Two Waugh Novels Make BBC’s Top 100 List

The BBC recently conducted a poll of literary critics outside the UK to determine their choices of the 100 greatest British novels. Novels written by Irish or other non-British authors were excluded. The poll included 82 critics who were each asked to name their top 10 British novels, with 10 points accorded to their number one choice. Two of Waugh’s novels make the list: No. 37 Decline and Fall and No. 84 Scoop. Other novelists of Waugh’s generation on the list include Virginia Woolf with four, Graham Greene with three, D.H. Lawrence, George Orwell and Ford Maddox Ford with two each, and Anthony Powell, Henry Green, Elizabeth Bowen and P.G. Wodehouse with one each. Books published as multiple separate volumes such as Parade’s End and Dance to the Music of Time count as one novel. The top 10 were (in reverse order):

10. Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray, 1848)
9. Frankenstein (Mary Shelley, 1818)
8. David Copperfield (Charles Dickens, 1850)
7. Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë, 1847)
6. Bleak House (Charles Dickens, 1853)
5. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë, 1847)
4. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens, 1861)
3. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf, 1925)
2. To the Lighthouse (Virginia Woolf, 1927)
1. Middlemarch (George Eliot, 1874)

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