Harvard Classics

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Charles William Eliot, compiler and editor of the Harvard Classics anthology.

The Harvard Universal Classics, originally known as Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, is a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature, compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first published in 1909.[1]

Eliot had stated in speeches that the elements of a liberal education could be obtained by spending 15 minutes a day reading from a collection of books that could fit on a five-foot shelf. (Originally he had said a three-foot shelf.) The publisher P. F. Collier and Son saw an opportunity and challenged Eliot to make good on this statement by selecting an appropriate collection of works, and the Harvard Classics was the result.

Eliot worked for one year with William A. Neilson, a professor of English; Eliot determined the works to be included and Neilson selected the specific editions and wrote introductory notes.[1] Each volume had 400–450 pages, and the included texts are "so far as possible, entire works or complete segments of the world's written legacies."[2] The collection was widely advertised by Collier and Son, in Collier's and elsewhere, with great success.

Contents[edit]

Vol. 1-10[edit]

Vol. 11-20[edit]

Vol. 21-30[edit]

Vol. 31-40[edit]

Vol. 41-51[edit]

The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction[edit]

The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction was selected by Charles W. Eliot, LLD (1834-1926), with notes and introductions by William Allan Neilson. It also features an index to Criticisms and Interpretations.

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".[1]

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, LLD[99]

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[100] 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[100] is a popular anthology of English poetry, originally selected for publication by Francis Turner Palgrave in 1861.
  • The Oxford Book of English Verse[100] 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.
  • The Book of Life[101] offers a contemporary self-education in transcribing pragmatic lessons from some of the greatest philosophical and literary minds, stretching as far back as Ancient Greece.
  • The Sacred Books of the East is a monumental 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 Dr. Eliot in mind--for young and developing minds.[102]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Adam Kirsch, The "Five-foot Shelf" Reconsidered, Harvard Magazine, Volume 103, Number 2. November–December 2001
  2. ^ Dr. Eliot's Five-Foot Shelf of Books: Toward a Centennial of The Harvard Classics, Papers on Language and Literature - Find Articles
  3. ^ Franklin, Benjamin. "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  4. ^ Mee, Arthur; Hammerton, J.A., eds. (10 June 2004). "The World's Greatest Books: John Woolman Journal". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  5. ^ Penn, William (7 October 2004). "Some Fruits of Solicitude". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  6. ^ Plato. "Apology". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
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  9. ^ Epictetus. "The Golden Sayings of Epictetus, with the Hymn of Cleanthes". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  10. ^ Aurelius, Marcus. "Meditations". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  11. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 3". Internet Archive. 19 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  12. ^ Bacon, Francis. "The Essays or Counsels, Civil and Moral". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  13. ^ Bacon, Francis. "New Atlantis". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  14. ^ Milton, John. "Areopagitica". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  15. ^ Browne, Sir Thomas. "Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  16. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 4". Internet Archive. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  17. ^ Milton, John. "The Poetical Works of John Milton". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  18. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 5". Internet Archive. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  19. ^ Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  20. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 6". Internet Archive. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  21. ^ Burns, Robert. "Poems and Songs of Robert Burns". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  22. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 7". Internet Archive. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  23. ^ Bishop of Hippo Saint Augustine. "The Confessions of St. Augustine". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  24. ^ Kempis, Thomas a. "The Imitation of Christ". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  25. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 8". Internet Archive. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  26. ^ Aeschylus. "The Agamemnon of Aeschylus". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  27. ^ Aeschylus. "The House of Atreus; Being the Agamemnon, the Libation bearers, and the Furies". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  28. ^ Aeschylus. "Specimens of Greek Tragedy". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  29. ^ Aeschylus. "Specimens of Greek Tragedy". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  30. ^ a b Sophocles. "Plays of Sophocles: Oedipus the King; Oedipus at Colonus; Antigone". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  31. ^ a b Euripides. "Hippolytus; The Bacchae". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  32. ^ Aristophanes. "The Frogs". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  33. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 9". Internet Archive. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  34. ^ a b Cicero, Marcus Tullius. "Treatises on Friendship and Old Age". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  35. ^ Cicero, Marcus Tullius. "Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  36. ^ The Younger Pliny. "Letters of Pliny". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  37. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 10". Internet Archive. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  38. ^ Smith, Adam. "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  39. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 11". Internet Archive. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  40. ^ Darwin, Charles. "On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  41. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 12". Internet Archive. 4 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  42. ^ Plutarch. "Plutarch: Lives of the noble Grecians and Romans". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  43. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 13". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  44. ^ Virgil. "The Aeneid". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  45. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 14". Internet Archive. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  46. ^ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. "Don Quixote". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  47. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 15". Internet Archive. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  48. ^ Bunyan, John. "The Pilgrim's Progress from this world to that which is to come". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  49. ^ Walton, Izaak. "Lives of John Donne, Henry Wotton, Rich'd Hooker, George Herbert, &c, Volume 2". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  50. ^ a b "The Harvard classics Volume 16". Internet Archive. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  51. ^ Smith; Wiggin; Parrish. "The Arabian Nights: Their Best-known Tales". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  52. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 17". Internet Archive. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  53. ^ Aesop. "Aesop's Fables". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  54. ^ Grimm, Jacob; Grimm, Wilhelm. "Household Tales by Brothers Grimm". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  55. ^ Andersen, H. C. "Andersen's Fairy Tales". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  56. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 18". Internet Archive. 5 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  57. ^ Dryden, John. "All for Love; Or, The World Well Lost: A Tragedy". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  58. ^ Sheridan, Richard Brinsley. "The School for Scandal". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  59. ^ Goldsmith, Oliver. "She Stoops to Conquer; Or, The Mistakes of a Night: A Comedy". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  60. ^ Shelley, Percy Bysshe. "The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley — Volume 1". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  61. ^ Browning, Robert. "A Blot in the 'Scutcheon". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  62. ^ George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron. "The Works of Lord Byron. Vol. 4". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  63. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 19". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  64. ^ Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. "Faust — Part 1". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  65. ^ Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. "Egmont". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  66. ^ Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. "Hermann und Dorothea". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  67. ^ Marlowe, Christopher. "The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  68. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 20". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  69. ^ Dante Alighieri. "Divine Comedy, Longfellow's Translation, Complete". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  70. ^ Manzoni, Alessandro. "The Betrothed". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  71. ^ Homer. "The Odyssey". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 24 February 2018. 
  72. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 23". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  73. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 24". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  74. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 25". Internet Archive. 6 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  75. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 26". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  76. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 27". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  77. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 28". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  78. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 29". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  79. ^ "The Harvard classics Volume 30". Internet Archive. 9 January 2006. Retrieved 21 February 2018. 
  80. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 31". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  81. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 32". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  82. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 34". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  83. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 36". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  84. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 37". Internet Archive. 10 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  85. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 38". Internet Archive. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  86. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 39". Internet Archive. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  87. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 40". Internet Archive. 11 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  88. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 41". Internet Archive. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  89. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 43". Internet Archive. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  90. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 44". Internet Archive. 14 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  91. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 45". Internet Archive. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  92. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 46". Internet Archive. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  93. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 47". Internet Archive. 14 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  94. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 48". Internet Archive. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  95. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 49". Internet Archive. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  96. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 50". Internet Archive. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  97. ^ "The Harvard Classics Volume 51". Internet Archive. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 22 February 2018. 
  98. ^ Neilson PhD, William Allan; et al., eds. (1914). Lectrues on the Harvard Classics: Contents. 51 (1st ed.). Collier Press New York: P F Collier & Son. pp. 1–4. 
  99. ^ "Full text of The Harvard Classics Volume 50". Internet Archive. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  100. ^ a b c Adler, Mortimer J.; Doren, Charles Van (1972) [1940]. "Appendix A. A Recommended Reading List". How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading (Revised ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 349–350. 
  101. ^ "Contents". The Book of Life. The School of Life. Retrieved 26 February 2018. 
  102. ^ The Delphian Society. "The Delphian Course. Vol. 1: The Delphian Course of Reading Introduction". Internet Archive. Chicago: The Society. pp. viii–xi. Retrieved 4 March 2018. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]