Best Sellers of 1899

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
Post Reply
Posts: 1311
Joined: April 9th, 2017, 5:57 pm

Post by ColleenMc » April 13th, 2019, 11:30 am

1. David Harum: A Story of American Life by Edward Noyes Westcott (1846-1898)

"Although the book contains the mandatory love story, the character and philosophy of the title character, small town banker and horse trader David Harum, expressed in the dialect of 19th-century rural central New York is the focus of the book....Harum was an inveterate horse-trader and considered engaging in the dubious practices long associated with this activity as morally justified by the expectation that similar practices would be employed by his adversary. In principle, he contended that this made horse-trading quite different from other lines of business, yet in practice most business dealings seemed to him to be a species of horse trading, justifying considerable deviation from conventional standards of probity....Harum's version of the Golden Rule -- 'Do unto the other feller the way he'd like to do unto you, an' do it fust.'—was widely quoted." -- from Wikipedia

David Harum was published posthumously, as Westcott died of tuberculosis while the book was being readied for publication.

There are two books by Westcott on Gutenberg: David Harum, and the Christmas story from David Harum, published as a free-standing excerpt apparently. None recorded so far.

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on Edward Noyes Westcott:
Wikipedia article on David Harum:

2. When Knighthood Was in Flower by Charles Major

Already on Librivox, one version.

3. Richard Carvel by Winston Churchill (1871-1947)

This is a novel by Churchill the American author, not Churchill the British PM (and author).

"Richard Carvel is a historical novel by the American novelist Winston Churchill. It was first published in 1899 and was exceptionally successful, selling around two million copies and making the author a rich man. The novel takes the form of the memoirs of an eighteenth-century gentleman, the Richard Carvel of the title, and runs to eight volumes. It is set partly in Maryland and partly in London, England, during the American revolutionary era." -- Wikipedia

There are 64 works by Churchill on Project Gutenberg; however this includes multivolume editions of several of the novels plus the combined editions. For example, Richard Carvel is on PG as 8 smaller volumes and the complete-in-one version (which is what is linked below). Four other Churchill works have already been recorded for Librivox.

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on Winston Churchill:
Wikipedia article on Richard Carvel:

4. The Day's Work by Rudyard Kipling

Not yet recorded for Librivox -- Also on 1898 best seller list, see more info here.

5. Red Rock by Thomas Nelson Page (1853-1922)

Thomas Nelson Page was a Virginia author in the "moonlight and magnolias" genre of nostalgic writings about the pre-Civil War South and was a proponent and creator of the "lost cause" mythology. Red Rock is the story of an old Southern plantation and the struggles of its inhabitants during the Reconstruction period. It's often compared to Thomas Dixon's The Clansman and has similar portrayals of black characters.

There are 26 works by Thomas Nelson Page on PG; two books have been recorded for Librivox so far.

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on Thomas Nelson Page:

6. Aylwin by Theodore Watts-Dunton (1832-1914)

"Much interested in the Roma (Gypsies), he wrote introductions to later editions of George Borrow’s books Lavengro and Romany Rye, which had been first published in the 1850s. Watts-Dunton’s very successful novel Aylwin (1898) is a romance that also contains a fictional portrait of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and his circle. His other published works include the novel Vesprie Towers (1916) and a book of poems, The Coming of Love (1897)." --

Aylwin is one of two books by Theodore Watts-Dunton on PG; only one work (a poem in a short poetry collection) has been recorded for LV to date.

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on Theodore Watts-Dunton:

7. Janice Meredith by Paul Leicester Ford (1865-1902)

Paul Leicester Ford was on the 1897 best seller list with a different novel, and turns up here again with Janice Meredith, a Revolutionary War romance. Janice is the indulged daughter of a wealth New Jersey landowner who falls for her father's indentured servant (who is also an incognito British noble). While her father remains a Tory as the Revolution gets underway, her lover becomes a supporter of the colonial rebels and ultimately rises to become an aide to General Washington himself.

There are 8 works by Ford on PG; 2 have been recorded for LIbrivox so far.

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on Paul Leicester Ford:
Wikipedia article on Janice Meredith: (more about the movie based on the book but has detailed plot summary info).

8. Mr. Dooley in Peace and War by Finley Peter Dunne

Already on Librivox, one version.

9. No. 5 John Street by Richard Whiteing (1840-1928)

Summary from a previous suggestion of this book: "A soap-making heiress disguises herself as a worker and gets employment at her own family's factory to find out about ordinary conditions. However she comes under threat from an anarchist."

Whiteing wrote several novels and an autobiography, though none are currently on Gutenberg and none have been recorded yet for Librivox.

Text link (Internet Archive):
Wikipedia article on Richard Whiteing:

10. The Market Place by Harold Frederic (1856-1898)

Frederic makes a return to the best seller list (he had a different book on the 1896 list) with this posthumously published novel.

"Unusual interest is attached to the posthumous work of that great man whose career ended so prematurely and so tragically. The story is a study in the ethics and purposes of money-getting, in the romantic element in modern business. In it finance is presented not as being merely the province of shrewdness, or greediness, or petty personal gratification, but of great projects, of great brain-battles, a field for the exercising of talent, daring, imagination, appealing to the strength of a strong man, filling the same place in men's lives that was once filled by the incentives of war... The hero of the story, "Joel Thorpe," is one of those men, huge of body, keen of brain, with cast iron nerves, as sound a heart as most men, and a magnificent capacity for bluff. He has lived and risked and lost in a dozen countries, been almost within reach of fortune a dozen times, and always missed her until, finally, in London, by promoting a great rubber syndicate he becomes a multi-millionaire. He marries the most beautiful and one of the most impecunious peeresses in England and retires to his country estate. There, as a gentleman of leisure, he loses his motive in life, loses power for lack of opportunity, and grows less commanding even in the eyes of his wife, who misses the uncompromising, barbaric strength which took her by storm and won her. Finally he evolves a gigantic philanthropic scheme of spending his money as laboriously as he made it." -- Willa Cather review of The Market Place, as quoted in Wikipedia article.

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on Harold Frederic:
Wikipedia article on The Market Place:

Post Reply