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
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
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.)
HERBERT SPENCER, Education
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, Poetical Works
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.
LORD BYRON, Poems
LORD BYRON, Letters
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 Mangan, Poems
W. Mackworth Praed, Poems
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
ROBERT BROWNING, Poetical Works
Elizabeth Browning, Aurora Leigh
Elizabeth Browning, Shorter Poems
P. B. Marston, Song-tide
Aubrey de Vere, Legends of St. Patrick
MATTHEW ARNOLD, Poems
MATTHEW ARNOLD, Essays
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.