Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 August 2019
The conclusion moves beyond Richardson, Burney, Austen, and Edgeworth to demonstrate the wide-ranging ramifications of networked authorship for other authors during the period. It was not necessary to be a member of an underprivileged group in order to be situated within an authorship network. Three of their well-educated male contemporaries were influenced by literary networks that inspired significant revisions to their most famous novels: Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1759–67), Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796), and William Godwin’s Caleb Williams (1794). The case studies of these three novels show that revision was a major tool of eighteenth-century composition practices and was linked to networked authorship, overturning spontaneous, individual conceptions of literary production during the period. The larger consequences of this study are for the categories of novel and author: by concentrating on revision, we can understand the mutability of the novel form and the networked nature of authorship.