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chronicle novel


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A long novel or connected sequence of novels in which the narrative recounts the fortunes of a family or similar group of recurring characters over many years, usually covering at least two generations. This category of fiction overlaps with the saga novel, where the emphasis is on changes within a family; but where the story attempts to reflect typical developments in social history over a sustained period, the term ‘chronicle novel’ may be preferred, especially if the story's events are connected with notably historic dates and events. Significant modern examples in English include John Galsworthy's sequence of Forsyte novels (1906–28) which attempt to chart English social history from the 1880s to 1926, and C. P. Snow's eleven-volume sequence Strangers and Brothers (1940–70), which follows its central character through changes in the English governing elite from 1925 to 1964.

Subjects: Literature.


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