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THE BOOKS...

A Christmas Carol A Study in Scarlet A Voyage to the Moon Aesop's Fables Alice in Wonderland An English Opium-Eater Anna Karenina Antarctic Journals Arabian Nights Aristotle's Ethics Beowulf Beyond Good and Evil Book of the Dead Caesar's Commentaries Crime and Punishment Dalton's Chemical Philosophy Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Descartes' Meditations Don Quixote Dulce et Decorum Est Einstein's Relativity Elements of Geometry Fairy Tales Father Goriot Frankenstein Gilgamesh Gulliver's Travels Hamlet Heart of Darkness History of Tom Jones I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud If - Ivanhoe Jane Eyre Jekyll and Mr Hyde Kant Lady Chatterley's Lover Le Morte D'Arthur Le Repertoire de La Cuisine Les Miserables Lysistrata Meditations Metamorphosis Micrographia Moby-Dick My Confession Newton's Natural Philosophy Notebooks Of Miracles On Liberty On Old Age On The Social Contract On War Paradise Lost Pepys' Diary Philosophy in The Boudoir Pilgrims Progress Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect Pride and Prejudice Principles of Human Knowledge Principles of Morals and Legislation Psychoanalysis Revolutions of the Celestial Orbs Robinson Crusoe Romeo and Juliet Songs of Innocence and Experience Sovran Maxims Tess of the d'Urbervilles The Advancement of Learning The Adventures of Oliver Twist The Analects The Ballad of Reading Gaol The Bhagavad-Gita The Canterbury Tales The Communist Manifesto The Confessions The Decameron The Divine Comedy The Gospels of Jesus Christ The Great Gatsby The Histories The Life of Samuel Johnson The Magna Carta The Motion of the Heart and Blood The Odyssey The Origin of Species The Prince The Quran The Remembrance of Times Past The Republic The Rights of Man The Rights of Woman The Rime of the Ancient Mariner The Rubáiyát Of Omar Khayyám The Torah The Travels of Marco Polo The Wealth of Nations The Wind in the Willows Three Men in a Boat Tom Brown's Schooldays Tristram Shandy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Ulysses Uncle Tom's Cabin Utopia Voyages of Discovery Walden Wuthering Heights




The Hundred Books
You should listen to this story, for when we get to the end we shall know more than we do now.
The Snow Queen




There's a certain set of books which you're just supposed to know about, at least if you live in The West and want people to call you 'educated'. Of course, hardly anyone has actually read them - they mostly look far too old, long or boring for that - but, still, the polite world expects its members to have a rough working relationship with The Bible and Shakespeare, to be able to spot Brobdingnag on a map, to know that Gaul is divided into three parts, that a line has no width and to be at least on nodding terms with Dr Jekyll, Mr Darcy, Starbuck, Mr Toad, Mr. Scrooge, Leopold Bloom, Raskolnikov, Einstein and Enkidu.

So here they are. We could have a fun argument, you and me, about precisely which ones should have been picked, but, for the most part, there just ain't no argument. The 'Gigamesh' is the oldest story book known, Newton's Principia is the foundation of modern physics and so on. For the rest, they've not just someone's whim, they're the books which are most quoted, most copied and most sold.

True, this Literary Canon, is mostly made of dead white males, and looks rather like it might be the preserve of public schoolboys and curmudgeonly dons. But we can't change history; we have to take things as they are. Like it or not, the way our world is now has largely been built for us from the musings of Aristotle and Roman Emperors, from the stories of Homer, Chaucer, Milton, from Rousseau, Freud and Kant and Kipling and the rest. And if you do want to change the future for better, you'll need to know how the past was made, and the task will be a whole lot easier if you know what people mean when they talk about things like Proust's cup of tea, or call something 'Kafkaesque'.

What's different this time is that they've been squashed up into nice little abridgements. Proper abridgements, mind, not those nasty, soulless, lists-of-facts you can buy from people who want to help you pass exams, they're not-re-writings, and they're not summaries. Here I've tried to give you the full beam of the story, the guts of the style and all those quotable quotes, in every word the words the original author wrote, in the order they wrote them. The original, just squeezed down to something like a readable short story, and one which sounds and smells and feels just like the book it is made out of. Here you're very likely to discover that ancient Greek theatre, medieval theology and even economics are all actually rather fascinating.

And something more - The Hundred Books makes it possible to read a whole lot as a single narrative, to discover a Pisgah View of the whole grand thing in way normally impossible to ordinary mortals.

You'll love it.

Glyn Hughes
Winster, Derbyshire, England, 2014

glyn@hughesandhughes.co


YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

Can I have this book as PDF/Kindle/in print or in some other format?
If you want to convert one of these books to another format, please do. As always, copyright is waived in that anyone anywhere (who hasn't been told not to) may reproduce these pages for any non-commercial purpose, subject to their acknowledging the source as 'The Hundred Books'. There is no need to ask for permission.

Who created all these wonderful abridgements?
It was me, Glyn Hughes. I've collected, checked and edited-together all these abridgements, and take complete responsibility for creating many of them (as 'GH'), especially the non-fiction ones. Many of the story books (credited as 'JH') were abridged under the editorship of John Hammerton in the early years of the 20th Century and published in various places, including the Harmsworth newspapers. But there are others too - the short version of A Christmas Carol here was prepared by Dickens himself, for his public readings. The abridgements of HG Wells novels are likewise by the author himself. The summary of Epicurus' Philosophy was created by an unknown editor some time in the 3rd Century AD. But I haven't always gone with the originals - Thomas Hardy produced shorter versions of his stories for magazine publication, but they are sometimes significantly different, so the short Tess of the d'Urbervilles here is based on the full novel, not the author's own abridgement. Same with Lewis Carroll - his shorter version of 'Alice' is almost a different story.





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● Copyright © 2014 Glyn Hughes.
Copyright is waived in that anyone anywhere (who hasn't been told not to) may reproduce these pages for any non-commercial purpose, subject to their acknowledging the source as 'The Hundred Books'. There is no need to ask for permission.
● Contact: glyn@hughesandhughes.co
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