This is the third, and likely last, post which compares the Librviox database of free audiobooks with the lists provided by Arnold Bennett, a Nineteenth Century literary critic.  So far Librivox has been sparse on the Seventeenth Century, and solid on the Eighteenth Century.  How will it do in this, final*, list?  As before, items in black do not appear in the Librivox catalog. Items in orange are partially recorded. Green items are recorded in full.

(*OK, so a later editor added a Twentieth Century list to the newer edition, but it’s still in copyright in the US, so I won’t be adding it here.)

The catalogue of necessary authors of this third and last period being so long, it is convenient to divide the prose writers into Imaginative and Non-imaginative.

In the latter half of the period the question of copyright affects our scheme to a certain extent, because it affects prices. Fortunately it is the fact that no single book of recognised first-rate general importance is conspicuously dear. Nevertheless, I have encountered difficulties in the second rank; I have dealt with them in a spirit of compromise. I think I may say that, though I should have included a few more authors had their books been obtainable at a reasonable price, I have omitted none that I consider indispensable to a thoroughly representative collection. No living author is included.

Prose writers: Imaginative

SIR WALTER SCOTT, Waverley, Heart of Midlothian, Quentin Durward, Redgauntlet, Ivanhoe (5 vols.)

SIR WALTER SCOTT, Marmion, etc.

Charles Lamb, Works in Prose and Verse: (2 vols.)

Charles Lamb, Letters

Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversations

Walter Savage Landor, Poems:

Leigh Hunt, Essays and Sketches:

Thomas Love Peacock, Principal Novels (2 vols.)

Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village:

Michael Scott, Tom Cringle’s Log:

Frederick Marryat, Mr. Midshipman Easy:

John Galt, Annals of the Parish

Susan Ferrier, Marriage

Douglas Jerrold, Mrs. Caudle’s Curtain Lectures

Lord Lytton, Last Days of Pompeii

William Carleton, Stories

Charles James Lever, Harry Lorrequer

Harrison Ainsworth, The Tower of London

George Henry Borrow, Bible in Spain, Lavengro (2 vols.)

Lord Beaconsfield, Sybil, Coningsby (2 vols.)

W. M. THACKERAY, Vanity Fair, Esmond: (2 vols.)

W. M. THACKERAY, Barry Lyndon, and Roundabout Papers, etc.

CHARLES DICKENS, Works (18 vols.)

Charles Reade, The Cloister and the Hearth

Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers, Framley Parsonage. (2 vols.). There’s something a little odd with the record for Framley Parsonage, so it’s linked separately.

Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho!:

Henry Kingsley, Ravenshoe:

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Shirley, Villette, Professor, and Poems: (4 vols.)

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights. 2 versions.

Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford

Elizabeth Gaskell, Life of Charlotte Brontë

George Eliot, Adam Bede, Silas Marner, The Mill on the Floss: (3 vols.)

G. J. Whyte-Melville, The Gladiators:

Alexander Smith, Dreamthorpe:

George Macdonald, Malcolm

Walter Pater, Imaginary Portraits

Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White

R. D. Blackmore, Lorna Doone:

Samuel Butler, Erewhon:

Laurence Oliphant, Altiora Peto

Margaret Oliphant, Salem Chapel

Richard Jefferies, Story of My Heart

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland. 4 recordings, as “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”.

John Henry Shorthouse, John Inglesant:

R. L. Stevenson, Master of Ballantrae, Virginibus Puerisque: (2 vols.). A vast amount of other material, however.

George Gissing, The Odd Women

Names such as those of Charlotte Yonge and Dinah Craik are omitted intentionally.

Librivox has works by each of these authors.

Prose writers: Non-imaginative

William Hazlitt, Spirit of the Age

William Hazlitt, English Poets and Comic Writers

Francis Jeffrey, Essays from Edinburgh Review

Thomas de Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-eater, etc.

Sydney Smith, Selected Papers

George Finlay, Byzantine Empire

John G. Lockhart, Life of Scott

Agnes Strickland, Life of Queen Elizabeth. Earlier works in this series are in progress, however.

Hugh Miller, Old Red Sandstone:

J. H. Newman, Apologia pro vita sua

Lord Macaulay, History of England, (3), Essays (2): (5 vols.)

A. P. Stanley, Memorials of Canterbury:

THOMAS CARLYLE, French Revolution (2), Cromwell (3), Sartor Resartus and Heroes and Hero-Worship (1): (6 vols.)

THOMAS CARLYLE, Latter-day Pamphlets:

CHARLES DARWIN, Origin of Species

CHARLES DARWIN, Voyage of the Beagle

A. W. Kinglake, Eothen

John Stuart Mill, Auguste Comte and Positivism

John Brown, Horæ Subsecivæ: World’s Classics

John Brown, Rab and His Friends

Sir Arthur Helps, Friends in Council

Mark Pattison, Life of Milton

F. W. Robertson, On Religion and Life

Benjamin Jowett, Interpretation of Scripture

George Henry Lewes, Principles of Success in Literature:

Alexander Bain, Mind and Body

James Anthony Froude, Dissolution of the Monasteries, etc.

Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women. The link to the left also gives the works of her daughter. My search term design is weak.

John Tyndall, Glaciers of theAlps:

Sir Henry Maine, Ancient Law:

JOHN RUSKIN, Seven Lamps (1), Sesame and Lilies (1), Stones of Venice (3): (5 vols.)

HERBERT SPENCER, First Principles (2 vols.)


Sir Richard Burton, Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Mecca: (2 vols.). In progress under the name of “Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al madina and Mecca”.

J. S. Speke, Sources of the Nile:

Thomas Henry Huxley, Essays:

E. A. Freeman, Europe

WILLIAM STUBBS, Early Plantagenets

Walter Bagehot, Lombard Street

Richard Holt Hutton, Cardinal Newman

Sir John Seeley, Ecce Homo

David Masson, Thomas de Quincey: English Men of Letters Series

John Richard Green, Short History of the English People

Sir Leslie Stephen, Pope: English Men of Letters Series

Lord Acton, On the Study of History

Mandell Creighton, The Age of Elizabeth

F. W. H. Myers, Wordsworth: English Men of Letters Series

The following authors are omitted, I think justifiably:—Hallam, Whewell, Grote, Faraday, Herschell, Hamilton, John Wilson, Richard Owen, Stirling Maxwell, Buckle, Oscar Wilde, P. G. Hamerton, F. D. Maurice, Henry Sidgwick, and Richard Jebb.

It can be difficult to tell if some of these authors are listed in catalogue. The John Wilson recorded, for example, is almost certainly not the one mentioned here.


It is a little difficult to tell if a particular poem is an example of a partial recording or a particular anthology. The reader will, I hope, pardon me for errors.

 Lastly, here is the list of poets. In the matter of price per volume it is the most expensive of all the lists. This is due to the fact that it contains a larger proportion of copyright works. Where I do not specify the edition of a book, the original copyright edition is meant:


WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, Literary Criticism

Robert Southey, Poems

Robert Southey, Life of Nelson

S. T. COLERIDGE, Poetical Works

S. T. COLERIDGE, Biographia Literaria

S. T. COLERIDGE, Lectures on Shakspere

JOHN KEATS, Poetical Works. 52 matches.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY, Poetical Works. 20 matches. 



Thomas Hood, Poems

James and Horace Smith, Rejected Addresses

John Keble, The Christian Year

George Darley, Poems

T. L. Beddoes, Poems

Thomas Moore, Selected Poems

James Clarence ManganPoems

W. Mackworth PraedPoems

R. S. Hawker, Cornish Ballads

Edward FitzGerald, Omar Khaayyám. In the Librivox catalog, there are two editions of this work, catalogued under “The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám”, with Omar Khayyám as author and Fitzgerald as translator.

Arthur Hugh Clough, Poems

LORD TENNYSON, Poetical Works


Elizabeth Browning, Aurora Leigh

Elizabeth Browning, Shorter Poems

P. B. Marston, Song-tide

Aubrey de Vere, Legends of St. Patrick



Coventry Patmore, Poems

Sydney Dobell, Poems

Eric Mackay, Love-letters of a Violinist

T. E. Brown, Poems

C. S. Calverley, Verses and Translations

D. G. ROSSETTI, Poetical Works.

Christina Rossetti, Selected Poems

James Thomson, City of Dreadful Night

Jean Ingelow, Poems

William Morris, The Earthly Paradise

William Morris, Early Romances

Augusta Webster, Selected Poems

W. E. Henley, Poetical Works

Francis Thompson, Selected Poems

Poets whom I have omitted after hesitation are: Ebenezer Elliott, Thomas Woolner, William Barnes, Gerald Massey, and Charles Jeremiah Wells. On the other hand, I have had no hesitation about omitting David Moir, Felicia Hemans, Aytoun, Sir Edwin Arnold, and Sir Lewis Morris. I have included John Keble in deference to much enlightened opinion, but against my inclination. There are two names in the list which may be somewhat unfamiliar to many readers. James Clarence Mangan is the author of My Dark Rosaleen, an acknowledged masterpiece, which every library must contain. T. E. Brown is a great poet, recognised as such by a few hundred people, and assuredly destined to a far wider fame. I have included FitzGerald because Omar Khayyám is much less a translation than an original work.

It’s interesting to note, again, that the authors excluded without hesitation have been sampled more thoroughly, by Librivox readers, than the primary list.

Summary of the nineteenth century

83 prose authors in 141 volumes and 38 poets in 46 volumes.

Librivox has 31 complete and 38 partial recordings from this list.

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