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The subject of Mr. Copeland's lecture last night was "Twenty Novels for a Desert Island." If one were left alone on a desert island from which there was to be no return, what twenty novels would be the most satisfactory in such a life-long solitude? In answer to this question Mr. Copeland had collected lists from some thirty persons of different ages and occupations. Some few of these lists he read, after a consideration of the qualities which would in general be demanded of novels which were alone to represent the whole mass of fiction.
It is interesting, as an index to good books, to note those on which many of the thirty were agreed. Some work of Scott's was selected by almost all, Henry Esmond by seventeen, some work of Victor Hugo's by sixteen, Vanity Fair by fifteen, Don Quixote, Middlemarch, and one of Balzac's by twelve, Tom Jones by ten, Adam Bede, David Copperfield, and one of Miss Austen's by nine, Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Kidnapped or David Balfour by seven, the Pickwick Papers and a Tale of Two Cities by six, and Gil Blas by five.
The coming two lectures of Mr. Copeland will be the last of his Monday evening course. On April 23, his subject will be "Tennyson and Browning;" on April 30, "Contemporary Poets."
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