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Travels through France and Italy

Tobias Smollett travelled through Europe with his wife in 1763-65 in a journey designed to recover his mental and physical health after the death of their daughter. The resulting travel narrative provoked controversy and anger in the eighteenth century, when it was often negatively compared to Laurence Sterne’s fictional European travels in A Sentimental Journey…

Memoirs of a Coxcomb

Published in 1751, John Cleland’s second novel (after the notorious Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) is a witty and complex portrait of aristocratic British society in the mid-eighteenth century. Its young protagonist, Sir William Delamore, meets, falls in love with, and pursues the mysterious heiress Lydia. Rather than a conventional romance, however, the novel…

The Travels of Hildebrand Bowman

The Travels of Hildebrand Bowman (1778) tells the story of a fictional midshipman abandoned in Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand, after a battle with Maori that claims the lives of ten of his shipmates. Inspired by an actual event on Captain Cook’s second voyage, Bowman’s adventures take him to increasingly sophisticated cultures—hunter/ gatherer, pastoral/nomadic, agricultural,…

The Rivals and Polly Honeycombe

The Rivals and Polly Honeycombe revolve around young women who wish the world would conform to novelistic convention. Unlike most eighteenth-century heroines keen on novel reading, however, Lydia Languish and Polly Honeycombe are neither deluded nor in any real danger. Rather, they inhabit a world in which everyone is engaged in some sort of quixotic…

A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy

The quintessential novel of sentiment, A Sentimental Journey masquerades as the fragmentary travel journal of Parson Yorick, a whimsical and amorous Englishman abroad. Accompanied through Paris and the provinces by his loyal French valet, Yorick enjoys a variety of sentimental and often comic encounters with a lively range of French characters. The novel is also…

Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure

John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure has been described as the first erotic novel in English and is perhaps the greatest example of the genre. From the outset it was mired in disrepute. Cleland penned the novel to liberate himself from debtors’ prison, and the book’s manifestly lewd content led to its legal…

Restoration and 18th-Century Literature

RESTORATION AND 18TH-CENTURY LITERATURE Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader (1660s) Bell in Campo and The Sociable Companions (1662) Margaret Cavendish Sociable Letters (1664) Margaret Cavendish The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World (1666) Margaret Cavendish Grounds of Natural Philosophy (1668) Margaret Cavendish The Rover, second edition (1677) Aphra Behn Oroonoko (1688)…

The Broadview British Bookshelf

The Broadview British Bookshelf provides digital access to over 330 meticulously edited works of British Literature. For more than 30 years, Broadview’s editions have presented classic works of literature, both canonical and lesser-known, in a reader-friendly format with scholarly introductions, footnotes, and appendices to situate each work in its historical and cultural moment. This new…