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No. The novel was invented in the Hellenistic period. It dates back to the 1st century -- see
A late 15th century Spanish novel is La Celestina:
Lyly's Euphues (an early English novel) was published in 1578 and was an imitation of Greek models. Anyone who claims the novel was invented in England in the 18th century is simply wrong. The genre became more popular and more widely disseminated in that period, but it was invented far earlier.
The English novel can be dated to the Renaissance. Some of the earliest novels published in England were translations of Greek novels, often mediated through the French of Amyot. Although some critics have tried to distinguish these from later novels by calling them 'romances', the distinction is founded mainly on fairly arbitrary preconceptions. These early novels are highly rhetorical and in both plot and style influenced by the rhetorical practice of declamation. The second major strand associated with the 18th century is the epistolary novel, a genre much influenced by letter writing manuals that gradually acquired thematic stories to make their model letters entertaining. Richardson and Defoe both wrote letter writing manuals before writing successful epistolary novels. The novel form as we now know it, with a mixture of dialogue and exposition, was fully developed in the late 18th century.
But novel is the original contribution of England to the world of literature.It is the product of eighteenth century.
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