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Romantic interest is provided by a rivalry between a reformer and a conservative for a young lady's hand—which is won by the proponent of reforms.An early example of the political novel is The Betrothed (1827) by Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian historical novel.The young protagonist Ramses learns that those who would challenge the powers that be are vulnerable to co-option, seduction, subornation, defamation, intimidation, and assassination.Perhaps the chief lesson, belatedly absorbed by Ramses as pharaoh, is the importance, to power, of knowledge.The political novel overlaps with the social novel, proletarian novel, and social science fiction.Plato's Republic, a Socratic dialogue written around 380 BC, has been one of the world's most influential works of philosophy and political theory, both intellectually and historically.

Ivan Turgenev wrote Fathers and Sons (1862) as a response to the growing cultural schism that he saw between Russia's liberals of the 1830s and 1840s, and the growing Russian nihilist movement among their sons.As Niemcewicz had hoped, it set the stage for passage of Poland's epochal Constitution of , which is regarded as Europe's first, and the world's second, modern written national constitution, after the United States Constitution implemented in 1789.The comedy pits proponents against opponents of political reforms: of abolishing the destabilizing free election of Poland's kings; of abolishing the legislatively destructive liberum veto; of granting greater rights to peasants and townspeople; of curbing the privileges of the mostly self-interested noble class; and of promoting a more active Polish role in international affairs, in the interest of stopping the depredations of Poland's neighbors, Russia, Prussia, and Austria (who will in 1795 complete the dismemberment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth).In the 1840s British politician Benjamin Disraeli wrote a trilogy of novels with political themes.With Coningsby; or, The New Generation (1844), Disraeli, in historian Robert Blake's view, "infused the novel genre with political sensibility, espousing the belief that England's future as a world power depended not on the complacent old guard, but on youthful, idealistic politicians." Coningsby was followed by Sybil; or, The Two Nations (1845), another political novel, which was less idealistic and more clear-eyed than Coningsby; the "two nations" of its subtitle referred to the huge economic and social gap between the privileged few and the deprived working classes.Political fiction employs narrative to comment on political events, systems and theories.Works of political fiction, such as political novels, often "directly criticize an existing society or present an alternative, even fantastic, reality".Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal (1729) is an 18th-century Juvenalian satirical essay in which he suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies.The satirical hyperbole mocks heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as British policy toward the Irish in general.The political comedy, The Return of the Deputy (1790), by Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz—Polish poet, playwright, statesman, and comrade-in-arms of Tadeusz Kościuszko—was written in about two weeks' time while Niemcewicz was serving as a deputy to the historic Four-Year Sejm of 1788–92.The comedy's premiere in January 1791 was an enormous success, sparking widespread debate, royal communiques, and diplomatic correspondence.


  1. Political fiction employs narrative to comment on political events, systems and theories. Works of political fiction, such as political novels, often "directly criticize an existing society or present an alternative, even fantastic, reality".

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