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Literature – World Literature – Great Books – Literary Criticism

Free eBook library of world literature, great books, literary criticism, plays, poetry & guides to literature. Historical & modern. English & American, plus works from other countries, in foreign languages and translated. Bibliographies too.


Ancient & Medieval Literature

Medieval Era Literature Books – Collection

More than 500 free online medieval era literature books at the Internet Archive. Medieval era literature books, world literature books, literary criticism. Be patient as the page loads.

‘Collections’ take longer to appear on your screen than single books.  On a phone, only about 25 books in a collection of hundreds may appear.  You can instead use a PC to find books of interest while logged into Internet Archive and “favorite” them, so you can easily access them later on your phone or tablet.

Visit our Collected Magazine Articles about Ancient History

Classical Literature Books – Collection

About 350 books on ancient literature, including many volumes of literary criticism. Ancient Literature books, world literature books, great books online, literary criticism.

See our historical fiction set in the Middle Ages


Modern Classic Literature Novels – Free eBook Library

Free Modern Classic Literature Novels – Collection

More than 1,600 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. Free classic literature novels, modern classic novels, classic literature collection, literary criticism, world literature books, great books online.

Classic Literature Collection – Free eBook Library

About 1,600 free online books in a Classic Literature Collection. Some Titles: Steppenwolf, Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, Procopius, The Great Gatsby, Islands in the Stream, East of Eden, Invisible Man, Demian, The Sun Also Rises, The Great Gatsby, In Our Time, Frankenstein, The Greek Myths, Beneath the Wheel, A Clockwork Orange, Fanny Hill, Native Son, The Good Earth, Report to Greco, Jane Eyre, Jayber Crow, The Tale of Genji, A Farewell to Arms, Macbeth, Moviegoer, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Idiot, The Count of Monte Cristo, many more. Be patient as the page loads. Classic literature novels, Classic literature collection, great books online.

English Literature Books Online Free – Collection

More than 7,000 English literature books online free. Classic literature collection, classic literature novels, great books online.

Be patient while the page loads.

See our collected articles on the history of ideas

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. Classic literature collection, great books online, world literature books.

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


Dramas & Plays – Free eBook Library

English Drama Online – Collection – Free eBook Library

About 2,500 free online English Drama online books at the Internet Archive. Read drama online, play scripts.

Free books on theater

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. Read drama online, play scripts, plays to read online, modern literary criticism.

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. Play scripts, read drama online, plays to read online.

Free short stories for children

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. Read drama online, play scripts, plays to read online.

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.


General Literature – Free eBook Library

Literary Fiction Collection – Free eBook Library

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. Be patient as the page loads. Modern classic novels, great books online, world literature books.

Visit our Collected Magazine Articles about Art & Culture in American History

Modern Literature Collection – Free eBook Library

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

European Literature Collection – Free eBook Library

More than 700 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “European Literature”. Read books free online. World literature books, modern classic novels, great books online.


Poetry Collections – Free eBook Library

American Poetry Collection

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

English Poetry Collection – Free eBook Library

More than 5,000 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “English Poetry”. Poetry collections online.

Children’s Poetry Collection – Free eBook Library

More than 4,500 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Children’s Poetry”. Poetry collections online.


Women’s Literature – Free eBook Library

Women and Literature Collection – Free eBook Library

About 2,700 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.


World Literature – Free eBook Library

Fiction Translations Collection

More than 2,400 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Fiction Translations”. World literature books online free, great books online, free classic books online, modern classic novels.

Literature Translations Collection – Free eBook Library

More than 1,200 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Literature Translations”. World literature books, read books online free, classic literature novels, classic literature collection.

Canadian Fiction Collection

More than 1,100 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. World literature online free.

Chinese Fiction in Chinese and English Collection

More than 1,300 free full-length Chinese novels at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Chinese Fiction”. Fiction / Asian American, Chinese Americans — Fiction, China — Fiction, Chinese fiction — History and criticism, Chinese fiction — Translating into English, World literature online free..

French Fiction in French and English Collection – Free eBook Library

Here are over 1,000 PDF novels online to read for free at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “French Fiction in French and English”. Read French fiction in English and in French. Read full-length books online free, world literature online free.

French Literature in French and English Collection

More than 1,500 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “French Literature in French and English”. Free classic books online, classic literature novels, world literature books.

Spanish Language Juvenile Fiction Collection – Free eBook Library

More than 2,000 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Spanish – Juvenile Fiction”. Be patient as the page loads. readfreenovelsonline, Free books Spanish. Read books online free, world literature books.

Spanish Language Adult Fiction Collection

About 600 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Spanish – Adult Fiction”. Most are in Spanish. Free Spanish language books, free novels online, world literature books, read books free online.

Korean Fiction Collection

About 180 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Korean Fiction”, in Korean and English. Read books online free.

Japanese Fiction Collection

About 1,500 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Japanese Fiction”, in English and Japanese.

German Fiction Collection

About 2,600 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “German Fiction”, in German and English. Read books free online.

Russian Fiction Collection

About 200 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Russian Fiction”, in Russian and English. World literature books online free.

Italian Fiction Collection

About 130 free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Italian Fiction”. Read books online free.

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