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| This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.(December 2010)| The English novel is an important part of English literature. This article focuses on novels written in English by novelists born or spending a significant part of their lives in England. However, given the nature of the subject, this guideline has been applied with common sense, and reference is made to novels in other languages or novelists who are not primarily English where appropriate.
Portrait of Samuel Richardson by Joseph Highmore.National Portrait Gallery,Westminster, England. Contents [hide] * 1 Early novels in English * 2 Romantic novel * 3 Victorian novel * 4 20th century * 5 Survey * 6 Famous novelists (alphabetical order) * 7 See also * 8 References| -------------------------------------------------
Early novels in English
See the article First novel in English.
The English novel has generally been seen as beginning with Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Moll Flanders (1722), though John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress(1678) and Aphra Behn's, Oroonoko (1688) are also contenders, while earlier works such asSir Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur, and even the "Prologue" to Geoffrey Chaucer'sCanterbury Tales have been suggested. Another important early novel is Gulliver's Travels(1726, amended 1735), by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift, which is both a satireof human nature, as well as a parody of travellers' tales like Robinson Crusoe. The rise of the novel as an important literary genre is generally associated with the growth of the middle class in England. Other major 18th century English novelists are Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), author of the epistolary novels Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740) and Clarissa (1747-8); Henry Fielding (1707–54), who wrote Joseph Andrews (1742) and The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749); Laurence Sterne (1713–68) who published Tristram Shandy in parts between 1759 and 1767; Oliver Goldsmith (?1730-74) author of The Vicar of Wakefield (1766); Tobias Smollett (1721–71) a Scottish novelist best known for his comic picaresque novels, such as The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751) and The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771), who influenced Charles Dickens; and Fanny Burney (1752-1840), whose novels "were enjoyed and admired by Jane Austen," wrote Evelina (1778), Cecilia(1782) and Camilla (1796). A noteworthy aspect of both the 18th and 19th century novel is the way the novelist will directly address the reader. For example, the author might interrupt his or her narrative to pass judgment on a character, or pity or praise another, and inform or remind the reader of some other relevant issue. -------------------------------------------------
Sir Walter Scott
The phrase Romantic novel has several possible meanings. Here it refers to novels written during theRomantic era in literary history, which runs from the late 18th century until the beginning of the Victorian era in 1837. But to complicate matters there are novels written in the romance tradition by novelists like Walter Scott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, George Meredith. In addition the phrase today is mostly used to refer to the popular pulp-fiction genre that focusses on romantic love. The Romantic period is especially associated with the poets William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Byron, Percy Shelley and John Keats, though two major novelists, Jane Austenand Walter Scott also published in the early 19th century.
Horace Walpole's 1764 novel, The Castle of Otranto, invented theGothic fiction genre. The word gothic was originally used in the sense of medieval. This genre combines "the...