Tobias Smollett: The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves

(1177 words)

Tobias Smollett's fourth novel, Sir Launcelot Greaves, is a contemporary take on what was, for the eighteenth century, the single most influential work of European fiction, Don Quixote (1605-15). The knight of Smollett's title is a Yorkshire country gentleman - importantly a baronet, rather than a nobleman - son of the landowner, Sir Everhard. Sir Launcelot Greaves opens with a strikingly successful opening chapter, in which a number of the novel's characters are driven together by a storm at an inn on the Great North Road. They include the merchant-navy man, Capt Crowe – whose nautical language recalls both Roderick Random's Tom Bowling and Peregrine Pickle's Commodore Trunnion his nephew, the …

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Ross, Ian Campbell. "The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 September 2004
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]