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Victorian Obscure

Little Known Victorian Books
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39 books · 39 voters · list created October 25th, 2012 by Mel (votes) .
31 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Mel 4 books
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BookLovingLady 5361 books
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Misfit 5482 books
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Laura 12361 books
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Bettie 15662 books
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Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3289 books
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Caz 3865 books
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Dagny 1979 books
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Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 2: by BookLovingLady (last edited Apr 05, 2015 12:37AM) (new)

BookLovingLady The list says "Victorian Obscure - Little Known Victorian Books". 'Victorian' in my book means written between 1837 and 1901, during the reign of Queen Victoria. To me, it is not the same thing as a historical novel or historical romance set during this period...

Odd to see that, although some of the authors are well-known, some of their books are not... (I checked both rating and date of first publication before I added).


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads How few ratings is "obscure"?


message 4: by Caz (new)

Caz Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "How few ratings is "obscure"?"

*nods* - I've read quite a few books by Mrs Oliphant (for example) that aren't on this list, but haven't added them because I'm not sure what the criteria is.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads The two I added I felt pretty safe about - one has 3 ratings, and the other fewer than 50.


message 6: by Caz (new)

Caz Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "The two I added I felt pretty safe about - one has 3 ratings, and the other fewer than 50."

I've added one or two using that as a guideline :)


message 7: by BookLovingLady (last edited Apr 05, 2015 12:41AM) (new)

BookLovingLady I've let the obscurity of a book depend a bit on how well-known the author was. Authors like Thomas Hardy for instance, or William Thackeray, are extremely well known. Or so they should be, anyway :-) Still, a book like A Laodicean : A Story of Today only has 361 ratings on GR, which is slightly amazing, to say the least, when you compare this to other works by Hardy, like
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (136,217 ratings) or The Mayor of Casterbridge (32,305 ratings).

The same thing applies to Thackeray, whose book Vanity Fair has 76,278 ratings, while The Newcomes only has 87 ratings...

Helbeck of Bannisdale by Mary Augusta Ward was quite populair in its days, but still it has only 14 ratings on GR.

Seems to me books like these have become obscure, even though they are still in print (or at least have been until fairly recently), which made me wonder about both GR readers and present day tastes.

It is a bit of a pity the creator of this list didn't set a maximum rating though. But it is an interesting list, as I've never really looked at the ratings of my books before ;-)


message 8: by BookLovingLady (last edited Jul 19, 2015 06:27AM) (new)

BookLovingLady There is a more or less similar list voters on this one might like, Forgotten Classics , although it says there one cannot add "lesser known books by authors who are well know such as Jane Austen". But on the other hand, it has no period or location restriction :-)


message 9: by George (new)

George Gresham Morley Roberts is obscure for sure but Hardy, Trollope and Thackeray shouldn't be on this list.


message 10: by BookLovingLady (last edited Jul 19, 2015 07:03AM) (new)

BookLovingLady George wrote: "Morley Roberts is obscure for sure but Hardy, Trollope and Thackeray shouldn't be on this list."

Ah, but doesn't that depend on the book far more than on the author...? See also my earlier messages (#7 & #8).

The Newcomes by William Makepeace Thackeray, for instance, can hardly be considered 'well-known' as it has a rating of only 89 on Goodreads. Unlike his Vanity Fair, which has a rating of 79,335. Which, by the way, is not much either considering the 1,136,716 ratings of Vijftig tinten grijs/Fifty Shades of Grey or the 3,000,173 ratings for Twilight.

And the obscurity may also depend which country you are in, as in my own country Thackeray is not nearly as well-known as he is in the UK. Although Vanity Fair was mentioned during my secondary school days, as part of my English literature classes, none of his other books were.

Come to think of it, I wouldn't quite call Morley Roberts 'Victorian' (but that's just a matter of opinion, as I can see why you would), as the book he is best known for, The Private Life of Henry Maitland (which I know of, by the way...), was first published in 1912.


message 11: by Harry (new)

Harry Mungo Morley Roberts was born in 1857 and wrote The Western Avernus in 1887 and was a prolific writer of novels and story collections in the 1890s. His biography by Storm Jameson is called The Last Eminent Victorian so I think he is more Victorian than Edwardian.


message 12: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady Harry wrote: "His biography by Storm Jameson is called The Last Eminent Victorian ..."

You swayed me :-)


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