19 May

Newman's book is somewhat troublesome for our "great books" project because it is author-centric, generally giving brief summaries (plus the bad jokes) of the major works by an author, even if certain of the works are not considered by Newman to be important or reading-worthy. Newman's view of the canon is at least not excessively present-minded: farther-past authors once commonly taught but now obscure, and authors mostly important for understanding the history of literature, are included, but many modern authors are not. The introduction to the Twentieth-Century chapter claims that only "authors who have been properly canonized" are discussed, without explaining who defines this proper canon. Even casual readers will find it odd that Gertrude Stein or several Symbolist poets make the cut, but not Vladimir Nabakov. 

However, the advantages of this approach are, first, the sections providing historical background, such as that on Grub Street or Restoration Drama, where genuine interest in the subject matter peeps out behind Newman's shroud of sarcasm (in her six paragraphs on Grub Street, she only attempts one joke) and, second, the reader gets a broader view of famous authors. Knowing that the authors so often spoken of as geniuses also wrote unremarkable early novels [Dostoevsky] or by-the-numbers political journalism [Defoe] helps place literature in its proper place: the authors' daily lives, careers, and slowly-developing artistry.

Transcribed below are the works discussed in chapters 6, Here Come the Puritans: Parade, Meet Rain, 7, France and England in the Seventeenth Century: The Shallows, 8, The Age of Reason: When People Wised Up and Started Believing What We Believe, and 9, The Romantics: The Author as (the Author's) Hero.

Robert Herrick - Poems
(incl. 'Her Legs';
'To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time')

Richard Lovelace - Poems

John Suckling - Poems
(incl. 'A Soldier')

Thomas Carew - Poems

John Donne - Poems
(incl. 'The Ecstasy')

George Herbert - Poems
(incl. 'Dulnesse';
The Temple)

Henry Vaughn - Poems
(incl. 'The Morning-Watch')

Abraham Cowley - Poems

Richard Crashaw - Poems
(incl. 'On Our Crucified Lord, Naked and Bloody';
'In the Holy Nativity of Our Lord';
Steps to the Temple)

Andrew Marvell - Poems
(incl. 'To This Coy Mistress')

John Bunyan - Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

John Bunyan - Pilgrim's Progress

John Milton - Paradise Lost

John Milton - Paradise Regained; Samson Agonistes

John Milton - Other Poems
(incl. 'On His Blindness')

Samuel Butler - Hudibras*

Sir Robert Burton - The Anatomy of Melancholy*

Izaak Walton - The Compleat Angler*

The Diaries of Samuel Pepys

John Dryden - Poems

John Dryden - Plays 
(incl. All for Love)

Wycherley - The Country Wife

Congreve - The Way of the World

Nahum Tate - King Lear

Thomas Otway - Venice Preserved

Aphra Behn - The Rover

Aphra Behn - Oroonoko

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester - Poems
(incl. 'A Satyr on Charles II')

Madeleine de Scudéry*

Honoré d'Urfé - L'Astree*

Madame de la Fayette - The Princesse de Cleves

Molière - Les Precieuses Ridicules*

Molière - The Miser

Molière - Tartuffe

Molière - The Misanthrope

Molière - The Bourgeois Gentleman*

Corneille
(incl. Le Cid;  Cinna; Polyeucte)

Racine
(incl. Andromaque;
Phedre;
Athalie)

La Fontaine - Fables

Madame de Sévigné - Letters

Alexander Pope - Essay on Criticism

Alexander Pope - Essay on Man, etc. (incl.
Epistles)

Alexander Pope - The Rape of the Lock

Daniel Defoe - The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

Daniel Defoe - The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe - Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress

Daniel Defoe - A Journal of the Plague Year

Samuel Richardson - Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded

Samuel Richardson - Clarissa

Samuel Richardson - Sir Charles Grandison

Henry Fielding - An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews*

Henry Fielding - Joseph Andrews

Henry Fielding - Tom Jones

Henry Fielding - Jonathan Wild*

Henry Fielding - Amelia*

Samuel Johnson - Dictionary of the English Language*

Samuel Johnson - The Rambler/ The Idler

Samuel Johnson - Poems
(incl. London;
The Vanity of Human Wishes)

Samuel Johnson - The Lives of the English Poets

James Boswell - The Life of Samuel Johnson

Jonathan Swift - A Tale of the Tub

Jonathan Swift - A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public

Jonathan Swift - Gulliver's Travels

Laurence Sterne - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

Laurence Sterne - A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

Thomas Gray - Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Frances Burney - Diaries

Frances Burney - Evelina

Oliver Goldsmith - The Vicar of Wakefield

Voltaire - Letters on England (Philosophical Letters)

Voltaire - Candide

Denis Diderot - Encyclopedia*

Denis Diderot - Rameau's Nephew

Denis Diderot - Jacques the Fatalist

Choderlos de Laclos - Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Confessions

Jean-Jacques Rousseau - The Social Contract*

Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Emile*

Jean-Jacques Rousseau - Julie, or the New Heloise*

Marquis de Sade - Justine

Marquis de Sade - The 120 Days of Sodom  

Robert Burns - Poems
(incl. 'Why Shouldna Poor Folk Mowe?';
'A Red, Red Rose')

William Blake - Songs of Innocence/ Songs of Experience

William Blake - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

William Blake - The Prophetic Books

William Blake - Milton, etc. (incl.
Poetical Sketches)

William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Lyrical Ballads*

William Wordsworth - Poems
(incl. The Prelude;
Lucy poems;
'Intimations of Immortality')

Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Biographia Literaria*

Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Poems
(incl. 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner';
'Kubla Khan')

Robert Southey - Poems*

Lord Byron - Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Lord Byron - Don Juan

Lord Byron - Short Poems
(incl. 'She Walks in Beauty')

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Poems
(incl. 'Ode to a Skylark';
'Ode to the West Wind';
'Ozymandias';
Adonais;
'Mont Blanc';
Epipsychidion;
Prometheus Unbound)

Mary Shelley - Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus

John Keats - Odes [assuming here that the selection is all six of the 1819 odes]

John Keats - 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci'*

John Keats - 'Bright Star'*

John Keats - The Story Poems 
(incl. 'The Eve of St. Agnes';
'Lamia';
'Isabella')

John Keats - Endymion

John Keats - The Hyperions ['Hyperion'; 'The Fall of Hyperion']

John Keats - Letters

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - The Sorrows of Young Werther

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Faust

Alexander Pushkin - Stories (incl. 
The Captain's Daughter;
 'The Queen of Spades' [originally published in Biblioteka dlya Chteniya Mar. 1834])

Alexander Pushkin - Eugene Onegin

Lermontov - A Hero of Our Time*

Turgenev - Fathers and Sons*

Goncharov - Oblomov*

Alfred Tennyson - Early Poems
(incl. 'The Lotos-Eaters')

Alfred Tennyson - In Memoriam

Alfred Tennyson - 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'*

Alfred Tennyson - Maud: A Monodrama

Alfred Tennyson - The Idylls of the King

Elizabeth Barrett Browning* - Poems
(incl. 'Sonnet 43')

Robert Browning - 'My Last Duchess'

Robert Browning - 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'

Robert Browning - The Ring and the Book

Robert Browning - 'The Pied Piper of Hamelin'

Alexandre Dumas - The Three Musketeers*

Alexandre Dumas - Twenty Years After*

Alexandre Dumas - The Vicomte of Bragelonne*

Alexandre Dumas - The Count of Monte Cristo*

Alexandre Dumas Jr. - The Lady of the Camellias*

Victor Hugo - The Hunchback of Notre Dame*

Victor Hugo - Les Miserables*

Edmond Rostand - Cyrano de Bergerac*

Prosper Mérimiée - Carmen*

Sir Walter Scott - The Bridge of Lamermoor*

Sir Walter Scott - Rob Roy*

Sir Walter Scott - Ivanhoe*