Originally published between 1909 and 1917 under the name “Harvard Classics,” this stupendous 51-volume set-a collection of the greatest writings from literature, philosophy, history, and mythology-was assembled by American academic CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834-1926), Harvard University’s longest-serving president. Also known as “Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf,” it represented Eliot’s belief that a basic liberal education could be gleaned by reading from an anthology of works that could fit on five feet of bookshelf. Volume XXXIX features the prefaces and prologues to works that have since been superceded, though their author’s introductions to which still retain vital importance. Discover here, in otherwise hard-to-find form, the unexpected enthusiasms and insights of writers including: William Caxton, John Calvin, Nicolaus Copernicus, John Knox, Edmund Spenser, Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon, John Heminge, Henrie Condell, Sir Isaac Newton, John Dryden, Henry Fielding, Samuel Johnson, J.W. von Goethe, William Wordsworth, Victor Hugo, Walter Whitman, and H.A. Taine.