The Back of the Book: The nineteenth-century realist novel is one of the most important and accessible literary genres. In The Realist Novel the student is guided through the fundamentals of this enduring literary form. By using a carefully selected group of classic novels (Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, Father and Sons, and Frankenstein), the authors provide a lively examination of the themes and forms of realist novels of the period. They suggest that some writers, such as Mary Shelley, challenged the genre’s mainstream characteristics to great and lasting effect.
A selection of key critical texts (extracts from the work of Ian Watt, Arnold Kettle, George Lukacs, Marilyn Butler, Edward Said and Mikhail Bakhtin) is included. The discussion of these critical texts will develop the reader’s understanding of the issues raised, and show the origins of current debates about the novel.
The emphasis throughout is upon practice, not theory and each chapter offers exercises in reading ad studying fiction.