'100 Greatest Books Of All Time' Collection
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I'm dedicating this thread to Franklin Library's flagship collection, which, like E/P's '100 Greatest Books Ever Written', apparently actually includes one hundred and twenty-five titles.
There are lists floating around on-line that include the initial one hundred titles but the titles of the additional twenty-five volumes is more elusive. I would be grateful for a complete list of the titles in this collection with identifying colors or marks that distinguish these editions from the same titles in other collections. If that is too much for which to ask, how about just the extra twenty-five?
Here are the 25 added titles in the order I received them. The first date is when originally published, the second is FL's copyright date.
The Greatest Books of All Time, 25 Volume Extension
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 1876 1983
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann 1924 1981
Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana 1840 1983
The Good Earth by Pearl Buck 1931 1980
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens 1859 1983
Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder 1941 1981
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James 1881 1983
The Reivers by William Faulkner 1962 1983
Humbolt’s Gift by Saul Bellow 1973 1983
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy 1877 1980
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 1939 1983
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 1938 1983
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne 1870 1983
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy 1891 1982
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton 1920 1984
Stories by Rudyard Kipling 1920 1980
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas 1844 1980
Fables by Aesop 300bc 1982
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 1888 1982
Waverly by Sir Walter Scott 1829 1981
The Call of the Wild by Jack London 1903 1982
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope 1857 1982
Rhetoric and On Poetics by Aristotle 335bc 1981
My Antonia by Willa Cather 1918 1981
The Brothers Karamazov by Feodor Dostoyevsky 1880 1985
The books were not identified as belonging to any collection; however, I believe they came from the World's Best Loved Books or the Pulitzer Prize Fiction collections, both of which are identified.
This is great! My intention is to collect solely these 125 volumes, so any information on designs, quality, construction and what to avoid are most appreciated .
Here are the original 100, also in the order received:
The 100 Greatest Books of All Time
Moby Dick by Herman Melville 1851 1974
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift 1726 1974
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer 1387 1974
Tales of Edgar Allen Poe by Edgar Allen Poe 1835 1974
The Republic by Plato 380bc 1975
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson 1883 1975
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 1925 1975
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte 1847 1975
The Aeneid by Virgil 15bc 1975
The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 1883 1975
Tragedies by William Skahespeare 1600 1975
Crime and Punishment by Feodor Dostoyevsky 1866 1975
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 1865 1975
The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin 1859 1975
The Iliad by Homer 850bc 1976
Collected Poems 1909-1962 by T. S. Eliot 1976
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway 1929 1976
Plays by Anton Chekov 1885 1976
Walden by Henry David Thoreau 1854 1976
Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes 1605 1976
Confessions by St. Augustine 397 1976
The Odyssey by Homer 800bc 1976
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 1850 1976
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner 1929 1976
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan 1678 1976
Five Stories by Thomas Mann 1915 1977
Nine Plays by Euripides 425bc 1977
Ulysses by James Joyce 1922 1977
The Flowers of Evil by Charles Beaudelaire 1857 1977
Tales from the Arabian Nights trans. by Richard F. Burton 1977
Vanity Fair by William Makepiece Thackery 1848 1977
The Trial by Franz Kafka 1925 1977
The Federalist Papers by James Madison 1787 1977
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe 1719 1977
Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac 1835 1977
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad 1900 1977
Six Plays by Henrik Ibsen 1875 1977
Politics by Aristotle 335bc 1977
Nine Tales by Henry James 1890 1977
Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri 1321 1977
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli 1513 1978
Four Plays by Eugene O’Neill 1940 1978
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe 1722 1978
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais 1532 1978
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy 1878 1978
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert 1857 1978
Basic Works by Sigmund Freud 1885 1978
Poems by John Donne 1610 1978
Candide by Voltaire 1758 1978
Political Writing by Thomas Paine 1774 1978
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 1850 1978
Comedies by William Shakespeare 1600 1978
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio 1352 1979
Poetry by William Butler Yeats 1920 1979
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin 1785 1979
The Red and the Black by Stendhal 1831 1979
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence 1921 1979
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding 1749 1979
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1808 1979
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane 1895 1979
Three Plays by George Bernard Shaw 1905 1979
Pensees by Blaise Pascal 1662 1979
The Poetry of Robert Frost by Robert Frost 1950 1979
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper 1826 1979
Poems by William Shakespeare 1600 1980
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 1813 1980
The History of the Peloponnesian War by Theucydides 411bc 1980
Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blakely 1818 1980
Seven Plays by Moliere 1660 1980
Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne 1767 1980
Oresteia by Aeschylus 458bc 1980
Stories by Guy de Maupassant 1800 1980
Satyricon by Petronius 60 1980
The Analects of Confucius by Confucius 1980
The Ambassadors by Henry James 1903 1980
Essays by Michel de Montaigne 1580 1980
Histories by William Shakespeare 1600 1981
Nana by Emile Zola 1880 1981
Paradise Lost by John Milton 1667 1981
Essays I by Ralph Waldo Emerson 1841 1981
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev 1861 1981
Tragedies by Sophocles 450bc 1981
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte 1847 1981
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman 1892 1981
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 1869 1981
Philosophical Works by Rene Descartes 1649 1981
Favorite Household Tales by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm 1812 1981
Twelve Illustrious Lives by Plutarch 100 1981
Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1800 1982
Political Writings by Jean Jacques Rousseau 1755 1982
The Education of Henry Adams y Henry Adams 1907 1982
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust 1913 1982
Political Writings by John Stuart Mill 1861 1982
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot 1860 1982
Six Tragedies by Jean Racine 1691 1982
Selected Writings by Sir Francis Bacon 1625 1982
Poems b y John Keats 1819 1982
Five Comedies by Aristophanes 405bc 1982
Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson 1840 1982
Great Expectation by Charles Dickens 1861 1982
>4 The original 100 all have the following inscription on a page before the title page:
This limited edition of
(title of book)
is published exclusively for
The Franklin Library
The 100 Greatest Books of All Time
What did the title page say on these 25 volumes? I believe you said previously that they did not come with Notes From the Editors, which makes sense if some of the titles such as The Yearling and The Reivers are identical to the Pulitzer Prize versions, but the Best-Loved books did come with pamphlets if I am not mistaken. So it is unclear to me whether they were simply allowing you to acquire an additional 25 titles in your 100 Greatest series merely by sending you Best-Loved and Pulitzer Prize books or if they are different than versions shared in those two series? Do they all have silk moire endpages and a matching silk bookmarker?
I am so glad you received these directly from Franklin because if someone had acquired them second-hand I never would have believed the story since I had never heard of an extension to the 100 Greatest series before you first posted about it.
>5: Thanks for completing the list. It is a great reference. I have to ask, since you are so knowledgeable about which design belongs to which collection, do you own all of them? Also, you mention that you purchased your '100 Greatest' directly from F/L. Do you recall what the original retail price was and, if so, do you mind sharing?
Ooh! Great question wail! I have bought all mine second-hand. I did see an invoice inside one of my recently-acquired Franklin Library 100 Masterpieces of American Literature from 1978 or so and I believe it was $36.95. But I don't remember if that was inclusive of S&H or not. I also don't recall the specific title or which pile awaiting future bookcases in my spare bedroom it is in ;-)
Quite expensive for that time. In fact, in inflation adjusted terms, it would be the equivalent of $124 today!!! (according to CPI index adjustments). No wonder they could afford a higher caliber of leather than EP. It is amazing they ever went out of business unless people got tired of paying those prices.
I will try to answer your questions from above:
The only books I bought directly from FL were the 125 titles which are listed above in the order I received them. All 125 books are of equal quality with full genuine leather binding, moire endpapers, and ribbon booksmarks. Regarding the 25 added books, they did not simply send copies of these titles from other collections. There were produced for this collection, although they may have used the text block and illustrations from the other series. I don't know of any case where FL used an identical design for the same title in different series. The cost for these books was $28 each and was constant for the 100 volumes. I think the added 25 were also $28, but I am not 100% certain.
A couple other points which may be of interest:
Each book in this series includes an "Notes from the Editors" booklet with a color cover matching the leather color of the actual book. These booklets are 7 inches by 4-3/4 inches, 22 pages in length and contain several back and white illustraions and photos, including a full page portrait of the author. I have found these booklets to be very informative. Subscribers also received four dark blue file boxes to hold the booklets, 25 to a box. The added 25 did not come with the booklet.
Several months into the series, either FL discovered it or it was brought to their attention by subscribers, that page sag was a problem for the heavier volumes. I first noticed this with the third book, Canterbury Tales. FL designed a very finely grained styrofoam book support to put under the book when shelved to keep the pages from saging. They began including these with the heavy books and sent them also for the previously issued heavy volumes. I do like these supports, and have made many myself from corrugated cardboard. I don't know whether FL included book supports with there other series or not. The added 25 did not have any.
Some speculation as to why FL went out of business:
I think they were too exclusive. They only published a series once, and never repeated it. This policy cut them off from gaining new subscibers. Also they never published works from a single author, the only exception being Dickens. A strategedy of exclusivity coupled with rising costs sound like a recipe for economic disaster. At the time they closed up shop in 2000, the only series being produced was the signed first editions. This series contains over 200 titles, many of which have become classics. Almost all of them are novels by well known authors. I wish EP's FEs followed FL's model instead of all the politician and celebrity "authors" they publish.
So much for my rambling.
Tom41, thanks, as always for the info. I do agree that the FL Signed First Edition (SFE) series is generally of better caliber than the EP, which as you observe is far too heavily dominated by politicians and celebrities (and the market drives the prices of many of these below their original published price, which says what it thinks about them - somewhat surprising for a signed first edition). On the other hand, the Franklin Library quality decreased significantly beyond the mid-1980s. I remember getting a copy of The Smithsonian Institution by Gore Vidal, one of my favorite writers, from an eBay seller. Putting aside the ridiculous price I paid, something like 5x what I have since seen it sell for since (this was back in my naive days when I didn't realize the real market price of many of these books), I actually wrote the seller and complained that the book wasn't even leather, the quality was so poor (this was a 1998/1999 book). She clarified that this is common with the last Franklins and I have indeed seen it myself in other titles (fortunately, I would never again pay 3 figures for one again!). So I don't know if the quality decreased due to declining sales or if the declining sales reflected lower quality, but surely this must have had something to do with their closing up shop as well.
I had never really thought about your point before, but you are absolutely correct in that once the 100 Greatest Books of All Time was published, they never re-published it in a full leather format. Interesting.
I have 68 FL Signed First Editions covering the full time span ranging from 1983 to 2000. According to the note at the back of the books, they are genuine leather; however, they certainly do not look as nice as their earlier publications. Perhaps the leather is of lower grade; the modern cover designs, the marbled endpapers and the narrow bookmark also degrade the appearance. Toward the late '90s the quality and looks did improve. They went back to the wider, heavier bookmark and the leather looks to be of higher quality. American Pastoral (1997), The Human Stain (2000), and City of God (2000) are very well made books and are very attractive. Many of the SFEs have original artwork, also.
That is interesting, your comment about original artwork, as I don't recall in the SFE after the 1980s, there being any artwork except perhaps a two page spread at the beginning of each book. But I am in no position to challenge your statement as I don't have sufficient facts (or enough examples) to support my quite possibly faulty recollection.
All the books I check (not all 68 by any means) have a "specially comissioned frontispiece"; most are watercolors. I am sorry if my prior statement was misleading; the books are not illustrated throughout.
Iteresting 3d, thank you for sharing your knoledge Tom.
I find the Franklin book very nice, my only complaint is about the marbled paper end covers, which in my experience degrade, but I do agree the leather quality is superior of most EP
Well I just bought my second FL book, Tales from the Arabian Nights, by Sir Richard Burton, (the first was English Music Signed First Edition, by Peter Ackroyd). It comes with the Note from the Editors and is part of the The Greatest Books of All Time. Can't wait to receive this. I am a bit thrilled by this volume - the binding and colour is mesmerising. I was also a bit nervous buying FL books from ebay, due to the many different versions but I think I made a good choice:
Beautiful edition at a good price - nice find Ironjaw. What do you generally feel about two-toned leather?
The one thing that I don't understand about the Arabian Nights... I assume the Burton translation is only for selected works? Or are there just many copies that are abridged?
I have a 6 volume folio set that is MASSIVE, which I bought because I wanted the COMPLETE works... and I was hoping that that was it.
At one time EP issued the following 17-vol, set:
THE COMPLETE ARABIAN NIGHTS
Your magic carpet is waiting! Now, after more than 100 years under virtual lock and key, the world's most fantastic stories await you in their original, uncensored versions. Here are Aladdin, Sinbad, Ali Baba, and many more—all the tales with which Shahrázád entranced King Shahryár over 1,001 nights to keep him from beheading her! Treat yourself to this sumptuous experience of tantalizing delights, wonderfully illustrated and beautifully bound to surpass the splendor of Sir Richard Burton's original edition.
All the stories are as first issued—not a word has been deleted.
6 1/2" x 9 1/2"
Item Number: 0243
17-volume set. Just $63.95 per volume. Currently out of stock.
How do I know if my 6 volume set contains all 17 volumes of material? Each book is approx double the size of EP's (from the spine)... and they're taller as well.
I guess what I'm asking is how you can tell if a set is a complete Arabian Nights collection.
The list should read 'The Prince' by N. Machiavelli, not 'The Price'.
Minor correction here: Hemingway's 'A Farewell to Arms' should be 1975
Minor correction: William Blake, not Blakely.
btw, this list is EXTREMELY HELPFUL as I catalogue. Thanks again, Tom!
The additional 25 titles in the 100 Greatest series have no labeling on the frontpiece.
They are not part of the Best-Loved series or Pulitzer Prize winners... the editions have different leather and the only way you can identify them as the 100 Greatest is by taking Tom's list (THANK YOU TOM!) and matching the books to the date (and ensuring that they are neither Pulitzer Prize or Best-Loved books).
I now own four of the 25... but think I will take the collecting of these titles slower than my mass accumulation of the 100 Greatest in the last two weeks.
A Tale of Two Cities
Brothers Karamazov, The (the last book published)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Call of the Wild, The
The Brothers Karamazov is now the most expensive Franklin (or Easton) I have ever purchased. At the moment, there are three available on abe ($100-110).
I have followed the info you have provided with great interest since you actually were a subscriber. Hopefully you could answer a question regarding the 100 Greatest Books of All Time series. I have seen an original advertisements for subscribing to the series from back in 1973 or 1974 (no date on the ad). It indicated that the subscription was to close out on 31 March 1974. In the ad it mentioned, on a number of occasions, that 24 karat gold was to be used on the decorations on the spine, covers, and page edges. I have a number of the volumes and the Editor's Notes that goes with them. A number of the Editor's Notes indicate gold was utilized without any specificity. Some indicate that 22 karat gold was utilized. It seems to me that the first volumes were done in 24 karat gold (per the original advertisements) and at one point Franklin Library shifted to using 22 karat gold. Is this the case? Can you shed any light on this aspect of the series? Thanks!
I recently bought the entire 100 Greatest Books of All Time series (only the original 100), most of them in pristine condition. I would like to spend at least part of my retirement years reading these great books. I intend to replace some of them that are in less than stellar condition.
My problem is that the book supports arrived in a plastic bag with no indication of which books they belong to. Through ads for individual copies on ebay, I know that some, such as Chaucer, Dante, Thackeray, and Tolstoy should have book supports under them. Should I just place the others under the books with the most pages? Or, can someone supply me with a list of the books that were issued with book supports by the Franklin Library? Thank you!
Hello! Sorry to ressurect a dead thread, but I thought it most appropriate to add here. I'm trying to use the new Publisher Series, to list the items in this thread. I imagine one day, that you can add a Publisher series to your list, so that you can check them off as you go. I've ordered them so that they stay in the order they were sent to subscribers, but at a glance, it has the year listed.
Maybe it's futile, but I have hope! Besides. I like checklists.
This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.