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This is a reappraisal of the fiction of the major new figures of the age: Bennett, Galsworthy, Wells, Conrad, Ford, Forster, Woolf and Lawrence. The author's aim is to release these novelists from the restricting critical framework of the Modernist/Realist debate, a debate that has tended to privilege works of the former hue and devalue those of the latter. The Edwardian novelists have far too long been unjustifiably neglected. In the course of the last decade, certainly, some critical attention has been focused on their works, but frequently it is the subject-matter that attracts discussion, for its re-creation of a vanished age or for traces of the last vestiges of an English way of life that the Great War finally put paid to. The greater significance of the Modernist writers has, in the main, been taken for granted. This account seeks to approach the authors on their own terms, as writers responding to the complexity of the age they lived in and as writers contributing, in a variety of ways, to the art of fiction.
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