Five Classic Victorian Novels

Five Classic Victorian Novels

Either through satire or dramatic prose, these five novels give us keen insight into the Victorian Era.

Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (1855)


The most original heroine of Victorian literature, Margaret Hale, becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice.

Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)


Equally praised and controversial at the time of publication; this is a story of a woman’s struggle for independence from her abusive husband.

William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair (1848)


An excellent satire of English society in the early 19th Century. It chronicles the lives of two women who could not be more different: an ambitious orphan with loose morals and a naive pampered Victorian heroine.

Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1853)

bleak house

In its atmosphere, symbolism, and magnificent bleak comedy is often regarded as the best of Dickens.

George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans), Middlemarch (1872)


Often described as a masterpiece, this novel is psychologically insightful portraying a rich portrait of the life of a small early 19th-century town.

Have you read any of these, dear reader? Which five books would you choose?

2 thoughts on “Five Classic Victorian Novels

Add yours

  1. Thank you for introducing new friends and reminiscing on the old ones.

    Perhaps a poll should be offered on favorite author’s book? Allow me to assist in starting poll.
    Charles Dickens, Bleak House!

  2. I am re-reading “North and South” with a Norton Edition book I found on Ebay. I haven’t read “Bleak House” and don’t remember reading “Middlemarch,” so those are two books I can add to my “To Read” list on Goodreads. Yay!

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