Cross-sections (2): 1596-1600

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter provides a cross-section of the prose fiction printed in English between 1596 and 1600. Though none of the ninety-five works of fiction published in this period have proved as influential as Philip Sidney’s 1590 The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, the period did see the balance of publication tip away from imported fictions, written overseas and translated into English, and toward works originally composed in English and increasingly marketed serially under professional authorship. The frank commerciality and dynamic experimentalism of much English fiction disrupted the period’s dominant ethos of humanist imitation, though new Continental and classical influences were also formally revolutionary. In contrast to Sidney, Robert Greene embodied the increasingly intensive focus on authorial branding and marketing in the later 1590s, and the period’s further development of untrammelled, idiosyncratic authorial voice would continue to be heard in journalism, polemic, essay, and the novel.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford History of the Novel in English
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1: Prose Fiction in English from the Origins of Print to 1750
EditorsThomas Keymer
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780199580033
ISBN (Print)9780199580033
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Elizabethan fiction
  • translation
  • authorship
  • branding
  • seriality
  • genre
  • Philip Sidney
  • Robert Greene
  • humanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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