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The Greatest Books of All Time

List of 100 best books of all time, the greatest novel of all time. This list is generated from a variety of great sources. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on. Some lists count more than others. On the lists that are actually ranked, the book that is 1st counts a lot more than the book that's 100th.

Classic Novels


List of 100 best books of all time, the greatest novel of all time. This list is generated from a variety of great sources. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on.

1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes their every word to be true, despite the fact……

2. Ulysses by James Joyce

Ulysses chronicles the passage through Dublin by its main character, Leopold Bloom, during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title alludes to the hero of Homer’s Odyssey (Latinised into Ulysses), and there are many parallels, both implici……

3. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

Swann’s Way, the first part of A la recherche de temps perdu, Marcel Proust’s seven-part cycle, was published in 1913. In it, Proust introduces the themes that run through the entire work. The narrator recalls his childhood, aided by the fa……

4. The Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Karamazov Brothers is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is murdered; his sons - the atheist intellectual Ivan, the hot-blooded Dmitry, and the s……

5. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps--a community devoted exclusively to sickness--as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own te……

6. Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Bleak House is the ninth novel by Charles Dickens, published in twenty monthly installments between March 1852 and September 1853. It is held to be one of Dickens’s finest novels, containing one of the vastest, most complex, and most engagi……

7. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations is written in the genre of "bildungsroman" or the style of book that follows the story of a man or woman in their quest for maturity, usually starting from childhood and ending in the main character’s eventual adulthood. ……

8. The Ambassadors by Henry James

The Ambassadors is a 1903 novel by Henry James, originally published as a serial in the North American Review (NAR). This dark comedy, seen as one of the masterpieces of James’s final period, follows the trip of protagonist Lewis Lambert St……

9. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an "epic poem in prose", and within the book as a "novel in verse".……

10. The Red and the Black by Stendhal

Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black), subtitled Chronique du XIXe siécle ("Chronicle of the 19th century"), is an historical psychological novel in two volumes by Stendhal, published in 1830. It is often cited as the first realist no……

11. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

Finnegans Wake is the book of Here Comes Everybody and Anna Livia Plurabelle and their family - their book, but in a curious way the book of us all as well as all our books. Joyce’s last great work, it is not comprised of many borrowed styl……

12. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Fathers and Sons is an 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev, his best known work. The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the character Yevgeny Bazarov has been referred to as t……

13. The Trial by Franz Kafka

Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about wh……

14. Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

Dream of the Red Chamber is a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature and one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels. The novel was composed some time in the middle of the 18th century during the Qing Dynasty and attributed to Cao Xueq……

15. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of the American Civil War, features a young rec……

16. Germinal by Émile Zola

Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Émile Zola’s twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Often considered Zola’s masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the novel - an uncompromisingly harsh and realist……

17. Hunger by Knut Hamsun

Hunger is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. Parts of it had been published anonymously in the Danish magazine Ny Jord in 1888. The novel is hailed as the literary opening of the 20th ce……

18. Candide by Voltaire

Candide, ou l’Optimisme is a French satire written in 1759 by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment. Candide is characterized by its sarcastic tone and its erratic, fantastical, and fast-moving plot. A picaresque novel with a ……

19. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

First published in 1899, this novel shocked readers with its open sensuality and uninhibited treatment of marital infidelity. Poignant and lyrical, it tells the story of a New Orleans wife who attempts to find love outside a stifling marria……

20. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

Waverley is an 1814 historical novel by Sir Walter Scott. Initially published anonymously in 1814 as Scott’s first venture into prose fiction, Waverley is often regarded as the first historical novel.It became so popular that Scott’s later ……

21. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four is a classic dystopian novel by English author George Orwell. Published in 1949, it is set in the eponymous year and focuses on a repressive, totalitarian regime. Read by gritty and accomplished actor Philip Glenister f……

22. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Les Misérables is a novel by French author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters over a twenty-year period in the early 19th c……

23. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the U.S. and is said to h……

24. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Despite the harsh circumstances besetting his own life—abject poverty, incessant gambling, the death of his youngest child—Dostoevsky produced a second masterpiece, The Idiot, after completing Crime and Punishment. In it, a saintly man, Pri……

25. Animal Farm by George Orwell

George Orwell’s timeless and timely allegorical novel—a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”A farm is taken over by its overwork……

26. Petersburg by Andrei Bely

Set in Saint Petersburg during the Revolution of 1905, this classic of Russian literature draws comparisons to James Joyce’s Ulysses for its display of symbolism and humorAfter enlisting in a revolutionary terrorist organization, the univer……

27. The Counterfeiters by Andre Gide

The Counterfeiters is a 1925 novel by French author André Gide, first published in Nouvelle Revue Française. With many characters and crisscrossing plotlines, its main theme is that of the original and the copy, and what differentiates them……

28. Call It Sleep by Henry Roth

Call It Sleep is the most profound novel of Jewish life that I have ever read by an American. It is a work of high art, written out of the full resources of modernism. It subtly interweaves gutter, cellar, sexual and religious taboos with t……

29. A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov

A Hero of Our Time, novel by Mikhail Lermontov, published in Russian in 1840 as Geroy nashego vremeni. Its psychologically probing portrait of a disillusioned 19th-century aristocrat and its use of a nonchronological and fragmented narrativ……

30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades, is attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain. I……

31. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Jake Barnes is a man whose war wound has made him unable to have sex—and the promiscuous divorcée Lady Brett Ashley. Jake is an expatriate American journalist living in Paris, while Brett is a twice-divorced Englishwoman with bobbed hair an……

32. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham’s most brillant characters - his fiancee Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong reperc……

33. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Considered by many to be Maugham’s masterpiece, “Of Human Bondage” is the semi-autobiographical tale of Philip Carey, who like Maugham, is orphaned and brought up by his uncle. "Of Human Bondage" is a "bildungsroman" that traces the travels……

34. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Half a millennium from now, in the World State, the watchword is that every one belongs to every one else. No matter what class of human you are bred to be—from the intellectual Alphas to the Epsilons who provide the manual labor—you are a ……

Romance Novels


Romance novels are a genre of literature which put its focus on description of the relationship and romantic love between two persons. Romance is always a topic that people are interested in from ancient to modern time, therefore most kinds of novels include romance elements to attract readers’ interest. However, the distinction between romance novels and that of other types is their different focuses. Romance novels must include one or several love stories whether other elements are integrated.

1. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for "offenses against morality and religion." What shocks us today about Flaubert’s devastatingly ……

2. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

Written in the eleventh century, this exquisite portrait of courtly life in medieval Japan is widely celebrated as the world’s first novel. Genji, the Shining Prince, is the son of an emperor. He is a passionate character whose tempestuous ……

3. Emma by Jane Austen

Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. As in her other novels, Austen explores the concerns and difficulties of genteel women living in Georgian-Regency England; she also creates a liv……

4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endure the hypocrisies of society. Set against ……

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the "Jazz Age." Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the "roaring" 1920s as the economy soared. At the sa……

6. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

The story centres on Isabel Archer, an attractive American whom circumstances have brought to Europe. Isabel refuses the offer of marriage to an English peer and to a bulldog-like New Englander, to fall victim to a worthless and spiteful ma……

7. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

Perhaps no other of the world’s great writers lived and wrote with the passionate intensity of D. H. Lawrence. And perhaps no other of his books so explores the mysteries between men and women–both sensual and intellectual–as Women in Love.……

8. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Forced by her parents’ ambitions among her wealthy D’Urberville cousins, Tess Durbeyfield attracts the unscrupulous Alec. Seduced and discarded, she finds work as a milkmaid, and her steadfast integrity is finally rewarded by the love of An……

9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

The narrative is non-linear, involving several flashbacks, and two primary narrators: Mr. Lockwood and Ellen "Nelly" Dean. The novel opens in 1801, with Mr. Lockwood arriving at Thrushcross Grange, a grand house on the Yorkshire moors that ……

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The book is narrated in free indirect speech following the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic society. Though the book’s setting is uniquely t……

11. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbors she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product of an illicit affair but no one knows the i……

12. Clarissa Harlowe by Samuel Richardson

Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady is an epistolary novel by Samuel Richardson. It tells the tragic story of a heroine whose quest for virtue is continually thwarted by her family, and is one of the longest novels in the English lang……

13. Persuasion by Jane Austen

Just as Jane Austen is the favorite author of many discerning readers, Persuasion is the most highly esteemed novel of many Austenites. It has the deep irony, the scathing wit, the droll and finely drawn characters of Austen’s other novels,……

14. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane’s childhood at Gateshead, where she is abused by her aunt and cousi……

15. The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette

La Princesse de Clèves is a French novel, regarded by many as the beginning of the modern tradition of the psychological novel, and as a great classic work. Its author is generally held to be Madame de La Fayette.The action takes place betw……

16. Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers is one of the landmark novels of the twentieth century. It was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama when it appeared in 1913 and is widely considered the major work of D.H. Lawren……

17. The Chartreuse of Parma by Stendhal

Balzac considered it the most important French novel of his time. André Gide later deemed it the greatest of all French novels, and Henry James judged it to be a masterpiece. Now, in a major literary event, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and d……

18. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Sorrows of Young Werther is an epistolary and loosely autobiographical novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, first published in 1774; a revised edition of the novel was published in 1787. Werther was an important novel of the Sturm und D……

19. Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. The subject of major film and stage adaptations, the novel’s prime mover……

20. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind is set in Jonesboro and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and follows the life of Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of an Irish immigrant plantation owner.

21. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. Alcott wrote the books rapidly over several months at the request of her publisher. The novel follows ……

22. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility is a novel by Jane Austen, and was her first published work when it appeared in 1811 under the pseudonym "A Lady". A work of romantic fiction, better known as a comedy of manners, Sense and Sensibility is set in southw……

23. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Taken from the poverty of her parents’ home in Portsmouth, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with her cousin Edmund as her sole ally. During her uncle’s absence in Antigu……

24. Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo

When the mad archdeacon Claude Frollo plans to abduct the gypsy dancer Esmeralda, he employs Quasimodo, the hunchback bell ringer to Notre Dame Cathedral, to do the job for him. But the plan goes horribly wrong, and Esmeralda finds herself ……

25. The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

Set in Lombardy during the Spanish occupation of the late 1620s, The Betrothed tells the story of two young lovers, Renzo and Lucia, prevented from marrying by the petty tyrant Don Rodrigo, who desires Lucia for himself. Forced to flee, the……

26. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s most romantic novel, yet our expectations for her lovers, Ellen Olenska and Newland Archer, are disappointed at every turn. Wharton’s genius lies in offering the pleasure of a romance, then engaging t……

27. Dom Casmurro by Machado De Assis

Bentinho Santiago, cosseted only child of a rich widow, lives next door to Capitu, the daughter of a lowly government official. As childhood friendship turns to adolescent love, an obstacle to the union exists in the form of a vow made by B……

28. Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost

So begins the story of Manon Lescaut, a tale of passion and betrayal, of delinquency and misalliance, which moves from early eighteenth-century Paris - with its theatres, assemblies, and gaming-houses - via prison and deportation to a tragi……

29. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

The Painted Veil is beautiful story of Kitty Fane who is the main character and through her one can witness a myriad of emotions and sentiments. She, being an extrovert personality likes to mingle with people but circumstances in her life a……

30. The Lady of the Camellias by Alexandre Dumas fils

Set in mid-19th-century France, the novel tells the love story between Marguerite Gautier, a demimondaine or courtesan and Armand Duval, a young bourgeois. Marguerite is nicknamed "lady of the camellias" because she wears a red camellia whe……

31. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster

Set in early 1900s Italy and England, A Room with a View offers a humorous critique of Edwardian-era society. The novel begins in Florence, Italy, where Miss Lucy Honeychurch, who is chaperoned by her spinster cousin Miss Charlotte Bartlett……

32. Howards End by E. M. Forster

Howards End is considered by many to be E. M. Forster’s masterpiece. First published in 1910, this beguiling and completely captivating tale explores social conventions, codes of conduct, and relationships in turn-of-the-century Edwardian E……

33. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James

Written by acclaimed author, Henry James in 1902, The Wings of the Dove tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her impact on the people around her. Some of these people befriend Milly with ……

34. The Golden Bowl by Henry James

Maggie Verver, a young American heiress, and her widowed father Adam, lead a life of wealth and refinement in London. They are both getting married: Maggie to Prince Amerigo, an impoverished Italian aristocrat, and Adam to the beautiful but……

Adventure Novels


Adventure fiction is a genre of fiction in which an adventure, an exciting undertaking involving risk and physical danger, forms the main storyline. Adventure fiction takes the setting and premise of these other genres, but the fast-paced plot of an adventure focuses on the actions of the hero within the setting.

1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby Dick is a novel by Herman Melville, in which Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick, which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab’s ship and severed h……

2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Revered by all of the town’s children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic world of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn is firmly gr……

3. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse: Large Printby Virginia WoolfTo the Lighthouse is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 19……

4. A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

A Passage to India is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Mr. Cyril Fielding, Mrs. Moore, and Miss Adela Ques……

5. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

A shipwreck’s sole escapee, Robinson Crusoe endures 28 years of solitude on a Caribbean island and manages not only to survive but also to prevail. A warm humanity, evocative details of his struggle to tolerate his lonely existence, and liv……

6. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The novel’s main character, Mr. Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, and the founder and perpetual president of ……

7. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It recounts the adventures of a young man named d’Artagnan after he leaves home to become a guard of the musketeers. D’Artagnan is not one of the musketeers of the title; those are h……

8. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Traditionally considered a coming-of-age story, it is an adventure tale known for its superb atmosphere, character and action, and also a wry commentary on the ambiguity of morality—as seen in Long John Silver—unusual for children’s literat……

9. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also ……

10. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Abandoned at an early age, Oliver Twist is forced to live in a dark and dismal London workhouse lorded over by awful Mr. Bumble who cheats the boys of their meager rations! Desperate but determined, Oliver makes his escape. But what he disc……

11. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Composed in the wake of Defoe’s newfound literary success, Moll Flanders tells the story of an eighteenth century woman who takes fate into her own hands by developing his skills as a thief and con artist. Traveling back and forth between E……

12. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Whether forming a pirate gang to search for buried treasure or spending a quiet time at home, sharing his medicine with Aunt Polly’s cat, the irrepressible Tom Sawyer evokes the world of boyhood in nineteenth century rural America. In this ……

13. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness is a novella by Polish-British novelist Joseph Conrad about a narrated voyage up the Congo River into the Congo Free State in the so-called Heart of Africa. Charles Marlow, the narrator, tells his story to friends aboard a……

Mystery Novels


Mystery novels are a type of stories covering wonderful plot designs and careful structures, which requires authors to have a strong logic. This kind of novel usually leaves a puzzle at the beginning of a story and all plots in the whole novel are designed to solve the puzzle and reveal the truth, which need to reflect a reasoning process with logic. This kind of novel captures readers’ curiosity and leads readers to explore the final truth step by step, which is a process to cultivate your patience and logical thinking.

1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It is a murder story, told from a murder;s point of view, that implicates even the most innocent reader in its enormities. It is a cat-and-mouse game between a tormented young killer and a cheerfully implacable detective. It is a preternatu……

2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Considered one of the first mystery novels, this extraordinary piece of Victorian literature is wrought with dizzying twists and psychological turns. Walter Hartright’s encounter with a mysterious woman clad in white leaves him spellbound. ……

3. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Rebecca is a 1938 Gothic novel written by English author Daphne du Maurier. The novel depicts an unnamed young woman who impetuously marries a wealthy widower, before discovering that both he and his household are haunted by the memory of h……

4. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in Philip as his heir, and Philip grows to love Ambrose’s grand estate as much as he does. But the cozy world the……

Fantasy Novels


Fantasy novels is literature set in an imaginary universe, often but not always without any locations, events, or people from the real world. Magic, the supernatural and magical creatures are common in many of these imaginary worlds. Fantasy literature may be directed at both children and adults.

1. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

The direct and unadorned narrative describes four remarkable journies of ship’s surgeon Lemuel Gulliver, among them, one to the land of Lilliput, where six-inch-high inhabitants bicker over trivialities; and another to Brobdingnag, a land w……

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein is a novel written by Mary Shelley about a creature produced by an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley started writing the story when she was nineteen, and the novel was published when she was twenty-one. Shelley had trav……

3. Dracula by Bram Stoker

The vampire novel that started it all, Bram Stoker’s Dracula probes deeply into human identity, sanity, and the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire. When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula purchase a London……

Historical Novels


Historical novels are a kind of fictional stories created by authors under a certain historical background. In this kind of novel, plots and images of characters can be invented by authors with freedom. Although the whole stories of historical novels were assumed to happen in a certain or uncertain historical period, their plots are seldom limited by its background and authors have a large space to create stories based on their imagination and experience. You will feel the things described in historical novels seem to happen in the past truly , which maybe urges you to search for some historical knowledge in the period mentioned in novels.

1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of five Russian aristocratic families.

2. Middlemarch by George Eliot

Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, later Marian Evans. It is her seventh novel, begun in 1869 and then put aside during the final illness of Thornton Lewes, the son of her co……

3. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neighboring squire—though he sometimes succumbs……

4. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their family and its reputation. The novel is separ……

5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

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 class ladder. Her sentimental companion Amelia, however, longs onl……

6. Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac

Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scenes de la vie privee section of his novel sequence La Comedie humaine. Set in Paris in……

7. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram’s narration of his life story. But it is one of the central jokes of the novel that he cannot explain anything simply, that he must make explanatory diversions to add context and colour……

8. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Hardy

Buddenbrooks was Thomas Mann’s first novel, published in 1901 when he was twenty-six years old. It portrays the downfall (already announced in the subtitle, Decline of a family) of a wealthy mercantile family of Lübeck over four generations……

9. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in the magazine The Egoist from 1914 to 1915, and published first in book format during 1916.The story describes the formative years o……

10. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad

Edited with an introduction and notes by Martin Seymour-Smith. In his evocation of the republic of Costaguana, set amid the exotic and grandiose scenery of South America, Conrad reveals not only the lives and fates of his characters but als……

11. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Created from two short stories, "Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street" and the unfinished "The Prime Minister", the novel’s story is of Clarissa’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. With the interior perspective of the novel, th……

12. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are ……

13. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

Ford Madox Ford wrote The Good Soldier, the book on which his reputation most surely rests, in deliberate emulation of the nineteenth-century French novels he so admired. In this way he was able to explore the theme of sexual betrayal and i……

14. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

Daniel Deronda opens with one of the most memorable encounters in fiction: Gwendolen Harleth, alluring yet unsettling, is poised at the roulette-table in Leubronn, observed by Daniel Deronda, a young man groomed in the finest tradition of t……

15. My Antonia by Willa Cather

In Willa Cather’s own estimation, My Antonia, first published in 1918, was "the best thing I’ve ever done." An enduring paperback bestseller on Houghton Mifflin’s literary list, this hauntingly eloquent classic now boasts a new foreword by ……

16. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Clyde Griffiths is a young man with ambitions. He’s in love with a rich girl, but it’s a poor girl he has gotten pregnant, Roberta Alden, who works with him at his uncle’s factory. One day he takes Roberta canoeing on a lake with the intent……

17. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a be……

18. The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope

The Last Chronicle of Barset concerns an indigent but learned clergyman, the Reverend Josiah Crawley, the perpetual curate of Hogglestock, as he stands accused of stealing a cheque. The novel is notable for the non-resolution of a plot cont……

19. Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov

Oblomov is the best known novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Oblomov is also the central character of the novel, often seen as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-centu……

20. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Against the backdrop of the French Revolution, Charles Dickens unfolds his masterpiece of drama, adventure, courage, and romance about a man falsely accused of treason.Unjustly imprisoned for 18 years in the Bastille, Dr. Alexandre Manette ……

21. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

It is 1757. Across north-eastern America the armies of Britain and France struggle for ascendancy. Their conflict, however, overlays older struggles between nations of native Americans for possession of the same lands and between the native……

22. The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek

The Good Soldier Schweik is the story beginning in Prague with news of the assassination in Sarajevo that precipitates World War I. Schweik displays such enthusiasm about faithfully serving the Austrian Emperor in battle that no one can dec……

23. The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham

Based on the life of Paul Gauguin, "The Moon and Sixpence" is the story of Charles Strickland, an English banker who walks away from a life of privilege to pursue his passion to become a painter. Strickland leaves London for Paris and ultim……

24. Jean-Christophe by Romain Rolland

The central character, Jean-Christophe Krafft, is a German musician of Belgian extraction, a composer of genius whose life is depicted from cradle to grave. He undergoes great hardships and spiritual struggles, balancing his pride in his ow……

25. All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Hailed by many as the greatest war novel of all time and publicly burned by the Nazis for being “degenerate,” Erich Maria Remarque’s masterpiece, All Quiet on the Western Front, is an elegant statement on a generation of men destroyed by wa……

26. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim tells the story of a young, idealistic Englishman--"as unflinching as a hero in a book"--who is disgraced by a single act of cowardice while serving as an officer on the Patna, a merchant-ship sailing from an eastern port. His life……

27. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

In the only novel Conrad set in London, The Secret Agent; communicates a profoundly ironic view of human affairs. The story is woven around an attack on the Greenwich Observatory in 1894 masterminded by Verloc, a Russian spy working for the……