The Cambridge Companion to Fiction in the Romantic Period by Richard Maxwell (Yale University, Connecticut)
While poetry has been the genre most closely associated with the Romantic period, the novel of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries has attracted many more readers and students in recent years. Its canon has been widened to include less well known authors alongside Jane Austen, Walter Scott, Maria Edgeworth and Thomas Love Peacock. Over the last generation, especially, a remarkable range of popular works from the period have been re-discovered and reread intensively. This Companion offers an overview of British fiction written between roughly the mid-1760s and the early 1830s and is an ideal guide to the major authors, historical and cultural contexts, and later critical reception. The contributors to this volume represent the most up-to-date directions in scholarship, charting the ways in which the period's social, political and intellectual redefinitions created new fictional subjects, forms and audiences.