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Great Astronomers:  Johannes Kepler

by Robert Stawell Ball

German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) derived his mathematical laws of planetary motion from astronomical data meticulously collected by Tycho Brahe, who, as he was dying, beseeched young Kepler to use...

The Necessity of Atheism

by David Marshall Brooks

Excerpts: "There are no problems related to human progress and happiness in this age which any theology can solve, and which the teachings of freethought cannot do better and without the aid of encumbrances....

The Hyborian Age

Conan the Barbarian #17

by Robert Ervin Howard

The Hyborian Age is an essay by Robert E. Howard pertaining to the Hyborian Age, the fictional setting of his stories about Conan the Cimmerian. It was written in the 1930s but not published during Howard's...

Eugenics and Other Evils

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

From the introduction: "I publish these essays at the present time for a particular reason connected with the present situation; a reason which I should like briefly to emphasise and make clear. Though most...

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau wrote his famous essay, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, as a protest against an unjust but popular war and the immoral but popular institution of slave-owning.

The United States Constitution

by James Madison

The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of the United States of America and the...

The Religion of The Chinese

by J. J. M. de Groot

J. J. M. (Jan Jakob Maria) de Groot, Ph.D., (1854-1921) was a Dutch Sinologist and historian of religion. In this scholarly book published in 1910, he details the history, rituals, and beliefs of the major traditional...

Discourse on the Method

by René Descartes

The Discourse on the Method is a philosophical and mathematical treatise published by René Descartes in 1637. Its full name is Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Searching for Truth...

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

by David Hume

David Hume, the 18th century philosopher, economist, and historian, uses a lively Socratic discussion by three characters to explore the nature of religion and God, particularly whether and how one can know...

On Liberty

by John Stuart Mill

On Liberty is a philosophical work by 19th century English philosopher John Stuart Mill, first published in 1859. To the Victorian readers of the time it was a radical work, advocating moral and economic freedom...

The Confessions

by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

In his Confessions Jean-Jacques Rousseau tells the story of his life, from the formative experience of his humble childhood in Geneva, through the achievement of international fame as novelist and philosopher...

Travels through France and Italy

by Tobias Smollett

After suffering the loss of his only child, 15-year-old Elizabeth, in April of 1763, Smollett left England in June of that year. Together with his wife, he traveled across France to Nice. In the autumn of the...

The Law

by Frédéric Bastiat

The Law, original French title La Loi, is a 1849 book by Frédéric Bastiat. It was published one year after the third French Revolution of 1848 and one year before his death of tuberculosis at age 49. The essay...

King John

by William Shakespeare

The Life and Death of King John, a history play by William Shakespeare, dramatizes the reign of King John of England (ruled 1199–1216), son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and father of Henry...

Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan, Vol 1

by Lafcadio Hearn

A Japanese magic-lantern show is essentially dramatic. It is a play of which the dialogue is uttered by invisible personages, the actors and the scenery being only luminous shadows. Wherefore it is peculiarly...

The Capture of a Slaver

by John Taylor Wood

A true personal account of the capture of a slave-running ship by a United States gunship in the fleet assigned for the suppression of the slave trade. It is told in 1900 by John Taylor Wood, who, 50 years earlier,...

The Makers of Canada: George Brown

by John Lewis

George Brown (November 29, 1818 – March 9, 1880) was a Scottish-born Canadian journalist, politician Fathers of Confederation. A noted Reform politician, he was also the founder and editor of the Toronto Globe,...

Practical Mysticism

by Evelyn Underhill

In this short work (subtitled "A Little Book For Normal People") Evelyn Underhill, one of the 20th Century's leading scholars of Christian Mysticism, seeks "to put the view of the universe and man's place in...

Candide

by Voltaire

Candide, ou l'Optimisme (1759) is a French satire by the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire, English translations of which have been titled Candide: Or, All for the Best (1759); Candide: Or, The Optimist (1762);...

Great Astronomers:  Pierre-Simon Laplace

by Robert Stawell Ball

Pierre-Simon, Marquis de Laplace (1749-1827), was a French mathematician and astronomer, sometimes referred to as the French Newton. His work was pivotal to the mathematical development of astronomy, physics,...