The Novel

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, May 12, 2014 - Literary Criticism - 1172 pages
6 Reviews

The 700-year history of the novel in English defies straightforward telling. Geographically and culturally boundless, with contributions from Great Britain, Ireland, America, Canada, Australia, India, the Caribbean, and Southern Africa; influenced by great novelists working in other languages; and encompassing a range of genres, the story of the novel in English unfolds like a richly varied landscape that invites exploration rather than a linear journey. In The Novel: A Biography, Michael Schmidt does full justice to its complexity.

Like his hero Ford Madox Ford in The March of Literature, Schmidt chooses as his traveling companions not critics or theorists but "artist practitioners," men and women who feel "hot love" for the books they admire, and fulminate against those they dislike. It is their insights Schmidt cares about. Quoting from the letters, diaries, reviews, and essays of novelists and drawing on their biographies, Schmidt invites us into the creative dialogues between authors and between books, and suggests how these dialogues have shaped the development of the novel in English.

Schmidt believes there is something fundamentally subversive about art: he portrays the novel as a liberalizing force and a revolutionary stimulus. But whatever purpose the novel serves in a given era, a work endures not because of its subject, themes, political stance, or social aims but because of its language, its sheer invention, and its resistance to cliché--some irreducible quality that keeps readers coming back to its pages.

  

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Review: The Novel: A Biography

User Review  - Brenda Clough - Goodreads

An enormously long and dense read. Is it better to read -about- the novels, or to read the novels themselves? Read full review

Review: The Novel: A Biography

User Review  - Goodreads

An enormously long and dense read. Is it better to read -about- the novels, or to read the novels themselves? Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
Introduction
4
Mandevilles Travels Ranulf Higdens Polychronicon De Proprietatibus Rerum
17
William Caxton Thomas Malory Foxes Book of Martyrs
25
Sir Philip Sidney Fray Antonio de Guevara John Lyly Thomas Nashe
33
John Bunyan
54
Aphra Behn Zora Neale Hurston
63
Daniel Defoe Truman Capote J M Coetzee
74
Thomas Hardy Joseph Conrad Stephen Crane
453
Nikolai Gogol Ivan Turgenev Fyodor Dostoyevsky Leo Tolstoy
477
William Dean Howells Henry James Cynthia Ozick Mrs Humphry Ward Edith Wharton Sinclair Lewis Marcel Proust Dorothy Richardson Anthony P...
489
Artemus Ward Mark Twain George Washington Cable Theodore Dreiser Frank Norris Jack London Upton Sinclair
527
Willa Cather Sarah Orne Jewett Marilynne Robinson Janet Lewis Kate Chopin Sherwood Anderson Gertrude Stein Laura Riding Mary Butts
553
H G Wells Rebecca West Arnold Bennett John Galsworthy Somerset Maugham Hugh Walpole Frederic Raphael Aldous Huxley Arthur Koestler Geor...
572
James Joyce Wyndham Lewis Samuel Beckett G K Chesterton Anthony Burgess Russell Hoban Flann OBrien Donald Barthelme
604
Virginia Woolf E M Forster Paul Scott J G Farrell Norman Douglas Ronald Firbank Pelham Grenville Wodehouse Kazuo Ishiguro Elizabeth Bowen ...
638

François Rabelais Sir Thomas Urquhart Jonathan Swift Samuel Johnson Voltaire Oliver Goldsmith Alasdair Gray
93
Samuel Richardson Eliza Haywood Anna Laetitia Barbauld John Cleland
112
Miguel de Cervantes AlainRené Lesage Henry Fielding Tobias Smollett Frederick Marryat Richard Dana C S Forester Patrick OBrian
128
Laurence Sterne
149
Horace Walpole Clara Reeve William Beckford Ann Radcliffe Matthew Gregory Lewis Charles Brockden Brown Charles Robert Maturin
162
Maria Edgeworth John McGahern James Hogg Sir Walter Scott John Galt Susan Ferrier
177
Fanny Burney Jane Austen
199
Thomas Love Peacock William Godwin Edward BulwerLytton Mary Shelley Thomas Carlyle
219
Washington Irving James Fenimore Cooper Edgar Allan Poe
235
Charles Dickens Harrison Ainsworth Elizabeth Gaskell Wilkie Collins
252
Charlotte Brontë Emily Brontë Anne Brontë
284
Frances Trollope William Makepeace Thackeray Anthony Trollope Benjamin Disraeli
295
Nathaniel Hawthorne Herman Melville Harriet Beecher Stowe
320
Victor Hugo Stendhal Honoré de Balzac Gustave Flaubert Émile Zola
349
George Moore George Eliot Louisa May Alcott George Meredith George Gissing Samuel Butler Edmund Gosse
372
Robert Louis Stevenson W H Hudson Bruce Chatwin Richard Jefferies William Morris Charles Kingsley Henry Rider Haggard Rudyard Kipling
404
Charles Dodgson Lewis Carroll Rudolf Raspe Bram Stoker Ouida Marie Corelli Walter Pater Oscar Wilde Denton Welch Arthur Conan Doyle J M Ba...
432
D H Lawrence John Cowper Powys T F Powys Sylvia Townsend Warner Henry Miller Anaïs Nin Lawrence Durrell Richard Aldington William S Bur...
671
Ford Madox Ford Ernest Hemingway Jean Rhys Djuna Barnes John Updike Don DeLillo Joyce Carol Oates Anne Tyler Julian Barnes
702
Thornton Wilder William Faulkner Ellen Glasgow Eudora Welty Carson McCullers Flannery OConnor Harper Lee Ralph Ellison Toni Morrison Tho...
737
Edmund Wilson Gore Vidal John Dos Passos E E Cummings Mary McCarthy Katherine Anne Porter F Scott Fitzgerald John Steinbeck John OHara N...
770
Vladimir Nabokov Ayn Rand Radclyffe Hall Ivy ComptonBurnett Elizabeth Taylor Muriel Spark Gabriel Josipovici Christine BrookeRose B S Johns...
810
Daphne du Maurier Barbara Cartland Catherine Cookson et al Bret Harte Zane Grey et al Raymond Chandler Dashiell Hammett Elmore Leonard Agat...
851
David Garnett J B Priestley L P Hartley Richard Hughes Storm Jameson Walter Greenwood H E Bates Ethel Mannin Olivia Manning Stella Gibbons ...
882
Christopher Isherwood Edward Upward Paul Bowles Jane Bowles Edmund White Henry Green Evelyn Waugh William Boyd Graham Greene R K N...
912
Richard Wright Claude McKay Jean Toomer Langston Hughes James Baldwin William Styron
950
Chinua Achebe Ngũgĩ Wa Thiongo George Lamming Wilson Harris Ben Okri Wole Soyinka Nadine Gordimer Olive Schreiner Bessie Head Alice W...
969
Henry Handel Richardson Patrick White David Malouf Peter Carey Christina Stead Robertson Davies Margaret Atwood Michael Ondaatje Maurice Sh...
990
William Golding Angus Wilson Margaret Drabble Malcolm Bradbury David Lodge Iris Murdoch A S Byatt Hilary Mantel John Braine Alan Sillitoe ...
1017
E L Doctorow John Gardner Norman Mailer Kurt Vonnegut LouisFerdinand Céline Joseph Heller Joan Didion Tom Wolfe Hunter S Thompson Cor...
1048
Franz Kafka Saul Bellow Bernard Malamud Mordecai Richler J D Salinger Philip Roth Jeffrey Eugenides Paul Auster Martin Amis
1079
Timeline
1109
Index
1147
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Michael Schmidt is Professor of Poetry at the University of Glasgow and a writer in residence at St Johnâe(tm)s College, Cambridge. He is founder and editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press.

Bibliographic information