Paperback / softback
July 7, 2014
9.25 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.24 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD, £21.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel

Although much has been written about how the novel relates to the epic, the drama, or autobiography, no one has clearly analyzed the complex connections between prose fiction as it evolved before 1800 and the literature of travel, which by that date had a long and colorful history.

Percy Adams skilfully portrays the emergence of the novel in the fiction of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and traces in rich detail the history of travel literature from its beginnings to the time of James Cook, contemporary of Richardson and Fielding. And since the recit de voyage and the novel were then so international, he deals throughout with all the literatures of Western Europe, one of the book's chief themes being the close literary ties among European nations.

Equally important in the present study is its demonstration that, just as early travel accounts were often a combination of reporting and fabrication, so prose fiction is not a dichotomy to be divided into the "adult" novel on the one hand and the "childish" romance on the other, but an ambivalence—the marriage of realism and romanticism. Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel not only shows the novel to be amorphous and changing, it also proves impossible the task of defining the recit de voyage with its thousand forms and faces. Often the two types of literature are almost indistinguishable; even before Don Quixote, Adams writes, many travel accounts could have been advertised as having "the endless fascination of a wonderfully observed novel."

This study by Percy Adams will both modify opinions about the novel and its history and provide an excellent introduction to the travel account, a form of literature too little known to students of belles lettres.

About the Author

Percy G. Adams, Lindsay Young Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Tennessee, is the author of Travelers and Travel Liars, 1600-1800 and editor and translator of Crevecoeur's Eighteenth-Century Travels in Pennsylvania and New York.


"A fine contribution to our knowledge of both travel literature and the novel. It will be widely used and frequently quoted. Adams brings to this subject learning that is unparalleled in the world"—Paul Hunter

9780813151052 : travel-literature-and-the-evolution-of-the-novel-adams
Paperback / softback
382 Pages
$45.00 USD

Other Titles by Percy G. Adams

Crèvecoeur's Eighteenth-Century Travels in Pennsylvania and New York

edited by Percy G. Adams
Jul 2014 - University Press of Kentucky
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in LITERARY CRITICISM / European / General

Modernism after Postcolonialism

Mara de Gennaro
Nov 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$94.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text

Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Volume 49

edited by Eve Tavor Bannet and Roxann Wheeler
Jul 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$45.00 USD - Hardback

The Forms of Informal Empire

Jessie Reeder
Jun 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$94.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Electronic book text
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback