The Reading List : The Early Moderns

John Calvin (1509-1564)

  • Institutes of the Christian Religion

St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

  • Works

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

  • Essays

William Gilbert (1540-1603)

  • On the Loadstone and Magnetic Bodies

St. John of the Cross (1542-1591)

  • Works

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616)

  • Don Quixote

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552-1599)

  • Prothalamion
  • The Faerie Queen

Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

  • Essays
  • Advancement of Learning
  • Novum Organum
  • New Atlantis

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

  • Works

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

  • The Starry Messenger
  • Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

  • Works

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

  • Epitome of Copernican Astronomy
  • Concerning the Harmonies of the World

John Donne (1572-1631)

  • Works

William Harvey (1578-1657)

  • On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals
  • On the Circulation of the Blood
  • On the Generation of Animals

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

  • The Leviathan

Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

  • Rules for the Direction of the Mind
  • Discourse on Method
  • Geometry
  • Meditations on First Philosophy

St. Marie de l’Incarnation (1599-1672)

  • Works

Pedro Calderon (1600-1681)

  • Works

Pierre Corneille (1606-1684)

  • Works

John Milton (1608-1674)

  • Works

Moliere (1622-1673)

  • Comedies

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

  • The Provincial Letters
  • Pensees
  • Scientific treatises

Jacques-Benigne Bossuet (1627-1704)

  • Works

Christian Huygens (1629-1695)

  • Treatise on Light

Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677)

  • Ethics

John Locke (1632-1704)

  • Letter Concerning Toleration
  • Two Treatises on Government
  • Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Thoughts Concerning Education

Jesuit Relations

Jean Baptiste Racine (1639-1699)

  • Tragedies

Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

  • Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
  • Optics

Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716)

  • Discourse on Metaphysics
  • New Essays Concerning Human Understanding
  • Monadology

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

  • Robinson Crusoe

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

  • A Tale of a Tub
  • Journal to Stella
  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • A Modest Proposal

William Congreve (1670-1729)

  • The Way of the World

George Berkeley (1685-1753)

  • Principles of Human Knowledge

Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

  • Essay on Criticism
  • Rape of the Lock
  • Essay on Man

Charles de Secondat, Baron de Motesquieu (1689-1755)

  • Persian Letters
  • Spirit of Laws
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