ENGL455 - The Eighteenth-Century English Novel
Syllabus:
Section(s):
0101 - Tita Chico

Prerequisite: Two English courses in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.

The origins and development of the British novel, from the late seventeenth century until the beginning of the nineteenth. Questions about what novels were, who wrote them, and who read them. Authors such as Behn, Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Smollett, Burney, Radcliffe, and Austen.

While the novel as a form is very familiar to contemporary readers, the topic of this course is its beginnings in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Whether set inexotic locales, rural English homes, or the metropolis of London, novels represented reputedly “ordinary” people—often adolescents—and their daily lives. But what constituted a novel and how it influenced readers was debated throughout the century, and even its name (“novel,” “romance,” “history,” “moral tale”) was fluid. The novels we will consider are experimental, adventurous, and metafictional, and they will provoke us to evaluate what we expect of the genre, how it functions, and its aesthetic and cultural stakes. Authors mayinclude Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne, Frances Burney, and Sarah Scott.