Free historical fiction Kindle books for 26 May 15

The Werewolf of 1944 (Werewolf of 1944 and Vampire of Venice)

by F Congreve

I would not want you to read this expecting a supernatural story. Neither Vampire or Werewolf are about monsters of the Gothic imagination but monsters of everyday life like the schoolboy in the story, burnt in an air raid, who deals with it by imagining himself to be a wolf and fiercer than the enemy until the wolf becomes real to him.

The stories have a psychological and metaphysical dimension. The German philosopher Nietzsche said when you look into the abyss the abyss looks into you. He meant looking over a cliff arouses our primitive anxiety about survival. But there is a more subtle meaning hidden in the remark. He was an idealist who saw the universe as a kind of mind, and that opens up huge cultural possibilities without having to believe it’s true.

I am thinking of quantum physics and the seemingly weird interaction of subatomic particles which can be in two places at once, or the logical paradox of being dead and not dead in Schrodinger’s equations. There are wormholes, parallel universes and ideas of singularity and infinity which take us far beyond Newton’s modelling of the universe as a giant celestial clock.

Werewolf begins with trauma, it produces an internalized tapestry of fear and inhibition represented in nightmare images, it ends in mystery with a tortured love affair and the birth of the Gods.

“Not infrequently, bizarre and chaotic sexuality is expressed in a primitive way through lycanthropic symptoms. Patients whose internal fears exceed their coping capabilities may externalise them via projection and constitute a serious threat to others.”

American Journal of Psychiatry, 1977

“When the communal solidarity associated with religion or nationalism weakens, it is replaced by shamanism and the idea of personal salvation through rituals which involve a spirit journey or quest. In pursuit of this the traveller may change into a were beast like a wolf or bat or bear. In the popular imagination were-beasts are predatory and associated with marginality and contagion.”

Marcus Levy, palaeontologist and psychiatrist

A Digit of the Moon

by F.W. Bain

F.W. Bain was a writer of fantasy stories, and he claimed to have translated some of them from Sanskrit, the old Indian script.

The White Cat

by Gelett Burgess

Gelett Burgess was a well known 20th century artist and author in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was also at the forefront of the literary movement in the 1890s, and he is known for his eccentric works. 

A Mine of Faults

by F.W. Bain

F.W. Bain was a writer of fantasy stories, and he claimed to have translated some of them from Sanskrit, the old Indian script.

The Daughter of the Commandant

by Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin was a Russian writer during the Romantic era.  Pushkin is considered to be Russia’s greatest poet and a major influence on modern Russian literature.  This edition of Pushkin’s The Daughter of the Commandant includes a table of contents.

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