ENGL416 - Literature of the Eighteenth Century, 1700-1750

This course looks at British literature 1700-1750, including drama, the periodical essay, poetry, the travel narrative and the early novel, in historical and critical contexts.  Literature in this period, as we will explore, tends to look in two directions: inward toward the rapidly-expanding and increasingly complex city of London, and outward toward the expanding horizons of global commerce.  Students will become familiar with (1) the philosophical problems raised by a newly commercialized society, (2) the emergence of print culture and the kinds of reading and writing opportunities that it made possible (3) transformations in gender relations (4) the period’s emergent global consciousness, and (5) the particular genres of writing nurtured in this period that helped give rise to modernity and modern literary culture.  In this course, students should acquire a broad base of knowledge about the period and its literature; refine their own critical strategies for reading, learn how to conduct research in this period, and improve their critical writing.  Writers may include Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, William Congreve, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Joseph Addison, and Richard Steele.


Two English courses in literature or permission of the department.