Best Books of the 19th Century

The best books published during the 19th century (January 1st, 1801 through December 31st 1900).

See also
Most Rated Book By Year

Best Books By Century:
21st, 20th,
19th, 18th, 17th, 16th, 15th,14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th,
9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th

Best Books by Decade
2010-2019, 2000-2009,
1990-1999, 1980-1989, 1970-1979, 1960-1969, 1950-1959,
1940-1949, 1930-1939, 1920-1929, 1910-1919, 1900-1909,
1890-1899, 1880-1889, 1870-1879, 1860-1869, 1850-1859,
1840-1849, 1830-1839, 1820-1829, 1810-1819, 1800-1809

Lists for all books by Number of Ratings:
80,000 to 99,999 - 100,000 to 199,999 - 200,000 to 499,999 - 500,000 to 999,999
1,000,000 and more
1

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4.27 avg rating — 3,290,734 ratings
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2

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4.13 avg rating — 1,740,263 ratings
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3

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4.09 avg rating — 1,075,438 ratings
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4

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3.87 avg rating — 1,446,920 ratings
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5

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4.23 avg rating — 688,573 ratings
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6

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3.82 avg rating — 1,250,891 ratings
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7

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4.26 avg rating — 788,168 ratings
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8

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4.06 avg rating — 489,782 ratings
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9

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,014,890 ratings
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10

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4.10 avg rating — 1,802,596 ratings
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11

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4.18 avg rating — 714,543 ratings
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12

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4.02 avg rating — 706,787 ratings
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13

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4.06 avg rating — 711,783 ratings
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14

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4.14 avg rating — 560,434 ratings
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15

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3.82 avg rating — 1,187,046 ratings
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16

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4.08 avg rating — 1,014,751 ratings
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17

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3.85 avg rating — 846,401 ratings
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18

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3.78 avg rating — 691,169 ratings
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19

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4.07 avg rating — 656,564 ratings
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20

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4.33 avg rating — 263,095 ratings
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21

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4.13 avg rating — 281,893 ratings
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22

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4.30 avg rating — 260,436 ratings
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23

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4.18 avg rating — 319,545 ratings
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24

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3.52 avg rating — 498,211 ratings
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25

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3.92 avg rating — 805,203 ratings
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26

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3.69 avg rating — 274,161 ratings
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27

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3.84 avg rating — 426,212 ratings
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28

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3.81 avg rating — 249,499 ratings
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29

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4.27 avg rating — 151,499 ratings
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30

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3.42 avg rating — 743,907 ratings
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31

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4.07 avg rating — 287,795 ratings
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32

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3.90 avg rating — 445,916 ratings
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33

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3.83 avg rating — 325,089 ratings
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34

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3.86 avg rating — 300,281 ratings
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35

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4.01 avg rating — 208,097 ratings
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36

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4.13 avg rating — 152,431 ratings
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37

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3.87 avg rating — 338,943 ratings
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38

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3.98 avg rating — 141,822 ratings
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39

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4.14 avg rating — 359,549 ratings
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40

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3.83 avg rating — 427,712 ratings
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41

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4.18 avg rating — 227,837 ratings
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42

by
3.92 avg rating — 62,967 ratings
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43

by
3.97 avg rating — 401,757 ratings
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44

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 102,914 ratings
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45

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4.18 avg rating — 74,564 ratings
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46

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4.18 avg rating — 144,828 ratings
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47

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 180,851 ratings
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48

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3.98 avg rating — 106,250 ratings
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49

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3.99 avg rating — 140,167 ratings
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50

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3.83 avg rating — 262,368 ratings
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51

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3.79 avg rating — 122,306 ratings
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52

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4.27 avg rating — 118,593 ratings
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53

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4.11 avg rating — 92,128 ratings
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54

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3.89 avg rating — 214,113 ratings
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55

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3.88 avg rating — 207,399 ratings
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56

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 180,032 ratings
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57

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3.94 avg rating — 199,152 ratings
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58

by
3.94 avg rating — 136,303 ratings
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59

by
3.97 avg rating — 252,105 ratings
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60

by
3.74 avg rating — 114,802 ratings
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61

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3.97 avg rating — 94,893 ratings
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62

by
3.78 avg rating — 171,534 ratings
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63

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3.77 avg rating — 63,051 ratings
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64

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4.23 avg rating — 54,924 ratings
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65

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3.66 avg rating — 178,516 ratings
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66

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3.60 avg rating — 123,325 ratings
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67

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3.90 avg rating — 86,920 ratings
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68

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4.01 avg rating — 85,500 ratings
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69

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4.23 avg rating — 84,972 ratings
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70

by
3.44 avg rating — 448,817 ratings
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71

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3.88 avg rating — 61,089 ratings
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72

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3.92 avg rating — 127,016 ratings
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73

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4.05 avg rating — 121,065 ratings
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74

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3.97 avg rating — 71,651 ratings
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75

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3.94 avg rating — 36,511 ratings
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76

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3.75 avg rating — 91,061 ratings
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77

by
3.42 avg rating — 120,311 ratings
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78

by
3.86 avg rating — 166,453 ratings
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79

by
3.86 avg rating — 109,966 ratings
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80

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4.04 avg rating — 82,658 ratings
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81

by
3.77 avg rating — 76,107 ratings
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82

by
4.05 avg rating — 45,614 ratings
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83

by
3.76 avg rating — 99,685 ratings
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84

by
4.24 avg rating — 9,220 ratings
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85

by
4.10 avg rating — 44,282 ratings
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86

by
4.17 avg rating — 7,635 ratings
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87

by
3.85 avg rating — 48,290 ratings
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88

by
3.95 avg rating — 16,035 ratings
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89

by
3.84 avg rating — 56,201 ratings
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90

by
3.73 avg rating — 104,187 ratings
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91

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3.99 avg rating — 75,606 ratings
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92

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4.09 avg rating — 107,764 ratings
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93

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3.96 avg rating — 75,238 ratings
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94

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3.64 avg rating — 162,570 ratings
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95

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3.87 avg rating — 61,003 ratings
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96

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3.99 avg rating — 44,578 ratings
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97

by
3.82 avg rating — 1,407 ratings
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98

by
4.10 avg rating — 54,205 ratings
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99

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3.78 avg rating — 1,726 ratings
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100

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3.73 avg rating — 8,690 ratings
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flag this list (?)
1,131 books · 6,514 voters · list created June 12th, 2008 by deleted user.
1907 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Jessica 6769 books
937 friends
Laura 857 books
113 friends
Brandy 1079 books
63 friends
Ashley 1227 books
44 friends
bsc 576 books
55 friends
Wendi 2977 books
60 friends
Kara 280 books
87 friends
jordan 1675 books
95 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 119 (119 new)


message 1: by Wealhtheow (new)

Wealhtheow Wuthering Heights is just SO histrionic. I refuse to vote for it!


message 2: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Vilette needs to be voted up there over Jane Eyre! What's going on with this, people?

PS- I appreciate your principled stand, Wealhtheow. :)


message 3: by Wealhtheow (new)

Wealhtheow I like the character of Lucy Snowe (of Villette) better than Jane Eyre, but I think JE is a better novel. But I still voted for both. :)


message 4: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Oh, I voted for them both too, I just think Vilette is the more powerful book. but that's what these lists are for, I guess. :)


message 5: by Isaac (new)

Isaac I tried adding The Brothers Karamazov and Huckleberry Finn to the list, but it said they were not published in the 19th century. What gives?


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Huck Finn is already on the list (currently #9), and Brothers Karamazov had the wrong pub. date listed, so you should be able to add it now.


message 7: by Austen (new)

Austen Elective Affinities (a/k/a Die Wahlverwandtschaften) published 1809 is listed as not published in the 19th century.


message 8: by Brian (new)

Brian My list is kind of a joke since half of them are in the database as not published in the 19th Century ... like Herman Melville's The Confidence Man or Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus.


message 9: by John (new)

John Burns Crap books that don't deserve to be in here: Wuthering heights, Frankenstein, Heart of Darkness, Moby Dick.
Great books which weren't here and i had to add: The hunchback of notre dame, Fathers and sons, Dr. Jekyll and Mr hyde, Pere Goriot, The Idiot


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Elective Affinities and Sartor Resartus have addable dates now. As do The Confidence Man and The Brothers Karamazov.

Anything else that needs a new original publication date, just mention it and I'll see if I can fix it.


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Tried to add The Beetle by Richard Marsh, published 1897, says it isn't from the 19th century.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I edited the original publication date. The Beetle should now be addable.


message 13: by Rada (new)

Rada assa Heart of Darkness is on of the greatest novels i have ever read


message 14: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Sheridan Le Fanu's In a Glass Darkly was first published in 1872, but I can't add it.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It should be addable now.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Well, you could vote for other books.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Villette is a good book but better than Jane Eyre would be a hard sell. LOL! Yep it is a woman's list. ;)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Made it combine duplicates, so they should be gone.


message 19: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Baughman No Origin of The species?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could add it.


message 21: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Baughman I tried and wasn't able to.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I just voted for it; it should be on the list somewhere now.


message 23: by MaiaB113 (last edited Nov 06, 2011 02:25PM) (new)

MaiaB113 Capsguy wrote: "What kind of retarded list is this? In a website where the userbase is dominated by females I can see why Austen and Bronte are at the top."

Since your mind is clearly dominated by sexism I can see why you're so unpleasant.


Bookishnymph *needs hea* Wow, there are some harsh comments on here. Wuthering Heights isn't my favorite book by the Brontes, but it's not crap. My favorites are Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfield Hall.


message 25: by Mallory (new)

Mallory I can't believe Frankenstein is so high up...it's a terrible book...but what's with all the Wuthering Heights hate? WH is way better than a lot of books on here. And also, isn't A Little Princess 1900s? Not sure. (Oh, just checked. Looks like an earlier version was published in 1888.)


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads For some reason, a lot of people seem to have very strong opinions about Wuthering Heights, either for or against.


message 27: by Alessandra (new)

Alessandra I agree that Frankenstein is terrible. It's painful to watch the main character run from place to place whining out his troubles to every passerby, who then tells him how wonderful he is. Ugh.

Lots of good stuff here.


message 28: by Michelle (new)

Michelle What you just said about Frankenstein is how I feel about Tess of the D'Urbervilles... I LOATHE that book.


message 29: by James (last edited Feb 09, 2012 12:55PM) (new)

James The Count of Monte Cristo is the best book on the list...the people that didn't vote for it are the ones that were intimidated by the length and therefore didn't read it.

As for Pride and Prejudice, my wife and I couldn't even sit through the horrible play.


message 30: by Sunny (new)

Sunny Shore Isn't it weird....very few American books on this list!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I counted 23 on the first page - but American writing was very much in its youth in the 19th century.


message 32: by Hanne (new)

Hanne i like this list!
i just added a dutch classic from this time period: Eline Vere, written by Louis Couperus. good reads says it's published in 2007, but looks like that is about a new translated version, the original is from 1888 so very much fits the list!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Yeah, GR has its original publication date as 1889, so that's fine.


message 34: by mistress_muggle (new)

mistress_muggle Ugh, I cannot believe Wuthering Heights inched its stupidity so high up the list!

I like a lot of the books on the list, though I wish Jane Eyre was first.


message 35: by Jean Paul (new)

Jean Paul LeFrey Excellent list. Thank you.


message 36: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Nat wrote: "Ugh, I cannot believe Wuthering Heights inched its stupidity so high up the list!

I like a lot of the books on the list, though I wish Jane Eyre was first."




I agree... I like my stories with SOME redeeming points and WH is horrible. Jane Eyre, on the otherhand, is a gothic masterpiece.


message 37: by Emma (new)

Emma James wrote: "The Count of Monte Cristo is the best book on the list...the people that didn't vote for it are the ones that were intimidated by the length and therefore didn't read it.

As for Pride and Prejudic..."


I totally agree with you! The Count of Monte Cristo was by far my favorite book ever. Pride and Prejudice was ok. Once I read the Count I have trouble reading rather boring books by Jane Austin. They're all the same.


message 38: by John (new)

John Call of the Wild was published in 1903.
My Antonia was published in 1918.
Lord Jim was published in a magazine beginning in 1899 but wasn't published as a book until 1900. Not sure about that one.


message 39: by Dora (new)

Dora I love, love, love this list! Almost all of my favourites are listed here!


message 40: by Eslam (new)

Eslam Bassioni willl read


message 41: by Longhare (new)

Longhare Content Fun list. For me the value of a list like this is to see what I've missed. There must have been something in the rainwater in the nineteenth century. Literature, the arts, the sciences were all on steroids, and it was a global phenomenon. I read and read, and the list gets longer instead of shorter. Incidentally, I've read WH more times than I can remember, and each time it's gotten better and richer.


message 42: by John (new)

John This is an incredible list. Of the top 100, I've read about 25% of them and probably another 50% are to read. If I had to absolutely choose my favorite it would be The Count of Monte Cristo. The mind of Dumas spinning that tale, wow...


message 43: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary Willis I agree with Longhare; this was an incredible age, and the literature reflects it.


message 44: by Terry (new)

Terry Dicken Wow! Read the comments about this list. A lot of haters. Every book on this list has stood the test of time because people were able to relate something to their own lives. None of them are crap! And, I do not believe there are "womens" books on the list. Personally, I loved reading little women! Really made me think about how I treat the other people in my life. People that I supposedly love. True, there are some on the list I would not read, but thats just me. I consider this to be a great list of some of the greatest classics ever written. Thanks for putting it together.


message 45: by Bob (new)

Bob Van Arsdale I was flummoxed by the fact that I couldn't vote for ten of my top fifty-one 19th century books, having received the screen admonishment that each book was "not published during this century", even though my cursory online researches indicate that all met that criterion. Examples: "UNCLE REMUS" and "THE SONG OF HIAWATHA". (Possibly GOODREADS' "originally published" date is missing or in error for those ten works, or, more likely, it's just user-error on my part) But I enjoyed seeing how much I've missed out on, so I appreciate the efforts of this list's author(s) and contributors. Thanks ya'll...


message 46: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Apr 10, 2014 09:31PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Yeah, it's a problem with the GR database, especially now that Amazon's less-than-accurate data is running roughshod over the existing data.

ETA: You might try a general search, rather than from your own shelves? Might be an uncombined copy with an inaccurate first publication date (or none at all).


message 47: by Bob (new)

Bob Van Arsdale Thanks Susanna... I've tried BOTH general searches and searches of my shelves for the "system-vetoed" works, getting the same result. I appreciate the input; didn't know that Amazon data had been imported, good to know.


message 48: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten Wow, "Wizard of Oz" just makes the cut. I thought it was published in 1901, but according to its Goodreads page it was 1900.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Yep, it came out May 17, 1900.


message 50: by Pandao (new)

Pandao Shafer Alessandra wrote: "I agree that Frankenstein is terrible. It's painful to watch the main character run from place to place whining out his troubles to every passerby, who then tells him how wonderful he is. Ugh.

L..."
I agree with both your agree, and about Tess. Actually I really dislike most of the fallen woman reborn again novels. They're all the same and it gets quite boring.


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