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Greatest British Books

August 2, 2018

These are 30 fantastic books, considered as must-read, from some of the most famous and contemporary authors and their most celebrated works that every self-proclaiming bibliophile should read.

1 Howards End

Howards End

E. M. Forster | Romance Classics

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Howards End is a novel by E. M. Forster, first published in 1910, which tells a story of social and familial relations in turn-of-the-century England. The main subject matter comprises the difficulties and benefits of relationships between people of divergent outlook, gender, or class; a further concern of the book is the need to accept and link multiple outlooks on the world within a single self. The themes of the book may be summed up in its famous epigraph, "Only connect...". Howards End is generally considered to be Forster's masterpiece. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Howards End 38th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

2 Heart of Darkness

Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad | Fiction Classics

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Captain Charles Marlow describes his experience transporting ivory along the Congo River in Africa where he encounters many instances of ruin and destruction.

3 Persuasion

Persuasion

Jane Austen | Romance Classics

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Anne Elliot falls in love with Frederick Wentworth, and although her family persuades her to break it off, she never stops loving him.

4 Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte | Fiction Classics

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A servant in the house at Wuthering Heights reveals the historic story of the love affair between Catherine and Heathcliff to a visitor who is currently staying there.

5 Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte | Romance Classics

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A poor, abused orphan named Jane uses her cleverness and perseverance to win the love of the man she loves.

6 Frankenstein

Frankenstein

Mary Shelley | Sci-Fi Classics

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A scientist creates a monster with pieces of corpses, but the monster develops a mind of his own begins to despise his creator.

7 Middlemarch

Middlemarch

George Eliot | Romance Classics

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Set during the industrial revolution, the idealistic Dorothea attempts to improve the world, despite her overbearing husband.

8 Bleak House

Bleak House

Charles Dickens | Fiction Classics

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Multiple people compete to become the beneficiary of a will in the court case, Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

9 The Good Soldier

The Good Soldier

Ford Madox Ford | Romance Classics

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The classic book, The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford.

10 Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen | Romance Classics

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The beautiful, young Elizabeth falls in love with Mr. Darcy, but he must control his pride while she tries to overcome her prejudice.

11 Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

William Makepeace Thackeray | Fiction Classics

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During the time of Waterloo, Amelia Sedley begins a courtship and Becky Sharp utilizes her cleverness to avoid becoming a governess.

12 The Waves

The Waves

Virginia Woolf | Fiction Classics

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One of Woolf’s most experimental novels, The Waves presents six characters in monologue - from morning until night, from childhood into old age - against a background of the sea. The result is a glorious chorus of voices that exists not to remark on the passing of events but to celebrate the connection between its various individual parts.

13 Emma

Emma

Jane Austen | Fiction Classics

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The beautiful and intelligent Emma Wodehouse enjoys meddling in other people's love lives, but she can't seem to find a love of her own.

14 The History of Tom Jones

The History of Tom Jones

Henry Fielding | Fiction Classics

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Henry Fielding (1707–1754) began his career as a novelist in 1740 with the publications of Shamela and then Joseph Andrews, with which he anticipates his masterpiece, Tom Jones.Thomas Keymer is Elmore Fellow and Tutor in English at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. Alice Wakely teaches at the University of York.

15 David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Charles Dickens | Fiction Classics

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This book unearths the life of David Copperfield from his childhood into adulthood.

16 Villette

Villette

Charlotte Bronte | Romance Classics

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With no family or money, Lucy moves to France and becomes a teacher at a school for girls where she finds love and independence.

17 Moll Flanders

Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe | Fiction Classics

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Purports to be the autobiography of the daughter of a woman who had been transported to Virginia for theft after her child's birth. The child is brought up in the house of the mayor of Colchester. The story relates her seduction, her marriages and liaisons, and her visit to Virginia.

18 A room with a view

A room with a view

E.M. Foster | Humanities and Arts

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A Room with a View is a 1908 novel by English writer E. M. Forster, about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. Merchant-Ivory produced an award-winning film adaptation in 1985. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked A Room with a View 79th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

19 Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure

Thomas Hardy | Romance Classics

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A stonemason is duped into an unhappy marriage, and he longs for a real education and better lifestyle.

20 Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son

Charles Dickens | Fiction Classics

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Paul Dombey, an arrogant and cruel merchant, realizes too late that he should have been more compassionate to his children.

21 Sons and Lovers

Sons and Lovers

D. H. Lawrence | Fiction Classics

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Torn between his passion for two women and his abiding attachment to his mother, young Paul Morel struggles with his desire to please everyone.

22 The Way We Live Now

The Way We Live Now

Anthony Trollope | Fiction Classics

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An unscrupulous Victorian lady attempts to further the financial and social aspirations of her son who plans to marry the daughter of a wealthy swindler.

23 Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Thomas Hardy | Romance Classics

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Tess, a poor country girl is raped and becomes pregnant. When she gets married to Angel, he is infuriated to learn she had a baby by another man.

24 Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift | Sci-Fi Classics

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During his travels, an Englishman encounters tiny people, giants, sorcerers, and horses who control humans.

25 The Old Wives' Tale

The Old Wives' Tale

Arnold Bennett | Fiction Classics

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First published in 1908, The Old Wives' Tale affirms the integrity of ordinary lives via the story of the Baines sisters--shy, retiring Constance; and defiant, romantic Sophia--over the course of nearly half a century. Download it today!

26 Daniel Deronda

Daniel Deronda

George Eliot | Romance Classics

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Gwendolyn falls in love with Daniel Deronda, a bright and thoughtful young man, who is troubled by the discovery of his Jewish ancestry.

27 The Woman in White

The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins | Mystery Classics

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Walter Hartright encounters a mysterious woman dressed entirely in white, whom he later discovers escaped from an insane asylum.

28 Women in Love

Women in Love

D. H. Lawrence | Romance Classics

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Sisters Gudrun and Ursula Brangwen pursue complex relationships with their lovers, Rupert Birkin and Gerald Crich.

29 Barchester Towers

Barchester Towers

Anthony Trollope | Fiction Classics

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When the more Evangelical Bishop Proudie takes succession, his ideals make him instantly unpopular with the rest of the diocese.

30 The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner

James Hogg | Horror Classics

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This FREE e-Book features a famous tale by famed Scottish writer, James Hogg. It is about Robert, who having committed a series of heinous but supposedly justified crimes, finally takes his own life. Download it now!