RG

IN CONTEXT

Focus

The epistolary novel

Before

1669 One of the earliest epistolary novels is published, Letters of a Portuguese Nun. It is attributed to French author Gabriel-Joseph de La Vergne, comte de Guilleragues.

1740 The hugely popular novel Pamela, by English author Samuel Richardson, details the corruption of an innocent maidservant.

1747–48 Richardson’s tragic tale Clarissa is one of the longest novels in the English language and considered to be his masterpiece.

1761 Swiss-born philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau writes Julie, or the New Heloise, in which he uses the epistolary form to explore philosophical questions of rationality, morality, and ...

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