Best Nineteenth-Century British and Irish Novels

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138 books · 101 voters · list created March 5th, 2010 by Liora (votes) .
25 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Liora 148 books
27 friends
Andrew 980 books
83 friends
Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) 546 books
371 friends
Beanie 587 books
40 friends
Katrina 90 books
5 friends
Nancy 1705 books
34 friends
Bindzus 1623 books
19 friends
Thom 6023 books
304 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)

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message 1: by Bettie (new)

Bettie 100 is not enough!

:O))


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Is "The Life of Charlotte Bronte" a novel? I was under the impression it was a biography.


message 3: by Mir (last edited Mar 05, 2010 11:52AM) (new)

Mir 100 is not enough!

You could make your own list of 100 with the best one from each year of the 19th century. I think that might be too complicated to set up here, though.


message 4: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl Sadly, the edition of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles" on here is the Macmillan Intermediate Reader, which means it's an abridged version for the kiddies.


message 5: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Mar 05, 2010 04:02PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads That should probably be separated out. I'll look at it.

ETA: I can delete the current Tess and then have people vote for the other one? Only thing I can think of.


message 6: by Reese (new)

Reese Because BLACKWOOD'S MAGAZINE published HEART OF DARKNESS (in three parts) in 1899, I consider it nineteenth-century fiction. However, I will understand a decision to delete it if the date of its publication as a book determines whether or not it belongs on this list.


message 7: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Mar 06, 2010 03:39AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Susanna wrote: "Is "The Life of Charlotte Bronte" a novel? I was under the impression it was a biography."

It is ... I deleted it.

ETA: Would also second the suggestion re: "Tess."


message 8: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (last edited Mar 06, 2010 01:45PM) (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Alright, I'll delete that version and vote for the real one.

Would have no problem with Heart of Darkness, for those who like it enough to vote for it (I'm not in that category).


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Deleted Little Women and The Tell-Tale Heart -- neither Alcott nor Poe were British.

Not sure what to do about Shaw's Plays Pleasant. Is drama welcome on this list? Liora, you created it ... your call, first and foremost!


message 10: by Darren (new)

Darren Quinn Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker aren't British, but Irish.


message 11: by David (new)

David Sanders Great Gatsby? I thought this was a list of British novels? There are several other things on this list that are not even novels.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed The Great Gatsby (neither British or 19th century).


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Also, there are plays and short stories here. Keep or delete?


message 14: by David (new)

David Sanders Novels are novels; they aren't plays and they aren't short stories.


message 15: by David (new)

David Sanders By the way, I really like the list!


message 16: by Darren (new)

Darren Quinn Susanna, why remove some non-British novels but not others? Dracula was written by an Irishman.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Ireland was a part of Great Britain in the 19th century, so I don't feel comfortable to delete those, as the books are from the right century.


message 18: by Darren (new)

Darren Quinn Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "Ireland was a part of Great Britain in the 19th century, so I don't feel comfortable to delete those, as the books are from the right century."

It's not physically possible for Ireland to have been part of Great Britain. Great Britain and Ireland are two separate islands. I think what you mean is that Ireland was part of the British Empire, which is true. This does not, however, mean that the Irish people were "British" any more than it means that the Maori people were British. Books written by Irish authors shouldn't be included in a British list in the same sense that Maori, Kenyan and Indian authors wouldn't be included. Is that so difficult to understand?


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Well, I don't feel comfortable taking them off, is what I was attempting to say. You don't like them, take them off yourself.


message 20: by Darren (new)

Darren Quinn Unfortunately, I can't take them off because I'm not a librarian and I am afraid I must press you on this issue. You haven't given me any valid reason as to why you won't remove Irish authors from a British list. I notice that this has happened on other lists you've moderated. It should be your duty as a librarian to maintain accuracy. If you could explain why you won't remove them with a more valid reason than "I don't feel comfortable", then perhaps we can work this out.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads If you are not a librarian, why does your profile say "#42 top librarians"?


message 22: by Anna (new)

Anna Kļaviņa Darren wrote: " It should be your duty as a librarian to maintain accuracy."

GR librarians are not GR employees.


message 23: by Darren (new)

Darren Quinn Anna, nobody said that. Susanna, I see that you seem unable to explain yourself.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Darren, you have posited that the Irish need removing, but not proved it. What is your justification for this demand? At any rate, Oscar Wilde is routinely taught in classes on 19th century British novel.

Prove your contention, and I'll be glad to remove them. (And if the list creator requests that they remove them, that's fine, too. Liora, do you have a view on the presence of the Irish?)


message 25: by Bettie (new)

Bettie The British Isles include the whole of Ireland. The United Kingdom does not include Eire, that which is known as Southern Ireland.

The title of this listopia mentions 'British'.


message 26: by Darren (new)

Darren Quinn Bettie: The term "British Isles" is not used by the Irish. It is actively discouraged by the Irish government and is being used less and less by international organisations, eg National Geographic. The reason for this is that "British" is not a neutral word. When a UK citizen opens their passport, their nationality states "British". When an Irish citizen opens their passport, they find "Irish". This is because these two people come from two different countries. To then group them together under the term "British" is wrong.It suggests the Irish are British, which is not true. Imagine if it were "The Irish Isles" - then would a British person be happy to be described as an Irish author? The term is left over from when Britain was an empire and ruled over Ireland. But it's time to let go now. Britain is not an empire anymore and these islands are not "British". It would be nice if our closest neighbours would eventually stop being so ignorant about the country right next to them.


message 27: by Darren (new)

Darren Quinn Susanna, I've already done that. I'm done with this conversation now. Thank you for addressing my points.


message 28: by Bettie (new)

Bettie Darren wrote: "Bettie: The term "British Isles" is not used by the Irish. It is actively discouraged by the Irish government and is being used less and less by international organisations, eg National Geographic...."

Both ancient Greeks and Romans lumped all the islands together as a geographical value-free destination at a time considerably earlier than politically value-laden modern minds. It could be argued that they were just as clumsy because they were overlords themselves. To most of the world the group of isles off continental europe has a collective term.

Skipping aside all the prickly pears though, GR is a global site so tolerance is the way forward. Great discussion though. :O)


message 29: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady I haven't read it, but Oscar Wilde: A Life in Letters (#122) doesn't sound like a novel to me...


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Excellent point. I'll nab it.


message 31: by BookLovingLady (last edited Feb 26, 2017 12:09AM) (new)

BookLovingLady Again, I haven't read it, but Gothic Tales (#78) by Elizabeth Gaskell sounds more like short stories than a novel. (I think my own book is similar, Tales of Mystery & the Macabre and I haven't added that one simply because it's not a novel).

In a Glass Darkly (#79) by J. Sheridan Le Fanu is definitely not a novel, according to the description given on GR.

Plays Pleasant (#88) by George Bernard Shaw seems to be a play and not a novel, judging by its title and description.

Oscar Wilde only wrote one novel, as far as I know, so apart from The Picture of Dorian Gray, none of his other works should be part of this Listopia....
Intentions (#100) is a collection of essays, De Profundis (#102) seems to be a letter, The Happy Prince and Other Fairy Tales (#104) is, like the title indicates, a collection of fairy tales, A House of Pomegranates(#111) is a collection of 'whimsical short stories', Wilde V. Whistler: Being an Acrimonious Correspondence on Art Between Oscar Wilde and James A. McNei (#113) is, according to its title, correspondence, in other words: letters, Aristotle at Afternoon Tea: The Rare Oscar Wilde (#115) is a collection of newspaper clippings, criticisms and other papers, Selected Journalism is, once again, not a novel but shows Wilde's journalistic efforts, and Oscar Wilde Epigrams (#120) is not a novel either. Phew.... ;-)

The Brownie of the Black Haggs (#106) by James Hogg is, according to the description, a short story, not a novel.

Juvenilia: 1829-1835 (#123) by Charlotte Brontë is a collection of her creative writings.

The Waverly Novels: The Chronicles of the Canongate (#126) consists of three short stories.

Sorry about the above, but 19th century British (and Irish) lit is my favourite... I haven't mentioned any of the novella's on this list, as it is a grey area between a novella and a novel. Personally, I'd leave them on here, as it's debatable whether something is or isn't a novella.


message 32: by Victor (new)

Victor Rabinovich Very pleased that Elizabeth Gaskell is on this list. She is one of the best and often underrated.


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