Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
A Century in Crisis: 1790s to 1890s
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay or Portfolio  ​1 x 2,000-word essay OR ​Creative Writing portfolio (2500 words) to show knowledge of at least one text taught in the first half of the module.  50%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Exam  Question 1 on a single text from Section A; Question 2 to show knowledge of at least two texts.  50%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Exam  Resit examination  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit missing or failed 2000 word essay  1 x 2,000-word essay OR ​Creative Writing portfolio (2500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge of a range of literary texts from across the Nineteenth Century;

2. Locate texts in appropriate cultural and historical contexts;

3. Articulate a detailed critical analysis of individual texts from the period that shows an understanding of their distinctive qualities;

4. Relate texts from the period either to each other or to a common theme.

Brief description

This module introduces students to a representative range of writing across the Romantic and Victorian periods. Each seminar text has been chosen to focus an aspect of the century’s crises, from the impact of revolution and urgent concerns about language, to pressing anxieties about sexuality, gender, empire and science. The module also familiarises students with a range of literary forms, including the novel and poetry, as well as fast forms that thrived in the era, such as periodical literature and the short story.


Week 1: Introduction to Romanticism and Victorianism

Week 2: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads (1798)

Week 3: John Keats, the Odes, ‘Eve of St Agnes’ and ‘Isabella and the Pot of Basil’ (1819)

Week 4: Jane Austen, Persuasion (1817)

Week 5: Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821)

Week 6: Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (1854)

Week 7: Dramatic monologue (for instance, Augusta Webster, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred Tennyson)

Week 8: Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market (1862) and other selected poems

Week 9: Arthur Conan Doyle, selected Sherlock Holmes stories (1892)

Week 10: Module conclusion

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Confident communication is developed through group discussions during seminars.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students are encouraged to take more personal initiative in the planning and conduct of their preparation for assignments than at Level 1, and to make use of a broader range of resources; formal feedback on essays and informal feedback on seminar participation help students measure their improvement
Information Technology Substantial use is made of electronic text-databases (Jisc Historical Texts, LION), of electronic journals, and of Blackboard, and students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these
Personal Development and Career planning Through increased critical self-reflection and the development of transferable ICT, communication and research skills.
Problem solving Addressing the challenges of formulating and putting into practice a critical approach appropriate to text and topic set.
Research skills Close reading of literary texts; grasp of generic and intertextual relationships between texts; identification and analysis of appropriate historical and cultural contexts.
Subject Specific Skills Close reading of literary texts; grasp of generic and intertextual relationships between texts; identification and analysis of appropriate historical and cultural contexts
Team work Informal group work in seminars.


This module is at CQFW Level 5