John Cleland

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Cleland, John,

1709–87, English novelist. His Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1750), commonly known as Fanny Hill, was an immediate popular success; the novel's notoriety led to a number of official efforts to ban it over the next two centuries. Traditionally considered the first great pornographic work in English, it is now linked to the works of RichardsonRichardson, Samuel,
1689–1761, English novelist, b. Derbyshire. When he was 50 and a prosperous printer, Richardson was asked to compose a guide to letter writing.
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 and FieldingFielding, Henry,
1707–54, English novelist and dramatist. Born of a distinguished family, he was educated at Eton and studied law at Leiden. Settling in London in 1729, he began writing comedies, farces, and burlesques, the most notable being Tom Thumb
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 as a typical mid-18th cent. British novel.


See studies by W. Epstein (1974) and H. Gladfelder (2012).