The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction (HCF)

Note: Links have been added to all of the entries. This label will show you the Listings of any author included in this list.

These look absolutely mossy with age


The Harvard Classics came out in 1909, just over 100 years ago; and the "Shelf of Fiction" followed separately eight years later, in 1917. It must have seemed a good idea at the time, but today's readers will find some of the choices more than a little outdated.

To that end, I'm offering a "bounty": I'll give one U.S. dollar ($1) to any native speaker of English who can prove to me beyond a reasonable doubt that, before this date (April, 2017), he or she has read two or more of the following books:
  • Gottfried Keller: The Banner of the Upright Seven
  • Theodor Storm: The Rider on the White Horse
  • Theodor Fontane: Trials and Tribulations
  • Björnstjerne Björnson: A Happy Boy
  • Alexander L. Kielland: Skipper Worse
I've got a feeling my money's pretty safe.

Anyway, the books are linked from this table of contents, so here's your chance to catch up on the "top picks" of fiction in 1917 (coincidentally, the year the first Pulitzer Prizes were given for literature--but not to any of these books).

Volumes I and II
Volume III
Volume IV
Volumes V and VI
Volumes VII and VIII
Volume IX
Volume X
Volume XI
Volume XII
Volume XIII
Volumes XIV and XV
Volumes XVI and XVII
Volume XVIII
Volume XIX
Volume XX
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