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Literature 300+ Great Books of the Western World  

Walter Graves
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List Rules Books written by authors from the Western Hemisphere

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Compiled by Encyclopedia Britannica, this is a list of the great books of the western world. It is our western canon gathered into a single package of 60 volumes. Initially compiled in the 50's, the Great Books of the Western World was updated in the 90's with a second edition. While the first three volumes of the compendium feature a dissertation on liberal education, Volume 4 and beyond contain various books that we have listed here. Both fiction and non-fiction have been included, as well as all genres. Encyclopedia Britannica did a fantastic job putting together this list of Great Books of the Western World. If you're looking for a great, timeless book, then this is the place to start.

Be sure to check out Ranker's other lists like the Best Opening Lines in Fiction.
list ordered by

1
114 35
Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Homer

2
93 26
Iliad is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Homer - Volume: 4

3
98 38
Macbeth is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
William Shakespeare - Volume: 27

4
94 36
The Divine Comedy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Dante Alighieri - Volume: 21

5
86 33
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Leo Tolstoy - Volume: 51

6
85 33
The Brothers Karamazov is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Volume: 52

7
86 34
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Miguel de Cervantes

8
81 36
The Canterbury Tales is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Geoffrey Chaucer - Volume: 22

9
104 55
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
George Orwell - Volume: 60

10
62 28
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World

11
70 36
King Lear is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
William Shakespeare - Volume: 27

12
45 18
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Mark Twain - Volume: 48

13
80 45
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
William Shakespeare - Volume: 26

14
68 36
Paradise Lost is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
John Milton - Volume: 32

15
102 63
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Volume: 60

16
40 16
The Republic is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Plato - Volume: 7

17
72 42
Heart of Darkness is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Joseph Conrad - Volume: 59

18
44 20
Apology is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Plato - Volume: 7

19
71 42
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Herman Melville

20
37 15
The Aeneid Lt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Virgil

21
51 28
The Taming of the Shrew is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
William Shakespeare - Volume: 26

22
54 32
The Metamorphosis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Franz Kafka - Volume: 60

23
51 30
Gulliver's Travels is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Jonathan Swift - Volume: 36

24
53 32
A Midsummer Night's Dream is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
William Shakespeare

25
35 18
Metaphysics is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list 300+ Great Books of the Western World
Aristotle - Volume: 8