By Tim Killick

Despite the significance of the belief of the 'tale' inside Romantic-era literature, brief fiction of the interval has obtained little consciousness from critics. Contextualizing British brief fiction in the broader framework of early nineteenth-century print tradition, Tim Killick argues that authors and publishers sought to offer brief fiction in book-length volumes as a manner of competing with the unconventional as a sound and prestigious style. starting with an summary of the improvement of brief fiction throughout the overdue eighteenth century and research of the publishing stipulations for the style, together with its visual appeal in magazines and annuals, Killick indicates how Washington Irving's highly well known collections set the degree for British writers. next chapters give some thought to the tales and sketches of writers as assorted as Mary Russell Mitford and James Hogg, in addition to didactic brief fiction through authors comparable to Hannah extra, Maria Edgeworth, and Amelia Opie. His e-book makes a powerful case for the evolution of brief fiction right into a self-conscious, deliberately glossy shape, with its personal options and imperatives, break away these of the radical.

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The three collections of short narrative fiction and sketches that he published while residing in Britain (The Sketch Book [1819–20], Bracebridge Hall [1822], and Tales of a Traveller [1824]) attained huge popular and critical recognition and helped legitimise the genre within critical discourse. Short fiction, and specifically collections of short fiction, had previously been part of a tradition often regarded as insubstantial and limited in scope. After Irving, the genre began to be taken seriously by a more discriminating readership.

Short fiction was the beneficiary of a swelling market for fiction of all kinds and of a fundamental shift in the way that periodicals began to view themselves and their readerships. This page intentionally left blank Chapter 2 Washington Irving: Geoffrey Crayon and the Market for Short Fiction Washington Irving and the History of Short Fiction Of all the writers of short fiction examined in this book, Washington Irving casts the longest shadow. Since his first foray into literature in 1807, as part of the New York coterie responsible for the periodical Salmagundi, his overall contribution to American literary history, and the American short story in particular, has been widely recognised and extensively charted.

The three collections of short narrative fiction and sketches that he published while residing in Britain (The Sketch Book [1819–20], Bracebridge Hall [1822], and Tales of a Traveller [1824]) attained huge popular and critical recognition and helped legitimise the genre within critical discourse. Short fiction, and specifically collections of short fiction, had previously been part of a tradition often regarded as insubstantial and limited in scope. After Irving, the genre began to be taken seriously by a more discriminating readership.

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