Romance for Sale in Early Modern England: The Rise of Prose Fiction

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Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006 - History - 261 pages
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The major claim made by this study is that early modern English prose fiction self-consciously invented a new form of literary culture in which professional writers created books to be printed and sold to anonymous readers. It further claims that this period's narrative innovations emerged not solely from changes in early modern culture like print & the book market, but also from the rediscovery of a forgotten late classical text from North Africa, Heliodorus's Aethiopian History. In making these claims, Steve Mentz provides a comprehensive historicist and formalist account of prose romance, the most important genre of Elizabethan fiction. He explores how authors and publishers of prose fiction in late 16th-century England produced books that combined traditional narrative forms with a dynamic new understanding of the relationship between text and audience.
 

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Contents

Early Modern Romance and the Middlebrow Reader
17
Heliodorus and Early Modem Literary Culture
47
Sidneys New Arcadia
73
Greenes Romances
105
Greene and the Novella
123
Lodge versus Greene
151
Greene and Nashe
173
Greenes Ghosts and the Middlebrow Author
207
Bibliography
221
Index
253
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Steve Mentz is Assistant Professor of English at St. John's University in New York City, USA.

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