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Vincent Newey, 1 October 1987

The Origins of the English Novel, 1660-1740 
by Michael McKeon.
Johns Hopkins, 530 pp., £21.25, April 1987, 0 8018 3291 8
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... Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel,* which Michael McKeon energetically bids to transcend, gave us, whatever else, the clear image and serviceable concept: ‘formal realism’, the growth of ‘the middle class’, secularised Protestant Man proudly bearing the standard of an aggressive ‘individualism’ – on Crusoe’s hard-won island as in the socioeconomic landscape of contemporary England ...

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