What is a classic book? Some people confine it to ancient Greek and Latin works; others use it to describe books by Isaac Asimov or Barbara Cartland. Our definition is a book which has been read, enjoyed, and had an influence on people over two or more generations. In the final analysis, there is no other test than survival.
An ex-classic is a book which used to be a classic, as defined above, but is no longer read much, or at all.
When reading the blurb etc. to a book by Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte, say, you will often come across sentences like "Favourite reading included . . ."
If it's good enough for them, you think, it's good enough for me. So off you go to the library or bookshop, to be met first with blank stares and then with the information that the book has been out of print for decades. This web site is dedicated to rescuing these works from obscurity and making them available online, both for reading directly, and for downloading.
· Foxe's Book of Martyrs
· The History of Ireland by Geoffrey Keating
· The Newgate Calendar
· Pico della Mirandola, by Thomas More et al.
· The Life of Beau Nash, by Oliver Goldsmith.
· A History of the Protestant Reformation in England, by William Cobbett.
· The Martyrdom of Man, by Winwood Reade
· Hudibras by Samuel Butler
· The Poetical Works of Ossian, by James Macpherson
· The Rowley Poems, by Thomas Chatterton
· Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, edited by Thomas Percy
· The Ingoldsby Legends, by The Rev. Richard H. Barham
Ex-classic Ballads & Short Poems
The Shepherd Swaine
Bonnie Annie Laurie, by William Douglas
Lilliburlero, by Thomas Wharton
Sally in our Alley, by Henry Carey
The Vicar of Bray
Johnnie Cope, by Adam Skirving
Casabianca, by Felicia Hemans
The Song of the Shirt, by Thomas Hood
The Sands of Dee, by Charles Kingsley
Christmas Day in the Workhouse, by George Sims
· Gil Blas by A-R LeSage, Trans. Tobias Smollett
· The Devil on Two Sticks by A-R. LeSage
· Knocknagow, by Charles Kickham
· The Guardian Angel, by Paul de Kock
· A Groat's Worth of Wit Bought with a Million of Repentance by Robert Greene
· Out of the Hurly Burly by Max Adeler
· The Real
Story of John Carteret Pilkington
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