1898 C.K. Shorter List of Best 100 Novels

In 1898, an editor named Clement K. Shorter made a list of the 100 best novels (with a limit of one book per author).
Updated September 19, 2022
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Pride and prejudice
Austen, Jane
When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister...
Jane Eyre
Brontèe, Charlotte
Jane Eyre, a penniless orphan, is engaged as governess at Thornfield Hall by the mysterious Mr Rochester. Her integrity and independence are tested to the limit as their love for each other grows, and the secrets of Mr Rochester's past are revealed. Charlotte Brontë's novel about the...
Wuthering Heights : authoritative text, backgrounds, criticism
Brontèe, Emily
The text used in this edition is a collation of both the 1847 and 1850 editions of the novel. This book also includes the 17 poems by Charlotte Bronte which Emily selected for the 1850 edition to introduce her sister to the public as a poet. Also included are selections from Emily's diary and some...
The scarlet letter
Hawthorne, Nathaniel
The woman in white
Collins, Wilkie
Wilkie Collins's classic thriller took the world by storm on its first appearance in 1859, with everything from dances to perfumes to dresses named in honor of the "woman in white."  The novel's continuing fascination stems in part from a distinctive blend of melodrama, comedy, and realism;...
The personal history of David Copperfield
Dickens, Charles
When David Copperfield escapes from the cruelty of his childhood home, he embarks on a journey to adulthood which will lead him through comedy and tragedy, love and heartbreak and friendship and betrayal. Over the course of his adventure, David meets an array of eccentric characters and learns...
Uncle Tom's cabin, or, Life among the lowly
Stowe, Harriet Beecher
The novel that changed the course of American history Published in 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel was a powerful indictment of slavery in America. Describing the many trials and eventual escape to freedom of the long-suffering, good-hearted slave Uncle Tom, it aimed to show...
Candide, or, Optimism
The story of Candide, a naive and guileless optimist who is conscripted, shipwrecked, robbed, and tortured by the Inquisition without losing his will to live comes to life in a dramatic new rendition by the award-winning translator. 12,500 first printing.
Les Misérables
Hugo, Victor
Now a major musical film from Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech), starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway, and also featuring Amanda Seyfreid, Helena Bonham-Carter and Sacha Baron-Cohen, Victor Hugo's Les Miserablesis one of the great works of western...
Vanity fair : a novel without a hero
Thackeray, William Makepeace
A panoramic satire of English society during the Napoleonic Wars, Vanity Fair is William Makepeace Thackeray's masterpiece. At its center is one of the most unforgettable characters in nineteenth-century literature: the enthralling Becky Sharp, a charmingly ruthless social climber who is...
Robinson Crusoe : an authoritative text, contexts, criticism
Defoe, Daniel
Michael Shinagel has collated the reprint with all six authorized editions published by Taylor in 1719 to achieve a text that is faithful to Defoe's original edition.? Annotations assist the reader with obscure words and idioms, biblical references, and nautical terms. "Contexts" helps the...
Silas Marner : the weaver of Raveloe
Eliot, George
When Silas Marner is wrongly accused of crime and expelled from his community, he vows to turn his back upon the world. He moves to the village of Raveloe, where he remains an outsider and an object of suspicion until an extraordinary sequence of events, including the theft of his gold and...
The three musketeers
Dumas, Alexandre
We read The Three Musketeers to experience a sense of romance and for the sheer excitement of the story," reflected Clifton Fadiman. "In these violent pages all is action, intrigue, suspense, surprise--an almost endless chain of duels, murders, love affairs, unmaskings, ambushes, hairbreadth escapes...
The history of Tom Jones, a foundling
Fielding, Henry
Henry Fielding's picaresque tale of a young man's search for his place in the world, The History of Tom Jones is edited with notes and an introduction by Thomas Keymer and Alice Wakely in Penguin Classics. A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr Allworthy on his...
The last of the Mohicans : a narrative of 1757
Cooper, James Fenimore
The wild rush of action in this classic frontier adventure story has made The Last of the Mohicans the most popular of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales. Deep in the forests of upper New York State, the brave woodsman Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo) and his loyal Mohican friends Chingachgook and...
The castle of Otranto
Walpole, Horace
On the day of his wedding, Conrad, heir to the house of Otranto, is killed in mysterious circumstances. His calculating father Manfred fears that his dynasty will now come to an end and determines to marry his son's bride himself - despite the fact he is already married. But a series of terrifying...
Barchester Towers
Trollope, Anthony
  Anthony Trollope was well aware that the seemingly parochial power struggles that determine the action of Barchester Towers -- struggles whose comic possibilities he exploits to hilarious effect -- actually went to the heart of mid-Victorian English society, and had, in other times...
The adventures of Roderick Random
Smollett, T.
Roderick is combative, often violent, but capable of great affection and generosity. His father had been disinherited and has left Scotland leaving his son penniless. After a brief apprenticeship to a surgeon, the innocent Roderick travels to London where he encounters various rogues.

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