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EN101 Epic into Novel - Honours Variants – EN2J4/EN3J4


Convenor: Dr John West

Module Information

On this module you will read a selection of ancient and modern, European, Indian and English epics. You will learn about the transition from the epic to the novel which became the principal world-wide form of narrative from the eighteenth century onwards. You will read a selection of novels by writers from England, Kenya, and Canada and will develop your skills in analysing narrative, character and style. Students are advised to read The Odyssey over the summer.

Texts to Buy

These are the main texts for the module for 2021-22. You must read all these texts complete (and the set extracts from The Mahabharata and The Iliad). It is important that you read the translations set.


  • Homer, The Iliad, trans. Caroline Alexander (Vintage) (we will read the following extracts from this translation: Book 1; Book 3; Book 6; Book 9; Book 10; Book 12, ll. 290-330; Book 16; Book 18, ll. 410-618; Books 22-24)
  • The Mahabharata, trans. J. D. Smith (Penguin Classics) (we will read the following pages from this translation: the Introduction; pp. 17-20, 28-61, 68-74, 90-102, 121-163, 214-233, 354-366, 375-389, 398-408, 419-431, 471-484, 512-524, 566-575, 583-592, 779-791)
  • Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Emily Wilson (Norton)
  • Virgil, The Aeneid, trans. Robert Fitzgerald (Everyman)


  • John Milton, Paradise Lost (in The Norton Anthology 10th ed Vol B - 16th/Early 17th Century - this is the same anthology you will be using or have used for Medieval to Renaissance English Literature)
  • Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (Penguin) or any other modern edition
  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, A Grain of Wheat (Penguin)


  • Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad (Penguin)