18th- and 19th-century Prose and the Rise of Novel

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Transcript 18th- and 19th-century Prose and the Rise of Novel


  A fictional prose narrative of considerable length, typically having a plot that is unfolded by the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters.

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Why Novel?

The Social Environment: The Rise of the Middle Classes: The Democratic Movement (Ordinary people have their say in politics, economy…etc.)

The Ascendency of Realism )The man of letters in the eighteenth century, whether he was a poet, a periodical essayist, or even a dramatist, believed that for the success of his art a rational appraisal of reality was an essential prerequisite)

The Decline of Drama

Novel gives more freedom either in form and content than poetry and drama.

Daniel Defoe

 Daniel Defoe was born in 1660 in London, England. He became a merchant and participated in several failing businesses, facing bankruptcy and aggressive creditors. He was also a prolific political pamphleteer which landed him in prison for slander. Late in life he turned his pen to fiction and wrote

Robinson Crusoe

, one of the most widely read and influential novels of all time. Defoe died in 1731.

Robinson Crusoe

 Epistolary (written in letters form), confessional, and didactic in form, the book is a fictional autobiography of the title character (whose birth name is Robinson Kreutznaer)—a castaway who spends years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and mutineers before being rescued.

The story is widely perceived to have been influenced by the life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived for four years on the Pacific island called "Más a Tierra" (in 1966 its name was changed to Robinson Crusoe Island), Chile. However, other possible sources have been put forward for the text. It is possible, for example, that Defoe was inspired by the Latin or English translations of Ibn Tufail's

Hayy ibn Yaqdhan

, an earlier novel also set on a desert island.

Jonathan Swift

 Born on November 30, 1667, Irish author, clergyman and satirist Jonathan Swift grew up fatherless.

Under the care of his uncle, he received a bachelor's degree from Trinity College and then worked as a statesman's assistant. Eventually, he became dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. Most of his writings were published under pseudonyms.

remembered book He for is

Gulliver's Travels


his best 1728

Gulliver’s Travels

   Written in four books, usually read the first two Gulliver’s voyage to Lilliput (where the people are six inches high) and Brobdingnag (where they are giants)   The Lilliputians fight wars which seem foolish King of Brobdingnang thinks the people in Gulliver’s country must be the most hateful race of creature on the earth  Warren Montag endorsement of argues that Swift was concerned to refute the notion that the individual precedes society, as Defoe's novel seems to suggest. Swift regarded such thought as a dangerous Thomas Hobbes and for this reason Gulliver repeatedly encounters established societies rather than desolate islands. The captain who invites Gulliver to serve as a surgeon aboard his ship on the disastrous third voyage is named Robinson.

' radical political philosophy

Samuel Richardson

Samuel Richrdson

(1689, 1761), English novelist who expanded the dramatic possibilities of the novel by his invention and use of the letter form (“epistolary novel”). His major novels Pamela (1740) and Clarrisa (1747–48).

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Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded appeared in two volumes in November 1740 and soon turned into what we nowadays call a "best-seller," the first example of that phenomenon in the history of English fiction. Everybody read it; there was a 'Pamela' rage. The novel was praised for its psychological veracity (truth) and its moral influence on the readers.

Some critics condemned Pamela as a representation of the undignified and the low, seeing in the story of a servant girl "climbing the ladder" of social class, a pernicious (wicked) 'levelling' tendency. Pamela has had significant impact on the novel as a literary genre, as an experiment in epistolary form, as a study of ethics, human (and particularly women's) psychology, and as a case of early negotiation between literature as education and literature as entertainment.

Samuel Richardson, the author of the novel, spends a lot of breath at the beginning of the novel trying to convince the readers that Pamela is based on a true story. The connection between truth and literature was meant to persuade the readers that the moral of Pamela's character's story is "real," and therefore an efficient tool of ethical edification of young women, who were at the time devouring all kinds of prose, regardless of its moral turpitude.

Henry Fielding

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Henry Fielding

(born 22 April 1707, Sharpham Park, Somerset, Eng. He died Oct 8 th , 1754, Lisbon), novelist and playwright, who, with Samuel Richardson, is considered a founder of the English novel. Among his major novels are

Joseph Andrews

(1742) and

Tom Jones




is written as a shocking revelation of the true events which took place in the life of Pamela Andrews, the main heroine of


. From


we learn that, instead of being a kind, humble, and chaste servant-girl, Pamela (whose true name turns out to be Shamela) is in fact a wicked and lascivious creature, scheming to entrap her master, Squire Booby, into marriage.

Laurence Sterne (1713 -

Laurence Sterne

was an Anglo Irish novelist and and Anglican clergyman. He is best known for his novels

Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

, and

A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

; but he also published many sermons, wrote memoirs, and was involved in local politics. Sterne died in London after years of fighting consumption.

Tristram Shandy

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The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman

(or, more briefly,

Tristram Shandy

) is a humorous novel by Laurence Sterne . It was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759, and seven others following over the next seven years.

 Half of the book is about what happens before the hero is born (p.87)  Sterne leaves the story whenever he likes to give opinions and write essays on any subject  Adds blank pages and rows of stars to confuse his readers  Still can draw clear characters