This year, BBC culture contributor Jane Ciabbatari went on a mission. Her goal was to get a global perspective on UK literature, polling book critics from Australia to Zimbabwe on what they think the best British-written novel is. The results of this experiment have come out, and are not surprising: the critics crowned George Eliot‘s Middlemarch as the greatest British book ever written.
Middlemarch has been described as a classic for many reasons, including: Its excellent female protagonist Dorothea Brooke; its commentary on subjects like religion and education; and, its complex array of character relationships. Critics praised Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, when her novel was published in 1871, and it continues to be discussed today.
If you want to know what other books the critics thought highly of, the BBC has provided a top 100 list. The list contains the classics you’d expect, like Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein and George Orwell‘s Animal Farm. It also features lesser-known work, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark and Monica Ali‘s Brick Lane.
Do you agree with the critics’ decision? Let us know in the comments.
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