Free Ebook of the Week: Tolstoy on Shakespeare and A Short History of Russia (1907)

Thanks to a suggestion from Michael Bowman-Jones, this week’s Free Ebook of the Week consists of the essay “Tolstoy on Shakespeare” and the book “A Short History of Russia by Mary Platt Parmele.

The Tolstoy on Shakespeare file also includes the essay “Shakespeare’s Attitude to the Working Classes” by Ernest Crosby.

The Russian history was first published in 1907.  According to the Preface: “If this book seems to have departed from the proper ideal of historic narrative–if it is the history of a Power, and not of a People–it is because the Russian people have had no history yet.  There has been no evolution of a Russian nation, but only of a vast governing system; and the words “Russian Empire” stand for a majestic world-power in which the mass of its people have no part.  A splendidly embroidered robe of Europeanism is worn over a chaotic, undeveloped mass of semi-barbarism.  The reasons for this incongruity–the natural obstacles with which Russia has had to contend; the strange ethnic problems with which it has had to deal; its triumphant entry into the family of great nations; and the circumstances leading to the disastrous conflict recently concluded, and the changed conditions resulting from it–such is the story this book has tried to tell.”

Next week, also at the suggestion of Michael Bowman-Jones, I intend to send out a novel by the Polish author Sienkiewicz. Then either more Siekiewicz, or I’ll move on to books from India or works by James Joyce or Virginia Woolf, both of whom died in 1941, and hence their pre-1923 published work entered the public domain.

Please let me know if you’d prefer to receive these books in .prc format (for the Kindle) or .epub (for the Nook, Kobo, Sony, and other ereaders).

Meanwile, thanks to a suggestion from Betty Bandy, the Kid’s Book of the Week is “Eight Cousins” by Louisa May Alcott. Please let me know if you’d like me to add you to that list (and whether you’d like .txt, .epub, or Kindle).

FYI — I just expanded my 2-for-1 offer for book collections on CD and DVD. Before, you could get two copies of the same CD or DVD for the price of one. Now, you can choose a different CD or DVD of the same price. The books on these CDs and DVDs are in plain text (.txt) format (the main format I use for these mailings). Hence they can be read on e-readers, such as Nook, Kobo, and Kindle, but with ragged right margin. You can see details on all 200 of our offerings at our online store

Suggestions always welcome.

Please spread the word.


Richard Seltzer

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