1001 Penguins To Read Before You Die: Pre-1700s & 1700s

This was going to be a Fun Fridays post, but then I realised just how long a post it was so I have decided to post them in parts divided by the years or centuries they were around. I figured it might not only be something for those who like lists (especially these types with the read these before you die sort of thing), but also for those who like to create challenges or decided what they are reading for the year beforehand.

Just about everyone would have heard of some list somewhere stating what they should read before they die, especially 1001 things. In my travels through the intraweb I have found that Penguin Books also has a list and I have taken the time to type it out for everyone, but you can also find it at it’s source.

Pre 1700s

  • Aesop: Complete Fables – Aesop
  • Don Quixote – Miguel d Cervantes
  • The Golden Ass – Apuleius
  • Histories of Gargantua and Pantagruel – Francois Rabelais
  • Metamorphoses by Ovid
  • The Oroonoko – Aphra Behn
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
  • Tales from the Thousand & One Nights – N.J. Dawood
  • The Princess of Cleves (La Princesses de Cleves) – Madame de La Fayette


  • Candide – Voltaire
  • The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
  • Confessions – Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure – John Cleland
  • Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
  • The History of Tom Jones – Henry Fielding
  • Jacques the Fatalist – Denis Diderot
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne
  • Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
  • The Monk – Matthew Lewis
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe
  • Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
  • Sentimental Journey – Laurence Sterne

The 1800s only will be the next post (there’s a lot of 1800s)