[Free eBook] The English Bible and the Seventeenth Century Revolution by Christopher Hill [17th C British Sociocultural History]

The English Bible and the Seventeenth Century Revolution by the late British author Christopher Hill, an historian specializing in 17th century England and a former Master of Oxford University’s Balliol College, is a 1sociocultural and political history, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1993 by Penguin Books.

The book provides an in-depth historical overview of the social, cultural, and political impact of the ready availability of English-language translations of the Bible to the commoner masses in the 17th century in Britain (a then-radical change from the Latin and Greek versions only readable by the educated upper classes and clergy), in the form of topical chapters covering the differing versions printed, and then addressing its revolutionary influence on everyday society, literature, conflicts with assorted religious movements and the ensuing English Civil War, philosophical arguments and approaches towards poverty and liberty, and other aspects of post-Reformation British life.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook REPEAT] Extraordinary Hearts: Reclaiming Gay Sensibility’s Central Role in the Progress of Civilization by Nicholas F. Benton [LGBT History & Culture Essays]

Extraordinary Hearts: Reclaiming Gay Sensibility’s Central Role in the Progress of Civilization by Nicholas F. Benton is a collection of his newspaper column essays about gay historical figures and their cultural contributions, free for a limited time courtesy of LGBT specialty publisher Lethe Press.

These short essays were originally published in the Metro Weekly newspaper between 2010 and 2012 as the “Nick Benton’s Gay Science” column (a reference to the philosopher Nietzsche), and spotlighted many LGBT personages throughout history as well as their works which have had a lasting impact on mainstream culture, and also the changing views towards LGBT persons in their broader communities.

Offered DRM-free worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] White Mischief: A Cultural History of Cocaine by Tim Madge [History & Current Affairs]

White Mischief: A Cultural History of Cocaine by British author Tim Madge, an historian and journalist, is a cultural and political history of the drug, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 2001 by Mainstream Publishing and this reprint comes with a brand new foreword commenting on the changes (or lack of them) in policy in the past two decades.

This covers the history of the uses and abuses of various forms of cocaine, from its origins as the revered coca leaf in South America and early favourable image as a miracle drug in 19th century Europe and the US to its eventual banning and subsequent re-emergence as a 20th century recreational drug for high-rollers, as well as exploring the policies which arose as a result of the modern “war on drugs”.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything by Philip Ball [Science & Cultural History]

Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything by British author Philip Ball, an award-winning science writer and former editor of the Nature journal, is an accessibly-written science and technology development history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for May.

The book explores the history of the rise of modern science, focusing on the 16th through 18th centuries as curiosity and questioning of the established worldview became more acceptable in the western world, leading to increased popularity of scientific notions and methods with a look at the early scientists and inventions that were inspired by them, as well as the ensuing influence on literature, culture, and international relations sparked by the new interest, alongside musings on the role of curiosity in the present day.

Offered worldwide through May, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Cowboys of the Americas: The Realities of Life as a Cowboy by Richard W. Slatta [Award-Winning World Cultural History]

Cowboys of the Americas: The Realities of Life as a Cowboy by Richard W. Slatta, a former history professor at NC State University, is his globe-trotting cultural/professional history of the cowboy, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press’ Frontier imprint.

This was originally published in 1990 by Yale University Press and won the National Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Western Heritage Award for Non-Fiction.

This combined cultural & professinoal history covers both continents of the Americas, from North to South, using first-hand historical accounts of various aspects of cowboy and ranch life on the Canadian Prairies, the US Wild West, and throughout Latin America, from the cowboys’ early beginnings as wild cattle hunters through to their roles in various frontier wars and indigenous conflicts, to their eventual decline as farmers and other settlers took over the plains, contrasting their everyday lives with their mythologized image in pop culture.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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[Free eBook] The House of Lords: An Anecdotal History by John Wells [British History Humour]

The House of Lords: An Anecdotal History by the late British author John Wells, an actor and satirist who was a contributing co-founder of the satirical magazine Private Eye, is a humorous history of the British political institution, free for a limited time courtesy of publisher Endeavour Press.

This was originally published in 1997 by Hodder & Stoughton.

The book was a favourably-reviewed bestseller when originally published and is a humorously informative historical study of the British peerage system and the government institution of the House of Lords through which it still influences official government power, from its early days during the Anglo-Saxon period through to the 1960s.

Offered worldwide, available at Amazon.

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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] Past Vulnerability: Vulcanic eruptions and human vulnerability in traditional societies past and present [Earth Science & Natural Disaster Response History]

Past Vulnerability: Vulcanic eruptions and human vulnerability in traditional societies past and present edited by Felix Riede, an associate professor in the Department of Archaeology at Aarhus University, is a collection of academic essays on the link between geological and human activity, free for a limited time courtesy of the Aarhus University Press in Denmark.

This collection of essays explores past volcanic events from 10,000s of years ago to relatively recent times, and their effects on the local cultures surrounding, via a combination of geological and archaeological and literature studies approaches to examine their physical and social impacts.

There are some pretty nifty ones which do things like look through old Icelandic literature (and the Bible and Quran) for reports on tales of eruptions handed down through various means before being recorded into an official historical document, and how people coped with the after effects (and maybe an explanation for the fabled Fimbulwinter of Norse mynthology), as well as directly examining the remains of archaeological evidence from hunter-gatherers several thousands of years BCE.

Offered worldwide through May, available from the university’s website as their featured English-language Free Book of the Month selection.

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[Free eBook] Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art, and Arson in the Convents of Italy [Cultural History]

Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art, and Arson in the Convents of Italy by Craig A. Monson, a Professor Emeritus of Music at Washington University in St. Louis, is his cultural history book focusing on the lives of particular nuns during the Renaissance, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is an accessibly-written academic book about transgressive women in Italian religious orders in the 16th and 17th centuries, drawn from the Vatican Secret Archive, featuring anecdotes and biographical tales about nuns who dared to speak and act out against the status quo of the day, as well as their connection to the modern-day subversive religious devotees who are their spiritual successors.

Offered worldwide, available through October.

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