Discuss the development of the English Novel during the eighteenth and nineteenth century?Who are the most important writers of that time and there works?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The notable writers of the 18th century were mostly writers of Romances and Epic stories which were much fictionalized and did not attempt at realistic fiction. Among the most notable works and novelists are:

Eliza Haywood (1719) Love in Excess

Daniel Defoe (1719 and the most famous) Robinson Crusoe

Samuel Richardson (1740) Pamela- Considered the first moderninst NOVEL and the year when it was known as a novel.

Henry Fielding (1749) Tom Jones

Laurence Sterne (1767) Tristam Shandy

Frances Burney (1778) Evelina

Ann Radcliffe (1794) The Mysteries of Udolpho.

These novels for the first time gave the audience a taste of fiction without history, or reality= it was the first time people were literally reading complete and non didactic fiction.

The 19th century novelists were different in that they did integrate realism to their fiction, and realistic fiction became widely spread with the commedies of manners of Jane Austen, and the critical narratives of the injustices of the London society as exemplified by Charles Dickens.

Along these lines you get:

William Makepeace Thackeray- Vanity Fair

Charlote Bronte- Jane Eyre

Emily Bronte- Wuthering Heights

George Eliot- Middlemarch

Oscar Wilde- The Picture of Dorian Gray

George Bernard Shaw- Pygmalion

and many more Victorians who opposed their Regency counterparts of the 18th century with more realism than romanticism.