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$450.00
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: BLUE BOARD VARIANT, complete in 51 Volumes; Not including the elusive 15 minute a day reading guide. Noticeably aged set with faded heads. clean text inside.
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Harvard Classics Complete Set 51 Volumes First Edition (The Five Foot Shelf Of Books) Hardcover – January 1, 1937

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: The Five Foot Shelf Of Books
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Collier; First Edition edition (January 1, 1937)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0013RC8I6
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 17 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 65.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Charles W. Eliot, an American academic who became Harvard's president in 1869, was instrumental in raising the once provincial college to the most prestigious university of the United States. Eliot not only served the longest term as president in the university's history, but also edited a collection of Classic literature that has become a classic in its own right and continues to be reprinted numerous times since the copyright dating from the early 1900s. Eliot announces in the Editor's Introduction (Volume 50):

"My purpose in selecting The Harvard Classics was to provide the literary materials from which a careful and persistent reader might gain a fair view of the progress of man observing, recording inventing, and imagining from the earliest historical times to the close of the nineteenth century. Within the limits of fifty volumes, containing 22,000 pages, I was to provide the means of obtaining such a knowledge of ancient and modern literature as seems essential to the twentieth-century idea of a cultivated man."

Although we have now entered twenty-first century, this remarkable series remains a valuable resource for the persistent reader who desires to become familiar with the great classics of the world. Naturally, There were many works that Eliot could not include, but he succeeded in publishing the most essential fictional, non-fictional, dramatic, poetic, philosophical, historical and religious texts to impart a thorough grounding in the classics of the liberal arts, both ancient and modern, conservative and controversial.

Alas, after several years ploughing away I still have to finish four or five volumes, but since I'm near the end, I thought it was time I write a review: as a collection, it is worth the full five stars.
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Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the first edition full 51-book set at a used bookstore, and snapped the collection up for under $200. I've seen individual volumes retailing for between $7 and $15, and the entire set for up to $1,400, and the price is well worth it. In this set rest some of the best writings on philosophy, social science and ethics ever published.

As a 21st Century college student, many of the essays and autobiographies contained in the Classics are unfamiliar, having been phased out as liberal education toward the end of the Victorian Era. Reading the set was a great pleasure and highly informative journey that any aspiring scholar ought to aim for. Some of the ideas contained within the multitudes of quality essays are still applicable to American social and political thought today, though some authors' works have survived better than others. While it feels dated at times, the Classics have stood the test of a century very well.
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Format: Hardcover
You can pick up a mint set of these without too much searching on the internet for about 400 bucks, and if you don't mind dusting off some cobwebs, these are normally available at flea markets and garage sales for 40 to 50 bucks for the set. Normally I don't tread on other people's attempts to make a buck, but 2000 dollars for a set of one of the most overprinted books in existence seems a little excessive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this set for my precocious 11 year old who requested The Harvard Classics set for over a year. The sellers helped me navigate through several options for sets and even gave them each "sniff tests" since my daughter wouldn't touch them if they were musty. While that may seem silly, the sellers had fun with it and found me the perfect set and had them in time for her 11th birthday! Wow! I love these guys!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A beautiful addition to any home library, and a wonderful reminder of what the educated person endeavored to learn at the turn of the 20th Century.

Great collection.
Enjoy!
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