THE RISE OF THE NOVEL

In the 18th century circulating libraries became very important since more and more people could read. Readers mainly belonged to the middle classes so they wanted to read about the practical needs of the different trades, stories of pirates and thieves, books dealing with journeys to distant countries but also political pamphlets and newspapers. For this reason the literature of the 18th century reflected the intellectual progress of the period. Writing became a profession and writers wrote long prose narratives known as novels. novels were about fictional but plausible events and realistic characters which mirrored the life of a middle class man. the writer’s aim was writing in a simple way in order to be understood by everybody and the plots were mostly appealing to the practical -minded tradesman. the message of the novel itself was the sense of reward and punishment linked to the puritan ethics of the middle classes.

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