The History of the Novel in England

The History of the Novel in England

The History of the Novel in England

The History of the Novel in England

Excerpt

In writing a history of the novel in England, we have undertaken to bring out the relation of the novel to the interests and attitudes of successive ages, of which it has been the product. To this end we have not hesitated to introduce many minor novelists from the vast plain of fiction above which the major figures rise to distinction. If the selection of such minor writers seems arbitrary, our explanation is that we have tended to choose those who represent certain interests characteristic of the English reading public of the time. In the biographical accounts we have tried to emphasize the elements in their experience which gave them their material and determined their moral and æsthetic attitude toward it. Throughout the book, and especially in the later chapters, we have tried, so far as possible, to draw upon the criticisms and explanations of novelists themselve; and thus to make clear the growth in technique by which the novel has advanced to its present position as a form of literary art. We owe special acknowledgment to Miss Elizabeth Greenebaum, who has contributed the accounts of Peacock and Gissing, as well as the more important parts of the final chapter.

R. M. L.H. S. H.

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