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Writing the Unspeakable in the 19th-Century British Novel

ENGL 251.301
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 5: 19th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Pre-1900 Seminar Requirement of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

We often imagine nineteenth-century Britain as morally and sexually repressed.  Indeed, the word “Victorian” has become virtually synonymous with prudishness.  Yet at the same time, this period witnessed what amounts to an obsession with sex, criminality, madness, and exoticism.  In this class we will travel from early century realistic novels to fin-de-siècle decadent novels, deepening our understanding of historical context, genre, and, of course, those subjects that were equally repressed and stressed.  Among other novels, we will read Jane Austen’s Emma (1815), Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847), Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White (1859), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897).