The eighteenth century was a vibrant time for English prose as writers experimented with the new genre of the novel. Eighteenth-Century Fiction is the only collection of eighteenth- century fictional prose currently available on CD-ROM. It has been compiled specifically to meet the needs of serious research. The ability to search on words across these large works will enormously facilitate more efficient close reading of the texts.
Eighteenth-Century Fiction contains a selection of works in English prose from the period 1700-1780, by writers from the British Isles. All of the most widely-studied texts are in the database, alongside others which are being made available for the first time in many years. The complete text of each work is included, and any accompanying authorial material, such as footnotes or introductions. First editions have been used unless considered unreliable. A general principle has been not to use modernised editions.
Female authors have been strongly represented and the ability to limit search by gender supports this important area of research.
Original images are included and are instantly accessible from the relevant point in the text. Tristram Shandy has been scanned in its entirety, to capture all of its idiosyncrasies. The scanned version (of its first London edition) is linked to the keyed version, so the corresponding pages can be displayed side by side for easy comparison. All images can be printed.
Bibliographic information and errata lists are provided for each of the original editions used. These will be a rich source of insights for historians of publishing and printing. A date parameter is available for searches, which linguistic historians will appreciate. Teachers of practical criticism will welcome the wide choice of prose available for detailed study.
Searches can be made on any word or phrase in the whole database or be limited to an individual author or work and can be further restricted to the text alone or to critical apparatus or secondary authorial matter.