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The Rise Of The Novel Class 10 History NCERT
Class 10 History students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter The Rise Of The Novel in standard 10. This NCERT Book for Grade 10 History will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks
The Rise Of The Novel NCERT Class 10
The Rise of the Novel
The novel is a modern form of literature. It is born from print, a mechanical invention. We cannot think of the novel without the printed book. In ancient times, as you have seen (Chapter 7), manuscripts were handwritten. These circulated among very few people. In contrast, because of being printed, novels were widely read and became popular very quickly. At this time big cities like London were growing rapidly and becoming connected to small towns and rural areas through print and improved communications. Novels produced a number of common interests among their scattered and varied readers. As readers were drawn into the story and identified with the lives of fictitious characters, they could think about issues such as the relationship between love and marriage, the proper conduct for men and women, and so on.
The novel first took firm root in England and France. Novels began to be written from the seventeenth century, but they really flowered from the eighteenth century. New groups of lower-middle-class people such as shopkeepers and clerks, along with the traditional aristocratic and gentlemanly classes in England and France now formed the new readership for novels.
As readership grew and the market for books expanded, the earnings of authors increased. This freed them from financial dependence on the patronage of aristocrats, and gave them independence to experiment with different literary styles. Henry Fielding, a novelist of the early eighteenth century, claimed he was ‘the founder of a new province of writing’ where he could make his own laws. The novel allowed flexibility in the form of writing. Walter Scott remembered and collected popular Scottish ballads which he used in his historical novels about the wars between Scottish clans. The epistolary novel, on the other hand, used the private and personal form of letters to tell its story. Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, written in the eighteenth century, told much of its story through an exchange of letters between two lovers. These letters tell the reader of the hidden conflicts in the heroine’s mind.
1.1 The Publishing Market
For a long time the publishing market excluded the poor. Initially, novels did not come cheap. Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones (1749) was issued in six volumes priced at three shillings each – which was more than what a labourer earned in a week.
But soon, people had easier access to books with the introduction of circulating libraries in 1740. Technological improvements in printing brought down the price of books and innovations in marketing led to expanded sales. In France, publishers found that they could make super profits by hiring out novels by the hour. The novel was one of the first mass-produced items to be sold. There were several reasons for its popularity. The worlds created by novels were absorbing and believable, and seemingly real. While reading novels, the reader was transported to another person’s world, and began looking at life as it was experienced by the characters of the novel. Besides, novels allowed individuals the pleasure of reading in private, as well as the joy of publicly reading or discussing stories with friends or relatives.
In rural areas people would collect to hear one of them reading a novel aloud, often becoming deeply involved in the lives of the characters. Apparently, a group at Slough in England were very pleased to hear that Pamela, the heroine of Richardson’s popular novel, had got married in their village. They rushed out to the parish church and began to ring the church bells!
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