This new edition brings to life Tobias Smollett's fourth novel,The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves. No annotated edition of the work existed before the second half of the twentieth century, and this comprehensive edition by Robert Folkenflik and Barbara Laning Fitzpatrick features more accurate text as well as scrupulous textual and critical information. Also included in the detailed introduction is a unique examination of Sir Launcelot Greaves, the first illustrated serial novel, in relation to the engravings by Anthony Walker.Sir Launcelot Greaveswas a groundbreaking novel for Smollett. Published inBritish Magazinebeginning in January 1760, it was the first major work by an English novelist to have been written specifically for serial publication. The novel, Smollett's shortest, differs stylistically from his previous works. The most attractive of his heroes, Sir Launcelot is virtuous and strange, and he is surrounded by a Smollettian menagerie whose various jargons are part of this novel's linguistic virtuosity and satire. Sir Launcelot's character is an English naturalization of Quixote. Although Sir Launcelot, unlike Quixote, is not the object of the author's satire, an idealistic madness is central to both characters. In Smollett's work the theme of madness is integral to the relationship between self and society as the work ponders both the constitution of madness and the alternatives to revenge.
Sir Launcelot Greaves, though not Smollett's most heralded work, has not received the recognition it deserves. Folkenflik and Fitzpatrick present a definitive edition that will be appreciated by scholars and lovers of eighteenth-century literature.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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