Victorian Literature and Culture
Module Code: EN3022
Module Leader: Jessica Cox
The aims of this module are to explore some of the ways in which literature might encode or challenge particular cultural assumptions; to analyse some of the relationships between literary forms and genres, ideological values and changing social and aesthetic contexts; and to consider how the knowledge of a period may contribute to the interpretation of texts. This module focuses on a number of Victorian literary works as the products of a particular and complex cultural milieu. We shall examine a range of texts which share common themes, issues and attitudes and relate these to the social and historical context. The module is based around three ‘case studies’:
• Gender and Sexuality
• The Individual and Society
• The Scientific Age
Mary Elizabeth Braddon. Lady Audley’s Secret. (1862; London: Penguin, 2004).
Anne Brontë. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. (1848; London: Penguin, 2004).
Charles Dickens. Hard Times. (1854; New York: Norton, 2001).
Elizabeth Gaskell. North and South. (1855; New York: Norton, 2005).
Laura Otis (ed.). Literature and Science in the Nineteenth Century: An Anthology. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002)
H. G. Wells. The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896; Ontario: Broadview Press, 2009).
Further reading material will be made available to students via Blackboard.
Continuous seminar assessment (20%)
Assessed (group) presentation (20%)
3000 word essay (60%)