Fall 2017 Undergraduate English Courses: Seminars
358:435 Restoration and Eighteenth Century Women Writers
01 MW4 CAC 13214 FESTA MU-112
Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Women Writers
This course covers literature written by women from late seventeenth-century scandalous fictions— the skeletons in the closet of early fiction—to the novels of Jane Austen. If, in the eighteenth century, it becomes a truth universally acknowledged (or anxiously affirmed) that courtship and marriage are the proper plot for a female life, that ‘truth’ must be understood in relation to the diverse range of writing by women throughout the period. Drawing on novels, scandal chronicles, poetry, drama, travel narratives, early periodicals, and scientific and political treatises, this course traces evolutions in the body of women’s writing from the late seventeenth century to the end of the eighteenth. Other topics to be addressed in the course include: the politics of what we read now (the canon); authorship and the definition of female writing (what makes a text “women’s” writing?); and the impact of socio-economic changes on ideals of femininity and marriage (what’s love got to do with it?).