The epistolary novel is a form which has been neglected in most accounts of the development of the novel. This book argues that the way that the eighteenth-century epistolary novel represented consciousness had a significant influence on the later novel.
Critics have drawn a distinction between the self at the time of writing and the self at the time at which events or emotions were experienced. This book demonstrates that the tensions within consciousness are the result of a continual interaction between the two selves of the letter-writer and charts the oscillation between these two selves in the epistolary novels of, amongst others, Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Fanny Burney and Charlotte Smith.

chapter |28 pages


Consciousness, the novel and the letter

chapter |25 pages

Sex and politics

The epistolary novel before 1740

chapter |27 pages

Reserve and memory: Richardson and the experiencing self

Richardson and the experiencing

chapter |27 pages

Sentiment and sensibility: the late eighteenth- century letter

The late eighteenth-century letter

chapter |24 pages

From first to third

Austen and epistolary style

chapter |6 pages


The case of Herzog