Free history Kindle books for 30 Apr 13

King Arthur: The History and Folklore of the Arthurian Legend

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures of important places and historic illustrations and art depicting the figures of the Arthurian legend
*Profiles the historic figures who scholars speculate may be the person King Arthur was based on.
*Explains the mythological and folklore origins of the Arthurian legend, and how the legend evolved over time.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

King Arthur is one of the most famous names in history, and his name still evokes visions of fantasy, chivalry, bravery, and more even today. Arthur remains a pop culture fixture around the globe, made famous in various Arthurian tales written by writers like Chretien de Troyes. Arthur came to embody the ideals of the Middle Ages: strength, chivalry, bravery, and more. Along the way, his Excalibur sword, the Holy Grail, his queen, and more have all become household words.

Arthur has long been identified as a folk hero, and there are countless tales that comprise the Arthurian legend, but was there an actual person that the original stories were based on? People still search for the seeds of truth in the Knights of the Round Table, and the historical figure that inspired the Arthurian tales.

Of course, as with all great myths, and even those with a kernel of truth behind them, there is no “real” Arthur. Arthur is now comprised of the works written by diverse storytellers, most of which have built upon the ancient stories and possibly history. It is from there that a primordial seed of myth remains at the heart of all the retellings. At the same time, Arthur’s story is one of transformation, as he is brought from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance and more modern times. And that story also includes the famous contemporaries in his stories and other important historical figures, like Geoffrey of Monmouth, the imprisoned Sir Thomas Mallory and Walt Disney.
When looking for the historical and mythical Arthur, scholars try to understand how the Arthur of these tales and of others like Disney’s Sword in the Stone and Monty Python and the Holy Grail came to be. What are the origins of the Arthur legend and what can they tell people about the past? What is the historical basis for King Arthur, if any?

King Arthur: The History and Folklore of the Arthurian Legend comprehensively examines the history and stories of the Arthurian legend, while also looking at how they affected English history and became as popular as they are today. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about King Arthur like you never have before, in no time at all.



Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Mohawk

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents

From the “Trail of Tears” to Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn, the narrative of American history is incomplete without the inclusion of the Native Americans that lived on the continent before European settlers arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the first contact between natives and settlers, tribes like the Sioux, Cherokee, and Navajo have both fascinated and perplexed outsiders with their history, language, and culture. In Charles River Editors’ Native American Tribes series, readers can get caught up to speed on the history and culture of North America’s most famous native tribes in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.

Among all the Native American tribes, the Iroquois peoples are some of the most well documented Native Americans in history. Indigenous to the northeast region of what is now the United States and parts of Canada, they were among some of the earliest contacts Europeans had with the native tribes. And yet they have remained a constant source of mystery. At the same time, the Iroquois are a confederation of several different tribal nations that include the Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, Cayuga and the Tuscarora.

Among these groups, the most famous is the Mohawk, who refer to themselves as Kanien’kehá:ka (“People of the Place of Flint”), but pop culture has a very different image in mind when it comes to the Mohawk (and the Iroquois as a whole). Those unfamiliar with the group associate them with the conspicuous Mohawk haircut, and images of a warlike people who scalp their enemies are still constantly evoked. The Mohawk were mentioned in James Fenimore Cooper’s classic 1826 novel The Last of the Mohicans, an entertaining novel that led to many misconceptions about the Mokawk and continues to do so.

That said, European settlers who came into contact with the Mohawks in the Northeast certainly learned to respect their combat skills, to the point that there were literally bounties on the Mohawks’ heads, with scalps fetching money for colonists who succeeded in slaying them and carrying away the “battle prize”. Both the British and Americans encountered some of their military leaders, who subsequently became well known as portraits were made of them and word of their actions traveled. The Mohawk leader known by the British and Americans as Joseph Brant fought in the Revolution for the British and met men like George Washington and King George III.

Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Mohawk comprehensively covers the culture and history of the famous group, profiling their origins, their history, and their lasting legacy. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Mohawk like you never have before, in no time at all.



Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Inuit (Eskimos)

by Charles River Editors

*Includes pictures.
*Explains the origins, religion, and social structure of the Inuit
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

“We are told today that Inuit never had laws or â??maligait’. Why? They say because they are not written on paper. When I think of paper, I think you can tear it up, and the laws are gone. The laws of the Inuit are not on paper.” – Mariano Aupilaarjuk

From the “Trail of Tears” to Wounded Knee and Little Bighorn, the narrative of American history is incomplete without the inclusion of the Native Americans that lived on the continent before European settlers arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the first contact between natives and settlers, tribes like the Sioux, Cherokee, and Navajo have both fascinated and perplexed outsiders with their history, language, and culture. In Charles River Editors’ Native American Tribes series, readers can get caught up to speed on the history and culture of North America’s most famous native tribes in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.

North Americans have long been fascinated by the Inuit, but this level of interest has been matched by a general lack of knowledge about the group itself. For centuries, they have been called Eskimos, despite the fact there are distinct differences within the group and many of them find the use of the word Eskimo offensive.

With that said, the group’s lifestyle has long been of interest to outsiders simply based on the fact that it’s so different. The Inuit live in harsh Arctic climates in Canada, America, Russia, and even Greenland, and they are descendants of the very people who historians believe crossed the landbridge that once connected Russia to Alaska thousands of years ago. Given the Inuit’s history and lifestyle, as well as general Eskimo stereotypes, the Inuit have long been associated with igloos, sleds, pack dogs, and other aspects of culture that people think of when they think of Alaska and freezing weather.

The Inuit’s homelands ensured that they came into less contact with Europeans than other Native American groups in North America, which has also added a degree of mystery to them. Legends and myths about the Inuit spread, including the allegation that they would put babies with physical deformities to death like the Ancient Spartans. Historians still speculate that the Vikings came into contact with the Inuit when Leif Ericson sailed to the northern tip of Newfoundland, and it’s even believed that the Inuit’s movements in that region (including to Greenland) helped displace the Europeans from their earliest colonies in what would later be deemed the New World nearly 500 years later.

Native American Tribes: The History and Culture of the Inuit comprehensively covers the culture and history of the famous group, profiling their origins, their history, and their lasting legacy. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Inuit like you never have before, in no time at all.



The Dinnertimes Series. Bonnie: Tradition / Scott: Grace (Dinnertimes: True Personal Narratives on Life and the Meaning of Dinnertime)

by Deborah L. Halliday

Bonnie, born 1929, age 82: Tradition
Scott, born 1977, age 35: Grace

What does dinnertime mean to you? We each have our own memories and associations when we think about dinnertime. For some of us those memories are positive; for others, they are less so. Some of us think of food, some of family, some of habits and customs; each of us is different. But dinnertime has a meaning for most of us, and that meaning is incorporated into who we are. Whether experiences are remembered fondly or with pain, the intimate realities of our mealtimes stay with us and help to shape us. This is the premise behind Dinnertimes.
Dinnertimes is not a cookbook, nor is it a menu planner. It is not even primarily about food. It is a collection of first-person accounts of individual lives told by people from a variety of backgrounds and ages; the oldest narrator is 100, the youngest 22. Each narrative is based on a face-to-face interview in which the person was asked “Tell me about dinnertime. What does dinnertime mean to you?” Each narrator shaped the direction of his or her own story. The result is a collection of rich accounts that are windows into people’s lives. One narrator (Frank) tells of his journey from his boyhood farm in Italy to a POW camp in Texas. Another (P.) tells of life with her well-to-do family in their large home in Harlem. We hear from a man (Tom) who lived communally in the late sixties and early seventies and from another (Bartley) who grew up in a strictly religious household only to later come out as gay. One woman (Rupa) describes her journey from India to America; another (Helen) tells of the “non-dinnertimes” of her childhood. A professional dietitian (Kelly) shares her struggles to get her two autistic sons to eat healthy food and a restaurant owner (Dean) tells us what inspired him. A soldier (Scott) talks about practicing his Native American spirituality in a war zone and an eighty-two year old woman (Bonnie) remembers the upper-class Victorian dinners of her grandmother’s home. In this collection we hear about ice boxes and coal stoves, the Depression and World War II, TV dinners and microwave ovens. Most of all, we hear about family as narrators talk about the dinnertimes they had as children and the dinnertimes they create in their lives today.
Each of us has a story, a story that is shaped by culture, by era, by circumstance and by ourselves, and those stories continue to unfold as we learn, grow, and live our lives. The narratives that make up the Dinnertimes collection are personal, specific, individual, and intimate, yet universal. Each one, while edited for content and flow, is told in the actual words of the narrator. This volume presents two narratives from the collection. My wish is that you, the reader, find something in each story that speaks to you, whether it is a connection to your own experience or an insight into someone else’s.



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