A collection of 250 British and Irish novels from the period 1782 to 1903, stretching from the golden age of Gothic fiction to the Decadent and New Woman novels of the 1890s. Major novelists of the period such as Austen, Scott, Mary Shelley, Dickens, Eliot, Hardy and the Brontës feature alongside popular romances, sensation fiction, colonial adventure novels and children's literature.
- Comprehensive representation of the major authors of the period, ranging from the complete works of Jane Austen and George Eliot, to broad representative selections from the works of the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Walter Scott, William Makepeace Thackeray and Anthony Trollope, among others.
- Gothic novels, for example Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796), Thomas Love Peacock’s Nightmare Abbey (1818) and two versions of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818 and 1831)
- The ‘Silver Fork’ school, particularly Lady Caroline Lamb’s Glenarvon (1816), Susan Ferriar’s Marriage (1818), Benjamin Disraeli’s Vivian Grey (1826–27), Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Pelham (1828) and Catherine Gore’s Mrs Armytage (1836)
- ‘New Woman’ novels, such as Olive Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm (1883), George Gissing’s The Odd Women (1893) and Grant Allen’s The Woman Who Did (1895)
- Popular fiction, including R.M. Ballantyne’s The Coral Island (1858), Mary Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret (1862), Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies (1863), Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty (1877), Richard Jefferies’ Bevis (1882) and H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines (1885)
- Fin de siècle fictions, ranging from Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four (1890) and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine (1895) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)