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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 2: English and British Fiction 1750-1820$
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Peter Garside and Karen O'Brien

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199574803.001.0001

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(p.29) 2 Authorship
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Peter Garside

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines authorship from 1750 to 1820. Out of 3,374 novels first published from 1770–1819, some 2,045 were published without the name of an author on the title page. Moreover, an overwhelming majority of over 80 per cent of new titles were published anonymously, making this the norm for the genre over those years. Novels carrying the author's name on the title page come more fully into view with the 1790s, actually outnumbering anonymous and pseudonymous titles in the 1800s. However, the resilience of anonymity is again apparent in the 1810s, when unattributed titles once more outnumber those with names on the title page, albeit narrowly so. The chapter then offers an overview of issues relating to output and popularity, anonymity and pseudonymity, gender distribution, and author dealings vis-à-vis publishers, seen as far as is possible from within the period itself.

Keywords:   authorship, novels, anonymous authorship, pseudonymous authorship, anonymity, pseudonymity, gender distribution, author dealings, popularity

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