After the introduction of print, the novel, a modern form of literature, began to be written. They were written on topics such as the relationship between love and marriage, good male and female conduct, and so on.

In the seventeenth century, the book first gained traction in England and France.

Henry Fielding claimed to be the “founding father of a new province of writing,” in which he could set his own rules. Walter Scott collected Pamela, a novel from Godan, a novel from traditional Scottish ballads, which he used in his west Indian historical books about clan battles.

Pamela, by Samuel Richardson, was about the heroine’s inner difficulties. Epistolary and serialised novels were the two forms of novels.


The poor were disallowed from reading novels in the early years of development because they were too expensive for them to afford. It became simpler for people to access books after the introduction of circulating libraries in 1740.

Technological advancements and advances in printing reduced the price of books and improved their sales. When Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers was serialised in a newspaper in 1836, readers relished the tension and analysed the novel’s characters and lived with their experiences.


There were many other types of writing available on the market, but novels grew in popularity because other forms of writing focused on the lives of great individuals, such as kings and empires, whereas novels focused on the everyday lives of ordinary people. Charles Dickens wrote Hard Times (1854) and Oliver Twist (1838).

Emile Zola’s Germinal (1885) was based on the life of a young French miner and the difficult conditions in which he worked.


The majority of the novel’s readers were city people. They were able to connect with the fate of rural villages because of the literature. For example, in his novel Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), nineteenth-century British novelist Thomas Hardy wrote on the disappearance of traditional rural villages in England.

Because the novel is written in vernacular language (common people’s language), it reaches the hearts of readers from many communities, contributing to the creation of a sense of a shared reality among diverse people in a country. The narrative, like the country, brings together a diverse range of civilizations.


Women became more active in reading and creating novels in the 18th century. Domestic life was the subject of several novels, and women were allowed to speak confidently on the subject. They drew on their emotions, identities, and experiences, as well as their problems.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen offers a glimpse into the lives of ladies in a well-mannered rural society.

Women who broke social standards before adjusting to them were also the subject of novels. For example, in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1874), young Jane is shown as identity and independent, protesting the hypocrisy of her elders with amazing honesty at the age of ten. 


Young people loved books like R.L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883) and Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book (1894). G.A. Henty’s “historical adventure stories” were about young lads who see major historical events, participate in military action, and display what they dubbed “English” bravery.

Love stories for adolescent girls grew popular in the United States as well. For example, Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona (1884) and Sarah Chauncey Woolsey’s What Katy Did (1872) series.


The story starts in Europe, when the world was colonising the rest of the world. The early novels helped colonialism by making readers feel like they joined a superior group of fellow colonists.

Novelists such as Joseph Conrad published books in the twentieth century that showed the darker side of colonial occupation.


The Panchatantra, Banabhatta’s Kadambari (in Sanskrit), and Oastan were all examples of prose stories (in Persian and Urdu). These, however, were not novels. In the nineteenth century, when Indians grew more familiar with the Western novel, the current form of novel was formed in India.

Baba Padmanji’s Yamuna Paryatan and Lakshman Moreshwar Halbe’s Muktamala are two of the earliest novels (1861 ). Many novels were created in the nineteenth century to instill a sense of national belonging and cultural equality with their colonial overlords.

Bengali and Marathi were used to write some of the first Indian novels. Baba Padmanji’s Yamuna Paryatan was the first Marathi novel (1857). Then there’s Muktamala by Lakshman Moreshwar Halbe (1861 ).

Novel translations into many regional languages aided in sharing the novel’s appeal and promoting its growth into other places.


Chandu Menon tried to translate Benjamin Disraeli’s English novel Henrietta Temple into Malayalam. He rejected this concept since Bhartendu Harishchandra was a modern Hindi literature pioneer.

Srinivas Das of Delhi wrote the first proper modern novel in Hindi. Pariksha-Guru was the title of his work, which was released in 1882. (The Master Examiner).

Kandukuri Viresalingam began working on a Telugu translation of Oliver Goldsmith’s Vicar of Wakefield. He abandoned this plan and instead wrote Rajasekhara Caritamu, an original Telugu novel (1878).


Bhartendu Harishchandra was a modern Hindi literature pioneer. Srinivas Das of Delhi wrote the first proper modern novel in Hindi. Pariksha-Guru was the title of his work, which was released in 1882. (The Master Examiner).

Devaki Nandan Khatri’s writings sparked a novel-reading craze in Hindi. His Chandrakanta became extremely popular, and he is credited with greatly popularising the Hindi language and Nagari script.

Premchand’s writing elevated the Hindi novel to new heights. Many critics believe that his 1916 work Seva Sadan (The Abode of Service) elevated the Hindi novel from a fantasy to a serious reflection on ordinary people’s lives and social issues.

Ramashankar Ray, a dramatist, serialised the first Oriya novel, Saudamani, in 1877-1878. However, he was unable to complete it. However, Orissa (now Odisha) produced a major author, Fakir Mohan Senapati, within 30 years. Chaa Mana Atha Guntha (1902), his work, dealt with the issue of land and its ownership.

Missionaries were the first to write novels in Assam. Phulmoni and Karuna, for example, were both Bengali translations. In 1888, a group of Assamese students in Calcutta founded the Asamiya Bhasha Unnatisadhan, which published the newspaper Jonaki. Manomati, the first important historical novel in Assam, was written by Rajanikanta Bardoloi (1900).


Calcutta’s old merchant class enjoyed public entertainment including Kabirlarai (poetry contests), musical soirees, and dancing performances.

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay published the Bengali novel Durgeshnandini in 1865. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay was a well-known Bengali novelist who specialized in short stories, as well as the rest of India.


On the writings of three authors from different locations, we can learn about the history of reading novels: Chandu Menon, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, and Premchand.


Writers like Viresalingam mainly used the book to share their opinions about society to a larger audience. For the first time, differences about different languages entered the world of print with the arrival of novels.


Socialist novelists have created ideal heroes and heroines for their readers to love and follow. Characters like lndulekha and Madhavan showed how Indian and foreign cultures might interact in a balanced manner.


New types of entertainment emerged from picture books, translations from other languages, popular songs based on current events, and articles in newspapers and magazines. To satisfy reader demand, detective and mystery novels were printed in large quantities. The work also helped popularize silent reading.


Reformer Rokeya Hossein wrote Sultana’s Dream (1905), a satiric novel in English about a topsy-turvy world in which women take the place of males. Hannah Mullens, a Christian missionary, authored the first Bengali novel, Karina O’ Phulmonir Bibaran (1852), in secret. Sailabala Ghosh Jaya, a popular novelist in the twentieth century, could only write because her husband protected her.


Over time, the book as a medium grew in popularity across society’s common people, regardless of caste or colour. Upper-caste novels such as indirabai and indulekha focused on upper-caste characters, but Potheri Kunjambu, a ‘lower-caste’ writer from north Kerala, authored Saraswativijayam in 1892, which attacked caste oppression and highlighted the importance of education for the improvement of the lower castes.

Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (1956) by Advaita Malla Burman (1914-51) is an epic about the Mallar, a society of fishermen who live along the river Titash. Vaikkom Muhammad Basheer (1908-1994) was one of the first Muslim novelists to gain universal praise in Malayalam. He also introduced themes like poverty, insanity, and jail life into Malayalam writing, which were unique at the time.


Indians have long been viewed as weak, divided, and depend on the British throughout colonial histories. The new Indian officials and intellectuals did not accept this.

Many historical novels about Marathas and Rajputs were published in Bengal, creating a sense of pan-Indian belonging. They imagined a country full of adventure, courage, romance, and sacrifice, qualities that they couldn’t find in the offices and streets of the nineteenth century.

The first historical novel published in Bengal was Bhudeb Mukhopadhyay’s (1827-94) Anguriya Binimoy (1857), in which the hero Shivaji won many battles against a clever and cruel Aurangzeb.

The novel’s imagined nation was so powerful that it inspired actual political movements. Anandamath (1882) by Bankim inspired freedom fighters. The work contributed to the popularisation of a sense of shared national identity.


Premchand’s works had a diverse cast of powerful characters, including nobles and landlords, middle-class peasants and landless labourers, middle-class professionals, and people on the outside of society.

Surdas, the main character in his novel Rangbhoomi (The Arena), is a helpless beggar from the so-called ‘untouchable’ caste. The protagonists in Premchand’s story form a democratic community. Godan (The Gift of Cow, 1936) is Premchand’s best-known book and an epic of the Indian peasantry.

The novel became a part of the lives of many groups of people during its history in both the west and India. It became popular all around the world thanks to advancements in print technology. Novels are effective at creating a sense of community and promoting understanding of other people, values, and communities.

NCERT Solved Question Answer CBSE Class 10 History Chapter 08 – Novels, Society and History

Question. 1

Explain the following :

(a) Social changes in Britain which led to an increase in women readers.

Answer :

  1. The most interesting thing about fiction in the 18th century was that women were often involved. During the 18th century, people in the middle classes did well. Now that women have more time, they can read and write more novels. Novels started to talk about how women felt and who they were, as well as their experiences and problems.
  2. Many books were about family life, which was a subject on which women could speak with authority. They wrote about their families and drew on their own lives to do so. This made them well-known.
  3. Jane Austen’s works give us a look into the lives of aristocratic women living in rural areas of Britain in the early 1800s. They remind us of a time when women were told to look for “good” marriages with men who were rich or owned property. In the first sentence of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen says, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man with a lot of money must be looking for a wife.”

(b) What actions of Robinson Crusoe make us see, him as a typical coloniser?

Answer : RDaniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, written in 1719, is an adventurer and slave trader. When Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island, he treats people of colour like animals instead of as equal people. He kidnaps and sells into slavery a “native.” He doesn’t ask for his name, but he tells him it with pride: Friday. Most writers thought that colonisation was normal, so Crusoe’s actions were not always seen as bad or strange. People who were colonised were thought to be wild and barbaric, less than human, and colonial power was thought to be needed to make them more civilised and human.

(c) After 1740, the readership of novels began to include poorer people.

Answer: After 1740, proper people began to read novels, for the following reasons:

  1. When circulating libraries were made, there were more people reading novels.
  2. As printing technology got better, book prices went down, and as marketing techniques got better, book sales went up.
  3. French publishers found that they could make a lot of money by renting out novels by the hour. The novel was one of the first things that was sold in large quantities.
  4. The worlds the stories showed were interesting, believable, and seemed real. Novels allow people to enjoy reading on their own or in public, or to talk about stories with friends or family.
  5. People would gather in the country to hear someone read aloud from a book, and they would often get caught up in the lives of the characters.

(d) Novelists in colonial India wrote for a political cause.

  1. Pariksha Guru shows the inner and outer lives of the middle class that is just starting to grow. In the book, the characters have to figure out how to live in a colonial society while keeping their own culture and traditions.
  2. Sewasadan by Premchand is mostly about how bad things are for women in society. The book talks about things like child marriage and dowry. It also shows how the upper castes of India used the little freedom they were given by the colonial government to rule themselves.
  3. In 1892, a “lower-caste” writer from north Kerala named Potheri Kunjambu wrote a book called Saraswativijayam. In it, he took a strong stand against caste tyranny.
  4. In Bengal, a new kind of book about peasants and other “poor” people came out in the 1920s. Advaita Malla Burman wrote the epic Titash Ekti Nadir Naam in 1956. It is about the Mallas, a group of fishermen who live off of fishing in the Titash River.
  5. In Bengal, a lot of history books about the Marathas and the Rajputs were written. People who read these books felt like they were part of all of India.
  6. Bankim wrote the novel Anandamath in 1882. It is about a secret Hindu militia that fights Muslims to build a Hindu monarchy. It was a book that got a lot of people thinking about how to fight for freedom.
  7. For example, Premchand’s writings are full of different kinds of powerful people from all walks of life. In his books, you can read about aristocrats and landlords, middle-class peasants and landless workers, middle-class professionals, and people from all walks of life.

Question. 2

Outline the changes in technology and society which led to an increase in readers of the novel in eighteenth-century Europe.


  1. When printing was invented in the 18th century, it became much easier to publish a huge number of novels. This made novels more popular. In the past, manuscripts were written by hand, so there weren’t many of them.
  2. Many social issues, like love and marriage, the right way for men and women to act, and so on, were dealt with in the works. They attracted people from all walks of life.
  3. People from all walks of life liked to read novels, from shopkeepers and clerks to the aristocratic and gentlemanly classes.
  4. Novels not only pointed out the problems in society, but they also often suggest ways to fix them. Because of this, everyone liked them.
  5. The novels became a popular way for middle-class women and women to pass the time.
  6. Most novelists wrote in the vernacular, which is the language of everyday people.


Question. 3

Write a note on :

(a) The Oriya novel.

(b) Jane Austen’s portrayal of women.

(c) The picture of the new middle-class which the novel Pariksha-Guru portrays.


  1. The Oriya Novel: In 1877 and 1878, the first Oriya novel, Saudamani, was published in parts by the playwright Ramashankar Ray. On the other hand, he could not finish it. Fakir Mohan Senapati lived from 1843 to 1918 and was a well-known novelist. Chaa Mana Atha Guntha, which means “six acres and 32 decimals,” was written by him in 1902. It was a different kind of book, one that was about land and who owned it. It tells the story of how a manager named Ramchandra Mangaraj tricks his lazy and drunk owner by trying to steal a piece of fertile land from a weaver couple named Bhagia and Sharia. So, the novel has the potential to make rural issues a big part of what people in cities worry about. Fakir Mohan wrote this book because he thought it would inspire a lot of writers from Bengal and other places.
  2. Jane Austen’s portrayal of women: In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen writes about the lives of women in aristocratic rural society in early 1800s Britain. It was a society where women were expected to find “good” husbands who were rich or owned property. In the first part of her book “Pride and Prejudice,” Jane Austen writes, “It is a well-known fact that a single man with a lot of money must be looking for a wife.” This comment tells us how the main characters act, which is typical of Austen’s time because they are focused on marriage and money.

The novel Pariksha-Guru paints an image of the new middle class as follows:

  1. The growing middle class is torn between adopting colonial culture and keeping its own culture.
  2. The story tries to teach readers the “right way” to live by expecting all “sensible men” to be worldly-wise and practical, to stay rooted in their own traditions and cultures, and to live with dignity and honour.
  3. In the novel, the characters use new farming methods, update business practises, and change the way they speak Indian languages. This lets them talk about both Western science and Indian k
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