Rise of the Novel

Course Number: 
HUL 235
LTP structure: 


NLN 100

Course Objective

To introduce the history, contexts and development of the Novel, an important literary genre, which emerged in Europe from the late 17th century and travelled to other parts of the world.


Course Content

The socio-politcal contexts which lead to the rise of the novel in Europe – the emergence of print, the expansion of literacy, and the establishment of capitalism. Through a close reading of selected texts accompanying concepts like the rise of the modern individual, varied narrative techniques and national consciousness. The emerging sub-genres of the novel – the comic, the picaresque, the historical novel and the realist novel. The linkage of the novel to the colonial project and its influence on world literature.

Suggested Reading List

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. The ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605-1615; Penguin, 2001).

Aphra Behn. ed. Lore Metzger. Oroonoko or, the Royal Slave: A True History (1688; New York and London: W.W. Norton, 1973).

Daniel Defoe. The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, Mariner (1719; Wordsworth Editions, 1993).

Jonathan Swift. Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver (1726; Wordsworth Editions, 1992)

Laurence Stern. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-1767; New York: Garland Publishing, 1975)

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