#TBT: 1880s

Popular Books Published in the 1880s

Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions / Edwin A. Abbott (1884)

In a parody of Victorian society, A. Square meets a tragic fate when he dares to inform the inhabitants of his two-dimensional universe that there is a third and fourth dimension. (530.1 ABB)


A Study in Scarlet / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)

This story, the first of the Sherlock Holmes adventures, includes an explanation of how Watson and Holmes come to share rooms at 221B Baker Street, and an introduction of Scotland Yard detectives Gregson and Lestrade. (FIC DOYLE)


The Mayor of Casterbridge / Thomas Hardy (1886)

In a drunken haze Michael Henchard sells his wife and child to a sailor for five guineas at the local fair. The next morning Henchard awakes, realizes the magnitude of what he has done, and swears he will not drink again. More than two decades later, Henchard has grown wealthy and is the Mayor of Casterbridge–but he can never escape the tragic repercussions of his past. (FIC HARDY)

Heidi / Johanna Spyri (1880)

An orphan sent to live with her grandfather learns to love both the old man and the Swiss Alps and is homesick when she goes to the city to be a companion to an invalid. (J FIC SPYRI)


Treasure Island / Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a notorious pirate’s fortune. (J FIC STEVENSON)


 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain (1885)

Rather than be ‘sivilized’ by the Widow Douglas, Huckleberry Finn sets off with Jim, an escaped slave, to find freedom on the Mississippi river. With the law on their tail, they navigate a world of robbers, slave hunters and con men, and Huck must choose between what society says is right and his own burgeoning understanding of Jim’s friendship and humanity, in a razor-sharp satire of the antebellum South that is one of the most important of all American novels. (FIC TWAIN)

Ben-Hur / Lew Wallace (1880)

Details how a wealthy young Jewish man and his family, who are all experiencing changing fortunes under Roman tyranny, are affected by the life and teachings of a Nazarene named Jesus Christ. (FIC WALLACE)


The Canterville Ghost / Oscar Wilde (1887)

A celebrated and feared English ghost is outraged when the new American owners of his haunting place refuse to take him seriously and actually fight back against him. (CDBOOK WILDE)



Did you know? The American Red Cross was established on May 21, 1881 by Clara Barton.


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