Date of Award
Dr. Herman Sandford
There were, in pre-Revolutionary America, no native novels. Even the popular novels of Europe had little demand in the Colonies. Pamela by Richardson was printed three times i n1744 when Benjamin Franklin published it simultaneously with two other equally adventurous printers. It was not until forty years later that another of Richardson's novels appeared--in 1786, the same year Tom Jones was printed in abridge form. Robinson Crusoe had to wait fifty years for American publication. The printing of any European novel was more for competition between printers--and that was practically non-existent.
True, the lag in taste and culture of the Colonies accounted partially for this apathy toward novels. But, it was far from the distinct antipathy following the Revolution when native novelists sprang up and novel reading stepped up. There were moralists who were aroused and began loudly condemning the change. It seemed as though all types of people were against the novel....
Rayfield, Martha Ann, "The Isolato of the American Novel" (1967). Honors Theses. 634.