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By A. Markley

Dramatically increasing the bounds of the British “Jacobin” novel, Conversion and Reform within the British Novel within the 1790s analyzes the works of quite a lot of British reformists writing within the 1790s, together with William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, and Maria Edgeworth, who reshaped the conventions of latest fiction to place the unconventional as a innovative political tool.  instead of aiming to release a bloody revolution, those authors labored to start up social and political reform in such components as women’s rights, abolition, the Jewish query, and the leveling of the category process in Britain through changing the person reader, one reader at a time.

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Additional resources for Conversion and Reform in the British Novel in the 1790s: A Revolution of Opinions

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On the other hand, a happy ending risked undercutting the gravity of the social and political realities the novelist had worked to expose. In composing Caleb Williams, Godwin found this problem difficult to solve. In an original conclusion to the novel, Godwin depicted a defeated and apparently drugged Caleb gradually losing touch with reality as the novel itself fragments into ever less rational passages. Such an ending put an effective final point onto Godwin’s sharp indictment of the power of the British aristocracy.

First, their work broke new ground in many directions as they explored new ways to utilize and to develop the forms and conventions of narrative that had become popular throughout the eighteenth century. 76 This page intentionally left blank 4 Chapter 1 The Ma ny Faces of the Refor mist H ero O ne of the most significant ways in which reformist novelists reworked the conventions of late eighteenth-century fiction involves their manner of appropriating contemporary ideals of masculinity in fashioning protagonists who would appeal to their readers yet also serve as effective spokesmen for their politics.

J. ”54 Thus Godwin’s revised conclusion, though perhaps not as conventionally tragic as the first, is far more subtle in its anatomy of how social oppression operates. ”55 Once again, reform must begin with the thoughts and behavior of the individual. Godwin’s famous difficulty in ending Caleb Williams illustrates the great care such writers took to design a conclusion that not only answered the popular demands of the contemporary novel but also made the most efficacious impression upon the reader.

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