The rise of the novel
In the 18th century the novel took the place of the drama, which had an impending decline. Journalism became a profession thanks to the improvements in printing technology that made publishing cheaper. The creation of a wealthy new middle-class who were keen to read about people they could identify with increased consequently the demand for reading material.
The making of the genre
The novel of the 18th century develop from various non-fiction prose; travel biographies, collections of letters, historical memories and autobiographies. In this period writers put together some things that belonged at other literary genres such as the dialogue from drama and the figurative language from poetry. The novel is focused on the individual and not on the society, as realistic as possible and has a clear moral purpose. By the end of the century the novel had established itself as a genre.
The pioneers of thee genre
The first English novel belongs to Daniel Defoe who has written Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719. Other pioneers of the genre include Samuel Richardson, Pamela, and Henry Fielding, Tom Jones. Aphra Behn has been the first Englishwoman that has dedicated her life at the write. These writers were instrumental in developing narrative technique, characterization and plot, and the structure of the novel nowadays is in this form thanks to those writers.