Many stories took the form of what was essentially “fan art.” For example, the famous engraver William Hogarth provoked and amused with a graphic representation of Gulliver getting a Lilliputian enema.
In the 18th century, as now, fan fiction was usually more explicitly sexual than its source material.
One reader who was particularly obsessed with reconceiving Pamela Andrews as unchaste was Henry Fielding, Richardson’s fellow novelist.
Apparently unsated, Fielding went on to write Joseph Andrews, a full-length gender reversal in which Pamela’s naive brother resists the seduction attempts of an older, landowning lady, the original squire’s sister.
Most of the earliest novels were epistolary, which gave readers a more direct sense of communicating with their favorite characters.

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