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Shifting Genres, Changing Realities

Reading the Late Eighteenth-Century Novel


Laurie Fitzgerald

In this analysis, Laurie Fitzgerald argues that the late eighteenth-century novels should be read as composites of many literary genres. This approach would allow contemporary readers to orient these novels in literary history and also get a sense of the strategies eighteenth-century audiences used in reading the novels of their time. Shifts in genre that occur within one work often indicate the novel's experimental exploration of social issues.