The Oxford History of the Novel in English Volume 1: Prose Fiction in English from the Origins of Print to 1750

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2018-01-13
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $133.33 Save up to $93.33
  • Rent Book $40.00
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Rental copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


The Oxford History of the Novel in English is a 12-volume series presenting a comprehensive, global, and up-to-date history of English-language prose fiction and written by a large, international team of scholars. The series is concerned with novels as a whole, not just the 'literary' novel, and each volume includes chapters on the processes of production, distribution, and reception, and on popular fiction and the fictional sub-genres, as well as outlining the work of major novelists, movements, traditions, and tendencies.

Volume 1 explores the long period between the origins of printing in late fifteenth-century England and the establishment of the novel as a recognized, reputable genre in the mid eighteenth century. Later chapters in the volume provide original, authoritative accounts of innovations by the major canonical authors, notably Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding, who have traditionally been seen as pioneering 'the rise of the novel', in Ian Watt's famous phrase. With its extended chronological and geographical range, however, the volume also contextualizes these eighteenth-century developments in revelatory new ways, to provide a fresh, bold, and comprehensive account of the richness and variety of fictional traditions as they developed over two and a half centuries.

The volume thus establishes a newly comprehensive mapping of early fiction that rectifies the shortcomings and exclusions of established 'rise of the novel' scholarship. These include the relative neglect of the importance of women writers, following Behn's reinvention of romance in the 1680s, in shaping novelistic themes and techniques; a restrictive generic definition based on circumstantial and psychological realism to the exclusion of non-realist modes that flourished for centuries beforehand; a teleological bias that overlooks or downgrades phases and types of fiction production, such as the richly variegated category of Elizabethan fiction, that resist being assimilated into narratives of evolution or ascent; a reductive Anglocentrism that leaves out of account the translation, reception, and pervasive influence from the sixteenth century onwards of, among much else, the 'ancient novel' of Apuleius and Heliodorus; Byzantine, Arabian, and Eastern traditions; the Italian novella from Boccaccio to Bandello; Spanish picaresque and anti-romance; and a range of French narrative modes from Rabelais to Marivaux. Alongside these key contexts, the volume treats the emergent novel as, above all, a phenomenon of print culture, with close attention to conditions of authorship, publishing, and reading across the extended period.

Author Biography

Thomas Keymer, Chancellor Jackman Professor in the Arts & University Professor of English, University of Toronto

Thomas Keymer is Chancellor Jackman Professor in the Arts and University Professor of English at the University of Toronto. He previously taught at St Anne's College, Oxford, where he remains a Supernumerary Fellow. He also serves as General Editor of The Review of English Studies and co-General Editor of the Cambridge Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Samuel Richardson. His most recent books include The Cambridge Companion to Laurence Sterne (2009), the Oxford World's Classics edition of William Beckford's Vathek (2013) and Poetics of the Pillory: English Literature and Seditious Libel, 1660-1820, forthcoming in OUP's Clarendon Lectures in English series.

Table of Contents

General Editor's Preface
Introduction, Thomas Keymer
Editorial Note
Note on the British Currency before Decimalization
Part 1: Fiction in the Marketplace
1. Authorship, Publication, Reception: 1470-1660, Paul Salzman
2. Authorship, Publication, Reception: 1660-1750, Robert D. Hume
3. Cross-Sections: 1516-1520, Cathy Shrank
4. Cross-Sections: 1596-1600, Lori Humphrey Newcomb
5. Cross-Sections: 1666-1670, James Grantham Turner
6. Cross-Sections: 1716-1720, Pat Rogers
Part 2: Early Modern Fiction - Sources and Modes
7. Fiction and the Origins of Print, Alexandra Gillespie
8. English Fiction and the Ancient Novel, Robert H. F. Carver
9. Chivalric Romance and Novella Collections, Helen Moore
10. Euphuism and Courtly Fiction, Nandini Das
11. Nashe and Satire, Tiffany Stern
12. Elizabethan Popular Romance and the Popular Novel, R. W. Maslen
13. 'The conjunction cannot be hurtful'? Sidney's Arcadia and Mingled Genres, Gavin Alexander
14. Utopian Fiction, Daniel Carey
15. Royalist Romance?, Steven N. Zwicker
16. Picaresque and Rogue Fiction, Simon Dickie
17. Cervantes, Anti-Romance, and the Novella, Brean Hammond
18. Rabelaisian Comedy and Satire, Nicholas McDowell
19. Bunyan and Religious Allegory, Michael Davies
Part 3: Restoration Fiction and the Rise of the Novel
20. Formal Experimentation and Theories of Fiction, Nicholas Hudson
21. Non-Fictional Discourses and the Novel, John Richetti
22. Finding Their Accounts: Autobiography, Novel, and the Move from Self 'to you-ward', Stuart Sherman
23. Classical French Fiction and the Restoration Novel, Ros Ballaster
24. Epistolary Fiction, Toni Bowers
25. Pornography and the Novel, Paul Baines
26. Restoration Theatre, and the Novel, Jenny Davidson
27. Exploration, Expansion, and the Early Novel, Cynthia Wall
28. Arabian Nights and Oriental Spies, James Watt
29. The Rise of the Irish Novel, Moyra Haslett
30. Scandal and Amatory Fiction, Jane Spencer
31. Defoe, Journalism, and the Early English Novel: Contexts and Models, J. Paul Hunter
32. Swift, Satire, and the Novel, Claude Rawson
33. The Pamela Debate, Thomas Lockwood
34. Clarissa and Tom Jones, Alan Downie
35. 'Moral Romance' and the Novel at Mid-Century, Peter Sabor

Rewards Program

Write a Review