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The Harvard Universal Classics, initially often known as Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, is a 51-volume anthology of traditional works from world literature, compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot and first revealed in 1909.
Eliot had acknowledged in speeches that the weather of a liberal schooling might be obtained by spending quarter-hour a day studying from a set of books that might match on a five-foot shelf. (Originally he had stated a three-foot shelf.) The writer P. F. Collier and Son noticed a chance and challenged Eliot to make good on this assertion by deciding on an acceptable assortment of works, and the Harvard Classics was the outcome.
Eliot labored for one yr with William A. Neilson, a professor of English; Eliot decided the works to be included and Neilson chosen the particular editions and wrote introductory notes. Each quantity had 400–450 pages, and the included texts are "so far as possible, entire works or complete segments of the world's written legacies." The assortment was extensively marketed by Collier and Son, in Collier's and elsewhere, with nice success.
Eight years later Eliot added an extra 20 volumes as a sub-collection titled 'The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction', providing among the best novels and quick tales of world literature. The exhaustive anthology of the 'The Harvard Classics' includes each main literary determine, thinker, faith, folklore and historic topic as much as the 20 th century.