Harvard Classics

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The Harvard Classics
Harvard Classics.jpg
Volumes 1-10 of the The Harvard Classics (Southwark edition)
EditorCharles W. Eliot
Original titleDr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf
PublisherP. F. Collier & Son
Publication date
Southwark edition (first printed - July 1919)

The Harvard Classics, originally known and marketed as Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books, is a 50-volume series of classic works from world literature, important speeches, and historical documents compiled and edited by Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot.[1][2] Eliot believed that a careful reading of the series and by following the included 11 reading plans in Volume 50 would offer a reader, in the comfort of home, the benefits of a liberal education, entertainment and counsel of history's greatest creative minds.[3] The initial marketing success of The Harvard Classics was due, in part, to the branding offered by Eliot and Harvard University. Buyers of these sets were apparently attracted to the claims that reading the books would provide a liberal education by following the included reading plan and using the General Index containing upwards of 76,000 subject references.[4][5][6]

The 50 volumes were first printed in 1909 (first 25 volumes) and 1910 (next 25 volumes), and the collection was subsequently expanded when the Lectures on The Harvard Classics was added in 1914 and Fifteen Minutes a Day - The Reading Guide in 1916.[7] The Lectures on The Harvard Classics was edited by Willam A. Neilson who also assisted Eliot in the selection and design of the included works in Volumes 1–49.[8] Neilson also wrote the introductions and notes to the included selections in Volumes 1–49.[3] The Harvard Classics is often (mistakenly) cited as a "51 volume" set; however, P.F. Collier & Son consistently marketed the Harvard Classics as 50 volumes plus Lectures and a Daily Reading Guide. Both The Harvard Classics and The Five-Foot Shelf of Books are registered trademarks of P.F. Collier & Son for a series of books used since 1909.[9][10]

Collier advertised The Harvard Classics in many magazines in the U.S. including Collier's and McClure's and offered to send a pamphlet to prospective buyers (and to get leads for its salesmen). The pamphlet, entitled Fifteen Minutes a Day - A Reading Plan, is a 64-page booklet that describes the benefits of reading, gives the background on the book series, and includes many statements by Eliot about why he undertook the project. In the pamphlet, Eliot states:[11]

My aim was not to select the best fifty, or best hundred, books in the world, but to give, in twenty-three thousand pages or thereabouts, a picture of the progress of the human race within historical times, so far as that progress can be depicted in books. The purpose of The Harvard Classics is, therefore, one different from that of collections in which the editor's aim has been to select a number of best books; it is nothing less than the purpose to present so ample and characteristic a record of the stream of the world's thought that the observant reader's mind shall be enriched, refined and fertilized. Within the limits of fifty volumes, containing about twenty-three thousand pages, my task was to provide the means of obtaining such knowledge of ancient and modern literature as seemed essential to the twentieth-century idea of a cultivated man. The best acquisition of a cultivated man is a liberal frame of mind or way of thinking; but there must be added to that possession acquaintance with the prodigious store of recorded discoveries, experiences, and reflections which humanity in its intermittent and irregular progress from barbarism to civilization has acquired and laid up.

Example advertisment for The Harvard Classics showing mail-in coupon, p.2, Collier's, November 19, 1910

Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books[edit]

The idea of the Harvard Classics was introduced in various speeches by then President Charles W. Eliot of Harvard University.[1] Several years prior to 1909, Eliot gave a speech in which he remarked that a three-foot shelf would be sufficient to hold a enough books to give a liberal education to anyone who would read them with devotion. He was inundated with requests for the list of those book titles that would fill the three-foot shelf. After numerous attempts to support his initial claim, he decided that the shelf would need to be lengthened to five feet - but a definitive list of works was not declared. A well-known publisher Peter Fenelon Collier and his son, Robert J. Collier, saw a financial opportunity and made a proposal for Eliot to make good on this statement by proposing that he select 50 volumes (400 to 500 pages each). Collier representatives proposed names for the series as either "The Harvard Library" or "The Harvard Classics" pending approval by Harvard University. The proposal, presented to the President and Fellows of Harvard College, was unanimously approved as a useful undertaking from an educational point of view.[1]

In February 1909 and with his approaching retirement as President of Harvard University, Eliot accepted the proposal of P.F. Collier & Son.[3] The proposal allowed Eliot to engage an assistant. He chose William A. Neilson, Professor of English at Harvard University. Works such as the English Bible were excluded because Eliot and Neilson felt that most every household would already possess at least one copy. The contributions of living authors (other than scientific contributions) were excluded because Eliot and Neilson felt the "verdict of the educated world" was not yet finalized. Also, various works of modern fiction were felt to be readily accessible and thus excluded. Lastly, English and American literature as well as documents related to American social and political ideas were more likely to be selected because the Harvard Classics were intended primarily for American readers.

Eliot retired as President of Harvard University in May 1909 and devoted much of the next twelve months to organizing the 50 volumes and selecting the list of included works. The first half of the included works was provided to P.F. Collier & Son in 1909. However, Eliot and Neilson did not make the remaining selections, write the introductions for each selection, or finish the general index until 1910. Consequently, P.F. Collier & Son printed volumes 1 to 25 in 1909 and volumes 26 to 50 in 1910.[7] An adverstisement for The Harvard Classics was printed in Collier's on April 30, 1909, stating the "Complete Official Contents Now Ready."[12] With the help from more than 50 Harvard professor and instructors and the general library of Harvard University and its department libraries, Eliot and Neilson believed the use of the title "The Harvard Classics" was well deserved.[1]

Release and marketing[edit]

Eliot's letter describing the selection process in a letter to the editor, p.7, Collier's, July 24, 1909

In a June 1909 issue of Collier's Weekly, P.F. Collier & Son announced it would publish a series of books selected by Eliot, without disclosing the list of included works, that would be approximately five feet in length and would supply the readers a liberal education. A few days after the announced intent to publish Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books, several newspapers published an incomplete list of selected works to be included. Eliot felt the publications were unauthorized and asked Collier's Weekly publishers to publish his letter to the editors explaining the initial list and selection process in the July 24, 1909, edition of Collier's. Eliot describes his goal in helping publish The Harvard Classics as motivated by an educational purpose and he explains why the English Bible was not selected. In January 1910, P.F. Collier & Son announced in a "Publishers' Statement" that the 50 volumes were almost complete and offered a "Statement from the Editor" (Eliot) describing the origins of process resulting in the first sets of The Harvard Classics. The first editions printed by P.F. Collier & Son in three separate styles of bindings were first offered for sale on October 13, 1909.[7]

The collection was marketed so as to advertise in all the principal magazines published in the United States resulting in a combined circulation of almost 3,000,000 for the initial marketing effort. The sales were initiated using 3,000 agents who were supplied a prospectus or "Announcement of The Harvard Classics" so that leads could be followed up by the agents.[7] Most advertisements encouraged an interest notice be mailed back to the publisher offering a targeted and highly successful marketing campaign for the series. The intent by the publisher was to offer The Harvard Classics as a subscription with only some of the volumes being sent initially and the remaining to follow in subsequent shipment. This was strategic since the complete 50 volumes had not yet been supplied by Eliot and Neilson to the publisher and would not be supplied until late in 1910.[7] Ad in mcclures describing the sells done in 2 printings.JPG

advertisement in McClure's Magazine describing the two part printing of the initial print runs, November 1909

Printing history[edit]

Publishers' announcement of soon-to-be-completed 50 volumes of The Harvard Classics, Collier's Weekly, January 8, 1910

Volumes 1-49 of The Harvard Classics include reprints of hundreds of authors' works that may have been in the public domain (e.g., because of expired copyrights) or covered by existing copyright holders such as other publishing companies. In either case, Collier filed copyrights for the 49 volumes and for The Harvard Classics complete series in 1909[13] and 1910[14] and obtained, when necessary, permission to reprint selected works included in one of the 49 volumes. Collier's copyrighted Volume 50 was in 1910, the Lectures on The Harvard Classics in 1914,[15] and Fifteen Minutes a Day - The Reading Guide in 1916.[16]

P.F. Collier & Son asserts in many early adverstisements of The Harvard Classics that 20,000 sets of The Harvard Classics were first printed to offer a "tremendous savings" to buyers and that these first printings include the word "Eliot" as a watermark on every page.[10] To help the chronological obsession about the print runs of The Harvard Classics, clues regarding how many of first edition printings are offered in a trademark dispute case between P.F. Collier and E. Milton Jones in 1909 that was later ruled on in appeal in 1910 (in favor of P.F. Collier & Son).[7] In testimony, Robert J. Collier states that the first sets of The Harvard Classics printed and sold were "bound in full morocco...one set, bound in three-quarters morocco...and the remaining set, bound in buckram...".[7] Advertisements in 1910 also state Collier prepared editions for those who demand luxurious limited editions as well as for the readers who want less expensive sets.[10]

The first editions of The Harvard Classics were known as "De Luxe" sets. Most were limited-quantity print runs and some "autographed" editions (only Volume 1 is authographed) include signatures by Eliot and in some cases Robert J. Collier. The first print runs in 1909 were for volumes 1 to 25. Another print run was needed in 1910 for volumes 26 to 50 because those volumes were not selected and edited by Eliot until the middle of 1910. The first editions include Japanese vellum paper with "Eliot" watermarks (made by S.D. Warren & Co. of Boston), deckled pages, silk moire endpapers, sewn in bookmarks, and top edged gilt pages.[7] Each was appealing to buyers for the elaborate illustrations, frontispieces, plates, portraits, facsimiles, and crimson silk page markers (features unlikely to be found in later printings).[6] The colophon found on the ultimate page of content of first editions notes these sets were "planned and designed by William Patten" (the Book Manager at P.F. Collier & Son).[7]

The exact numbers of each of the three bindings making up the 20,000 first sets are unclear. Four different sets in full morocco leather were printed with raised bands, Harvard University insignia, and volume names in gilt lettering on the spines. The four variations in full leather include: (1) the "Alumni Autograph Edition" limited to 200 numbered sets (Volume 1 is autographed by Eliot), (2) the "Eliot Edition" limited to 1,000 numbered sets (Volume 1 is autographed by Eliot), (3) the "Alumni Edition De Luxe" (unsigned) limited to 1,000 numbered sets, and (4) the "Edition De Luxe" sets that are numbered and stated as being limited editions (but the number printed is not shown). The full morocco sets sold for at least $345.[7] The Edition De Luxe sets in full morocco leather were sold many years (after the limited-quantity runs were sold out) as some include the "Lecture" volume added in 1914.

The second binding type of the first editions of The Harvard Classics were printed in three-quarters morocco leather binding over cloth boards. The first edition three-quarters morocco leather sets have similar variations as the full morocco leather sets including a (1) set limited to 1,000 numbered and autographed "Cambridge Editions" signed by Eliot and, interestingly, the publisher Robert J. Collier also signed the sets numbered from 412 to 973) over mottled cream boards, (2) set limited to 1,000 numbered and autographed "Eliot Edition" books over green cloth boards, and (3) a set limited to 1,000 (unsigned) called the "Alumni Edition" on the spine bound over crimson boards, and (4) a set of unknown number called the "Library Edition" (stated as limited edition, but number of printings is not shown) over crimson boards. The "Library Editions" do not paper with "Eliot" watermarks, but appear to have the same high-quality Japanese vellum paper. Each of these limited-quantity three-quarter morocco sets sold for $195.[7]

Testimony from Robert J. Collier and John F. Oltroggege, NY Supreme Court, Oct 21, 1910 (Appelate Division-First Department), in Collier V Jones, ps. 39, 45, 60

The third type of binding of the first editions of The Harvard Classics were printed in fine buckram (green and crimson). The green buckram set of "Alumni Edition" printings is a numbered set limited to 1,000 numbered copies. The green buckram has gilt lettering with crimson and gold Harvard insignia on both the spine and front board. The first editions show "Alumni Edition De Luxe" are numbered and limited to 1,000 sets and include embossed bands on the spine. The remaining first edition set of The Harvard Classics, printed in fine crimson buckram cloth, is another version called the "Eliot Edition" - a limited quantity printing of 1,000. The crimson buckram "Eliot Edition" with Eliot's signature on the front board is printed with raised bands on the spine, "Eliot" watermarked pages, and include illustrations, frontispieces, plates, portraits, and facsimiles. This set does not include page markers. Both buckram first edition sets sold for $100.[7] Another set almost identical to the limited-quantity green buckram sets, is also in green buckram and has "Alumni Edition" on the spine. This set was sold for many years and was limited to 10,000 printings. These second print runs of this set are almost identical to the first editions except the pastedown papers have much more faint printings, the limited edition page shows the editions as "Edition De Luxe," and watermarked "Eliot" pages are not included.

advertisement in 1910 of the Renaissance edition of The Harvard Classics, Collier's, December 3, 1910

In 1910, Collier began printing The Harvard Classics in a limited quantity set called the Renaissance edition. This beautifully bound set includes 10 different bindings consisting of reproductions of the artistic bindings of Royal Monarchs of Europe from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Collier also began printing the National (1910) and Popular (1912) editions with lower price points in an effort, claimed by Collier in many advertisements, to honor the wishes of Eliot that The Harvard Classics are priced within everybody's reach.[17] An extremely popular crimson-colored silk cloth set similar to the look of the De Luxe Morocco edition began printing in 1914 and was called the Cambridge edition. Variations of the Cambridge edition were printed for over a decade in cloth over hardboards and later (after 1919) in an imitation leather binding material called fabrikoid.

In 1919 Collier announced a new binding material for The Harvard Classic sets with the printing of a new set called the Southwark edition (in flexible dark green fabrikoid or imitation leather). The first set of the Southwark edition was printed in July 1919 and given to the Du Pont company. The set carries an inscription "This is the first set of Harvard Classics published by P.F. Collier & Son Company to be bound in DuPont Fabrikoid...".[18] The set was named after the birthplace of one of the founders of Harvard College, John Harvard, who was born in London Borough of Southwark. The set is often referred to as the "Veritas" edition; however, the "Veritas" edition is bound in a dark crimson color promoted by DuPont. The new binding material, called fabrikoid, offered less weight, flexible boards, and bindings that were more durable than the cloth or leather bindings of the early editions. Fabrikoid bindings were used in editions published from the 1920s to 1950's such as the varicolored Gemston edition which has five different colors of bindings and for larger editions with increased font sizes called the (home) Library editions that were marketed as being easier to read.

advertisement in 1918 of the (new) Cambridge edition of The Harvard Classics, Collier's, November 30, 1918 (printed in slight variations for many years in both hardboard and fabrikoid bindings)

The "Eliot Foundation of Adult Education" set, which appears to have been first printed around 1932 (based on included educational materials dated 1932 and later), is a rare numbered set bound in dark blue pebbled cloth. This set has gold gilt lettering with a profile of Eliot on the spine. The set was the focus of a set of materials for adult education with syllabi, instructions for study, and classroom discussions points. The set has an embossed symbol used in many of the education materials developed by the Eliot Foundation on the front board with Versitas Scientia Humanitas (trans. trust, knowledge, and culture). The number of printings of this rare set is unknown. Later editions (with names such as Gemstone, Deluxe Registered, Veritas, Home Library, and Great Literature editions) were not quite as unique as price points were further lowered to make the Harvard Classics more affordable. These later editions were printed in various sizes and binding materials such as cloth, fabrikoid, bonded leather, and even later in various types of imitation and genuine leather often printed to imitate earlier editions.

P.F. Collier & Son printed the 50th edition (that is, different set) of The Harvard Classics in 1956. Owners and prospective buyers of The Harvard Classics editions are often interested in the printing year of a particular edition. As mentioned before, not even the first editions were fully printed in 1909. First editions were printed in 1909 and 1910, and all subsequent editions were printed in 1910 or later. A printer's key could be used to describe the print run, but these were not used in the U.S. until the middle of the twentieth century. Copyright dates for book reprints are unlikely to identify the year of printing excepts for first four editions. For The Harvard Classics series, copyright pages of The Harvard Classics have no information about the printing year (or run) until 1956 when the publisher began including information about the year of the print run.

Collier's renewed the copyrights for The Harvard Classics 28 years after filing the first copyrights for The Harvard Classics (as was customary at the time, as it offered some legal advantages) in 1936 and 1937. Coliier's again renewed the copyrights in 1956 and 1959, and several times in the sixties as editions were printed in different page sizes and fonts (resulting is different pagination than described in initial copyright filings) and because some editions were printed and sold with fewer than 50 volumes. In sum, copyright dates of The Harvard Classics editions offer misleading information about the printing date or printing year after the first editions were printed in 1909 and 1910. For example print runs following the publications of the first editions and until 1937 include copyrights dates of 1909 or 1910 although the printing year could be over 20 years later (or more).

Some clues about the printing history can help identify the print run year. For example, the inclusion of the "Lectures" began in 1914. Additionally, the "Editor's Introduction" in volume 50 includes a second "Editor's Introduction" that is dated in 1917. Fabrikoid was first used as binding for The Harvard Classics in 1919. Lastly, the publishing company marketed a larger size of books with the Home Library edition. This set of The Harvard Classics and subsequent editions are 15 percent larger than previous editions. None of these clues allow for an exact printing year, but each can be used to establish that the printing could not have occurred before a certain year, and of course, the printing cannot have occurred before the most recent copyright date.

The last edition of The Harvard Classics printed by P.F. Collier & Son (then a subsidiary of Crowell Collier & Macmillan, Inc.) was the 63rd printing in 1970 of a 22-volume called the "Great Literature Edition" in green fibrated (essentially bonded) leather with 22K decor that sold for $3.78 per volume ($1 each for the first three volumes). The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint in 1972 against Crowell Collier for deceptive selling practices of The Harvard Classics.[19] In a statement responding to the complaint, Crowell Collier stated that it no longer sells The Harvard Classics.[19] On March 24, 1973, the FTC provisionally accepted a consent order from Crowell Collier (now called Crowell, Collier and MacMillan, Inc.) that the publisher would stop trying to sell The Harvard Classics in one bulk shipment. The publisher ended the subscription plan used since 1909 and stated that it had no plans to sell The Harvard Classics one book at a time.[20]

Enduring success[edit]

As Adam Kirsch, writing for Harvard magazine in 2001, notes, "It is surprisingly easy, even today, to find a complete set of the Harvard Classics in good condition. At least one is usually for sale on eBay, the Internet auction site, for $300 or so, a bargain at $6 a book. The supply, from attics or private libraries around the country, seems endless — a tribute to the success of the publisher, P.F. Collier, who sold some 350,000 sets within 20 years of the series' initial publication".[2]

The Five-Foot Shelf, with its introductions, notes, guides to reading, and exhaustive indexes, may claim to constitute a reading course unparalleled in comprehensiveness and authority.

— Notes on the Lectures by William Allan Neilson

The main function of the collection should be to develop and foster in many thousands of people a taste for serious reading of the highest quality, outside of The Harvard Classics as well as within them.

— Charles W. Eliot[21]

Eliot and Neilson concluded that the 50 volumes were "so far as possible, entire works or complete segments of the world's written legacies" for English speaking readers.[22]

Similar compendia[edit]

  • The concept of education through systematic reading of seminal works themselves (rather than textbooks) was carried on by John Erskine at Columbia University, and in the 1930s Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins at the University of Chicago carried this idea further with the concepts of education through study of the "great books" and "great ideas" of Western civilization. This led to the publication in 1952 of Great Books of the Western World, which is still in print and actively marketed. In 1937, under Stringfellow Barr, St. John's College introduced a curriculum based on the direct study of "great books". These sets are popular today with those interested in homeschooling.
  • Gateway to the Great Books[23] was designed as an introduction to the Great Books of the Western World, published by the same organization and editors in 1952.
  • Palgrave's The Golden Treasury[23] is a popular anthology of English poetry, originally selected for publication by Francis Turner Palgrave in 1861.
  • The Oxford Book of English Verse[23] is an anthology of English poetry that had a very substantial influence on popular taste and perception of poetry for at least a generation.
  • The Loeb Classical Library is a series of books, today published by Harvard University Press, which presents important works of ancient Greek and Latin literature in a way designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience.
  • Sacred Books of the East is a 50-volume set of English translations of Asian religious writings published by the Oxford University Press between 1879 and 1910. It incorporates the essential sacred texts of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism, and Islam.
  • The Delphian Society created the 10 Volume Delphian Course of Reading—with the Harvard Classics editor Eliot in mind—for young and developing minds.[24]
  • The Everyman's Library is a series of reprints of classic literature, primarily from the Western canon.
  • The Thinker's Library is a selection of essays, literature, and extracts from greater works by various classical and contemporary humanists and rationalists, continuing in the tradition of the Renaissance that were published between 1929 and 1951 for the Rationalist Press Association by Watts & Co., London, a company founded by Charles Albert Watts.

Contents[edit]

Vol. 1–10[edit]

Volumes 1-10

Vol. 1: Benjamin Franklin, John Woolman, William Penn[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 1". Internet Archive. Retrieved 11 April 2019.

Vol. 2. Plato, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 2". Internet Archive. Retrieved 11 April 2019.

Vol. 3. Bacon, Milton's Prose, Thomas Browne[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 3". Internet Archive. 19 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 4. Complete Poems in English, Milton[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 4". Internet Archive. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 5. Essays and English Traits, Emerson[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 5". Internet Archive. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 6. Poems and Songs, Burns[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 6". Internet Archive. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 7. The Confessions of St. Augustine, The Imitation of Christ[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 7". Internet Archive. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 8. Nine Greek Dramas[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 8". Internet Archive. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 9. Letters and Treatises of Cicero and Pliny[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 9". Internet Archive. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 10. Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 10". Internet Archive. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 11–20[edit]

Volumes 11-20

Vol. 11. Origin of Species, Darwin[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 11". Internet Archive. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 12. Plutarch's Lives[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 12". Internet Archive. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 13. Aeneid, Virgil[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 13". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 14. Don Quixote, Part 1, Cervantes[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 14". Internet Archive. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 15. Bunyan & Walton[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 15". Internet Archive. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 16. The Thousand and One Nights[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 16". Internet Archive. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 17. Folk-Lore and Fable, Aesop, Grimm, Andersen[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 17". Internet Archive. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 18. Modern English Drama[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 18". Internet Archive. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 19. Faust, Egmont, etc., Goethe, Doctor Faustus, Marlowe[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 19". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 20. The Divine Comedy, Dante[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 20". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 21–30[edit]

Volumes 21-30

Vol. 21. I Promessi Sposi, Manzoni[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 21". Internet Archive. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2019.

Vol. 22. The Odyssey, Homer[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 22". Internet Archive. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2019.

Vol. 23. Two Years Before the Mast, Dana[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 23". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 24. On the Sublime, French Revolution, etc., Burke[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 24". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 25. J.S. Mill and Thomas Carlyle[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 25". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 26. Continental Drama[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 26". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 27. English Essays, Sidney to Macaulay[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 27". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 28. Essays, English and American[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 28". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 29. Voyage of the Beagle, Darwin[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 29". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 30. Faraday, Helmholtz, Kelvin, Newcomb, etc.[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 30". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018.

Vol. 31–40[edit]

Volumes 31-40

Vol. 31. Autobiography, Cellini[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 31". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 32. Montaigne, Sainte-Beuve, Renan, etc.[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 32". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 33. Voyages and Travels[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 33". Internet Archive. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2019.

Vol. 34. Descartes, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hobbes[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 34". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 35. Froissart, Malory, Holinshead[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 35". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 25 August 2019.

Vol. 36. Machiavelli, More, Luther[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 36". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 37. Locke, Berkeley, Hume[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 37". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 38. Harvey, Jenner, Lister, Pasteur[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 38". Internet Archive. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 39. Famous Prefaces[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 39". Internet Archive. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

  • "Title, Prologue and Epilogues to the Recuyell of the Histories of Troy", by William Caxton
  • "Epilogue to Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers", by William Caxton
  • "Prologue to Golden Legend", by William Caxton
  • "Prologue to Caton", by William Caxton
  • "Epilogue to Aesop", by William Caxton
  • "Proem to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales", by William Caxton
  • "Prologue to Malory's King Arthur"
  • "Prologue to Virgil's Eneydos", by William Caxton
  • "Dedication of the Institutes of the Christian Religion" by John Calvin
  • "Dedication of the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies" by Nicolaus Copernicus
  • "Preface to the History of the Reformation in Scotland", by John Knox
  • "Prefatory Letter to Sir Walter Raleigh on The Faerie Queene", by Edmund Spenser
  • "Preface to the History of the World" by Sir Walter Raleigh
  • "Prooemium, Epistle Dedicatory, Preface, and Plan of the Instauratio Magna, etc.", by Francis Bacon
  • "Preface to the Novum Organum", by Francis Bacon
  • "Preface to the First Folio Edition of Shakespeare's Plays" by Heminge and Condell
  • "Preface to the Philosophiae Naturalis Pricipia Mathematica", by Sir Isaac Newton
  • "Preface to Fables, Ancient and Modern", by John Dryden
  • "Preface to Joseph Andrews", by Henry Fielding
  • "Preface to the English Dictionary", by Samuel Johnson
  • "Preface to Shakespeare", by Samuel Johnson
  • "Introduction to the Propylaen", by J.W. von Goethe
  • "Prefaces to Various Volumes of Poems", by William Wordsworth
  • "Appendix to Lyrical Ballads", by William Wordsworth
  • "Essay Supplementary to Preface", by William Wordsworth
  • "Preface to Cromwell", by Victor Hugo
  • "Preface to Leaves of Grass", by Walt Whitman
  • "Introduction to the History of English Literature", by H.A. Taine

Vol. 40. English Poetry 1: Chaucer to Gray[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 40". Internet Archive. 11 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 41–50[edit]

Volumes 41-50

Vol. 41. English Poetry 2: Collins to Fitzgerald[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 41". Internet Archive. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 42. English Poetry 3: Tennyson to Whitman[edit]

"The Harvard classics Volume 42". Internet Archive. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

Vol. 43. American Historical Documents[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 43". Internet Archive. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 44. Sacred Writings: Volume 1[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 44". Internet Archive. 14 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Confucian

Hebrew

Christian, (Part I)

Vol. 45. Sacred Writings: Volume 2[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 45". Internet Archive. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Christian, (Part II)

Buddhist

Hindu

Mohammedan

Vol. 46. Elizabethan Drama 1[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 46". Internet Archive. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 47. Elizabethan Drama 2[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 47". Internet Archive. 14 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 48. Thoughts and Minor Works, Pascal[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 48". Internet Archive. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 49. Epic and Saga[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 49". Internet Archive. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

Vol. 50. Introduction, Reader's Guide, Indexes[edit]

"The Harvard Classics Volume 50". Internet Archive. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

  • The Editor's Introduction to the Harvard Classics
  • Reader's Guide to the Harvard Classics
    • Class I
      • The History of Civilization
        • Race and Language
        • Ancient Egypt
        • The East in Patriarchal Time
        • Ancient Greece: Legendary
        • Ancient Greece: Historic
        • Ancient Rome: Republican
        • Ancient Rome: Imperial
        • Germanic Peoples in Primitive Times
        • Ireland in Primitive Times
        • The Early Christian Church
        • The Mohammedan East
        • The Middle Ages
        • The Renaissance
        • Modern Europe
        • America
      • Religion and Philosophy
        • Hebrew
        • Greek
        • Roman
        • Chinese
        • Hindu
        • Christian: Primitive and Medieval
        • Mohammedan
        • Christian: Modern
        • Modern Philosophers
      • Education
        • Montaigne...Huxley
      • Science
        • Hippocrates...Geikie
      • Politics
        • Plutarch...American Historical Documents
      • Voyages and Travels
        • Herodotus...Emerson
      • Criticism of Literature and the Fine Arts
        • Caxton...Stevenson
    • Class II
      • Drama
        • Greek
        • English
        • Spanish
        • French
        • German
      • Biography and Letters
        • Plutarch...Stevenson
      • Essays
        • Montaigne...Stevenson
      • Narrative Poetry and Prose Fiction
        • Homer...Lanier
  • An Index of the First Lines of Poems, Songs and Choruses, Hymns and Psalms
  • General Index
  • Chronological Index

Lectures[edit]

Lectures on The Harvard Classics

Lectures on The Harvard Classics[edit]

"Lectures on The Harvard Classics". Internet Archive. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

The last volume contains sixty lectures introducing and summarizing the covered fields:[89]

The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction[edit]

The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction is a supplement of 20 volumes of modern fiction added in 1917. Items were selected for inclusion by Charles W. Eliot, with notes and introductions by William Allan Neilson.

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Adam Kirsch, The "Five-foot Shelf" Reconsidered, Harvard Magazine, Volume 103, Number 2. November–December 2001.
  3. ^ a b c Eliot, Charles (23 April 1910). "Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books, A Personal Definitive Statement from the Editor". Collier's. Springfield, Ohio: P.F. Collier & Son. pp. 21, 22, 26. hdl:2027/hvd.32044092735687. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  4. ^ Collier, Robert J. (8 January 1910). "The Harvard Classics, The Publishers' Statement". Collier's. Springfield, Ohio: P.F. Collier & Son. p. 13. hdl:2027/hvd.32044092735679. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  5. ^ Collier, Robert J. (8 January 1910). "The Harvard Classics, By Subjects and Authors". Collier's. Springfield, Ohio: P.F. Collier & Son. p. 16. hdl:2027/hvd.32044092735679. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf of Books (advertisement)". Eau Claire Sunday Leader. Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 12 November 1911. p. 3. Retrieved 2 January 2021.
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External links[edit]