Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Syllabus 24-25

This is a draft outline for the 2024/25 syllabus. The final syllabus will be confirmed by the end of Term 3.

Week 1: England on the Edge: Richard Brome, A Jovial Crew (1641).

Week 2: Print and Politics: John Milton, Areopagitica (1644).

Week 3: The Old Country and the New: Anne Bradstreet, poems from The Tenth Muse (1650).

Week 4: Regicide Literature: selection of prose and poetry about the execution of Charles I likely to include works by Milton, Katherine Philips, Hester Pulter.

Week 5: Republican and Protectoral Poetics: selection of poems about the English republic and Cromwell's Protectorate likely to include works by Andrew Marvell, John Milton, Edmund Waller and Lucy Hutchinson.

Week 7: The Ranters: Abiezer Coppe, A Fiery Flying Roll (1649).

Week 8: The Diggers: Gerrard Winstanley, The True Levellers Standard (1650); selection of Digger ballads and poetry.

Week 9: The Fifth Monarchists: Anna Trapnel, The Cry of a Stone (1654).

Week 10: History and Memory: Dryden, Astraea Redux (1660); Lucy Hutchinson, poems from Elegies (1660s).

Suggested secondary reading:

I'd strongly recommend trying to get to grips with the history of the period, though this is a period whose history is extremely contested. There are many books about the period 1640 to 1660 (e.g. Braddick, Royle, Purkiss) but a very readable, and short, introduction is Blair Worden's The English Civil Wars (2010).

One of the books whence the module gets its name is Christopher Hill's The World Turned Upside Down (1972), which is still a landmark study of the radical groups from the period even if some of its assumptions have been questioned. The essays in The Oxford Handbook of the Literature of the English Revolution ed. Knoppers (2012) will provide a lot of our critical readings for the lectures and seminars so would be worth sampling ahead of time. The list below contains some other useful critical and historical texts. A more detailed Talis Aspire reading list is under construction.

Michael Braddick, ed. The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution (2015)

Nigel Smith, Literature and Revolution (1994)

David Cressy, England on the Edge, 1640-42 (2000)

Elizabeth Scott-Baumann and Sarah Ross, ed. Women Poets of the Civil War (2017)

Rachel Foxley, The Levellers: Radical Political Thought (2014)

Nicholas McDowell, The English Radical Imagination (2003)

Robert Wilcher, The Writing of Royalism (2001)

Laura Knoppers, Constructing Cromwell (2000)

Janet Clare ed., From Republic to Restoration (2018)

Kate Chedgzoy, Women’s Writing in the British Atlantic World (2007)

Anne Hughes, Gender in the English Revolution (2012)