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The Reader, by Alexander Ver Huell, c. 1880

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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 2024

  A Tour in Ireland, by Richard Twiss

Let everyone piss on lying Dick Twiss

            In 1775, an English gentleman called Richard Twiss (later FRS) spent some months in Ireland, and on his return home, wrote this account of his journey. It describes an itinerary from Dublin north to the giant's Causeway, thence to Londonderry, Donegal, and Leitrim; down by the Shannon to Limerick, Killarney, Cork, Waterford, Wexford and so back to Dublin. He was not impressed by what he saw; the general tone is contemptuous, and even when he praises something, he often qualifies this by saying that better examples can be found elsewhere.  It is not surprising that great offence was taken by the Irish, and attacks and lampoons on Twiss were published in prose and verse.   It is unlikely that Twiss was upset by this. He ends his book with an appendix in which he abuses every other country, and says that it is best to stay in England, the finest country of all.

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

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