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Novel Beginnings – Experiments in Eighteenth-Century English Fiction - Yale Scholarship Online
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Novel Beginnings: Experiments in Eighteenth-Century English Fiction

Patricia Spacks


This study provides an account of the early history of the English novel. It departs from the traditional, narrow focus on the development of the realistic novel to emphasize the many kinds of experimentation that marked the genre in the eighteenth century before its conventions were firmly established in the nineteenth. Treating well-known works such as Tom Jones and Tristram Shandy in conjunction with less-familiar texts such as Sarah Fielding's The Cry (a kind of hybrid novel and play) and Jane Barker's A Patch-Work Screen for the Ladies (a novel of adventure replete with sentimental verse ... More

Keywords: English novel, realistic novel, experimentation, eighteenth century, Tom Jones, Tristram Shandy, Sarah Fielding, Jane Barker, Patch-Work Screen, sentimental verse

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780300110319
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300110319.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Patricia Spacks, author