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METACANON 0.7.2
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METACANON 0.7.2

This is not a greatest books list.

Metacanon is a database that offers an alternative to the genre of the greatest books list. Unlike lists compiled by individuals or small committees of experts, metacanon builds custom book lists by culling data from tens of thousands of scholarly texts. This data-driven approach results in a more comprehensive, flexible, and inclusive gateway into the canon(s).

Metacanon 0.7 is limited primarily to American fiction after 1800, but future updates will expand to include other areas, genres, and periods.

Use the menu below to generate your own version of the canon.

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19th Century
20th Century
1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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Include only works published between and .

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Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.










AMERICAN FICTION 1800-1899

# Title Author Year Score
1Add to wishlist.Moby DickHerman Melville185130.54
2Add to wishlist.Uncle Tom's CabinHarriet Beecher Stowe185225.96
3Add to wishlist.The Scarlet LetterNathaniel Hawthorne185025.11
4Add to wishlist.The Portrait of a LadyHenry James188122.57
5Add to wishlist.Adventures of Huckleberry FinnMark Twain188421.73
6Add to wishlist.Billy BuddHerman Melville189120.83
7Add to wishlist.TypeeHerman Melville184619.68
8Add to wishlist.The BostoniansHenry James188619.23
9Add to wishlist.Looking BackwardEdward Bellamy188819.12
10Add to wishlist.The Turn of the ScrewHenry James189819.02
11Add to wishlist.The Red Badge of CourageStephen Crane189518.98
12Add to wishlist.The House of the Seven GablesNathaniel Hawthorne185118.80
13Add to wishlist.A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's CourtMark Twain188918.54
14Add to wishlist.The AwakeningKate Chopin189918.39
15Add to wishlist.Pudd'nhead WilsonMark Twain189418.32
16Add to wishlist.The AmericanHenry James187718.16
17Add to wishlist.The Blithedale RomanceNathaniel Hawthorne185217.53
18Add to wishlist.The Adventures of Tom SawyerMark Twain187617.46
19Add to wishlist.Little WomenLouisa May Alcott186917.36
20Add to wishlist.RedburnHerman Melville184916.91
21Add to wishlist.MardiHerman Melville184916.80
22Add to wishlist.The Last of the MohicansJames Fenimore Cooper182616.80
23Add to wishlist.White-JacketHerman Melville185016.79
24Add to wishlist.The Marble FaunNathaniel Hawthorne186016.79
25Add to wishlist.ConfidenceHenry James187916.53
26Add to wishlist.The Princess CasamassimaHenry James188616.38
27Add to wishlist.Daisy MillerHenry James187816.27
28Add to wishlist.Benito CerenoHerman Melville185515.90
29Add to wishlist.The PioneersJames Fenimore Cooper182315.66
30Add to wishlist.The Confidence-ManHerman Melville185715.65
31Add to wishlist.ClotelWilliam Wells Brown185315.58
32Add to wishlist.Washington SquareHenry James188015.35
33Add to wishlist.Twice-Told TalesNathaniel Hawthorne183715.31
34Add to wishlist.What Maisie KnewHenry James189714.97
35Add to wishlist.The Rise of Silas LaphamWilliam Dean Howells188514.96
36Add to wishlist.Roderick HudsonHenry James187514.79
37Add to wishlist.DredHarriet Beecher Stowe185614.69
38Add to wishlist.McTeagueFrank Norris189914.40
39Add to wishlist.The Prince and the PauperMark Twain188114.13
40Add to wishlist.A Hazard of New FortunesWilliam Dean Howells188914.07
41Add to wishlist.OmooHerman Melville184713.96
42Add to wishlist.The PrairieJames Fenimore Cooper182713.47
43Add to wishlist.The Tragic MuseHenry James189013.27
44Add to wishlist.The Gilded AgeCharles Dudley Warner187313.16
45Add to wishlist.The Country of the Pointed FirsSarah Orne Jewett189613.13
46Add to wishlist.Maggie: A Girl of the StreetsStephen Crane189312.92
47Add to wishlist.RamonaHelen Hunt Jackson188412.68
48Add to wishlist.The EuropeansHenry James187812.66
49Add to wishlist.The SpyJames Fenimore Cooper182112.66
50Add to wishlist.Israel PotterHerman Melville185512.57
51Add to wishlist.The Wide, Wide WorldSusan Warner185012.49
52Add to wishlist.Life in the Iron MillsRebecca Harding Davis186112.35
53Add to wishlist.Little MenLouisa May Alcott187112.21
54Add to wishlist.Arthur MervynCharles Brockden Brown180012.09
55Add to wishlist.The Spoils of PoyntonHenry James189712.07
56Add to wishlist.The Narrative of Arthur Gordon PymEdgar Allan Poe183811.98
57Add to wishlist.Iola LeroyFrances Harper189211.81
58Add to wishlist.The Aspern PapersHenry James188811.80
59Add to wishlist.The Awkward AgeHenry James189911.80
60Add to wishlist.The Sketch Book of Geoffrey CrayonWashington Irving181911.75
61Add to wishlist.The Open BoatStephen Crane189811.66
62Add to wishlist.The DeerslayerJames Fenimore Cooper184111.56
63Add to wishlist.The GrandissimesGeorge Washington Cable188011.33
64Add to wishlist.The Minister's WooingHarriet Beecher Stowe185911.07
65Add to wishlist.A Modern InstanceWilliam Dean Howells188210.87
66Add to wishlist.Ruth HallFanny Fern185410.77
67Add to wishlist.Pierre: or The AmbiguitiesHerman Melville185210.74
68Add to wishlist.The Conjure WomanCharles Chesnutt189910.69
69Add to wishlist.Hope LeslieCatharine Maria Sedgwick182710.68
70Add to wishlist.The EncantadasHerman Melville185410.65
71Add to wishlist.The Damnation of Theron WareHarold Frederic189610.47
72Add to wishlist.Blake, or The Huts of AmericaMartin Delany185910.33
73Add to wishlist.The MonsterStephen Crane189910.30
74Add to wishlist.SalmagundiWashington Irving180810.27
75Add to wishlist.Our NigHarriet E. Wilson185910.15
76Add to wishlist.Ragged DickHoratio Alger18689.94
77Add to wishlist.HobomokLydia Maria Child18249.75
78Add to wishlist.The PathfinderJames Fenimore Cooper18409.54
79Add to wishlist.In the CageHenry James18989.48
80Add to wishlist.The Squatter and the DonMaria Amparo Ruiz de Burton18859.45
81Add to wishlist.Personal Recollections of Joan of ArcMark Twain18969.43
82Add to wishlist.Home as FoundJames Fenimore Cooper18009.24
83Add to wishlist.Little Lord FauntleroyFrances Hodgson Burnett18869.09
84Add to wishlist.A Traveler from AltruriaWilliam Dean Howells18949.06
85Add to wishlist.The Lesson of the MasterHenry James18888.99
86Add to wishlist.The PilotJames Fenimore Cooper18008.77
87Add to wishlist.The Luck of Roaring CampBret Harte18708.52
88Add to wishlist.Watch and WardHenry James18718.47
89Add to wishlist.Oldtown FolksHarriet Beecher Stowe18698.45
90Add to wishlist.Uncle Remus: His Songs and His SayingsJoel Chandler Harris18808.42
91Add to wishlist.Indian SummerWilliam Dean Howells18868.41
92Add to wishlist.Old Creole DaysGeorge Washington Cable18798.41
93Add to wishlist.The Quaker CityGeorge Lippard18458.34
94Add to wishlist.Tales of the Grotesque and ArabesqueEdgar Allan Poe18398.31
95Add to wishlist.The Hoosier SchoolmasterEdward Eggleston18718.25
96Add to wishlist.The LamplighterMaria Cummins18548.23
97Add to wishlist.The MorgesonsElizabeth Stoddard18628.14
98Add to wishlist.The American ClaimantMark Twain18928.09
99Add to wishlist.The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras CountyMark Twain18698.01
100Add to wishlist.Sketches New and OldMark Twain18757.87
# Score
1Add to wishlist.Moby Dick (1851)
Herman Melville
30.54
2Add to wishlist.Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
Harriet Beecher Stowe
25.96
3Add to wishlist.The Scarlet Letter (1850)
Nathaniel Hawthorne
25.11
4Add to wishlist.The Portrait of a Lady (1881)
Henry James
22.57
5Add to wishlist.Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
Mark Twain
21.73
6Add to wishlist.Billy Budd (1891)
Herman Melville
20.83
7Add to wishlist.Typee (1846)
Herman Melville
19.68
8Add to wishlist.The Bostonians (1886)
Henry James
19.23
9Add to wishlist.Looking Backward (1888)
Edward Bellamy
19.12
10Add to wishlist.The Turn of the Screw (1898)
Henry James
19.02
11Add to wishlist.The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
Stephen Crane
18.98
12Add to wishlist.The House of the Seven Gables (1851)
Nathaniel Hawthorne
18.80
13Add to wishlist.A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)
Mark Twain
18.54
14Add to wishlist.The Awakening (1899)
Kate Chopin
18.39
15Add to wishlist.Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)
Mark Twain
18.32
16Add to wishlist.The American (1877)
Henry James
18.16
17Add to wishlist.The Blithedale Romance (1852)
Nathaniel Hawthorne
17.53
18Add to wishlist.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
Mark Twain
17.46
19Add to wishlist.Little Women (1869)
Louisa May Alcott
17.36
20Add to wishlist.Redburn (1849)
Herman Melville
16.91
21Add to wishlist.Mardi (1849)
Herman Melville
16.80
22Add to wishlist.The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
James Fenimore Cooper
16.80
23Add to wishlist.White-Jacket (1850)
Herman Melville
16.79
24Add to wishlist.The Marble Faun (1860)
Nathaniel Hawthorne
16.79
25Add to wishlist.Confidence (1879)
Henry James
16.53
26Add to wishlist.The Princess Casamassima (1886)
Henry James
16.38
27Add to wishlist.Daisy Miller (1878)
Henry James
16.27
28Add to wishlist.Benito Cereno (1855)
Herman Melville
15.90
29Add to wishlist.The Pioneers (1823)
James Fenimore Cooper
15.66
30Add to wishlist.The Confidence-Man (1857)
Herman Melville
15.65
31Add to wishlist.Clotel (1853)
William Wells Brown
15.58
32Add to wishlist.Washington Square (1880)
Henry James
15.35
33Add to wishlist.Twice-Told Tales (1837)
Nathaniel Hawthorne
15.31
34Add to wishlist.What Maisie Knew (1897)
Henry James
14.97
35Add to wishlist.The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885)
William Dean Howells
14.96
36Add to wishlist.Roderick Hudson (1875)
Henry James
14.79
37Add to wishlist.Dred (1856)
Harriet Beecher Stowe
14.69
38Add to wishlist.McTeague (1899)
Frank Norris
14.40
39Add to wishlist.The Prince and the Pauper (1881)
Mark Twain
14.13
40Add to wishlist.A Hazard of New Fortunes (1889)
William Dean Howells
14.07
41Add to wishlist.Omoo (1847)
Herman Melville
13.96
42Add to wishlist.The Prairie (1827)
James Fenimore Cooper
13.47
43Add to wishlist.The Tragic Muse (1890)
Henry James
13.27
44Add to wishlist.The Gilded Age (1873)
Charles Dudley Warner
13.16
45Add to wishlist.The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)
Sarah Orne Jewett
13.13
46Add to wishlist.Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893)
Stephen Crane
12.92
47Add to wishlist.Ramona (1884)
Helen Hunt Jackson
12.68
48Add to wishlist.The Europeans (1878)
Henry James
12.66
49Add to wishlist.The Spy (1821)
James Fenimore Cooper
12.66
50Add to wishlist.Israel Potter (1855)
Herman Melville
12.57
51Add to wishlist.The Wide, Wide World (1850)
Susan Warner
12.49
52Add to wishlist.Life in the Iron Mills (1861)
Rebecca Harding Davis
12.35
53Add to wishlist.Little Men (1871)
Louisa May Alcott
12.21
54Add to wishlist.Arthur Mervyn (1800)
Charles Brockden Brown
12.09
55Add to wishlist.The Spoils of Poynton (1897)
Henry James
12.07
56Add to wishlist.The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838)
Edgar Allan Poe
11.98
57Add to wishlist.Iola Leroy (1892)
Frances Harper
11.81
58Add to wishlist.The Aspern Papers (1888)
Henry James
11.80
59Add to wishlist.The Awkward Age (1899)
Henry James
11.80
60Add to wishlist.The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon (1819)
Washington Irving
11.75
61Add to wishlist.The Open Boat (1898)
Stephen Crane
11.66
62Add to wishlist.The Deerslayer (1841)
James Fenimore Cooper
11.56
63Add to wishlist.The Grandissimes (1880)
George Washington Cable
11.33
64Add to wishlist.The Minister's Wooing (1859)
Harriet Beecher Stowe
11.07
65Add to wishlist.A Modern Instance (1882)
William Dean Howells
10.87
66Add to wishlist.Ruth Hall (1854)
Fanny Fern
10.77
67Add to wishlist.Pierre: or The Ambiguities (1852)
Herman Melville
10.74
68Add to wishlist.The Conjure Woman (1899)
Charles Chesnutt
10.69
69Add to wishlist.Hope Leslie (1827)
Catharine Maria Sedgwick
10.68
70Add to wishlist.The Encantadas (1854)
Herman Melville
10.65
71Add to wishlist.The Damnation of Theron Ware (1896)
Harold Frederic
10.47
72Add to wishlist.Blake, or The Huts of America (1859)
Martin Delany
10.33
73Add to wishlist.The Monster (1899)
Stephen Crane
10.30
74Add to wishlist.Salmagundi (1808)
Washington Irving
10.27
75Add to wishlist.Our Nig (1859)
Harriet E. Wilson
10.15
76Add to wishlist.Ragged Dick (1868)
Horatio Alger
9.94
77Add to wishlist.Hobomok (1824)
Lydia Maria Child
9.75
78Add to wishlist.The Pathfinder (1840)
James Fenimore Cooper
9.54
79Add to wishlist.In the Cage (1898)
Henry James
9.48
80Add to wishlist.The Squatter and the Don (1885)
Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton
9.45
81Add to wishlist.Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896)
Mark Twain
9.43
82Add to wishlist.Home as Found (1800)
James Fenimore Cooper
9.24
83Add to wishlist.Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886)
Frances Hodgson Burnett
9.09
84Add to wishlist.A Traveler from Altruria (1894)
William Dean Howells
9.06
85Add to wishlist.The Lesson of the Master (1888)
Henry James
8.99
86Add to wishlist.The Pilot (1800)
James Fenimore Cooper
8.77
87Add to wishlist.The Luck of Roaring Camp (1870)
Bret Harte
8.52
88Add to wishlist.Watch and Ward (1871)
Henry James
8.47
89Add to wishlist.Oldtown Folks (1869)
Harriet Beecher Stowe
8.45
90Add to wishlist.Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings (1880)
Joel Chandler Harris
8.42
91Add to wishlist.Indian Summer (1886)
William Dean Howells
8.41
92Add to wishlist.Old Creole Days (1879)
George Washington Cable
8.41
93Add to wishlist.The Quaker City (1845)
George Lippard
8.34
94Add to wishlist.Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1839)
Edgar Allan Poe
8.31
95Add to wishlist.The Hoosier Schoolmaster (1871)
Edward Eggleston
8.25
96Add to wishlist.The Lamplighter (1854)
Maria Cummins
8.23
97Add to wishlist.The Morgesons (1862)
Elizabeth Stoddard
8.14
98Add to wishlist.The American Claimant (1892)
Mark Twain
8.09
99Add to wishlist.The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1869)
Mark Twain
8.01
100Add to wishlist.Sketches New and Old (1875)
Mark Twain
7.87

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N-gram Frequency Correction.

Titles consisting of words or phrases that are exceedingly common in the English language corpus (such as Stephen King's It or Joyce Carol Oates's them) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to n-gram frequency correction are estimates only and are marked with an asterisk. N-gram freqencies are drawn from the Corpus of Contemporary American English, a project created by Mark Davies.


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Books by authors with a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill," the American novelist) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to non-unique author correction are estimates only and are marked with a dagger.


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