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The English Novel: An Introduction

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  88 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Written by one of the world's leading literary theorists, this book provides a wide-ranging, accessible and humorous introduction to the English novel from Daniel Defoe to the present day.

Covers the works of major authors, including Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne, Walter Scott, Jane Austen, the Brontes, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thoma
Paperback, 376 pages
Published July 30th 2004 by John Wiley & Sons
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Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
“Alienation is the condition in which men and women fail to recognize the objective world as their own subjective creation. Yet the very act of writing a novel offers an alternative to this condition, since a novel’s ‘objective’ vision of the world is one rooted in the subjectivity of its author. The act of writing crosses the border between subjective and objective. The novel is one of the few objects in a reified society which manifests in its every objective detail the subjective freedom in w ...more
Sep 09, 2010 added it
This book has proven a helpful short-cut in preparing my 'introduction to the novel' course, especially on books and writers that I haven't dealt with before. Its general introduction is a rather good one as well.

Note to self, chapters:
1- What is a novel?
2- Daniel Defoe and Jonathan Swift
3- Henry Fielding and Samuel Richardson
4- Laurence Sterne
5- Walter Scott and Jane Austen
6- The Brontes
7- Charles Dickens
8- George Eliot
9- Thomas Hardy
10- Henry James
11- Joseph Conrad
12- DH Lawrence
13- James Joyc
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With so many literary critics out there, it's hard to offer anything new, is it?
Well, Terry Eagleton does exactly that. I like to say Eagleton is a breath of fresh air in the literary criticism.
With each chapter he makes us question and observe things from another perspective.
Shashank Singh
If it was called a Marxist theory of the English novel, I might give it 3 stars. But since it declarers itself a general history of the English[British/Irish] novel, it was continuously disappointing.

Terry Eagleton's insights are pretty much exhausted in the first 50 pages, after which it's simply a repetitive and shallow reduction of writers to social forces.

Thus for example the socially reductive reading [most of which is a lot more telling of Terry Eagleton's views then anything to do with
Gloria De Martin
May 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Non è stata una lettura semplice. L'autore si sofferma per pagine interminabili sul contesto sociale in cui operarono i vari scrittori, riservando poi troppo poco spazio alla loro vita e alle loro opere. Mi sembra anche semplicistico ridurre la produzione letteraria a un mero specchio dell'ambiente storico-sociale dell'autore, quando i fattori in gioco sono invece molteplici.
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book as its name implies is an introduction to the English Novel, specifically the canonical British writers with whom the literary establishment is concerned. Eagleton is an erudite and prolific scholar and his ability to manage the sweep and scope of the novel over the last two centuries is no less than remarkable. Eagleton's book focuses on the writers and not individual works. He does not shy away from psychological, political or social analyses of these writers, and their relationship t ...more
Michael Arnold
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This was alright. There were a lot of great insights into some books, I'll admit I didn't read every word of it - but and may have skipped more than a few of the paragraphs talking about books I've not read yet. I feel this is like a pool you can dip in to more than a book you read cover to cover anyway. The introduction was highly theoretical, and then when Eagleton goes on to talk about writers and their works it becomes much easier to read - just it has an ideological slant some people may no ...more
Doug Warren
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
As far as an academic text is concerned, this was really entertaining. It was full of humor and pop culture references that you were not expecting. And none of the Marxist theory that you expect from Eagleton was present. It was just an all together good book.
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
What can I say? I like Terry Eagleton.
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Widely regarded as Britain's most influential living literary critic & theorist, Dr Eagleton currently serves as Distinguished Prof. of English Literature at the Univ. of Lancaster & as Visiting Prof. at the Nat'l Univ. of Ireland, Galway. He was Thomas Warton Prof. of English Literature at the Univ. of Oxford ('92-01) & John Edward Taylor Prof. of English Literature at the Univ. of Ma ...more