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The uniformity of graphic design in contemporary paperback and critical editions of the eighteenth-century novel no longer conveys the visual appeal of early editions. Janine Barchas explains how the novel's material embodiment as printed book rivalled its narrative content in diversity and creativity in the first half of the eighteenth century. Prose writers such as Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, and Henry and Sarah Fielding experimented with the novel's physical appearance from the beginning of its emergence in Britain.
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