A Bildungsroman (German: "education novel") is a novel which traces the spiritual, moral, psychological, or social development and growth of the main character from (usually) childhood to maturity.
The term, originally from German, translates to "novel of education" or "novel of formation" in English.
One of the foremost examples of this genre is Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther. Other examples include Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, and Charles Dickens's Great Expectations and David Copperfield. Jane Eyre also contains elements of the Bildungsroman.
See also: Künstlerroman