The status of the novelist

Over the same period, the status of the novelist also began to rise:

  • in previous generations, poets had been regarded as great teachers, with the capacity to articulate universal truths, so that authors like Milton and Wordsworth were held in high regard
  • this continued into the nineteenth century, with respect shown to poets such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning
  • at the same time, however, the ways in which they addressed a broad range of social, religious, philosophical, political and moral concerns brought increasing respect for novelists
  • authors such as George Eliot and Dickens himself began to be seen as capable of forming and influencing the feelings and opinions of their readers.
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