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Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America

"Drawing on recent work in social history, post-structuralist literary theory and feminist studies, (Davidson) argues persuasively that the genesis of American fiction was an integral part of a widespread crisis of authority in early modern America...A wonderful book."
The Nation
An engaging combination of information and analysis, Davidson’s book on the production and readers of the early novel will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the history of the novel, of reading, or of American literature.
Considering the “codes or rules of fictive discourse” and the circumstances creating and created by “both texts and ways of reading them,” Davidson examines both early novels and perceptions of them as a subversive form. The mechanics of printing and book distribution; attitudes toward books as property; changing literacy patterns of men and, especially, women; and textual analysis figure importantly in this discussion.–Library Journal.