New and updated ebooks of note on Project Gutenberg. This time around:
- Jacob’s Room (1922) by Virginia Woolf
- The Meaning of Relativity (1922) by Albert Einstein
- Rambles of a Naturalist (1859) by John D. Godman
- My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) by Frederick Douglass
- Airship Andy: or, The Luck of a Brave Boy (1911) by Frank V. Webster
- Colonial Expeditions to the Interior of California Central Valley, 1800-1820 (1958) by Sherburne Friend Cook
Jacob’s Room (1922) by Virginia Woolf
“So of course,” wrote Betty Flanders, pressing her heels rather deeper in the sand, “there was nothing for it but to leave.”
Slowly welling from the point of her gold nib, pale blue ink dissolved the full stop; for there her pen stuck; her eyes fixed, and tears slowly filled them. The entire bay quivered; the lighthouse wobbled; and she had the illusion that the mast of Mr. Connor’s little yacht was bending like a wax candle in the sun. She winked quickly. Accidents were awful things. She winked again. The mast was straight; the waves were regular; the lighthouse was upright; but the blot had spread.
The Meaning of Relativity – Four lectures delivered at Princeton University, May 1921, by Albert Einstein
The theory of relativity is intimately connected with the theory of space and time. I shall therefore begin with a brief investigation of the origin of our ideas of space and time, although in doing so I know that I introduce a controversial subject. The object of all science, whether natural science or psychology, is to co-ordinate our experiences and to bring them into a logical system. How are our customary ideas of space and time related to the character of our experiences?
Rambles of a Naturalist (1859) by John D. Godman
From early youth devoted to the study of nature, it has always been my habit to embrace every opportunity of increasing my knowledge and pleasures by actual observation, and have ever found ample means of gratifying this disposition, wherever my place has been allotted by Providence. When an inhabitant of the country, it was sufficient to go a few steps from the door, to be in the midst of numerous interesting objects; when a resident of the crowded city, a healthful walk of half an hour placed me where my favourite enjoyment was offered in abundance; and now, when no longer able to seek in fields and woods and running streams for that knowledge which cannot readily be elsewhere obtained, the recollection of my former rambles is productive of a satisfaction which past pleasures but seldom bestow. Perhaps a statement of the manner in which my studies were pursued, may prove interesting to those who love the works of nature, and may not be aware how great a field for original observation is within their reach, or how vast a variety of instructive objects are easily accessible, even to the occupants of a bustling metropolis. To me it will be a source of great delight to spread these resources before the reader, and enable him so cheaply to participate in the pleasures I have enjoyed, as well as place him in the way of enlarging the general stock of knowledge, by communicating the results of his original observations.
My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) by Frederick Douglass
The reader will pardon so much about the place of my birth, on the score that it is always a fact of some importance to know where a man is born, if, indeed, it be important to know anything about him. In regard to the time of my birth, I cannot be as definite as I have been respecting the place. Nor, indeed, can I impart much knowledge concerning my parents. Genealogical trees do not flourish among slaves. A person of some consequence here in the north, sometimes designated father, is literally abolished in slave law and slave practice. It is only once in a while that an exception is found to this statement. I never met with a slave who could tell me how old he was. Few slave-mothers know anything of the months of the year, nor of the days of the month. They keep no family records, with marriages, births, and deaths. They measure the ages of their children by spring time, winter time, harvest time, planting time, and the like; but these soon become undistinguishable and forgotten. Like other slaves, I cannot tell how old I am. This destitution was among my earliest troubles. I learned when I grew up, that my master—and this is the case with masters generally—allowed no questions to be put to him, by which a slave might learn his age. Such questions deemed evidence of impatience, and even of impudent curiosity. From certain events, however, the dates of which I have since learned, I suppose myself to have been born about the year 1817.
Airship Andy: or, The Luck of a Brave Boy (1911) by Frank V. Webster
And then Andy’s wondering eyes became fixed on an object that quite awed and startled him for the moment. Resting over the roof of the great barn at the rear of the house was a fantastic creation of sea-gull aspect, flapping great wings of 50 snowy whiteness. Spick and span, with graceful outlines, it suggested some great mechanical bird.
“Why,” breathed Andy, lost in wondering yet enchanting amazement, “it’s an airship!”
Andy had never seen a perfect aeroplane before. Small models had been exhibited at the county fair near Princeville, however, and he had studied all kinds of pictures of these remarkable sky-riders. The one on the barn fascinated him. It balanced and fluttered—a dainty creation—so frail and delicately adjusted that his mechanical admiration was aroused to a degree that was almost thrilling.
Colonial Expeditions to the Interior of California Central Valley, 1800-1820 (1958) by Sherburne Friend Cook
Students interested in problems of human biology, ecology, and sociology centering on the indigenous population of California have readily available certain important sources of information. First, there is a wealth of archaeological data—materials deposited in museums, many archaeological sites which are in their original position, reports, and monographs. Second should be mentioned the long series of ethnographic investigations carried on by various agencies over half a century and based primarily upon the word of living informants. Third are the general historical and mission records, which display the relation between the Spanish-Mexican civilization and the native. These merge into the fourth source of knowledge, the official documents, letters, memoirs, diaries, and contemporary newspaper accounts which give us an exceedingly detailed picture of the Indian during the period of first exploitation by the Americans. The fifth category includes the documentary records since approximately 1855: the reports of the Indian Service and of Army Officers, correspondence of all sorts among Federal and State functionaries, and investigations by Congressional or Legislative Committees. These documents, most of which are to be found in libraries and public archives, bring the student down to the present time.
In spite of this wide spectrum of source material there is one area which has been as yet relatively little explored but which merits attention on the part of those concerned with the human development of California. I refer to the contact between the Spanish-Mexican settlers and the aboriginal population, not through the medium of the missions but within the natural environment of the Indians. Over a period of more than fifty years, while converts were being drawn into the mission system, priests, soldiers, and ranchers were continually reaching out into the interior, opening up the country and thus impinging upon native life. A constant succession of expeditions, sorties, raids, and campaigns moved in from the coast, left their mark on the land and its inhabitants, then retreated to the missions and presidios. Most of these forays were undertaken without official sanction and left no record save in the memory of a few old men, who were interviewed by H. H. Bancroft many years after the event. A good many expeditions and military campaigns, however, were sponsored by the government or the church. Of these, diaries were kept and written reports made. A rather long series of such documents still exists.