roman à clef

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I.e. a ‘novel with a key’, in which the reader (or some readers) are intended to identify real characters under fictitious names. The key is sometimes literal, sometimes figurative, and sometimes provided by the author, as in the case of Mrs Manley's The New Atalantis, sometimes published separately by others, as in the case of Disraeli's Coningsby.

Subjects: Literature.

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