My project is currently in the research stage. Having previously decided to locate a representative sample of texts spanning the eighteenth century, I now need to locate these specific texts. In order to do this, I am undergoing research into the female novelists that are available this time in order to locate them.
To narrow my project down to a manageable size with a working rationale, my research into female novelists will be split into three specific sections:
Early Eighteenth Century – This section encompasses the scandal Novel otherwise referred to as the Amatory Novel, which include a risque portrayal of love.
Mid Eighteenth Century – This section sees the development of the Conventional Novel, showing a conservative writing style employed by female novelists.
Late Eighteenth Century – This section includes the rise of the Gothic Novel, as well as the birth of the radical feminist novel influenced by the French Revolution. This specific type of female novel exists alongside the previously explored conventional novel.
I will research into these sections on the development of the female novel finding related journals and literary criticism. Research into these specific sections and areas of particular interest within these sections will provide a more direct line of investigation for my project. I will aim to either prove or disprove arguments of findings set out by this research through my own analysis using distance reading and visualization tools.
In order to do this, I will test my range of texts against different sets of word frequencies, to analyse whether the representative range of texts I have gathered coincides with the findings set forth by the literary critics, using screenshots and links of my visual work to act as evidence for this research.
Following the use of distance reading tools, I will also include research into Digital Humanities and the process of distance reading in a reflective manner, explaining why I have chosen this approach to satisfy my project, and showing my knowledge of both the pros and cons of this approach.