Wired up: Classic Books
Saturday 16 January 1999
Whose idea was it to put an infinite number of monkeys to work on The Massachussets Institute of Technology's web server? It was a great move if the Shakespeare archive is anything to go by. It may not have taken a lot of imagination to decide to put the great man's entire works on-line, but it's an impressive feat none the less. This should perhaps be a slight source of shame because it's based outside Britain but that's another story. The best things about this site are the text searches which can be carried out at high speed. Does the phrase "Ides of March" show up in any of his plays except Julius Caesar? No. How many times does "pound of flesh" appear in The Merchant of Venice? 18 times. Now you know.
Slightly closer to the present day - indeed so much that some of the work is still legally protected - are the adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Although all the stories are out of copyright in Britain, the 12 short stories published after 1919 are still protected in the US, which means that they are unavailable on this site. Although the chore of reading dense text off a computer screen has become less gruelling over recent years, it can still be a chore to wade through long stories. But if `free' is your thing, this site is still difficult to beat. It also contains many original illustrations from the Strand magazine where the stories were originally published, as well as links to other Sherlock Holmes sites.
THE BEST OF THE REST www.r3.org/intro.html HH
A page devoted entirely to Shakespeare's Richard III.
promo.net/pg HHH Project Gutenberg is a hugely ambitious attempt to get as much out-of- copyright literary work on to the Internet as possible. The site isn't particularly user-friendly but the sheer scale and ambition of the project is incredibly impressive.
MIT again showing what can be achieved with some organisation and ambition. This contains, amongst a host of literary classics, The Odyssey, The Illiad and the complete works of Aesop.
Superb archive of short stories. Plenty of nuggets for casual browsers.
An excellent collection of classic works from HG Wells through to Virginia Woolf.
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Daredevil, Netflix, TV review: Marvel wins first fight in bid for television domination with Charlie Cox's superhero vigilante
London art exhibition features portrait of Iraqi migrant shot dead in Iraq after being refused UK asylum
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns