Students interested in this class should sign up on
Newdle for a preview of the syllabus, attend the mini-class, and come
to the first day. Doing all three will give you priority if you are not a
first-year student for whom a number of seats are reserved.
Eighteenth-Century British Literature
Poetry, Promiscuous Theatres and Pleasure Gardens, Sensibility, Exotic
Travels, Novels, Hybrid-genres, Colonialism, and More Good Stuff!
Courtesy of the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University
This course covers literature of
eighteenth-century Britain (1700-1799), a period of great social and
artistic change, sometimes identified as the "Augustan Age," the
"Enlightenment," "Age of Johnson," or "Age of Sensibility. English
literature ranges from formal poetic verse with classical roots to
biting satire on contemporary political and social issues, from rakish
tales and dramas to highly emotional fictions that take internal
psychological states seriously, from travel accounts that compare every
other place with the special greatness of the British isles to
narratives that are highly critical of English and even western European
assumptions about the world and about art. We will read poetry, novels,
essays, travel narrative, drama, and satire in an attempt to uncover
the roots of modern English literature. Attention will be paid to genre,
the move from an educated reading public to a popular reading public,
the context of historical and social change, and changing fashions in
ASSIGNMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS
1) Regular attendance and preparation. More than three absences will jeopardize your ability to “sat” this class.
2) Class participation in discussion and preparation for each class meeting.
3) On-time and satisfactory completion of all written work, e.g.
•3 satisfactory short (5-6 page) papers
•1 final take-home exam, due as noted.
Late work will ONLY be accepted with prior notice of at least 2 days and instructor permission except in DIRE emergencies
REQUIRED BOOKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
I really STRONGLY recommend you buy the editions listed below. We will
refer to page numbers in class, some books lack chapters in this period,
and the edition DOES make a difference.
If you purchase the reader from the bookstore, it should come with Robinson Crusoe
in the right edition for free, so I recommend buying that there (make
sure you get the right edition of the reader--in other years the content
can be very different).
Downloading free versions of these
works may mean that you get a corrupted or even an expurgated or
Victorian edition, especially with Fanny Hill—the oldest work of erotica in English continuously in print!
ordered a more college/university level "Norton Critical" edition of
Susannah Rowson's early American novel, Charlotte Temple; the
contextual and critical materials and notes will be particularly helpful
with this lesser known novel.
Joseph Black et al., Anthology of British Literature: Vol. 3: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century Broadview 2012 978-1-55111-611-1
Daniel Defoe , Robinson Crusoe Broadview 2010 1551119358
Samuel Richardson, Pamela Oxford UP 2001 0192829602
John Cleland, Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure Oxford UP 2008 978-0199540235
Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative Broadview 2001 1551112620
Susanna Rowson, Charlotte Temple, Norton Critical Ed, Norton, 2010 978-0393925388
Hay & Rogers Eighteenth-Century English Society Oxford UP 1997 0192891944