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Exercise 5: Evelina in 1778

8 min read

          In looking at the novels released prior to, at the same time as, and after Frances Burney's Evelina, I discovered some interesting patterns and changes over the course of the novels published that are listed in James Raven's The English Novel, 1770 - 1829; a bibliographical survey of prose fiction published in the British Isles. Literary works published in 1776 and contained titles that specifically mentioned the name of the main character(s), a trend that would continue through to 1780. However, various titles would also include the themes and characteristics prevalent in the character or novel, in what appears to be an attempt to instill the same attributes in the reader. In fact, you see works like Isabella, OR The Rewards of Good Nature republished as Isabella: OR The Rewards of Good Nature. A Sentimental Novel, Intended Chiefly to Convey United Amusement and Instruction to the Fair-Sex. By the Author of the Benevolent Man, and the History of Lady Anne Neville, doing away with subtly to make sure that readers clearly understand the characteristics of the characters that the authors and publishers want them to learn. This is the case with various other novels in this time period as The Rambles of Mr. Frankly was republished as The Rambles of Mr. Franky. Published by His Sister. Vol. III/IV in which one of the reviewers lists the following;

“... the principles of virtue, and especially of benevolence, so plentifully sown in these literary rambles, may produce a valuable crop in the minds of young readers and to such, it seems probable, this performance will be most acceptable. Those who have more experience of human life and manners will think it romantic.”

Therefore, the reader has evidence that individuals in the literary world had the target audience in mind when publishing and reviewing such novels, in an attempt to persuade or instill in readers characteristics through the characters in novels. Thus, by looking through Raven's survey of novels during this period, we see that the republication of particular literary works could hold other motives besides monetary. In fact, in a 1778 review of Memoirs of the Countess D'Anois: Written by Herself Before Her Retirement. In Two Volumes. , William Enfield says,

“When books that have long been forgotten are revived, it is to be supposed, either that they have extraordinary merit, or are peculiarly seasonable. Neither of these reasons can, however, be assigned, for the revival of these memoirs.”

This holds as in 1779 the literary work Modern Anecdote of the Ancient Family of the Kinkvercanotsdarsprankengotchederns: A Tale for Christmas is released and eventually republished in later years in other countries. In the case for the novel from which the review comes from, one can assume that the countess' influence or monetary wealth could have led to the additional circulation of her memoirs.

          As the years continue, we find that the title of novels continue to change as all novels listed in the survey of 1777 contain the words "History," "Memoir," or "Letters." There are also a greater number of titles that list the author of the work, something that would not continue into 1778, instead, they are replaced by a vague description of the author such as "lady" or "warrant officer belonging to the navy." In 1779 and 1780, after the release and success of Evelina, again there are a large number of literary works whose titles indicate that they are composed of letters. There are fewer titles that explain the themes within the novel or characteristics of the main character(s). Instead, various LENGTHY titles list events of the novel, the author and their previous works, and/or the exclusivity of the material found within the material. From this shift, I can assume that perhaps there was increased competition between literary writers for readership, and the possibility for additional reprints, or the need to give a greater insight of the contents of the literary work to those of lower classes who could not buy multiple works or allowed to look through the contents of the novel.  

          In Step 2, I compared the 1779 edition of Evelina with the novels The History of Miss Temple. IN Two Volumes. By a Young Lady (1777)The History of Eliza Warwick. In Two Volumes. (1778), The Sylph; A Novel. In Two Volumes (1779), and The Indian Adventurer; OR The History of Mr. Vanneck, A Novel, Founded on Facts (1780). Except for The Sylph, all the novels I selected indicate containing some connection to historical individuals or events, and yet, only The Indian Adventurer chronicles historical events without constant relation to romance, but does so in an autobiographical format more similar to nonfiction. All novels are written in a first-person narrative, but The Indian Adventurer does not do so in an epistolary format, choosing to only shift to dialogue between the author and other characters throughout their life. It is also of interest to mention how the characters of Miss Temple, Eliza Warwick, Pamela, and Julia (of The Sylph) are similar in their origin of a woman from a lower class who is the object of desire by a man of a higher class, but Eliza's story has a shift in power dynamics. The novel begins with the mother of the Marquess writing to Eliza, who is already in an unknown location to prevent the Marquess from trying to marry her, begging Eliza to try and put an end to his love for her as he is willing to give up his role and go immediately to her as he feels like he cannot live without her. It is interesting how the female character holds all this power and the history of the character, and the remainder of the novel is written in a letter by Eliza to the Marquess as to why he should not marry her. The author of this novel is aware of the sharp contrast this power dynamic is to characters of previous novels as the author includes a "To the Reviewers" section in the novel in which she begs the male reviewers to allow her novel to be submitted to publication, referring to them as merciful and just. She uses her gender, as a woman, to justify why her characters are structured the way they are, stating, "not being written, perhaps, so accurately as you would expect it should be, did it come from one of your own sex." She also proceeds to beg that if they refuse to publish her novel, that they do not attack her character in satires, a reference to Pamela and Shamela, as she cares about such a character. So even though we see a character in which the power dynamics are reversed from the male dictating the female, given the male-dominated literary and publishing world, the female is still at the mercy of the decisions of the male.

           In Step 3, I compared the collection of texts of English Fiction from two different time periods, 1770 - 1800 and 1750 - 1779. In analyzing the texts from the two periods of time, I discovered the differences in the focus of the first 100 words of literary works and categories surrounding them for the two time periods. The categories for 1770 to 1800 were History, Author, Novel, Life, Adventures, and Death. The categories for works from 1750 to 1779 were Life, "Containing," Adventures, Wife, Famous History, and Novel. One thing I do want to note is that rather than selecting the wheel option, which would then provide arrows to show the other categories hidden from view, the tile option gives a greater understanding of the proportion of words and categories represented for the first 100 words in each literary work. I was interested as to why Death was a category in the fiction between 1770-1800, but not in 1750 - 1779, assuming it was due to the lack of representation of the word and other words associated with it in comparison to the other 99 words for each literary text. Therefore, I used the Term-Frequency tool to compare the top categories for the two time periods as well as the top words for each category in the two periods. In doing so, I found that the Word Frequency tool available for ECCO is flawed in creating categories as "Adventures"  and its top topic "Adventure Fiction" appeared significantly less than the term "Death" did, but in the other group where "Death" is a category, there are terms that appear as frequently as Death and words associated with it, and yet they are not categories themselves. Perhaps this speaks to the flaws the system presents both in creating categories and not giving an accurate representation of the focus of literary works by only sampling from the first hundred words of each literary work.


It’s fascinating the extent to which the qualitative work of bibliography opens the door for a more quantitative approach to distant reading. My instinct when encountering a data base as compact and systematized as this one is to isolate two or three variables to see if there are any relationships. How might titles change over time? Prices? Does the length of a title relate to the books price? Its critical reception? In this method of inquiry our analysis might be jeopardized by our own confirmation biases, and an instinct to conflate correlation with causation. The price of novels spans a similar range across this time frame. The most expensive books were sold for 9 shillings, the cheapest listed prices were just beneath 3 shillings, and most books hovered around 5-6 shilling mark. The consistent disparity between the highest and lowest prices, suggests that different novels might have served different customer bases. This hypothesis, however, sits somewhat uneasily with the fact that even the cheapest of these novels, cost about 20% of a worker’s weekly wage. To put that in contemporary context, that means someone making $1,000 a week ($50,000 a year) would spend have to spend $200 to afford even the cheapest novel.
It is not entirely wrong to suggest however, that theses difference in price indicate a difference in social function. We can corroborate the implications of these price ranges Critics take care to delineate between novels that might entertain and those that might inform and instruct. Behind these delineations we can observe the outlines of a new social function for a new social class. Critics with the Critical Review commend the authors if The Indiscreet Marriage (listed at 9s bound 7 shillings 6 pence sewn) for performing, “Surprisingly well! for two ladies ‘whose ages together do not exceed thirty years.’ To masters and misses about their own age, the work will probably appear not a little entertaining” (281). Conversely, the Monthly Review writes of the cheaper, Surrey Cottage as, “neither elegant nor curious [but] at least sound and useful” (281). In these reviews we the novel beginning to function as both entertainment for the gentry and education of an emergent upper-middle class.
These observations are made more apparent still in the original media of 18th century novels.
Even cheaper novels might include symbols of class, made accessible to the upper-middle class. The affordable "John Buncle" (1776) offers a translation of its latin epigraph, while The Surrey Cottage boasts–despite its modest price–to be written by a man connected to (but interestingly not from) the English gentry.

Looking at the bibliography highlights a lot of the arguments the various authors we have read (Armstrong, Mckeon, etc) are trying to make about the novel. The epistolary form is important, it makes the private oriented towards the public, women are central characters and thus deeply subjectified, etc, and we can see all this through the list of novels from 1776-1780.
In 1778, authors are sometimes, but not often, referred to on the title page—and when they are it is usually in reference to their other work rather than their name. Sometimes, it even says “by a young lady” which echoes the feminization of the novel that we read about in Northanger Abbey. However, when a novel’s author is referred to be name or at least Mr. ___, it is usually a male author. I found this interesting because the novel seems to be pretty clearly feminized in terms of both content and reception.
I also noticed that beginning in 1778, the title pages contain summaries or a kind of description of the novel. I wonder if this is because of the increasing popularity of the genre, and so there needed to be more of a way to distinguish different types of novels. Were people developing tastes for different genres within the novel? In 1778, it’s clear that the novel is becoming more defined as a category — some of the title pages in fact contain the word “novel”.

I was pretty interested in these title pages that seemed to be trying to “sell” their work with descriptions on the title page. The 1779 edition of Evelina does not have such a title page—the word Evelina is big, making her the central focus of the novel. Compared with The History of Miss Harriot Fairfax, from 1800, which has a lengthy overview of all the major plot points, Evelina’s title page is pretty bare. This is sort of reminiscent of what we’d see on the backs of books. Perhaps with the novel really coming into its own, there was more of a need to distinguish audiences and types of stories. Neither have the author listed on the title page, or at all in the preface, though Miss Harriot Fairfax’s title page says “written by a lady” and the first few lines warn that the novel was written by a woman. I found this interesting, that there was such an emphasis on the gender of the author even though clearly at the time, authors were not central to the way novels were marketed.

Exercise 5

4 min read

1. The titles of the novels published in 1778 are far longer and more descriptive than the titles we would see today. Many of them go the route that "Pamela" and "Evelina" did in that they offer two titles, one shorter and concise and the other longer and more descriptive (ex: "Evelina or, A Young Lady's Entrance Into the World"). Others took the older approach of giving a summary of the novel's themes or events in the title, a holdover from the time before the novel had really risen to prominence as a literary form. Though the latter approach was still employed for years to come, as evidenced by the bibliography, it is clearly the residual form whereas the former is the emergent form. This seems to be the transitory period between this prototypical approach and the honed, economical titling conventions we are familiar with today. Where did this need for economy of language come from? Perhaps authors recognized that the long-winded, plot-outlining titles were a) difficult to be recommended via word-of-mouth due to their length, and/or b) that giving away so much of the plot and themes might discourage potential readers, who might have been swayed in the other direction had the intrigue of mystery remained.

2. I examined "The Unfortunate Union: or, the Test of Virtue," "The History of Eliza Warwick," "The Example: or the History of Lucy Cleveland," and "A Trip to Melasge..." The first thing that struck me was the purpose of the preface in each of these novels. They were written as direct appeals to critics, asking for forgiveness for the factual inaccuracies, downplaying the quality of their own work, and showering the critics with praise. In the case of the authors of "The Unfortunate Union," "The History of Eliza Warwick," and "The Example," which all display the female gender of the author either in the title or in the preface, they specifically ask for lenience in light of the shortcomings of women. Not so with Frances Burney in the preface to "Evelina." She points out both the risks and perceived insincerity of this tradition, saying, "I will not, however, with the futility of apologies intrude upon your time, but briefly acknowledge the motives of my temerity: left, by a premature exercise of that patience which I hope will befriend me, I should lessen its benevolence, and be myself accessary to my own condemnation... The language of adulation, and the incense of flattery, though the natural inheritance, and constant resource, from time immemorial, of the Dedicator, to me offer nothing but the wistful regret that I dare not invoke their aid. Sinister views would be imputed to all I could say; since, thus situated, to extol your judgment, would seem the effect of art, and to celebrate your impartiality, be attributed to suspecting it."

It's interesting that Burney chose to point out this practice and criticize it, given that this would effectively eliminate this tool from her arsenal in all future endeavors. It seems to indicate a certain boldness that these other authors lacked, as well as a higher degree of integrity. In doing this, she's indirectly throwing her peers under the bus for the sake of elevating evaluations of her own character and, by extension, her work. I wonder if any critics saw this as a veiled attempt at appealing to them, which probably could be argued as a far more artful and insincere strategy than the ones employed by her contemporaries. Whatever her intentions, the move was a gamble. It was brave of her to eschew the self-deprecating practices of her peers and allow her novel to stand on its own. She made no apologies for being a woman, nor made much mention of her gender at all, a progressive step considering how common it was to comment on and display the gender of female authors in their titles and prefaces.

3. The term cluster for 1770 to 1800 was made up of the terms: Life, King, Volumes, Tale, Series of Letters, and History. Under all but Tale and Series of Letters were multiple terms that were most commonly related to these terms. Because the engine only analyzes the titles, prefaces, and first 100 pages of the texts, the results are certainly skewed toward examining titular conventions and the practices of the preface. The content of the texts themselves are harder to parse out or examine with this tool. Term frequency is a more specialized tool, one that requires that you first find a relevant set of terms that you know are important to analyze for whatever study you're doing.

Evelina and Her Peers, or Exercise the Fifth: Being an Examination of the Novel's Quantity and Quality, Among Other Themes

6 min read

The bibliography which Garside et. all have assembled claims to be the most comprehensive of its kind, and I believe it—the amount of information about the English novel which I was able to gather from a mere 4 years worth of entries was dizzying, and I appreciated the text’s incorporation of both quantitative and qualitative data into its pages. The use of review excerpts was particularly useful, since those little blurbs gave me a greater sense of a given novel’s plot and style than I could get from the title or from one of the computational analysis programs we’ve used so far; by including these excerpts and specifying the price, later editions, and any translations of any given book, the bibliography allowed me to understand a fair amount about contemporary reader response both on an individual/critical level and an economic one (something that no other exercise we’ve done so far has emphasized, which made me really appreciate the power of a good bibliography for gaining contextual understanding).

Furthermore, since the authors have included books of which no physical copies still exist, the bibliography gives readers a clear picture of just how many novels were reaching the public in the years specified; if I’d had more time I would have counted and compared the number of novels (and cross-referenced by publishers/price ranges) to try and get a sense of which years more novels were produced during and which kinds of novels seemed to experience a greater demand. This bibliography isn’t perfect, of course, and the novels it seems most interested in weren’t necessarily the ones I’d expect; Evelina got much shorter reviews and its entry contained less information overall than I’d thought such a uniquely transitional novel would warrant, while an “older” and more directly referential text such as Love and Madness. A Story too True in a Series of Letters Between Parties, whose Names would Perhaps be Mentioned, were they Less Known, or Less Lamented, by Sir Herbert Croft, received more critical and logistical attention. Overall, though, I felt that the bibliography on its own seemed more accessible and had more depth than much of the AI-compiled information sets we’ve been looking at so far.


I looked at four novels besides Evelina from the years between 1776 and 1780: Love and Madness. A Story too True in a Series of Letters Between Parties, whose Names would Perhaps be Mentioned, were they Less Known, or Less Lamented, published by Sir Herbert Croft in 1780, Munster Village, a Novel by Lady Mary Walker in 1778, The travels of Hildebrand Bowman, esquire, Into Carnovirria, Taupiniera, Olfactaria, and Auditante, in New-Zealand; in the Island of Bonhommica, and in the powerful Kingdom of Luxo-Volupto, on the Great Southern Continent. Written by Himself; Who went on shore in the Adventure's large Cutter, at Queen Charlotte's Sound New Zealand, the fatal 17th of December 1773; and escaped being cut off, and devoured, with the rest of the Boat's crew, by happening to be a-shooting in the woods; where he was afterwards unfortunately left behind by the Adventure, supposedly by Hildebrand Bowman (and, according to Garside, by an anonymous author)  in 1778, and The Champion of Virtue. A Gothic Story., published presumably by Clara Reeve in 1777. I chose these novels because each of their titles suggested a deviation (whether in form or content) from the novels we’ve read so far in class. Love and Madness, while it is both epistolary and romantic, seems far more referential than Evelina or even Pamela; Munster Village names itself as a novel but appears more place-based (similar to Northanger Abbey) than centered around a single character; The Travels of Hildebrand Bowman has an obscenely long title and is reminiscent of Crusoe and the travel narrative (this novel seemed to me the polar opposite of Evelina, with its tell-all title and male protagonist, and although the two texts both have [initially, in Burney’s case] anonymous writers, their authorships are connected to their characters in very different ways); and The Champion of Virtue both centers around similar themes to Pamela and Evelina (in its moral attitude and centering of a certain character, in this case the unnamed “Champion”) and aligns itself with the gothic as opposed to the confessional or domestic. However, most of these novels looked, from their digital facsimiles, physically quite similar to Evelina—while the title page of Love and Madness is dramatically styled and its font aggressively serifed, the other three texts used simple fonts and a fair amount of blank space in their first page. Munster Village also resembled Evelina and Northanger Abbey with its preface addressed directly to the audience; I’d be interested to look at prefaces and author’s notes over a longer timespan to see how their length and audience vary over the course of the novel’s development, since most of the recent novels I’ve read have had little to no paratext before the text began. As much as the digital facsimiles are useful for understanding a novel’s physical form, I do think I’d have a much more instinctive sense of the differences between these works and of Evelina’s place in its contemporary context if I could hold these texts in my hands.


The self-reflective nature of works under the umbrella of English fiction (and how does ECCO differentiate between fiction and poetry/prose-poems/epics/conduct books/etc etc etc? I have no clue, but would like to know whether it’s a human or an AI making that distinction) published between 1750 and 1850 is clear upon examining the term clusters which Gale Primary Sources produces—the prominence of words like letter, history, novel, adventures, life, and account all demonstrate how preoccupied early novelists were with the kind of narrative they were producing. With that issue of self-definition in mind, I used the term frequency tool to track the use of the word “novel” in the 4,000+ texts I’d pulled from ECCO, and saw a major spike in use between 1780 and 1800 that dropped off to zero occurrences from then on. Maybe it’s some glitch or limitation in the Gale algorithm, but it seems impossible that no English fictional text between the years of 1801 and 1850 would use the word novel; Northanger Abbey alone disproves those results, so I’m not quite sure why the Gale program gave me such a dramatic assessment. This software felt useful for a large-scale exploration of term usage, but is very limited in its depth and nuance and I’d likely only use it in combination with other, more specific text-analysis tools.


Exercise 5

4 min read

What I like about the Garside bibliography is that, in the titles that it catalogs, we can see a form still very much tethered to its origins but clearly drifting ever farther from them. Among the listed titles are the Crusoe-esque (which include summaries of the adventures that the books recount--e.g., The Travels of Hildebrand Bowman) and the Pamela-esque (which include declarations of the utilities that the books possess--e.g., The Unfortunate Union). Furthermore, many of the titles still at least gesture toward historicity, labeling their books as 'histories' or 'memoirs.'

However, we also see titles that eschew these early trends: The Loves of Calisto and EmiraThe Relapse. Munster Village. These titles would not be out of place on the new fiction shelf of a contemporary library or bookstore. (Does this mean that novel titles have evolved little since the mide-to-late eighteenth century?) As such, the bibliography seems to provide a valuable snapshot of a transitional moment in the novel's maturation as a form.


The novels I examined, in addition to Evelina, were Young JamesLetters from Henrietta to MorvinaThe Mutability of Human Life, and The Champion of Virtue.

The rarity of attribution (or the commonness of anonymity) within my sample struck me. Young James's title page notes that Voltaire wrote the original French version, but the translator is not named. Like EvelinaLetters from Henrietta to Morvina has no evident attribution whatsoever in the text. The Mutability of Human Life is, at least, attributed to "a Lady," while The Champion of Virtue does not explicitly name Clara Reeve but refers to her as "the Editor of The Phoenix." This (admittedly weak, given the small sample size) evidence that anonymity remained pervasive among novelists of the period surprised me; I thought Evelina might be something of an aberration among its contemporaries in this regard. What might it mean that so many authors of fiction continued, even in the 1770s, to publish their work without their names attached? Why did Burney, specifically, make this choice?

The specific text that most intrigued me was that of The Champion of Virtue. It begins with a rather striking frontispiece depicting a moment from partway through the story, and the title page includes an untranslated epigraph from Horace (perhaps suggesting a more educated intended audience). Most interesting, however, is the "Address to the Reader," in which Reeve performs a sort of brief critical analysis of The Castle of Otranto and favorably contrasts her own novel with it, thus placing her work in a particular literary context. (Also of note: As Walpole did with Otranto, Reeve presents The Champion of Virtue as a translated manuscript from a past age--though this presentation is perhaps tongue-in-cheek.) This section reminded me of Burney's preface to Evelina, wherein Burney cites earlier novelists and explicitly distinguishes contemporary fiction from the romance. It seems that she was not alone among her contemporaries in thinking of herself as a contributor to a burgeoning literary tradition.


In using Gale's text analysis tools, I restricted my corpus to works published in the 1770s. I was somewhat surprised to see "Henry Fielding" occupy such a prominent position in the term clusters. Of course, I knew he was a major figure in the early development of the novel, but the term clusters gave me a sense that he was a singularly dominant figure in the scene surrounding the emerging novel in the mid-to-late 1700s. Whether this sense is accurate might offer an idea of how trustworthy tools like Gale's are.

Exercise 5 Part 1 (As soon as I figure out how to access ECCO, I'll put up Part 2)

Looking solely at the titles, characters are at the forefront of most of the titles. I find this really interesting, because these characters are not known to readers, a reader can’t look at a title and see a name and have some sort of connection with it. Given the nature of the novel’s fictionality, I would guess that titles would instead mostly relate to themes or some distinguishing feature of the novel, for example there’s a novel called “Modern Seduction” which is instantly more interesting than . Instead, titles are often “a History of X” where X is a name, giving us very little information about what the novel contains, because names hold little to no meaning on their own. To be fair, as we progress later in the bibliography, more titles become descriptive, but the simple name form remains.

A question that immediately come up for me, is how such a database could be created in the present time period. This bibliography is clearly finite, and appropriately so, given the time. A huge part of the background section was delineated towards outlying the definition of what constituted a novel that would appear in the bibliography, I am curious if whether that definition is less ambiguous in the present, where the novel is not a transitory form, and if because of it’s lack of ambiguity, a computer program could group texts by genre based on a couple of distinguishing features (Title, length, blurb).

Part 2:

The three books I looked at written in 1779 were structures almost identically, with multiple volumes and identical title text. One of them is also epistolary. The older novel I looked at had a much more cluttered title page and just one volume. Stark differences over short periods of time make sense due to the short history of the form. Regarding the claim to referentiality, the 1777 novel claims to have referential value, while one of the 1779 novels states its fictionality in the title, and the other, claims allegorical referentiality. The difference is once again based on time, which falls in line with the analysis that the novel grew more comfortable with its own fictionality over time. Evelina is the only novel I looked at that claimed its epistolary nature, but its not explicitly a novel or fictional, unlike the others. I suspect Evelina claimed its fictionality through the name as a title, based on other novels’ titles.

Part 3:

With the term cluster, King showed up as a major word. I first thought that people were fascinated with kings between the 1770s and the 1780s, but after seeing the frequency of Henry and King Henry, there probably was jut a couple of novels written about King Henry. Life is a pretty major one, which makes sense in this time period given the other stuff we’ve read. I’m curious about how quickly this term disappears. The tool states that it takes the title, subject and approximately the first 100 words from a subset of my top results. I’m curious why it only looks at my top results as opposed to all of them, isn’t the point of computational text analysis its applicability to a huge amount of data? I’m also curious what subset means and whether thats random or not.

Evelina in 1778

5 min read

Part I: 

An investigation of the Garside bibliography reveals patterns within works published in each year, allowing us to derive a more thorough understanding of historical literary changes, even in the brief period from 1776-1779. 

To begin, I separated the bibliography by year to focus specifically on understanding the unique qualities of works in each given year. In 1776, for example, many of the works: are of epistolary form; are written by an ambiguous author (e.g. "A Lady," "Anonymous"); focus on the history and life of a single individual, who is often named explicitly in the title (e.g. The History of Sir Charles Royston and Emily Lessley, The History of Lady Sophia Sternheim); contain themes of merit, virtue, and generosity; and clearly define the purpose of the work (e.g. "entertainment," "intended chiefly to convey united amusement and instruction"). From 1777-1779, however, many of the works: are titled with more ambiguity, without necessarily referring to a specific individual (e.g. Travels for the Heart, The Thoughtless Ward); contain further volumes or several editions, even translated in different languages; and prescribe greater importance to the role of the author.

I was particularly interested in the evolving definition of what it means for a work to be considered a novel. In 1776, the titles of several works began to include "A Novel" or often, "A Novel in Letters," which authors and publishers alike seemed to perceive as a necessary and important detail for the readers. In 1777, one work, The Champion of Virtue, includes a comment stating, "The author of this novel proposes to interest the imagination of his reader, by going into the marvelous, without transgressing the bounds of credibility." This models the working definition that we have been developing in class (Gallagher), so it was interesting to see such an explicit declaration of the author's interpretation of his own work as a novel. After 1778, fewer works continue to include "A Novel" in their titles, which is likely because such an explicit definition was no longer necessary.

On another note, I was also really interested in the usage of proper nouns in titles. Many of the works that were published in 1776 have titles that include the full names of the main character, who is often the narrator, while proper nouns disappear almost altogether in titles of works published after 1780. There may be a relationship between the presence of proper nouns in titles and the literary transition from first-person narrative to third-person narrative and the usage of free indirect discourse.

Part II:

I wanted to begin by reviewing digital facsimiles that were published in the same year as Evelina. One of the texts that I chose to look at, The Wedding Ring; or, History of Miss Sidney, has a title page that is almost stylistically identical to Evelina, including details like "In a Series of Letters." Both of the title pages of these works emphasize the names of the narrator, words like "life" and "history," and information on the publisher.

Comparing digital facsimiles, rather than reading information about the texts from the bibliography, presents a different interpretation of the works, as we are able to gain a rough qualitative understanding from seeing the physical title pages, reading the prefaces, and viewing the organization of the novels.

Again, I was interested in the changing role of narration in novels during this time period. I quickly flipped through a few of the pages of both Evelina and The Wedding Ring to assess the frequency of the "back and forth" of the letters in the text. A few of the epistolary works that I reviewed had very high frequencies of communications, which seem to indicate that the responsibility of narration is shared between many characters, while this is less apparent in other works, like Evelina, which move towards first-person narration as the story progresses. Can we rely on qualitative evidence to make such hypotheses or should such deductions rely on computational evidence?

Part III:

For the Gale Primary text analysis, I wanted to explore term clusters for two distinct time frames, 1770-1776 and 1777-1785, as I observed several distinctions during these periods in the bibliography and wanted to investigate whether these trends were apparent in computational evidence. The most interesting change in these clusters is the disappearance of "novel" as a cluster title from period 1 (1770-1776) to period 2 (1777-1785). "History," in period 2, seems to have replaced the novel as the cluster title. 

In period 1, history is a subcategory within the novel cluster, while the opposite is true in period 2. This provides evidence for my previous hypothesis of the diminishing need to explicitly classify a work as a "novel," as this became more readily understood by authors, publishers, and readers during the period of the rise of the novel as a literary form.