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World Literature Texts

British Literature; Excellence in Literature, English 4In World Literature, students will study eight full-length works of fiction and in the seventh module, significant selections from the The Portable Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader. Students who choose the Honors option will read eighteen texts over the course of two semesters. A brief chapter in the study guide provides instructions for the additional writing that will round out the honors grade.

Each of the World Literature texts below is linked to my preferred editions (here's my criteria for a good edition) at Amazon. These are affiliate links, of course — that means I get a few cents from each book purchase, but it doesn't change your cost at all. You can learn more about the entire curriculum at the Excellence in Literature curriculum home page.

Books for World Literature, English 5

Although these are my preferred editions of the World Literature texts, if you already own a different edition, you may use it as long as it is not abridged. The first book listed for each module is the Focus Text, and is the primary book that will be studied. The book or books listed as "Honors" are optional.

Recommended edition of The Odyssey by Home

Module 1: The Odyssey by Homer

Honors: The Iliad by Homer

. Recommended edition of Antigone by Sophocles

Module 2: Antigone by Sophocles

The Burial at Thebes: A Version of Sophocles’ Antigone by Seamus Heaney

Honors: Oedipus Rex by Sophocles (included in the same volume as Antigone)

. Recommended edition of The Aeneid by Virgil

Module 3: The Aeneid by Virgil

Honors: Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans by Plutarch

. Recommended edition of Dante's Divine Comedy

Module 4: Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante

Honors: Paradiso and/or Purgatorio by Dante

OR Confessions by Augustine of Hippo

. Recommended edition of Don Quixote by Cervantes

Module 5: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Honors: The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

. Recommended edition of Les Misérables by Hugo

Module 6: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Honors: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

 OR Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville


Module 7: The Portable Nineteenth Century Russian Reader edited by George Gibian

Honors: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

. Recommended edition of Faust by Goethe

Module 8: Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Honors: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (if you didn’t read it in English II) AND The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

OR Frankenstein by Mary Shelley or Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

. Recommended edition of Out of Africa by DinesenModule 9: Out of Africa and “Babette’s Feast” by Isak Dinesen

Honors: Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C.S. Lewis

Visit my blog to read about how I chose the literature for Excellence in Literature. This link will open in a new tab, so you don't have to worry about losing your place here. .

Additional Suggested Resources


Excellence in Literature Handbook for WritersThe Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers is a reference book that includes instructions on how to construct logical arguments (theses), write essays, and work with grammar, punctuation, and style. 420 pages, paperback.


Evaluate Writing the Easy by Janice CampbellEvaluate Writing the Easy Way is another small resource that can help you learn how to evaluate your student's work.

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