The English Novel in History 1700-1780 provides students with specific contexts for the early novel in response to a new understanding of eigtheenth-century Britain. It traces the social and moral representations of the period in extended readings of the major novelists, as well as evaluatiing the importance of lesser known ones. John Richetti traces the shifting subject matter of the novel, discussing:
* scandalous and amatory fictions
* criminal narratives of the early part of the century
* the more disciplined, realistic, and didactic strain that appears in the 1740's and 1750's
* novels promoting new ideas about the nature of domestic life
* novels by women and how they relate to the shift of subject matter
This original and useful book revises traditional literary history by considering novels from those years in the context of the transformation of Britain in the eighteenth century.