The Secret Life of Things: Animals, Objects, and It-Narratives in Eighteenth-Century England

By Mark Blackwell | Go to book overview

Hackwork: It-Narratives and Iteration

Mark Blackwell

It seems to me that this Genus of composition has never been prop-
erly distinguished or ascertained; that it wants to be methodized, to
be separated, classed, and regulated.

—Euphrasia, in Clara Reeve, The Progress of Romance1

Novels being the chosen recreation of an uncritical multitude, there
was a market for anything readable; hence competition among
booksellers for copy … Thus the manufacture of novels speedily
became a flourishing trade, and a supply was forthcoming from a
crowd of hacks, in the regular pay or at the service of the book-
sellers.

—Ernest A. Baker, The History of the English Novel2

They were at the leading edge of an age which was moving toward
an age like our own, at home with the machine and with utter am-
bivalence.

—Hugh Kenner, The Counterfeiters: An Historical Comedy3

IT-NARRATIVES POSE A NUMBER OF PROBLEMS FOR SCHOLARS OF eighteenth-century prose fiction. They enjoyed their greatest popularity after the mid-century high point of Fielding’s and Richardson’s achievements and before what Homer Obed Brown calls the “institution” of the novel via the great anthologizing projects of the early nineteenth century.4 Indeed, their waxing production in the 1770s, ’80s, and ’90s links them irrevocably to decades long viewed as the nadir in the glorious ascendancy of the novel as a form, a period rife with shameless imitation, failed experimentation, and quickly expiring topicality. In The Development of the English Novel (1899), reprinted more than twenty times between 1899 and 1924, Wilbur L. Cross expressed the longstanding scholarly consensus: “Excepting Jane Austen’s, the novels published between ‘Humphry Clinker’ (1771) and ‘Waverley’ (1814) were written mostly for the amusement or the instruction of the day, and, having served their purpose, they deservedly lie gathering dust in our large libraries.”5 Ian Watt’s seminal Rise of the Novel (1957) did little to change

-187-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Secret Life of Things: Animals, Objects, and It-Narratives in Eighteenth-Century England
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 365

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.