Harvard Classics

Rich E Book

About

Former President of Harvard University Charles W. Eliot wrote in his introduction to the Harvard Classics, "In my opinion, a five-foot shelf would hold books enough to give a liberal education to any one who would read them with devotion, even if he could spare but fifteen minutes a day for reading." Here you are, you can easily listen to his entire 15-minutes-a-day study guide while commuting to and from work (most of us spend far more than 15 minutes a day commuting each day), doing mundane work in the office, washing dishes at home, or doing most of the things day in and day out. It is so easy, so entertaining, and so educational that they can be listened to again and again, until they permeate into our own thinking and into our characters. Perhaps, in one year's time, you will become someone you barely recognize, all for the better. Who knows?

-- Rich E Book

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1286 episodes

Introductory Note: Egmont by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Introductory note on Egmont by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Volume 19, Harvard Classics)  

2m
Jun 04
Egmont (Act I, Scene I), by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Spain sent the Duke of Alva to subdue the Netherlands. In quelling disorder he killed the people's hero, Count Egmont. From this story Goethe made a famous play. (Volume 19, Harvard Classics) Egmont sentenced to death June 4, 1658.  

16m
Jun 04
Introductory Note: William Harvey

Introductory note on William Harvey (Volume 38, Harvard Classics)  

2m
Jun 03
On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals, by William Harvey

Galileo, by holding his pulse while watching a swinging cathedral lamp, evolved a theory that made clocks possible. Harvey, by feeling his pulse, educed that arteries carry blood. (Volume 38, Harvard Classics) Dr. William Harvey died June 3, 1657.  

24m
Jun 03
Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar, by Jean Jacques Rousseau

A "Back to Nature" movement in the seventeenth century was headed by Rousseau, who believed that civilization was degrading. To save money for his work, he entrusted each of his children to the tender mercies of a foundling house. (Volume 34, Harvard Classics) Jean Jacques Rousseau born June 2, 1712.  

28m
Jun 02
Introductory Note: Jean Jacques Rousseau

Introductory note on Jean Jacques Rousseau (Volume 34, Harvard Classics)  

3m
Jun 02
Introductory Note: Christopher Marlowe

Introductory note on Christopher Marlowe (Volume 19, Harvard Classics)  

2m
Jun 02
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe

For the best blank verse in English, read "Dr. Faustus," the masterpiece of Marlowe, who gave Shakespeare lessons in playwriting. This genius knew the secret of gripping drama. (Volume 19, Harvard Classics) Marlowe died June 1, 1593.  

21m
Jun 02
Preface to Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is the most original and startling of modern poets. An irony of his life is that while he wrote for the contemporary masses, only a limited number of followers appreciated his genius, now universally recognized. (Volume 39, Harvard Classics) Walt Whitman born May 31, 1819.  

35m
May 31
Introductory Note: Walt Whitman

Introductory note on Walt Whitman (the Ridpath Library of Universal Literature)  

1m
May 31
Introductory Note: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Introductory note on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Wikipedia)  

1m
May 30
The Building of the Ship, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

At the close of the war, a torn and bleeding nation set about to rebuild its shattered frame. The result was a stronger nation rising from an almost disrupted union. (Volume 42, Harvard Classics) Memorial Day.  

18m
May 30
The Thousand and One Nights (The Barber’s Fifth Brother)

A Bagdad merchant dreamed of the money he would make from the sale of a tray of glassware, and of marrying the king's daughter. But, daydreaming, he kicked over the tray. (Volume 16, Harvard Classics)  

19m
May 29
Introductory Note: The Thousand and One Nights

Introductory note on The Thousand and One Nights (Volume 16, Harvard Classics)  

4m
May 29
Poems, by Thomas Moore

Any one of these poems, "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls," "The Last Rose of Summer," "The Light of Other Days," would alone have made Moore immortal. (Volume 41, Harvard Classics) Thomas Moore born May 28, 1779.  

5m
May 28
Introductory Note: Thomas Moore

Introductory note on Thomas Moore (Wikipedia)  

1m
May 28
Introductory Note: Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Introductory note on Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (Volume 32, Harvard Classics)  

1m
May 27
The Education of The Human Race, by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

To advance freedom of thought, Lessing published an essay of one hundred paragraphs outlining the history of religion. The wrath of orthodox churchmen was hurled at his head, and Lessing was left alone to defend his daring theories. (Volume 32, Harvard Classics)  

18m
May 27
Introductory Note: King Lear by William Shakespeare

Introductory note on King Lear by William Shakespeare (Volume 46, Harvard Classics)  

2m
May 26
The Tragedy of King Lear (Act I, Scene I), by William Shakespeare

Goneril and Regan falsely swore they loved their father, King Lear, more than life itself. Cordelia could find no words to express her sincere devotion. Then King Lear made the decision that started a series of exciting events. (Volume 46, Harvard Classics) Shakespeare's first daughter, Susanna, baptized May 26, 1583.  

20m
May 26
Introductory Note: Ralph Waldo Emerson

Introductory note on Ralph Waldo Emerson (Volume 5, Harvard Classics)  

3m
May 25
Heroism, by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson startled the world by fearlessly declaring his beliefs. Such apparent paradoxes as we find in his inspirational essay, "Heroism," makes him the most stimulating yet profound thinker America has produced. (Volume 5, Harvard Classics) Emerson born May 25, 1803.  

29m
May 25
The Wealth of Nations (Book I, Ch. IV), by Adam Smith

Debts were not always paid in money. Not so long ago the butcher paid for his keg of beer with a slab of beef, and oxen were exchanged for land and wives. Adam Smith tells the interesting story of the origin and use of money. (Volume 10, Harvard Classics)  

15m
May 24
Introductory Note: Adam Smith

Introductory note on Adam Smith (Volume 10, Harvard Classics)  

3m
May 24
Poems, by Thomas Hood

From the river her body was tenderly lifted --- the girl who could find no place in the vast city. Thomas Hood pleads for her --- eloquently and justly. Read this gem of pathos. (Volume 41, Harvard Classics) Thomas Hood born May 23, 1799.  

6m
May 23
Introductory Note: Thomas Hood

Introductory note on Thomas Hood (Wikipedia)  

48s
May 23
Introductory Note: Alessandro Manzoni

Introductory note on Alessandro Manzoni (Volume 21, Harvard Classics)  

7m
May 22
I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed, Ch. I), by Alessandro Manzoni

Because of a fancy for a peasant girl, the tyrannical lord of an Italian village sent desperadoes to threaten the priest if he married the girl to her village lover. (Volume 21, Harvard Classics) Manzoni died May 22, 1873.  

45m
May 22
An Essay on Man (Epistle IV), by Alexander Pope

The sharp tongue of Alexander Pope made him celebrated, yet widely feared. In a representative product of his versatile pen, he gracefully combines his flashing wit with sage advice. (Volume 40, Harvard Classics) Alexander Pope born May 21, 1688.  

30m
May 21
Introductory Note: Alexander Pope

Introductory note on Alexander Pope (Wikipedia)  

40s
May 21