The development of the modern fantasy novel
This study examines the development of the modern fantasy novel from its origins in the late nineteenth century to the present day. The fantasy genre is not uniform, but rather has developed distinct varieties over time as authors have innovated on and responded to the traditions established by previous works. This study begins by defining modern fantasy literature and considering previous critical work on the genre, and then moves into a discussion of several important varieties of fantasy literature. The varieties of fantasy literature that are discussed here are classic fantasy, sword and sorcery fantasy, religious secondary world fantasy, historical fantasy, gothic fantasy, and epic fantasy. The discussion of each variety addresses its defining characteristics and its origins, and incorporates a detailed analysis of the work of representative authors. In conclusion, this study provides an overview of other varieties of the fantasy novel not discussed here, evaluates the various critical arguments about the purpose of fantasy literature, and emphasizes the nature of the modern fantasy novel as a varied, lively, and developing genre that merits a great deal of additional critical attention.
British and Irish literature;
0593: British and Irish literature
0591: American literature