Benjamin Boyce (essay date 1952)
SOURCE: Introduction to Prefaces to Fiction, William Andres Clark Memorial Library, No. 32, 1952, pp. i-x.
[In the following excerpt, Boyce contends that Manley's call for realistic action, authentic dialogue, and true-to-life characterization—expressed in the preface to Queen Zarah—represents an important development in eighteenth-century prose fiction.]
The development of the English novel is one of the triumphs of the eighteenth century. Criticism of prose fiction during that period, however, is less impressive, being neither strikingly original nor profound nor usually more than fragmentary. Because the early statements of theory were mostly very...
(The entire section is 578 words.)