Great Books of Our Time

In 1961, the British Newspaper, the Sunday Times produced a book called Great Books of Our Time (though inside it was called 101 Great Books of Our Time). They listed 99 great English prose works, written between 1901 and 1951 and added two more voted by readers. Despite the changing criteria (from the cover to the inside cover to what they actually did – 101 works (actually 102 as they combine the two Joyce novels into one entry) by British and Irish writers plus Katherine Mansfield), it is an interesting though very dated list. The following are the works of fiction in the list. They are in chronological order of publication, except for the last one, which is the readers’ choice.

Rudyard Kipling: Kim
Henry James: The Ambassadors
Samuel Butler: The Way of All Flesh
George Gissing: The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft
W H Hudson: Green Mansions
Joseph Conrad: Nostromo
H G Wells: Kipps
John Galsworthy: The Man of Property
Joseph Conrad: The Secret Agent
Arnold Bennett: The Old Wives’ Tale
Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows
E M Forster: Howards End
Joseph Conrad: Under Western Eyes
Max Beerbohm: Zuleika Dobson
Saki: The Unbearable Bassington
D H Lawrence: Sons and Lovers
Compton Mackenzie: Sinister Street
D H Lawrence: The Rainbow
Somerset Maugham: Of Human Bondage
John Buchan: The Thirty-Nine Steps
Katherine Mansfield: The Garden Party
James Joyce: The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Ulysses
Aldous Huxley: Antic Hay
E M Forster: A Passage to India
Rose Macaulay: Orphan Island
Ronald Firbank: Prancing Nigger
Virginia Woolf: Mrs. Dalloway
P G Wodehouse: Carry On Jeeves
Henry Williamson: Tarka the Otter
Virginia Woolf: To the Lighthouse
Wyndham Lewis: The Childermass
Aldous Huxley: Point Counter Point
Evelyn Waugh: Decline and Fall
T F Powys: Mr. Weston’s Good Wine
Richard Hughes: A High Wind in Jamaica
J B Priestley: The Good Companions
J B Priestley: Angel Pavement
Somerset Maugham: Cakes and Ale
L H Myers: The Near and the Far
Christopher Isherwood: Mr. Norris Changes Trains
Ivy Compton-Burnett: Daughters and Sons
Elizabeth Bowen: The Death of the Heart
Joyce Cary: Mister Johnson
T H White: The Sword in the Stone
Graham Greene: The Power and the Glory
C P Snow: Strangers and Brothers
L P Hartley: The Shrimp and the Anemone
Joyce Cary: The Horse’s Mouth
Evelyn Waugh: Brideshead Revisited
George Orwell: Animal Farm
Anthony Powell: A Question of Upbringing
Mary Webb: Precious Bane