( newly updated TOC ) 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. 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. 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.” The collection was widely advertised by Collier and Son, in Collier's and elsewhere, with great success. Eight years later Eliot added a further 20 volumes as a sub-collection titled 'The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction', offering some of the greatest novels and short stories of world literature. The exhaustive anthology of the 'The Harvard Classics' comprises every major literary figure, philosopher, religion, folklore and historical subject up to the twentieth century. The Harvard Classics: . 1: Franklin, Woolman & Penn 2: Plato, Epictetus & Marcus Aurelius 3: Bacon, Milton, Browne 4: John Milton 5: R. W. Emerson 6: Robert Burns 7: St Augustine & Thomas á Kempis 8: Nine Greek Dramas 9: Cicero and Pliny 10: The Wealth of Nations 11: The Origin of Species 12: Plutarchs 13: Æneid 14: Don Quixote 15: Bunyan & Walton 16: 1001 Nights 17: Folklore & Fable 18: Modern English Drama 19: Goethe & Marlowe 20: The Divine Comedy 21: I Promessi Sposi 22: The Odyssey 23: Two Years Before the Mast 24: Edmund Burke 25: J. S. Mill & T. Carlyle 26: Continental Drama 27 & 28: English & American Essays 29: The Voyage of the Beagle 30: Scientific Papers 31: The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini 32: Literary and Philosophical Essays 33: Voyages & Travels 34: French & English Philosophers 35: Chronicle and Romance 36: Machiavelli, Roper, More, Luther 37: Locke, Berkeley, Hume 38: Harvey, Jenner, Lister, Pasteur 39: Prologues 40–42: English Poetry 43: American Historical Documents 44 & 45: Sacred Writings 46 & 47: Elizabethan Drama 48: Blaise Pascal 49: Saga 50: Reader's Guide 51: Lectures The Shelf of Fiction: 1 & 2: The History of Tom Jones 3: A Sentimental Journey & Pride and Prejudice 4: Guy Mannering 5 & 6: Vanity Fair 7 & 8: David Copperfield 9: The Mill on the Floss 10: Irving, Poe, Harte, Twain, Hale 11: The Portrait of a Lady 12: Notre Dame de Paris 13: Balzac, Sand, de Musset, Daudet, de Maupassant 14 & 15: Goethe, Keller, Storm, Fontane 16–19: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev 20: Valera, Bjørnson, Kielland
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