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By Stephen Arata, Madigan Haley, J. Paul Hunter, Jennifer Wicke

"Explores the historical past, evolution, genres, and narrative parts of the English novel, whereas chronicling its improvement from the early 18th century to the current day"--


This selection of authoritative essays represents the most recent scholarship on themes in terms of the subjects, activities, and sorts of English fiction, whereas chronicling its improvement in Britain from Read more...

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268)5 suggests why the Gothic was a potent figure for Burke’s age of chivalry, but it also serves as an emblem of the feudal codes from which society must be emancipated. Although the mode pre‐dates the Revolution, with the rise of Robespierre and the advent of the Terror, the Gothic becomes, as Robert Miles succinctly puts it, “a way of speaking the unspeakable” (2002a, 55). Typically set in a southern European Catholic country, the Gothic pits an essentially English sentimental heroine against the feudal aristocracy and oppressive ecclesiastical institutions of a tyrannical Romish past.

Would‐be rapists, who show up in all three of the works I just mentioned, are clearly reprehensible, but sexual feelings in male or female protagonists are typically obfuscated. Fanny Hill tells us that women as well as men enjoy sex and the prospect of sex, an idea just beneath the surface in other novels of the period. The pornographic novel tells us of experience commonly denied or obscured. For the reader, as spectator and as vicarious participant in the fiction, it may bring discomfort as well as titillation.

Bate and Albrecht B. Strauss. The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, Volume 3. New Haven: Yale University Press. Richardson, Samuel. 1751. Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady, 3rd edition. 8 volumes. London: S. Richardson. Richardson, Samuel. 1985 [1747–1748]. Clarissa; or, The History of a Young Lady, edited by Angus Ross. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Richardson, Samuel. 2001 [1740]. Pamela: or, Virtue Rewarded, edited by Thomas Keymer and Alice Wakely. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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