Dr. Don King‎ > ‎Course Syllabi‎ > ‎

English 304

Spring 2016
English 304: Restoration and Eighteenth Century British Literature

12-12:50, MWF

Belk 219

Don W. King: Home page
Phone: 828-545-3293

Course Description: A course in Restoration and Eighteenth Century literature with an emphasis on John Dryden, John Bunyan, Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and Samuel Johnson.

Course Rationale: British literature between 1660-1789 is very much in transition.  Coming after the great works of Shakespeare and Milton and immediately before Wordsworth and the English Romantics, the literature of this period is notable for the rise of restoration drama, satiric poetry written in heroic couplets, the proliferation of prose fiction culminating in the appearance of the novel, and the first great literary critic, Samuel Johnson.  This course will focus upon each of these with an eye toward equipping students to see the literary value and historical significance of Restoration and 18th Century British Literature.



The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th ed. V. 1

The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan

Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe

Pamela, Samuel Richardson

Joseph Andrews, Henry Fielding

The Rise of the Novel, Ian Watt

Strongly Recommended:

A Handbook to Literature, Eds. William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th ed., Ed. Joseph Gibaldi.

Also, see Oxford Reference Online www.oxfordreference.com for some basic reference assistance.  It contains desktop access to 100 key Oxford dictionaries and reference works. The Core Collection brings together 100 language and subject dictionaries and reference works - containing well over 60,000 pages - into a single cross-searchable resource.  Also, see the Oxford English Dictionary, the grandfather of all dictionaries at http://dictionary.oed.com 

Course Objective: The objective of this course is that you will survey in depth the important literature of England from 1660-1789.  As a part of this study, you will be exposed to the significant political, religious, and philosophical ideas of the period and their connections literary themes and motifs.  By the end of the course you should be able to articulate the major shifts that occurred in British literature between Milton and Wordsworth.

Additionally, there are several questions we will consider as we work through the novels, including, but not limited to:

1.  What is satire? What are the different kinds of satire popular in English literature from 1660-1769?

2.  Why is restoration drama so different from Elizabethan drama?

3.  What conditions conspired to launch the popularity prose non-fiction?

4.  What is a novel?

5.  Why has the novel become so much more popular than poetry or drama?

6.  How does the literature of this period prepare the way for the English Romantics?

7.  Why does literary criticism become important during this period?

8.  How pivotal is knowledge of Scripture when reading, analyzing, and interpreting the literature of this period?

9.  Do the writers of this period share, broadly speaking, a Christian view of the world?  If so, how so?  If not, why not?

Learning Outcomes:

1.  That you read and analyze the significant drama, poetry, prose non-fiction, and prose fiction of England written 1660-1789.

2.  That you be able to describe the characteristic of restoration drama.

3.  That you be able to define Horatian vs. Juvenalian satire as well as the literary characteristics of 18th century satiric poetry and prose.

4.  That you examine the development of prose non-fiction.

5.  That you analyze reasons why the novel developed as a popular genre of literature when it did.

6.  That you examine the development of literary criticism in the English tradition.

7.  That you write one book review.

8.  That you write a literary analysis and demonstrate your ability to gather information and present it effectively by combining summary with analysis, application with theory, and research with synthesis.

9. That you turn in all important written assignments via email attachments.

10. That you learn to value the literature covered in this course as something that can enrich your life, revealing the complexity of the human experience and informing your spiritual life.

Course Outline:

Weeks 1-3:


John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (in class essay)

William Congreve's The Way of the World

Weeks 4-7:

Selected writings of John Dryden and Samuel Pepys

Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders (in class essay)

Weeks 8-12:

Samuel Richardson's Pamela

Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews (in class essay)

The prose of Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

Weeks 13-15:

The poetry of Alexander Pope

Johnson's The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (in class essay)


1.  There will be quizzes, journals, presentations, and in class essays that will constitute 60% of your grade in the course.

2.  A book review of The Rise of the Novel will count 10%. Due by midnight April 1.

3.  You will also write a literary analysis of 1,250 to 1,500 words (5 to 6 pages). The analysis will count 10% of your final grade and is due by 3:30 p.m. May 2.

4.  You will develop a creative project based upon your personal reaction to anything we have studied throughout the semester.  I prefer that this project be creative in whatever fashion you are creative.  For example, in the past students have put on skits, built or baked various things, written songs, done videotape or computer presentations, painted pictures, sculpted figures, done needlepoint, conducted interviews, written satires, and so on.  “The sky’s the limit” but you should check out your idea with me before you begin.  Group projects are possible but need to be approved by me. The project will count 10% of your final grade and must be presented in front of the class on or before the last regular class meeting.

5.  The remaining 10% will come from your class participation, discussion, regular attendance, homework, reserve and supplemental reading, group work and various short writing assignments.

6.  There are a total of 1000 pts possible in the course. Final grades will be compiled using the following guidelines:

1000-900    A to A-
899-800      B+ to B-
799-700      C+ to C-
699-600      D+ to D-
599-0          F

Bibliography: Of much interest to you will be the multiple resources available via electronic databases, especially JSTOR. The following books are on three day reserve in the library and will helpful as you begin
research on your literary analysis:

Baker, Ernest. The History of the Novel, 11 volumes.
Barnett, Louise.
Swift's Poetic Worlds.

Bloom, Harold.
Daniel Defoe.

---------. Jonathan Swift
Boyle, Frank. Swift As Nemesis: Modernity & Its Satirist
Butt, John.  The Mid-Eighteenth Century (OHEL).
Clark, J. C. D. English Society, 1660-1832.  

Clingham, Greg, ed.  Cambridge Companion to Samuel Johnson.
Crook, Keith.
A Preface to Swift.
Cross, Wilber. The Development of the English Novel.

Damrosch, David. The Longman Anthology of British Literature: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century
Demaria, Robert, ed. British Literature 1640-1789: A Critical Reader.
Dobree, Bonamy.  English Literature in the Early Eighteenth Century

Fisk, Deborah C. Payne, ed. The Cambridge Companion English Restoration Theatre.
Gay, David. Awakening Words; John Bunyan and the Language of Community
Hammond, Paul, ed. John Dryden: Tercentenary Essays
Kishlansky, Mark.  A Monarchy Transformed:  Britain 1603-1714.
McKeon, Michael. The Origins of the English Novel, 1600-1740.

Mullett, Michael. John Bunyan in Context.

Novak, Maximillian E. Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions : His Life and Ideas.

Phiddian, Robert.
Swift's Parody.
Reddick, Allen.
The Making of Johnson's Dictionary (1746-1773)
Richetti, John, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth Century Novel.

Rogers, Pat.
Essays on Pope.

Rosslyn, Felicity. Alexander Pope: A Literary Life.

Sherbo, Arthur. Samuel Johnson's Critical Opinions:  A Reexamination.
Sitter, John, ed. The Cambridge Companion to 18th Century Poetry.
Stevenson, Lionel. The English Novel: A Panorama.
Sutherland, James.  English Literature of the Late Seventeenth Century (OHEL).

Vieth, David M. Essential Articles for Study of Jonathan Swift's Poetry.
Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel.

Winn, James, ed. Critical Essays on John Dryden. 
Wood, Nigel, Jonathan  Swift.

Zimmerman, Everett.
The Boundaries of Fiction: History & the 18th Century British Novel
Zwicker, Steven N., ed. The Cambridge Companion to English Literature, 1650-1740.

Academic Integrity:  For all individual assignments students are expected to present their own work; documentation of research for your literary analysis must follow the specific criteria as outlined in the MLA Handbook for Writer of Research Papers. Cases of academic dishonesty, including but not limited to cheating and plagiarism, will result in either of failure of the assignment or of the course. 

Final comments: This syllabus and other details about the course, including your grades for the course,are available through the college's online platform, Moodle. Class discussions, tests, and writing assignments will assume you have accessed all this materials on-line. If you need to contact me outside of class, please free to contact me at 545-3293 or email me at dking@montreat.edu.

I reserve the right to make minor changes to the syllabus and course requirements as we move through the semester.

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