Harvard Classics

Introductory Note: Egmont by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Introductory note on Egmont by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Volume 19, Harvard Classics)


Egmont (Act I, Scene I), by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Spain sent the Duke of Alva to subdue the Netherlands. In quelling disorder he killed the people's hero, Count Egmont. From this story Goethe made a famous play. (Volume 19, Harvard Classics)

Egmont sentenced to death June 4, 1658.


Introductory Note: William Harvey

Introductory note on William Harvey (Volume 38, Harvard Classics)


On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals, by William Harvey

Galileo, by holding his pulse while watching a swinging cathedral lamp, evolved a theory that made clocks possible. Harvey, by feeling his pulse, educed that arteries carry blood. (Volume 38, Harvard Classics)

Dr. William Harvey died June 3, 1657.


Introductory Note: Jean Jacques Rousseau

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


Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar, by Jean Jacques Rousseau

A "Back to Nature" movement in the seventeenth century was headed by Rousseau, who believed that civilization was degrading. To save money for his work, he entrusted each of his children to the tender mercies of a foundling house. (Volume 34, Harvard Classics)

Jean Jacques Rousseau born June 2, 1712.


Introductory Note: Christopher Marlowe

Introductory note on Christopher Marlowe (Volume 19, Harvard Classics)


The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe

For the best blank verse in English, read "Dr. Faustus," the masterpiece of Marlowe, who gave Shakespeare lessons in playwriting. This genius knew the secret of gripping drama. (Volume 19, Harvard Classics)

Marlowe died June 1, 1593.


Introductory Note: Walt Whitman

Introductory note on Walt Whitman (the Ridpath Library of Universal Literature)


Preface to Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is the most original and startling of modern poets. An irony of his life is that while he wrote for the contemporary masses, only a limited number of followers appreciated his genius, now universally recognized. (Volume 39, Harvard Classics)

Walt Whitman born May 31, 1819.


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