Popular Fiction by Women 1660-1730 gathers together for the first time a sparkling 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--have been reestablished as an essential chapter in the history of the novel in English. All lovers of fiction will find much here to delight, stimulate, and educate.
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Paula R. Backsheider is at Auburn University, Alabama. John J. Richetti is at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.Review:
"Reinvigorates the teaching of 18th-century literature. Provides lost voices, which have long deserved to be heard."--William J. Lohman, Jr., University of Tampa
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