Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

Thomas de Quincey

Confessions of an English Opium-Eater is an autobiographical account written by Thomas De Quincey, about his laudanum addiction and its effect on his life. It was criticized for presenting a too positive and too enticing picture of the opium experience to readers. And apparently, several English writers: Francis Thompson, James Thomson, William Blair, and perhaps Branwell Brontë — were led to opium use and addiction…

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De Profundis

De Profundis

Oscar Wilde

This is a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to Lord Alfred Douglas. During its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde’s conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ. Wilde wrote the letter between January and March…

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Great Explorations in Africa

Great Explorations in Africa

J. T. Headley

The full title of this 1886 book is ‘Great Explorations in the Wilds of Africa including Sir Samuel Baker’s expedition with a force of nearly two thousand men to suppress the slave trade; Lieut. Cameron’s ‘Across Africa’, with these travelers marvelous accounts of fighting the natives, hunting the hippopotamus, elephant and lion’.

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Hospital Sketches

Hospital Sketches

Louisa May Alcott

Writing under a pseudonym, Alcott recounts the six weeks she spent as a volunteer nurse for the Union Army during the American Civil War in Georgetown. A vivid and truthful portrait of an often overlooked aspect of the Civil War, this book remains among the most illuminating reports of the era’s medical practices as well as a moving testimonial to the war’s human cost.

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In the Heart of Africa

In the Heart of Africa

Samuel W. Baker

A journal of a British explorer and big game hunter. Chapter subjects include: The Nubian Desert: Egypt’s Rule of the Soudan; The Arabs’ Exodus; Wives Among the Arabs; On the Abyssinian border; Sacred shrines and epidemics; The Hamran elephant-hunters; Abyssinian slave-girls; The Soudan under Egyptian rule; and more.

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In the Ranks of the C.I.V.

In the Ranks of the C.I.V.

Erskine Childers

In the Ranks of the C. I. V., is an account of Erskine Childers’ experiences in the Boer War. He wrote it without any thought of publication: while serving with the Honourable Artillery Company in southern Africa he composed many long, descriptive letters about his experiences to his two sisters. They, together with Elizabeth Thompson, daughter of George Smith of the publishing house Smith, Elder and a friend of the family, edited…

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