Victorian Challenge

Either I'm insane or just very ambitious but I've decided to take part in a Victorian Perpetual Challenge. The aim of this challenge is to read a book published for every year that Queen Victoria reigned. This, as you can imagine, is quite an undertaking. I'll be giving myself at least two years to finish this. I've picked my titles in advance but I may change them around as I discover new titles. For instance, I have put down the first and third novels in Emile Zola's Rougon-Marquet cycle but if I happen to really like the Fortune of the Rougon's I may add more as I go.

I've tried to be as diverse as possible with the texts I've chosen. My list includes:
  • Types of Texts: novels, non fiction, poetry, essays, plays.
  • Geography: texts written by German, Norwegian, Dutch, French, English, Russian, American, Italian, Austrian, Finnish and Chinese authors.
  • Genre: Children's, Gothic, Realism, Naturalism,
    Transcendentalism, Existentialism, Philosophy
    etc. just to name a few.

1837: The Little Mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen
1838: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket - Edgar Allan Poe
1839: Beatrix - Honore de Balzac
1840: A Hero of Our Time - Mikhail Lermontov
1841: The Old Curiosity Shop - Charles Dickens
1842: Dead Souls - Nikolai Gogol
1843: Georges - Alexandre Dumas
1844: The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
1845: Sybil - Benjamin Disraeli
1846: The Village - Dmitry Grigorovich
1847: Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
1848: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte
1849: Immensee - Theodor Storm
1850: David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
1851: The King of the Golden River - John Ruskin
1852: A Sportsman's Sketches - Ivan Turgenev
1853: Bleak House - Charles Dickens
1854: Ruth Hall - Fanny Fern
1855: The Warden - Anthony Trollope
1856: Olaf Liljekrans - Henrik Ibsen
1857: Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
1858: Phantastes - George MacDonald
1859: Oblomov - Ivan Goncharov
1860: Max Havelaar - Multatuli
1861: Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
1862: Goblin Market - Christina Rossetti
1863: Romola - George Eliot
1864: Notes From the Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky
1865: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
1866: Miss Marjoribanks - Margaret Oliphant
1867: Smoke - Ivan Turgenev
1868: The Moonstone  - Wilkie Collins
1869: War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
1870: Venus in Furs - Leopold von Sacher-Masoch
1871: La Fortune des Rougon - Emile Zola
1872: The Birth of Tragedy - Friedrich Nietzsche
1873: Le Venture de Paris - Emile Zola
1874: Middlemarch - George Eliot
1875: The Way We Live Now - Anthony Trollope
1876: Daniel Deronda  - George Eliot
1877: Three Tales - Gustave Flaubert
1878: Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
1879: The Egoist - George Meredith
1880: The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
1881: The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
1882: New Arabian Nights - Robert Louis Stevenson
1883: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard Pyle
1884: Rautatie - Juhani Aho
1885: Idylls of the King - Alfred Tennyson
1886: Tjhit Liap Seng - Lie Kim Hok
1887: Ivanov - Anton Chekov
1888: Wessex Tales - Thomas Hardy
1889: Cleopatra - H. Rider Haggard
1890: The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
1891: Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
1892: The Diary of a Nobody - George Grossmith
1893: Under the Yoke - Ivan Vazov
1894: The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
1895: Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
1896: The Seagull - Anton Chekov
1897: Dracula - Bram Stoker
1898: The Turn of the Screw - Henry James
1899: Resurrection - Leo Tolstoy
1900: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum
1901: Three Sisters - Anton Chekov


  1. Ha, ha, you're insane! But don't you know that you're part of a big, friendly insane club of which I'm a member, so don't worry! ;-)

    This challenge looks like fun. And speaking of insane, just to make you feel better, my challenges for the year (while I've reduced them from last) consist of strictly English books on one hand, yet on the other, ancient books and books in translation. Don't know what I was thinking ...... :-Z

    In any case, have fun with this one!

  2. Glad to know there are people just as insane as I am!

    I'm really looking forward to this challenge. I've tried to choose books I haven't read before (with a few exceptions) and I'm really happy with my choices.

    I'm in the same situation as you. I have Ancient texts, a lot of French, various Medieval, Russian and even one Finnish novel. It's all a bit of a mess but I hope it'll give me more diversity with books I choose to read in the future.

    1. What is the Finnish novel? I'm curious! :-)

    2. Rautatie by Juhani Aho. Apparently its about a "quiet couple living in the woods who imagine what a railroad is based on what they have heard".


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