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date: 27 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines the reception of the French novel in Britain in the long eighteenth century and argues that prose fiction in the period developed through translation. Through case studies of novelist-translators, and some of the most important and influential French fictions such as La Fayette’s La Princesse de Clèves (1678), Marivaux’s La Vie de Marianne (1731–42), Rousseau’s Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloïse (1761), and Genlis’s Adèle et Théodore (1782), the essay focuses on the French novel in translation, and on British readers of these fictions. Particular attention is paid to women translators, a largely neglected group. Moreover, the roman de sensibilité is prioritized over the roman-à-thèse, since it is through these largely forgotten and now unfashionable works that the ways in which fiction criss-crossed the Channel in the long eighteenth century can best be observed.

Keywords: French novel, France, cultural transfers, translation, reception, canon formation, transnational

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