Frank Norris

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Jude Davies (University of Winchester)

Frank Norris was one of a number of American novelists who, around the close of the nineteenth century, extended the scope of “serious” fiction to include social issues of sexuality, commodification, and economic class. Along with Stephen Crane and Theodore Dreiser, Norris is regarded as one of the most important practitioners of “literary naturalism” (q.v.). This contemporary term signalled the bringing together of realist description with an appeal to natural science, especially the theories of Darwin, Spencer and (especially in Norris's case), Berkeley professor Joseph Le Conte, to explain the social and commercial developments of the USA.

Frank Norris was born in 1870, into a family shortly to become prosperous due …

923 words

Citation: Davies, Jude. "Frank Norris". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 October 2001 [, accessed 05 February 2023.]

3351 Frank Norris 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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