures in Kensington Gardens“ will find him already grown to his eternal youth there. In the story that the lonely old bachelor tells the boy David, Peter Pan is the same lad, whose „age is a week“ and who „escaped from being human when he was seven days old; he escaped by the window and flew back to the Kensington Gardens,“ where, like all children, he had been a bird before he was born; and he lives in Kensington Gardens, which is the Never Never Land of „The Little White Bird.“

The Little White Bird

The Little White Bird

The Little White Bird.

ISBN: 9783849675110.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of The Little White Bird (from Wikipedia):

The story is set in several locations; the earlier chapters are set in the town of London, contemporaneous to the time of Barrie’s writing, and involving some time travel of a few years, and other fantasy elements, while remaining within the London setting. The middle chapters that later became Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens are set in London’s famous Kensington Gardens, introduced by the statement that „All perambulators lead to Kensington Gardens“. The Kensington Gardens chapters include detailed descriptions of the features of the Gardens, along with fantasy names given to the locations by the story’s characters, especially after „Lock-Out Time“, described by Barrie as the time at the end of the day when the park gates are closed to the public, and the fairies and other magical inhabitants of the park can move about more freely than during the daylight, when they must hide from ordinary people. The third section of the book, following the Kensington Gardens chapters, are again set generally in London, though there are some short returns to the Gardens that are not part of the Peter Pan stories. In a two-page diversion in chapter 24, Barrie brings the story to Patagonia, and a journey by ship returning to England at the „white cliffs of Albion“.

 

(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.

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The Art And Science Of Personal Magnetism

The Art And Science Of Personal Magnetism – Theron Q. Dumont

It is a strange and almost amusing fact that there should be at the same time, on the part of the general public, such a general acceptance of the existence of personal magnetism, on the one hand, and such an ignorance of the nature of this wonderful force, on the other hand. In short, while everyone believes in the existence of personal magnetism, scarcely anyone possesses knowledge of the real nature of the same, much less a working knowledge of its principles of application. This book gives you the key to the secret of personal magnetism, but it will still remain up to you to determine just what degree of success you will attain. The best tools and instructions as to how to use them are provided – but you will have to do the rest yourself. Success must and will be yours if you will follow the instructions carefully, persistently and perseveringly.

The Art And Science Of Personal Magnetism

The Art And Science Of Personal Magnetism

Format: Paperback.

The Art And Science Of Personal Magnetism.

ISBN: 9783849675486.

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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.

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The Truth About The Titanic

The Truth About The Titanic – Archibald Gracie

The Truth About the Titanic‘, by Colonel Archibald Gracie, is a striking recital of the monumental shipwreck, by the sole survivor of all the men passengers, „stationed during the loading of six or more life-boats with women and children on the port side of the ship.“ The book is written as a tribute and testimony to the „heroism on the part of all concerned.“ Colonel Gracie refutes many of the press reports of the disaster, as for instance, the Captain and the First Officer shooting themselves, for which statement he says there is no direct testimony. The story of the author’s marvelous escape beggars the imagination and gives proof of a remarkable telepathic communication with his wife. Horrible are the scenes described and they bring vividly before you the heroism and endurance that were borne until the arrival of the Carpathia. Some of the testimony taken before the Senate Committee and the British Courts of Inquiry is analyzed and the story of each lifeboat is given according to the testimony given and the different affidavits. The part devoted to J. Bruce Ismay’s testimony will be of especial interest to readers. Colonel Gracie’s death, eight months after the world’s greatest marine disaster, was due to the exposure and strain received at that time, and the restraint is a marked feature in this vivid account of an unprecedented ocean disasterwhich occasioned the sympathy of the world.

The Truth About The Titanic

The Truth About The Titanic

The Truth About The Titanic.

ISBN: 9783849675479.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

The Titanic – What you need to know (from Wikipedia):

RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning hours of 15 April 1912, after it collided with an iceberg during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. There were an estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard the ship, and more than 1,500 died, making it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history. The RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the time it entered service and was the second of three Olympic-class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line. The Titanic was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Thomas Andrews, her architect, died in the disaster.

Titanic was under the command of Edward Smith, who also went down with the ship. The ocean liner carried some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as hundreds of emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere throughout Europe who were seeking a new life in the United States. The first-class accommodation was designed to be the pinnacle of comfort and luxury, with an on-board gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and opulent cabins. A high-powered radiotelegraph transmitter was available for sending passenger „marconigrams“ and for the ship’s operational use.  Although Titanic had advanced safety features such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors, there were not enough lifeboats to accommodate all of those aboard, due to outdated maritime safety regulations. Titanic only carried enough lifeboats for 1,178 people—slightly more than half of the number on board, and one third of her total capacity. In total the ship carried lifeboat davits would could lower three lifeboats each, for a total of 48 boats. However, Titanic carried only a total of 20 lifeboats, four of which were collapsible and proved to be hard to launch during the sinking.

After leaving Southampton on 10 April 1912, Titanic called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland before heading west to New York. On 14 April, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time. The collision caused the ship’s hull plates to buckle inwards along her starboard (right) side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea; she could only survive four flooding. Meanwhile, passengers and some crew members were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which were launched only partially loaded. A disproportionate number of men were left aboard because of a „women and children first“ protocol for loading lifeboats. At 2:20 a.m., she broke apart and foundered—with well over one thousand people still aboard. Just under two hours after the Titanic sank, the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrived at the scene, where she brought aboard an estimated 705 survivors.

The disaster was met with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures that had led to it. Public inquiries in Britain and the United States led to major improvements in maritime safety. One of their most important legacies was the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety today. Additionally, several new wireless regulations were passed around the world in an effort to learn from the many missteps in wireless communications—which could have saved many more passengers.

The wreck of Titanic was first discovered in 1985 (more than 70 years after the disaster), and the vessel remains on the seabed. The ship was split in two and is gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415 feet (3,784 m). Since her discovery in 1985, thousands of artefacts have been recovered and put on display at museums around the world. Titanic has become one of the most famous ships in history; her memory is kept alive by numerous works of popular culture, including books, folk songs, films, exhibits, and memorials. Titanic is the second largest ocean liner wreck in the world, only beaten by her sister HMHS Britannic, the largest ever sunk.

 

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

 

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The Mystery Of Edwin Drood

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood – Charles Dickens

The Mystery of Edwin Drood was Charles Dickens‘ last novel and remained – unfortunately – unfinished. There was a lot of discussion about what Dickens could have had in his mind as solution for the plot. Was Mr. Jasper really a murderer? What was the real mystery of Edwin Drood’s death? We will never know, but this novel will surely make your mind reel after you read it to the … end?

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood.

ISBN: 9783849675462.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Plot summary of The Mystery of Edwin Drood (from Wikipedia):

The novel begins as John Jasper leaves a London opium den.[4] The next evening, Edwin Drood visits Jasper, who is the choirmaster at Cloisterham Cathedral. Edwin confides that he has misgivings about his betrothal to Rosa Bud. The next day, Edwin visits Rosa at the Nuns‘ House, the boarding school where she lives. They quarrel good-naturedly, which they apparently do frequently during his visits. Meanwhile, Jasper, having an interest in the cathedral crypt, seeks the company of Durdles, a man who knows more about the crypt than anyone else.

Neville Landless and his twin sister Helena are sent to Cloisterham for their education. Neville will study with the minor canon, Rev. Mr. Crisparkle; Helena will live at the Nuns‘ House with Rosa. Neville confides to Rev. Mr Crisparkle that he had hated his cruel stepfather, while Rosa confides to Helena that she loathes and fears her music-master, Jasper. Neville is immediately smitten with Rosa and is indignant that Edwin prizes his betrothal lightly. Edwin provokes him and he reacts violently, giving Jasper the opportunity to spread rumours about Neville’s reputation of having a violent temper. Rev. Mr Crisparkle tries to reconcile Edwin and Neville, who agrees to apologise to Edwin if the former will forgive him. It is arranged that they will dine together for this purpose on Christmas Eve at Jasper’s home.

Rosa’s guardian, Mr. Grewgious, tells her that she has a substantial inheritance from her father. When she asks whether there would be any forfeiture if she did not marry Edwin, he replies that there would be none on either side. Back at his office in London, Mr. Grewgious gives Edwin a ring which Rosa’s father had given to her mother, with the proviso that Edwin must either give the ring to Rosa as a sign of his irrevocable commitment to her or return it to Mr. Grewgious. Mr. Bazzard, Mr. Grewgious’s clerk, witnesses this transaction.

Next day, Rosa and Edwin amicably agree to end their betrothal.

They decide to ask Mr. Grewgious to break the news to Jasper, and Edwin intends to return the ring to Mr. Grewgious. Meanwhile, Durdles takes Jasper into the cathedral crypt. On the way there Durdles points out a mound of quicklime. Jasper provides a bottle of wine to Durdles. The wine is mysteriously potent and Durdles soon loses consciousness; while unconscious he dreams that Jasper goes off by himself in the crypt. As they return from the crypt, they encounter a boy called Deputy, and Jasper, thinking he was spying on them, takes him by the throat – but, seeing that this will strangle him, lets him go.

On Christmas Eve, Neville buys himself a heavy walking stick; he plans to spend his Christmas break hiking around the countryside. Meanwhile, Edwin visits a jeweller to repair his pocket watch; it is mentioned that the only pieces of jewellery that he wears are the watch and chain and a shirt pin. By chance he meets a woman who is an opium user from London. She asks Drood’s Christian name and he replies that it is ‚Edwin‘; she says he is fortunate it is not ‚Ned,‘ for ‚Ned‘ is in great danger. He thinks nothing of this, for the only person who calls him ‚Ned‘ is Jasper. Meanwhile, Jasper buys himself a black scarf of strong silk, which is not seen again during the course of the novel. The reconciliation dinner is successful and at midnight, Drood and Neville Landless leave together to go down to the river and look at a wind storm that rages that night.

The next morning Edwin is missing and Jasper spreads suspicion that Neville has killed him. Neville leaves early in the morning for his hike; the townspeople overtake him and bring him back to the city. Rev. Mr Crisparkle keeps Neville out of jail by taking responsibility for him: he will produce him anytime his presence is required. That night Jasper is grief-stricken when Mr. Grewgious informs him that Edwin and Rosa had ended their betrothal; he reacts more strongly to this news than to the prospect that Edwin be dead. The next morning Rev. Mr Crisparkle goes to the river weir and finds Edwin’s watch and chain and his shirt pin.

A half-year later, Neville is living in London near Mr. Grewgious’s office. Mr. Tartar introduces himself and offers to share his garden with Landless; Mr. Tartar’s chambers are adjacent to Neville’s above a common courtyard. A stranger who calls himself Dick Datchery arrives in Cloisterham. He rents a room below Jasper and observes the comings and goings in the area. On his way to the lodging the first time, Mr. Datchery asks directions from Deputy. Deputy will not go near there for fear that Jasper will choke him again.

Jasper visits Rosa at the Nuns‘ House and professes his love for her. She rejects him but he persists; he says that if she gives him no hope, he will destroy Neville, the brother of her dear friend Helena. In fear of Jasper, Rosa goes to Mr. Grewgious in London.

The next day Rev. Mr Crisparkle follows Rosa to London. When he is with Mr. Grewgious and Rosa, Mr. Tartar calls and asks if he remembers him. Rev. Crisparkle does remember him, as the one who years before saved him from drowning. They do not dare let Rosa contact Neville and Helena directly, for fear that Jasper may be watching Neville, but Mr. Tartar allows Rosa to visit his chambers to contact Helena above the courtyard. Mr. Grewgious arranges for Rosa to rent a place from Mrs. Billickin and for Miss Twinkleton to live with her there so that she can live there respectably.

Jasper visits the London opium den again for the first time since Edwin’s disappearance. When he leaves at dawn, the woman who runs the opium den follows him. She vows to herself that she will not lose his trail again as she did after his last visit. This time she follows him all the way to his home in Cloisterham; outside she meets Mr. Datchery, who tells her Jasper’s name and that he will sing the next morning in the cathedral service. On inquiry, Datchery learns she is called „Princess Puffer.“ The next morning she attends the service and shakes her fists at Jasper from behind a pillar.

Dickens’s death leaves the rest of the story unknown; according to his friend and biographer John Forster, after Dickens had written him two brief letters which relate to the plot (but not the murder), he had supplied Forster with an outline of the full plot:

His first fancy for the tale was expressed in a letter in the middle of July. „What should you think of the idea of a story beginning in this way?—Two people, boy and girl, or very young, going apart from one another, pledged to be married after many years—at the end of the book. The interest to arise out of the tracing of their separate ways, and the impossibility of telling what will be done with that impending fate.“ This was laid aside; but it left a marked trace on the story as afterwards designed, in the position of Edwin Drood and his betrothed. I first heard of the later design in a letter dated „Friday the 6th of August 1869“, in which after speaking, with the usual unstinted praise he bestowed always on what moved him in others, of a little tale he had received for his journal, he spoke of the change that had occurred to him for the new tale by himself. „I laid aside the fancy I told you of, and have a very curious and new idea for my new story. Not a communicable idea (or the interest of the book would be gone), but a very strong one, though difficult to work.“ The story, I learnt immediately afterward, was to be that of the murder of a nephew by his uncle; the originality of which was to consist in the review of the murderer’s career by himself at the close, when its temptations were to be dwelt upon as if, not he the culprit, but some other man, were the tempted. The last chapters were to be written in the condemned cell, to which his wickedness, all elaborately elicited from him as if told of another, had brought him. Discovery by the murderer of the utter needlessness of the murder for its object, was to follow hard upon commission of the deed; but all discovery of the murderer was to be baffled till towards the close, when, by means of a gold ring which had resisted the corrosive effects of the lime into which he had thrown the body, not only the person murdered was to be identified but the locality of the crime and the man who committed it. So much was told to me before any of the book was written; and it will be recollected that the ring, taken by Drood to be given to his betrothed only if their engagement went on, was brought away with him from their last interview. Rosa was to marry Tartar, and Crisparkle the sister of Landless, who was himself, I think, to have perished in assisting Tartar finally to unmask and seize the murderer.

 

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

 

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The Sacred Writings of St. Anselm

The Sacred Writings of St. Anselm

„The Sacred Writings Of …“ provides you with the essential works among the Christian writings. The volumes cover the beginning of Christianity until medieval times. The present volume of St. Anselm’s most important philosophical and theological writings contains: (1) The Proslogium (2) the Monologium, (3) the Cur Deus Homo, and (4) by way of historical complement, an Appendix to the Monologium entitled In Behalf of the Fool by Gaunilon, a monk of Marmoutiers.

The Sacred Writings of St. Anselm

The Sacred Writings of St. Anselm

 

Format: Paperback.

The Sacred Writings of St. Anselm.

ISBN: 9783849675455.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Biography of St. Anselm (from wikipedia)

Anselm of Canterbury, also called Anselm of Aosta (Italian: Anselmo d’Aosta) after his birthplace and Anselm of Bec (French: Anselme du Bec) after his monastery, was a Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church, who held the office of archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. After his death, he was canonized as a saint; his feast day is 21 April.

Beginning at Bec, Anselm composed dialogues and treatises with a rational and philosophical approach, sometimes causing him to be credited as the founder of Scholasticism. Despite his lack of recognition in this field in his own time, Anselm is now famed as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God and of the satisfaction theory of atonement. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by a bull of Pope Clement XI in 1720.

As archbishop, he defended the church’s interests in England amid the Investiture Controversy. For his resistance to the English kings William II and Henry I, he was exiled twice: once from 1097 to 1100 and then from 1105 to 1107. While in exile, he helped guide the Greek bishops of southern Italy to adopt Roman rites at the Council of Bari. He worked for the primacy of Canterbury over the bishops of York and Wales but, though at his death he appeared to have been successful, Pope Paschal II later reversed himself and restored York’s independence.

 

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

 

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The Harmony Of The Gospels

The Harmony Of The Gospels – St. Augustine of Hippo

The most weighty of the doctrinal treatises is that on the Holy Trinity. The Latin original (De Trinitate contra Arianos libri quindecim), is contained in the 8th volume of the Benedictine edition. It is the most elaborate, and probably also the ablest and profoundest patristic discussion of this central doctrine of the Christian religion, unless we except the Orations against the Arians, by Athanasius, „the Father of Orthodoxy,“ who devoted his life to the defense of the Divinity of Christ. Augustine, owing to his defective knowledge of Greek, wrote his work independently of the previous treatises of the Eastern Church on that subject. He bestowed more time and care upon it than on any other book, except the City of God. Besides this treatise the following works are included: The Enchiridion, or On Faith, Hope and Love, On the Catechising of the Uninstructed, Treatise on Faith and the Creed, Concerning Faith of Things not Seen, On the Profit of Believing On the Creed.

The Harmony Of The Gospels

The Harmony Of The Gospels

Format: Paperback.

The Harmony Of The Gospels.

ISBN: 9783849675448.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

 

Biography of St. Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo (13 November 354 – 28 August 430) was an early Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius (within modern-day Annaba, Algeria), located in Numidia (Roman province of Africa). Augustine is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Era. Among his most important works are The City of God and Confessions. According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine „established anew the ancient Faith.“ In his early years, he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the neo-Platonism of Plotinus. After his baptism and conversion to Christianity in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and perspectives. Believing that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, he helped formulate the doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory. When the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material Earthly City. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople closely identified with Augustine’s On the Trinity.

Augustine is recognized as a saint in the Catholic Church, the Eastern Christian Church, and the Anglican Communion and as a preeminent Doctor of the Church. He is also the patron of the Augustinians. His memorial is celebrated on 28 August, the day of his death. Augustine is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists and Lutherans, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace. Lutherans, and Martin Luther in particular, have held Augustine in preeminence (after the Bible and St. Paul). Luther himself was a member of the Order of the Augustinian Eremites (1505-1521).

In the East, some of his teachings are disputed and have in the 20th century in particular come under attack by such theologians as John Romanides. But other theologians and figures of the Eastern Orthodox Church have shown significant appropriation of his writings, chiefly Georges Florovsky. The most controversial doctrine surrounding his name is the filioque, which has been rejected by the Orthodox Church. Other disputed teachings include his views on original sin, the doctrine of grace, and predestination. Nevertheless, though considered to be mistaken on some points, he is still considered a saint, and has even had influence on some Eastern Church Fathers, most notably Saint Gregory Palamas. In the Orthodox Church his feast day is celebrated on 28 August. Church scholar and historian Diarmaid MacCulloch writes „his impact on Western Christian thought can hardly be overstated; only his beloved example Paul of Tarsus, has been more influential, and Westerners have generally seen Paul through Augustine’s eyes.“

 

(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.

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