Tag Archives: novels

The Wisdom of Jane Austen

“‘Oh! it is only a novel! . . . only Cecilia, or Camilla, or Belinda:’ or, in short, only some work in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humor are conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.”– Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Depending on how you define them, the first novels were written as long ago as the 15th century.  Cervantes wrote Don Quixote in the early 1600s, and Robinson Crusoe, Moll Flanders and Pamela–early books in English–were published in the first half of the 18th century.  It was for Jane Austen, however, in 1818, to explain what sets the novel apart.  Continue reading