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EN2C2/EN3C2 The English Nineteenth-Century Novel

If you took the module in 2020-21 and need access to syllabus/assessment/reading material, that is all housed in the above tab "2020-21".

In 2021-22, this module will be convened by Dr Jen Baker (

You can find a video on summer prep in the right-hand column (might be bottom of page on a mobile) under "Lectures" and the Summer Reading information at the bottom of this page.

light reading

This module explores the rise of the novel in the particular context of nineteenth-century Britain, responding to rapid social change and the correspondingly shifting understandings of class, gender, sexuality, nation and culture. The module considers the development of the novel form in relation to style, its publication context, and its supposed purpose, and its engagement with social and political topics such as masculinity, the new woman, sexuality, childhood, landscapes, Empire and Nation, dialogues between image and text, evolution, and illness. Novelists and texts from the popular to the literary, from the canonical to those often overlooked, are studied.


  • Two formative close-readings of c.1000 words (one per term)
  • Two summative essays
    Second-year students: two 3,000-word essays
    Third-year students: two 3,500-word essays.

Deadlines will be confirmed on your personal tabula.
The options for assessments will be made available on the "Assessments" tab above in term.


The primary novels to buy or source online are listed here. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO MY EDITION NOTES.

What is required for you to read/watch each week (serial instalment, novel/part of novel, critical reading, and lectures) is outlined in the "Weekly Required Reading" tab above. On that page, there are also printable pdfs of tables that give an overview.

I have already started populating the further recommended reading and materials on the “Reading Material” subpage for wider reading and research, but will continually update this.



The reading load for this module is comparatively heavy, as many of the novels, while very rewarding, are also very long. It is therefore VERY STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you read at least two course novels (I offer three suggestions and some secondary reading below) during the summer vacation.

The three suggested novels and their reading guidance are available on the right-hand side of this webpage (or bottom of page on some devices). It is important you use these guides for effective note-taking that will assist you in class discussion as well as for potential essays. Reading guidance for all other texts/weeks will be available closer to the start of each term.

Have a think about how much time you have for summer reading and prioritize. If you take extensive notes of the novels you read over summer using the guidance to assist, you can (and should) just spend a short amount of time refreshing your memory shortly before the class if you don’t have time to re-read.

The six chapters/articles I am offering below as suggestions for the Summer will, without a doubt, help your understanding of some of the key issues and contexts we will discuss, and some of the different approaches we will take, across the module, and could be used at any time of the year if you don’t get a chance to read them in the coming summer months.

Some will be an easy read and some of the pieces you might find quite challenging – that’s okay, they *are* challenging and are meant to be. Take your time and makes notes.

  1. Terry Eagleton, “What is a Novel” from his monograph The English Novel: an introduction. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.

  2. Edward Said, “Chapter Two: Consolidated Vision (I) Narrative and Social Space” from his monograph Culture and Imperialism, Chatto and Windus, 1994.

  3. Ronjaunee Chatterjee, et al. “Introduction: Undisciplining Victorian Studies.”

  4. David Sweeney Coombes, “Introduction” from his monograph Reading with the Senses in Victorian Literature and ScienceUniversity of Virginia Press, 2019.

  5. Joanne Shattock, “The Publishing Industry” in The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 3: The Nineteenth-Century Novel 1820-1880, ed. John Kucich, and Jenny Bourne Taylor (Oxford, 2011; pubd online Mar. 2015), pp.3-21.

  6. Deborah Wynne, “Readers and Reading Practices” in The Oxford History of the Novel in English: Volume 3: The Nineteenth-Century Novel 1820-1880, ed. John Kucich, and Jenny Bourne Taylor (Oxford, 2011; pubd online Mar. 2015), pp.22-36.

You can also dip in and out of Companions and Handbooks such as the Oxford History of the English Novel Vol 2 (1750-1820) and Vol 3 (1820-1880) and the Oxford Handbook to the Victorian Novel which will help you contextualise genres and themes

Places to obtain texts:

The library has many of our texts in print or online and the correct editions will be listed on Talis Aspire and in the Reading Guidance documents. Remember that not every edition in the library will be the one we need – ensure you read any notes added to Talis and below about which edition to get.

Amazon isn’t the only place to get cheaper second-hand books. You can try second-hand book stores/charity shops or online book sellers, such as:

World of Books

Oxfam Books



You can also compare prices on this website:

Our Primary Materials will be detailed from the beginning of August, and all my wider reading recommendations for your own research and interests is available via the Reading Materials tab above.

Reading guidance has been moved to the "Weekly Required Reading" Tab


Lectures for 2021/22 will be available on Warwick Stream and linked to on the weekly reading guidance page.

Lecture on Summer Preparation

Sample 1st-class Essays:

1. Landscape

2. Tess and Wuthering Heights

3. Female Relationships

4. Getting On C.19th Lit

5. Foreign Spaces