English 203

Graduate Readings: English Fiction to 1800

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2008 Sorensen, Janet
Sorensen, Janet
TTh 9:30-11 263 Dwinelle

Other Readings and Media

Haywood, E.: Fantomina; Defoe, D.: Roxana; Richardson, S.: Pamela; Fielding, H.: Shamela, Joseph Andrews; Smollett, T.: Roderick Random; Lennox , C.: The Female Quixote; Radcliffe, A.: Mysteries of Udolpho


As we read a variety of works of eighteenth-century fiction we shall consider a series of revisionist (especially feminist) histories and theories of the early novel. The eighteenth-century British texts we have retroactively named novels often argued with each other about the status of this new form. In these debates the novels deployed and actively intervened in contemporary theories of sexuality, gender and class (all of which some saw as dangerously unstable in the period), and we shall have these debates in mind as we study these texts. Also increasingly important in the legitimating narratives around the novel was the novel�s status as a British form, and we shall think about the novels of this period in relation to national and transnational developments. Although we shall approach the readings through these specific foci, I do intend the course as a broad-based introduction to these eighteenth-century texts and some of the critical issues they have raised. Written work will reflect that introductory tone; in several 5-6-page papers you will engage these issues on an exploratory basis rather than a thorough and conclusive one.

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