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General Bibliography - The Epistolary Novel

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June 17th, 2005

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01:50 pm - General Bibliography
I think anonymid recommended a general book on the eighteenth-century novel a while back; what was it? Does anyone else (hint hint, those of you who actually teach this period!) have recommendations for general reading, both books and articles (include online links for articles if possible)? If we put them all in the comments to this post, I can then put a link to it in the user info. We should also do the same for each text we cover, though it might be best to do them in separate posts.

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Date:June 17th, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC)
J. Paul Hunter's Before Novels: The Cultural Contexts of Eighteenth-Century English Fiction was the book I recommended. Ian Watt's The Rise of the Novel (1957) is the classic text in the field, and even though Watt's thesis has been revised somewhat (by Hunter, Michael McKeon [in The Origins of the English Novel], Nancy Armstrong [in Desire and Domestic Fiction], and others), The Rise of the Novel is still a canonical text in C18 studies (everyone references it, so it's important to be familiar with it), and it's extremely readable to boot (as is, I should add, Hunter's book).

I've recently begun reading John Richetti's The English Novel in History: 1700-1780, which seems like a good overview.
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Date:June 17th, 2005 02:10 pm (UTC)
I can't recommend Nancy Armstrong's work highly enough, particularly Desire and Domestic Fiction (she's also my dissertation director!). Another re-thinking of Ian Watt's The Rise of the Novel that I've found useful is Homer Obed Brown's Institutions of the English Novel, particularly the eponymous chapter. I believe that also has a chapter on the epistolary novel. And John Richetti has also edited the Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth-Century Novel, which includes an essay on Humphry Clinker (which I haven't read).

Some general web resources that I've used in the past include
Eighteenth-Century Studies
Jack Lynch's Eighteenth-Century Resources
The Dictionary of Sensibility

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