History and the Early English Novel
Matters of Fact from Bacon to Defoe
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History and the Early English Novel by Robert Mayer
Book DescriptionThis new study of the origins of the English novel argues that the novel emerged from historical writing. Examining historical writers and forms frequently neglected by earlier scholars, Robert Mayer shows that in the seventeenth century historical discourse embraced not only 'history' in its modern sense, but also fiction, polemic, gossip, and marvels. Mayer thus explains why Defoe's narratives were initially read as history. It is the acceptance of the claims to historicity, the study argues, that differentiates Defoe's fictions from those of writers like Thomas Deloney and Aphra Behn, important writers who nevertheless have figured less prominently than Defoe in discussions of the novel. Mayer ends by exploring the theoretical implications of the history-fiction connection. His study makes an important contribution to the continuing debate about the emergence of what we now call the novel in Britain in the eighteenth century.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521563772
(228mm x 152mm x 19mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 3-Apr-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Robert Mayer
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