Humor in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Literature: A Reference Guide

Synopsis

During the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain, there was a wide range of literary humor. Much of this humor was satiric, ranging from the sharp barbs of Pope and Swift to the more subtle but stinging wordplay of Addison. In the 18th century, Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne wrote humorous novels, in which they satirized society. During the 19th century, writers such as Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, and Carlyle continued to use humor to comment on the issues of their day. This reference book examines how British writers of the 18th and 19th centuries used humor in their works. An introductory chapter overviews humor in British literature of the era, and sections then treat humor in British literature of the 18th century and in three periods of the 19th century. Each of these sections includes a short introduction, followed by chronologically arranged profiles of various authors. Each profile discusses how the author used humor and includes extensive bibliographic information.