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When you think about literary blockbusters, you might imagine more modern works, such as the Harry Potter series or perhaps Fifty Shades of Grey. However, the concept of the literary blockbuster goes back centuries. These classic works were all well-regarded at their respective times and have survived throughout history for a reason, as they are still compelling reads to this day. The best part about being a reader in modern times is that these classics are part of the public domain, and are available as free ebooks from myfree-ebook.com. Browse our list below for a closer look at the timeline of some of the most popular classic books of all time.

 

8th Century BC:

The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer

These epic poems credited to Homer back in the 8th Century BC captured their audiences’ imaginations with thrilling imagery about the Trojan War and the Greek hero Odysseus, and still manage to thrill readers in our modern age.

 

380 BC:

The Republic by Plato

Plato’s The Republic has the distinction of being one of the most influential works of philosophical and political theory of all time. Featuring Socrates discussing the meaning of justice and how it relates to happiness, this is Plato’s best-known work.

 

2nd-4th Century AD:

The Holy Bible

Although the King James Version English translations of The Holy Bible weren’t completed until several centuries later in 1611, it’s estimated The Holy Bible in general has sold over 5 billion copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books in the world.

 

1532:

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

This political treatise from the 16th century is credited as one of the first modern political philosophy works, and has been highly influential worldwide. Praised for its innovative style, it was also considered controversial at the time — with some controversy carrying over to modern times, as many authors believe the work to be meant as a satire.

 

1605-1615:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Originally published in two volumes, Don Quixote, or Don Quijote (Spanish version), is not only amongst the best works of literature from the Spanish Golden Age, but known as one of the greatest ever published. From literature, Broadway plays and musicals, to Hollywood movies, its influence is still felt. The English and Spanish ebook versions found on My Free eBook contain both volumes I and II.

 

1792:

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

Known as one of the earliest works of feminist theory, in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Wollstonecraft argues that women deserve to have the same fundamental rights as men, including the right to an education. A radical concept for its time, she laid the groundwork for future feminist movements to come.

 

1848:

The Communist Manifesto by Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx

Originally commissioned as a pamphlet by the Communist League, The Communist Manifesto outlines Engels and Marx’s theories regarding class struggle within politics and society. Their analytical approach to class struggle has made it one of the most influential political manuscripts in the world.

 

1859:

On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Darwin’s scientific text, considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology, introduces the theory that species have evolved through the process of natural selection. Written for non-specialist readers, it attracted widespread interest when it was published. Its influence is still felt, as modern evolutionary theory continues to develop, in addition to still inviting controversy for contradicting many traditional religious teachings regarding the development of life.

 

1869:

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

This 1300 page epic details the lives of five aristocratic Russian families living through the French invasion of Russia. With lengthy passages of philosophical discussion instead of narrative, Tolstoy himself didn’t consider War and Peace to be a novel, but rather Anna Karenina to be his first true novel.

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