ENGL422 - English Victorian Literature

Prerequisite: Two English courses in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department. A survey of English literature of the Victorian period. Writers may include Arnold, Browning, Tennyson, Dickens, George Eliot, Carlyle, Ruskin, Newman, and Wilde.

This rigorous, upper-level course will study the extraordinary literary achievements of Victorian Britain. An age of cultural, political, and aesthetic upheaval, the Victorian period was a time of enormous social change: working-class agitation, struggles for women's rights, industrialization, imperial aggression, scientific discovery, and shifting ideas about race. Through the study of novels, poems, and non-fiction prose, we will consider how Victorian literature engages with the disordered age in which it was composed. Authors will include Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Alfred Tennyson, and Mary Seacole, among others. Because this is an Advanced Writing course, students will be engaging in significant writing and revision. Coursework will include two essays (one a research paper  of 10- to 12-pages), an in-class presentation, a midterm assignment, and a final exam. Students are encouraged to read Dickens' Bleak House over winter break (we'll be using the most recent Penguin edition).