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Eighteenth-century fiction holds an unusual place in the history of modern print culture. The novel gained prominence largely because of advances in publishing, but, as a popular genre, it also helped shape those very developments. Authors in the period manipulated the appearance of the page and print technology more deliberately than has been supposed, prompting new forms of reception among readers. Christopher Flint's book explores works by both obscure 'scribblers' and canonical figures, such as Swift, Haywood, Defoe, Richardson, Sterne and Austen, that interrogated the complex interactions between the book's material aspects and its producers and consumers. Flint links historical shifts in how authors addressed their profession to how books were manufactured and how readers consumed texts. He argues that writers exploited typographic media to augment other crucial developments in prose fiction, from formal realism and free indirect discourse to accounts of how 'the novel' defined itself as a genre.Read more
- Analyses how authors, readers and booksellers shaped the novel in the early stages of its development
- Will appeal to scholars of eighteenth-century literature, the novel and the history of the book
- Illustrated with 30 examples of innovative layouts and illustrations from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries
Reviews & endorsements
"The Appearance of Print in Eighteenth Century Fiction … offers a rich account of Richardson's typographical practices, linking these to Sterne and Mackenzie: this situation of Richardson within such a tradition is one aspect of the study, but a welcome one."
The Eighteenth Century
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- Date Published: October 2011
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107008397
- length: 296 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.57kg
- contains: 30 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Part I. Author, Book, Reader:
1. Preface: prose fiction and print culture in eighteenth-century Britain
2. Pre-scripts: the contexts of literary production
3. Post scripts: the fate of the page in Charles Gildon's epistolary fiction
Part II. Reader, Book, Author:
4. In other words: printers' ornaments and the substitutions of text
5. Inanimate fiction: circulating stories in object narratives
6. Only a female pen: women writers and fictions of the page
7. After words
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