Victorian Literature


Victorian literature is both formally experimental and profoundly engaged with the political, social and intellectual changes that made the world in 1901 (the end of Victoria’s reign) so different from the world in 1837 when Victorian came to the throne. We’ll be reading novels, poetry and prose that both changed the things that literature could do, and attempted to imagine and manage a rapidly changing world. We’ll start with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, then move on to Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda and finally Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles. In between, we’ll read poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, Christina Rossetti, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and some of the writers of literary and extra literary prose featured in the Victorian Volume of The Norton Anthology of English Literature.

(6) 1-page response papers, two 7-10-page papers. One presentation.

Major works and genres of Victorian literature by such authors as the Brontes, Dickens, Hardy, Tennyson, Carlyle, Browning, Arnold, and Ruskin. Satisfies Area II requirement for English majors.
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Curriculum Codes
  • ALP