A second post analysing Librivox’s completeness, from the perspective of Arnold Bennett’s Literary Taste: How to Form It.
Librivox doesn’t have a lot of Seventeenth Century coverage, but I think it may do somewhat better in the Eighteenth.
Let’s see, shall we? As before, black is for unrecorded works, orange for partially completed works, and green for complete works.
After dealing with the formation of a library of authors up to John Dryden, I must logically arrange next a scheme for the period covered roughly by the eighteenth century. There is, however, no reason why the student in quest of a library should follow the chronological order. Indeed, I should advise him to attack the nineteenth century before the eighteenth, for the reason that, unless his taste happens to be peculiarly “Augustan,” he will obtain a more immediate satisfaction and profit from his acquisitions in the nineteenth century than in the eighteenth. There is in eighteenth-century literature a considerable proportion of what I may term “unattractive excellence,” which one must have for the purposes of completeness, but which may await actual perusal until more pressing and more human books have been read. I have particularly in mind the philosophical authors of the century.
JOHN LOCKE, Philosophical Works (2 vols.)
SIR ISAAC NEWTON, Principia (sections 1, 2, and 3)
Gilbert Burnet, History of His Own Time
William Wycherley, Best Plays
WILLIAM CONGREVE, Best Plays. One piece recorded
Jonathan Swift, Tale of a Tub
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
DANIEL DEFOE, Robinson Crusoe: 2 copies recorded
DANIEL DEFOE, Journal of the Plague Year
Joseph Addison, Sir Richard Steele, Essays. Small selections recorded
William Law, Serious Call. A different work has been recorded, but not this.
Lady Mary W. Montagu, Letters
George Berkeley, Principles of Human Knowledge. A correspondent informs me that “Part 1” is the complete work, due to the author’s death.
SAMUEL RICHARDSON, Clarissa (abridged): Volume 1 of the unabridged version is complete.
John Wesley, Journal (4 vols.)
HENRY FIELDING, Tom Jones
HENRY FIELDING, Amelia
HENRY FIELDING, Joseph Andrews
David Hume, Essays. Recording of “Treatise on Human Nature” underway, a few others complete.
LAURENCE STERNE, Tristram Shandy
LAURENCE STERNE, Sentimental Journey
Horace Walpole, Castle of Otranto
Tobias Smollett, Humphrey Clinker
Tobias Smollett, Travels through France and Italy
ADAM SMITH, Wealth of Nations (2 vols.)
Samuel Johnson, Lives of the Poets (2 vols.)
Samuel Johnson, Rasselas
JAMES BOSWELL, Life of Johnson (2 vols.)
Oliver Goldsmith, Works. A few samples of his work.
Henry Mackenzie, The Man of Feeling
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Discourses on Art
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the French Revolution
Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Present Discontents
EDWARD GIBBON, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (7 vols.)
Thomas Paine, Rights of Man. Two different works have been recorded, but not this
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN, Plays. Small excerpts of other works.
Fanny Burney, Evelina
Gilbert White, Natural History of Selborne
Arthur Young, Travels in France
Mungo Park, Travels
Jeremy Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals
THOMAS ROBERT MALTHUS, Essay on the Principle of Population
William Godwin, Caleb Williams
Maria Edgeworth, Helen
JANE AUSTEN, Novels (2 vols.)
James Morier, Hadji Baba
The principal omissions here are Jeremy Collier, whose outcry against the immorality of the stage is his slender title to remembrance; Richard Bentley, whose scholarship principally died with him, and whose chief works are no longer current; and “Junius,” who would have been deservedly forgotten long ago had there been a contemporaneous Sherlock Holmes to ferret out his identity.
Note: Librivox has none of these mentioned authors, at time of writing.
Thomas Otway, Venice Preserved
Matthew Prior, Poems on Several Occasions. One poem recorded.
John Gay, Poems. (2 vols.) Two poems recorded.
ALEXANDER POPE, Works. Some recorded.
Isaac Watts, Hymns: Any hymn-book. A dozen of so recordings.
James Thomson, The Seasons. One other work recorded.
Charles Wesley, Hymns. Three recorded.
THOMAS GRAY, Samuel Johnson, William Collins, Poems. Limited works by each author.
James Macpherson (Ossian), Poems
THOMAS CHATTERTON, Poems
WILLIAM COWPER, Poems. Limited coverage of his works.
WILLIAM COWPER, Letters. Limited coverage of his works.
George Crabbe, Poems. Limited coverage of his works.
WILLIAM BLAKE, Poems
William Lisle Bowles, Poems. One poem recorded.
ROBERT BURNS, Works. Many recordings, but no systematic collection of his works.
39 prose authors in 60 volumes.
18 poets in 18 volumes.
Librivox total: 18 complete and 19 partial recordings.