Although only just over three years separated the publication of Moll Flanders in January 1722 and The Work.r of Mrs. Davys in 1725, the evidence they offer about the contemporary appeal of "the novel" appears to be peculiarly conflicting. Whereas the preface to the former opens by referring to the popularity "of late" of "Novels and Romances," the preface to the latter expresses fears that "Probable Feign'd Stories" are out of fashion and unable to compete with the new vogue for "History and Travels."
"Mary Davys's 'Probable Feign'd Stories' and Critical Shibboleths about 'The Rise of the Novel',"
2, Article 11.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol12/iss2/11