Harvard Classics

Introductory Note: Benjamin Franklin

Introductory note on Benjamin Franklin (Volume 1, Harvard Classics)

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Ch. 1), by Benjamin Franklin

Good middle-class people, Franklin boasts, were his ancestors. Some have attributed his genius to his being the youngest son of the youngest son for five generations. In his famous autobiography, he reveals quaint family history. (Volume 1, Harvard Classics)

Benjamin Franklin born Jan. 17, 1706.


Introductory Note: Æsop’s Fables

Introductory note on Æsop’s Fables (Volume 17, Harvard Classics)

Æsop’s Fables, by Æsop

An old woman once found a wine jar, but it was empty. She sniffed at the mouth of the jar and said: "What memories cling 'round the instruments of our pleasure." (Volume 17, Harvard Classics)


Introductory Note: Omar Khayyam

Introductory note on Omar Khayyam (Volume 41, Harvard Classics)

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, by Omar Khayyam

Omar Khayyam laughed and enjoyed the good things of life. His "Rubaiyat," the most popular philosophic poem, is the best of all books to dip into for an alluring thought. (Volume 41, Harvard Classics)

"Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" first published Jan. 15, 1859.

Introductory Note: American Historical Documents

Introductory note on American Historical Documents (Volume 43, Harvard Classics)

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut is "the first written constitution as a permanent limitation on governmental power, known in history." It is the work of the Connecticut Yankee. (Volume 43, Harvard Classics)

Fundamental Orders of Connecticut adopted Jan. 14, 1639.


Introductory Note: Jean Jacques Rousseau

Introductory note on Jean Jacques Rousseau (Volume 34, Harvard Classics)

Discourse on Inequality (Part II), by Jean Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau taught that men were not created free and equal. To substantiate his daring beliefs he traced man's history back to his primitive beginnings. For his teachings, Rousseau was forced to seek refuge in England. (Volume 34, Harvard Classics)

Jean Jacques Rousseau arrived in England, Jan. 13, 1766.

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