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EN2C2/EN3C2 The English Nineteenth-Century Novel

English C19 novel
For module queries, please email Michael Meeuwis (convenor)

Convenor office hours: Office hours: Tuesdays 4-5pm, Thursdays 3:30 to 4:30pm, and by appointment

Hi everybody! I'm posting videos over the summer to help you with your reading.

Summer video 1 - Dotwork

Summer video 2 - (fixed) Decolonising the curriculum

Transitional video - Welcome to the Module (Watch Me First): 1, 2, 3

Objectives and outline syllabus

This module explores the rise of the novel in the particular context of nineteenth-century Britain, responding to rapid social change--and the possibility of revolution--and the correspondingly shifting understandings of class, gender, sexuality, nation and culture. The module traverses a range of various styles such as "social realism", “sensationalism”, “historical fiction”, “fantasy”, and covers topics such as masculinity, the new woman, sexuality, childhood, landscapes, Empire, dialogues between image and text, evolution, and illness. Novelists and texts from the popular to the literary, from the canonical to those often overlooked post-1900.

Primary texts

Texts to be: Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent; Jane Austen, Mansfield Park; William Thackeray, Vanity Fair; Charlotte Brontë, Villette; Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South; Mrs. Henry Ward, East Lynne; Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend; George Eliot, Daniel Deronda; Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; Henry James, What Maisie Knew. These are links to completely acceptable ebook editions. I would recommend students purchase physical copies of the texts, although this is not mandatory; Oxforld World's Classics editions tend to have the best introductions and annotations.

Reading order and asynchronous seminar content:

In keeping with university best practices, part of every seminar will be pre-recorded for asynchronous delivery. Following class, I will post these videos below, along with content I mention in these lectures.

Term one, Week:

Novel

One

Mansfield Park

Mentioned in the above:

Two

Mansfield Park week 2

Mentioned in the above:

Three

Castle Rackrent

Four

Vanity Fair

Five

Vanity Fair

Reading

 

Seven

Villette

Eight

Villette

Nine

North and South

Ten

North and South

 

 

Term two, Week:

Novel

One

East Lynne

Two

East Lynne

Three

Our Mutual Friend

Four

Our Mutual Friend

Five

Daniel Deronda

Reading

 

Seven

Daniel Deronda

Eight

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Nine

What Maisie Knew

Ten

What Maisie Knew

Summer reading

The reading load for this module is comparatively heavy as many of the novels, while very rewarding, are also very long. It is therefore recommended that you read as many novels as you can during the summer vacation. I'll be posting periodic videos offering my own commentary on reading, the historical period, and the module.

If you would like to undertake some secondary reading, I'd suggest starting here, with a guide to The Nineteenth-Century Novel, 1820-1880. You can also delve in and out of these texts, available as e-books via Warwick library: The Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel, edited by Lisa Rodensky (2013); and The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literary Culture, edited by Juliet John (2016).

Lectures from previous years are now available on moodle via self-enrolement

Sample 1st-class Essays:

1. Landscape

2. Tess and Wuthering Heights

3. Female Relationships

4. Getting On C.19th Lit

5. Foreign Spaces