How did the novel evolve as a literary form in England and where does Fielding fit in its evolution?
The earliest English novels were translations and imitations of Greek novels. Lyly’s Euphues imitates the novels of the second sophistic. Several Greek novels, including, most importantly, Daphnis and Chloe, were adapted from the French translations of Amyot. In the 18th century, the epistolary novel, perhaps influence by model letter collection arose, along with novels such as Fielding’s Tom Jones loosely imitating the Spanish tradition of the picaresque. The next major development was the Gothics, a tightly plotted type of novel, followed by the more psychological novels of the early Victorian period. The novel became a mass medium with the advent of acid paper and increasing literacy by the end of the 19th century.
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