Spring 2021 Undergraduate English Courses

358:332 Victorian Literature

01    09277   PRICE   MW  1:10-2:30 PM

This course surveys some of the world’s greatest novels.  Nineteenth-century Britain saw farmers migrate to the first modern factories; suburbs spring up along the world’s first train lines; empire expand across the globe.  To make sense of those changes, Britons turned to new technologies of representation.  Along with photography and mass-market daily newspapers, they invented the realist novel.

Victorian novels are emotionally gripping, intellectually ambitious, ethically serious, hair-raisingly suspenseful, and sidesplittingly funny.  They are also long. To make the workload of this course manageable, we will read only three novels, against a backdrop of Victorian short stories, essays, and maps. We will also keep out-of-class writing to a minimum: instead of a final paper, we will experiment with various creative and critical in-class exercises, both individually and in breakout groups.  Interested non-majors are very welcome, as long as you are eager to spend many of your waking hours with an absorbing book.