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The English Novel: An Introduction [Paperback]

Terry Eagleton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

23 July 2004
Written by one of the world’s leading literary theorists, this book provides a wide–ranging, accessible and humorous introduction to the English novel from Daniel Defoe to the present day. Covers the works of major authors, including Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne, Walter Scott, Jane Austen, the Brontës, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce. Distils the essentials of the theory of the novel. Follows the model of Eagleton’s hugely popular Literary Theory: An Introduction (Second Edition, 1996).

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Product details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (23 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405117079
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405117074
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.5 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 308,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Acclaimed literary scholar and cultural theorist Terry Eagleton is Professor of Cultural Theory at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, and Distinguished Visiting Professor of English Literature at Notre Dame.

Terry Eagleton is the author of many books including The Idea of Culture (2000), Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (2002), the bestselling text Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983, 1996, 2008), Trouble with Strangers: A Study of Ethics (2009), and the forthcoming On Evil (2010).

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Review

"Eagleton′s presentation of the history of the novel is admirably clear and almost entirely free of the disfiguring jargon so relied upon by theorists and bamboozlers." The Irish Independent à "Eagleton, almost alone among academic literary critics of his generation, has never been afraid of asking big questions about big things. In The English Novel: An Introduction he takes aim at a very large target indeed. Being Eagleton (the most articulately and discriminately ideological critic of our time) he does, of course, do much more than merely ′introduce′. He makes sense of the English novel." John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature, UCL

From the Back Cover

This book provides a wide–ranging, accessible and humorous introduction to the English novel from Daniel Defoe to the present day. Following the model of his hugely popular Literary Theory: An Introduction, Terry Eagleton starts by distilling the essentials of the theory of the novel, summarizing what has been written on the genre by a range of prominent theorists. There then follows a series of chapters on major novelists, including Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne, Walter Scott, Jane Austen, the Brontës, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce. Each chapter discusses the major works of the author in question, outlines the relevant historical context, and draws out common themes. The English Novel is an ideal introduction for students of English literature or for general readers.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A novel is a piece of prose fiction of a reasonable length. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, lucid, and utterly fascinating 22 Jan 2011
By Didier TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Twentyfive years ago as I'm writing this I finished university with a degree in English literature, and ever since I have kept on reading mostly English novels. But, strangely enough perhaps, I rarely, if ever, bothered to read books about those books. But then suddenly I somehow felt compelled to remedy this and ordered both this book and Patrick Parrinder's Nation and Novel: The English Novel from its Origins to the Present Day (which I'm reading now but haven't finished yet).

Not to waste anymore of your time: Eagleton's 'The English Novel, an introduction' is an absolutely fascinating book, which should give anyone even remotely interested in the subject matter hours of reading bliss. In its 337 pages are crammed so many insights and knowledge that I'm still a bit dazzled and most likely will read it a second time soon. True enough, the language and terminology are at times erudite and learned but it isn't as if you need a PhD. to be able to follow Eagleton's discourse, average intelligence and knowledge (like me, for instance) works just fine.

One minor quip perhaps: in fact the book's title 'The English Novel, an introduction' is a little bit misleading because, after a first introductory chapter ('What is a novel?', in which Eagleton does a lot more than attempt to define the subject of the other chapters), Eagleton concentrates on the major novelists, devoting chapters to:
- Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift
- Samuel Richardson and Henry Fielding
- Laurence Sterne
- Walter Scott and Jane Austen
- The Brontės
- Charles Dickens
- George Eliot
- Thomas Hardy
- Henry James
- Joseph Conrad
- D.H.
Read more ›
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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars service and book as a form and content 9 Feb 2010
Format:Paperback
I would just like to say "THANK YOU" for your service.I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An in-depth examination of dramatic effect 12 Nov 2004
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Leading literary theorist Terry Eagleton presents The English Novel: An Introduction, a scholarly examination of the artistic expression of the English novel that particularly focuses upon classic works by great authors such as Charles Dickens, George Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Hardy, and others. An in-depth examination of dramatic effect, narrative characteristics especially prevalent among English novels, ideological passions that fueled the individual authors, and much more, The English Novel is a superb introduction for beginning to intermediate college-level students of literature. Witty and inventive as well as filled with sharp observations, The English Novel is enthusiastically recommended for personal and public library literature shelves.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The English Novel from Defore and Fielding to Lawrence, Joyce and Virginia Woolf 4 April 2006
By C. M Mills - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Terry Eagleton is a British professor of Literature who has written an excellent, quotable and recondite account of English Literature from the seventeenth through the twentieth century to today!

Eagleton's book is not for the novice unfamiliar with the works he discusses. The book would serve well in a college course on English literature. As an English major and lifelong reader of English Literature I would recommend the book highly.

Excellent!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intellegent & Unreliable Guide 1 Mar 2014
By reading man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Eagleton's Marxism is the equal of his master Raymond Williams, but he has more feeling for literature, as this survey reveals.

Still, what he has to say about the major British novelists needs to be qualified paragraph by paragraph.

Since this book was published, Eagleton seems to have become a sort of academic turned popularizer, much like Harold Bloom. He's gone from "advanced" criticism to "beginner" books, which is a nice way for a prof to make a living, but not of much interest to serious students of the subject.
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