Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hours discussion based seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment ESSAY 1: 3000 WORDS  50%
Semester Assessment ESSAY 2: 3000 WORDS  50%
Supplementary Assessment RESUBMIT FAILED ELEMENTS  Resubmit or resit failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a range of novels of the Victorian period;

2. articulate this knowledge in the form of reasoned critical analysis of particular texts;

3. locate the texts studied in appropriate literary, historical, and cultural contexts;

4. explain and engage with relevant aspects of recent scholarly and/or critical debates about the texts studied


1. Introduction: myth, narrative and the emergence of Victorian realist fiction.
2. Bildungsroman and the bourgeois subject: Charlotte Bronte'r Jane Eyre.
3. The social problem: Elizabeth Gaskell'r North and South I
4. The industrial novel: Elizabeth Gaskell'r North and South II
5. Philosophy of realism: George Eliot'r Middlemarch I
6. Realism and reflexivity: George Eliot'r Middlemarch II
7. Real time: Thomas Hardy'r Far >From the Madding Crowd I
8. Real space: Thomas Hardy'r Far From the Madding Crowd II
9. Journalism and the novel: George Gissing'r New Grub Street I
10. So, how realistic is realism?: George Gissing'r New Grub Street II

Brief description

This is a new option for 2005/6. It will focus on novels of the Victorian period, and will explore literary and cultural issues relevant to the time


This module will examine five novels from the Victorian period in terms of the development of literary realism, focusing on the ways in which this mode of representation changed in response to social and cultural forces. It will explore the relationship between myth and narrative, the bildungsroman tradition, the rise of the social problem novel, the relationship between philosophy and realism, and the ways in which the novel responded to the emergence of the new journalism towards the end of the Victorian period. It will also relate these developments to pre- and post-Victorian literature.


This module is at CQFW Level 6