The Well-Educated Mind

     The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had is a book by Susan Wise Bauer that aims to introduce readers to the so-called ‘Great Books.’ The greatest part of this book is the lists she provides, citing classics that can serve as an introduction to 5 different types of writing: Fiction, Autobiographies, History, Drama, and Poetry. Some of the suggested books I am not interested in reading, but some of them I am, but I will (hopefuly) give them all a try. However the lists are overwhelmingly geared toward Western classics, to the almost total exclusion on non-western works with 2 or three exceptions. I want to expand my understanding on non-western classics as well so I have added some to the lists below (I have underlined these). I am setting no time limit for this; I will get to them while I get to them. Some of the books she’s listed here also on my Classics Club list- I’ve relisted them here to remember that Bauer also suggested them. Here are the lists, divided into the categories that Bauer uses in the book:
Fiction: 
Tale of the Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (1021)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong (1300s)
Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en (1592)
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605)
The Plum in the Golden Vase by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (1610)
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (1678)
Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin (early 1700s)
Gulliver’s Travels by Johnathan Swift (1726)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (1838)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847)
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)
Moby Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harreit Beecher Stowe (1852)
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1857)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1866)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1876)
Ann Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (1878)
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1881)
The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner (1883)
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephan Crane (1895)
The Heart of Darkness of Joseph Conrad (1899)
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905)
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925)
The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)
Native Son by Richard Wright (1940)
The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)
1984 by George Orwell (1949)
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952)
Seize the Day by Saul Bellow (1956)
The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz (1956)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958)
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1967)
Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex  Haley (1976)
Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong’o (1977)
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1977)
If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino (1979)
So Long a Letter by Mariama Ba (1981)
White Noise by Don DeLillo (1985)
Maps by Nuruddin Farah (1986)
Possession by A. S. Byatt (1990)
Autobiography and Memoir: 
The Confessions by Augustine (c. 400 A.D.)
The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon (1002)
Rihla by Ibn Battuta (1355)
The Book of Margery Kempe by Margery Kempe (c. 1430)
The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself by Teresa of Avile (1565)
The Complete Essays by Michel de Montaigne (1580)
Meditations and Other Metaphysical Writings by Rene Descartes (1641)
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan (1666)
The Narrative of the Captivity of Mary Rowlandson by Mary Rowlandson (1682)
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1782)
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, The African by Olaudah Equiano (1789)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (1790)
Life of Black Hawk or, Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak: Dictated by Himself by Black Hawk (1833)
Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself by Harriet Jacobs (1860)
Ecco Homo by Friedrich Nietzsche (1888)
Life and Times of Frederick Douglas by Frederick Douglas (1881)
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington (1901)
Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler (1925)
An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Gandhi (1929)
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein (1933)
The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton (1948)
Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis (1955)
The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksander I. Solzhenitsyn (1958)
The Autobiography of Malcom X by Malcom X (1965)
Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton (1973)
Born Again by Charles Colson (1975)
Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Richard Rodriguez (1982)
The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway(1989)
All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs by Elie Wiesel (1995)
History:
The Art of War by Sun Tzu (500 BC)
The Histories by Herodotus (440 BC)
The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides (411 BC)
The Republic by Plato (380 BC)
The Analects by Confucius (c. 300 BC)
Lives by Plutarch (100- 125 AD)
City of God by Augustine of Hippo (426)
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede (731)
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli (1513)
Utopia by Thomas More (1516)
Second Treatise of Government by John Locke (1690)
The History of England Volume V by David Hume (1754)
The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762)
Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776)
The History of the Decline of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1776)
A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)
Democracy in America by Alexander de Tocqueville (1836)
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1848)
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burckhardt (1860)
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Debois (1903)
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber (1904)
Queen Victoria by Lytton Strachey (1921)
The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell (1937)
New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century by Perry Miller (1939)
The Great Crash 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith (1954)
The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan (1959)
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedman (1963)
Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made by Eugene D. Genovese (1974)
A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century by Barbara Tuchman (1978)
All The President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (1987)
Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James A. McPherson (1988)
The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama (1989)
A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Dairy, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (1900)
Drama:
Agamemnon by Aeschylus (458 BC)
Oedipus the King by Sophocles (450 BC)
Medea by Euripides (431 BC)
The Birds by Aristophanes (400 BC)
Poetics by Aristotle (330 BC)
Recognition of Shakuntala by Kalidasa (c. 400 AD)
The Story of the Western Wing by Wang Shifu (late 1200s)
Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe (1588)
Richard III by William Shakespeare (1592-1593)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (1594-1595)
Hamlet by William Shakespeare (1600)
Tartuffe by Moliere (1669)
The Way of the World by William Congreve (1700)
She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith (1773)
The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1777)
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (1879)
The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde (1899)
The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (1904)
Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw (1924)
Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot (1935)
Our Town by Thornton Wilder (1938)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neil (1940)
No Exit by Jean Paul Sarte (1944)
A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (1947)
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller (1949)
A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt (1960)
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard (1967)
Equus by Peter Shaffer (1974)
Poetry:
The Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2000 BC)
The Illiad and the Odyssey by Homer (c. 800 BC)
Classic of Poetry (Book of Songs) (c. 1100 – c. 800 BC)
Greek Lyricists (600 BC)
Ramayana by Valmiki (c. 500 BC)
Mahabharata by Vyasa (c. 400 BC)
Odes by Horace (65-68 BC)
Kokinshu (c. 905)
Beowulf (c. 1000)
Masnavi by Rumi (1273)
Poems of the Masters (960-1278)
Inferno by Dante Alighieri (c. 1300)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1350)
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (mid-1300’s)
Sonnets by William Shakespeare (late 1500’s)
John Donne (1572-1631)
Psalms– King James Bible (1611)
Paradise Lost by John Milton (1667)
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Matsuo Basho (late 1600’s)
Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) by Phillis Wheatley
Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake (late 1700’s and early 1800’s)
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
John Keats (1795-1821)
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1883)
Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson’s Poems by Emily Dickinson (late 1800’s)
Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunabr by Paul Laurence Dunbar (late 1800’s)
Robert Frost (1874-1963)
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
Ezra Pound (1885-1972)
T. S. Eliot (1888-1954)
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes(first half of 1900’s)
W. H. Auden (1907-1973)
Phillip Larkin (1922-1985)
Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
Adrienne Rich (1929-2012)
Plath: Selected Poems by Silvia Plath (first half of 1900’s)
Mark Strand (1934-)
Seamus Heaney (1939-)
Robert Pinsky (1940-)
Jane Kenyon (1947-1995)
Rita Dove (1952-)
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6 Responses to The Well-Educated Mind

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  3. Hi, Hillary! I’m working through the Well-Educated Mind, too. I am reading along with several other blogs following TWEM. We just finished Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I like how you added non-Western titles to your list, too.

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  6. Once you find that code, highlight it with your mouse, right click and select Delete or press the Delete key on your keyboard. Once you have filled all of those fields in, you can post the url to your Tumblr blog.

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