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EN2B5/EN3B5 Seventeenth Century Literature

This module examines the writing produced during one of the most turbulent periods of English history. During the seventeenth century there were two revolutions and huge changes in politics, religion, and society. These in turn helped to generate a significant upsurge in literary production.

On this module we will read a variety of this literature from the period 1603 to 1688. Examples of writers we could look at are poetry by Donne, Milton, and Philips; drama by Shirley and Behn; and prose works by Bacon and Cavendish. Topics we may address include: the relationship between place, memory, and identity; the writing of revolutionary political change and religious apocalypticism; travel and intercultural encounter; and the increase in women's authorship.

The module in 2023-24 will be structured chronologically. Each week the primary readings will be supplemented by selected secondary reading to help you locate your own critical investigations within the exciting field of seventeenth-century studies.


A detailed syllabus for 2023-24 will be available soon. An indicative syllabus is available via the link above.

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See link above.

C17 Ranters

Chas 1 and family

Inigo Jones masque costume


Dr John West