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The Book Trade, 1770–1832  

John Feather

The British book trade evolved into a fully modern industry during this period. Its modernity was signalled by more effective copyright laws, clearer divisions of labour and responsibility, ... More

The Evangelical Novel  

Lisa Wood

This essay explores the development of the Evangelical novel in the early years of the nineteenth century. Drawing primarily on the novels of Barbara Hofland, Hannah More, and Mary Brunton, ... More

Literature and Time in the Eighteenth Century and the Romantic Period  

Marcus Tomalin

This article explores how changing ideas about time and time-telling had a powerful and lasting impact upon the literature of the long eighteenth century (i.e., c. 1660–c. 1830). After a ... More

‘Ordering’ Novels: Describing Prose Fiction, 1770–1832  

Peter Garside

This essay considers the way in which various types of fiction were projected at their original readers, primarily through the title pages, but also through reviews and circulating-library ... More

Parody and Satire in the Novel, 1770–1832  

Gary Dyer

The satirical fiction of the period 1770–1832 continues earlier trends, though the development of other modes of fiction and the fiction-marketing apparatus meant that satirical narratives ... More

‘Pictures of Domestic Life in Country Villages’: Jane Austen and the ‘Realist’ Novel  

Jan Fergus

Though less popular and esteemed in her own time than better known novelists like Maria Edgeworth and Walter Scott, Jane Austen now occupies an exalted place in literary history, in part ... More

The Popular Novel, 1790–1820  

Gary Kelly

The ‘popular novel’ was variously defined and understood in the period 1790 to 1820, but the Minerva Press was and has been seen, usually negatively, as its major purveyor. Recent research ... More

Revisiting William Godwin  

Pamela Clemit

William Godwin was a leading radical political philosopher, novelist, and social thinker of the British Enlightenment. He was the author of Political Justice, a founding text of ... More

The Rise and Decline of the Epistolary Novel, 1770–1832  

Ros Ballaster

This essay charts the fortunes of a specific genre, the epistolary novel, which delivers plot and character exclusively through letters whether from a single correspondent, a couple, or ... More

The Rise of the Illustrated English Novel to 1832  

Robert Folkenflik

This chapter describes the rise of the illustrated English novel. Eighteenth-century novels were cheap; illustrations expensive. Illustrated novels typically were not first editions, though ... More

Social Structure, Class, and Gender, 1770–1832  

W. A. Speck

This essay deals with the perceived emergence of a three-class social structure in the period. Between the aristocracy and the working class contemporaries observed the growth of a middle ... More

Treason, Seditious Libel, and Literature in the Romantic Period  

Jon Mee

This article examines the effects of the unprecedented number of prosecutions for political opinion in the 1790s and afterward on romantic period literature. The chief instrument for these ... More