Monday, February 29, 2016

Best-Selling Books from 1895-1909

I was looking for information on best-selling novels in the United States and came across these lists from Publisher's Weekly on Wikipedia. They start in 1895 because that's when they started making lists of best-sellers apparently. Because I am obsessed with books I started counting how many I have read in each decade. (Spoiler alert: my big decade was the 1980s.)

I recognize the names of several authors but not the novels on these lists: J.M. Barrie (famous today only for Peter Pan), Frances Hodgson Burnett (now only remembered for The Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Secret Garden), Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, Gunga Din, and several others), Edith Wharton, Elinor Glyn, Booth Tarkington, Owen Wister (many western novels made into films later), and Arthur Conan Doyle (still famous today for Sherlock Holmes).

And regarding Arthur Conan Doyle: a book named Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch was a bigger seller than The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1902!

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is still famous for exposing the terrible things happening in meatpacking facilities and inspiring the Safe Food and Drug Act of 1906.

I also discovered that there was a popular author named Winston Churchill who was no relation to the later much-more-famous British Prime Minister.

The novel Trilby featured a character named Svengali. The original novel is mostly forgotten but "Svengali" is still in use as a derogatory word. It means a person who controls and dominates an actor or singer with evil intent. The author George du Maurier is mostly forgotten now but his daughter Sylvia had 5 sons who inspired J.M. Barrie to write Peter Pan and his granddaughter Daphne du Maurier is still famous for her novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn.

The Clansman by Thomas Dixon Jr. is still famous today as the source of the D.W. Griffith film "The Birth of a Nation", the film that glorified the Ku Klux Klan in 1915.

I recognize some of the book titles, if not always the authors, from movies: "Quo Vadis", "When Nighthood was in Flower", "The Prisoner of Zenda", "The Virginian", "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm", and "The Garden of Allah". I'm sure several more must have been filmed as novels are obvious sources for movies even today.

Except for the first few chapters of The Jungle I have read none of these books. Most of them are forgotten today. 

Next time: the 1910s and 1920s!

Note: some titles recur on the lists because they were popular in both years.

How many have YOU read?

1895
  1. Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush by Ian Maclaren
  2. Trilby by George du Maurier
  3. The Adventures of Captain Horn by Frank R. Stockton
  4. The Manxman by Hall Caine
  5. The Princess Aline by Richard Harding Davis
  6. The Days of Auld Lang Syne by Ian Maclaren
  7. The Master by Israel Zangwill
  8. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
  9. Degeneration by Max Nordau
  10. My Lady Nobody by Maarten Maartens
1896
  1. Tom Grogan by Francis Hopkinson Smith
  2. A Lady of Quality by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  3. The Seats of the Mighty by Gilbert Parker
  4. A Singular Life by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward
  5. The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic
  6. A House-Boat on the Styx by John Kendrick Bangs
  7. Kate Carnegie by Ian Maclaren
  8. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  9. Sentimental Tommy by J. M. Barrie
  10. Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush by Ian Maclaren
1897
  1. Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
  2. The Choir Invisible by James Lane Allen
  3. Soldiers of Fortune by Richard Harding Davis
  4. On the Face of the Waters by Flora Annie Steel
  5. Phroso by Anthony Hope
  6. The Christian by Hall Caine
  7. Margaret Ogilvy by J. M. Barrie
  8. Sentimental Tommy by J. M. Barrie
  9. Pursuit of the House-Boat by John Kendrick Bangs
  10. The Honorable Peter Stirling by Paul Leicester Ford
1898
  1. Caleb West by Francis Hopkinson Smith
  2. Hugh Wynne by Silas Weir Mitchell
  3. Penelope's Progress by Kate Douglas Wiggin
  4. Helbeck of Bannisdale by Mary Augusta Ward
  5. Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz
  6. The Pride of Jennico by Agnes and Egerton Castle
  7. The Day's Work by Rudyard Kipling
  8. Shrewsbury by Stanley J. Weyman
  9. Simon Dale by Anthony Hope
  10. (tie) The Adventures of Fran├žois by Silas Weir Mitchell and The Battle of the Strong by Gilbert Parker
1899
  1. David Harum by Edward Noyes Westcott
  2. When Knighthood Was in Flower by Charles Major
  3. Richard Carvel by Winston Churchill
  4. The Day's Work by Rudyard Kipling
  5. Red Rock by Thomas Nelson Page
  6. Aylwin by Theodore Watts-Dunton
  7. Janice Meredith by Paul Leicester Ford
  8. Mr. Dooley in Peace and War by Finley Peter Dunne
  9. No. 5 John Street by Richard Whiteing
  10. The Market Place by Harold Frederic
 1900
  1. To Have and to Hold by Mary Johnston
  2. Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley
  3. Unleavened Bread by Robert Grant
  4. The Reign of Law by James Lane Allen
  5. Eben Holden by Irving Bacheller
  6. Janice Meredith by Paul Leicester Ford
  7. The Redemption of David Corson by Charles Frederic Goss
  8. Richard Carvel by Winston Churchill
  9. When Knighthood Was in Flower by Charles Major
  10. Alice of Old Vincennes by Maurice Thompson
1901
  1. The Crisis by Winston Churchill
  2. Alice of Old Vincennes by Maurice Thompson
  3. The Helmet of Navarre by Bertha Runkle
  4. The Right of Way by Gilbert Parker
  5. Eben Holden by Irving Bacheller
  6. The Visits of Elizabeth by Elinor Glyn
  7. The Puppet Crown by Harold MacGrath
  8. The Life and Death of Richard Yea-and-Nay by Maurice Hewlett
  9. Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon
  10. D'ri and I by Irving Bacheller
1902
  1. The Virginian by Owen Wister
  2. Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch by Alice Caldwell Hegan Rice
  3. Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall by Charles Major
  4. The Mississippi Bubble by Emerson Hough
  5. Audrey by Mary Johnston
  6. The Right of Way by Gilbert Parker
  7. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. The Two Vanrevels by Booth Tarkington
  9. The Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke
  10. Sir Richard Calmady by Lucas Malet
1903
  1. Lady Rose's Daughter by Mary Augusta Ward
  2. Gordon Keith by Thomas Nelson Page
  3. The Pit by Frank Norris
  4. Lovey Mary by Alice Hegan Rice
  5. The Virginian by Owen Wister
  6. Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch by Alice Hegan Rice
  7. The Mettle of the Pasture by James Lane Allen
  8. Letters of a Self-Made Merchant to His Son by George Horace Lorimer
  9. The One Woman by Thomas Dixon, Jr.
  10. The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come by John Fox, Jr.
1904
  1. The Crossing by Winston Churchill
  2. The Deliverance by Ellen Glasgow
  3. The Masquerader by Katherine Cecil Thurston
  4. In the Bishop's Carriage by Miriam Michelson
  5. Sir Mortimer by Mary Johnston
  6. Beverly of Graustark by George Barr McCutcheon
  7. The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come by John Fox, Jr.
  8. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
  9. My Friend Prospero by Henry Harland
  10. The Silent Places by Stewart Edward White
1905
  1. The Marriage of William Ashe by Mary Augusta Ward
  2. Sandy by Alice Hegan Rice
  3. The Garden of Allah by Robert Hichens
  4. The Clansman by Thomas Dixon, Jr.
  5. Nedra by George Barr McCutcheon
  6. The Gambler by Katherine Cecil Thurston
  7. The Maquerader by Katherine Cecil Thurston
  8. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  9. The Princess Passes by C.N. Williamson and A.M. Williamson
  10. Rose o' the River by Kate Douglas Wiggin
1906
  1. Coniston by Winston Churchill
  2. Lady Baltimore by Owen Wister
  3. The Fighting Chance by Robert W. Chambers
  4. The House of a Thousand Candles by Meredith Nicholson
  5. Jane Cable by George Barr McCutcheon
  6. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  7. The Awakening of Helena Richie by Margaret Deland
  8. The Spoilers by Rex Beach
  9. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  10. The Wheel of Life by Ellen Glasgow
1907
  1. The Lady of the Decoration by Frances Little
  2. The Weavers by Gilbert Parker
  3. The Port of Missing Men by Meredith Nicholson
  4. The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  5. The Brass Bowl by Louis Joseph Vance
  6. Satan Sanderson by Hallie Erminie Rives
  7. The Daughter of Anderson Crow by George Barr McCutcheon
  8. The Younger Set by Robert W. Chambers
  9. The Doctor by Ralph Connor
  10. Half a Rogue by Harold MacGrath
1908
  1. Mr. Crewe's Career by Winston Churchill
  2. The Barrier by Rex Beach
  3. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine by John Fox, Jr.
  4. The Lure of the Mask by Harold MacGrath
  5. The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  6. Peter by F. Hopkinson Smith
  7. Lewis Rand by Mary Johnston
  8. The Black Bag by Louis Joseph Vance
  9. The Man from Brodney's by George Barr McCutcheon
  10. The Weavers by Gilbert Parker
1909
  1. The Inner Shrine by Basil King
  2. Katrine by Elinor Macartney Lane
  3. The Silver Horde by Rex Beach
  4. The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart
  5. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine by John Fox, Jr.
  6. Truxton King by George Barr McCutcheon
  7. 54-40 or Fight by Emerson Hough
  8. The Goose Girl by Harold MacGrath
  9. Peter by F. Hopkinson Smith
  10. Septimus by William J. Locke

2 comments:

  1. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. So, one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is rare when you best me on the "how many books read" lists! Good job!

      Delete