China had a huge bureaucratic system which recruited its
personnel through civil service examinations. Textbooks for this examination
were printed in vast numbers under the sponsorship of the imperial
From the sixteenth century, the number of examination
candidates went up and that increased the volume of print. That is why the
imperial state in China was a major producer of printed material for a long
The epistolary novel was written in the form of a series
of letters, using this private and personal form of narrative to tell its
story. An example was Samuel Richardson's 'Pamela', written in the eighteenth century,
which told much of its story through an exchange of letters between two lovers.
These letters tell the reader of the hidden conflicts in the heroine's mind.
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