English 122

The Victorian Period

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2013 Jordan, Joseph P
TTh 2-3:30 note new room: 247 Cory

Book List

Dickens, Charles: Great Expectations; Eliot, George: Silas Marner; Hardy, Thomas: The Mayor of Casterbridge; Wilde, Oscar: The Importance of Being Earnest

Other Readings and Media

Course Reader


This course is designed to be a wide-ranging survey of some of the best imaginative writing in English from the so-called “Victorian” period (roughly, 1837-1901), as well as an introduction, though only incidentally, to the historical pressures that shaped the works. The focus will be on the works themselves – and why twenty-first century readers might value them.

We will spend most of our time on the works of the major poets (Tennyson, Browning, the pre-Raphaelites, Arnold, Hopkins, and so forth) and novelists (Eliot, Dickens, Hardy, maybe Thackeray). We will spend a shorter amount of time on the prose writers (Carlyle, Newman, Ruskin, Pater). And we will end the term with The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

Three formal essays. The third essay in lieu of the final exam.

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