restricted access The Rise of the Moral Tale: Children's Literature, the Novel, and The Governess

Sarah Fielding's The Governess has been called the first children's novel. But by conflating two separate genres, critics risk oversimplifying both the novel and children's literature. This article brings together children's literature studies and novel studies in order to address the narrative form of The Governess, and to suggest that the term "moral tale" better captures the complex origins of the eighteenth-century children's novel.