The Oxford Handbook of the Eighteenth-Century Novel

ISBN : 9780198857334

J. A. Downie
624 Pages
170 x 244 mm
Pub date
Mar 2020
Oxford Handbooks
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Although the emergence of the English novel is generally regarded as an eighteenth-century phenomenon, this is the first book to be published professing to cover the 'eighteenth-century English novel' in its entirety. This Handbook surveys the development of the English novel during the 'long' eighteenth century-in other words, from the later seventeenth century right through to the first three decades of the nineteenth century when, with the publication of the novels of Jane Austen and Walter Scott, 'the novel' finally gained critical acceptance and assumed the position of cultural hegemony it enjoyed for over a century. By situating the novels of the period which are still read today against the background of the hundreds published between 1660 and 1830, this Handbook not only covers those 'masters and mistresses' of early prose fiction-such as Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Burney, Scott and Austen-who are still acknowledged to be seminal figures in the emergence and development of the English novel, but also the significant number of recently-rediscovered novelists who were popular in their own day. At the same time, its comprehensive coverage of cultural contexts not considered by any existing study, but which are central to the emergence of the novel, such as the book trade and the mechanics of book production, copyright and censorship, the growth of the reading public, the economics of culture both in London and in the provinces, and the re-printing of popular fiction after 1774, offers unique insight into the making of the English novel.




The economics of culture 1660-1770

1 Peter Hinds: The Book Trade at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century

2 Michael F. Suarez, S. J.: Business of Fiction: Novel Publishing, 1695-1774

3 Pat Rogers: Social Structure, Class, and Gender, 1660-1770

4 Brian Cowan: Making Publics and Making Novels: Post-Habermasian Perspectives

Influences on the early English novel

5 Walter L. Reed: The Continental Influence on the Eighteenth-Century Novel: 'The English Improve What Others Invent'

6 Gillian Dow: Criss-crossing the Channel: The French Novel and English Translation

7 W. R. Owens: Religious Writings and the Early Novel

8 Cynthia Wall: Travel Literature and the Early Novel

9 Rebecca Bullard: Secret History, Politics, and the Early Novel

Early 'Novels' and Novelists

10 Thomas Keymer: Restoration Fiction

11 David Oakleaf: Testing the Market: Robinson Crusoe and After

12 Clement Hawes: Gulliver Effects

13 Peter Sabor: 'Labours of the Press': The Response to Pamela

14 John Dussinger: Samuel Richardson and the Epistolary Novel

15 Scott Black: Henry Fielding and the Progress of Romance

16 Simon Dickie: Novels of the 1750s

17 Tim Parnell: 'Tristram is the Fashion': Sterne, Shandyism, and the sentimental novel

J. A. Downie: Epilogue: The English Novel at the end of the 1760s


Literary Production 1770-1832

18 John Feather: The Book Trade 1770-1832

19 Robert Folkenflik: The Rise of the Illustrated English Novel to 1832

Authors, readers, reviewers, and critics, 1770-1832

20 W. A. Speck: Social Structure, Class and Gender, 1770-1832

21 Barbara M. Benedict: 'Male' and 'Female' novels? Gendered Fictions and the Reading Public, 1770-1832

22 Antonia Forster: Reviewing the Novel

23 Peter Garside: 'Ordering' Novels: Describing Prose Fiction, 1770-1832

Novels and Novelists, 1770-1832

24 Ros Ballaster: The Rise and Decline of the Epistolary Novel, 1770-1832

25 Geoffrey Sill: Developments in Sentimental Fiction

26 Deirdre Shauna Lynch: Philosophical Fictions and 'Jacobin' Novels in the 1790s

27 M. O. Grenby: The Anti-Jacobin Novel

28 David H. Richter: The Gothic Novel and the Lingering Appeal of Romance

29 Markman Ellis: Novel and Empire

30 Gary Kelly: The Popular Novel 1790 to 1820

31 Lisa Wood: The Evangelical Novel

32 Jan Fergus: 'Pictures of domestic Life in Country Villages': Jane Austen and the 'Realist' Novel

33 Ina Ferris: Authorizing the Novel: Walter Scott's Historical Fiction

34 Gary Dyer: Parody and Satire in the Novel, 1770-1832

J. A. Downie: Epilogue

About the author: 

J. A. Downie is Professor of English at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Pro-Warden (Academic). The author of five monographs, he has also edited three collections of essays, as well as editions of Defoe's political and social writings for Pickering & Chatto's The Complete Works of Daniel Defoe. For many years he was the editor of the section of The Scriblerian devoted to Defoe and the Early Novelists. His most recent book is A Political Biography of Henry Fielding.

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