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Sarah Fielding (1710-1768)
from Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature
Popular in her own time for delving into the labyrinths of the heart, Fielding was later eclipsed by her brother Henry FIELDING and friend, Samuel RICHARDSON. Rediscovered by feminist scholars in the 20th c., Fielding is lauded for her prose fiction experiments, use of irony, allegory, and sentimentalism, and explorations of gender.
The Rise of the Moral Tale: Children's Literature, the Novel, and the Governess
Sarah Fielding's The Governess has been called the first children's novel. But by conflating two separate genres, critics risk oversimplifying both the novel and children's literature. This article brings together children's literature studies and novel studies in order to address the narrative form of The Governess, and to suggest that the term "moral tale" better captures the complex origins of the eighteenth-century children's novel.
Mary Ann Kilner (1753-1831)
Thomas Day (1748-1789)
from Encyclopedia of Emancipation and Abolition in the Transatlantic World
One of the first individuals to harness literature as a tool in the fight against slavery, the English writer and social reformer Thomas Day, wrote publications ranging from poetry to political tracts. He is remembered primarily as the author of the three-volume History of Sandford and Merton (1783-1789), one of the earliest novels written for children.
Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849)
Irish novelist. Her first novel, Castle Rackrent (1800), dealt with Anglo-Irish country society and was the first regional novel in English. Other novels about Ireland include The Absentee (1812) and Ormond (1817). She also wrote four novels about English society, beginning with Belinda (1801). She was a fervent proponent of women's education.