Historical Tales

Authors: Charles Morris
Publisher: Angelus University, Los Angeles
Dates: 1896–1908

Charles Morris
CHARLES MORRIS (1833-1922)
Charles Morris was a prolific American writer of the late 19th century. After a brief career in academics, he began publishing a great number of books and articles under various pseudonyms, but his piece de resistance was his Historical Tales, a collection of romantic and entertaining stories from history, in fourteen volumes.

Although these tales are organized by civilization, and the stories occur in roughly chronological order, these books cannot be read as comprehensive histories, as he makes no particular attempt to tie them together, contenting himself to jump from one fascinating episode in history to another. For this reason, they are best read after one is already familiar with the basic outline of the history of a particular civilization.

On the other hand, Morris is an outstanding writing, and he picks fascinating subjects for his stories. The stories are selected largely for their entertainment value, rather than purely for historical significance so Morris treats his readers to a fascinating introduction to some compelling 'secondary' characters and events. He tells all of his stories in enough depth to make them truly entertaining, even when he is dealing with already well-known events. The Historical Tales are an entertaining treat, and though they are not recommended for introductory reading, they are a terrifically rewarding for intermediate or advanced readers of history.

Historical Tales: 1—American   by Charles Morris
This is the first of two volumes of stories from American History and covers the colonial period through the beginning of the civil war. The author has selected a great number of lesser known but highly interesting stories, usually emphasizing adventure or romance rather than political significance. Some of the lesser known but entertaining characters include Sir William Phips, Israel Putnam, Elizabeth Zane, Lydia Darrah, and Francis Marion. 139 credits

Historical Tales: 2—American   by Charles Morris
The second volume of Morris's American Tales focus primarily on stories the occurred in the Southeast. Short accounts of some of the earliest explorers, including Ponce de Leon, de Soto, John Smith, and La Salle are given, followed by several chapters dedicated to Indian Wars, the colonization of the South, and the Mexican-American War which resulted in the annexation of Texas and much of the Southwest. The last dozen chapters are all dedicated to stories of interest which occurred during the American Civil War.138 credits

Historical Tales: 3—Spanish American   by Charles Morris
This collection of stories from Latin America begins during the age of the Spanish Conquistadors and include lesser known tales such as Lantaro, the hero of the Araucanians, Hidalgo, Paez, and Cudjoe of the Maroons, as well as familiar stories of Pizarro and Cortez. The histories are continued all the way to the end of the 19th century, and the years prior to the Mexican Revolution. 129 credits

Historical Tales: 4—English   by Charles Morris
This selection of stories from English history includes many well-known episodes, but also a variety of lesser known, but romantic events. Morris is an excellent writer and his stories are told with enough detail and dramatic flair to be of interest to an older student or adult. Although there are many familiar heroes, a good number are less well-known, such as Elfrida, Hereward, Arabella Stuart, and Bonnie Prince Charles.142 credits

Historical Tales: 5—German   by Charles Morris
This selection of stories from German history span from the era of the Roman Empire to the foundation of the German republic in the late 19th century. Instead of a comprehensive history, the author has rewritten some of the most entertaining episode in a manner especially interesting to young adults. Familiar characters such as Frederick Barbarossa, and Luther are introduced, but so are more obscure characters such as Wittekind, Ziska, and Wallenstein.134 credits

Historical Tales: 6— French   by Charles Morris
Some of the most romantic stories of France, beginning with the Visigoth repulsion of the Huns at Chalons, and ending with the Franco Prussian War are recounted by an outstanding storyteller. This collection of entertaining stories was written especially to appeal to young adults. Familiar characters such as Charlemagne and Joan of Arc are introduced, but so are lesser known characters such as Bayard, Charles the Bold, and the Duke of Bourbon.136 credits

Historical Tales: 7—Spanish   by Charles Morris
This collection of romantic stories from Spain starts with the good King Wamba, one of the last Visigoth kings. It follows the conquest of Spain by the Moors, the battle of Tours, and features heroes of the middle ages such Roderic, El Cid, and Ponce De Leon. It then follows the unified nation of Spain under Isabel and Ferdinand to the Spanish American War. Of particular interest are many stories of Moslem Spain and the fall of Granada. 130 credits

Historical Tales: 8—Russian   by Charles Morris
This collection of stories from Poland and Russia begin with the Scythians, thought to be the predecessors of the Slavs, to the years immediately preceding the Russian Revolution. The stories of the earliest governors of Novogorod and the principality of Moscow are given, and the complete tale of Russia's rise from obscurity to one of the most powerful empires on the globe. 136 credits

Historical Tales: 9—Scandinavian   by Charles Morris
This collection of stories from Norway and Sweden range from earliest stories of Ragnar Lodbrok, the notorious pirate who raided Saxon Britain, to the division of Norway and Sweden in the early twentieth centuries. In includes tales of the famous Viking kings of Norway, Harold Fairhair, Haakon the Good, and St. Olaf, and Norse heroes of the Thirty Years War, and Great Northern War, and almost all of the most romantic tales of Scandinavia.144 credits

Historical Tales: 10—Greek   by Charles Morris
Starting from the destruction of Troy, the author of this book has emphasized the most important stories from Greek history, and rewritten them in detail in a manner especially interesting to young adults. Familiar characters such as Lycurgus, Xerxes, and Socrates are introduced, but so are more obscure characters such as Polycrates, Democedes, and Timoleon. Morris is a terrific author and these retellings provide an excellent review for anyone whose Greek History needs an enjoyable refresher. 141 credits

Historical Tales: 11—Roman   by Charles Morris
Starting with the founding of Rome and continuing until the fall of the western empire, the author has emphasized the most important stories from history, and rewritten them in detail in a manner especially interesting to young adults. Familiar characters such as Cincinnatus, Cicero, and Nero are introduced, but so are more obscure characters such as Jugurtha, Vitellius, and Maximinus. Morris is an exceptionally good writer and his books are highly recommended as an enjoyable review for the mature student.139 credits

Historical Tales: 12—Japanese and Chinese   by Charles Morris
The stories in this volume cover the histories of both Japan and China from their earliest history, to the close of the 19th century. The stories given are a selection of the most interesting and romantic incidents in these ancient kingdoms, featuring characters who are well-known in these Asian countries, but not may be unfamiliar to western readers. 143 credits