A Companion to the English Novel (Blackwell Companions to by Stephen Arata, Madigan Haley, J. Paul Hunter, Jennifer Wicke

By Stephen Arata, Madigan Haley, J. Paul Hunter, Jennifer Wicke

This choice of authoritative essays represents the newest scholarship on subject matters with regards to the topics, events, and sorts of English fiction, whereas chronicling its improvement in Britain from the early 18th century to the current day.

  • Comprises state of the art examine presently being undertaken within the box, incorporating the main salient severe tendencies and approaches
  • Explores the heritage, evolution, genres, and narrative components of the English novel
  • Considers the development of varied literary types – together with such genres as realism, romance, Gothic, experimental fiction, and variation into film
  • Includes insurance of narration, constitution, personality, and impact; shifts in severe reception to the English novel; and geographies of latest English fiction
  • Features contributions from numerous distinct and high-profile literary students, in addition to rising more youthful critics
  • Includes a complete scholarly bibliography of severe works on and concerning the novel to assist extra examining and research

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Extra info for A Companion to the English Novel (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)

Example text

The pornographic novel tells us of experience commonly denied or obscured. For the reader, as spectator and as vicarious participant in the fiction, it may bring discomfort as well as titillation. The trajectory of the novel of experience (a pattern followed even by Fanny Hill) typically begins with a young person in straitened economic circumstances and ends with the advent of money and permitted sex: marriage. Tom Jones, toward the very end of the decade, focuses especially sharply on the question of experience, its rewards and dangers.

The fact that Coke Clifton, the Lovelace‐like libertine with whom we are meant to disagree, is far more seductive a writer than either of Holcroft’s paragons in Anna St. Ives raises problems that would have been familiar to Richardson. Holcroft’s novel, with its Richardsonian plot and sentimental set pieces, endeavors to repurpose the conventions of earlier eighteenth‐century novels. Robert Bage, the Birmingham‐based paper manufacturer and author, is likewise both the heir of mid‐ century novelists like Sterne, Smollett, and Mackenzie and a reader of Godwin, Wollstonecraft, and Paine.

Fictions of the period not only sought to represent unprecedented events – a matter of mimesis – but also to shape their outcome – a matter of rhetoric and historical emplot­ ment. The numerous vindications, reflections, declar­ations published in the 1790s grant language the agency to persuade, to promise, to transform. Fiction, as its etymology attests, is a form of making, and these novels not only seek to give narrative shape to unprecedented events and to instantiate abstract concepts in particularized form, but also to refashion reality.

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