It seems Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is a favourite not only with the British audience but also with the readers. A survey conducted by YouGov research reveals War and Peace is the 19th century classic that most British people want to read but only a few have actually read it.
Among the 25 classics listed, 14% of the British adults said they want to read Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace while 4% said they have read it. When the TV adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy classic was aired on January 2, it garnered rave reviews, revealing it to be an instant hit with the audience. Almost seven million people watched the second episode.
Victor Hugo's Les Miserables came second with 10%. However, 3% said they have read it. Herman Melville's Moby – Dick came third with 8% wanting to read it, while 7% have read it.
Jane Austen's much-televised Pride And Prejudice and Louisa May Alcott's thrice-filmed Little Women were the second most-read classics.
The spare demand for each classic is easily revealed if you take away the percentage of people who want to read each book from the percentage who have already read them. If we go by this above mentioned criterion, War And Peace and Les Miserables remain in the top two positions but Dostoyevsky's Crime And Punishment comes third while Tolstoy's other masterpiece Anna Karenina rises up from the ninth place to fourth.
Though it is mostly the European classics people would want to read, American greats such as Moby Dick and Mark Twain's The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn also did well.