Best 20th Century Works of British Fiction

Blue_Devereaux
I'm listing fiction, not just novels, as I want short story collections to be eligible (though I included none, but you might). As with my 20th Century American Fiction list, only one work per author to make it a bit more challenging. And no James Joyce. He's Irish (though I know the case can be made that some of his best books were written before Ireland gained independence, I choose not to make that case).

The Top Ten

1 1984 - George Orwell
2 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
3 The Regeneration Trilogy - Pat Barker

Okay, this is actually three novels, but it might as well be one as each picks up immediately where the last one ended and are usually discussed/reviewed as a single work. The works are "Regeneration" (1991); "The Eye in the Door" (1993); "The Ghost Road" (1995). Incidentally, I know novels should be underlined or italicized but neither option is available. Barker writes of the horror of the First World War by focusing on the the soldiers suffering from trauma and "shell shock." She blends fictional characters with historic ones like Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, and the psychiatrist who treated the soldiers, W.H.R. Rivers, at Craiglockhart Hospital in Scotland. The story is haunting and moving. The "Great War" was horrific and decimated an entire generation of young men and traumatized everyone. English novelist and writer, Jonathan Coe, called the Trilogy, "One of the few real masterpieces of late twentieth-century British fiction." - Blue_Devereaux

4 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
5 A Room with a View - E.M. Forster
6 Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
7 The Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene
8 The Wings of the Dove - Henry James

James was born in America, but he spent most of his life in Great Britain and became a British subject, so I think he can be included on a list of British fiction. - Blue_Devereaux

9 Sons and Lovers - D.H. Lawrence
10 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark

The Contenders

11 And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
12 Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys

This is also a great, atmospheric novel. Judging by your taste, Blue Devereaux, you will probably love that. Wait a minute, have you read it? Maybe, you already have!

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