Skookum Editions – Free History E-books

The following e-books, available for free download, have been carefully prepared from texts that are in the public domain worldwide (or, as noted, in Canada, where this site is hosted). With the exception of Rolfe’s Ammianus, they contain all the original footnotes, reciprocally linked. Any classical Greek cited is correctly rendered where the device font supports the polytonic characters.

  • J.C. Rolfe’s translation of the great fourth-century historian Ammianus Marcellinus, based on Bill Thayer’s meticulous transcription at LacusCurtius. The translation is still in print in three volumes of the Loeb Classical Library, but the text has entered the public domain. Rolfe’s notes are omitted. Download .mobi or .epub.
  • J.B. Bury’s The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians. This work is in the public domain in most nations, including Canada. It appears that under the bizarre U.S. copyright laws it falls under the “publication date + 95 years” rule and will not enter the public domain in that country until 2023, almost a century after Bury’s death. Download .mobi or .epub.
  • J.B. Bury’s classic History of the Later Roman Empire from the Death of Theodosius I to the Death of Justinian (AD 395 to AD 565). This is a carefully formatted and proofread text that contains all of Bury’s original notes and most of the other apparatus. Thanks to Bill Thayer for allowing me to base the text on his transcription at LacusCurtius. Download .mobi or .epub.
  • F. Homes Dudden’s The Life and Times of St. Ambrose (abridged). The author died in 1957; consequently the book entered the public domain in Canada in 2008 but remains in copyright in Britain and some other nations until 2028. In the United States, it would again appear to fall under the “publication date + 95 years” rule and therefore will not enter the public domain until 2031. Download .mobi or .epub.
  • Domenico Comparetti’s masterpiece of classical philology, Vergil in the Middle Ages. Download .mobi or .epub.
  • Samuel Dill’s Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire. Download .mobi or .epub.
  • A fascinating 19th-century travelogue of western Canada, The North-West Passage by Land, by Viscount Milton and W.B. Cheadle. Includes the original notes and illustrations, together with a new introduction and supplementary notes. Download .mobi or .epub.

Some of the .epub conversions were hastily done, and may not appear quite right in some readers; for example, links to footnotes may not be supported.

If you have reading software that supports the Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS), you can add the network catalog by inserting “” in the appropriate dialog. You can then download the .epub files directly to your library. For Android, I find that some of the apps that claim to support OPDS don’t play well with the catalog generated by Calibre2opds. One that does work, and which also handles linked footnotes properly, is FBReader.

The easiest way to add a .mobi file to your Kindle library is to e-mail it to your Kindle address. This will make it available on all your devices that have the Kindle software installed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *