The Harvard Classics

In 1909, then Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot compiled and published his version of the Western canon — 51 volumes of essays, poetry and prose.  In 1985, my parents purchased a set, and it has slept peacefully in my father’s study ever since.  Around two months ago, I finally worked my way through the barricade of boxes and bric-a-brac that have accumulated in front of the shelves over the years.  The books were a lovely sight to behold.  Mr Eliot, challenge accepted.

 

  • Vol. 1: FRANKLIN, WOOLMAN, PENN
    • His Autobiography, by Benjamin Franklin
    • The Journal of John Woolman, by John Woolman (1774 and subsequent editions)
    • Fruits of Solitude, by William Penn
  • Vol. 2. PLATO, EPICTETUS, MARCUS AURELIUS
    • The Apology, Phaedo, and Crito, by Plato
    • The Golden Sayings, by Epictetus
    • The Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius
  • Vol. 3. BACON, MILTON’S PROSE, THOS. BROWNE
    • Essays, Civil and Moral, and New Atlantis, by Francis Bacon
    • Areopagitic and Tractate of Education, by John Milton
    • Religio Medici, by Sir Thomas Browne
  • Vol. 4. COMPLETE POEMS IN ENGLISH, MILTON
    • Complete poems written in English, by John Milton
  • Vol. 5. ESSAYS AND ENGLISH TRAITS, EMERSON
    • Essays and English Traits, by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Vol. 6. POEMS AND SONGS, BURNS
    • Poems and songs, by Robert Burns
  • Vol. 7. CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE, IMITATIONS OF CHRIST
    • The Confessions, by Saint Augustine
    • The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis
  • Vol. 8. NINE GREEK DRAMAS
    • Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Furies, and Prometheus Bound, by Aeschylus
    • Oedipus the King and Antigone, by Sophocles
    • Hippolytus and The Bacchae, by Euripides
    • The Frogs, by Aristophanes
  • Vol. 9. LETTERS AND TREATISES OF CICERO AND PLINY
    • On Friendship, On Old Age, and letters, by Cicero
    • Letters, by Pliny the Younger
  • Vol. 10. WEALTH OF NATIONS, ADAM SMITH
    • The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith
  • Vol. 11. ORIGIN OF SPECIES, DARWIN
    • The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin
  • Vol. 12. PLUTARCH’S LIVES
    • Lives, by Plutarch
  • Vol. 13. AENEID, VIRGIL
    • Aeneid, by Virgil
  • Vol. 14. DON QUIXOTE, Part 1 only, CERVANTES
    • Don Quixote, part 1, by Cervantes
  • Vol. 15. PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, DONNE & HERBERT, BUNYAN, WALTON
    • The Pilgrim’s Progress, by John Bunyan
    • The Lives of Donne and Herbert, by Izaak Walton
  • Vol. 16. THE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS
    • Stories from the Thousand and One Nights
  • Vol. 17. FOLKLORE AND FABLE, AESOP, GRIMM, ANDERSON
    • Fables, by Aesop
    • Children’s and Household Tales, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
    • Tales, by Hans Christian Andersen
  • Vol. 18. MODERN ENGLISH DRAMA
    • All for Love, by John Dryden
    • The School for Scandal, by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
    • She Stoops to Conquer, by Oliver Goldsmith
    • The Cenci, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
    • A Blot in the ‘Scutcheon, by Robert Browning
    • Manfred, by Lord Byron
  • Vol. 19. FAUST, EGMONT, ETC. DOCTOR FAUSTUS, GOETHE, MARLOWE
    • Faust, part 1, Egmont, and Hermann and Dorothea, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    • Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe
  • Vol. 20. THE DIVINE COMEDY, DANTE
    • The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri
  • Vol. 21. I PROMESSI SPOSI
    • I Promessi Sposi, by Alessandro Manzoni
  • Vol. 22. THE ODYSSEY, HOMER
    • The Odyssey, by Homer
  • Vol. 23. TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST, DANA
    • Two Years Before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
  • Vol. 24. ON THE SUBLIME, FRENCH REVOLUTION, ETC., BURKE
    • On Taste, On the Sublime and Beautiful, Reflections on the French Revolution, and A Letter to a Noble Lord, by Edmund Burke
  • Vol. 25. AUTOBIOGRAPHY, ETC., ESSAYS AND ADDRESSES, J.S. MILL, T. CARLYLE
    • Autobiography and On Liberty, by John Stuart Mill
    • Characteristics, Inaugural Address at Edinburgh, and Sir Walter Scott, by Thomas Carlyle
  • Vol. 26. CONTINENTAL DRAMA
    • Life is a Dream, by Pedro Calderón de la Barca
    • Polyeucte, by Pierre Corneille
    • Phèdre, by Jean Racine
    • Tartuffe, by Molière
    • Minna von Barnhelm, by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
    • William Tell, by Friedrich von Schiller
  • Vol. 27. ENGLISH ESSAYS: SIDNEY TO MACAULAY
  • Vol. 28. ESSAYS: ENGLISH AND AMERICAN
  • Vol. 29. VOYAGE OF THE BEAGLE, DARWIN
    • The Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin
  • Vol. 30. FARADAY, HELMHOLTZ, KELVIN, NEWCOMB, ETC
    • The Forces of Matter and The Chemical History of a Candle, by Michael Faraday
    • On the Conservation of Force and Ice and Glaciers, by Hermann von Helmholtz
    • The Wave Theory of Light and The Tides, by Lord Kelvin
    • The Extent of the Universe, by Simon Newcomb
    • Geographical Evolution, by Sir Archibald Geikie
  • Vol. 31. AUTOBIOGRAPHY, BENVENUTO CELLINI
    • The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini
  • Vol. 32. LITERARY AND PHILOSOPHICAL ESSAYS
    • Essays, by Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
    • Montaigne and What is a Classic?, by Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve
    • The Poetry of the Celtic Races, by Ernest Renan
    • The Education of the Human Race, by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
    • Letters upon the Aesthetic Education of Man, by Friedrich von Schiller
    • Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals, by Immanuel Kant
    • Byron and Goethe, by Giuseppe Mazzini
  • Vol. 33. VOYAGES AND TRAVELS
    • An account of Egypt from The Histories, by Herodotus
    • Germany, by Tacitus
    • Sir Francis Drake Revived, by Philip Nichols
    • Sir Francis Drake’s Famous Voyage Round the World, by Francis Pretty
    • Drake’s Great Armada, by Captain Walter Bigges
    • Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s Voyage to Newfoundland, by Edward Haies
    • The Discovery of Guiana, by Sir Walter Raleigh
  • Vol. 34. FRENCH AND ENGLISH PHILOSOPHERS, DESCARTES, VOLTAIRE, ROUSSEAU, HOBBES
    • Discourse on Method, by René Descartes
    • Letters on the English, by Voltaire
    • On the Inequality among Mankind and Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar, by Jean Jacques Rousseau
    • Of Man, Being the First Part of Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes
  • Vol. 35. CHRONICLE AND ROMANCE, FROISSART, MALORY, HOLINSHEAD
    • Chronicles, by Jean Froissart
    • The Holy Grail, by Sir Thomas Malory
    • A Description of Elizabethan England, by William Harrison
  • Vol. 36. MACHIAVELLI, MORE, LUTHER
    • The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli
    • The Life of Sir Thomas More, by William Roper
    • Utopia, by Sir Thomas More
    • The Ninety-Five Theses, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, and On the Freedom of a Christian, by Martin Luther
  • Vol. 37. LOCKE, BERKELEY, HUME
    • Some Thoughts Concerning Education, by John Locke
    • Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous in Opposition to Sceptics and Atheists, by George Berkeley
    • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, by David Hume
  • Vol. 38. HARVEY, JENNER, LISTER, PASTEUR
    • The Oath of Hippocrates
    • Journeys in Diverse Places, by Ambroise Paré
    • On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals, by William Harvey
    • The Three Original Publications on Vaccination Against Smallpox, by Edward Jenner
    • The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever, by Oliver Wendell Holmes
    • On the Antiseptic Principle of the Practice of Surgery, by Joseph Lister
    • Scientific papers, by Louis Pasteur
    • Scientific papers, by Charles Lyell
  • Vol. 39. FAMOUS PREFACES
  • Vol. 40. ENGLISH POETRY 1: CHAUCER TO GRAY
  • Vol. 41. ENGLISH POETRY 2: COLLINS TO FITZGERALD
  • Vol. 42. ENGLISH POETRY 3: TENNYSON TO WHITMAN
  • Vol. 43. AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS
  • Vol. 44. SACRED WRITINGS 1
    • Confucian: The sayings of Confucius
    • Hebrew: Job, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes
    • Christian I: Luke and Acts
  • Vol. 45. SACRED WRITINGS 2
    • Christian II: Corinthians I and II and hymns
    • Buddhist: Writings
    • Hindu: The Bhagavad-Gita
    • Mohammedan: Chapters from the Koran
  • Vol. 46. ELIZABETHAN DRAMA 1
    • Edward the Second, by Christopher Marlowe
    • Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
  • Vol. 47. ELIZABETHAN DRAMA 2
    • The Shoemaker’s Holiday, by Thomas Dekker
    • The Alchemist, by Ben Jonson
    • Philaster, by Beaumont and Fletcher
    • The Duchess of Malfi, by John Webster
    • A New Way to Pay Old Debts, by Philip Massinger
  • Vol. 48. THOUGHTS AND MINOR WORKS, PASCAL
    • Thoughts, letters, and minor works, by Blaise Pascal
  • Vol. 49. EPIC AND SAGA
    • Beowulf
    • The Song of Roland
    • The Destruction of Dá Derga’s Hostel
    • The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs
  • Vol. 50. INTRODUCTION, READER’S GUIDE, INDEXES
  • Vol. 51. LECTURES
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