Stuff to Read: The Best Authors and Novels of the 1700s

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And here are the top novels of the 1700s. As you read these, you’ll see that the concept of novel wasn’t yet clearly defined. Robinson Crusoe is a mix of adventure fiction, autobiography, travelogue, and theories of education, government, and the relations of humans. This is similar to the web today: it’s not yet clear what the web will be.

If you have novels for this list, let me know. It has to have been written in the 1700s in any language.

  • A Modest Proposal, by Jonathan Swift
  • A Sentimental Journey, by Laurence Sterne
  • A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
  • Amelia, by Henry Fielding
  • Caleb Williams, by William Godwin
  • Camilla, by Fanny Burney
  • Candide, by Voltaire
  • Cecilia, by Fanny Burney
  • Charlotte Temple, by Susanna Rowson
  • Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady, by Samuel Richardson
  • Confessions, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Edgar Huntly or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker, by Charles Brockden Brown
  • Emile: Or On Education, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Evelina, by Fanny Burney
  • Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, by John Cleland
  • Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift
  • Jacques the Fatalist, by Denis Diderot
  • Joseph Andrews/Shamela, by Henry Fielding
  • Julie, or the New Heloise, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Justine, by Marquis de Sade
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses, by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  • Love in Excess, by Eliza Haywood
  • Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe
  • Ormond, by Charles Brockden Brown
  • Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded, by Samuel Richardson
  • Rameau’s Nephew and D’Alembert’s Dream, by Denis Diderot
  • Reveries of the Solitary Walker, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe
  • Roxana, by Daniel Defoe
  • The 120 Days of Sodom and Other Writings, by Marquis de Sade
  • The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, by Tobias Smollett
  • The Adventures of Roderick Random, by Tobias Smollett
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin
  • The Castle of Otranto, by Horace Walpole
  • The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, by Tobias Smollett
  • The Federalist Papers, by Alexander Hamilton
  • The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia, by Samuel Johnson
  • The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, by Henry Fielding
  • The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, by Olaudah Equiano
  • The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Sterne
  • The Man of Feeling, by Henry MacKenzie
  • The Monk, by Matthew Gregory Lewis
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe
  • The Nun, by Denis Diderot
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel , by Emmuska Orczy
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • The Vicar of Wakefield, by Oliver Goldsmith
  • Vathek, by William Beckford
  • Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist, by Charles Brockden Brown
  • Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe