The English Novel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 358 pages of information about The English Novel.
and women of unusual power should exist, and should devote themselves to it, partly of the less heroic-sounding fact that the general appetite of other men and womenkind could make it worth while for these persons of genius and talent not to do something else.  But even so, the examination, rightly conducted, discovers more than a sufficient dose of nobility.  For the novel appeal is not, after all, to a mere blind animal thirst for something that will pass and kill time, for something that will drug or flutter or amuse.  Beyond and above these things there is something else.  The very central cause and essence of it—­most definitely and most keenly felt by nobler spirits and cultivated intelligences, but also dimly and unconsciously animating very ordinary people—­is the human delight in humanity—­the pleasure of seeing the men and women of long past ages living, acting, and speaking as they might have done, those of the present living, acting, speaking as they do—­but in each case with the portrayal not as a mere copy of particulars, but influenced with that spirit of the universal which is the secret and the charm of art.  It is because the novels of these years recognised and provided this pleasure in a greater degree than those of the former period (except the productions of a few masters) that they deserve the higher position which has been here assigned them.  If the novels of any period, before or since or to come, have deserved, may or shall deserve, a lower place—­it is, and will be, because of their comparative or positive neglect of the combination of these conditions.  Perhaps it is not easy to see what new country there is for the novel to conquer.  But, as with other kinds of literature, there is practically no limit to its powers of working its actual domains.  In the finest of its already existing examples it hardly yields in accomplishment even to poetry; in that great secondary (if secondary) office of all Art—­to redress the apparent injustice, and console for the apparent unkindness, of Nature—­to serve as rest and refreshment between those exactions of life which, though neither unjust nor unkind, are burdensome, it has no equal among all the kinds of Art itself.


Adam Bede Adams, W. Addison Adeline Mowbray Aelfric Agathos Ainsworth, H. Alton Locke Amadis Amelia Amis and Amillion Amory, Thomas Anabasis, The Anglo-Saxon, Romance in Anna Anna St. Ives Apollonius of Tyre Apuleius Arblay, Madame d’, see Burney, F. Arcadia, The Aretina Arthour and Merlin Arthurian Legend, the;
  its romantic concentration
Ask Mamma Ass, The Golden Atlantis, The New Austen, Miss

Badman, Mr
Bage, R.
Barchester Towers
Barrett, E.S.
Barry Lyndon
“Barsetshire Novels,” the

Project Gutenberg
The English Novel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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