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18th Century Novel

ENGL 545.301
instructor(s):
W 12-3

This course will survey the varieties of novelistic narrative produced in Britain during the 18th Century and will serve to introduce students to the issues surrounding the "rise of the novel," Ian Watt's resonant and now hotly-contested phrase for the emergence in English writing during this period of narratives that we now refer to as "novels." So our course will have two objectives: to read a wide variety of narrative fiction from the early 1700s to the 1770s, and thereby to explore the related questions of whether there is something new about these narratives and if we can isolate the causes for this development. Among the standard authors we will read are the following: Eliza Haywood, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, Charlotte Lennox, Laurence Sterne, and Frances Burney. Note: I plan to assign the unabridged *Clarissa* by Richardson, so anyone signing up for the course will need to start reading that monster of a novel well before the course begins. In fact, some of the reading will be long and advance preparation will be a good idea. Two short papers, class reports, and a final paper will be required.