ENGL416 - Literature of the Eighteenth Century, 1700-1750

The years 1700-1750 saw extraordinary changes in British literary culture: the emergence of newspapers and periodical literature read in the public spaces of coffee houses; the increasing popularity of travel writing as the British Empire extended itself across the globe; the unprecedented importance of women writers; the rise of the novel, the continuing popularity of amatory narratives; a vital theater culture; poetry with an explicitly public and political purpose; and daring forms of satire that attacked everything from traditional authority to religion to new forms of commercialization to shifting gender relations. This course will explore the novels, satire, poetry, travel writing and periodical literature from this period with an emphasis on how writers shaped and responded to urbanization, commodification, new gender identities, global commerce, and Britain‘s increasingly cosmopolitan culture. Writers may include William Congreve, Eliza Haywood, Lady Mary Wortley Montague, Daniel Defoe, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Susanna Centlivre, John Gay, Jonathan Swift, and Alexander Pope.


Two English courses in literature or permission of department.