Nation and Novel: The English Novel from Its Origins to the Present Day

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9780199264841: Nation and Novel: The English Novel from Its Origins to the Present Day
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What is "English" about the English novel, and how has the idea of the English nation been shaped by the writers of fiction? How do the novel's profound differences from poetry and drama affect its representation of national consciousness?

Nation and Novel sets out to answer these questions by tracing English prose fiction from its late medieval origins through its stories of rogues and criminals, family rebellions and suffering heroines, to the present-day novels of immigration. Major novelists from Daniel Defoe to the late twentieth century have drawn on national history and mythology in novels which have pitted Cavalier against Puritan, Tory against Whig, region against nation, and domesticity against empire. The novel is deeply concerned with the fate of the nation, but almost always at variance with official and ruling-class perspectives on English society.

Patrick Parrinder's groundbreaking new literary history outlines the English novel's distinctive, sometimes paradoxical, and often subversive view of national character and identity. This sophisticated yet accessible assessment of the relationship between fiction and nation will set the agenda for future research and debate.

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About the Author:


Patrick Parrinder is Professor in the School of English and American Literature at the University of Reading. He has been a contributor to the London Review of Books.

Review:


"A thoughtful book."--Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books


"Absorbing.... Nation and Novel combines a huge range of materials with a remarkably steady focus. It is an erudite, judicious study.... The book is crammed with perceptive passages--on 18th-century footpads, the Book of Job, Disraeli as political novelist, Jane Austen as hard-headed materialist, the politics of marriage, Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time as Arthurian allegory. Its lucid, level-headed prose makes it just the right kind of text for students."--Terry Eagleton, The Guardian


"A thoughtful book."--Hermione Lee, The New York Review of Books


"Absorbing.... Nation and Novel combines a huge range of materials with a remarkably steady focus. It is an erudite, judicious study.... The book is crammed with perceptive passages--on 18th-century footpads, the Book of Job, Disraeli as political novelist, Jane Austen as hard-headed materialist, the politics of marriage, Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time as Arthurian allegory. Its lucid, level-headed prose makes it just the right kind of text for students."--Terry Eagleton, The Guardian


"The strength of this study is in its synthesis of material...Parrinder surveys the work of over two hundred novelists, and provides a useful explication of how the English nation-state has been reflected in the novel, and how the act of reading has been shaped by novelistic discourse." --Dickens Quarterly


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9780199264858: Nation and Novel: The English Novel from Its Origins to the Present Day

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ISBN 10:  0199264856 ISBN 13:  9780199264858
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008
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