e-books

Download the Major Works of Jane Austen as Free eBooks & Audio Books

in Audio Books, e-books, Literature | April 1st, 2015

Jane_Austen

Why does Jane Austen feel so much like our contemporary? Is it the way she has been appropriated by popular culture, turned into a vampish, modern consumer icon in adaptations like From Prada to Nada, Clueless, and Bridget Jones’ Diary? Do these candy-colored updates of Austen truly represent the spirit of the late 18th/early 19th century novelist’s world? Or do we gravitate toward Austen because of nostalgia for a simpler, almost pre-industrial time, when—as in the rather reactionary world of Downton Abbey—the comings and goings in a single household constituted an entire human society?

Why not both? As the writers and artists in the video above from the Morgan Library assert, Austen, like Shakespeare, is a writer for every age. “The Divine Jane” as the title dubs her, had an insight into human behavior that transcends the particulars of her historical moment. But of course, the context of Austen’s fiction—a time of great English country houses and an emerging class-consciousness based on rapidly changing social arrangements—is no mere backdrop. Like Shakespeare, we need to understand Austen on her own terms as much as we enjoy her wit transposed into our own.

The Morgan Library’s “A Woman’s Wit” exhibit, moved online since its debut in the physical space in 2009, offers an excellent collection of resources for scholars and lay readers to discover Austen’s world through her correspondence and manuscripts. You’ll also find there drawings by Austen and her contemporaries and commentary from a number of twentieth century writers inspired by her work. Much of the Austen-mania of the past several years treats the novelist as a more-or-less postmodern ironist—“hotter,” wrote Martin Amis in 1996, “than Quentin Tarantino.” That she has become such fodder for films, both good and frankly terrible, can obscure her obsession with language, one represented by her novels, of course, as well as by her letters—so lively and immediate so as to have inspired a “Perfect Love Letter” competition among Austen enthusiasts.

As for the novels, well, there really is no substitute. Dressing Austen up in Prada and Gucci and recasting her bumbling suitors and impish heroines as mall-savvy teenage Americans has—one hopes—been done enough. Let not Austen’s appeal to our age eclipse the rich, fine-grained observations she made of hers. Whether you’re new to Austen or a lifelong reader, her work is always available, as she intended it to be experienced, on the page—or, er… the screen… thanks to internet publishing and organizations like Project Gutenberg, Librivox and the University of Adelaide’s eBook library. At the links below, you can find all of Austen’s major works in various eBook and audio formats.

So by all means, enjoy the modern classic Clueless, that hilarious rendition of Austen’s Emma. And by all means, read Emma, and Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park, and… well, you get the idea….

Related Content:

900 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free

Jane Austen Used Pins to Edit Her Abandoned Manuscript, The Watsons

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

What Did Jane Austen Really Look Like? New Wax Sculpture, Created by Forensic Specialists, Shows Us

15-Year-Old Jane Austen Writes a Satirical History Of England: Read the Handwritten Manuscript Online (1791)

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow him at @jdmagness

by | Make a Comment ( 1 )

Free eBook: Freud’s Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Brontë’s Grave

in e-books, Travel | March 2nd, 2015

Freud's Couch

Worth a quick note: Every month, The University of Chicago Press makes available a free ebook, which you can read online. This month’s pick is Freud’s Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Brontë’s Grave, by the University of Cambridge Classics professor Simon Goldhill, who doubles as the director of the Cambridge Victorian Studies group. The press describes the book as follows:

If you have toured the home of a famed writer, seen the desk at which they worked, or visited their grave, you are a literary pilgrim, partaking in a form of tourism first popular in the Victorian era. In our free e-book for March, Freud’s Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Brontë’s Grave, Simon Goldhill makes a pilgrimage to Sir Walter Scott’s baronial mansion, Wordsworth’s cottage in the Lake District, the Brontë parsonage, Shakespeare’s birthplace, and Freud’s office in Hampstead. He gamely negotiates distractions ranging from broken bicycles to a flock of giggling Japanese schoolgirls, as he tries to discern what our forebears were looking for at these sites, as well as what they have to say to the modern pilgrim. Take your literary pilgrimage in our free e-book, Freud’s Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Brontë’s Grave.

The book, which got a warm review in The Wall Street Journal, can be accessed via The U. Chicago site.  Countless more free ebooks (downloadable ones!) can be found in our collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.

Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.

by | Make a Comment ( 1 )

Read the Lost Sherlock Holmes Story That Was Just Discovered in an Attic in Scotland

in e-books, Literature | February 22nd, 2015

sherlock_holmes_in_public-domain

In November, we presented for you a quick way to download The Complete Sherlock Holmes — not knowing that, a few months later, a lost Sherlock Holmes story, seemingly attributed to Arthur Conan Doyle, would be discovered in an attic in Scotland.

The story, The Guardian writes, was “part of a pamphlet printed in 1903 to raise money to restore a bridge in the Scottish border town of Selkirk.” Discovered by the historian Walter Elliot, the tale entitled “Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar” can be read below, thanks to Vulture.

In 2013, a US judge ruled that Sherlock Holmes stories now belonged in the public domain. The same would appear to hold true for this happily discovered, 1300-word story. You can find more Sherlock Holmes stories in our collection of Free eBooks.

“Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar”

We’ve had enough of old romancists and the men of travel” said the Editor, as he blue-pencilled his copy, and made arrangements for the great Saturday edition of the Bazaar Book. “We want something up-to-date. Why not have a word from ‘Sherlock Holmes?'”

Editors have only to speak and it is done, at least, they think so. “Sherlock Holmes!” As well talk of interviewing the Man in the Moon. But it does not do to tell Editors all that you think. I had no objections whatever, I assured the Editor, to buttonhole “Sherlock Holmes,” but to do so I should have to go to London.

“London!” scornfully sniffed the Great Man. “And you profess to be a journalist? Have you never heard of the telegraph, the telephone, or the phonograh? Go to London! And are you not aware that all journalists are supposed to be qualified members of the Institute of Fiction, and to be qualified to make use of the Faculty of Imagination? By the use of the latter men have been interviewed, who were hundreds of miles away; some have been ‘interviewed’ without either knowledge or consent. See that you have a topical article ready for the press for Saturday. Good day.”

I was dismissed and had to find copy by hook or by crook. Well, the Faculty of Imagination might be worth a trial.

The familiar house in Sloan Street met my bewildered gaze. The door was shut, the blinds drawn. I entered; doors are no barrier to one who uses the Faculty of Imagination. The soft light from an electric bulb flooded the room. “Sherlock Holmes” sits by the side of the table; Dr Watson is on his feet about to leave for the night. Sherlock Holmes, as has lately been shown by a prominent journal, is a pronounced Free Trader. Dr. Watson is a mild Protectionist, who would take his gruelling behind a Martello tower, as Lord Goschen wittily put it, but not “lying down!” The twain had just finished a stiff argument on Fiscal policy. Holmes loq—

“And when shall I see you again, Watson? The inquiry into the ‘Mysteries of the Secret Cabinet’ will be continued in Edinburgh on Saturday. Do you mind a run down to Scotland? You would get some capital data which you might turn to good account later.”

“I am very sorry,” replied Dr Watson, “I should have liked to have gone with you, but a prior engagement prevents me. I will, however, have the pleasure of being in kindly Scottish company that day. I, also, am going to Scotland.”

“Ah! Then you are going to the Border country at that time?”

“How do you know that?”

“My dear Watson, it’s all a matter of deduction.”

“Will you explain?”

“Well, when a man becomes absorbed in a certain theme, the murder will out some day. In many discussions you and I have on the fiscal question from time to time I have not failed to notice that you have taken up an attitude antagonistic to a certain school of thought, and on several occasions you have commented on the passing of “so-called’ reforms, as you describe them, which you say were not the result of a spontaneous movement from or by the people, but solely due to the pressure of the Manchester School of politicians appealing to the mob. One of these allusions you made a peculiar reference to ‘Huz an’ Mainchester’ who had ‘turned the world upside down.’ The word ‘Huz’ stuck to me, but after consulting many authors without learning anything as to the source of the word, I one day in reading a provincial paper noticed the same expression, which the writer said was descriptive of the way Hawick people looked at the progress of Reform. ‘Huz an’ Mainchester’ led the way. So, thought I, Watson has a knowledge of Hawick. I was still further confirmed in this idea by hearing you in several absent moments crooning a weird song of the Norwegian God Thor. Again I made enquires, and writing to a friend in the South country I procured a copy of ‘Teribus.’ So, I reasoned, so — there’s something in the air! What attraction has Hawick for Watson?”

“Wonderful,” Watson said, “and —”

“Yes, and when you characterised the action of the German Government in seeking to hamper Canadian trade by raising her tariff wall against her, as a case of ‘Sour Plums,’ and again in a drawing room asked a mutual lady friend to sing you that fine old song, ‘Braw, braw lads,’ I was curious enough to look up the old ballad, and finding it had reference to a small town near to Hawick, I began to see a ray of daylight. Hawick had a place in your mind; likewise so had Galashiels — so much was apparent. The question to be decided was why?”

“So far so good. And—”

“Later still the plot deepened. Why, when I was retailing to you the steps that led up to the arrest of the Norwood builder by the impression of his thumb, I found a very great surprise that you were not listening at all to my reasoning, but were lilting a very sweet – a very sweet tune, Watson – ‘The Flowers of the Forest;’ then I in turn consulted an authority on the subject, and found that that lovely if tragic song had a special reference to Selkirk. And you remember, Watson, how very enthusiastic you grew all of a sudden on the subject of Common-Ridings, and how much you studied the history of James IV., with special reference to Flodden Field. All these things speak, Watson, to the orderly brain of a thinker. Hawick, Galashiels, and Selkirk. What did the combination mean? I felt I must solve the problem, Watson; so that night when you left me, after we had discussed the “Tragedy of a Divided House,” I ordered in a ton of tobacco, wrapped my cloak about me, and spent the night in thought. When you came round in the morning the problem was solved. I could not on the accumulative evidence but come to the conclusion that you contemplated another Parliamentary contest. Watson, you have the Border Burghs in your eye!”

“In my heart, Holmes,” said Watson.

“And where do you travel to on Saturday, Watson?”

“I am going to Selkirk; I have an engagement there to open a Bazaar.”

“Is it in aide of a Bridge, Watson?”

“Yes,’ replied Watson in surprise; “but how do you know? I have never mentioned the matter to you.”

“By word, no; but by your action you have revealed the bent of your mind.”

“Impossible!”

“Let me explain. A week ago you came round to my rooms and asked for a look at ‘Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome.’ (You know I admire Macaulay’s works, and have a full set.) That volume, after a casual look at, you took with you. When you returned it a day or two later I noticed it was marked with a slip of paper at the ‘Lay of Horatius,’ and I detected a faint pencil mark on the slip noting that the closing stanza was very appropriate. As you know, Watson, the lay is all descriptive of the keeping of a bridge. Let me remind you how nicely you would perorate —

When the goodman mends his armour
And trims his helmet’s plume,
When the goodwife’s shuttle merrily
Goes flashing through the loom,
With weeping and with laughter.
Still the story told —
How well Horatius kept the bridge,
In the brave days of old.

Could I, being mortal, help thinking you were bent on some such exploit yourself?”

“Very true!”

“Well, goodbye, Watson; shall be glad of your company after Saturday. Remember Horatius’ words when you go to Border Burghs: ‘How can man die better than facing fearful odds.’ But there, these words are only illustrations. Safe journey, and success to the Brig!”

Related Content:

Download the Complete Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Masterpiece

Arthur Conan Doyle Discusses Sherlock Holmes and Psychics in a Rare Filmed Interview (1927)

Hear the Voice of Arthur Conan Doyle After His Death

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

by | Make a Comment ( 5 )

Read 3 Stories from Haruki Murakami’s Short Story Collection Published in Japan Last Year

in e-books, Literature | February 17th, 2015

Briefly noted: Last spring, Haruki Murakami released a new collection of short stories in Japan, roughly translated as Men Without Women. If past trends hold, this volume may never see the light of day in the States. But we may get to read all of the individual stories in the pages of The New Yorker. Last year, the magazine published two of Murakami’s six new stories — “Scheherazade” and “Yesterday.” And now comes another, “Kino.”  You can read it online here.

Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.

Related Content:

Read 6 Stories By Haruki Murakami Free Online

Haruki Murakami Reads in English from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in a Rare Public Reading (1998)

Haruki Murakami Lists the Three Essential Qualities For All Serious Novelists (And Runners)

In Search of Haruki Murakami: A Documentary Introduction to Japan’s Great Postmodernist Novelist

Haruki Murakami’s Passion for Jazz: Discover the Novelist’s Jazz Playlist, Jazz Essay & Jazz Bar

by | Make a Comment ( None )

Download The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe on His Birthday

in Audio Books, e-books | January 19th, 2015

poe birthday

Edgar Allan Poe was born on this day 206 years ago. BoingBoing suggests celebrating Poe’s birthday with these Vincent Price wines. But seeing that the 2012 Raven Cabernet Sauvignon runs $75.00, we’re going to steer you toward something free. If you revisit our post from October, you can download Poe’s complete works as ebooks and free audio books. Lots of great stories in one bundle. And it won’t cost you a dime. You’d have to think that Poe, who died penniless, would approve.

Find lots more literary freebies in our twin collections:

900 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free

and

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.

Related Content:

Watch the 1953 Animation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Narrated by James Mason

Seven Tips from Edgar Allan Poe on How to Write Vivid Stories and Poems

Gustave Doré’s Splendid Illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” (1884)

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” Read by Christopher Walken, Vincent Price, and Christopher Lee

by | Make a Comment ( 1 )

Fill Your New Kindle, iPad, iPhone, eReader with Free eBooks, Movies, Audio Books, Online Courses & More

in Audio Books, e-books, Film, iPad, Online Courses | December 25th, 2014

ipadgift-2

Santa left a new KindleiPad, Kindle Fire or other media player under your tree. He did his job. Now we’ll do ours. We’ll tell you how to fill those devices with free intelligent media — great books, movies, courses, and all of the rest. And if you didn’t get a new gadget, fear not. You can access all of these materials on the good old fashioned computer. Here we go:

Free eBooks: You have always wanted to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our Free eBooks collection you will find 700 great works by some classic writers (Dickens, Dostoevsky, Shakespeare and Tolstoy) and contemporary writers (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, and Kurt Vonnegut). The collection also gives you access to the 51-volume Harvard Classics.

If you’re an iPad/iPhone user, the download process is super easy. Just click the “iPad/iPhone” links and you’re good to go. Kindle and Nook users will generally want to click the “Kindle + Other Formats links” to download ebook files, but we’d suggest watching these instructional videos (Kindle – Nook) beforehand.

Free Audio Books: What better way to spend your free time than listening to some of the greatest books ever written? This page contains a vast number of free audio books — 630 works in total — including texts by Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, George Orwell and more recent writers — Italo Calvino, Vladimir Nabokov, Raymond Carver, etc. You can download these classic books straight to your gadgets, then listen as you go.

[Note: If you’re looking for a contemporary book, you can download one free audio book from Audible.com. Find details on Audible’s no-strings-attached deal here.]

Free Online Courses: This list brings together over 1100 free online courses from leading universities, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, Oxford and beyond.




These full-fledged courses range across all disciplines — historyphysicsphilosophypsychology, business, and beyond. Most all of these courses are available in audio, and roughly 75% are available in video. You can’t receive credits or certificates for these courses (click here for courses that do offer certificates). But the amount of personal enrichment you will derive is immeasurable.

Free Movies: With a click of a mouse, or a tap of your touch screen, you will have access to 700 great movies. The collection hosts many classics, westerns, indies, documentaries, silent films and film noir favorites. It features work by some of our great directors (Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Andrei Tarkovsky, Stanley Kubrick, Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch) and performances by cinema legends: John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Audrey Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and beyond. On this one page, you will find thousands of hours of cinema bliss.

Free Language Lessons: Perhaps learning a new language is high on your list of New Year’s resolutions. Well, here is a great way to do it. Take your pick of 46 languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, English, Russian, Dutch, even Finnish, Yiddish and Esperanto. These lessons are all free and ready to download.

Free Textbooks: And one last item for the lifelong learners among you. We have scoured the web and pulled together a list of 200 Free Textbooks. It’s a great resource particularly if you’re looking to learn math, computer science or physics on your own. There might be a diamond in the rough here for you.

Thank Santa, maybe thank us, and enjoy that new device….

Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.

by | Make a Comment ( 21 )

Download 135 Free Philosophy eBooks: From Aristotle to Nietzsche & Wittgenstein

in e-books, Philosophy | November 14th, 2014


Nietzsche

Just wanted to give you a quick heads up that we’ve recently spun out a collection of Free Philosophy eBooks (from our larger, more diverse collection of 600 Free eBooks). Right now, you will find 110 classic works on the new list — foundational texts written by Aristotle, Descartes, Hegel and Kant, not to mention Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein and Nietzsche, too. The list will keep growing at a steady clip. But if you see any crucial texts missing, please let us know, and we will try to get them added ASAP. Of course, we’re looking for works in the public domain.

You can generally download the Free Philosophy eBooks to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone and other devices. (Kindle users can use these instructions to get .mobi files onto their devices.) Or, in most cases, we give you the option to read the books in your web browser. Take your pick.

As a quick last note, you might want to complement the Philosophy eBooks with our big list of Free Online Philosophy Courses. The two collections go hand in hand.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google Plus and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.

Related Content:

28 Important Philosophers List the Books That Influenced Them Most During Their College Days

The Epistemology of Dr. Seuss & More Philosophy Lessons from Great Children’s Stories

44 Essential Movies for the Student of Philosophy

Download 100 Free Philosophy Courses and Start Living the Examined Life

The Harvard Classics: A Free, Digital Collection

1200 Free Online Courses from Top Universities

by | Make a Comment ( 27 )

130 Free Microsoft eBooks & Guides

in e-books, Technology | July 9th, 2014

msft

Quick fyi: Eric Ligman, a Microsoft Sales Excellence Manager, has gathered together a big list of free Microsoft ebooks and resource guides that will help you navigate through various Microsoft issues. Some of the texts are geared toward consumers; others toward IT professionals working with Microsoft products. A few handy titles include:

Most titles are made available as in epub, pdf, and mobi formats.

via Metafilter

Related Content:

Free Online Computer Science Courses

Free Textbooks: Computer Science

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

by | Make a Comment ( None )

E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth Released as a Free eBook and Free Course on iTunes

in Biology, Books, e-books, Online Courses | July 1st, 2014

Yesterday, E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth was released as a free iBook on iTunes. It features “state-of-the-art digital media animations, video, and interactive modules in a comprehensive 41-chapter text covering standards-based biology curriculum.” Created under the direction of Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard naturalist Edward O.Wilson, Life on Earth can be downloaded in 7 units on iTunes. The free book also comes with a free iTunesU course. In addition to reading assignments, the course “incorporates activities such as field observations, writing assignments, project-based learning exercises,” using apps and other materials. Combining information from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Geographic, and the Encyclopedia of Life, the course covers a variety of important themes — citizen science, evolution, climate change, and protecting biodiversity. The first nine chapters of the iTunesU course are available now, and the remaining materials for the 41-chapter course will be released throughout 2014.

The book can be found in our collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices. And the course will be added to our list of Free Online Biology Courses, part of our larger collection: 1200 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

h/t @RandyDeutsch

Related Content:

Enter E.O. Wilson’s Encyclopedia of Life: Free Access to All The World’s Knowledge About Life

by | Make a Comment ( 10 )

Routledge Gives Free Access to 6,000 eBooks in June (Including Philosophy & Cultural Studies Texts)

in e-books, Philosophy | June 24th, 2014

phenomenological mind

A quick note: After digitizing over 15,000 books, Routledge has made 6,000 of these e-texts free for viewing during the month of June. You can browse the complete list of titles in Routledge’s e-catalog by clicking here. Once you have selected a title, you can then click the blue “View Inside this Book” button to start reading the text. The collection includes lots of works focused on Economics, Finance and BusinessPolitics and International Relations; and Philosophy and Cultural Studies.The latter category will undoubtedly interest our many philosophically-minded readers. Among the texts you will find Foucault and EducationCultural Analysis The Work of Peter L. Berger, Mary Douglas, Michel Foucault, and Jürgen Habermas; Heidegger and the Romantics: The Literary Invention of MeaningThe Notebooks of Simone Weil; and A Historical Introduction to Phenomenology. The image above comes from The Phenomenological Mind by Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi.

via Leiter Reports

Related Content:

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices

Free Online Philosophy Courses

Michel Foucault: Free Lectures on Truth, Discourse & The Self

170 Free Textbooks: A Meta Collection

Read 9 Books By Noam Chomsky Free Online

 

by | Make a Comment ( 2 )