Best Selling Novels of 1900

Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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Post by ColleenMc » May 18th, 2020, 9:29 am

Some more top selling novels to explore and consider recording...several already recorded, and several repeats from the previous year, but a few new ones to explore. Historical fiction set during the American Revolution was certainly having a moment in 1900!

1. To Have and To Hold by Mary Johnston

Already on Librivox, one version.

However, only this and one other novel by Johnston have been recorded, and she has quite a few others available on PG:

2. Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley

Already on Librivox, one version.
Other works by Cholmondeley:

3. Unleavened Bread by Robert Grant

Already on Librivox, one version.

Only book by Grant recorded so far for Librivox, he has an assortment of other novels, at least one short story collection, and what appears to be some nonfiction:

4. The Reign of Law by James Lane Allen (1849-1925)

About author (from Goodreads): "James Lane Allen was an American novelist and short story writer whose work often depicted the culture and dialects of his native Kentucky. His work is characteristic of the late-19th century local color era, when writers sought to capture the vernacular in their fiction. Allen has been described as 'Kentucky's first important novelist.'"

Book description: Subtitle is "A tale of the Kentucky hemp fields" From Goodreads: "The Anglo-Saxon farmers had scarce conquered foot-hold, stronghold, freehold in the Western wilderness before they became sowers of hemp - with remembrance of Virginia, with remembrance of dear ancestral Britain. Away back in the days when they lived with wife, child, flock in frontier wooden fortresses and hardly ventured forth for water, salt, game, tillage - in the very summer of that wild daylight ride of Tomlinson and Bell, by comparison with which, my children, the midnight ride of Paul Revere, was as tame as the pitching of a rocking-horse in a boy's nursery..."

From an Amazon review: "The protagonist of this story is a young man attending a religious college, questioning the values and morals that he was raised with, and learning about love and life in the process. James Lane Allen, who wrote other novels with Kentucky settings, chose to use the cycle of hemp crops to parallel human growth...The book aroused some readers' ire due to its controversial topic - the questioning of religious doctrine by a young college student. The story now is somewhat dated; that is in fact part of its charm. We gain a glimpse of the beliefs and mores of Americans at the beginning of the twentieth century, and the changes that would soon contribute to the first World War."

Several other works by Allen have been recorded for Librivox, but not this one!

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on James Lane Allen:

5. Eben Holden by Irving Bacheller

Already on Librivox, one version.

6. Janice Meredith by Paul Leicester Ford

Already covered in "Best Sellers of 1899" viewtopic.php?f=1&t=74625

7. The Redemption of David Corson by Charles Frederic Goss (1852-1930)

Charles Frederic Goss was a Presbyterian minister and this appears to be his only novel, and he got a bestseller out of it, so props to him!
I can't find much about the book other than this little description in an Amazon review "This best selling American novel from 1900 is a romantic, melodramatic moralistic tale of love, hate, sin and redemption (duh). Ohio Quakers in the mid-19th Century endure lots of twists of fate."

This is the only book by Goss currently on Project Gutenberg, and nothing by him has been recorded for Librivox.

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on Charles Frederic Goss:

8. Richard Carvel by Winston Churchill

Already covered in "Best Sellers of 1899" viewtopic.php?f=1&t=74625

9. When Knighthood Was in Flower by Charles Major

Already on Librivox, one version. (This book was also on the 1899 best seller list!)

10. Alice of Old Vincennes by Maurice Thompson (1844-1901)

Maurice Thompson had a varied career, working as a botanist, engineer, and lawyer, before turning to writing. He started with nonfiction, including a book about archery, and poetry in the 1870s, and moved into fiction in the 1880s. Alice of Old Vincennes was his best-selling novel, and Thompson died shortly after it was published.

From Goodreads description of the novel: "Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, Alice of Old Vincennes is the story of the orphan girl Alice Roussillon. In 1778 the French outpost of Vincennes, Indiana revolts against the British and swears allegiance to the American cause. Hoisting her hand-made American flag over the fort, Alice provides the rallying symbol of the cause of liberty. The handsome Virginian Lt. Fitzhugh Beverly proves to be both a noble companion in arms as well as of the heart. When the British retake Vincennes the rallying cry 'Viva la banniere d'Alice Roussillon' is heard throughout the land. The true battle for liberty and love has begun."

There are 3 other books with Thompson as an author at Project Gutenberg, including an anthology of mystery stories by multiple authors (Eleven Possible Cases) which has been recorded for Librivox, but none of his solo works have been yet.

Text link (Project Gutenberg):
Wikipedia article on Maurice Thompson:
Wikipedia article on Alice of Old Vincennes: (stub article without much info)

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