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|Romances are a dangerous recreation.
Written by Carolyn
(4/6/2006 12:37 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Defense of the Novel, penned by Pennie
James Beattie (Dissertations moral and critical: On Fable and Romance 1783 page 573-574). (Sorry, I could not find a linkable online version of the essay.)
(Romance in this context equals novels). As you can see, reading romances/novels was not highly regarded in the upper literary circles.
These lines are from the last paragraph of Beattie's essay, On Fable and Romance, and I think JA must have been aware of it, because some his other criticisms in the paragraph pop up later in NA. (I will bring them up in context.)
I had been looking for some early criticism of the novel and came across Beattie's passage in Ann Radcliffe, The Great Enchantress by Robert Miles (1995). I would love to know other sources of early criticism of novels.
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