In 1452, Gutenberg produced the one book to come out of his shop: a bible. It’s estimated he printed 180 copies of the 1,300-paged Gutenberg Bible, as many as 60 of them on vellum. Each page of the Bible contained 42 lines of text in Gothic type, with double columns and featuring some letters in colour.
Pamela, a series of fictional letters written in 1741 by Samuel Richardson, is considered the first real English novel. Other early novelists include Daniel Defoe, who wrote “Robinson Crusoe” (1719) and “Moll Flanders” (1722).
Victorian novels were generally idealized portraits of difficult lives in which hard work, perseverance, love and luck win out in the end. They were usually inclined towards being of improving nature with a central moral lesson at heart.
Novels from the 20th Century literature reflect great events such as The Great Depression, World War II, Hiroshima, the cold war and communism. Famous modern novels include “The Lighthouse” (1927) by English novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf; “Ulysses” (1921), by Irish novelist and short story writer James Joyce; “All Quiet on the Western Front” (1929), the most famous World War I anti-war novel by German novelist and journalist Erich Maria Remarque and “The Sound and the Fury” (1929) by American novelist and short story writer William Faulkner, which depicts the decline of the South after the Civil War.
The Power of Sympathy: or, The Triumph of Nature (1789) is an 18th-century American sentimental novel written in epistolary form by William Hill Brown and is widely considered to be the first American novel. The Power of Sympathy was Brown’s first novel. The characters’ struggles illustrate the dangers of seduction and the pitfalls of giving in to one’s passions, while advocating the moral education of women and the use of rational thinking as ways to prevent the consequences of such actions.
James Patterson is the world’s highest-paid author by a wide margin, and has been the world’s best-selling author since 2001. He has sold more than 350 million books worldwide, and is most famous for the “Alex Cross” crime novel series.
Mein Kampf has been described by many writers as the “most evil book in history,” and its publication has been illegal or restricted in many countries since the defeat of Nazism in 1945.
The Tale of Genji. It was written 1,000 years ago, and is the epic story of 11th Century Japan, The Tale of Genji, was written by Murasaki Shikibu, a woman. The Japanese epic is often called the world’s first novel.
The wild success of Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers, first published in 1836, is widely considered to have established the viability and appeal of the serialized format within periodical literature.
Sir Walter Scott called Henry Fielding the Father of the English novel, and the phrase still indicates Fielding’s place in the history of literature.