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
Jane Austen
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
Charlotte Brontë
Charlotte Brontë's moving masterpiece - the novel that has been "teaching true strength of character for generations" (The Guardian). Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read A novel of intense power and...
The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne
An iconic novel dressed in a fierce design by acclaimed fashion illustrator Ruben Toledo. Other titles in the couture-inspired collection include Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dracula, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice.Ruben Toledo's breathtaking drawings have appeared in...
The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins
'The most popular novel of the nineteenth century, and still one of the best plots in English literature' Sarah Waters Marian and her sister Laura live a quiet life under their uncle's guardianship until Laura's marriage to Sir Percival Glyde. Sir Percival is...
Frankenstein (Norton Critical Editions)
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Contemporary perspectives of the text are provided in two sections: Contexts helps place the novel in relation to the mind of its creator through writings by Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John William Polidori; Nineteenth-Century Responses collects six reactions to the book...
David Copperfield
Charles Dickens
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
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom, Topsy, Sambo, Simon Legree, little Eva- their names are American bywords, and all of them are characters in Harriet Beecher Stowe's remarkable novel of the pre-Civil War South. Uncle Tom's Cabin was revolutionary in 1852 for its passionate indictment of slavery and for its...
A flamboyant and controversial personality of enormous wit and intelligence, Voltaire remains one of the most influential figures of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment.Candide,his masterpiece, is a brilliant satire of the theory that our world is “the best of all possible worlds.” The...
Les Misérables
Victor Hugo
Few novels ever swept across the world with such overpowering impact as Les Misérables. Within 24 hours, the first Paris edition was sold out. In other great cities of the world it was devoured with equal relish. Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and...
Vanity Fair
William Makepeace Thackeray
A deliciously satirical attack on a money-mad society, Vanity Fair, which first appeared in 1847, is an immensely moral novel, and an immensely witty one. Vanity Fair features two heroines: the faithful, loyal Amelia Sedley, and the beautiful and scheming social climber Becky Sharp. It also engages...
Don Quixote: Abridged Edition
Miguel de Cervantes
Este texto, cima de la literatura en lengua castellana, se divide en dos partes que relatan las aventuras de un loco - cuerdo que trata de hacer revivir las mágicas historias de los libros de caballerías. En la primera parte don Alonso Quijano es un humilde hacendado que invierte todo su capital en...
Silas Marner
George Eliot
Wrongly accused of theft and exiled from a religious community many years before, the embittered weaver Silas Marner lives alone in Raveloe, living only for work and his precious hoard of money. But when his money is stolen and an orphaned child finds her way into his house, Silas is given the...
The Three Musketeers
Alexandre Dumas père
The classic adventure from the author of The Count of Monte Cristo and The Man in the Iron Mask. In this swashbuckling epic, d'Artagnan, not yet twenty, sets off for Paris in hopes of joining the Musketeers, that legion of heroes highly favored by King Louis XIII...
Tom Jones
Henry Fielding
Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the...
The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
The tale of a Mohican brave's struggle to protect two English girls from an evil Huron.
The Castle of Otranto
Horace Walpole
The Mysteries of Udolpho
Ann Radcliffe
This was the most popular novel of Radcliffe's time and Radcliffe's portrayal of her heroine's inner life raised the Gothic romance to a new level. The atmosphere of fear and the gripping plot continue to thrill today. This is the story of the orphaned Emily St Aubert who finds herself separated...
Old Goriot
Honoré de Balzac
A kindhearted and idealistic youth enters the grasping Parisian society of the 1820s, starting at a shabby but respectable boardinghouse, the Pension Vauquer. Eugène de Rastignac has arrived in the glittering capital to make his fortune, and his friendships with the pension's other...
Fathers and Sons
Ivan Turgenev
Turgenev's masterpiece about the conflict between generations is as fresh, outspoken, and exciting today as it was in when it was first published in 1862. The controversial portrait of Bazarov, the energetic, cynical, and self-assured `nihilist' who repudiates the romanticism of his elders,shook...
The Vicar of Wakefield
Oliver Goldsmith
Rich with wisdom and gentle irony, Oliver Goldsmith's only novel is a charming comedy that tells of an unworldly and generous vicar who lives contentedly with his large family until disaster strikes. When his idyllic life is brutally interrupted by bankruptcy and his daughter's abduction, he...
Barchester Towers
Anthony Trollope
This 1857 sequel to "The Warden" wryly chronicles the struggle for control of the English diocese of Barchester. The evangelical but not particularly competent new bishop is Dr. Proudie, who with his awful wife and oily curate, Slope, maneuver for power. "The Warden" and "Barchester Towers" are part...
The Betrothed
Alessandro Manzoni
Frances Burney
Clarissa, or, The History of a Young Lady
Samuel Richardson
"Oh thou savage-hearted monster! What work hast thou made in one guilty hour, for a whole age of repentance!" Pressured by her unscrupulous family to marry a wealthy man she detests, the young Clarissa Harlowe is tricked into fleeing with the witty and debonair Robert Lovelace...
Elizabeth Gaskell
A tragic affair blooms between a working-class orphan and a wealthy rake in this classic novel of Victorian England. Although Ruth Hilton is kind, life does not treat her kindly in return. An orphaned young seamstress, she works long hours at a sweatshop in a small English...
Uncle Silas: A Tale of Bartram-Haugh
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Family secrets and sinister plots abound in this beautifully atmospheric Victorian gothic thriller from a celebrated Irish author. For Maud Ruthyn, life is lonely in a mansion with no family besides her melancholic father. But when Madame de la Rougierre is hired to be her...
Tom Brown's School Days
Thomas Hughes
One of the earliest books written specifically for boys, and now considered a classic; this is the tale of young Tom Brown, who attends the influential Rugby School. He is repeatedly bullied by Flashman, a fellow student, but manages to overcome...
The Master of Ballantrae
Robert Louis Stevenson
Set in 18th-century Scotland, this brooding historical romance unfolds amid the Jacobite Rebellion. A struggle between good and evil begins in the old Scottish castle of Durrisdeer -- the ancestral home of the Durie clan -- where James Durie, Master of Ballantrae, persists in his lifelong rivalry...
Westward Ho!
Charles Kingsley
Gustave Flaubert
This compelling portrait of obsessive love is drawn against the backdrop of ancient Carthage after a fierce battle. It is the story of the beautiful high priestess Salambo, who beguiles the leader of the invading army and sets in motion a horrific tragedy....
Sir Walter Scott
Based on the alleged murder of Amy Robsart, first wife of the Earl of Leicester, Kenilworth turns on the events surrounding a secret marriage at Queen Elizabeth's court, with tragic outcomes. Steeped in Elizabethan legend and filled with indelible imagery...
William Beckford
This 1786 Gothic extravaganza, originally published anonymously, concerns the wicked Caliph Vathek. Vathek is addicted to power, pleasure, and, like Faust, knowledge.  Like Faust, too, his pursuit of knowledge, via supernatural means, leads him not to the exalted heights he desires...
Bracebridge Hall
Washington Irving
Originally published under the pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon, Bracebridge Hall centers on an English manor, its inhabitants, and the tales they tell.
The Wandering Jew
Eugène Sue
Written in 1845, just 3 years before revolutions swept Europe, The Wandering Jew is a classic French novel that became an international bestseller. Originally serialized in a French newspaper, the novel created an instant controversy with it
News from Nowhere
William Morris
A man goes to sleep in the den of a home on the outskirts of London and awakes in the new country of England far in the future. He sets off through the streets of London, encountering many strange and wondrous people and customs. Prophetically, Morris displays...
The holy war, made by Shaddai upon Diabolus, for the regaining of the metropolis of the world; or, The losing and taking again of the town of Mansoul
John Bunyan
Roderick Random
Tobias Smollett
Roderick "Rory" Random, shunned by his family, goes almost everywhere trying to earn his status as a gentleman. After an abusive education, he embarks on a global series of misadventures, many involving wealthy women. Random's Royal Navy experiences are based on...
The Scottish Chiefs
Jane Porter
This pioneering historical novel is about the life of the Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace, who fought against the Normans for Scottish freedom. Published in 1810, it was one of the literary sources for the Academy Award...
The Absentee
Maria Edgeworth
The Absentee is the story of Lord and Lady Clonbrony, who neglect their responsibilities to their Irish estates in favor of their preoccupation with fashionable London society. Their son travels incognito to Ireland to seek the truth of the circumstances....
Headlong Hall
Thomas Love Peacock
Headlong Hall, originally published in 1815, works less to tell a story than to present interesting characters satirically discussing the thoughts and movements of their time. The affable Squire Headlong conducts discussions among his intellectual friends--such as Mr. Foster, Mr....
Tom Cringle's Log
Michael Scott
At thirteen, Tom Cringle enters the Royal Navy as a midshipman. Assigned at first to service in home water, Tom is soon transferred to the exotic Caribbean where war, piracy, smuggling, and slave running are the order of the day.
Mr Midshipman Easy
Frederick Marryat
A rollicking sea adventure, set in the time of the Napoleonic Wars, this book follows the escapades of a young midshipman who enters the King's service with some ideas that run badly afoul of the standards of naval discipline!
George Sand
In what is considered Sand's masterpiece, a gifted gypsy singer, Consuelo, climbs above her humble beginnings and becomes the Prima Donna in Venice. Consuelo's talent and artistry is admired by all, and leads to passionate love affairs and...
Elsie Venner A Romance of Destiny
Oliver Wendell Holmes
In this classic of the supernatural, a physician puzzles over seventeen-year-old Elsie's neurosis and fiery temper--only diagnosing her when he learns that the girl's mother, while pregnant, was bitten by a poisonous snake. Exploring themes of...
The Cloister and the Hearth
Charles Reade
This 1861 historical romance was Reade's most popular novel with readers and critics alike.  Set in the 15th century, and notable for the author's painstaking fidelity to period detail, the novel concerns the adventures of a young illuminator of manuscripts, Gerard Eliason, as he...

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