Posted by LauraN on August 17, 1997 at 19:30:15:
In reply to Epistle style writing posted by Cheryl on August 17, 1997 at 14:26:23
Yes, I agree that it would be very difficult in reality for someone to remember such conversations and actions as many characters are obliged to do in an epistolary novel. Yet, this style of writing seems to have been popular in Jane Austen's day. Two of the novels in epistle form that I have read are Samuel Richardson's Pamela and Frances Burney's Evelina. (Incidentally, both Richardson's and Burney's works were favored by Jane Austen) Pamela was very good, though (I won't give it away, but) the ending I had to think about for a while before I decided I really liked it. This novel was supposedly based on real events, adding another dimension to the reading. Evelina is funny at times and is very well written. It is interesting that Evelina's author changed, as Jane Austen did, from the epistolary form of writing to the pure novel format in the three novels following Evelina (which was her first novel).
I hope this helps - both Pamela and Evelina are very good and I recommend them highly. Samuel Richardson wrote another novel (very long, but it was his most popular work) in epistle form - Clarissa. I have not finished it, but so far it is very good. Henry Fielding wrote a parody of Richardson's Pamela, called "Shamela" and it is, I believe, written in epistolary form. Frances Burney's other novels (Cecilia, Camilla, and The Wanderer) were not written in epistolary form, but they are well worth reading.
I guess I've gone on long enough for now (this being my first post at Pemberley). I hope this all makes sense!
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