As a die-hard humanities academic, I was overjoyed to see the familiar face of an English professor standing at the lectern for this week. Though I have never studied the Royal Society, the topic of novels is a familiar one. I had never studied the specific origins of the Novel, though I am aware of many of the early examples which he mentioned. The Royal Society was a fully new topic of academic inquiry for me, as I have never so much as heard its mention prior to this lecture. As such, this lecture was a fascinating and invigorating ride. I found myself simultaneously understanding the topic more deeply than I ever had, but also having more questions that I never had even thought to wonder about. This led to a simultaneously satisfying, but frustrating experience of learning a great deal, while also becoming aware of how much I don’t understand. As I have found with many of these lectures, I leave with more questions than when I arrive. Having known very little about the origin of anything from the universe to Italian Poetry or Novel Writing, I am repeatedly exposed to a new corner of the world which I know little to nothing about. In the brief time, it is impossible to learn the origins of anything to a satisfactory level. However, opening up these corners of the world, and shedding a bit of light on them makes me more curious, and I find myself wondering about the finer points of origins often. Can we prove an origin, or separate it from an evolution? If we can prove that it happened, but we can’t prove how or why, then is this finding really significant? Does investigating this idea bring us more answers or will it lead to more questions, as the brief lecture on it has for me? How is is possible to define the first novel except by the definition used at the time when it was written? Is it possible to define the boundaries between poetry and music, or does doing so pigeon-hole a broad art form into a claustrophobically tight academic category? It was fascinating to learn so much about both a topic that I was previously very uninformed about, as well as a whole different method for investigating the topic. The origins of the novel was a topic that I found very interesting, as the lecturer indicated that he believed a bias to exist in the academic world, which identified the writings of male writers as the original novels, but does not recognize similarly formatted works by female writers. He indicated that if the female writers had instead been male, that the origins of the novel would be looked at in a fundamentally different manner. This points to a lingering question that exists in the world or art in a broad sense. Who determines greatness, and importance, and how is it determined? It is possible to have a truly objective understanding of who wrote the first novel, or are we doomed to interpret the origins of this art form based on our pre conceived notions of the authors.