Lawson, Jacqueline

Domestic Misconduct in the Novels of Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding
1994 0-7734-9978-4
For the novelist of the 18th century, the narrative preoccupation with domestic life was expressed through the image of the ill-governed family. The complications arising from courtship, marriage, sexual relationships, adolescence and domestic strife provided the writers of that era with the perfect vehicle for inculcating moral precepts governing family conduct. This explains, in part, the overly didactic nature of the novel in which readers are exhorted to correct improprieties in their own households.

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