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Best Books of the 18th Century

The best books published during the 18th century (January 1st, 1701 through December 31st 1800).

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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3.58 avg rating — 258,426 ratings
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2

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3.76 avg rating — 255,792 ratings
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3

by
3.68 avg rating — 282,987 ratings
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4

by
3.69 avg rating — 111,217 ratings
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5

by
4.07 avg rating — 49,202 ratings
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6

by
4.52 avg rating — 26,732 ratings
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7

by
3.95 avg rating — 56,220 ratings
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8

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4.10 avg rating — 45,235 ratings
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9

by
3.75 avg rating — 32,531 ratings
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10

by
3.90 avg rating — 22,640 ratings
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11

by
3.52 avg rating — 44,343 ratings
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12

by
3.73 avg rating — 20,665 ratings
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13

by
4.44 avg rating — 24,248 ratings
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14

by
4.01 avg rating — 14,004 ratings
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15

by
4.14 avg rating — 15,272 ratings
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16

by
3.85 avg rating — 79,839 ratings
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17

by
3.82 avg rating — 25,790 ratings
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18

by
4.05 avg rating — 14,339 ratings
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19

by
3.88 avg rating — 31,439 ratings
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20

by
3.18 avg rating — 29,745 ratings
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21

by
4.09 avg rating — 38,614 ratings
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22

by
3.78 avg rating — 44,534 ratings
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23

by
3.81 avg rating — 8,103 ratings
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24

by
3.96 avg rating — 32,777 ratings
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25

by
3.69 avg rating — 16,355 ratings
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26

by
3.59 avg rating — 8,490 ratings
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27

by
4.21 avg rating — 9,930 ratings
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28

by
3.56 avg rating — 14,906 ratings
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29

by
3.40 avg rating — 14,537 ratings
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30

by
3.38 avg rating — 8,082 ratings
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31

by
3.99 avg rating — 33,909 ratings
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32

by
3.56 avg rating — 9,891 ratings
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33

by
3.94 avg rating — 11,747 ratings
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34

by
3.29 avg rating — 11,806 ratings
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35

by
4.12 avg rating — 8,548 ratings
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36

by
3.93 avg rating — 19,659 ratings
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37

by
3.59 avg rating — 4,463 ratings
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38

by
4.02 avg rating — 9,964 ratings
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39

by
2.78 avg rating — 11,701 ratings
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40

by
3.81 avg rating — 5,394 ratings
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41

by
3.48 avg rating — 9,776 ratings
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42

by
3.78 avg rating — 2,924 ratings
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43

by
3.76 avg rating — 5,024 ratings
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44

by
3.49 avg rating — 9,370 ratings
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45

by
3.84 avg rating — 18,830 ratings
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46

by
3.75 avg rating — 6,238 ratings
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47

by
3.49 avg rating — 11,089 ratings
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47

by
3.79 avg rating — 7,932 ratings
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49

by
3.64 avg rating — 11,517 ratings
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50

by
3.76 avg rating — 3,718 ratings
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51

by
4.16 avg rating — 4,924 ratings
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52

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3.43 avg rating — 4,921 ratings
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53

by
3.62 avg rating — 7,602 ratings
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54

by
3.26 avg rating — 6,133 ratings
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55

by
3.51 avg rating — 5,139 ratings
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56

by
3.74 avg rating — 12,134 ratings
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57

by
3.40 avg rating — 3,430 ratings
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58

by
3.56 avg rating — 3,160 ratings
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59

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 782 ratings
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60

by
3.68 avg rating — 4,886 ratings
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61

by
3.34 avg rating — 5,712 ratings
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62

by
3.29 avg rating — 5,570 ratings
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63

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,005 ratings
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64

by
4.21 avg rating — 108 ratings
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65

by
3.42 avg rating — 13,813 ratings
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66

by
3.73 avg rating — 6,672 ratings
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66

by
4.09 avg rating — 8,375 ratings
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68

by
3.95 avg rating — 1,985 ratings
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69

by
3.67 avg rating — 6,687 ratings
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70

by
3.75 avg rating — 2,702 ratings
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71

by
4.15 avg rating — 54 ratings
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71

by
3.62 avg rating — 5,877 ratings
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73

by
4.07 avg rating — 2,053 ratings
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74

by
3.55 avg rating — 2,718 ratings
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75

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 4,867 ratings
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76

by
3.72 avg rating — 2,110 ratings
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77

by
3.94 avg rating — 8,807 ratings
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78

by
3.46 avg rating — 6,856 ratings
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79

by
3.93 avg rating — 11,688 ratings
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80

by
3.93 avg rating — 10,436 ratings
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81

by
3.45 avg rating — 563 ratings
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82

by
3.68 avg rating — 5,346 ratings
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83

by
3.46 avg rating — 6,153 ratings
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84

by
3.14 avg rating — 8,833 ratings
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85

by
3.84 avg rating — 1,945 ratings
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86

by
3.50 avg rating — 1,756 ratings
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87

by
4.44 avg rating — 684 ratings
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88

by
4.21 avg rating — 1,925 ratings
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89

by
3.44 avg rating — 3,311 ratings
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90

by
3.48 avg rating — 2,440 ratings
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91

by
3.38 avg rating — 3,312 ratings
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92

by
3.64 avg rating — 2,239 ratings
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93

by
3.80 avg rating — 3,032 ratings
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94

by
3.76 avg rating — 6,243 ratings
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95

by
3.85 avg rating — 1,119 ratings
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96

by
3.19 avg rating — 3,676 ratings
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97

by
3.28 avg rating — 850 ratings
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98

by
3.48 avg rating — 7,062 ratings
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99

by
4.35 avg rating — 811 ratings
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100

by
4.34 avg rating — 593 ratings
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375 books · 997 voters · list created June 21st, 2008 by deleted user.
474 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Cindy 8883 books
142 friends
Robert 1756 books
29 friends
Roberta 1538 books
147 friends
jessica juniper 137 books
9 friends
Jennifer 3593 books
50 friends
R. 905 books
73 friends
Aaron 15 books
2 friends
Antoine 949 books
178 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Boisvert Samuel Johnson and Denis Diderot are both unrecognized as 18th century authors. I don't think these restriction filters work very well.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads The restriction filters definitely do not work very well. There have been several books I have been unable to add to the decades lists, that I KNOW were first published in the decade in question.


message 3: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Sep 20, 2009 10:10AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) ... or century, for that matter -- and it gets even worse the farther back you go in history. Try adding Ben Jonson to the 16th and 17th century lists ... or Christine de Pizan to 15th century! Or Mary Wollstonecraft to this list, of course -- essentially any book where the "first published" notation on the respective book's page doesn't refer to the book's own/ real year of initial publication but the year of the first publication of the text edition in question.

That said, maybe this is in the process of being fixed, though. I was able to add an edition of Johnson's dictionary, as well as one book by Diderot.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I try to correct original publication dates when I see one that's way out of wack.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) You have to be a Goodreads librarian to be able to do that, don't you? I realize of course that, with books being added to the database daily, this is probably a never ending task ...


message 6: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Sep 21, 2009 09:24AM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Yes, I think you do have to be a GR Librarian.

Will have to take a look at the names you mentioned!

Edited to add: did a bit of pruning on dates of Ben Jonson, Christine de Pizan, and Mary Wollstonecraft.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads No problem. ;>


message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Faust Part One wasn't published until 1806.


message 10: by Mel (new)

Mel Foster William Bartram's Travels Through North and South Carolina (1791) and Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (1710)were published in the 1700s, but can't be voted on. Thanks!


message 11: by Mel (new)

Mel Foster Also The Journal of John Woolman (1774)


message 12: by Drew (new)

Drew Canole not a bad century at all!


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 1 book removed.


message 14: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 1 book removed.
Swift, 'A Modest Proposal', removed at #27: already present at #17.


message 15: by Cumant (last edited Dec 19, 2014 05:16PM) (new)

Cumant Micheline And why Beaumarchais with a Russian title ? I should have chosen "Le Barbier de Seville" or "Le mariage de Figaro".


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Cumant wrote: "And why Beaumarchais with a Russian title ? I should have chosen "Le Barbier de Seville" or "Le mariage de Figaro"."

What might fix that is to remove your vote, do a search of the database, not your shelves, and vote for the most popular edition, which I don't think is in Russian.


message 17: by Wyatt (new)

Wyatt Did any of these books have a copy or transcript of the Declaration of Independence within them?


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul Bowes Checked for duplicates: 4 books removed.


message 19: by Shayna (new)

Shayna Great list.
I was surprised to see that these books were overlooked:

1. "Justine" by the Marquis de Sade, 1791, and "Philosophy in the Bedroom", 1795. I understood that Nietzsche found these works enlightening and influential, so I read them too. At the very least, the female protagonists are like no others in 18th C lit.

and...
2. "The Fable of the Bees" by Bernard Mandeville, 1714
3. "De l'esprit (On Mind)" by Claude Adrien Helvétius, 1758


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads You could, of course, add them yourself. (You add them at the top of the list, at the tab next to "all votes.")


message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 19, 2021 08:45AM) (new)

You are wrong Samuel Johnson is 18th Century.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samue...


message 22: by Lee (new)

Lee "the 18th century (January 1st, 1701 through December 31st 1800)."...

Couldn't it just be 1/1/1700 to 12/31/1799 as a concession to common sense? I'm aware of the tiresome argument that there was not a year zero, therefore counting begins with 1 etc. etc. etc. But it's pedantic to cling to that technicality, in my view. For example, to claim the 90s ended on 12/31/2000, and that the 21st century started 1/1/2001, while perhaps technically true, is patently absurd as a practical matter. OK I'll get off the soapbox now :-)


message 23: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady When you count a birthday, you don't start at zero, do you?


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