Friday, September 25, 2009

List: The Daily Telegraph's 1899 List of “100 Best Novels in the World”

In 1899, The Daily Telegraph of London offered its readers a list of the “100 Best Novels in the World,” as assessed by the editor and a small committee of consultants. Although compiled at the end of the 19th Century, the list is not limited to that century. Allan Massie has a good essay comparing the 1899 list to a similar list compiled by The Daily Telegraph in 1999.

I have been halfheartedly (more like deci-heartedly) working on this list for a couple of years now. Inspired by Rebecca Reid’s Classics Circuit – described as “A Blog Tour of Classic Authors” – and a lively discussion on Wuthering Expectations about “overrated” books, I am adding this list to my List of Lists, with the hopes that I will then devote more attention to it.

Those few I have read are in red. Those on my TBR shelf are in blue. Several are out of print or otherwise hard to find, so I am resigned to the fact that I will never finish all these books. Which isn't such a bad thing -- those Victorians sure did love their seafaring tales!

The Tower of London by W. H. Ainsworth

Old St Paul's by W. H. Ainsworth

Windsor Castle by W. H. Ainsworth

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin

Pere Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

A Window in Thrums by J. M. Barrie

The Golden Butterfly by Walter Besant and James Rice

Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood

Lady Audley's Secret by M. E. Braddon

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

The Deemster by Hall Caine

Valentine Vox by Henry Cockton

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

The Last of the Mohicans by J. Fenimore Cooper

The Pathfinder by J. Fenimore Cooper

The Prairie by J. Fenimore Cooper

Mr Isaacs by F. Marion Crawford

Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

The Firm of Girdlestone by Conan Doyle

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding

Mary Barton by Mrs Gaskell

The Aide de Camp by James Grant

The Romance of War James Grant

Gabriel Conroy by Bret Harte

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Elsie Venner by Oliver Wendell Holmes

The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo

Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Two Years Ago by Charles Kingsley

Alton Locke by Charles Kingsley

Hypatia by Charles Kingsley

The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn by Henry Kingsley

Soldiers Three by Rudyard Kipling

Guy Livingstone by George Lawrence

Harry Lorrequer by Charles Lever

Charles O'Malley by Charles Lever

The Atonement of Leam Dundas by E. Lynn Linton

Handy Andy by Samuel Lover

Rory O'More by Samuel Lover

Last of the Barons by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Night and Morning by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Rienzi by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

The Caxtons by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

The King's Own by Captain Frederick Marryat

Peter Simple by Captain Frederick Marryat

Jacob Faithful by Captain Frederick Marryat

Midshipman Easy by Captain Frederick Marryat

Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith

John Halifax, Gentleman by D. M. Mulock

Under Two Flags by Ouida

It is Never Too Late to Mend by Charles Reade

Peg Woffington and Christie Johnstone by Charles Reade

Hard Cash by Charles Reade

The Headless Horseman by Captain Mayne Reid

Virginia of Virginia by Amelie Rives

The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner

Tom Cringle's Log by Michael Scott

Cruise of the Midge by Michael Scott

Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott

The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott

Old Mortality by Sir Walter Scott

Kenilworth by Sir Walter Scott

Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott

Woodstock by Sir Walter Scott

The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott

Frank Fairlegh by Frank E. Smedley

Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett

Peregrine Pickle by Tobias Smollett

On the Face of the Waters by Mrs F. A. Steel

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (reviewed here)

Soapey Sponge's Sporting Tour by Robert Smith Surtees

The Wandering Jew by Eugene Sue

The History of Henry Esmond by William Makepeace Thackeray

The Newcomes by William Makepeace Thackeray

The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope

Robert Elsmere by Mrs H. Ward

£10,000 a Year by Samuel Warren

The Wide, Wide World by Elizabeth Wetherell

Market Harborough by G. J. Whyte-Melville

Inside the Bar by G. J. Whyte-Melville

East Lynne by Mrs Henry Wood

Last updated on July 17, 2016.


Wuthering Expectations
My Reader's Block

If you have adopted this list, please leave a comment with a link to any related posts -- progress reports, reviews, similar or personal lists, etc. -- and I will add the link below.

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