The Observer's The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time
112 7.81. Don Quixote (Penguin Classics) - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
The story of the gentle knight and his servant Sancho Panza has entranced readers for centuries.
10 9.32. The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
The one with the Slough of Despond and Vanity Fair.
78 7.53. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
The first English novel.
74 7.14. Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
A wonderful satire that still works for all ages, despite the savagery of Swift's vision.
3 05. Tom Jones (Wordsworth Classics) - Henry Fielding
The adventures of a high-spirited orphan boy: an unbeatable plot and a lot of sex ending in a blissful marriage.
7 5.56. Clarissa, or the History of A Young Lady - Samuel Richardson
One of the longest novels in the English language, but unputdownable.
14 9.37. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Ge... - Laurence Sterne
One of the first bestsellers, dismissed by Dr Johnson as too fashionable for its own good.
2 88. Les Liaisons Dangereuses: Dangerous Liaisons... - Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de Laclos
An epistolary novel and a handbook for seducers: foppish, French, and ferocious.
149 7.59. Emma - Jane Austen
Near impossible choice between this and Pride and Prejudice. But Emma never fails to fascinate and annoy.
119 7.410. Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Inspired by spending too much time with Shelley and Byron.
3 711. Nightmare Abbey - Thomas Love Peacock
A classic miniature: a brilliant satire on the Romantic novel.
3 512. The Black Sheep: (La Rabouilleuse) (Classics... - Honore Balzac
Two rivals fight for the love of a femme fatale. Wrongly overlooked.
2 013. The Charterhouse of Parma - Stendhal
Penetrating and compelling chronicle of life in an Italian court in post-Napoleonic France.
38 7.914. The Count of Monte Cristo (Wordsworth Classi... - Alexandre Dumas
A revenge thriller also set in France after Bonaparte: a masterpiece of adventure writing.
2 715. Sybil: or The Two Nations - Benjamin Disraeli
Apart from Churchill, no other British political figure shows literary genius.
18 7.416. David Copperfield (Wordsworth Classics) - Charles Dickens
This highly autobiographical novel is the one its author liked best.
420 817. Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff have passed into the language. Impossible to ignore.
190 7.818. Jane Eyre (Penguin Popular Classics) - Charlotte Brontë
Obsessive emotional grip and haunting narrative.
45 7.219. Vanity Fair (Penguin Classics) - William Thackeray
The improving tale of Becky Sharp.
104 6.720. The Scarlet Letter (Bantam Classics) - Nathaniel Hawthorne
A classic investigation of the American mind.
62 8.121. Moby-Dick or, The Whale - Herman Melville
'Call me Ishmael' is one of the most famous opening sentences of any novel.
122 7.522. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
You could summarise this as a story of adultery in provincial France, and miss the point entirely.
24 7.623. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Gripping mystery novel of concealed identity, abduction, fraud and mental cruelty.
296 8.324. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
A story written for the nine-year-old daughter of an Oxford don that still baffles most kids.
125 7.325. Little Women (Penguin Popular Classics) - Louisa M Alcott
Victorian bestseller about a New England family of girls.
2 1026. The Way We Live Now (Barnes & Noble Classics... - Anthony Trollope
A majestic assault on the corruption of late Victorian England.
77 7.327. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
The supreme novel of the married woman's passion for a younger man.
0 028. Daniel Deronda (Wordsworth Classics) - George Eliot
A passion and an exotic grandeur that is strange and unsettling.
116 8.529. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Mystical tragedy by the author of Crime and Punishment.
20 6.930. The Portrait of a Lady (Oxford World's Class... - Henry James
The story of Isabel Archer shows James at his witty and polished best.
360 7.431. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Twain was a humorist, but this picture of Mississippi life is profoundly moral and still incredibly influential.
124 7.932. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson
A brilliantly suggestive, resonant study of human duality by a natural storyteller.
18 7.933. Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the D... - Jerome K. Jerome
One of the funniest English books ever written.
581 8.334. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
A coded and epigrammatic melodrama inspired by his own tortured homosexuality.
8 735. Diary of a Nobody (Wordsworth Classics) - George Grossmith,Weedon Grossmith
This classic of Victorian suburbia will always be renowned for the character of Mr Pooter.
33 6.736. Jude the Obscure (Oxford World's Classics) - Thomas Hardy
Its savage bleakness makes it one of the first twentieth-century novels.
4 637. The Riddle of the Sands: A Record of Secret ... - Erskine Childers
A prewar invasion-scare spy thriller by a writer later shot for his part in the Irish republican rising.
82 7.638. The Call of the Wild - Jack London
The story of a dog who joins a pack of wolves after his master's death.
9 6.839. Nostromo (Twentieth Century Classics) - Joseph Conrad
Conrad's masterpiece: a tale of money, love and revolutionary politics.
34 7.840. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
This children's classic was inspired by bedtime stories for Grahame's son.
1 041. In Search of Lost Time - Marcel Proust
An unforgettable portrait of Paris in the belle epoque. Probably the longest novel on this list.
9 042. The Rainbow - D. H. Lawrence
Novels seized by the police, like this one, have a special afterlife.
5 743. The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion - Ford Madox Ford
This account of the adulterous lives of two Edwardian couples is a classic of unreliable narration.
6 7.544. The Thirty-Nine Steps (Wordsworth Classics) - John Buchan
A classic adventure story for boys, jammed with action, violence and suspense.
132 7.745. Ulysses - James Joyce
Also pursued by the British police, this is a novel more discussed than read.
162 7.846. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Secures Woolf's position as one of the great twentieth-century English novelists.
24 7.547. A Passage to India - E.M. Forster
The great novel of the British Raj, it remains a brilliant study of empire.
728 7.748. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The quintessential Jazz Age novel.
78 7.849. The Trial (Penguin Modern Classics) - Franz Kafka
The enigmatic story of Joseph K.
11 850. Men Without Women - Ernest Hemingway
He is remembered for his novels, but it was the short stories that first attracted notice.
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