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
Drag items up and down to your preferred order then select the "Save Order" button.
Pride and prejudice
Austen, Jane 1775-1817
Introduction by Anna Quindlen * Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." So begins Pride and...
Jane Eyre
Brontë, Charlotte 1816-1855
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
Hawthorne, Nathaniel 1804-1864
The woman in white
Collins, Wilkie 1824-1889
Late one moonlit night, drawing master Walter Hartright encounters a solitary, terrified, and beautiful woman, dressed all in white. He saves her from capture by her pursuers, and determines to solve the mystery of her distress and terror. Arriving at Limmeridge House to take up his new position as...
Frankenstein : the 1818 text, contexts, nineteenth-century responses, modern criticism
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft 1797-1851
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
Dickens, Charles 1812-1870
This is the novel Dickens regarded as his 'favourite child' and is considered his most autobiographical. As David recounts his experience from childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist, Dickens draws openly and revealingly on his own life. Among the gloriously vivid cast of...
Uncle Tom's cabin
Stowe, Harriet Beecher 1811-1896
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...
Candide, or, Optimism
Voltaire 1694-1778
"All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds"   It was the indifferent shrug and callous inertia that this "optimism" concealed which so angered Voltaire, who found the "all for the best" approach a patently inadequate response to suffering, to natural disasters,...
Les misérables
Hugo, Victor 1802-1885
Victor Hugo's towering novel of Jean Valjean, his unjust imprisonment, and his lifelong flight from a relentless police officer.
Vanity fair : a novel without a hero
Thackeray, William Makepeace 1811-1863
No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the social ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia, however, longs for caddish soldier George. As the two heroines make their way...
Silas Marner
Eliot, George 1819-1880
In this heartwarming classic, a gentle linen weaver named Silas Marner is wrongly accused of theft actually committed by his best friend. Silas exiles himself to a rustic village, where he finds spiritual rebirth through his unselfish love of an abandoned child. Includes a new Afterword. Revised...
The three musketeers
Dumas, Alexandre 1802-1870
Dumas's most popular novel has long been a favorite with children, and its swashbuckling heroes are well known from many a film and TV adaptation. Set in 17th-century France, this tale of the adventures of D'Artagnan and the three musketeers is the finest example of its author's brilliantly...
The last of the Mohicans : a narrative of 1757
Cooper, James Fenimore 1789-1851
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 master of Ballantrae : a winter's tale
Stevenson, Robert Louis 1850-1894
Scottish chiefs
Porter, Jane 1776-1850
Jane Porter (1776-1850), was born in the Bailey in Durham City. Her book "The Scottish Chiefs" (1810) about William Wallace was a notable success (the French version was banned by Napoleon) and has remained popular with Scottish children. She is also the author of "Thaddeus of Warsaw."

Library staff! You can create and contribute to lists. Contact your catalog administrator or log in here.