Small image of a man handing a book to a women across a counter.

At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Analysis: General Statistics

Coverage

Currently, the database contains 22,670 title entries, 5,155 author entries, and 710 publisher entries between the years 1837 and 1901. In addition, the database contains 3,510 serialized titles (15.5% of all titles) from 298 periodicals. Data visualizations of authorship and publishing data can be found on the Data Visualizations page.

Progress

No one knows how many works of fiction the Victorians wrote and published. Several estimates exist however. A statistical estimate by Riddell and Betancourt (2021) give an upper maximum of 34,000 published fiction titles. Using the annual reports from the Publishers' Circular, Sutherland (1989) posits "somewhere around 60,000 works of adult and juvenile fiction published" during the period. Based on these estimates, ATCL is somewhere between 37.8% and 66.7% complete.

Authorship

Gender of Authors
  • Women: 2,106 authors
  • Men: 2,520 authors
  • Unknown: 609 authors
Titles per Author by Gender
  • Women wrote 11,047 titles (5.3 per author)
  • Men wrote 10,003 titles (4.0 per author)
  • Unknown wrote 1,620 titles (2.7 per author)
Most Prolific Authors
  1. Emma Marshall, 150 titles.
  2. Evelyn Ward Everett Green, 136 titles.
  3. William Henry Giles Kingston, 121 titles.
  4. George Manville Fenn, 117 titles.
  5. Emma Leslie, 102 titles.
  6. Margaret Oliphant, 100 titles.
  7. George Alfred Henty, 94 titles.
  8. Henrietta Eliza Vaughan Stannard, 81 titles.
  9. Charlotte Mary Yonge, 81 titles.
  10. Elizabeth Thomasina Meade, 77 titles.
  11. Annie S. Swan, 74 titles.
  12. Mary Louisa Molesworth, 74 titles.
  13. Henrietta Keddie, 74 titles.
  14. R. M. Ballantyne, 71 titles.
  15. Charlotte Maria Tucker, 69 titles.
  16. Florence Marryat, 67 titles.
  17. William Clark Russell, 66 titles.
  18. Annie Thomas, 66 titles.
  19. William Gordon Stables, 65 titles.
  20. Mary Elizabeth Braddon, 64 titles.
Most Prolific Serial Authors

Note: counts distinct titles, both novels and short story collections.

  1. Margaret Oliphant, 62 titles.
  2. Mary Elizabeth Braddon, 60 titles.
  3. James Payn, 48 titles.
  4. James Malcolm Rymer, 45 titles.
  5. Walter Besant, 43 titles.
  6. Anthony Trollope, 42 titles.
  7. William Harrison Ainsworth, 39 titles.
  8. Annie S. Swan, 36 titles.
  9. Charlotte M. Brame, 34 titles.
  10. George Manville Fenn, 32 titles.
  11. Ellen Wood, 31 titles.
  12. Adeline Sergeant, 30 titles.
  13. George MacDonald, 30 titles.
  14. Dora Russell, 27 titles.
  15. Wilkie Collins, 26 titles.
  16. Jules Verne, 26 titles.
  17. William Clark Russell, 26 titles.
  18. Frederick William Robinson, 26 titles.
  19. Joyce Emmerson Preston Muddock, 25 titles.
  20. Benjamin Leopold Farjeon, 25 titles.

Publishing

Publishing Formats
  • One-volume titles: 15,348 titles (67.7% total titles)
  • Two-volume titles: 2,136 titles (9.4% total titles)
  • Three-volume titles: 5,167 titles (22.8% total titles)
  • Four-volume titles: 19 titles (0.1% total titles)
Most Prolific Publishers
  1. Hurst and Blackett, 1,142 titles.
  2. Bentley, 1,127 titles.
  3. Chapman and Hall, 672 titles.
  4. Sampson Low, 660 titles.
  5. S. P. C. K., 617 titles.
  6. F. V. White, 615 titles.
  7. Tinsley Brothers, 604 titles.
  8. Chatto and Windus, 599 titles.
  9. Routledge, 574 titles.
  10. R. T. S., 544 titles.
  11. T. C. Newby, 523 titles.
  12. Smith, Elder, 518 titles.
  13. Ward, Lock, 473 titles.
  14. Macmillan, 470 titles.
  15. James Nisbet, 353 titles.
  16. Hutchinson, 344 titles.
  17. Nelson and Sons, 329 titles.
  18. Longman, 321 titles.
  19. Blackie, 310 titles.
  20. T. Fisher Unwin, 310 titles.
Most Prolific Fiction-Carrying Periodicals

Note: counts novels only, not short stories.

  1. Manchester Weekly Times, 138 serialized titles.
  2. The Family Herald, 137 serialized titles.
  3. Temple Bar, 101 serialized titles.
  4. Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, 83 serialized titles.
  5. All the Year Round, 80 serialized titles.
  6. The Cardiff Times, 78 serialized titles.
  7. Good Words, 76 serialized titles.
  8. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, 74 serialized titles.
  9. People's Friend, 73 serialized titles.
  10. Cornhill Magazine, 73 serialized titles.
  11. The Lancashire Evening Post, 71 serialized titles.
  12. Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, 70 serialized titles.
  13. Boy's Own Paper, 67 serialized titles.
  14. The Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, 66 serialized titles.
  15. Leisure Hour, 59 serialized titles.
  16. Macmillan's Magazine, 55 serialized titles.
  17. Belgravia, 55 serialized titles.
  18. Sunday Magazine for Family Reading, 55 serialized titles.
  19. The Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 54 serialized titles.
  20. Sheffield Independent, 53 serialized titles.