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Module overview

Aims and objectives

This course requires to you to: acquire an understanding of a selection of poetry and poetics 1780-1899; acquire a working knowledge of the cultural and formal context of that poetry; develop a sense of the historical and political context of the period; develop skills in reading and interpreting poetry; think and write critically about the poetry of the period.

Preparing for the module

The following links will help you to prepare for the module:

Poetic theory

To get the most of the module, please try and read the following prose texts as you go through the module:

Robert Buchanan, 'The Fleshly School of Poetry: Mr D. G. Rossetti'

Edmund Burke, from A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757)

S. T. Coleridge, from Biographia Literaria (1817)

William Johnson Fox, 'Tennyson: Poems, Chiefly Lyrical 1830'

Arthur Henry Hallam, 'On Some of the Charateristics of Modern Poetry'

Gerard Manley Hopkins, 'Author's Preface'

John Keats, letter to George and Tom Keats, December 21, 1817; letter to John Hamilton Reynolds, May 3, 1818; letter to Richard Woodhouse, October 27, 1818

John Stuart Mill, 'What is Poetry?'

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 'The Stealthy School of Criticism'

P. B. Shelley, A Defence of Poetry (extracts)

Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

William Wordsworth, Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1800)




    Casper David Friedrich, Evening Landscape with Two Men (1830-1835)