Looking for free books online? Then you've come to the right place. At Early Bird Books, we love bringing you daily deals on bestsellers and classic novels to download for free. This month, we're bringing you novels by acclaimed authors like Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Charles Dickens. After all, the best things in life are free—and that includes these books.
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Olaf the Glorious
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The epic life saga of the tenth-century king of Norway from the British author of The Thirsty Sword and other historical adventures.
Norse history comes alive in this story of a Viking who became a king. Though he had a humble start in life—orphaned as a child and sold into slavery—Olaf became known for bringing the Roman Catholic religion to the early Norwegians.
Olaf’s heroic life—from his time in King Valdemar’s court to his Viking exploits and battles to his ascension to the throne of his native land—has been heralded in Icelandic sagas. These provided the inspiration for nineteenth-century author Robert Leighton’s historical novel of Middle Age valor and glory.
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A novel of innocence and iniquity, love and murder, by the nineteenth-century Russian author of Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.
After several years in a Swiss sanatorium, twenty-six-year-old Prince Myshkin returns to Russian society to collect his rightful inheritance. But he soon crosses paths with the dark Rogozhin, a rich merchant’s son whose desire for Nastasya Filippovna will set the three of them on a tragic course. As author Fyodor Dostoevsky traces the effect of Myshkin’s innocence on the people around him in St. Petersburg, scandal escalates to murder . . .
“I think The Idiot to be a masterpiece—flawed, occasionally tedious or overwrought, like many masterpieces—but a fact of world literature just as important as the densely dramatic Brothers Karamazov or the brilliantly subtle and terrifying Devils. In those two novels, as in the simpler Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky had plots and political and religious ideas working together. In The Idiot he is straining to grasp a story and a character converting themselves from Gothic to Saint’s Life on the run. What makes the greatness is double—the character of the prince, and a powerful series of confrontations with death. The true subject of The Idiot is the imminence and immanence of death.” —A. S. Byatt, The Guardian
“Nothing is outside Dostoevsky’s province ... Out of Shakespeare there is no more exciting reading.” —Virginia Woolf
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
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The classic work “hailed as one of the great comic novels of English literature and author Henry Fielding’s masterpiece” (HistoryNet.com).
Both a picaresque and Bildungsroman, The History of Tom Jones follows the life of its hero from his discovery as a foundling on the property of Squire Allworthy in England’s West Country to his banishment from the estate and subsequent journey to London to escape an arranged marriage. Tom’s many dalliances and misadventures throughout add to the charm of this bawdy romantic comedy.
Written in the eighteenth century, it is “a classic English novel that captures the spirit of its age and whose famous characters—Squire Western, the chaplain Thwackum, the scheming Blifil, seductive Molly Seagrim, and Sophia, Tom’s true love—have come to represent Augustan society in all its loquacious, turbulent, comic variety” (The Guardian, “The 100 Best Novels”).
The Pilgrim's Progress
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The classic religious allegory by the seventeenth-century English author—one of the most significant works of theological fiction ever written.
Largely written while John Bunyan was imprisoned for offenses against the Conventicle Act of 1664, which prohibited the holding of religious services outside the auspices of the Church of England, The Pilgrim’s Progress is the author’s dream of the trials and temptations a man named Christian encounters on his journey to the Celestial City. Traveling along a road filled with spiritual obstacles, Christian seeks to rid himself of the burden of his sins.
“In Hollywood terms, the novel has a perfect ‘arc.’ It also contains a cast of unforgettable characters, from Mr Worldly Wiseman to Lord Hategood, Mr Stand-fast and Mr Valiant-for-Truth. . . . The Pilgrim’s Progress is the ultimate English classic, a book that has been continuously in print, from its first publication to the present day, in an extraordinary number of editions. There’s no book in English, apart from the Bible, to equal Bunyan’s masterpiece for the range of its readership, or its influence on writers as diverse as William Thackeray, Charlotte Bronte, Mark Twain, CS Lewis, John Steinbeck and even Enid Blyton.” —The Guardian, “The 100 Best Novels”
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After losing his inheritance, a young man strives to make his own fortune, in this witty, wide-ranging saga by the iconic nineteenth-century novelist.
When young Martin Chuzzlewit falls in love with his grandfather’s devoted nursemaid, the elder Chuzzlewit is furious and decides to disinherit the boy. Thus, Martin is thrust into the world to find his own way.
An apprenticeship with an architect seems like a fine start. But not long after Martin begins working for Seth Pecksniff—who has a secret agenda in hiring him—Martin’s grandfather maneuvers to have him dismissed. Eventually, Martin makes his way to America in the company of his friend Tom. But the trip is an unmitigated disaster, and they are plagued by misfortune until they turn tail and race back to England. Little does Martin know there are far more surprises awaiting him in this novel of twists and turns, dreamers and schemers, greed and murder, from the Victorian era’s literary master.
Featured photo: Frank Holleman / Unsplash