Biography Historical Books

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

A personal look at the life of Benjamin Franklin through boyhood and Pre-War London days. Offering up wisdom in Poor Richard's Almanac and the drafts of the declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin retells his own story with charming detail in his autobiography. The narrative span his life from 1771-1790 and are sub-divided into the reigning pattern of thought that he was experiencing at the time. They show his growth from boyhood into revolutionary and are affectionately addressed to his son.

Behind the Scenes: Formerly a Slave (Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in The White House)

Behind the Scenes, Formerly a Slave, By Elizabeth Keckley, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in The White House, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (sometimes spelled Keckly; February 1818 - May 1907)[2] was a former slave who became a successful seamstress, civic activist and author in Washington, DC. She was best known as the personal modiste and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, the First Lady. Keckley had moved to Washington in 1860 after buying her freedom and that of her son in St. Louis. She created an independent business in the capital based on clients who were the wives of the government elite. Among them were Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis; and Mary Anna Custis Lee, wife of Robert E. Lee. After the American Civil War, Keckley wrote and published an autobiography, Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868). It was both a slave narrative and a portrait of the First Family, especially Mary Todd Lincoln, and considered controversial for breaking privacy about them. It was also her claim as a businesswoman to be part of the new mixed-race, educated middle-class that were visible among the leadership of the black community. Keckley's relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln, the President's wife, was notable for its personal quality and intimacy, as well as its endurance over time.

12 Years a Slave

This unforgettable memoir was the basis for the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave. This is the true story of Solomon Northup, who was born and raised as a freeman in New York. He lived the American dream, with a house and a loving family - a wife and two kids. Then one day he was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in the deep south. These are the true accounts of his twelve hard years as a slave - many believe this memoir is even more graphic and disturbing than the film. His extraordinary journey proves the resiliency of hope and the human spirit despite the most grueling and formidable of circumstances.

The Elusive Mr. Pond: The Soldier, Fur Trader and Explorer Who Opened the Northwest

Sir Alexander Mackenzie is known to schoolchildren as a great Canadian explorer who gave his name to the country's longest river, but hardly anyone could name the man who mentored Mackenzie and mapped much of northwestern Canada before him. Soldier, fur trader and explorer Peter Pond, the subject of this long overdue book, is a man whose legend has been forgotten in favor of those who came after him. Much of Pond's life is shadowed in mystery. Historian Barry Gough uses Pond's surviving memoirs, explorers' journals, letters written by acquaintances of Pond, publications in London magazines and many other sources to track and reconstruct the life of one of the last of the tough, old-style explorers who ventured into the wilderness with little more than a strong instinct for survival and helped shape the modern world.

Constance Street: Part 1 of 3: The true story of one family and one street in London’s East End

Constance Street can either be read as a full-length eBook or in 3 serialised eBook-only parts.

This is PART 1 of 3.

You can read Part 1 two weeks ahead of release of the full-length eBook and paperback.

One forgotten street, 12 unforgettable women.

Through the story of one street - Constance Street - we hear the true life tales of a tight-knit group of working class women in the East End of London set against a backdrop of war, hardship and struggle.

It's a story of matriarchy and deep family ties, of a generation that was scattered away from the street during the blitz bombings, but which maintained the ties of that street for decades afterwards.

Set in an area of East London called Silvertown, a once thriving docking community that at the turn of the 20th century was the industrial heartland of the south of England; the story focuses on the lives of 12 incredible women and their struggle to survive amidst the chaos of the war years.

We have Nellie Greenwood, the author's great grandmother who runs a laundry in Silvertown which becomes the focal point of the community. In 1917 a munitions factory in Silvertown explodes flattening much of the surrounding area and causing extensive damage to Constance Street - Nellie's daughter is blown from her crib but miraculously survives.

Deciding to open the laundry as a field hospital for the injured, Nellie and the women on the street come together to tend the wounded, the sick and the emotionally shattered as they cope with the aftermath of not just one but two world wars.

Through the Great War, the roaring Twenties, the Depression and then the unimaginable - the outbreak of a second world war - Nellie and the street survive with love, laughter and friendships that bind the community together. But just as this incredible group of women live through the worst, the unthinkable happens. On 7 September 1940, Constance Street is no more.

Following in the footsteps of Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth and The Sugar Girls, Constance Street is a life-affirming, heart-warming read that reminds us of a time when people pulled together.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (AmazonClassics Edition)

Written between 1717 and 1790, and originally referred to by its author as simply Memoirs, Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is considered the pioneering example of the genre. In this influential account of the American Dream in action, Franklin recounts his early life, his inventions, his quest for virtue and self-improvement, and his political achievements. The unfinished work is a vivid depiction of life in early America, as well as a relatable and inspiring portrait of one of its revolutionary thinkers.

AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from iconic authors. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or revisit an old favorite, these new editions open the door to the stories and ideas that have shaped our world.

Revised edition: Previously published as The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, this edition of The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Fifty Great Things to Come Out of the Midlands

Celebrate the heart of Britain in this fun and informative mini-ebook.

Rugby, Walkers Crisps, Conkers. These are just a handful of the many great things to have come out of the Midlands. In this celebratory list, journalist and loyal Midlander Robert Shore counts down fifty of the best gifts the Midlands has given the world.

Knowledge no Midlander - nay, Brit! - should be without.

From the author of Bang in the Middle.

World War II in Antwerp, Belgium: Experiences of a Young Boy

War is, of course, terrible. Any war. All the suffering, all the death, all the wounded, the destruction, homelessness, cruelty, hunger, fear, and panic. It may also bring out the best in some people: heroism, patriotism, compassion, and altruism. But one would never think that war might be seen as an adventure; in some ways for me it was.

In this short book I write about my memories of this period of time from the invasion of Belgium, through the German occupation, and to the immediate post war era. For most Belgians this was a hard and sad time full of suffering. While I experienced some of that suffering and the fear as well, many of my memories are about exciting events and experiences (to a young boy), to the point that I remember this time as an "adventure."

I will justifiably be faulted for talking so lightly about this dark period in Belgium's and the world's history and for seemingly having somewhat enjoyed it all , while people were indiscriminately killed, tortured, and exterminated by the Nazis and while there was much suffering, destruction, maiming, and death. Remember though that I was a little boy growing up and mostly unaware of the atrocities occurring away from my immediate environment. Also, my parents did their best to shelter me from the many horrors.

If a reader is offended by this, I do apologize and want to reassure the reader that now at age 83, I am of course fully aware of the darkness of the years between 1940 and 1945. Seen in this light I do hope that this will be an interesting and enjoyable read for contemporaries and others.

Father to His Country - George Washington: A Quick-Read Biography About the Life of The United States' First President: Volume 2 (Quick-Read Biography Series)

A Short, Yet Interesting, Biography! Ever wanted to learn more about George Washington, but never felt you had the time to read a comprehensive work? Here author Cynthia A. Parker removes that pain by offering an opportunity to Get-to-Know The United States' First President; to learn of his youth and upbringing, his early career, his romantic life, and of course his pivotal role in commanding the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and his selection as The United States' first president. Turn these pages and enjoy the opportunity to learn history, but better yet to come to know Washington better through Parker's amazing ability to describe Washington's life in such a way as to encourage the reader to carry on; making this an enjoyable and interesting Quick-Read Biography.