2. THE NOVELDEFINITIONThe novel is a long fictional prose narrative.The novel is differentiated from the novella and theshort story in terms of length.
3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NOVEL Antecedents: There are many possible antecedents of the novel, in Elizabethan prose fiction and the French heroic romance but probably Miguel Cervantes’s Don Quixote is considered by many critics as the closest in form to the novel as known in the modern times. The 18th century: The novel, as we know it today, starts in Britain in the 18th century at the hands of such writers as Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding and Daniel Defoe. Pamela, (I, 1740; II, 1741) by Samuel Richardson, is usually considered the first English novel.
4.  The Romantic Novel: During the first half of 19th century, the novel reflected the romantic spirit of the age, which was characterized by the return to nature and which valued the imagination over reason and emotion over intellect. The Gothic novel was one form of the romantic novel; it presented horror and the supernatural. Major romantic novels include Charlotte Bronte’s (1816-55) Jane Eyre (1847) and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (1847).
5.  The Victorian Novel: The Victorian Age is marked roughly by the reign of Queen Victoria of England from 1837-1901. The novel was the dominant genre in the Victorian period. The Victorian novel is characterized by its realism and its treatment of the social issues of that period. Charles Dickens (1812- 1870) created a host of unforgettable characters in such novels as Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Hard Times, and A Tale of Two Cities. William Thackerays (1811-1863) most famous work is Vanity Fair. George Eliots (1819–80) most important works are Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss and Adam Bede. The major novelist of the later part of the period was Thomas Hardy (1840- 1928), whose best works include Tess of the DUrbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, and Jude the Obscure.
6. THE MODERN NOVEL The modern novel is the novel written in themodern times-the twentieth century and the endof the nineteenth century. It necessarily reflectsthe aspirations, concerns, fears, ways of thinking,as well as the artistic and literary taste of themodern era. The modern scientific discoveries, thenew technologies, the social and politicalideologies, the ideas and the beliefs, and people’sdifferent conceptions about of themselves andabout the universe at large find their way into themodern novels.
7. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MODERN NOVEL The modern novel breaks away with many of the literary conventions of the novel written in the preceding period.The modern novel is realistic. It attempts at a presenting a frank image of the world and all aspects of the human experience. But the modern novel abandons the realism of the nineteenth century, in which only the sordid aspects of life are depicted.The modern novel is more subjective, presenting the world from the perspective of the individual character, reflecting his or her biases or distorted vision. A relativistic perception of reality replaces the objective views of the whole community. Morality is relative.
8. The modern novel is psychological. Under the influence of the modern theories of Sigmund Freud, the modern novel tends to reveal the hidden inner motives behind people’s actions.The technique of the stream of consciousness reflects the character’s jumbled flow of perceptions, memories and feelings.A break with the linear, developmental, cause- and-effect presentation of the reality‘ and with the chronological order of the plot mark a large number of modern novels.The impact of the two world wars has left its mark on modern art and literature. A deep sense of pessimism has replaced the nineteenth- century optimism.