The Eighteenth-Century Novel and the Arts

“Writers of genius, sensible that the eye is the best avenue to the heart, represent every thing as passing in our sight; and, from readers or hearers, transform us as it were into spectators”

– Lord Kames, Elements of Criticism (1762)

The eye, the mind, and the ‘visual imagination’ were closely bound together for eighteenth-century thinkers, writers, and artists.

The novel – a newly emerging form in this period – enjoyed a lively conversation with diverse art forms that helped to shape its evolution, just as the novel shaped the arts.

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