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LITERATURE

Augustan (Neo-Classical) Period


Part 1
 

Written by :
Anisah Noviyanti (201612500081)
Ratna Yulaika Wulandari (201612500082)
Siti Cut Balkis Putri (201612500085)
THE HISTORY OF AUGUSTAN
(NEOCLASSICAL PERIOD)
The eighteenth century in English literature has been called the
Augustan Age, The Neoclassical Age, and The Age of Reason.

The term 'the Augustan Age' comes from the self-conscious imitation
of the original Augustan writers, Virgil and Horace, by many of the
writers of the period.

It is called Augustan because people was think like Augusts Caesar.


Augustan period was the time of the death of Queen Anne in 1714. This
was time of the Industrial Revolution and the Agricultural Revolution.

Towards the end of the century a new mood of freedom began to grow:
the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 was the first sign of
this, and later the French Revolution in 1789 brought the spirit of `Liberty,
Equality and Fraternity' to Europe.
THE RISE OF THE NOVEL
• The rise of the novel is usually said to begin from the early 1700s, but
there are many earlier examples of fictional writing
• The word comes from the Italian “novella” = a long prose narrative
• Period of experimentation = no dominant form

1. Defoe and the Realist Novel


2. Swift and the Literature of the Fantastic
3. Richardson and the Sentimental Novel/Epistolary Novel
4. Fielding and the Comic Novel
DANIEL DEFOE AND THE REALIST NOVEL
• Defoe’s works are written in the form of fictional
autobiography (a sort of diary or journal) to make
the stories more realistic.
• There in no real plot, just a chronological series of
connected events with a single protagonist.
• The protagonist, male or female, must struggle to
overcome a series of misfortunes, using only his
mental and physical resources
• Defoe anticipate the semi-autobiographical novels
such as Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Dickens’s
David Copperfield.
JONATHAN SWIFT AND THE
LITERATURE OF THE FANTASTIC
• Swift is known as a journalist and a satirist, but
he is also the precursor of the whole science-
fiction genre, in fact his Gulliver’s Travels was
the first novel of the fantastic.
• He used to criticize the political situation of the
time
• Yet, first regarded as a children’s story and
only later appreciated for its satirical value.
SAMUEL RICHARDSON AND THE
SENTIMENTAL NOVEL/EPISTOLARY NOVEL
• Richardson wrote epistolary novels, that is novels in
form of letters. In his firsts book, Pamela, he talks
about a young maid who, by resisting the attempts of
her employer’s son to seduce her, eventually wins his
hearth and marries him.
• The letter was also intended as a model of correct
moral conduct and included a special section
dedicated to young servants, teaching them how
avoid being seduced by their employers. 
• Richardson is the first novelist to write love stories
exploring the psychology of his characters and the
interior word, the subjective experiences and the
world of passion and feelings.
HENRY FIELDING AND THE
COMIC NOVEL
• Fielding was a very innovative writer: in his
novel he portrayed not just the lives of few
individuals but the life of society in all its
variety.
• Fielding said that his intention was to
‘describe not man, but manners; not an
individual, but a species’.
• Fielding’s first novel is Joseph Andrews
THE NOVEL AFTER 1750
There were several women writers who led the way.

1. Charlotte Lennox
She was born in the colony of New York in America, wrote The Life of Harriot
Stuart in 1750 and The Female Quixote in 1752.

2. Eliza Haywood
Her comic novel Miss Betty Thoughtless (1751) goes against the usual plot
idea by making her heroine suffer in a bad marriage before all turns out well

3. Sarah Fielding
She is sister of Henry, called her most famous novel David Simple (I744,
completed in 1753) which is the name of the I innocent hero, who is
looking for a ‘real friend’
LAURENCE STERNE AND THE
EXPERIMENTAL NOVEL
• Sterne anticipated the
movement of modernism, in
fact he can be considered
the father of the
experimental novel.
• The most unusual novel of
the time was Tristram
Shandy (1760-67) by
Laurence Sterne.
HENRY MACKENZIE

• His novel, The Man of Feeling


(1771), plays with time and
plot.
• The famous German novel The
Sorrows of Young Werther
(1774) by Goethe was directly
influenced by Mackenzie’s
work.
TOBIAS SMOLLETT
• He was the major comic novelist of
the second half of the -eighteenth
century.
• His novels, such Roderick Random
(1748) and Peregrine Pickle (1751)
are entertaining in which the
heroes go traveling all over Europe.
• His final novel Humpry Clinker
(1771) is an epistolary novel which
describes how disunited the United
Kingdom was nearly seventy years
after the Union of Parliaments in
1707.
TO THE END OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY THE NOVEL
TOOK A NEW DIRECTION, HORROR NOVEL (GHOTIC)

• Horace Walpole => The Castle of Otranto (1764)


• Clara Reeve => The Old English Baron [noble] (I777)
• William Beckford => Vathek (I786)
• Matthew Lewis => The Monk (1796)
• Ann Radcliffe => The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
KEY AUTHORS OF THE
AUGUSTAN ERA
The most representative authors of this era are:
• Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744), poet
• Jonathan Swift 30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745), essayist

The era also saw the development of the novel by authors such as:
• Daniel Defoe (c.1659 – 24 April 1731), whose Robinson Crusoe (1719) was
published in more editions than any other works besides Swift's Gulliver's Travels
• Samuel Richardson, who wrote the sentimental epistolary novel
s Pamela (1740–41) and Clarissa (1747–48)
• Henry Fielding, who parodied Richardson in his Shamela (1741), and
wrote Joseph Andrews (1742) and Tom Jones (1749).
WE HAVE SOME QUESTION ...
1. Why is this period called Augustan?
2. What is the title of the first novel of the fantastic that is written by
Swift?
3. Who is the first novelist who writes love stories?
4. Who is one of the several women writers who led the way in The Novel
after 1750?
5. What is the kind of novel that deal with supernatural forces likes ghosts,
mystery, and violence?
CONCLUSION
• In this unit we have discussed the social change in the eighteenth century
called the Augustan Age which includes emergences of coffee houses and
literary activities, interest of people in reading and publication houses
and consequently the rise of middle class. It is followed by the discussion
of the prime features of literary tendencies of Augustan age. On the
literary domain, this period is called the age of prose and reason, the age
of satire and the age of neo-classicism. It also covers the transitional
poetry along with the eminent poets of transitional poetry that breaks its
umbilical cord with neoclassicism and paves ways to the forthcoming age.
The Augustan prose, poetry, drama and the new emergence of new genre
called novel are discussed in detail.