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The Reader, by Alexander Ver Huell, c. 1880

About Us

The Ex-Classics project was founded in 2000 to fill an unmet need.  When reading the blurb etc. to a book by Charles Dickens or Charlotte Bronte, say, we would often come across sentences like "Favourite reading included . . ."  If  it's good enough for them, it's good enough for us. So off we 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. Our first two books were Gil Blas and Hudibras, which are prime examples of this This web site is dedicated to rescuing these works from obscurity and making them available online, both for reading directly, and for downloading.

Book of the Month -- February 2023

The Martyrdom of Man, by Winwood Reade

The Martyrdom of Man was a history of the world from an entirely new viewpoint, and was a prominent freethinking text of the late Nineteenth century. It is not an exaggeration to say that it provided a view of History as revolutionary as Darwin's view of Science - an entirely new and non-religious way of looking at the subject. It was very popular and influential on publication in the 1870's and long after - Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and George Orwell were all heavily influenced.

Even Sherlock Holmes said "Let me recommend this book, -- one of the most remarkable ever penned. It is Winwood Reade's 'Martyrdom of Man.'"

Though Watson was less impressed: "I sat in the window with the volume in my hand, but my thoughts were far from the daring speculations of the writer. My mind ran upon our late visitor,-- her smiles, the deep rich tones of her voice, the strange mystery which overhung her life."
-- The Sign of Four

If you, like Watson, have something as important to think about, go for it. otherwise, here it is.

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Max Adeler contemplating the Patent Office Report, by Arthur B. Frost

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