A Novel Affair


Does the epistolary format tend to be used for a particular theme? For example, is it most commonly used for love stories? To answer this question, this research compiled a list of 138 epistolary works — 130 modern novels and eight ancient texts. Of these 138, data was gathered on 92, spanning a majority of the time periods in a representative sample. It then looked at the themes that each includes throughout their text and compiled a list of the most common themes across the board. The most common themes are romantic love, feminism, and new encounters, with the intimacy as an overarching quality within epistolary novels across the board. This section explores these four areas.