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The Adventures of Telemachus  

Francois Fénelon

A Catholic priest and writer, François Fénelon (1651–1715) was enlisted by the church to preach to French Protestants (Huguenots) in order to bring them back to orthodox belief. His ... More

The Bhagavad Gita  

Anonymous

The Bhagavad Gita comprises the sixth book, and is the central component, of the Mahabharata. Because it centers on the struggles between kings and princes, the Mahabharata can be read as a ... More

Civilization and its Discontents  

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) was born in the Austro-Hungarian empire and lived in Vienna nearly all his life. (He fled to London in 1938, when Nazi Germany invaded Austria.) As a young man, ... More

The Cloud Messenger  

Kalidasa

Sometimes described as the Shakespeare of India, Kālidāsa mastered various literary genres in his lifetime and continued to thrive, even in Western translations, into modern times. He ... More

The Code of Manu  

Anonymous

The Code of Manu deals with many different features of Hindu life, such as the proper behavior of different castes and methods for ritual purification. The “Manu” referred to in the title ... More

Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook  

Flora Annie Steel and Grace Gardiner

Two wives of British colonial agents in India compiled their experiences in this practical guide for new “memsahibs” (Indian term of respect for married, upper-class white women) in ... More

The Decameron, “Putting the Devil Back in Hell”  

Giovanni Boccaccio

A Latin scholar, poet, and biographer, Boccaccio (1313–1375) is most famous today as the author of the Decameron. This compilation of 100 tales, by turns serious, bawdy, and irreverent, ... More

The Declaration of the Rights of Woman  

Olympe de Gouges

Women were not included among the new officeholders of Revolutionary France, nor were they members of the National Assembly, which supposedly represented all members of the country’s Third ... More

“Dedication to tallyrand,” Vindication of the Rights of Women  

Mary Wollstonecraft

The British activist Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–1797), mother of author Mary Shelley and the bearer of a tainted reputation, wrote a letter called “Vindication of the Rights of Man” (1790) ... More

Deep History and Convergent Evolution  

Daniel Lord Smail

In On Deep History and the Brain, historian Daniel Lord Smail postulates that “it is the similarities [between civilizations] that are the most startling,” more so than the differences. In ... More

An Encyclopedia of Pacifism  

Aldous Huxley

British novelist and critic Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) was also known as a writer on history, travel, and many other subjects, as well as a sometime poet. He attended Oxford University where ... More

English Laws for Women in the Ninteenth Century  

Caroline Norton

Before Caroline Norton wrote the activist letters in Document 18.1 with the aim of improving the legal status of women in Britain, she wrote a detailed account of her own losses in her ... More

An Ethics of Sexual Difference  

Luce Irigaray

Born in Belgium in 1930, feminist, philosopher and psychoanalyst, Luce Irigaray earned Ph.D.’s in philosophy and linguistics, as well as studying psychology at the university of Paris. She ... More

Examination of Lady Jane Grey, London  

John Foxe

Jane Grey, the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister Mary, was born in 1537, the same year as Edward VI, the only surviving son of the king who had sought a male heir so desperately. Jane, ... More

Excerpts from the Book of Odes (Shi Jung)  

Anonymous

Over 300 poems of various lengths were anthologized and transmitted by Confucius in the early fifth century BCE. Philosophers of the Confucian school cherished the Odes and cited them ... More

Feudal Contracts and the Swearing of Fealty  

Anonymous

In the catastrophe brought on by the assaults on all their borders, some European midieval Christians were forced to devise new means of self-protection. Into this vacuum of governmental ... More

Florida Road Map  

Anonymous

A vision of the “American Century” is powerfully conveyed by this 1930 road map produced by the Gulf Oil Company. The map spins an idealized vision of America just before the Great ... More

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Trual of Anne Askew  

John Foxe

John Foxe (1517–1587) authored this martyrology that especially focuses on the martyrdoms of 16th-century Protestants at the hands of Catholic inquisitors. This selection recounts the trial ... More

From Mrs.Beeton’s Book of Household Management  

Isabella Beeton

The wife of a publisher, Isabella Beeton (1836–1865) translated her cooking talent into printed how-to guides for the women of London. Her grand guide, Mrs. Beetons’ Book of Household ... More

From the Hanshu: Han Chinese Descriptions Of The Xiongnu  

Anonymous

The Chinese had to deal with nomadic neighbors on their northwestern frontier from an early date, and many of the patterns of that relationship were established, or at least explored, under ... More

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