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Today I accidentally found this list of The Daily Telegraph's "Best 100 Novels in the World" from 1899, and I probably shouldn't try to read my way through it right now, since I already have two book lists running plus "all the mysteries ever," but here it is anyway in case I ever get done with one of those.



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

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



A very few of these are books I've already read, some are books I've been meaning to read, most are obscure. There are some notable omissions and some surprising inclusions. But all that is a post for another day.

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
lost_spook
Apr. 27th, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, that is interesting! I think in particular, not so much which authors are missing (because time and stuff), but which titles they've chosen by the authors they have included - I mean, Martin Chuzzlewit for Dickens and not Bleak House, or any of several others. And Shirley over Villette, and only Orley Farm for Trollope, while Thackeray is minus his most famous work.
evelyn_b
Apr. 27th, 2015 07:06 pm (UTC)
Yes! And Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot!
lost_spook
Apr. 27th, 2015 07:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, because it's not as if she wrote anything else!

Also, they can't spell Jane Austen. It kind of spoils their air of authority right from the beginning there. And, my, I know Scott had gone out of fashion, but look at him taking over the end of the list there, without even getting round to Ivanhoe...

(I think Orley Farm might be the Trollope I enjoyed most, but surely The Way We Live Now even if not one of the Palliser of Barsetshire set would have been more likely.
evelyn_b
Apr. 27th, 2015 07:37 pm (UTC)
SO MUCH SCOTT OMG. Even more than Dickens and Bulwer-Lytton! It occurs to me now that even at my most indiscriminate, I never made it through a Walter Scott book (even though I know I tried, because was surrounded by Ivanhoe and other references in the books I was reading). Not even the Illustrated Easy Classics version! But all that could change, who knows, I might discover a new favorite author. One million Victorians can't be wrong!

(yes they can)
lost_spook
Apr. 27th, 2015 07:44 pm (UTC)
SO MUCH SCOTT OMG

*nods* I've never managed to make it through any of his. He defeated me when I was a teenager on a classics binge, which seemed sad at the time, because historical things were up my street. I don't know if I can count the fact that I eventually did read Ivanhoe, because I was so ill I couldn't take much in and was mostly skimming, because I had to try doing something and I didn't want to do that to a book I cared about.
silverflight8
Apr. 28th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC)
There are some I recognize but yeah, a lot of them seem to have fallen into obscurity these days, at least as far as I can tell.
evelyn_b
Apr. 28th, 2015 04:40 am (UTC)
Yes! Some of them I have literally never heard of until today, like "Soapey Sponge's Sporting Tour."
silverflight8
Apr. 30th, 2015 03:58 am (UTC)
Some books have weathered time better than others, it seems. What a title :P
wordsofastory
Apr. 28th, 2015 06:43 pm (UTC)
Whoa, I haven't heard of a lot of these! It's surprising how much tastes can change in a century. (On the other hand, it's not at all surprising that all of these seems to be Europeans or Americans.)

And I'm with you on never having been able to enjoy Scott. Maybe I should try him again! It has been a long time since I gave up on Ivanhoe ten pages in.
evelyn_b
Apr. 28th, 2015 07:52 pm (UTC)
Olive Schreiner's Story of an African Farm is on here -- white South African author. There could be an Australian or two lurking in this list, though I wouldn't bank on it. Definitely a narrow time and geographical range for a "best 100 in the world" list. And really, a narrow range of Europe, too -- England, France, one Russian, one Pole, maybe a handful of others that I'm missing. Not that today's "best ever" lists don't tend to be narrow in one way or another.

Scott used to be SO POPULAR. INCREDIBLY popular. Permeating everything like the smell of cigarettes used to (remember that smell?) (I'm old). One of these days I'm just going to tunnel through all those books like a giant drill. But it is not this day.

Edited at 2015-04-28 08:06 pm (UTC)
wordsofastory
Apr. 28th, 2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
I missed that one! And yes, true.

Hahah, that is a fantastic description. I do remember that smell. Perhaps, like it, we're better off without Scott.
ramasi
May. 2nd, 2015 03:12 pm (UTC)
Anyone who puts (as they should) The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years After into such a list and then leaves out The Vicomte de Bragelonne is wrong.

...I have more opinions on this list of books I mostly haven't read, but this is the really important part to me.
evelyn_b
May. 2nd, 2015 05:47 pm (UTC)
One of my saddest Secret Cultural Literacy Failings is that I have never read ANY Dumas, at all, ever. Of course that will eventually have to change, maybe even soon! But it will probably have to wait a little while longer -- though I might be able to start The Three Musketeers this summer. Maybe. It's a pretty quick read, right? That's the impression I get.

Please feel free to share your other opinions, if you have them!

ramasi
May. 6th, 2015 11:37 am (UTC)
You should definitely start with The Three Musketeers if you start with anything, and yes, I'd say it's a rather quick read; I'm not sure what the consensus is these days, but I think it used to be considered YA for a while?

Narrow range has been mentioned already; mostly I feel like it's extremely English-language heavy. I feel like they might as well have called it 100 best English language novels and replaced the few that don't fit. OTOH, this reminds me I should read Quo Vadis (I had no idea who it's from).

(Also, I'm enjoying the discussion about Scott above.)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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