Histories and Theories of the Eighteenth-Century British Novel


The frequent claim that 18th-century England was the birthplace of the modern novel raises a number of questions. How do certain texts slip in and out of canons, while other remain fixtures in classrooms, scholarly works, and bookshelves? What do we even mean by “novel”?

This class will look at bestsellers from the era, texts we now consider “classics,” as well as the “fathers of the English novel” (as well as the implications and complications of such labels). We will also, however, look some novels recently rediscovered by scholars that are changing the way we view the novel and the eighteenth century. Alongside these primary sources, we will also explore some of the theories, histories and myths surrounding the “birth of the English novel.”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s