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The Epistolary Novel

Reading group for 18th_c_writing

Epistolary Novel
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
This is a reading group for epistolary novels, set up as a sister community to 18th_c_writing. We shall read and discuss the following novels:

June - July 2005 Smollett, Humphry Clinker (not real-time)
Aug - Dec 2005 Laclos, Dangerous Liaisons (real-time)
Jan - Oct 2006 Richardson, Clarissa (real-time)

"Real-time" reading means that we read the letters on the day they are dated, so that if a letter is dated on 3 March, we read it on 3 March. As a result, there will only be a few pages to read each day, which makes Clarissa far more manageable for those who do not have time to tackle it at the usual speed. It also gives us the opportunity to discuss the texts in delightfully obsessive detail, so if you're a fan of close reading, this is the place for you.

Humphry Clinker will not be read in real-time, so please read it before you join the discussions. The start date is 15 June 2005.

Liaisons will be read and discussed in English, though you are welcome to read the French as well if you wish.

Not everyone has read the novels yet (OK, or seen the film). Since it's useful for those who know the text already to refer to later on in it, if your post or comment contains spoilers, use cuts for the posts, and warnings in the subject headers for comments.

If your post is more than a screen long, put an LJ cut in anyway. Please use normal-size, regular black font as some of us have visual problems.

If you're quoting, mention the letter if it's not the one under discussion, and preferably cite the page and edition (e.g. 1961 Penguin). Putting the letter number in the post subject header will be useful too.

New member introductions are encouraged.

A good source for e-texts of eighteenth-century fiction written in English is at Blackmask.

E-texts of:
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
Les Liaisons Dangereuses (in French) and also here, though that one is missing the Preface.

I have been unable to find any English translations of Liaisons online, presumably due to copyright problems.

A general bibliography for this period is here.

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