[Free eBook] Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis by Ian Zack [20th C Guitarist Biography]

Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis by journalist Ian Zack is his biography of the eponymous African-American musician, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month selection for November.

This biography of the late blues and gospel guitarist Reverend Gary Davis, whose style influenced many others (including Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, and more), traces his life and career, drawing upon extensive research and interviews (the author met several of Davis’ students while working as a ticket booker, who in turn introduced him to many more people who knew him).

Offered worldwide through November, available directly via the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Romantik 5 [18th-19th C Romanticism Era Literature & Culture Studies]

Romantik 05 edited by Robert W. Rix and a number of others from various universities in Europe is the 5th issue in the Romantik: Journal for the study of Romanticisms series of academic journals featuring multi-disciplinary articles and reviews on the topic of various aspects of the Romantic Era of the late 18th to mid 19th century and/or publications about them, free for a limited time courtesy of Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This is their featured English-language Free Book of the Month selection for November.

This issue is focused on mainly literature and adjacent arts, but also features essays on nationalistic history-building and other diverse related topics, as well as reviews of recent Romanticism-related books.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through November, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Pensionatets kulturhistorie: Fællesskab, flirt og frikadeller by Mette Tapdrup Mortensen [Danish Travel Lodgings Cultural History]

Pensionatets kulturhistorie: Fællesskab, flirt og frikadeller (Cultural history of the pension: community, flirting, and meat patties) by Mette Tapdrup Mortensen is the 12th volume in the Skrifter om Dansk Byhistorie (Writings on Danish Urban History) series of topical academic titles, free for a limited time courtesy of Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This is their featured Danish-language Free Book of the Month selection for November.

This accessibly-written book covers the history and cultural significance of the pensionat, a kind of guesthouse or short-term boarding house for visitors and travellers, covering various aspects of life in and around them, from their heyday in Denmark between the 1800s and WWII, to declining usage into the modern era, and suggestions as to the applicability of its model in the future, illustrated with plenty of period photographs and other facsimiles.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through November, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Granada Window by Marguerite Steen [Vintage Spain Cultural Travelogue]

Granada Window by the late English author Marguerite Steen, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature whose works enjoyed a period of popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, is her vintage cultural history cum travelogue memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ The Odyssey Press imprint.

This was originally published in 1949 by The Falcon Press.

The book is a combined introductory cultural history and personal travelogue memoir of Spain, a country which the author would later settle in, which combines a look at its literature, history, and heritage alongside a tour of the region of Andalusia, sprinkling in her own experiences encountering the Andalusian people during her travels, and observations of cultural differences between Britain and Spain.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] The Debate Continues: Being the Autobiography of Marjorie Bowen by Marjorie Bowen [20th C Author Autobiography]

The Debate Continues: Being the Autobiography of Marjorie Bowen by the late English author Marjorie Bowen, a prolific multi-genre novelist who wrote under many other pseudonyms during the early mid-20th century and had several works adapted to film, is her vintage autobiography, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1939 by William Heinemann Ltd, and there’s a retrospective article about Bowen and her works as part of The Independent’s “Forgotten Authors” series, if you’re interested.

This autobiography details her early life spent in poverty and troubled family relationships as well as her attempts at self-education, and subsequent writing influences and career decisions.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] A New Grand Tour: How Europe’s Cities Made Our World Great by Godfrey Hodgson [Travel History & Culture Essays]

A New Grand Tour: How Europe’s Cities Made Our World Great by British author Godfrey Hodgson, a journalist who was The Observer’s foreign correspondent for the White House, and later taught at Oxford University, is his part-travelogue book of destination essays, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1995 by Penguin’s Viking imprint.

The book consists of cultural exploration essays which are part-travelogue, exploring the history and ways of life, etc., of selected European cities in an homage to the traditional Grand Tour of bygone ages, incorporating both observations from the accounts of travelers in previous centuries as well as musings from the author’s own personal experiences visiting them during the course of his career.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Middelalderens verden: Verdensbilledet, tænkningen, rummet og religionen [Danish European Middle Ages History & Culture Overview]

Middelalderens verden: Verdensbilledet, tænkningen, rummet og religionen edited by Ole Høiris & Per Ingesman is the a volume in their in the Verdensboger (World Book) series of Danish-language self-contained titles which provide a comprehensive introductory overview to particular cultural and historical periods, free for a limited time courtesy of Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This is their featured Danish-language Free Book of the Month selection for October. The Danish-language series is fully equivalent in style and content to the Oxford University Press’ The Oxford Illustrated History of… or Routledge’s The World of… English series, written by scholarly experts, but meant to be accessible to a general audience as well.

This volume contains essays on various topics providing a comprehensive introduction to the world of the Middle Ages in Europe with a few excursions to areas outside, from influential thinkers including Thomas More to church architecture to early scientific and mathematical notions to the influence of trade with the Islamic world, with a special section on the Christianization of the Nordic regions, with the usual lavish illustrations including some very nice facsimiles of illuminated manuscript pages.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through October, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] A Way Through the Wilderness: The Natchez Trace and the Civilization of the Southern Frontier by William C. Davis [US Southwest Trade Route & Cultural History]

A Way Through the Wilderness: The Natchez Trace and the Civilization of the Southern Frontier by William C. Davis, an award-winning historian specializing in the Civil War and former Professor at Virginia Tech, is his frontier place and community history, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1995 by HarperCollins and was later reprinted by the Louisiana State University Press.

This targeted history focuses on the development of the Natchez Trace (nowadays maintained as a spin-off heritage hiking trail) which led to the US South West frontier, during the period from the Revolutionary War to the 1830s, as it became an important migration and trade route, and also explores the various people who used the trail in various ways and the communities which sprang up around it, drawing upon colourful anecdotes, as well as dispelling popular factual misconceptions.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Thomas Hardy’s World: An Illuminating Biography by Molly Lefebure [19th C Literary Author Biography & Cultural History]

Thomas Hardy’s World: An Illuminating Biography by the late British author Molly Lefebure, a WWII London Blitz reporter turned novelist and scholar who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, is her literary author biography with a touch of cultural history, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1996 by Carlton Books.

This biography of the late British novelist and poet Thomas Hardy, whose classic novels have been studied and adapted to many media, looks into both the man himself and his personal life and relationships, as well as the greater Victorian social and political milieu which surrounded and influenced him and his works.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook & Audiobook] Humor by Stefan Kjerkegaard [Danish Academic Cultural Studies Essay]

Humor (Humour) by Stefan Kjerkegaard, an associate professor in the School of Communication and Culture at Aarhus University, is the is the 52nd in the in the Tænkepauser (Reflections) series of Danish-language accessibly-written short essays intended to introduce laypersons to assorted academic topics, free for a limited time courtesy of Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This semi-philosophical cultural essay focuses on the topic of the purposes and benefits of humour in our daily lives and wellbeing and surrounding society, beyond just joking around.

Offered DRM-free worldwide through October 9th, available directly from the university’s website.

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