Literary Connections: making the right connections with literature
Ruskin page
See also the John
Ruskin page

Jane Eyre
Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy:
The Time-torn Man

Victorian prose

This is one of a series of pages on Victorian literature; use the links in the menu on the left to navigate to the other pages on general materials, drama and poetry.

The AQA course, AS Level English Literature A, requires the study of one post-1990 text; such texts are indicated here.

AQA prose texts for Unit 2
Wider reading
Prose fiction
  • Any of the ten named prose texts for Unit Two, or any other novel by Dickens, Eliot, Hardy or the Brontës.
  • Peter Ackroyd: The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde, 1983
  • Beryl Bainbridge: Master Georgie 1998, post 1990
  • Arnold Bennett: Anna of the Five Towns, 1902
  • Andrew Drummond: An Abridged History 2004 post 1990
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: Mary Barton, 1848
  • G and W Grossmith: The Diary of a Nobody 1892
  • Andrew Martin: The Necropolis Railway 2002 post 1990
  • Herman Melville: Redburn 1849
  • William Morris: News from Nowhere, 1891
  • Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 1886

If you are teaching or studying the AQA course it is essential to refer to the AQA specification to ensure that you are reading the right texts and meeting all the requirements!

Here are a few more suggestions to add to the AQA list:
Prose non-fiction
Victorian non-fiction
Ruskin: Selected Writings (Penguin Classics)
The Ruskin page
has more
  • Matthew Arnold: Culture and Anarchy 1869
  • Thomas Carlyle: Selected Writings (Penguin)
  • John Clare: Selected Letters (OUP)
  • Elizabeth Gaskell: The Life of Charlotte Bronte 1857
  • Edmund Gosse: Father and Son 1907
  • Marx and Engels: The Communist Manifesto 1848
  • John Ruskin: Selected Writings (Penguin Classics): this title seems to be out of print though copies can still be bought from Amazon. Alternatives include:
  • The Brontes: A Life in Letters (ed. Barker)
  • Henry Thoreau: Walden 1854
  • Oscar Wilde: De Profundis 1905 (link is to Wordsworth Classics edition, with Ballad of Reading Gaol and Other Writings)
Modern non-fiction
  • Peter Ackroyd: Dickens 1990 post 1990
  • Juliet Barker: The Brontes 1994 post 1990
  • Jonathan Bate: John Clare: a Biography 2003 post 1990
  • Quentin Bell: A New and Noble School: Pre-Raphaelites 1982
  • Barbara Dennis: The Victorian Novel (Cambridge Contexts in Literature, 2000) post 1990
  • Terry Eagleton: Heathcliff and the Great Hunger 1996 post 1990
  • Richard Ellman: Oscar Wilde 1988
  • Lytton Strachey: Eminent Victorians 1918 (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)
  • Jenkins and John: Re-reading Victorian Fiction 2002 post 1990
  • Claire Tomalin: Thomas Hardy: The Time-torn Man 2006 post 1990
Texts in translation
  • Feodor Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment 1866
  • Gustave Flaubert: Madam Bovary 1857
  • Gustave Flaubert: Sentimental Education 1869
  • Leo Tolstoy: Anna Karenina 1875
  • Emile Zola: Germinal 1885
  • Emile Zola: La Bête Humaine 1890
Useful websites
See the weblinks on the introductory page for general links for Victorian literature.
Finding prose texts online
See the usual sources of online texts listed on the literature links page, in particular: