Professor Shutt begins by exploring exactly what a novel is - and what it isn't - and what defines this unique literary expression. He explores both its antecedents and precursors and where exactly its place in the literary landscape can be found. He then moves on to Defoe's great work Robinson Crusoe which arguably marks the birth of the novel. Subsequent lectures explore works by powerful literary forces such as Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, and Sir Walter Scott.
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