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The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Edited by Peter Garside and Karen O'Brien

Published in print February 2015 | ISBN: 9780199574803
Published online June 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780191869747 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780199574803.001.0001

Series: Oxford History of the Novel in English

The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)
  • Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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This volume examines the period from 1750–1820, which was a crucial period in the development of the novel in English. Not only was it the time of Smollett, Sterne, Austen, and Scott, but it also saw the establishment and definition of the novel as we know it, as well as the emergence of a number of subgenres, several of which remain to this day. Conventionally however, it has been one of the least studied areas—seen as a falling off from the heyday of Richardson and Fielding, or merely a prelude to the great Victorian novelists. This book takes full advantage of recent major advances in scholarly bibliography, new critical assessments, and the fresh availability of long-neglected fictional works, to offer a new mapping and appraisal. The opening section, as well as later chapters, consider historical conditions underlying the production, circulation, and reception of fiction during these seventy years, a period itself marked by a rapid growth in output and expansion in readership. Other chapters cover the principal forms, movements, and literary themes of the period, with individual contributions on the four major novelists (named above), seen in historical context, as well as others on adjacent fields such as the shorter tale, magazine fiction, children's literature, and drama. The volume also views the novel in the light of other major institutions of modern literary culture, including book reviewing and the reprint trade, all of which played a part in advancing a sense of the novel as a defining feature of the British cultural landscape. A focus on ‘global’ literature and imported fiction in two concluding chapters in turn reflects a broader concern for transitional literary studies in general.

Keywords: novel; Smollett; Sterne; Austen; Scott; Victorian novelists; magazine fiction; children's literature; drama

Book.  704 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800) ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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Table of Contents

Production in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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Authorship in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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Circulation in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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The Novel in the 1750s in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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Tobias Smollett and the Ramble Novel in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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The Novelty of Laurence Sterne in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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Sentimental Fiction of the 1760s and 1770s in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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The Novel of Sensibility in the 1780s in The Oxford History of the Novel in English

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