Best Books of the 17th Century
1 Hamlet
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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99 avg rating — 382,211 ratings
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2 Macbeth
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 352,151 ratings
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3 Don Quixote
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3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 100,681 ratings
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4 Paradise Lost
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 74,947 ratings
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5 King Lear
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 102,770 ratings
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6 Othello
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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86 avg rating — 178,921 ratings
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7 The Tempest
by
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 92,164 ratings
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8 Julius Caesar
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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61 avg rating — 96,683 ratings
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9 The Pilgrim's Progress
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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91 avg rating — 44,919 ratings
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10 As You Like It
by
3.82 of 5 stars 3.82 avg rating — 45,268 ratings
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11 The Misanthrope
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 9,446 ratings
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12 Doctor Faustus
by
3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 29,722 ratings
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13 Tartuffe
by
3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 15,446 ratings
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14 Shakespeare's Sonnets
by
4.24 of 5 stars 4.24 avg rating — 40,300 ratings
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15 Discourse on Method and Med...
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 13,863 ratings
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16 Twelfth Night
by
3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 88,550 ratings
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17 Le Malade imaginaire
by
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 3,163 ratings
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18 Don Juan
by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 4,125 ratings
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19 Phèdre
by
3.68 of 5 stars 3.68 avg rating — 6,167 ratings
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20 Henry VIII
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 3,780 ratings
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21 L'Avare
by
3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 4,552 ratings
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22 Le Bourgeois gentilhomme
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 4,322 ratings
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23 La vida es sueño
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 5,243 ratings
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24 Ethics
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 6,250 ratings
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25 Second Treatise of Government
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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73 avg rating — 9,012 ratings
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26 The Princesse de Clèves
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3.41 of 5 stars 3.41 avg rating — 3,771 ratings
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27 The Winter's Tale
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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 12,249 ratings
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28 An Essay Concerning Human U...
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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77 avg rating — 7,983 ratings
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29 Cymbeline
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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 3,363 ratings
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30 Mr. William Shakespeares Co...
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4.74 of 5 stars 4.74 avg rating — 155 ratings
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31 The Duchess of Malfi
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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 5,768 ratings
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32 The Anatomy of Melancholy
by
4.23 of 5 stars 4.23 avg rating — 692 ratings
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32 Perrault's Fairy Tales
by
4.19 of 5 stars 4.19 avg rating — 6,358 ratings
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34 Dialogue Concerning the Two...
by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05 avg rating — 375 ratings
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35 Pensées
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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95 avg rating — 5,742 ratings
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36 The Temple: The Poetry of G...
by
4.1 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 193 ratings
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37 The Principia: Mathematical...
by
4.16 of 5 stars 4.16 avg rating — 2,205 ratings
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38 Fuenteovejuna
by
3.49 of 5 stars 3.49 avg rating — 2,250 ratings
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39 Le Cid
by
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 4,439 ratings
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40 Areopagitica
by
3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 892 ratings
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41 Volpone
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3.44 of 5 stars 3.44 avg rating — 3,593 ratings
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42 Leviathan
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3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 17,874 ratings
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43 The Way of the World
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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34 avg rating — 1,487 ratings
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44 The Practice of the Presenc...
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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30 avg rating — 17,174 ratings
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45 Two Treatises of Government
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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80 avg rating — 8,545 ratings
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46 Fables
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3.98 of 5 stars 3.98 avg rating — 5,236 ratings
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47 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
by
3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 1,527 ratings
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48 Samson Agonistes
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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72 avg rating — 1,042 ratings
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49 Simplicissimus
by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 634 ratings
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50 The Changeling
by
3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 893 ratings
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50 Troilus and Cressida
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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34 avg rating — 3,930 ratings
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52 Oroonoko
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2.94 of 5 stars 2.94 avg rating — 3,879 ratings
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53 The New Atlantis
by
3.19 of 5 stars 3.19 avg rating — 812 ratings
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54 Historia de la vida del Buscón
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 633 ratings
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54 The Narrow Road to the Deep...
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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 1,561 ratings
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56 El burlador de Sevilla
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 1,210 ratings
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57 Horace
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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45 avg rating — 230 ratings
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58 Maxims
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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06 avg rating — 1,070 ratings
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59 Discourse on Metaphysics
by
3.58 of 5 stars 3.58 avg rating — 57 ratings
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60 The Revenger's Tragedy
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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66 avg rating — 1,032 ratings
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61 The White Devil
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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54 avg rating — 536 ratings
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62 Bartholomew Fair
by
3.46 of 5 stars 3.46 avg rating — 278 ratings
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63 Every Man In His Humour
by
3.1 of 5 stars 3.10 avg rating — 91 ratings
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64 Ben Jonson: Sejanus
by
3.29 of 5 stars 3.29 avg rating — 52 ratings
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65 Eastward Ho!
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3.37 of 5 stars 3.37 avg rating — 35 ratings
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66 The Compleat Angler, or the...
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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79 avg rating — 221 ratings
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67 El Caballero de Olmedo
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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62 avg rating — 286 ratings
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68 The Dog in the Manger
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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 263 ratings
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69 Lucifer
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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33 avg rating — 123 ratings
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70 The New Organon
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3.65 of 5 stars 3.65 avg rating — 519 ratings
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71 Los Sueños
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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 92 ratings
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72 Andromaque
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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 2,167 ratings
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72 The Country Wife
by
3.36 of 5 stars 3.36 avg rating — 1,584 ratings
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74 A Chaste Maid in Cheapside
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3.34 of 5 stars 3.34 avg rating — 179 ratings
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75 A Mad World, My Masters
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3.38 of 5 stars 3.38 avg rating — 32 ratings
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76 The School for Wives
by
3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 2,451 ratings
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77 The Custom of the Country
by
4.14 of 5 stars 4.14 avg rating — 7 ratings
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77 The Maids Tragedy
by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60 avg rating — 70 ratings
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79 The Alchemist
by
3.56 of 5 stars 3.56 avg rating — 1,305 ratings
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80 Chinese Technology in the S...
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3.33 of 5 stars 3.33 avg rating — 6 ratings
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80 Warenar
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2.59 of 5 stars 2.59 avg rating — 138 ratings
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82 Gijsbrecht Van Amstel
by
2.78 of 5 stars 2.78 avg rating — 134 ratings
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83 Holy Bible: King James Version
by
4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 114,327 ratings
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84 The City of the Sun
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3.28 of 5 stars 3.28 avg rating — 397 ratings
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85 Bertoldo e Bertoldino (col ...
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4.07 of 5 stars 4.07 avg rating — 28 ratings
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86 Cinna
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3.25 of 5 stars 3.25 avg rating — 124 ratings
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87 Polyeucte
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3.28 of 5 stars 3.28 avg rating — 88 ratings
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88 Meditation No. XVII
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4.38 of 5 stars 4.38 avg rating — 8 ratings
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89 Of Plymouth Plantation 1620...
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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43 avg rating — 622 ratings
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90 The Complete Writings of Ro...
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4.33 of 5 stars 4.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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91 John Donne's Poetry
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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11 avg rating — 5,174 ratings
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92 The Roaring Girl
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3.44 of 5 stars 3.44 avg rating — 313 ratings
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93 The Witch
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3.26 of 5 stars 3.26 avg rating — 35 ratings
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94 The Witch of Edmonton
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3.3 of 5 stars 3.30 avg rating — 122 ratings
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95 The Chronicle History of Pe...
by
3.43 of 5 stars 3.43 avg rating — 7 ratings
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96 The Lover's Melancholy
by
4.4 of 5 stars 4.40 avg rating — 5 ratings
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97 The Broken Heart
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3.26 of 5 stars 3.26 avg rating — 23 ratings
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98 The Knight of the Burning P...
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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54 avg rating — 253 ratings
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99 Philaster
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3.7 of 5 stars 3.70 avg rating — 27 ratings
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100 The Scornful Lady
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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67 avg rating — 3 ratings
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flag this list (?)
100 books · 212 voters · list created June 23rd, 2008 by deleted user.
34 likes · like
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Jami
Jami
1592 books
47 friends
Michelle
Michelle
5823 books
286 friends
Liz
Liz
1852 books
40 friends
Antoine
Antoine
948 books
131 friends
Edith
Edith
1233 books
36 friends
abcdefg
abcdefg
69573 books
261 friends
jeanie
jeanie
628 books
9 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
2391 books
458 friends

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Comments (showing 1-38 of 38) (38 new)

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message 1: by Antoine (new)

Antoine moliere is excluded!


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Not anymore -- but plenty of books still are (Ben Jonson's plays, for one). Whenever a given book page says that the book was "first published" in a year other than that of its REAL initial publication (e.g., because the text edition in question was first published in the year stated), you can't put that book on the list. And it gets worse the further back you go in history ...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I think most of Ben Jonson is now kosher.

Anyone else?


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Just about every Jacobean playwright of note. Middleton, Fletcher, Beaumont, Webster, Ford ... the lot. (Same goes for the Restoration poets and dramatists: Davenant, Wycherly, and most of Congreve; to name just some of them.)

Don't rush to do this, though -- I'm sure there are plenty of better things to keep you busy. Not that those who care about this aren't profoundly grateful for your labors! (Well, I am, anyway ...)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads John Webster, check.

(And there seem to be about 5 authors named "John Webster" all lumped together! This one, a theologian, a guy who writes about fungi and dairy cows, etc.)


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Ugh -- what a mess. All the more: ThankYouThankYouThankYou!!


message 7: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Sep 30, 2009 11:39AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Beaumont and Fletcher, check.

Half of Fletcher's listing is a guy who's an expert on Samuel Beckett. And a novelist, and a guy who reviews cars.


message 8: by Laurele (new)

Laurele Isn't 1633 the seventeenth century? I've been trying to add The Temple by George Herbert and am told it was not published during the seventeenth century.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Susanna wrote: "Beaumont and Fletcher, check.

Half of Fletcher's listing is a guy who's an expert on Samuel Beckett. And a novelist, and a guy who reviews cars."


Susanna, you deserve a medal for this ...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Yeah, somehow it thought The Temple was first published in 1927.

Fixed.


message 11: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Shakespeare's First Folio, 1623, 2nd 1632, 3rd 1664, 4th 1687 all published during 17th (obviously) and all available for viewing (look but don't touch) in the States especially at he Widener in Harvard and he Folger in Wash, D.C. I'm steamed and frustrated.....If Goodreads can't sell it, seems they don't want to acknowledge its existence


message 12: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn LONG OVERDUE THANKS TO LOBSTERGIRL and UNKNOWN. Thanks for fighting the good fight. "Goodreads doesn't care about Antiquarians" (bumper sticker).


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Uh, the individual plays of Shakespeare should be eligible. A number of them are on this list, in fact. (Others are on the 16th Century List.)

Also, I changed the original publication date of The Anatomy of Melancholy to 1621.


message 14: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn If Goodreads is an example of "viral marketting", maybe what we have in this thread of comments is ......a "retrovirus" ?


message 15: by Stuart (new)

Stuart Thom wrote: "If Goodreads is an example of "viral marketting", maybe what we have in this thread of comments is ......a "retrovirus" ?"

Oh, now that was just terrible...


message 16: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Stuart wrote: "Thom wrote: "If Goodreads is an example of "viral marketting", maybe what we have in this thread of comments is ......a "retrovirus" ?"

Oh, now that was just terrible..."


Many have told me my humor is something less than....infectious.

(Sorry all around, and God bless are there, Thom)


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thom wrote: "If Goodreads is an example of "viral marketting", maybe what we have in this thread of comments is ......a "retrovirus" ?"

LOL! I like it. ;-)




Susanna - Censored by GoodReads John Ford, check.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Susanna wrote: "John Ford, check."

Did I already mention that you deserve a medal for this?


message 20: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl In defense of the people who first entered data on GR, it was probably unclear that the "first published" field actually meant first ever publication of the work, rather than first publication of a particular edition. I think the fields are now clearer, but many incorrect dates remain.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads And a lot of it's Amazons' fault, I think, on the ones brought over by ISBN.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Thomas Middleton, check.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Susanna, you're a star.

(And both you and Lobstergirl are probably right on how this mess came about in the first place.)


message 24: by Alessandra (new)

Alessandra Glad to see some favorite restoration dramas here. I've added a 1637 Chinese book on technology, if nonfiction is okay. I, too, had to deal with the "originally published" field, which had the date of Dover's first printing of it. But I figure unless it had to have been translated into English in the 17th century, it should be okay. Besides, it's just neat.


Themis-Athena (Does not and never will own a Kindle) Alessandra wrote: "Glad to see some favorite restoration dramas here. I've added a 1637 Chinese book on technology, if nonfiction is okay. I, too, had to deal with the "originally published" field, which had the da..."

Chinese technology in the 17th century -- now THAT sounds intriguing indeed!!


message 26: by Ricardo (new)

Ricardo I honestly believe that this is seriously biassed list. But I also think that it is only natural. Should such a list have been proposen in Germany, France, Italy or my country, Spain, the result would have been correspondingly different, with a biass of their own. But, thank you nonetheless. It is very useful to me. I'll try adding some Spanish ones, which in my opinion are worthy of being in this list.


message 27: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Ricardo, you should add whatever works you want. There's no intended bias; people add the works they're familiar with.


message 28: by Ricardo (new)

Ricardo I apologize if it did sound a bit bitter. Of course the bias was not intended. I just wrote that comment because when I read the list (which, I admit, I found because I was looking for something similar) I wondered if such a thing as the title proposes, a ranking of the best books written in the 17th century, is possible. I will add my own favourites (and there will be a bias in that list too), but I struggle with the concept of ranking for books. Their sales can be measured, but that is no measure for quality. And, how is quality measured once we go beyond good and bad? Where is the line thrown for a 100% good, or just 99% good? How do we do or do not take into account our own cultural influences? I apologize again if my previous comment sounded as negative, because that was not my intention. It was more than anything a simple thought about the matter, and briefly expressed. Once again, thank you for the list, because it did in fact help me.


message 29: by María of Spain (new)

María of Spain Where is Don Quixote by Cervantes?????


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads At #2, currently. Right behind Hamlet.


message 31: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Page Doctor Faustus and Richard III are on both this list and the best books of the 16th century... Hmmmm... Something's gone wrong there.


message 32: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Marlowe's Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, according to wiki, although first performed c. 1592. I think it should be left on the list, definitely.

I removed Richard III.


message 33: by Mel (new)

Mel Foster William Bradford's On Plymouth Plantation(includes Mayflower Compact & First Thanksgiving), anything by John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, almost anything by Roger Williams is unavailable because of mislisting of first publication dates. Thanks!


message 34: by Mel (new)

Mel Foster Also the Reina-Valera was published in 1602. Significant translation of the Bible


message 35: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Mel wrote: "William Bradford's On Plymouth Plantation(includes Mayflower Compact & First Thanksgiving), anything by John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, almost anything by Roger Williams is unavailable because of m..."

If you go over to the Librarians Group and link to each book in question, they can correct that for you.


message 36: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I got "Of Plymouth Plantation."


message 37: by Mel (new)

Mel Foster Thanks Lobstergirl! I added an edition to John Woolman's Journal, but I don't know if that will do it.


message 38: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I see that one was published posthumously in 1774, so it wouldn't be eligible for this list.

Best thing to do is post in Librarians Group. You don't have to be a GR librarian to post there but you do have to be a group member.


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