Samuel Richardson, The History of Sir Charles Grandison. 3 parts. London: Oxford University Press.
Repr. 1986 (pbk), 2001.
Facsimile reprint available from the University of Otago.
The seven-volume Grandison was immensely popular when first published in 1753-54, and highly influential for subsequent generations of writers before it fell into neglect and even derision. This edition restored it to its proper fame. Here I show the intricate patterns of Richardson’s moral vision, arguing that he drew on many kinds of narrative technique to create a novel rich in ideas for later writers, witty character sketch, and brisk dialogue. I pay Richardson the compliment of extensive critical commentary, including an account of its composition as traced from his correspondence, comprehensive footnotes, and a textual history based on five collations of different editions of the novel. All these had largely been denied to that upstart form the novel. My edition, which Oxford republished in paperback and then gave permission for reprinting by the University of Otago Printery, is still much in demand.
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This ground-breaking edition.
an excellent new edition of Grandison.
a fine edition of Sir Charles Grandison.
excellent new edition . . . it is our good fortune to have so handsome and valuable a set available.
a scholarly (at last), annotated, well-produced Sir Charles Grandison.
Jocelyn Harris’s superb edition of 1983.
Dr. Harris’s scholarly edition is likely to attract many new readers . . . and make everyone aware of Richardson’s skill and sophistication as a novelist. . . exceptionally full and helpful notes . . the best available survey of the writing, sources, techniques and reception of the work . . . the leading modern authority in the field.
Probably the most important event in Richardson studies this year has been the publication of a new edition of Sir Charles Grandison. There can scarcely be a major novel more read in its own time and more neglected in ours, and surely a work admired by Johnson, Blake, Jane Austen and George Eliot must deserve our attention.
The first thing to note is the excellence of Jocelyn Harris’s introduction [Grandison] is compulsively readable . . . one of the monuments of the century that produced it, because it encapsulates within itself so much of the century; it is, indeed, essential to an understanding of the century.