Harvard Classics

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Harvard Classics

kesäkuu 1, 9:31 pm

Does anyone own the Harvard Classics series that was published by Easton press about 20 yrs ago? I have an old HC set from the 50s and was considering trying to purchase an Easton Press version- I’m wondering if it’s worth it and if the quality lives up to expectations.

kesäkuu 3, 3:55 am

Yes, Yes & Yes

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 3, 7:16 pm

The set is absolutely gorgeous and looks stunning on the shelf, but I have not seen all the older HC editions for comparison.

The EP set has reproduced everything from the original, including the photographs, illustrations, and maps, some of them fold-outs. But you will find some broken fonts in some of the volumes, probably carried over from the original.

This 50-volume set invites comparison with Britannica’s 54-volume (second edition 60-volume) “Great Books of the Western World.” There is, of course, a good deal of overlap but not as much as you might expect. GBWW includes only book-length works whereas HC contains many shorter essays, poems, etc. One fairly serious limitation of HC for today’s readers is that all the translations are from the 19th century and earlier, most of which have been superseded by newer and often better ones.

One can always take issue with the selection criteria, but there is one omission in HC which seems inexplicable to me, and that is the total lack of Aristotle’s works — no Ethics, no Poetics, no Politics — whereas GBWW devotes 2 full volumes to all of his works still extant. HC also contains no Aquinas to whom GBWW devotes 2 full volumes. Could it be that Harvard University was showing a Protestant bias in keeping with its founding?

EDIT: Sorry if I confused you. Initially I was interpreting HC to mean Heritage Club, but I think I’ve revised my response so it makes sense now.

kesäkuu 4, 6:43 pm

>3 jroger1: Thanks for the response. There is something special about collecting the whole set - the Easton Press editions really look wonderful. But it is hard to convince myself to spring for a whole set since there are many volumes I would very likely not read. But it is so tempting. As a collector’s set and even for the occasional read it’s hard to beat.

kesäkuu 17, 4:52 pm

>4 dtholloway28: As an alternative, especially if you have the cash, you may consider the 96 volume Franklin Library 25th anniversary set of the Great Books of the Western World. I have owned and read a few book sets from this library and find it much more readable than the original 54 volume GBWW set with its tiny font and massive works crammed into 1-2 volumes. Their 3 volume War and Peace is the most beautiful set I have ever seen. Many of these sets or volumes are sold separately on eBay. Plato is in 3 volumes while Aristotle is in 4 volumes. Also an extremely nice Freud set in 3 volumes.

kesäkuu 17, 9:05 pm

>5 HugoDumas: not a bad idea. I have an old version of the great books from the 70s but a whole set from Franklin would be too costly- but picking a few key volumes might be a good option.

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