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A collection of 96 complete works of English prose from the period 1700–1780 by writers from the British Isles. Key figures covered include Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne and Jonathan Swift. In addition to a scanned version of Sterne's Tristram Shandy, the collection also contains two different editions of Richardson's Clarissa and Pamela, and of Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

The eighteenth century saw an enormous increase in the production and publication of prose narratives. It was a period of great creative experiment as the structure and conventions of what would be termed the novel were shaped and developed. Eighteenth-Century Fiction offers students and researchers access to this dynamic period of English literary history. It not only represents all the major writers associated with the 'rise of the novel' - Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Tobias Smollett, and Laurence Sterne - but also many less well-known, but equally vital and significant figures, such as Penelope Aubin, Richard Graves, Charles Johnstone, Mary de la Rivière Manley and Sarah Scott. Full details of the works included in Eighteenth-Century Fiction are given in the bibliography.

Key areas covered include:

  • Epistolary novels, such as Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1740) and Clarissa (1748), Tobias Smollett's Humphry Clinker (1771) and Fanny Burney's Evelina (1778)
  • Novels of sentiment, ranging from Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey (1768) to Henry Brooke's The Fool of Quality (1765–70) and Henry Mackenzie's The Man of Feeling (1771), as well as works by Frances Brooke, Charlotte Lennox and Frances Sheridan
  • Documentary fictions, including Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719) and A Journal of the Plague Year (1722)
  • Allegorical narratives and satires, for example Mary de la Rivière Manley's The New Atalantis (1709), Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726 and 1735 editions), Francis Coventry's The History of Pompey the Little (1751), Samuel Johnson's Rasselas (1759), Richard Graves, The Spiritual Quixote (1773)
  • Gothic novels, particularly Clara Reeve's The Old English Baron (1780) and Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764)

The authors and works were selected under the guidance of the Editorial Board to meet the needs of academic teaching and research, and provide a representative and cross-sectional view of the prose fiction of the period.

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