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By A. Stevens

Within the part century ahead of Walter Scott's Waverley, dozens of well known novelists produced ancient fictions for circulating libraries. This book examines eighty-five renowned old novels released among 1762 and 1813, how the conventions of the style constructed via a technique of imitation and experimentation.

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He was elected to the Society in 1753, attended his first meeting on 14 February 1754, and throughout that decade attended meetings regularly and actively. He was most active during the years 1758–61, when he sat on the council of the Society of Antiquaries (Minutes of the Royal Society). His home at Strawberry Hill became famous as a repository of antiquities of all types and as a specimen of the gothic revival style of architecture and decorating. After 1763, his attendance at meetings became more sporadic, and he attended his last meeting in 1768.

He was elected to the Society in 1753, attended his first meeting on 14 February 1754, and throughout that decade attended meetings regularly and actively. He was most active during the years 1758–61, when he sat on the council of the Society of Antiquaries (Minutes of the Royal Society). His home at Strawberry Hill became famous as a repository of antiquities of all types and as a specimen of the gothic revival style of architecture and decorating. After 1763, his attendance at meetings became more sporadic, and he attended his last meeting in 1768.

With their historical novels, Leland and Walpole begin to stake out a new position in the fields of historical writing and novelistic production. 6 Bourdieu contends that the most privileged members of society are the most likely to experiment with new position-takings: ‘The people who are richest in economic capital, cultural capital, and social capital ... are the first to head for new positions’ (262). Both Walpole and Leland came from the educated elite, but Walpole in particular is about as rich in economic, social, and cultural capital as a person in mid-eighteenth-century England could be: son of a powerful prime minister, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, and man about town.

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