Before Novels: The Cultural Contexts of Eighteenth-century English Fiction

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W. W. Norton & Company, 1990 - Literary Criticism - 421 pages
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"By taking a close look at materials no previous twentieth-century critic has seriously investigated in literary terms--ephemeral journalism, moralistic tracts, questions-and-answer columns, 'wonder' narratives--Paul Hunter discovers a tangled set of roots for the early novel. His provocative argument for a new historicized understanding of the genre and its early readers brilliantly reveals unexpected affinities." --Patricia Meyer Spacks, Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English, University of Virginia
 

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Contents

What Was New About the Novel?
13
The Critical Tyranny
29
Contexts
61
Time
89
Place
125
A World Well Lost?
138
PRETEXTS
167
the Question of Pleasure
225
The Guide Tradition
248
The Contexts of Concern
274
Private Histories
303
Private Vices Public Benefits
324
History Biography
338
Copyright

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About the author (1990)

J. Paul Hunter is Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Reluctant Pilgrim: Defoe's Emblematic Method and Quest for Form in Robinson Crusoe; Occasional Form: Henry Fielding and the Chains of Circumstance; and Before Novels: The Cultural Contexts of Eighteenth-Century English Fiction. He is author of the first nine editions of The Norton Introduction to Poetry and the long-time co-editor of The Norton Introduction to Literature and New Worlds of Literature.

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