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EN228 Seventeenth Century: The First Modern Age of English Literature

Convenor: Dr John West (email: J dot West dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk)

Tutor: John West, with additional lectures by Dr Tess Grant and Sophie Shorland


Pathway Information

This module is a Pathway Approved Option for the English Pathway and one of the Distributional Requirement options for the Theory, World and North American Pathways.



Lectures and Seminars

Weekly lecture: Monday 12-1 (place tbc)

Weekly 1-hour seminars: place and time tbc



Overview

On this module, we will read a variety of canonical and non-canonical writing from 1603 to 1688 with the aim of finding out how works produced in different historical conditions commented on and intervened in the major ideological and intellectual upheavals of the period. To help you understand these upheavals, the module is organised into four thematic areas: Place; Time; Politics; and Difference. Each thematic unit is structured chronologically. Each week, we will look at primary texts in light of some contextual further reading from the period. There will also be selected secondary readings each week to help you locate your own critical investigations within the exciting field of seventeenth-century studies.


In 2018-19 the module will be using Moodle. A detailed breakdown of week-by-week reading will be available there in due course. Please bear with us whilst we set it up for the new academic year. In the meantime, you are invited to read around the syllabus (see the lecture list for guidance) as widely as you please and to follow the recommended reading list below, which will provide you with historical and critical frameworks to help you get the most out of the literature.


Recommended Summer Reading

In order to do well in this module, you must have a good understanding of the history of the period. Over the summer, we strongly recommend that you read Mark Kishlansky, A Monarchy Transformed: Britain 1603-1714 (Penguin, 1996). Over the summer, please complete the compulsory pre-term quiz and return it by the start of the first lecture. You will need to be prepared for further weekly quizzes during the term that will test your understanding of the historical contexts of particular writers and their works!


Some further reading to help you get to grips with the thematic elements of the module will be forthcoming. Keep checking these pages for further details.


Textbooks

You should get yourselves copies of the following books, which have been ordered to the bookshop (though details of second-hand prices as of July 2018 are included):

  • The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Verse and Prose ed. Alan Rudrum, Holly Faith Nelson, and Joseph Black. This is currently available from £6.45 on Amazon and from around £5 on Abebooks. Please make sure you buy the all-in-one 'Verse and Prose' anthology NOT the separate 'Verse' and 'Prose' anthologies. The majority of the primary reading is in this anthology, which includes a wide variety of other writing from the period. You are invited and encouraged to read beyond the module set texts.
  • Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works ed. Janet Todd (Penguin Classics, 2003). Available from around £2.80 on Abebooks and from around £2.81 on Amazon.
  • John Webster, The White Devil ed. Christina Luckyj (Bloomsbury, 2008). Available from around £2.85 on Amazon and from around £4.50 on Abebooks.
  • Three Seventeenth-Century Plays on Women and Performance eds Hero Chalmers, Julie Sanders and Sophie Tomlinson (Manchester, 2006), for The Bird in a Cage. Make sure you get the paperback edition. Second hand copies retail from around £9.
  • Three Restoration Comedies ed. Gamini Salgado (Penguin Classics, 2005). Available on Amazon from around £2.41 and from around £2.47 on Abebooks.


Assessment

  • 1 x 1500-word formative essay (to be submitted directly to your tutor in seminars in Term1, Week 7). The work for this essay can feed into the first summative essay if you wish.
  • 1 x 2500-word summative essay due early in Term 2 to be written in response to themes and texts from Term 1. Submitted through Tabula.
  • 1 x 2500-word summative essay due early in Term 3 to be written in response to a text read on EEBO. Submitted through Tabula.
  • 1 x 2-hour SEEN exam to be sat in Term 3 examination period.