Abstract and Keywords
The eighteenth-century English novel was influenced by earlier prose fiction from the Continent; the English improved what others had invented. Individual novels from the Continent were imitated by British novelists; particular genres first developed abroad were adapted by them as well. Spanish novels like Don Quixote and the picaresque preceded and influenced novels of Defoe, Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne. Seventeenth-century French romances influenced novels of amorous intrigue by Behn, Manley, and Haywood. These in turn provoked the novel of women’s virtuous resistance created by Richardson. Earlier prose fiction from the Continent was translated into English and widely read throughout the eighteenth century. The transnational traffic in fiction flowed in the other direction as well. Rousseau’s enthusiastic embrace of Richardson popularized the transnational genre of the sentimental novel. From the 1770s onwards German fiction became influential in England, and German-derived tales of terror came to dominate the popular British market.
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