Revolution and the Form of the British Novel 1790-1825: Intercepted Letters, Interrupted Seductions

Watson, Nicola (1994). Revolution and the Form of the British Novel 1790-1825: Intercepted Letters, Interrupted Seductions. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

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Abstract

This study seeks to explain the vanishing of epistolary fiction in the romantic period, exploring the letter as it appears in radical and conservative, historical and gothic fiction, and tracing a shift in fictional fashion from the epistolary, feminized, and sentimental to a more authoritarian third-person mode. It describes this shift as a response to the anxieties aroused by the French Revolution and as part of a wider redrawing of the relation between the individual and social consensus.

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