English 120

Literature of the Later 18th Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2019 Picciotto, Joanna M
W 3-6 262 Dwinelle

Book List

Godwin, William: Caleb Williams: or, Things As They Are (Broadview edition)

Other Readings and Media

A course reader, available from Metro Publishing on Bancroft.


We’ll investigate the relationship of literature to other arts in the period, particularly painting and landscape design. Our focus will be on engagements with “nature,” understood as the non-human world and the ground of culture. In this period, nature also served as the foundation for the “rights of man,” yet those imagined as living “closest” to nature—animals, the laboring poor, slaves, and women—could not find a secure place in this discourse. We will explore why.

Readings will be made available on the course website and as a reader (available from Metro Publishing on Bancroft), with the exception of Caleb Williams, copies of which will be available from University Press Books and me. Texts will include the following:

James Thomson, The Seasons; William Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty; Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno; Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village; George Crabbe, The Village; Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery; Mary Woolstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women; William Godwin, Caleb Williams; Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; Thomas Paine, Rights of Man; as well as poems by William Collins, Thomas Gray, Anna Letitia Barbauld, and Charlotte Smith. 

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Back to Semester List