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World Literature Books PDF – Classic Literature PDF

World Literature Books PDF - Classic

Thousands of free pdf books of or about world literature. Arranged in subject collections, including some in foreign languages.

Book Collections of Classical and Medieval Eras Literature

Medieval Era Literature – Collection

About 600 free online medieval era literature books at the Internet Archive.

Classical Literature Books – Collection

About 350 books on ancient literature, including many volumes of literary criticism.

Book Collections of World Literature

The Guardian’s List of 100 Best Novels Written in English

Here’s a 2015 list from the British Guardian newspaper of former literary editor Robert McCrum’s picks for the best English-language novels of all time. You can use this Open Library search box to search for free online versions on the Internet Archive.

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century

This Wikipedia list of the 100 most memorable books of the 20th Century was compiled from a 1999 poll taken by the Paris newspaper Le Monde and French retailer Fnac. The list contains links to Wikipedia entries for the books and authors. You can use this Open Library search box to search for free online versions on the Internet Archive.

British Literature I Anthology: From the Middle Ages to Neoclassicism and the Eighteenth Century

British Literature II: Romantic Era to the Twentieth Century and Beyond – Classics of World Literature PDF

Robinson, Bonny and Getty, Laura
Univ of North Georgia 2018

These two anthologies contain samples of works by some 90 British writers, with biographies.

Becoming America: An Exploration of American Literature from Precolonial to Post-Revolution

Kurant, Wendy
Univ of North Georgia 2018

Featuring sixty-nine authors and full texts of their works, the selections in this open anthology represent the diverse voices in early American literature. Open Access textbook.

Writing the Nation: A Concise Introduction to American Literature 1865 to Present

Berke, Amy, et al.
Univ of North Georgia 2015

A text that surveys key literary movements and the American authors associated with the movement. Topics include late romanticism, realism, naturalism, modernism, and modern literature. Open Access textbook.

Literary Fiction Books – Collection

About 900 free online modern classic novels. Some authors: Lev Grossman, Murakami Haruki, Aravind Adiga, Ian McEwan, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alan Ryan, Dalton Trumbo, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Susie Bright, Hermann Hesse, James Schamus, G. V. Desani, Umberto Eco, Jerry Pinto, Wendell Berry, Milton Crane, Gerd Brantenberg, Cormac McCarthy, Harper Lee, Don DeLillo, Junot Diaz, Lars Kepler, Aimee Phan, Lucinda Riley, Jose Saramago, Kathy Acker, Sue Monk Kidd, Toni Morrison, Chuck Palahniuk, Nina George, Elena Ferrante, Richard Powers, many more.

Modern Literature Collection

About 2,300 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Modern Literature”.

European Literature Collection

More than 700 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “European Literature”.

Publishers Weekly Lists of Bestselling Novels in the United States

This Wikipedia article contains links to more Wikipedia entries that list the best-selling books in the U.S. for every year from 1895 to 2016. You can use this Open Library search box to search for free online versions on the Internet Archive.

Great Books of the Western World (Vols 1-54)

Great Books of the Western World Wikipedia Article – Western Classic Literature

Hutchins, Walter Maynard, ed.
Encyclopedia Britannica 1952

This collection of ‘Great Books’ was conceived in the 1940s as a way of putting the core books of western civilization, as understood by the editors, together in one place. You can read more about the history of this series at the Wikipedia article at the second link, which also contains the complete Table of Contents for the series.

The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction (Vols 1-20)

Wikipedia Article on the Harvard Classics, with Table of Contents

Eliot, Charles W., ed.
Collier & Son 1917

This collection of 20 volumes of great literature was a follow-on project to Harvard President Charles Elliot’s 50-volume collection of world fiction and non-fiction, entitled “The Harvard Classics”. You can find more info about both projects, with a Table of Contents for the fiction collection, at the Wikipedia article link. This also has links to more Wikipedia articles on the books contained in the collection.

Library of the World’s Best Literature, Ancient and Modern – Audio Version

Warner, Charles Dudley, eds
R.S. Peale 1897

“In the Library of the World’s Best Literature, the editors drew from literature of all times and all kinds what they considered the best pieces of human writing, and compiled an ambitious collection of 45 volumes (with a 46th being an index-guide). Besides the selection and translation of a huge number of poems, letters, short stories and sections of books, the collection offers, before each chapter, a short essay about the author or subject in question. In many cases, chapters contemplate not one author, but certain groups of works, organized by nationality, subject or period; there is, thus, a chapter on Accadian-Babylonian literature, one on the Holy Grail, and one on Chansons, for example.

There are 10 volumes in this Librivox audio collection, each volume containing about 40 to 60 selections, recorded aloud by volunteers.

Modern Classic Literature – Collection

About 1,900 modern classic literature novels free, plus works of literary criticism and analysis. Some titles: Educating Rita, American Women Writers, The Field of Life and Death, Masks of Conquest, Beneath the Wheel, The Prince, Beowulf, Hypatia of Alexandria, Bookless in Baghdad, The Bell Jar, Menander, Amerika, Shakespearean Negotiations, Roald Dahl Omnibus, Altogether Elsewhere, The Mortal Hero, Consider the Lobster, Zen and Zen Classics, C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, Lancelot-Grail Realer, of Mice and Men, Women in Greek Myth, Sundiata, The Madwoman in the Attic, The Friendly Shakespeare, Abandon the Old in Tokyo, The Doors of Perception, many more.

English Literature Books – Collection

About 7,500 English literature books online free.

Collections of Play Scripts

Plays for Amateurs

Clapp, John Mantel, arr.
Drama League of America 1915 Dewey Dec. 016.8

Lists 197 plays, each with a paragraph describing plots, number and gender of characters, staging, difficulty, royalty fees etc. Read drama online, plays to read online, play scripts.

Ottemiller’s Index to Plays in Collections

Connor, Billie M. and Mochedlover, Helene G., eds.
Scarecrow 1988 Dewey Dec. 016.8

“An author and title index to plays appearing in collections published between 1900 and 1985. This index analyzes 1,350 collections and “covers plays by 2,555 authors. The arrangement is by playwright, with lists of plays and collections in which each is designated by symbols. A list of collections analyzed and key to symbols and a title index complete the volume.

Viewpoints in Modern Drama; an Arrangement of Plays According to their Essential Interest (Viewpoint Series)

Drury, Francis Keese Wynkoop
A.L. A. 1925 Dewey Dec. 016.8

Three hundred and sixty-eight modern plays grouped by class or theme, briefly but effectively characterized, and their plots outlined. Acting facts are also given. Part two lists and describes many volumes on modern drama, criticism, play writing and amateur production.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926.

Plays for Children

Oglebay, Kate, arr.
Drama League of America 1915 Dewey Dec. 016.8

Lists plays adapted to ages from six to sixteen, giving information as to publisher, scenes, time needed for presentation, characters, costumes, etc. Lists of reference books on producing, costuming, etc.- A.L.A. Catalog 1912-1921.

Index to Dramatic Readings (Useful Reference Series)

Silk, Agnes K. and Fanning, C. E., comp.
Faxon 1925 Dewey Dec. 016.8

An index to the contents of twenty-five volumes of collections of dramatic readings published in the years 1915 to 1924, and chosen for their wide range of subjects. Selections are made available in numerous ways: by author, title, subject, by type of selection, occasion, and index of first lines and refrains. Of value to public readers, dramatic teachers and librarians.- A.L.A. Catalog 1926.

Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need

Snyder, Blake
Weise 2005

the best seller, for over 15 years, that’s been used by screenwriters around the world! Blake Snyder tells all in this fast, funny and candid look inside the movie business. “Save the Cat” is just one of many ironclad rules for making your ideas more marketable and your script more satisfying. This ultimate insider’s guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a showbiz veteran who’s proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat.

Drama Criticism (Volumes 1-53)

Trudeau, Lawrence J., ed.
Gale 1991-2015

“Presents literary criticism on the works of dramatists of all nations, cultures, and time periods. Critical essays are selected from leading sources, including published journals, magazines, books, reviews, radio transcripts, diaries, newspapers, broadsheets, pamphlets, and scholarly papers” – Publisher.

English Drama Online – Collection – Free eBook Library

About 2,500 free online English Drama online books at the Internet Archive.

Collected Poetry Books

Naming the Unnameable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations

Evory, Michelle Bonczek
Open SUNY 2018

This text offers practical advice and strategies for developing a writing process that is centered on play and supported by an understanding of America’s rich literary traditions. The volume includes resources for students seeking to publish and build a writing-centered lifestyle or career. Open Access textbook.

American Poetry – Collection

More than 5,500 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “American Poetry”.

English Poetry – Collection

More than 5,600 free online poetry books in pdf at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “English Poetry”.

Children’s Poetry Collection

More than 5,300 free online poetry books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Children’s Poetry”.

Collected Books of Women’s Literature

Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx

Showalter, Elaine
Knopf 2009

“In a narrative of immense scope and fascination – spanning nearly 400 years and brimming with Showalter’s characteristic wit and incisive opinions – readers are introduced to more than 250 female writers, both famous and little known.”

Women and Literature Collection

About 3,000 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Women and Literature”. Read books free online, women’s literature, literary criticism.

Collected Books in Foreign Languages or Translated into English

Compact Anthology of World Literature

Getty, Laura and Kwon, Kyounghye
Univ of North Georgia 2016

The emphasis in this anthology is on non-Western works. It is divided into sections on the ancient Middle East and Greece; China; India; and Rome.

World Literature I: Beginnings to 1650

Getty, Laura and Kwon, Kyounghye
Univ of North Georgia 2015

Sections of the text are divided by time period in three parts: the Ancient World, Middle Ages, and Renaissance, and then divided into chapters by location. It provides the best free texts available. Open Access textbook.

Books Translated into English – Collection

More than 4,600 free online books at the Internet Archive, translated into English.

Literature Translations Collection

About 530 works of literature translated into a different language – mostly into English.

Canadian Fiction Collection

About 1,200 free novels online for reading or downloading at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Canadian Fiction”. Some authors are: Marian Engel, Gabrielle Roy, Kelley Armstrong, Lex Williford, Joan Smith, Alice Munro, Elizabeth Thornton, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence, Roch Carrier, Anne Cameron, Lawrence Hill, Michael Slade, Mazo De la Roche, JoAnn Ross, Anne Hebert. Canadian Fiction (English), Canadian, Canada.

Chinese Fiction in Chinese and English Collection

More than 1,500 free full-length Chinese novels at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Chinese Fiction”. Some are translated into English.

French Fiction in French and English Collection

Here are over 1,100 PDF French novels online, about half translated into English.

French Literature in French and English Collection

More than 1,600 works of French literature or literary criticism. About half are in English.

Spanish Language Juvenile Fiction Collection

More than 2,100 free juvenile fiction books in Spanish. Be patient as the page loads. Free books Spanish.

Spanish Language Adult Fiction Collection

About 4,300 free novels in Spanish. Free Spanish language books, free novels online, world literature books, read books free online.

German Fiction Collection

About 1,000 free novels in German.

Russian Fiction Collection

About 1,600 free novels in Russian.

Welsh Fiction Collection

About 670 free online novels in Welsh at the Internet Archive.

Free Librivox Audio Book Collections of Foreign Languages

More Collections on Literature Topics

Free Librivox Audio Book Collections of Literature

Free Audiobooks at Internet Archive for Literature

Most works were published before 1928. Some of these collections contain both fiction and nonfiction.

Literature Books


Short Stories






Social Novels

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