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A History of English Prose Fiction by Tuckerman

A HISTORY

OF

ENGLISH PROSE FICTION

BY

BAYARD TUCKERMAN

NEW YORK & LONDON G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS The Knickerbocker Press 1894

COPYRIGHT BY G.P. PUTNAM'S SONS 1882

TO MY FATHER, THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED

PREFACE.

It is attempted in this volume to trace the gradual progress of English Prose Fiction from the early romance to the novel of the present day, in such connection with the social characteristics of the epochs to which these works respectively belong, as may conduce to a better comprehension of their nature and significance.

As many of the earlier specimens of English fiction are of a character or a rarity which makes any acquaintance with them difficult to the general public, I have endeavored so to describe their style and contents that the reader may obtain, to some degree, a personal knowledge of them.

The novels of the nineteenth century are so numerous and so generally familiar, that, in the chapter devoted to this period, I have sought rather to point out the great importance which fiction has assumed, and the variety of forms which it has taken, than to attempt any exhaustive criticism of individual authors--a task already sufficiently performed by writers far more able to do it justice.

THE AUTHOR.

B.T.

"_The Benedick._" NEW YORK, Aug. 22, 1882.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I.

THE ROMANCE OF CHIVALRY ........................................ 1

CHAPTER II

CHAUCER, TALES OF THE YEOMANRY, SIR T. MORE'S "UTOPIA".......... 42

CHAPTER III

THE AGE OF ELIZABETH. LYLY, GREENE, LODGE, SIDNEY ............. 60

CHAPTER IV.

THE PURITANS, "THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS" ......................... 102

CHAPTER V.

THE RESTORATION. ROGER BOYLE, MRS. MANLEY, MRS. BEHN ........... 112

CHAPTER VI.

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. SWIFT, ADDISON, DEFOE, RICHARDSON, FIELDING, SMOLLETT ............................................. 134

CHAPTER VII.

THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY CONTINUED. STERNE, JOHNSON, GOLDSMITH, AND OTHERS. MISS BURNEY AND THE FEMALE NOVELISTS. THE ROMANTIC REVIVAL ........................................... 220


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