This volume provides an astute, wide-ranging and accessible critical introduction to the English novel and short fiction, and explores the novel's relations to narrative forms such as biography and autobiography. David Amigoni expertly guides readers in methods of narrative analysis and close reading, while stressing the need to place narratives and narrative theories in historical and cultural context. To this end, he traces critical debates about the origins of the novel, domestic realism and romance, the bildungsroman, journalism, and mass culture, the experimental novel, post-modernism and post-colonialism. Adopting a case-study approach, the author provides theoretically informed readings of "Pamela", "Tristan Shandy", "Emma", ""Jane Eyre", "The Mill on the Floss", "Bleak House", "The Spoils of Poynton", "Mrs Dalloway", and "Midnight's Children" as well as short stories by Thomas Hardy and Katherine Mansfield. While primarily an introductory guide, the book also offers a distinct approach to the history of novel criticism that should engage readers interested in the genre at all levels.
David Amigoni is Professor of Victorian Literature at Keele University. He is the author of The English Novel and Prose Narrative (Edinburgh University Press, 2000) and Victorian Biography: Intellectuals and the Ordering of Discourse (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992). He is co-editor, with Jeff Wallace, of Charles Darwin's 'Origin of Species': New Interdisciplinary Essays (Manchester UP, 1995), and co-editor, with Paul Barlow and Colin Trodd, of Victorian Culture and the Idea of the Grotesque (Ashgate, 1999).