The Classics list

My Classic Literature reading list

The following list is my current classic literature collection organized by literary period. Next to each title you will find a link where you can read it for free. Most links forward to Project Gutenburg* where you can read these titles online or via your Nook or Kindle.

A note on Lit periods: Some titles fall outside of the period dates listed. Dates shown mark the high point or most influential period of each movement, often tied to English writers. Authors in other countries (America, France, Russia, etc) may have a slightly different timelines. Some authors may fall well outside the dates but because of their heavy influence on the period are listed within it.

Some works, or their authors, do not fit perfectly into a literary movement. They are listed in a period that best reflects a large part of their philosophy or in a period that they influenced the growth of.

A majority of my collection is made up of the Barnes and Nobles Classics library set.

4/01/14 My read books are marked with an asterisk (currently 48/202 ).

800-300 BC Ancient Greek
Aesop’s Fables by Aesop (620-560BCE) READ
Essential Dialogues of Plato (380-360BC) READ
The Histories by Herodotus (450-420BC) READ
The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (431BCE) READ
The Iliad by Homer (750-800BC?) READ
The Odyssey by Homer (800-850BC?) READ
Poetics and Rhetoric by Aristotle (335BCE) READ
Republic by Plato (360BC) READ
Three Theban Plays by Sophocles (401BC) READ

The Art of War by Sun Tzu (600BC) READ
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (500BC) READ

259BC-150AD Ancient Rome
The Aeneid by Vergil (29-19BC) READ
Metamorphoses by Ovid (8 AD)  READ

250-450 Late Roman / Early Medieval
The Confessions by St. Augustine of Hippo (397-8)  READ

450-1066 Medieval
The Arabian Nights by Anonymous (700) READ
Beowulf Translated by John McNamara (850) READ

1066-1500 Middle English
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1390) READ
The Inferno by Dante Alighieri (1313) READ
Paradiso by Dante Alighieri (1321) READ
Purgatorio by Dante Alighieri (1315)  READ

1500-1660 The Renaissance
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605) READ
*Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1600) READ
The Prince and Other Writings by Niccolò Machiavelli (1513) READ
Utopia by Thomas More (1516) READ

1660-1700 Neoclassical.. The Restoration
Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667) READ
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1678) READ

1700-1745 Neoclassical.. Augustan
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726) READ
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (1722) READ
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)  READ
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1749)  READ

1750-1800 Age of Enlightenment / Reason
Candide by Voltaire (1758) READ
Common Sense and Other Writings by Thomas Paine (1791) READ
The Federalist by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay (1787) READ
Founding America: Documents from the Revolution to the Bill of Rights Edited by Jack N. Rakove (1773-1789)
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (1782)

1790-1837 The Romantics (later in France)
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844) READ
The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper (1826) READ
*Emma by Jane Austen (1815) READ
Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (1835-7) READ
Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm (1812) READ
Ivanhoe by Walter Scott (1819) READ
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (1826) READ
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Writings by Washington Irving (1820) READ
*Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1862) READ
Lord Byron The Major works (1832) READ & HERE  & HERE
The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas (1847) READ
*Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1814) READ
*Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (1817) READ
*Persuasion by Jane Austen (1818) READ
*Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813) READ
*Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (1811) READ
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844)READ

*Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1818) READ
*The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (1831) READ

1832-1901 Victorian
*Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865) READ
Alice: Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (1871) READ
Bulfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch (1855) READ
The Collected Oscar Wilde (1880-1890) READ & HERE & HERE
The Importance of Being Earnest and Four Other Plays by Oscar Wilde (1894) READ & HERE
*The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868) READ
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1869) READ
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe(1852) READ

The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson (1858-66) READ
Essays and Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson READ & HERE
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1855) READ
The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James (1901-2) READ
Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau (1854) READ & HERE

.. Dark Romantics (American)
Billy Budd and The Piazza Tales by Herman Melville (1888) READ & HERE
Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (1839-46) HERE
Great American Short Stories: From Hawthorne to Hemingway Edited by Corinne Demas READ
*Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851) READ
*The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850) READ

.. Gothic or Urban Gothic
A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, & The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens (1843) READ & HERE
*Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897) READ
*Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (1861) READ
*The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851) READ
*Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847) READ
*The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (1910) READ
*The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1891) READ
*The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886) READ
*The Turn of the Screw, The Aspern Papers, and Two Stories by Henry James (1888-9) READ & HERE
*Villette by Charlotte Brontë (1850) READ
*The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1860) READ
*Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847) READ

*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884) READ
*The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (1876) READ
*Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë (1847) READ
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1873) READ
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man and Other Writings by James Weldon Johnson (1912) READ
*The Awakening and Selected Short Fiction by Kate Chopin READ
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (1857) READ
*Bleak House by Charles Dickens (1853) READ
The Bostonians by Henry James (1886) READ
*The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880) READ
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (1889) READ
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866) READ
Daisy Miller and Washington Square by Henry James (1878-80) READ & HERE
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (1876) READ
*David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850) READ
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (1842) READ
The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy (1886) READ
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (1874) READ
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev (1862) READ
Great Escapes: Four Slave Narratives Introduction and notes by Daphne A. Brooks (1848-60) READ & HERE
*Hard Times by Charles Dickens (1854) READ
The House of the Dead and Poor Folk by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1846/62) READ & HERE
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1868) READ
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs (1861) READ
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868) READ
*Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1856) READ
*Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871) READ
My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass (1855) READ
Narrative of Sojourner Truth (1850) READ
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845) READ
*Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (1839) READ
Notes from Underground, The Double and Other Stories by Fyodor Dostoevsky READ
*Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (1837) READ
*The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1881) READ
Possessed by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1872) READ
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain (1881) READ
Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins by Mark Twain (1893) READ & HERE
The Rise of Silas Lapham by William D. Howells (1885)  READ
Silas Marner and Two Short Stories
by George Eliot (1861) READ & HERE
The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois (1903) READ
*A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859) READ
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana (1840) READ
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1848) READ
The Virginian by Owen Wister (1902) READ
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869) READ
Ward No. 6 and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov (1892) READ
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope (1875) READ
*Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (1864-6) READ

1880-1910 Neo-romanticism
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand (1897) READ
The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling (1894) READ
Kim by Rudyard Kipling (1900) READ
King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard (1885) READ
Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie (1911) READ
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy (1905) READ
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1881) READ
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1908) READ

1865-1940 Naturalism
*The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1920) READ
The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London (1903) READ & HERE
The Collected Stories of Guy de Maupassant READ
The Communist Manifesto and Other Writings by Karl Marx (1848) READ
Ethan Frome & Selected Stories by Edith Wharton (1911) READ
Germinal by Emile Zola (1885) READ
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905) READ
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud (1899) READ
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (1864) READ
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (1895) READ
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (1905) READ
Lost Illusions by Honoré de Balzac (1843) READ
Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and Other Writings About New York by Stephen Crane (1892) READ
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886) READ
The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859) READ
The Red and the Black by Stendhal (1830) READ
The Red Badge of Courage and Selected Short Fiction by Stephen Crane (1895) READ
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (1878) READ
Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum (1899) READ
Selected Stories of O. Henry by O. Henry (1903-17) READ & HERE
A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert (1869) READ
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (1884) READ
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (1883-85) READ

1901-1914 Edwardian
The Ambassadors by Henry James (1903) READ
*The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume I by Arthur Conan Doyle (1887-1901) READ & HERE  & HERE
*The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume II by Arthur Conan Doyle (1903-27) READ & HERE
The Enchanted Castle and Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit (1902-7) READ
The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason (1902) READ
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford (1914) READ
Heart of Darkness and Selected Short Fiction by Joseph Conrad (1902) READ
Howards End by E. M. Forster (1910) READ
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad (1900) READ
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad (1904) READ
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (1908) READ
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (1907) READ
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (1900) READ
The Time Machine and The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells (1895) READ & HERE
The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells (1898) READ
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James (1902) READ
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900) READ

1914-1945 Modernism
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis (1922) READ
*The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1922) READ
*Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence (1928) READ
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington (1918) READ
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (1920) READ
Man and Superman and Three Other Plays by George Bernard Shaw(1903) READ
The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka (1915) READ
My Ántonia by Willa Cather (1918) READ
Night and Day by Virginia Woolf (1919) READ
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (1915) READ
O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (1913) READ
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dubliners by James Joyce (1916) READ & HERE
Pygmalion and Three Other Plays by George Bernard Shaw (1912) READ
A Room of One’s Own By Virginia Woolf (1929) READ
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911) READ
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (1922) READ
Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence (1913) READ
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust (1913) READ
*This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1920) READ
Three Lives by Gertrude Stein (1909) READ
*The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf (1915) READ
The Waste Land and Other Poems by T. S. Eliot (1922) READ
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence (1920) READ



*I am not affiliated with Project Gutenberg.


  1. Darrell
    Jan 23, 2013 @ 00:07:20

    Nice list.

    • Mikkel Lund
      Mar 06, 2013 @ 19:29:19

      Interesting list: I am very pleased that quite a few of my favorite writers are on this list and that the Sherlock Holmes stories are considered Edwardian rather than mere detective stories.