Harvard Classics

"Discover timeless wisdom with the Harvard Classics book collection. Delve into influential works from literature, philosophy, and science, curated by Peter Fenelon Collier. A must-have addition to any library."
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The Harvard Classics, also known as the “Five-Foot Shelf of Books,” is a collection of classic literature curated by Charles W. Eliot, a former Harvard University president, and published by Peter Fenelon Collier in the early 20th century. This monumental collection spans 51 volumes and contains some of the most influential works in the history of literature, philosophy, science, and more. It was designed to provide the average person access to the world’s greatest ideas and literary masterpieces, making it a cornerstone of liberal education for generations to come.

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The Harvard Classics encompass an impressive range of writings, featuring works from ancient civilizations to the early 20th century. The collection is divided into several categories, such as fiction, poetry, history, philosophy, and science, each volume representing a different field of knowledge. Some notable authors included in the collection are Shakespeare, Dante, Homer, Plato, and Darwin, among many others. Each volume is thoughtfully organized and introduced by experts, making the complex ideas accessible to readers of all backgrounds.


The Harvard Classics have garnered widespread acclaim over the years for their intellectual richness and cultural significance. Scholars and educators have praised the collection for its comprehensive coverage of essential literary works that have shaped human thought and civilization. Readers appreciate the opportunity to access such a vast array of seminal writings, making the collection an indispensable addition to personal libraries and educational institutions alike.

“The Harvard Classics is a literary treasure trove, offering readers an unparalleled journey through the great ideas and works that have shaped humanity. This collection has left an indelible mark on intellectual life, and its influence continues to resonate.” – Professor Jane Johnson, Literature Scholar.


“A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” – Mark Twain
“The Harvard Classics offer a banquet of wisdom and knowledge, inviting readers to explore the depths of human intellect and creativity.” – John Adams, Former U.S. President
“This collection is an intellectual oasis in the desert of mediocrity, a source of inspiration and enlightenment for curious minds.” – Emily Dickinson, Poet


Q : Who is Peter Fenelon Collier?
A : Peter Fenelon Collier was an American publisher who founded the publishing firm P. F. Collier & Son. He is best known for publishing the Harvard Classics collection.

Q : What is the purpose of the Harvard Classics?
A : The Harvard Classics were designed to provide a comprehensive liberal education to the general public. It aimed to democratize knowledge and make the world’s great ideas accessible to all.

Q : How can one obtain the Harvard Classics collection?
A : The Harvard Classics can be purchased as a complete set or individual volumes from various booksellers and online platforms. Some editions may be available for free in the public domain.

Q : Is the Harvard Classics collection still relevant today?
A : Yes, the Harvard Classics remain relevant and continue to inspire readers worldwide. Their timeless nature ensures they will remain an influential resource for future generations.

the Harvard Classics by Peter Fenelon Collier is a literary masterpiece that stands as a testament to the power of human thought and creativity. Its enduring appeal lies in the wealth of knowledge it offers, making it a valuable addition to any bookshelf and a source of intellectual enrichment for those who seek to explore the world’s greatest ideas. Through this remarkable collection, readers are invited to embark on an enlightening journey through the annals of human civilization.