The Handbook offers a comprehensive introduction to the British novel in the long eighteenth century, when this controversial genre emerged to develop into the period’s most versatile and popular literary form. Part I features six systematic chapters that discuss literary, intellectual, socio-economic, and political contexts, providing innovative approaches to issues such as sense and sentiment, gender considerations, formal characteristics, economic history, enlightened and radical concepts of citizenship and human rights, ecological ramifications, and Britain’s growing global involvement. Part II presents twenty-two analytical chapters that attend to individual novels, some canonical and others recently recovered. These analyses engage the debates outlined in the systematic chapters, undertaking in-depth readings that both contextualize the works and draw on relevant criticism, literary theory, and cultural perspectives. The Handbook’s breadth and depth, clear presentation, and lucid language make it attractive and accessible to scholar and student alike.
Katrin Berndt, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany; Alessa Johns, University of California, Davis, USA.