Tackling the Toolkit pp 59–74
“Replete with instruction and rational amusement”?: Unexpected Features in the Register of British Didactic Novels, 1778–1814
AbstractBritish didactic novels of the turn of the 19th century have been defined as works of fiction where instruction in moral codes of behavior rather than imaginative elements is the primary focus (Havens 2017, p.5). My research aims to investigate the generic specificities of such novels by working with the open-source software TXM and AntConc to compare two corpora of novels published between 1778 and 1814 in Britain. These corpora were created using reviews from the Monthly Review and the Critical Review. Contrary to my hypothesis, a lexical comparison of the two corpora shows that the novels they contain do not materially differ in their use of lexis related to instruction and morality. This leads me to reassess the basis for the early reception of didacticism in these novels. Fruitful new hypotheses are generated using both corpus stylistics and close reading.
AboutMisset, J. (2021). “Replete with instruction and rational amusement”?: Unexpected Features in the Register of British Didactic Novels, 1778–1814. In P. Plecháč, R. Kolár, A. Bories, & J. Říha (Eds.), Tackling the Toolkit: Plotting Poetry through Computational Literary Studies (pp. 59–74). Prague: ICL CAS. doi: 10.51305/ICL.CZ.9788076580336.05
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