Novels:Contemporary Views

From Marteau




One text in five versions: "novels" — "little histories" of intrigues have replaced the old "romance" with its bombast adventures:
  • [Du Plaisir,] "Sentimens sur l’histoire" from: Sentimens sur les lettres et sur l’histoire, avec des scruples sur le stile (Paris: C. Blageart, 1683). — On the art of the modern novel, ist character observation and its structure.
  • [Abbe Bellegarde,] The Preface to The Secret History of Queen Zarah and the Zarazians (Albigion, 1705) and its versions into French and German. A translation of Bellegarde's text which turns the rise of the novel into a European and ultimately English phenomenon.



  • Deutsche Acta Eruditorum, Review of the French translation of Delarivier Manley's New Atalantis 1709 (Leipzig: J. L. Gleditsch, 1713). — A learned journal rewiews a scandalous roman à clef.


  • Jane Barker, Preface to Exilius of the Banish’d Roman. A New Romance (London: E. Curll, 1715). — A plea for a return to the traditional romance (as Chaucer and Fénelon wrote it) to end the age of the modern production.


  • [Johann Friedrich Riederer,] "Satyra von den Liebes-Romanen", published in: Die abentheuerliche Welt in einer Pickelheerings-Kappe, No. 2 ([Nürnberg,] 1718). Readers of all classes devour romances and novels and dream of being amorous heroes, a satire.

The Novel in Europe, 1650-1749