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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 24,039 title entries, 5,580 author entries, and 747 publisher entries between the years 1837 and 1901. In addition, the database contains 3,539 serialized titles (14.7% of all titles) from 301 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 40.1% and 70.7% complete.

Authorship

Gender of Authors
  • Women: 2,325 authors
  • Men: 2,649 authors
  • Unknown: 683 authors
Titles per Author by Gender
  • Women wrote 11,913 titles (5.2 per author)
  • Men wrote 10,350 titles (4.0 per author)
  • Unknown wrote 1,776 titles (2.6 per author)
Most Prolific Authors
  1. Emma Marshall, 154 titles.
  2. Evelyn Ward Everett Green, 136 titles.
  3. William Henry Giles Kingston, 129 titles.
  4. George Manville Fenn, 117 titles.
  5. Emma Leslie, 107 titles.
  6. Margaret Oliphant, 100 titles.
  7. George Alfred Henty, 94 titles.
  8. Elizabeth Thomasina Meade, 87 titles.
  9. Henrietta Eliza Vaughan Stannard, 81 titles.
  10. Charlotte Mary Yonge, 81 titles.
  11. Henrietta Keddie, 75 titles.
  12. Annie S. Swan, 74 titles.
  13. Mary Louisa Molesworth, 74 titles.
  14. R. M. Ballantyne, 71 titles.
  15. Charlotte Maria Tucker, 70 titles.
  16. Florence Marryat, 68 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. Jules Verne, 26 titles.
  16. Wilkie Collins, 26 titles.
  17. Joyce Emmerson Preston Muddock, 26 titles.
  18. William Clark Russell, 26 titles.
  19. Frederick William Robinson, 26 titles.
  20. Benjamin Leopold Farjeon, 25 titles.

Publishing

Publishing Formats
  • One-volume titles: 16,708 titles (69.5% total titles)
  • Two-volume titles: 2,144 titles (8.9% total titles)
  • Three-volume titles: 5,168 titles (21.5% total titles)
  • Four-volume titles: 19 titles (0.1% total titles)
Most Prolific Publishers
  1. Hurst and Blackett, 1,148 titles.
  2. Bentley, 1,134 titles.
  3. S. P. C. K., 714 titles.
  4. Sampson Low, 683 titles.
  5. R. T. S., 682 titles.
  6. Chapman and Hall, 675 titles.
  7. Routledge, 617 titles.
  8. F. V. White, 617 titles.
  9. Tinsley Brothers, 608 titles.
  10. Chatto and Windus, 605 titles.
  11. T. C. Newby, 525 titles.
  12. Smith, Elder, 520 titles.
  13. Ward and Lock, 513 titles.
  14. Macmillan, 475 titles.
  15. James Nisbet, 371 titles.
  16. Nelson and Sons, 369 titles.
  17. Hutchinson, 347 titles.
  18. Blackie, 337 titles.
  19. Cassell, 333 titles.
  20. Longman, 325 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. Cornhill Magazine, 73 serialized titles.
  10. People's Friend, 73 serialized titles.
  11. The Lancashire Evening Post, 72 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.