The Oxford History of the Novel in English is a 12-volume series presenting a comprehensive, global, and up-to-date history of English-language prose fiction and written by a large, international team of scholars. The series is concerned with novels as a whole, not just the 'literary' novel,and each volume includes chapters on the processes of production, distribution, and reception, and on popular fiction and the fictional sub-genres, as well as outlining the work of major novelists, movements, traditions, and tendencies.The 36 expert contributors to Volume 4 trace the dramatic changes in British and Irish fiction from the cumbersome 3-volume novels of the 1880s to the 'paperback revolution' in the late 1930s. It looks at the intense debates over the nature and purpose of the novel in the period, the development ofnew popular sub-genres, and the stratification of the readership of fiction. In a period characterized by huge political and economic upheavals and wholesale revisions of personal morality and sexual and linguistic taboos, the volume traces both the process of modernist experimentation and the workof novelists who registered the social and cultural impact of modernity. The topics covered include national (Irish, Scottish, and Welsh), regional, and women's fiction; the influence of the European novel, of the cinema, and the growth of the modern city; the impact of the Empire,class-consciousness, and the First World War; and such specialized forms as the children's novel, detective stories, and thriller, science fiction and fantasy, and the short story.