(i) In 18th century the middle classes became more prosperous-women were often sent to schools and got educated. Women got more leisure time to read as well as write novels. Novels began to explore the world of women, their emotions and identities, their experiences and problems. These had great appeal to women readers.
(ii) Robinson Crusoe as depicted in the novel, gives an impression of superiority.
He trades in slaves, treats coloured people not as equal human beings but as inferior people.
He rescues a native and makes him his slave. He does not ask his name but casually calls him ‘Friday’. The natives were seen as primitive and barbaric people by him.
This attitude was typical of a colonial master and represents the period to which Crusoe belonged.
(iii) After 1740 poor people also joined the readership of novels.
A large number of circulating libraries were introduced which enabled the poor people an easier and greater access to books.
Technological innovations in marketing led to expanded sales and innovations in printing brought down the prices of books.
In France books were lent to poor people on hourly payment. This helped poor people to read a well known book without actually buying it.
(iv) Under colonial rule the Indian novelists began writing novels with a political cause that was to arouse national feeling against colonial rule.
The Indian authors were aware about how Indians were treated by the British and how Indian culture was considered inferior and backward. The Indian novelists used their novels to expose the nature of the British rule and wished to create a pan- Indian identity and a sense of belonging to the nation. Novels like Anandamath inspired Indians with nationalism. Authors like Premchand or Saratchandra, by discussing social issues pointed to exploitation of Indian people by the colonial rulers.