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Major British Novel 1660-1914

ENGL 060.601
MW 5-6:15

In this course we'll explore the diversity of the British novel, beginning with its Restoration origins and ending with the onset of the Great War. Among the questions and issues we'll discuss: what specifically makes a novel a novel? How flexible is its generic identity? What is the relationship between the rise of the novel and the expansion of the British Empire? What role (s) do British novelists choose to play in their historically different situations? How do novels depict both inner and outer space? What makes the novel a genre of particular interest to women readers and writers? Because we can't hope to achieve complete coverage of 250 years of writing in 12 weeks, we'll concentrate our efforts on 4 paired sets of British novels: Aphra Behn's Oroonoko and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Frances Burney's Evelina and Jane Austen's Persuasion, Charles Dickens's Hard Times and Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray and James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Requirements for the course: regular attendance, active class participation, frequent short responses, two medium-length essays, and a final exam.