ENGL422 - English Victorian Literature

This course will cover in depth a sampling of the literature produced in Victorian Britain and will focus on some of the major issues of the period: belief in progress and fears of degeneration, empathy for the urban poor and horror at urban crime, increasing voting rights and increasingly conservative social ideals, pride in empire and anxiety about the consequences of colonialism.  Through the study of novels, short fiction, poems, plays, and non-fiction prose, we will discuss these and other issues, and we will consider how literary form and content reflect the anxieties and assumptions of the period.  Authors studied will include, among others, Charlotte Brontë, Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, John Stuart Mill, Christina Rossetti, and Oscar Wilde.  Note that this is a reading- and writing-intensive course; a number of the required texts are quite long (400+ pages), and will require careful and thorough reading in advance of class meetings.  Course requirements include significant writing, regular and thoughtful participation in class, exams, attendance at an outside event, and a research project.


Two English courses in literature or permission of the department.