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The Victorian George Eliot

ENGL 754.301
instructor(s):
T 3-6

We will study George Eliot's major novels, and her passage from what she called "realism" to what she called "romance," in the context of larger movements of Victorian culture. In addition to Eliot's novels, we shall read (or at least talk about) such authors as Walter Scott, Mary Wollstonecraft, Florence Nightingale, Charles Darwin, Charlotte Bront´┐Ż, Anthony Trollope, William Thackeray, John Stuart Mill, John Ruskin, and Walter Pater. We shall also analyze, or try to, the vicissitudes of Eliot's reputation through the twentieth century, as the stereotypes that defined her shifted from ponderous moralist to literary saint to Machiavellian deceiver.

Each student will present at least one oral report (20-30 minutes long) and lead the subsequent class discussion. A 20-odd page paper on some aspect of George Eliot in her time is due at the end of the semester.

Fulfills 2, 5, & 6 requirements