Tag Archives: Free ebooks

Free Books by G. Campbell Morgan (50+)

Some readers may remember that, about ten years ago, a number of G. Campbell Morgan books (which are in the public domain) were freely available online at gcampbellmorgan.com (then the G. Campbell Morgan Archive). These were nice because they were already formatted, and the PDFs were proofreaded and readable.

With the advent of ebooks, this was turned into a paysite, and has apparently been shut down or changed domains.

However, you can still access the old free website thanks to archive.org’s Wayback Machine, which is a web crawler that archives websites.

Use the links below:

Free G. Campbell Morgan books on the Internet Archive (50+)
Free G. Campbell Morgan audiobooks on LibriVox (3)
Free G. Campbell Morgan books on the Wayback Machine (30+)

Lubbock’s List: The Original ‘Must-Read’ List

This post is a break from “our usual programming” to look at a surprisingly modern phenomenon in publishing: “must-read lists.” Included below is probably the most famous example, with links to free copies of over 100 books, mostly classics.

“The choice of books, like that of friends, is a serious duty.”
—Sir John Lubbock.

What Did People Read in Victorian Times?

I came across something in F. W. Boreham’s Ships of Pearl the other day, where he mentioned in passing that Sir John Lubbock had created a list of 100 books that anyone should read if they want to think of themselves as “well-read.” Out of pure curiosity, I found the list online, and I wanted to take a closer look at what’s there. Note: The list was partially reported in The Spectator on the day the speech was given in 1886, but it was  later published fully with comments (and a few changes) in a book by Sir John Lubbock (see chapter 4 of The Pleasures of Life).

F. W. Boreham, who informed me of the list, read many of the philosophers, historians, playwrights, and poets on this list. I would guess that he read close to half of the works on this list. The list, therefore, is a pretty strong indicator of what was popular then. It is interesting to think that a preacher in the 1910s and 1920s might be reading substantially the same literature as the layman, whereas today I would expect that I have almost no books in common with the library of non-churchgoers.

Three books on this list that were hugely influential, but are rarely explored today, would be: Boswell’s Life of Johnson (seminal in the field of biography), Keble’s Christian Year (popularized 365-day devotionals), and Smiles’ Self-Help (foundational to the modern genre of self-help).

The Widespread Influence of Lubbock’s List

Lubbock’s list was originally presented to the Working Men’s College in London, of which he was the principal from 1883 to 1899. Notably, the list set working-class men running for the Classics: Lubbock had high praise not just for Plato and Homer, but Plutarch, Xenophon, and Epictetus, names the mere mention of which would set most Americans yawning today. Lubbock also comments about omitting novels, modern historians (all “kings and queens . . . dates of battles and wars”), and modern science (“so rapidly progressive”).

This list also set off a chain reaction in English literary circles: first, of comments and criticisms; then, of scholars and academies creating their own lists; thirdly, of publishers creating series like Great Books, which were very successful into the first decades of the twentieth century.

The Purpose of the List

In a way, Lubbock’s list is the original ‘must-read’ list, but it is not by any means a list of his personal favorites. If you’re surprised by what’s there (a Victorian MP recommending the Qurʼān?), note Lubbock’s comment:

I drew up the list, not as that of the hundred best books, but, which is very different, of those which have been most frequently recommended as best worth reading.

On the Qurʼān, for instance, he writes:

The Koran, like the Analects of Confucius, will to most of us derive its principal interest from the effect it has exercised, and still exercises, on so many millions of our fellow-men. I doubt whether in any other respect it will seem to repay perusal, and to most persons probably certain extracts, not too numerous, would appear sufficient.

Nabeel Qureshi, though, would point out the cultural mismatch of making an analogy between Christians’ view of the Bible and Muslims’ views of the Qurʼān—especially noting the orality of many Muslim-majority cultures, and the recentness of widespread literacy.

More Like a Hundred-ish

The list is purported to be “a hundred,” but many of the “books” listed are either volume sets or series, and as listed it even exceeds 100 works, so that the actual number of “books” here is about 189 (!) by my count. (Some are very short, though, right?)

I’ve linked all of them to Project Gutenberg for reference. Out of all 100+ works, less than 10 were not on Project Gutenberg, which is a tribute to the enduring popularity of the books that Lubbock chose.

  1. The Holy Bible (Latin) (Spanish) (Swedish)
  2. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (German)
  3. Epictetus
  4. Aristotle’s Ethics (Greek: NE vol 1, NE vol 2)
  5. The Analects of Confucius
  6. St Hilaire’s Le Bouddha et sa religion . . . is not on Project Gutenberg but it is available here and (in French) here
  7. Wake’s Apostolic Fathers . . . is not on Project Gutenberg but it is available here
  8. Thos. à Kempis’ Imitation of Christ (French)
  9. Confessions of St. Augustine (Dr. Pusey) (Latin)
  10. The Koran (portions of)
  11. Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus
  12. Comte’s Catechism of Positive Philosophy . . . is not on Project Gutenberg but you can read it here
  13. Pascal’s Pensées [“Thoughts”]
  14. Butler’s Analogy of Religion
  15. Taylor’s Holy Living and Dying . . . is not on Project Gutenberg but you can read it here
  16. Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress (Finnish)
  17. Keble’s Christian Year
  18. Plato’s Dialogues; at any rate, the Apology (Greek), Phædo (Finnish) (Greek), and Republic (Greek)
  19. Xenophon’s Memorabilia [listed twice]
  20. Aristotle’s Politics
  21. Demosthenes’ De Corona [“On the Crown,” excerpt from The Public Orations of Demosthenes, vol. 1]
  22. Cicero’s De Officiis (Latin), De Amicitia [“On Friendship”], and De Senectute [“On Old Age”] (Latin) [the first two are available in English as Treatises on Friendship and Old Age; De Senectute is in English here]
  23. Plutarch’s Lives (Greek) (4 volumes)
  24. Berkeley’s Human Knowledge
  25. Descartes’s Discours sur la Méthode
  26. Locke’s On the Conduct of the Understanding . . . isn’t on Project Gutenberg but you can read it here and here and here 
  27. Homer’s Iliad (French) (Greek) (Latin) (Spanish) and Odyssey (Finnish) (French) (Greek) (Latin) (Spanish) (Swedish)
  28. Hesiod (Latin) (?)
  29. Virgil (Finnish) (Latin) (Scots) (?)
  30. Epitomized in Talboy Wheeler’s History of India, vols i and ii: Maha Bharata (5 volumes), Ramayana
  31. Firdusi’s Shahnameh [an excerpt from The Persian Literature, vol 1]
  32. The Nibelungenlied (only available in German)
  33. Malory’s Morte d’Arthur 
  34. The Sheking [The Shi King] . . . is not on Project Gutenberg but you can read it here
  35. Kalidasa’s Sakuntala or The Lost Ring
  36. Aeschylus’s Prometheus [excerpt of Tragedies and Fragments] (Greek)
  37. Aeschylus’s Trilogy (Greek) (Swedish)
  38. Sophocles’s Oedipus (Dutch)
  39. Euripides’s Medea
  40. Aristophanes’s The Knights and Clouds (Greek) [both are excerpts from Eleven Comedies vol 1]
  41. Horace
  42. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (Italian) (“perhaps in Morris’ edition; or, if expurgated, in C. Clarke’s, or Mrs. Haweis'”)
  43. Shakespeare (8 volumes)
  44. Milton’s Paradise Lost, Lycidas, Comus, and minor poems [Lycidas and Comus are included with the minor poems]
  45. Dante’s Divina Commedia (Cary’s tr.) (Longfellow’s tr.) (Finnish) (Friulian) (German) (Italian) (Spanish)
  46. Spenser’s Fairie Queen (1?)
  47. Dryden’s Poems [vol 1 and vol 2] (2 volumes)
  48. Scott’s Poems [such as The Lady of the Lake, Marmion, ?]
  49. Wordsworth (Mr Arnold’s selection) [Wordsworth’s complete poetical works is in 8 volumes . . . presumably Lubbock means Selected Poems of William Wordsworth]
  50. Pope’s Essay on Criticism
  51. Essay on Man
  52. Rape of the Lock [portion from Rape of the Lock and Other Poems]
  53. Burns
  54. Byron’s Childe Harold
  55. Gray [largest selection seems to be in Poetical Works of Johnson, Parnell, Gray, and Smollett]
  56. Herodotus [vol 1 and vol 2] (Greek: vol 1 and vol 2)
  57. Xenophon’s Anabasis (Greek)
  58. Thucydides (Greek)
  59. Tacitus’s Germania (Finnish) (French) (German)
  60. Livy (4 volumes)
  61. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall (6 volumes)
  62. Hume’s History of England (3 volumes)
  63. Grote’s History of Greece (12 volumes!)
  64. Carlyle’s French Revolution (3 volumes)
  65. Green’s Short History of England . . . is surprisingly not on Project Gutenberg but it is here [and Green’s 8-volume “long” history of England is on Gutenberg here]
  66. Lewes’s History of Philosophy . . . is not on Project Gutenberg but it is here: vol 1 and vol 2 
  67. Arabian Nights
  68. Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (Dutch)  (Finnish) (French)
  69. Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe
  70. Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield
  71. Cervante’s Don Quixote (Finnish)
  72. Boswell’s Life of Johnson (2 volumes)
  73. Molière (?) [his complete works are 10 volumes in English]
  74. Schiller’s William Tell
  75. Sheridan’s The Critic, School for Scandal, and The Rivals
  76. Carlyle’s Past and Present
  77. Bacon’s Novum Organum
  78. Smith’s Wealth of Nations (part of)
  79. Mill’s Political Economy
  80. Cook’s Voyages
  81. Humboldt’s Travels [vol 1, vol 2, vol 3] (3 volumes)
  82. White’s Natural History of Selborne
  83. Darwin’s Origin of Species
  84. Naturalist’s Voyage [i.e. The Voyage of the Beagle]
  85. Mill’s Logic
  86. Bacon’s Essays
  87. Montaigne’s Essays (Finnish) (French)
  88. Hume’s Essays
  89. Macaulay’s Essays (6 volumes)
  90. Addison’s Essays
  91. Emerson’s Essays
  92. Burke’s Select Works
  93. Smiles’s Self-Help
  94. Voltaire’s Zadig (Finnish) (French) (Spanish) and Micromegas (Spanish)
  95. Goethe’s Faust (German),  and Autobiography (2 volumes)
  96. Thackeray’s Vanity Fair
  97. Thackeray’s Pendennis
  98. Dickens’ Pickwick
  99. Dickens’ David Copperfield
  100. Lytton’s Last Days of Pompeii
  101. George Eliot’s Adam Bede
  102. Kingsley’s Westward Ho!
  103. Scott’s Novels [28 volumes!!]:  The Abbot; Anne of Geierstein [vol 1 and vol 2]; The AntiquaryThe Betrothed[Bizarro was not in print at the time that J. L. created his list]; The Black DwarfThe Bride of Lammermoor (Finnish) (Italian); Castle Dangerous [portion of Waverley Novels vol. 12]; Count Robert of Paris [portion of Waverley Novels vol. 12]; The Fair Maid of PerthThe Fortunes of NigelGuy ManneringThe Heart of MidlothianIvanhoe (Dutch); KenilworthA Legend of MontroseThe MonasteryOld MortalityPeveril of the PeakThe PirateQuentin DurwardRedgauntletRob Roy (French); Saint Ronan’s Well[The Siege of Malta had not been fully printed at the time J. L. created his list]; The Talisman (Dutch); Waverley (Finnish); Woodstock.
  104. [Selections from the Writings of Ruskin (added in 1930 edition)]
  105. [Ruskin’s Modern Painters (added in 1930 edition)] (5 volumes)

 

Note: Previous Lubbock lists had included:

  1. Southey’s Thalaba the Destroyer, The Curse of Kehama (vol 1 and vol 2)
  2. Lucretius [“less generally suitable than most of the others in the list”]
  3. Miss Austen’s Emma, or Pride and Prejudice [Lubbock omitted them, commenting that English novelists were “somewhat over-represented”]
  4. Locke’s Human Understanding (vol 1 and vol 2) [apparently mistaken for Conduct of the Understanding in some lists, since the titles are so similar]

Free Andrew Murray PDFs

Although almost all of Andrew Murray’s 45 books have been in print recently, most readers don’t realize how old they are because of his simple and pointed language. (Not to mention all the updated editions!) Murray was born in 1828 and died in 1917, which means everything published during his lifetime has entered the public domain.

Below is a list of all of the best PDFs available on the Internet Archive. (Those with asterisks are highly recommended.)

Abide in Christ: Thoughts on the Blessed Life of Fellowship with the Son of God
Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses
The Children for Christ
The Christian Life 
(preached Sept. 1895, Toronto)***
The Cross of Christ 
(excerpt from The Blood of the Cross)
The Dearth of Conversions (booklet)
Divine Healing: A Series of Addresses
Faith in the Power of God
The Full Blessing of Pentecost: The One Thing Needful
Helps to Intercession
 (booklet)
Have Mercy upon Me: The Prayer of the Penitent in the Fifty-First Psalm Explained and Applied
The Holiest of All: An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews
Holy in Christ: Thoughts on the Calling of God’s Children to Be Holy as He Is Holy
Humility: The Beauty of Holiness***
In My Name 
(booklet)
The Inner Chamber and the Inner Life
Jesus Himself: Two Addresses
The Key to the Missionary Problem: Thoughts Suggested by the Report of the Ecumenical Missionary Conference, Held in New York, April 1900
Like Christ: Thoughts on the Blessed Life of Conformity to the Son of God
(sequel to Abide in Christ)
The Lord’s Table: A Help to the Right Observance of the Holy Supper
Lord, Teach Us to Pray
 (excerpt from With Christ in the School of Prayer)
Love Made Perfect (booklet)
The Master’s Indwelling (preached Aug. 1895, Northfield)
The Ministry of Intercession: A Plea for More Prayer***
Money: Thoughts for God’s Stewards
The New Life: Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ
The Power of the Blood of Jesus
The Prayer Life: The Inner Chamber and the Deepest Secret of Pentecost
The Prophet-Priest: Four Addresses Delivered at Mildmay Conference, 1895
The School of Obedience (Addresses at the Students’ Convention at Stellenbosch, South Africa, July 28-31, 1898)
The Spirit of Christ: Thoughts on the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Believer and the Church
The Spiritual Life: A Series of Lectures Delivered before the Students of the Moody Bible Institute
The State of the Church: A Plea for More Prayer
The Supreme Need: In Response to a Call to the Church, in Mrs. Head’s Booklet, “The Forgotten Friend”
Thy Will Be Done: The Blessedness of a Life in the Will of God
The True Vine: Meditations for a Month on John 15:1-5***
The Two Covenants and the Second Blessing
Waiting on God
Wholly for God: The True Christian Life: A Series of Extracts from the Writings of William Law
(edited by Andrew Murray)
Why Do You Not Believe?
With Christ in the School of Prayer: Thoughts on Our Training for the Ministry of Intercession***
Working for God 
(sequel to Waiting on God)

Looking for a complete list of Andrew Murray’s books? You’ll find that here.

Free George MacDonald Books

George MacDonald was a Scottish preacher and author who holds today a profound unseen influence in the genres of theology and fantasy. His realistic fiction was a blend of romance and theology; he also had his own way of telling “fairy stories,” which helped popularize fantasy as a genre.

MacDonald passed away in 1905, so everything published by him in his lifetime is out of copyright. Here is where you can read his works for free:

Free George MacDonald books (PDF) on the Internet Archive (50+)
Free George MacDonald books in the Kindle Store (40+)
Free George MacDonald audiobooks on LibriVox (40+)
Free George MacDonald books on ManyBooks
Free George MacDonald books on the Online Books Page (60+)
Free George MacDonald books on Project Gutenberg (50+)

Free George MacDonald PDFs

The following is a complete list of George MacDonald’s books that are available for free in PDF format from the Internet Archive. Abridged titles are given in parentheses.

  1. Adela Cathcart, containing “The Light Princess”, “The Shadows”, and other short stories
  2. Alec Forbes of Howglen (= The Maiden’s Bequest)
  3. Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood (★★★★★)
  4. At the Back of the North Wind
  5. Beautiful Thoughts from George MacDonald (compilation)
  6. Cheerful Words from the Writing of George MacDonald (compilation)
  7. David Elginbrod (= The Tutor’s First Love)
  8. Dealings with the Fairies, containing “The Golden Key”, “The Light Princess”, “The Shadows”, and other short stories
  9. Diary of an Old Soul (★★★★)
  10. “The Disciple” and Other Poems
  11. A Dish of Orts (essays)
  12. Donal Grant (= The Shepherd’s Castle), a sequel to Sir Gibbie
  13. Dramatic and Miscellaneous Poems
  14. The Elect Lady (= The Landlady’s Master)
  15. England’s Antiphon (a history of religious poetry)
  16. Far Above Rubies
  17. The Flight of the Shadow
  18. The Gifts of the Child Christ and Other Tales (= Stephen Archer and Other Tales)
  19. Guild Court: A London Story (= The Prodigal Apprentice)
  20. Gutta Percha Willie, the Working Genius (= The Genius of Willie MacMichael)
  21. Heather and Snow (= The Peasant Girl’s Dream) (★★★)
  22. “A Hidden Life” and Other Poems
  23. Home Again: A Tale (= The Poet’s Homecoming)
  24. The Hope of the Gospel (★★)
  25. Lilith: A Romance
  26. Malcolm (updated under the same title)
  27. The Marquis of Lossie (= The Marquis’ Secret), the sequel of Malcolm (★★★★)
  28. Mary Marston (= A Daughter’s Devotion or The Shopkeeper’s Daughter)
  29. The Miracles of Our Lord (sermons) (★★★★★)
  30. Paul Faber, Surgeon (= The Lady’s Confession), a sequel to Thomas Wingfold, Curate
  31. Phantastes: A Fairie Romance for Men and Women (★★)
  32. The Portent
  33. The Princess and the Goblin (★★★★★)
  34. The Princess and Curdie, a sequel to The Princess and the Goblin (★★★★★)
  35. Rampolli: Growths from a Long-planted Root
  36. Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood (= The Boyhood of Ranald Bannerman)
  37. Robert Falconer (= The Musician’s Quest) (★★★★★)
  38. A Rough Shaking (= The Wanderings of Clare Skymer)
  39. St. George and St. Michael
  40. Salted with Fire (= The Minister’s Restoration)
  41. Scotch Songs and Ballads
  42. The Seaboard Parish, a sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood (★★★★★)
  43. Sir Gibbie (= The Baronet’s Song) (★★★★★)
  44. Thomas Wingfold, Curate (= The Curate’s Awakening) (★★★★★)
  45. There and Back (= The Baron’s Apprenticeship), a sequel to Paul Faber, Surgeon (★★★★★)
  46. The Threefold Cord: Poems by Three Friends
  47. The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: A Study With the Test of the Folio of 1623
  48. Unspoken Sermons (1st series2nd series3rd series) (★★★★★)
  49. The Vicar’s Daughter, a sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood and The Seaboard Parish
  50. Warlock o’ Glenwarlock (= Castle Warlock and The Laird’s Inheritance)
  51. Weighed and Wanting (= The Gentlewoman’s Choice) (★★)
  52. What’s Mine’s Mine (= The Highlander’s Last Song)
  53. Wilfrid Cumbermede
  54. The Wise Woman: A Parable (= “The Lost Princess: A Double Story” or “A Double Story”)
  55. Within and Without: A Dramatic Poem

Although all of George MacDonald’s works are out of copyright, this list does not include everything he has written. If you want a more complete list, you can check out our Complete Bibliography of George MacDonald.

Free books by Samuel M. Zwemer

Samuel M. Zwemer worked as a pioneer missionary in Iraq, Bahrain, and Egypt, but his most lasting influence was through his conferences and books. He worked tirelessly as a missions mobilizer to make Christians aware of the challenges and opportunities of missions among Muslims.

The following list links to free PDFs of Zwemer’s books from several sources, many of them prepared by the Zwemer Center or by muhammadanism.org.

Across the World of Islam
Arabia: The Cradle of Islam (4th Edition)
Call to Prayer (site down)
Childhood in the Moslem World
The Cross Above the Crescent (site down)
Daylight in the Harem (with Annie van Sommer)
The Disintegration of Islam
Evangelism Today: Message Not Method
The Glory of the Cross  (Arabic Translation)
The Glory of the Manger
The Golden Milestone
Heirs of the Prophets
The Influence of Animism on Islam
Into All the World
Islam, A Challenge to Faith (2nd Edition) (German Translation)
Islam and Missions (editor & contributor)
The Law of Apostasy in Islam
Lucknow, 1911
The Mohammedan World of Today (with E. M. Wherry)
Mohammed or Christ. (Fleming H. Revell edition)
The Moslem Christ
The Moslem Doctrine of God
The Moslem World (revised for students from Islam, A Challenge to Faith)
A Moslem Seeker After God (Arabic Translation)
The Nearer and Farther East (with Arthur J. Brown)
Our Muslim Sisters (editor & contributor)
Raymond Lull: First Missionary to the Muslims (Spanish Translation)
The Solitary Throne
Sons of Adam: Studies of Old Testament Characters in New Testament Light
Taking Hold of God
Thinking Missions with Christ (3rd Edition)
Topsy-Turvy Land: Arabia Pictured for Children (with Amy E. Zwemer)
The Unoccupied Mission Fields of Africa and Asia
Zigzag Journeys in the Camel Country (with Amy E. Zwemer)

This list only includes full-length books. For an exhaustive list of Samuel M. Zwemer’s publications, see our bibliography for Samuel Zwemer.

 

Free books by G. K. Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton wrote books of essays, poetry, criticism, drama, and lay theology. C. S. Lewis was profoundly affected by Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man, and it would be difficult to calculate Chesterton’s obvious inspiration in the works and lives of both Lewis and Tolkien.
Because Chesterton was promoted to glory in 1936, nearly everything published in his name is out of copyright, and you can get a vast quantity of them for free in almost any digital format you want.