The publication of Robinson Crusoe in London in 1719 marked the arrival of a revolutionary art form: the novel. British writers were prominent in shaping the new type of storytelling - one which reflected the experiences of ordinary people, with characters in whom readers could find not only an escape, but a deeper understanding of their own lives.
But the novel was more than just a reflection of British life. As Sebastian Faulks explains in this engaging literary and social history, it also helped invent the British. By focusing not on writers but on the people they gave us, Faulks not only celebrates the recently neglected act of novelistic creation but shows how the most enduring fictional characters over the centuries have helped map the British psyche. In this ebook, Sebastian celebrates the greatest lovers in fiction - from Mr Darcy to Lady Chatterley.
Also included are three classic novels:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Accomplished Elizabeth Bennett must navigate a web of familial obligations and social expectations in this witty drama of friendship, rivalry, enmity and love.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: The story of an all consuming love which knows no boundary between life and death, Emily Brontë's novel is a stunningly original and shocking exploration of obsessive passion.
Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy: In a bid to alleviate her family's poverty, Tess visits the D'Urbervilles and unwittingly sets out on a path of suffering, love, social inequality and betrayal.
In this deeply urgent novel from the author of Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks deals with questions of empire, grievance and identity. Read on for an arresting exclusive extract from Paris Echo.
Disappear to a secluded island with this novel about war, love and loss