In this important contribution to the poetics of fiction Dr Jay Clayton examines the way the Romantic visionary moment alters narrative structure in the novel. This study provides the first account of the relationship between Romanticism and the English novel, giving detailed attention to the formal issues of genre and representation, as well as to the social and ethical assumptions that govern apparently formal considerations. Informed by literary, psychoanalytic and narrative theory, Romantic Vision and the Novel is written in a clear and forceful style that will help many readers come to terms with these difficult subjects. Through detailed and original interpretations of works by Richardson, Austen, Emily Bronte, Dickens, George Eliot and Lawrence, Clayton establishes the importance for what they can reveal about each other and for what their relationship reveals about the larger functional of literature in society.
Acknowledgements; Introduction: transcendence and the novel; 1. Clarissa; 2. Pure poetry/impure fiction; 3. Mansfield Park; 4. Wuthering Heights; 5. Wordsworth and the conflict of modes; 6. Little Dorrit; 7. Adam Bede; 8. Shelley and the Apocalyptic character; 9. Women in Love; Notes; Works cited; Index.