"Panic on the streets of London"--or so goes the opening line of a song from the English New Romantic band The Smiths. The essence of that statement about London popular attitudes might well describe the sensational nature of the city's literary output. When there's a commotion in London, you can hear it the streets, see it in its newspapers, and (most dynamically) read it in its literature. In this five-week course, we will study narrative texts from five of the most sensational decades in London's history. From the menace of Jack the Ripper to the phenomena of Swinging London and the British punk aesthetic, the eras we study in this class will reveal the thrilling nature of England's capital at times of significant social change and complementing cultural spectacle. We'll learn that London's not just the source of some of the greatest works of art; it's also the setting, the inspiration, and the subject.