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The English Novel An Introduction Hardcover – 30 Jul 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (30 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405117060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405117067
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.2 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,251,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"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 Independentà

"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.

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Top Customer Reviews

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 Brontës
- Charles Dickens
- George Eliot
- Thomas Hardy
- Henry James
- Joseph Conrad
- D.H.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that provides an antidote to all of the rather precious, and sometimes specious, celebration of writers in the English canon. Where else will you hear it stated plainly that "Joyce was a socialist" and that Woolf, though a writer of vital importance, was an "odious snob". Writers are placed in the context of the ideas of the time and their contribution judged accordingly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful just to dip into and to read alongside books by any of the authors featured and gain a much greater insight into them.
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