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Exercise 5

3 min read

Many of the novels seem to focus on the subjective world of a single individual. Many of the novels have female main characters, although some focus on a male character. The epistolary form also seems to be popular. Some of the novels state that they are epistolary novels in their title—some will use the word “letters” in their title. One example is in “Letters from Henrietta to Morvina”. Most of the titles tend to less than three or four lines long. While quite a few of the titles tend to include the character’s name (like “Memoirs of the Countess D’Anois”, others are more vague (like “The Sylph” and “The Rival Friends; or, the Noble Recluse”. These latter titles seem a bit more like modern book titles. Some of the novels also emphasize their usefulness for teaching virtue. One thing that interested me is that some of the novel’s were about an upper class person and said so in the title, like the example of Countess D’Anois. Neither Evelina nor Pamela were born into upper class society; so this change was interesting to see. I wonder if there’s a shift in reading about less common people or if it’s still a remnant from before. Evelina’s title take up the majority of the title page, but the letters are large and well-spaced, making it easy to read. The volume and edition number are smaller and more crammed than the title, but still easy to read. The smallest and most crammed words are the publisher information, but those are still easy to read. There is no author information on this page. Here it seems that the title takes up the most importance. “The Sylph” also has a large title and small publisher information, but it also has a quote and an illustration. Here it seems important that the title page is aesthetically pleasing, and the quote must have been chosen to set up or prepare for the novel itself. “Letters from Henrietta” is styled much similarly to “Evelina”. It seems that the aesthetics of the title page might be becoming more important, judging from “The Sylph”. When using ARTEMIS, I decided to look at books from 1770-1800. Both “history” and “epistolary novel” are frequently occurring words, so there seems to be a trend of focusing on an individual’s private life. “Lady” is also a prominent word while “gentleman” is not (although “King” is). This suggests that the novels tend to have female protagonists. “Author” is also a prominent word, but not as prominent as one would expect when one considers that every novel has an author. The word “history” is twice as frequent as “author”. It could be that the word “history” is mentioned more than once in the book, or that quite a few of the authors prefer to remain anonymous. It seems likely to be a combination of both .