rise of the novel

rise of the novel

  • Submitted By: PraVash-Rai
  • Date Submitted: 03/05/2015 8:48 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 551
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 1

The English novel which was destined to live, in
fact out live all other forms of literature,
whether poetry or drama, and shine even today on
the horizon of English literature as a bright star,
actually rose and greatly developed in the 18th
century. The novel despite the presence of great
poetical works and the best periodical essays
stands out in this century not only as the most
popular but also the most enduring medium.

In the eighteenth century the years
after the forties witnessed a wonderful
efflorescence of a new literary genre which
was soon to establish itself for all times to
come as the dominant literary form. Of
course, we are referring here to the English
novel which was born with Richardson's
Pamela and has been thriving since then.
When Matthew Arnold used the epithets
"excellent" and "indispensable" for the
eighteenth century which had little of good
poetry or drama to boast of, he was probably
paying it due homage for its gift of the novel.
The eighteenth century was the age in which
the novel was established as the most
outstanding and enduring form of literature.
The periodical essay, which was another gift
of this century to English literature, was
born and died in the century, but the novel
was to enjoy an enduring career. It is to the
credit of the major eighteenth-century
novelists that they freed the novel from the
influence and elements of high flown
romance and fantasy, and used it to interpret
the everyday social and psychological
problems of the common man. Thus they
introduced realism, democratic spirit, and
psychological interest into the novel— the
qualities which have since then been
recognized as the essential prerequisites of-
every good novel and which distinguish it
from the romance and other impossible

Reasons for the Rise and Popularity:
Various reasons can be adduced for
the rise and popularity of the novel in the
eighteenth century. The most important of...

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