4 September

The aforementioned Have You Read 100 Great Books? [see September 3 post] includes the 1896 version of John Lubbock's list, only a few entries slightly edited. Whereas the Have You Read list includes an unspecified number of Plato's Dialogues, the '96 adds to the entry, "at any rate, the Apology, Crito, and Phaedo" (—the '86 had not included the Crito). Both the '86 and '96 lists specify "part of" for The Wealth of Nations, without telling us which part, and add to the Milton entry, "and the shorter poems"; but neither specified the entries for Shakespeare or Gray like the '46 reprint does (adding Plays and Poems, respectively). Those lists also didn't specify the Homer, Epictetus, Hesiod, Horace, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Livy entries, but those '46 designations are redundant (that is, they refer to authors with one kind of work--Hesiod and Horace--or only two known works--Homer--or only one known work--the others). For the "great books" project, we're ignoring the '46 changes, which were obviously made without Lubbock's input and seemed to have resulted from the Have You Read editors wanting to present a simpler list with a cleaner lay-out on the page. I was going to create a composite of the 1896 and 1946 lists, keeping the Plato specifications but having the whole Wealth of Nations and leaving out those unspecified "shorter poems" of Milton. However, editing the Rexroth lists [see 28 June] introduced a slight revision of the criteria for deciding which version of a certain list to use. I still prefer the final version, but more specifically the final version made by the original listmaker. You can read on the Rexroth page how this change came to be. As for Lubbock's...

As noted previously [see 18 January post], Robert Teeter's site includes a transcription of the 1896 list and makes note of changes made for a final, 1930 version of the list. However, Lubbock passed away in 1913, which makes me wonder. How were those edits made? Were they found in his personal papers after this death? Either way, I cannot get access to a 1930 version of The Pleasures of Life, the book supposedly featuring that list. For now, I'll have to consider the 1896 version to be the final list prepared by Lubbock.

Differences between the original, '86 (from the Contemporary Review) and the '96 ('46) not noted above are mentioned at the end of this post, as are (according to Teeter) the changes made in the final, '30 version. The link at the bottom of the post takes you to a scan of The Choice of Books, which includes the '96 version, with the list of books beginning on p. 21 of the scan (p. 17 of the book itself).

Presented here is Lubbock's list transcribed exactly as it appears in Choice. The dividing lines seem to divide the list into topical sections, but Lubbock does not name them. A few notes in brackets are included to clarify my editorial choices regarding the final list as it appears at Greater Books.

The Bible

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius

Epictetus [both Discourses and the Enchiridion are being included]

Aristotle's Ethics

Analects of Confucius

St. Hilaire's "Le Bouddha et sa Religion"

Wake's Apostolic Fathers

Thos. à Kempis' Imitation of Christ

Confessions of St. Augustine (Dr. Pusey)

The Koran (Portions of)

Spinoza's Tractatur Theologico-Politicus

Comte's Catechism of Positive Philosophy (Congreve)

Pascal's Pensées

Butler's Analogy of Religion

Taylor's Holy Living and Dying

Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress

Keble's Christian Year


Plato's Dialogues; at any rate, the Apology, Crito, and Phaedo

Xenophon's Memorabilia [Apomnemoneumata]

Aristotle's Politics

Demosthenes' De Coronâ

Cicero's De Officiis, De Amicitiâ, and De Senectute

Plutarch's Lives

Berkeley's Human Knowledge

Descartes' Discours sur la Méthode

Locke's On the Conduct of the Understanding


Homer [both The Odyssey and The Iliad are being included]



Maha Bharata
Epitomised in Talboys Wheeler's History of India, vols. i and ii.

The Shahnameh

The Nibelungenlied

Malory's Morte d'Arthur


The Sheking

Kalidasa's Sakuntala or The Lost Ring

Æschylus' Prometheus
Trilogy of Orestes

Sophocles' Œdipus [Antigone, Oidipous epi Kolōnō, and Oidipous Tyrannos are being included]

Euripides' Medea

Aristophanes' The Knights and Clouds



Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (perhaps in Morris' edition; or, if expurgated, in C. Clarke's, or Mrs. Haweis')


Milton's Paradise Lost, Lycidas, Comus, and the shorter poems

Dante's Divina Commedia

Spenser's Faerie Queen

Dryden's Poems

Scott's Poems

Wordsworth (Mr. Arnold's selection)

Pope's Essay on Criticism
Essay on Man
Rape of the Lock


Byron's Childe Harold




Xenophon's Anabasis and Memorabilia [the latter listed earlier; this is an error in the '96 publication; the '86 did not include Memorabilia]


Tacitus' Germania


Gibbon's Decline and Fall

Hume's History of England

Grote's History of Greece

Carlyle's French Revolution

Green's Short History of England

Lewes' History of Philosophy


Arabian Nights

Swift's Gulliver's Travel

Defoe's Robinson Crusoe

Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield

Cervantes' Don Quixote

Boswell's Life of Johnson


Schiller's William Tell

Sheridan's The Critic, School for Scandal, and The Rivals

Carlyle's Past and Present

Bacon's Novum Organum

Smith's Wealth of Nations (part of)

Mill's Political Economy

Cook's Voyages

Humboldt's Travels

White's Natural History of Selborne

Darwin's Origin of Species
Naturalist's Voyage

Mill's Logic


Bacon's Essays

Montaigne's Essays

Hume's Essays

's Essays

's Essays

's Essays

's Select Works

Smiles' Self-Help


Voltaire's Zadig and Micromegas

Goethe's Faust, and Autobiography

Thackeray's Vanity Fair

Dickens' Pickwick
David Copperfield

Lytton's Last Days of Pompeii

George Eliot's Adam Bede

Kingsley's Westward Ho!

Scott's Novels


The 1886 list includes Heinrich Heine, Lucretius, two works by Jane Austen (Emma and Pride and Prejudice), and two works by Robert Southey (Thalaba the Destroyer and The Curse of Kehama), but does not include Schiller or Kalidasa.

According to Teeter, the 1930 version excludes Comte, Dryden, and Hume's essays; and adds Seneca, Tennyson's Idylls and "smaller" poems, and two John Ruskin selections: Modern Painters and "Selection from the writings of."