The Library of the World’s Best Literature
The library is one of the noblest of institutions. There has never been an expense more magnificent and more useful.
From the ‘Philosophical Dictionary

The Library of the World’s Best Literature

In Thirty Volumes

Founded by Charles Dudley Warner

With 5,550 selections and over 1,000 essays on primary authors and literary genres, this 20,000-page anthology stands as a monument of the best critique and editorial expertise of the early twentieth century. Combined with the three reference volumes, it forms a complete universe of world literary study.

Bibliographic Record


Preface    Preface to the First Edition


Use the quick author index to go to a favorite, take a more meditative stroll through a thousand images in the portrait gallery, peruse the index to verse, or browse the alphabetical list of some 8,000 entries in the general index.
Alphabetical Listing by Author
The master table of contents lists the 1,032 biographical and critical introductions from some of the best authors of the time, combined with 2,422 verse and 2,362 prose selections.
Abelard to Barrès
J. M. Barrie to Lord Byron
Caballero to Demosthenes
De Quincey to T. Fuller
Gaboriau to Holy Grail
Homer to Livy
Locke to Nansen
New Testament to T. Roosevelt
C. G. Rossetti to Synge
Tacitus to Zorrilla y Moral
The Book of Songs and Lyrics
The 766 selections in this specialized anthology—with a large body of Poems of the Great War—supplement the 2,422 verse selections in the main body of The Library.
The Reader’s Digest of Books
With more than 2,000 synopses of works by some 1,200 authors—sorted by title, author and date—this unique reference work is the ultimate great book finder through the early twentieth century.
The Reader’s Dictionary of Authors
The more than 6,800 short biographies of world authors, with particular attention to the 1,000 primary authors in The Library, have been meticulously updated to include accurate years of birth and death—and feature easy-to-read pronunciations, particularly of non-English names.
The Student’s Course in Literature
The reading lists, genre guides and lectures—which feature chronological tables and bibliographies—contain some 4,300 hyperlinks to the main body of The Library, making it a fully integrated guide to this massive anthology.