A Modern Estimate of the Fifty Best Books

in American Literature (1833—1933)

Compiled by Edward Weeks

(Read before the Institute of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University)

1. Edgar Allan Poe: Tales

2. Edgar Allan Poe: Poems

3. Richard Henry Dana: Two Years Before the Must

4. William Hickling Prescott: Conquest of Peru

5. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Essays (including “Representative Men”)

6. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Poems

7. Ralph Waldo Emerson: Journals (complete or in the one-volume abridgment edited by Professor Bliss Perry)

8. Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

9. Nathaniel Hawthorne: the House of the Seven Gables

10. Herman Melville: Moby Dick

11. John Lothrop Motley : Rise of the Dutch Republic

12. Oliver Wendell Holmes: Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table

13. Henry David Thoreau: Walden, or Life in the Woods

14. Henry David Thoreau: Political Essays entitled Miscellanies

15. Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass

16. Mark Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

17. Mark Twain: Life on the Mississippi

18. Bret Harte: The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Stories

19. Henry George: Progress and Poverty

20. William Dean Howells: The Rise of Silas Lapham

21. Francis Parkman: Montcalm and Wolfe

22. Henry James: The Portrait of a Lady

23. Henry James: The Wings of the Dove

24. Joel Chandler Harris: Nights with Uncle Remus

25. Lafeadio Hearn: Kwaidan

26. Stephen Crane: The Red Badge of Courage

27. Henry Adams: The Education of Henry Adams

28. Henry Adams: Mont Saint Michel and Chartres

29. Emily Dickinson: Collected Poems

30. Sarah Orne Jewett: Best Stories (edited by Willa Cather)

31. William James: Letters

32. Wiliiarn James: The Varieties of Religious Experience

33. George Santayana: Soliloquies in England

34. Owen Wister: The Virginian

35. Albert J. Beveridge; Life of John Marshall

36. Willa Cather: My Antonia

37. Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome

38. Sinclair Lewis: Main Street

39. Sinclair Lewis: Babbitt

40. Theodore Dreiser: An American Tragedy

41. John Livingston Lowes: The Road to Xanadu

42. Edwin Arlington Robinson: Collected Poems

43. Robert Frosl: Collected Poems

44. Stephen Vincent Benét: John Brown’s Body

45. T. S. Eliot: Collected Poems (including “Wasteland”)

46. Edna St. Vincent Millay : Selected Poems (English edition)

47. Archibald MacLeish: Selected Poems

48. Ernest Hemingway: Men Without Women

49. Eugene O’Neill: Mourning Becomes Electra

50. Henry Mencken: Selected Prejudices (Modern Library)