King’s is responding to COVID-19: Find up-to-date information. »
The following is a list of the books to be read for the Foundation Year Program 2019-20. There are additional readings found in the Foundation Year Handbook. A number of the readings and books change from year to year, but this will give you an indication of the kind of works that we will be reading in future years.
All books will be available through the King’s Bookstore, located on the lower level, King’s Academic Building. Any questions for the Bookstore can be directed to email@example.com. Should you plan to purchase second-hand books, please attempt to obtain the specified translations.
Note for Science students (K1100X/Y): Students enrolled in KING 1100X/Y should not purchase any of the books indicated by * as these are required readings for Thursday lectures only.
You will begin by studying the classical cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Israel through religious, poetic and philosophical works that articulate ideas and institutions at the origins of Western culture.
The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. N.K. Sandars (Penguin Classics) 9780140441000
The Holy Bible (Penguin) 9780452006478
Homer, The Odyssey, trans. R. Fitzgerald (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 9780374525743
*Sappho, If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, trans. Anne Carson (Vintage) 9780676976083
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, trans. D. H. Roberts (Hackett) 9781603841900
Plato, Republic, trans. G.M.A. Grube and C.D.C. Reeve (Hackett) 9780872201361
Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita, trans. L. Patton (Penguin Classics) 9780140447903
Virgil, The Aeneid, trans. S. Ruden (Yale University Press) 9780300151411
*Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, trans. R. Melville (Oxford World Classics) 9780199555147
From the collapse of the ancient world arose medieval Europe, a culture apparently unified both religiously and politically, but in fact riven by deep tension and conflict. This section is brought to profound poetic conclusion in a reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Saint Augustine, The Confessions, trans. H. Chadwick (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199537822
*Saint Anselm, Proslogion, trans. T. Williams (Hackett) 9780872205659
*Hildegard of Bingen, Selected Writings, trans. M. Atherton (Penguin Classics) 9780140436044
Dante, The Divine Comedy: Inferno; Purgatorio; Paradiso, trans. A. Mandlebaum (Everyman’s Library) 9780679433132
Anonymous, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. K. Harrison (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199540167
This section is characterized by ambiguity as Europeans look back to revive the ideals of antiquity (renaissance) and begin something new, the modern world. It is an age of worldliness, but also, as the Reformation shows, of radical piety. This is an age of a new sense of the human and of nature that will lead to good and as Europe spreads its culture throughout the world.
*Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. P. Bondanella (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199535699
Christopher Marlowe, Dr. Faustus (Signet Classics) 9780451531612
Michel de Montaigne, The Essays: A Selection, trans. M.A. Screech (Penguin Classics) 9780140446029
*William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Folger Shakespeare Library) 9780743482837
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the modern world fully established itself in thought, in science, in politics and society. Here you encounter accounts of human freedom and nature that are at the basis of our own sense of a secular world established for human happiness and well-being.
René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, trans. I. Johnston (Broadview Press) 9781554811526
*Madame de Lafayette, The Princesse de Cleves, trans. T. Cave (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199539178
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Parts 1 and 2 (Broadview Press) 9781554810406
Margaret Cavendish, Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World (Broadview Press) 9781554812424
John Locke, The Second Treatise of Civil Government (Broadview Press) 9781554811564
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels (Bantam Classics) 9780553212327
*Voltaire, Candide, trans. L Blair (Bantam Classics) 9780553211665
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Basic Political Writings, trans. I. Johnston (Broadview Press) 9781554812974
Johann Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther, trans. M. Hulse (Penguin) 9780140445039
Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery (Penguin Classics) 9780140447507
*Immanuel Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, trans. T. K. Abbott (Broadview Press) 9781551115399
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro): Libretto, libretto by L. Da Ponte, trans. R. and T. Martin (G. Schirmer) 9780793525928
With the French Revolution, Europeans began a series of revolutions that sought to overthrow the older world of order and hierarchy to create a world that directly serves human ends and purposes. In this effort arose theories and political movements of liberalism and socialism and in response to them, profound political, literary and philosophic reactions and critiques.
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and A Vindication of the Rights of Men (Oxford World’s Classics) 9780199555468
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus (Broadview Press) 9781554811038
J.S. Mill, On Liberty (Broadview Press) 9781554810444
Friederich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, trans. W. Kaufmann (Vintage) 9780679724629
W.E.B. Du Bois, Souls of Black Folk (Signet Classics) 9780451532053
In our own age, two world wars and a deepened experience of the modern world have given rise to a radical rethinking of various aspects of the western tradition, and a concern for much that characterizes our time: technology, globalization, social and political structures, and the human relation to nature and our own bodies.
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (Broadview Press) 9781551119687
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (Oxford Classics) 9780199536009
Primo Levi, The Drowned and the Saved, trans. Guilio Einaudi (Simon and Schuster) 9781501167638
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, trans. C. Borde (Vintage/Random) 9780307277787
*Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Volume 1, trans. Robert Hurley (Vintage) 9780679724698
R. C. Lewontin, Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA (Anansi) 9780887845185
Jamaica Kinkaid, Annie John (Farrer, Straus, and Giroux) 9780374525101
Teju Cole, Open City (Random House) 9780812980097