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The Essentials of English Literature

The following is a short list, featuring twenty British authors, whom you would commonly find on any list of English Literature "classics" or "essentials." A list of the "best" authors in any category has to be considered subjective under the best of circumstances. However, based on the criteria of which authors' works have continued to stand the "test of time," and whose works have remained relevant to contemporary readers, the twenty authors listed here are a good place to start. Fans and/or students of English Literature are also encouraged to check in with any of our librarians for additional recommendations!

classic. Among the best of a class, of the highest quality in a group...a work that endures. -- Harper Handbook to Literature

The author links in this booklist are to the complete listings of all materials in the Lincoln City Libraries' collections by these authors. The links connect directly to our library catalog, so that you may check on the current availability of titles. Covers shown below are relative samples of some of these authors' best-known works.

Jane Austen

[1775-1817]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Mansfield Park'  Pride and Prejudice  Emma  Sense and Sensibility  Northanger Abbey

John Bunyan

[1628-1688]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

title'  title  title

Charlotte Bronte

[1816-1855]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

title'  title  title

Emily Bronte

[1818-1848]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

title'

Lewis Carroll

[1832-1898]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

title'  title  title  title  title

Geoffrey Chaucer

[1343-1400]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

title'  title  title  title  title

Charles Dickens

[1812-1870]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Christmas Carol'  Great Expectations  Edwin Drood  Oliver Twist  A Tale of Two Cities

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

[1859-1930]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Complete Sherlock Holmes'  Lost World  The White Company

George Eliot

[1819-1880]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

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

E.M. Forster

[1879-1970]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Great Novels and Short Stories'  Howard's End  A Passage to India  A Room With a View  Where Angels Fear to Tread

Elizabeth Gaskell

[1810-1865]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Cranford'  title  Wives and Daughters

Oliver Goldsmith

[1730-1774]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

title'  title  title

Thomas Hardy

[1840-1928]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Far From the Madding Crowd'  Jude the Obscure  Mayor of Casterbridge  Return of the Native  Tess of the D'Urbervilles

John Milton

[1608-1674]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Paradise Lost'

Sir Walter Scott

[1771-1832]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Ivanhoe'  Kenilworth  Rob Roy  Waverley

William Shakespeare

[1564-1616]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Antony and Cleopatra'  The Comedies of Shakespeare  Hamlet  Romeo and Juliet  The Sonnets

Robert Louis Stevenson

[1850-1894]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Kidnapped'  Master of Ballantrae  Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  Treasure Island  Treasure Island

William Thackeray

[1811-1863]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Barry Lyndon'  Barry Lyndon'  Vanity Fair'

Anthony Trollope

[1815-1882]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Barchester Towers'  Phineas Redux  Prime Minister  The Warden  Way We Live Now

Oscar Wilde

[1854-1900]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]

Complete Works'  Importance of being Ernest  Major Works  Picture of Dorian Gray  Portable Oscar Wilde

Compiled January 2012 kj
Adapted and expanded for the Web January 2012 sdc

Looking for additional novels on this or other subjects? Try out the NoveList database!

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