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Desire and Truth

Functions of Plot in Eighteenth-Century English Novels

Desire and Truth offers a major reassessment of the history of eighteenth-century fiction by showing how plot challenges or reinforces conventional categories of passion and rationality. Arguing that fiction creates and conveys its essential truths through plot, Patricia Meyer Spacks demonstrates that eighteenth-century fiction is both profoundly realistic and consistently daring.

272 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1990

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

Table of Contents

Preamble: Desire and Truth
1. Subtle Sophistries of Desire: The Female Quixote
2. Inventing Good Stories
3. Of Plots and Power: Richardson and Fielding
4. The Ideal Woman and the Plot of Power
5. The Sentimental Novel and the Challenge to Power
6. Fathers and Daughters: Ann Radcliffe
7. Energies of Mind: Novels of the 1790s
8. "The Novel’s Wisdom": Austen and Scott
Works Cited

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