From Kimberly comes the beautifully designed manybooks.net, a site containing a number of books for online reading or downloading in a variety of formats. And it’s not limited to English – French, Dutch, Japanese, Welsh and others are covered too.
I’ve just downloaded The Woman Who Did by Grant Allen, The Dialect of the West of England Particularly Somersetshire by James Jennings and A Short History of Wales by Owen M. Edwards, (produced from the 1922 T. Fisher Unwin Ltd. edition):
Next to its unity, a characteristic of modern Wales is its democratic feeling. It is a country with a thoughtful and intelligent peasantry, and it is a country without a middle class. There is a very small upper class − the old Welsh land-owning families who once, before they turned their backs on Welsh literature, led the country. They have never been hated or despised, they are simply ignored. Their tendency now is to come into touch with the people, and they are always welcomed. But a middle class, in the English sense, does not exist. The wealthier industrial class is bound by the closest ties of sympathy to the farmer and labourer. The farmer’s holding is generally small – from 50 to 250 acres – and he always treats his servants and labourers as equals.