Popular fiction by women, 1660-1730 : an anthology / [edited by] Paula R. Backscheider, John J. Richetti.

Contributor(s): Backscheider, Paula R | Richetti, John JMaterial type: TextTextPublisher: Oxford : New York : Clarendon Press ; Oxford University Press, 1996Description: xxvi, 336 p. : ill, ; 24 cmISBN: 0198711379 (pbk. : acid-free paper); 9780198711377 (pbk. : acid-free paper); 0198711360 (acid-free paper); 9780198711360 (acid-free paper)Subject(s): English fiction -- Women authors | English fiction -- Early modern, 1500-1700 | Popular literature -- Great Britain | English fiction -- 18th centuryDDC classification: 823/.40809287 LOC classification: PR1286.W6 | P67 1996Other classification: 18.05
Contents:
History of the nun / Aphra Behn -- Secret history of Queen Zarah and the Zarazians / Delariviere Manley -- Love intrigues / Jane Barker -- Strange adventures of the Count de Vinevil and his family / Penelope Aubin -- British recluse / Eliza Haywood -- Fantomina / Eliza Haywood -- Reformed coquet / Mary Davys -- Friendship in death, selections / Elizabeth Singer Rowe.
Summary: Popular Fiction by Women 1660-1730 gathers together for the first time a representative selection of shorter fiction by the most successful women writers of the period, from Aphra Behn the first important English female professional writer, to Penelope Aubin and Eliza Haywood, who with Daniel Defoe dominated prose fiction in the 1720s. The texts included were among the best selling titles of their time, and played a key role in the expanding market for narrative in the early eighteenth century. Crucial to the development of the longer novel of manners and morals that emerged in the mid-eighteenth century these novellas have been much neglected by literary historians but now - with the impetus of feminist criticism - they have been re-established as an essential chapter in the history of the novel in English and are widely studied.Summary: Though strikingly varied in narrative format and purpose, ranging as they do from the erotic and sensational to the sentimental and pious, they offer a distinct fictional approach to the moral and social issues of the age from a female standpoint.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 335-336).

History of the nun / Aphra Behn -- Secret history of Queen Zarah and the Zarazians / Delariviere Manley -- Love intrigues / Jane Barker -- Strange adventures of the Count de Vinevil and his family / Penelope Aubin -- British recluse / Eliza Haywood -- Fantomina / Eliza Haywood -- Reformed coquet / Mary Davys -- Friendship in death, selections / Elizabeth Singer Rowe.

Popular Fiction by Women 1660-1730 gathers together for the first time a representative selection of shorter fiction by the most successful women writers of the period, from Aphra Behn the first important English female professional writer, to Penelope Aubin and Eliza Haywood, who with Daniel Defoe dominated prose fiction in the 1720s. The texts included were among the best selling titles of their time, and played a key role in the expanding market for narrative in the early eighteenth century. Crucial to the development of the longer novel of manners and morals that emerged in the mid-eighteenth century these novellas have been much neglected by literary historians but now - with the impetus of feminist criticism - they have been re-established as an essential chapter in the history of the novel in English and are widely studied.

Though strikingly varied in narrative format and purpose, ranging as they do from the erotic and sensational to the sentimental and pious, they offer a distinct fictional approach to the moral and social issues of the age from a female standpoint.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

The origin of the English novel is, of course, one of the great questions of literary history: the orthodox paradigm remains that of Ian Watt (The Rise of the Novel, 1957), who proclaimed the male triumvirate of Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding as principal originators. Feminist criticism, certainly as early as B.G. MacCarthy's Women Writers: Their Contribution to the English Novel, 1621-1744 (1944) but principally in the last decade, has challenged the bias inherent in male-centered accounts of the novel by drawing attention to women who authored enormously popular works of fiction that 18th-century readers described as "novels." This anthology does an invaluable service in making readily available a selection of these works (of Behn, Manley, Barker, Aubin, Haywood, Davys, and Rowe). The selection is carefully justified (though some, especially teachers, may regret the omission of Behn's Oroonoko). There is a fine general introduction, but unfortunately the introductions to the individual writers are disappointingly brief, a defect made all the worse by the limited bibliographical apparatus provided. All collections. P. Cullen; CUNY Graduate Center and College of Staten Island

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Paula R. Backsheider is at Auburn University, Alabama. John J. Richetti is at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

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