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Epistolary novel
(776 words)

Epistolary novels present a story in a sequence of letters. The term (French roman épistolaire; German Briefroman) became established in place of the expression “novel in letters” (roman par lettres, German Roman in Briefen), which was more common even in the 18th century.

An epistolary novel is driven by the complementarity of two perspectives - that of the letter writer who is living through the events in an open horizon as they unfold, and that of the publisher, presenting the letter record as elements of a story. This interplay of e…

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Vellusig, Robert, “Epistolary novel”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 21 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017782>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180126

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