A Reading List of the Best 19th Century Novels

This selection of influential works is categorized by writer

Old books, Herbarium, Kew Gardens, London, England, United Kingdom. De Agostini / G. Wright Getty

The novels of the 19th century remain some of the most taught literary works of any period. They not only continue to influence the canon but also cinema and popular culture. Get better acquainted with these groundbreaking works with this reading list, categorized by author. The most popular authors from the era--Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Nathaniel Hawthorne--appear on this list in alphabetical order.

Alcott, Louisa May

  • Little Women

Austen, Jane

  • Emma
  • Mansfield Park
  • Persuasion
  • Pride and Prejudice

Blackmore, Richard Doddridge

  • Lorna Doone

Braddon, Mary Elizabeth

  • Lady Audley’s Secret

Bronte, Charlotte

Bronte, Emily

  • Wuthering Heights

Burnett, Frances Hodgson

  • The Secret Garden

Butler, Samuel

  • Erewhon

Carlyle, Thomas

  • Sartor Resartus

Carroll, Lewis

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Through the Looking Glass

Collins, Wilkie

  • Armadale
  • No Name
  • The Moonstone
  • The Woman in White

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

  • Rodney Stone
  • A Study in Scarlet

Conrad, Joseph

Cooper, James Fenimore

  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • The Prairie

Crane, Stephen

  • Red Badge of Courage

Dickens, Charles

  • Bleak House
  • David Copperfield
  • Dombey & Son D
  • Great Expectations
  • Hard Times
  • Little Dorritt
  • Mystery Of Edwin Drood
  • Nicholas Nickleby
  • The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Oliver Twist
  • Pickwick Papers
  • Tale of Two Cities

Disraeli, Benjamin

  • Sybil, or The Two Nations

Dostoevski, Fedor

  • Brothers Karamazov
  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Idiot

Dreiser, Theodore

  • Sister Carrie

Dumas, Alexandre

Eliot, George

  • Adam Bede
  • Daniel Deronda
  • Middlemarch
  • Mill on the Floss
  • Silas Marner

Flaubert, Gustave

  • Madame Bovary
  • A Sentimental Education

Gaskell, Elizabeth

  • Cranford
  • Wives and Daughters

Gissing, George

  • New Grub Street

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Von

  • Elective Affinities

Gogol, Nikolai

  • Dead Souls

Hardy, Thomas

  • Far from the Madding Crowd
  • Jude the Obscure
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • The Return of the Native
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • The Woodlanders
  • Under the Greenwood Tree

Hawthorne, Nathaniel

  • Blithedale Romance
  • Scarlet Letter

Hugo, Victor

  • Les Miserables
  • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame de Paris

James, Henry

  • The American
  • The Bostonians
  • Daisy Miller
  • The Europeans
  • Portrait of a Lady
  • Washington Square

Le Fanu, Sheridan

  • Uncle Silas

MacDonald, George

  • Lilith
  • Phantastes

Melville, Herman

  • Moby Dick
  • Redburn
  • Typee

Meredith, George

  • Diana of the Crossways
  • The Egoist

Norris, Frank

  • McTeague

Oliphant, Margaret

  • The Perpetual Curate
  • Salem Chapel

Scott, Sir Walter

  • The Antiquary
  • The Heart of Mid-Lothian
  • Ivanhoe

Sewall, Anna

  • Black Beauty

Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft

  • Frankenstein

Stevenson, Robert L

  • Catriona (aka David Balfour)
  • Kidnapped
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • Treasure Island

Stoker, Bram

  • Dracula

Stowe, Harriet Beecher

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Thackeray, William M

  • Barry Lyndon
  • The History of Henry Esmond
  • The Newcomes
  • Vanity Fair

Tolstoy, Leo

  • Anna Karenina
  • Resurrection
  • The Forged Coupon
  • War and Peace

Trollope, Anthony

  • Ayala's Angel
  • Framley Parsonage
  • Barchester Towers
  • John Caldigate
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset
  • Marion Fay
  • Phineas Finn
  • The Prime Minister
  • The Warden
  • The Way We Live Now

Turgenev, Ivan

  • Fathers and Children

Twain, Mark

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

Verne, Jules

  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Wells, HG

  • Invisible Man
  • Island of Dr Moreau
  • The Time Machine
  • War of the Worlds

Wilde, Oscar

  • Picture of Dorian Gray

Zola, Emile

  • L’Assommoir
  • Therese Raquin