Best Books of the Decade: 1890s

Top 10 Best Books of the Decade: 1890s : The Importance of Being Earnest, The Awakening, Hunger, The Invisible Man, Jude the Obscure, The Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Poems, The Yellow Wall-Paper, Quo Vadis, The Anti-Christ, Pan

The Importance of Being Earnest
AuthorOscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde's madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers entanglements still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance. The rapid-fire wit and eccentric characters of The Importance of Being Earnest have made it a mainstay...
The Awakening
AuthorKate Chopin
When first published in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin's daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds...
AuthorKnut Hamsun
One of the most important and controversial writers of the 20th century, Knut Hamsun made literary history with the publication in 1890 of this powerful, autobiographical novel recounting the abject poverty, hunger and despair of a young writer struggling to achieve self-discovery and its ultimate...
The Invisible Man
AuthorH.G. Wells
This is the story of how one angry, naked, sneezing albino managed to terrorize the English countryside.
To be quite honest, I expected a bit more from the people who fended off the Nazis for years. But Wells seemed to think his fellow countrymen would be a bit too inept to toss a sheet over this shivering...
Jude the Obscure
AuthorThomas Hardy

i have just discovered, so i am including this, but it is a total spoiler, so be warned.

(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)].
AuthorOscar Wilde
Born in Dublin in 1854, Oscar Wilde dazzled the salons of his day with supremely witty conversation and his ardent championship of a philosophy of aestheticism. As a writer, he produced The Importance of Being Earnest, one of the finest comedies in English, and other classic plays. His one novel, The...
The Yellow Wall-Paper
AuthorCharlotte Perkins Gilman
‘It is stripped off - the paper - in great patches . . . The colour is repellent . . . In the places where it isn’t faded and where the sun is just so - I can see a strange, provoking, formless sort of figure, that seems to skulk about . . .’

Based on the author’s own experiences, 'The Yellow Wallpaper'...
Quo Vadis
AuthorHenryk Sienkiewicz
Rome during the reign of Nero was a glorious place for the emperor and his court; there were grand feasts, tournaments for poets, and exciting games and circuses filling the days and nights. The pageantry and pretentious displays of excess were sufficient to cloy the senses of participants as well as...
The Anti-Christ
AuthorFriedrich Nietzsche
Monumento de escándalo para idiotas, arma arrojadiza en manos torpes, o cumbre póstuma del inquietante pensamiento y de la palabra pasional y devastadora de Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). El Anticristo, como toda la obra filosófica del insigne alemán, ha sido interpretado de muy diversos...
AuthorKnut Hamsun
I went into the café and sat down in the corner. I prefer to sit there. I took out my book and opened it. After a while, I looked up and saw that one of the waitresses was standing behind me. I realised she had been there for some time. She was a pretty brunette who looked about twenty.

- Excuse me, I said....
The Interpretation of Dreams
AuthorSigmund Freud
Die Traumdeutung = The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud
The Interpretation of Dreams (German: Die Traumdeutung) is an 1899 book by the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, in which the author introduces his theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation, and discusses what...
The Country of the Pointed Firs
AuthorSarah Orne Jewett
First published in 1896, The Country of the Pointed Firs was considered by Willa Cather to be one of the three novels most likely to achieve a permanent place in the canon of American literature: “I can think of no others that confront time and change so serenely… The young student of American literature...
AuthorA.E. Housman
Few volumes of poetry in the English language have enjoyed as much success with both literary connoisseurs and the general reader as A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad, first published in 1896. Scholars and critics have seen in these timeless poems an elegance of taste and perfection of form and feeling...
New Grub Street
AuthorGeorge Gissing
In New Grub Street George Gissing re-created a microcosm of London's literary society as he had experienced it. His novel is at once a major social document and a story that draws us irresistibly into the twilit world of Edwin Reardon, a struggling novelist, and his friends and acquaintances in Grub...
AuthorJoris-Karl Huysmans

La-bas (English Down There)--with its explicit account of child sex-murders and its detailed description of a black mass—may benefit from its transgressive reputation but also suffers from it too. Readers who come to it seeking thrills and horrors will be alternately bored and disappointed,...
The Golden Bough
AuthorJames George Frazer
Frazer a klasszikus brit etnológia utolsó képviselője (1854-1941). Élete és munkássága korszakot jelent a néprajztudomány történetében. … Az Aranyágban arra tesz kísérletet, hogy felvázolja az emberi gondolkodás fejlődését a mágia, a vallás egymást követő...
AuthorJohanna Spyri
Heidi, a Swiss book originally published in German in 1881, was one of those books I grew up with: my mother had a simplified, abridged version of it that I read many times and loved as a child. When I realized the GR group "Catching up on the Classics" was doing it as a group read, I jumped in, excited for the...
AuthorAnton Chekhov
In the final years of his prominent life, Chekhov had reached the height of his powers as a dramatist, and also produced some of the stories that rank among his masterpieces. The poignant 'The Lady with the Little Dog' and 'About Love' examine the nature of love outside of marriage - its romantic idealism...
The Prisoner of Zenda
AuthorAnthony Hope
Anthony Hope transports his English gentleman hero, Rudolf Rassendyll, from a comfortable life in London to fast-moving adventures in Ruritania, a fictional land steeped in political intrigue. Rassendyll bears a striking resemblance to Rudolf Elphberg who is about to be crowned King of Ruritania....
Gösta Berling's Saga
AuthorSelma Lagerlöf
The first woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature, Lagerlöf assured her place in Swedish letters with this 1891 novel. The eponymous hero, a country pastor whose appetite for alcohol and indiscretions ends his career, falls in with a dozen vagrant Swedish cavaliers and enters into a power...
The Great God Pan
AuthorArthur Machen
The Great God Pan" is a novella written by Arthur Machen. A version of the story was published in the magazine Whirlwind in 1890, and Machen revised and extended it for its book publication (together with another story, "The Inmost Light") in 1894. On publication it was widely denounced by the press as...
Poems of Christina Rossetti
AuthorChristina Rossetti
A remarkable collection of artistic poetry in a Victorian worldview filled with wistful hopes, evocative imageries, and deep emotions.

Rossetti, a talented poetess, tackled recurring themes such as piety, love, sentimentalism, feminism, and somehow, like Emily Dickinson, had a penchant...
AuthorRudyard Kipling
Here is the thrilling story of Rikki, a fearless young mongoose who finds himself locked in a life-and-death struggle to protect a boy and his parents from Nag and Nagaina, the two enormous cobras who stalk the gardens outside the family's home in India. Nobel Prize winner Rudyard Kipling's timeless...
AuthorRudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 - 18 January 1936) was an English author and poet. He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works speak to a versatile and luminous narrative gift. Kipling...
AuthorÉmile Zola
The penultimate novel of the Rougon-Macquart cycle, La Debacle (1892) takes as its subject the dramatic events of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune of 1870-1. During Zola's lifetime it was the bestselling of all his novels, praised by contemporaries for its epic sweep as well as for its attention...
AuthorArthur Machen
Some of the finest horror stories ever written. Arthur Machen had a profound impact upon H.P. Lovecraft and the group of stories that would later become known as the Cthulhu Mythos. This first volume of Chaosium's Arthur Machen collection begins with the chilling "The Three Impostors" in its complete...
AuthorWilliam Morris
News from Nowhere(1890) is the best-known prose work of William Morris and the only significant English utopia to be written since Thomas More's. The novel describes the encounter between a visitor from the nineteenth century, William Guest, and a decentralized and humane socialist future. Set...
AuthorE.W. Hornung
Gentleman thief Raffles is daring, debonair, devilishly handsome-and a first-rate cricketer. In these eight stories, the master burglar indulges his passion for cricket and crime: stealing jewels from a country house, outwitting the law, pilfering from the nouveau riche, and, of course, bowling...
The Songs of Bilitis
AuthorPierre Louÿs
Et maintenant, sur les pâles prairies d'asphodèles, je me promène, ombre impalpable, et le souvenir de ma vie terrestre est la joie de ma vie souterraine.

Quelques illustrations de George Barbier(1882-1932):
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An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
AuthorAmbrose Bierce
The condemned man stands on a bridge, his hands bound behind his back. A noose is tied around his neck. In a moment he will meet his fate: DEATH BY HANGING. There is no escape. Or is there? Find out in . . . An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital...
Quincas Borba
AuthorMachado de Assis
When the mad philosopher Quincas Borba dies, he leaves to his friend Rubiao the entirety of his wealth and property, with a single stipulation: Rubiao must take care of Quincas Borba's dog, who is also named Quincas Borba, and who may indeed have assumed the soul of the dead philosopher. Flush with his...
AuthorW.B. Yeats
In a letter to his publisher, Yeats referred to The Wind Among the Reeds as "a book of short lyrics Irish & personal." It may also be described as a collection of love poems both intense and indirect. Now considered a watershed in Yeats's career, the book received mixed reviews when it was first published...
AuthorHilaire Belloc
For readers of any age, a witty and strikingly irreverent collection of moral guidance Most notable among prolific English satirist Hilaire Belloc's writings are the sharp and clever admonishments he composed for children. Collected here and illustrated to wonderful haunting effect by Edward...
The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai
AuthorHan Bangqing
Desire, virtue, courtesans (also known as sing-song girls), and the denizens of Shanghai's pleasure quarters are just some of the elements that constitute Han Bangqing's extraordinary novel of late imperial China. Han's richly textured, panoramic view of late-nineteenth-century Shanghai follows...
AuthorGeorge MacDonald
Lilith is a story concerning the nature of life, death, and salvation.

After he followed the old man through the mirror, nothing in his life was ever right again. It was a special mirror and the man he followed was a special man -- a man who led him to the things that underlie the fate of all creation....
AuthorEdith Anna Oenone Somerville
Absolutely hilarious. The British judge, Major Yeates the RM (for Royal Magistrate), arrives in rain, soon offered a horse by his savvy landlord who's already overcharging: "…a stout grey animal. I recognised with despair that I was about to be compelled to buy a horse. Jolting to my entrance gate...
The Awkward Age
AuthorHenry James
Making her debut in London society, Nanda Brookenham is being groomed for the marriage market. Thrust suddenly into the superficial circle that surrounds her mother, the innocent but independent-minded young woman even finds herself in competition with Mrs Brookenham for the affection of the man...
AuthorStephen Crane
"A powerful, severe, and harshly comic portrayal of Irish immigrant life in lower New York exactly a century ago."—Alfred Kazin.
Although fellow novelists William Dean Howells and Hamlin Garland immediately recognized genius in the twenty-one-year-old author of Maggie: A Girl of the Streets,...
AuthorWilliam Morris
"The Wood Beyond the World" was first published in 1894 and its author, William Morris is often considered one of the authors who aided in the growth of fantasy, utopian literature, and science fiction. C.S. Lewis cites William Morris as one of his favorite authors and J.R.R. Tolkein admits to being...
AuthorBenito Pérez Galdós
«Misericordia», escrita y publicada en 1897, es una de las mejores obras de Galdós. Testimonio de su desilusión ideológica ante el fracaso de los objetivos regeneracionistas que él soñaba en la clase media, tiene en el pueblo su máximo protagonista. Galdós es el pintor literario del Madrid...
AuthorThomas Hardy
The Well Beloved is Hardy’s last novel (or his penultimate, depending on how you count); and it has a distinctly elegiac, valedictory feel about it. The ostensible theme is beauty and the artist’s—and lover’s—desire to possess and appropriate it; but it is also about ageing and memory and...
Chassé de l’Ecole polytechnique dans les années 1830, Lucien Leuwen, grâce aux relations de son père, riche banquier parisien, obtient de devenir sous-lieutenant et gagne Nancy. Tandis que son régiment de lanciers entre dans la ville, il aperçoit, derrière une persienne entrouverte,...
AuthorHamlin Garland
Main-Travelled Roads contains eleven stories in this expanded and revised 1922 edition of an undisputed American classic. "Under the Lion's Paw" shows an honest, hard-working farmer victimized by a greedy landlord. Equally powerful is the semi-autobiographical "Up the Coolly," concerning a...
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