English 122

The Victorian Period

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2009 Blanton, C. D.
Blanton, C.D.
TTh 12:30-2 20 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

Arnold, Matthew, Culture and Anarchy; Brontë, Emily, Wuthering Heights; Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, Aurora Leigh; Browning, Robert, Robert Browning’s Poetry; Carlyle, Thomas, Sartor Resartus; Carroll, Lewis, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Pater, Walter, The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry; Tennyson, Alfred, Selected Poems; a course reader


A survey of and introduction to the writing produced in the years between 1837 and 1901, when Victoria presided over the apparent apogee of British cultural power and (formally at least) over a very large portion of the planet. We will explore this long and occasionally strange era by paying particular attention both to some of its deepest contradictions (between turbulence and apparent stability, headlong progress and intense nostalgia, doubt and faith, political freedom and social constraint, license and propriety) and to the variety of literary forms and critical arguments with which the Victorians met them. To that end, we will devote most of our time to the period’s voluminous efforts in poetry and non-fiction prose, though we will also read couple of texts that might (or might not) be novels.

Other likely figures include: Charles Darwin, George Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Thomas Babington Macaulay, John Stuart Mill, John Henry Newman, Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Ruskin.

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