The Earliest Novels

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (1722) - The story of a woman of ill repute as she finds her way through various husbands and countries before deciding to make amends for her evil deeds.
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719) - Man gets stranded on an island and spends his time avoiding cannibals. Based on a true story, oddly enough.
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding (1749) - A child is found abandoned by a wealthy man and grows up to experience endless (often self-imposed) ill-fortune in this perceptive comic novel.
The Vicar of Wakefield (1762) by Oliver Goldsmith - One vicar's fruitless quest to find his daughter - extremely popular in its day and not half as dull as it sounds.
The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker by Tobias Smollett (1771) - Hilarious picaresque novel following a number of ridiculous persons on their ill-fated journeys.
Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne - The first post-modern book if truth be told and well ahead of its time (by two centuries or so) in its deconstruction of the then nascent concept of the book. Sterne has time in these pages to satirise every absurd element of his society and himself in a compelling and downright hilarious manner.
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726) - Lemuel Gulliver finds himself stranded in extraordinary lands with huge people, tiny people and Yahoos in the brilliant satirical novel.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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