Skip to main content

Fast Facts

Rare literary works digitized
Supports historical and literay scholarship
Period of coverage 1500-1700

Intended For

  • Download a short description
  • Share


This database transforms an increasingly popular area of research. Early English Prose Fiction is a balanced and representative collection of fictional prose works from the 16th and 17th centuries, and many of these important texts are difficult to obtain elsewhere.

Early English Prose Fiction is the largest corpus of works of prose fiction available in electronic form. It includes Elizabethan fiction, Jest Books, collections of short pieces and novellas, Restoration fiction, and works of popular fiction. First editions have been used unless a later edition is generally accepted as superior. The database has been produced in association with SCREEN (The Salzburg Centre for Research on the Early English Novel).

Early English Prose Fiction is the perfect complement to English Poetry and English Drama. It contains prose versions of some of the poetry in those databases and includes many of the same authors.

From linguistic scholars of Early Modern English to literary scholars to cultural historians, a wide variety of users will appreciate the wealth of information in this database.

Users can search for any word or phrase in the whole database, or search by title, author, gender, or date of publication.

“The texts of Early English Prose Fiction are essential to understand the development of narrative in English.  What came to be recognised as the dominant characteristic of English fiction, realism, was only one of a rich diversity of approaches in fiction’s early years.  The collection shows the evolution of English prose, covering the change from a predominantly oral culture, where prose fiction can be understood as "written speech", to a literary culture dependent on strictly literary conventions.”  David Margolies, Goldsmith’s College, University of London

  • Content Type: Books

Related Products

Eighteenth-Century Fiction

A collection of 96 complete works of English prose from the period 1700-1780 by writers from the British Isles.

Learn More

Nineteenth-Century Fiction

The most extensive collection of its kind available in fully searchable, digital form, Nineteenth-Century Fiction not only represents the great achievements of Victorian fiction but also features the landmarks of Gothic, Jacobean, and other fiction of the Romantic period.

Learn More

Literature Online®

Literature Online is the premier online resource for literary research today. Primary texts, criticism, and reference works are made available in a tailored research environment to provide a one-stop resource for the study and teaching of English literature.

Learn More


Webinar Recording: Using Primary Sources in LGBTQ Studies

Discover how issues of gender and sexuality are interwoven throughout the evolution of U.S. culture.

Learn More

From Punk Musician to Music Historian: Dr. Jacques Vest

Jacques Vest, a lecturer at the University of Michigan, shares the unique origins of his career – and how ProQuest resources helped him delve into uncharted perspectives on music history.

Learn More