What are the main characteristics of the English novel in the 18th century?

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Although there are exceptions to this generalization among novels of the 18th century in Britain, one of the most important, if not the most important, characteristics of this type of novel is its depiction of individual character, society, culture, and politics as realistically as possible; in other words, the novelist attempts to paint a picture of life as it is rather than as we might wish it to be. For example, Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year (1922), which was originally thought to be an eye-witness account of the devastating effects of the bubonic plague in London, is now...

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squirrelgirl86 | Student

It is often said that the novel was born in the 18th century. Several conventions that are still common in novels to this day were pioneered. The breaking down of larger works into chapters or books (i.e. book I, book II) began during the 18th century. The novels characteristically focused on realism, either by use of first person narration or focus on regular, every day life. 18th century novels also conveyed a moral purpose, through difficult themes like adultery and desire. Writers wanted to teach a lesson as well as entertain the masses.

 

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