The genre of novel possess greater importance in English language today. The rise of English novel in 18th century means that more authors came forward with their novels. When novel was introduced, it gave new means to the language and since then, it is known as an essential part of it. 

The 18th century is also known as the Age of Enlightenment. It was the time when thinking patters of a layman was changing. The scientific inventions were taking place and rationality was taking over the traditional mindset.  


Aspects responsible for the rise of novel in 18th century 

There are a number of factors which are responsible for rising novel and making it a strong pillar of art. 


18th century was the time when people begin to realize that the real sentiments are more than just the romantic ones. The readers and authors started to look for intellect, accuracy, creativity, satire and reason. The novelist of 18th century was full of all these characteristics.

Middle Class 

Whereas, the 17th century literature was more about elite class and their taste. The 18th century literature was more about the social class. This was the time when middle class found voice for themselves. The elite class in 17th century wanted to rule the novel genre as well, thus, it was more related to their fantasy world. However, when the novelists like Charles Dickens or Mary Shelley came up with their creativity, it attracted a common man, more. 


Back at that time, women were not allowed to be a part of many social activities. They used to stay at home and taught to be a ‘lady’. Women were not part of any politics or decision making, thus, they stay behind and spend their time in reading. Not only the upper class ladies, but middle class ladies were also active in reading novels. It was so unfortunate that women were not allowed to have their writing published under their names. Therefore, women have to choose any ‘pen-name’ or publish under some male pseudonym. The famous writer George Eliot was actually a woman named Mary Ann Evans. Women have indeed played a great role in rise of English novel in 18th century.  


Publishing of newspapers and magazines was also the reason that the genre of novel reached to the middle class. The readers which were more interested in  reading the reality and authentic experience rather than something absolutely unreal. 


In the 18th century, several revolutions took place. From French revolution to the Haitian and to the American. These revolutions disrupted the norms and aristocratical structure. The usual way of politics and lifestyles were demolished, modern living was introduced. 

There is a lot more related to the rise of English novel in 18th century, which can be explored. If you want to read more on this topic, then write to us or comment below. 


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