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Title: Works of another hand : authorship and English prose fiction continuations, 1590-1755
Author: Simonova, Natalia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 4502
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2014
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This dissertation explores the development of prose fiction continuations from Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia to the novels of Samuel Richardson. Examining instances in which a text was continued by someone other than its original author, I ask precisely what this distinction means historically: what factors create a system of literary value in which certain continuations are defined as ‘spurious,’ and how does the discourse surrounding these texts participate in changing attitudes toward authorship, originality, and narrative closure? My work thus contributes to recent critical efforts to historicise authorship and literary property, using prose fiction examples that have not previously been discussed in this context. Analysing the rhetorical strategies found within paratextual materials such as prefaces, dedications, and advertisements, I establish how writers of continuations discuss the motivations for their works, how these are marketed and received, and how the authors of the source texts (or their representatives) respond to them. Through close reading, the dissertation traces the development of persistent metaphors for literary property across these texts, focusing on images of land, paternity, and the author’s ‘spirit.’ The introductory chapter addresses these metaphors’ significance, defines the main elements of continuations, and situates them within the historical context of a growing print marketplace and developments in copyright law. The dissertation then presents a series of case studies of the most documentarily-rich instances of continuation across the period. Starting with The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, published posthumously in an incompletely-revised form, Chapter 2 shows how its gaps allowed other writers to continue the story, while Chapter 3 studies the metaphorical approaches to authorship taken in the continuations’ paratexts. Chapter 4 examines two Restoration texts, The English Rogue and The Pilgrim’s Progress, which combine the Arcadia continuations’ concern about the author’s honour with issues of commercial competition. The intersection of profit, reputation and copyright protection brought out in this chapter is reflected in the subsequent discussion of the career of Samuel Richardson. Chapter 5 shows him responding to public challenges to his authorial control following the success of Pamela, whereas Chapter 6 explores the more private assertions of authority taking place within Richardson’s correspondence during the publication of Clarissa and Sir Charles Grandison. Finally, my conclusion summarises the subsequent legal and critical privileging of original over continuation, emphasising the historical contingency of this process. The broad chronological scope of the dissertation allows the frames of all these texts to inform each other for the first time, crossing the established critical boundary between the ‘romance’ and the ‘novel.’ This approach reveals continuities as well as differences, enabling me to construct a more nuanced picture of Early Modern approaches to prose continuations and authorial ownership. In establishing links between law and literature, the project also provides an important historical context for contemporary debates about copyright, fanfiction, and literary property.
Supervisor: Trill, Suzanne; Loxley, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: authorship ; continuations ; copyright ; Sidney ; Philip ; Richardson ; Samuel ; Bunyan ; John