The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth

The novel is set in the 1680s and 90s in London and on the eastern shore of the colony of Maryland. It tells the story of an English poet named Ebenezer Cooke who is given the title "Poet Laureate of Maryland" by Charles Calvert. He undergoes many adventures on his journey to Maryland and while in Maryland, all the while striving to preserve his innocence (i.e. his virginity). The book takes its title from the grand poem that Cooke composes throughout the story, which was originally intended to sing the praises of Maryland, but ends up being a biting satire based on his disillusioning experiences.

The 563rd greatest fiction book of all time

This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 7th on For The Love of Books (For The Love of Books)
  2. - 42nd on 20th Century's Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction (Larry McCaffery)
  3. - TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels (TIME Magazine)
  4. - The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993 (Jeff O'Neal at

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
The Sot-Weed Factor Hardcover 756599 $191.54 $7.94
The Sot-Weed Factor Paperback 3067515 $44.95 $1.00
The Sot-Weed Factor Audible Audio Edition 58411 $34.95 2011
The Sot-weed Factor Paperback 3974458 $2,049.36 $32.46 2002
The Sot-Weed Factor [SIGNED LEATHER FIRST] Hardcover 2824437 $214.32 $25.41
The Sot-Weed Factor Paperback 4036745 $4.58 1973
Sot-Weed Factor (Dalkey Archive Essentials) Paperback 1665341 $24.95 2022
The Sot - Weed Factor Hardcover 7959233 $60.00 1967
The Sot-Weed Factor (American Literature) Paperback 982933 $26.00 2016
The Sot-Weed Factor Paperback 819185 $36.21 $7.95 1987