Module Identifier EN35220  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Sarah H Prescott  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours 10 x 2 hrs  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: 2 essays (2,500 words each)100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students should typically be able to:
- demonstrate detailed knowledge of a range of prose fictions from the period 1660-1800

- relate the texts studied to a variety of critical accounts of the 'development of the novel' and to evaluate the validity of those accounts in the analysis of specific texts

- relate the texts studied to their historical and cultural contexts

Brief description

This module aims to question the traditional notion of the novel as a seamless progression from romance to realism and to emphasise instead the complex interrelation of different genres and cultural influences on the novel form. It explores the different ways in which writers experimented with, manipulated and subverted narrative forms and expectations and will address issues of gender, politics, sexuality, social morality and cultural change throughout the period, by considering rogue narratives, romances, religion, fictional biography, sentiment and sensibility, gender and authorship, politics, theories of narrative and narrative experimentation.
The period from 1660 to 1800 is crucial for an understanding of the development of the novel as the dominant literary form in British culture. In this module, we will explore the different ways in which Restoration and eighteenth-century writers experimented with, manipulated and subverted narrative forms and expectations as well as paying attention to shifting generic and cultural influences on the novel form. We will be reading a range of prose fictions from the period - from romances, rogue narratives and religious allegories to courtship novels, oriental narratives and sentimental fiction - as well as investigating contemporary debates concerning the theory of narrative, the social function of novels and the growing anxieties about the dangers involved in reading fiction, especially for female readers. In addition to a consideration of the historical dimension of genre, the module will address issues of gender, politics, orientalism, sexuality, social morality and cultural change throughout the period under investigation. The module is divided into two sections and charts the varied approaches to fictional narrative from 1660-1740 and then from 1740-1800. Three to four texts from each section will be chosen to study in detail. The module will be taught in two hour weekly seminars, which will be introduced by seminar papers.


Texts to be selected from the following lists:

Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World (1666)
Thomas Dangerfield, Don Tomazo (1680)
John Bunyan, The Life and Death of Mr Badman (1692)
William Congreve, Incognita (1692)
Aphra Behn, The Unfortunate Happy Lady (1698) [all in Paul Salzman (ed.), An Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Prose Fiction, Oxford, 1991)]
Madame de Lafayette, The Princess of Cleves (1678, trans 1679) [Oxford]
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress (1678) [Penguin]
Eliza Haywood, Love in Excess (1719-20) [Broadview Press]; The Injur'd Husband and Lasselia (1720s) [Kentucky]
Daniel Defoe, Roxana; or, The Fortunate Mistress (1724) [Everyman]

Henry Fielding, Tom Jones (1749) [Penguin]
Eliza Haywood, The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless (1751) [Broadview]
Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote (1752) [Oxford]
Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy (1759-1767) [Penguin]
Selection from Oriental Tales ed. by Robert Mack (1760s-1780s) [Oxford]
Frances Sheridan, Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph (1761) [Oxford]
Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764) [Oxford]
Ann Radcliffe, A Sicilian Romance (1790) [Oxford]
Mary Hays, Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796) [Oxford]

Selective Bibliography

Nancy Armstrong, Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel(Oxford, 1987)
Lennard Davies, Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel (Columbia, 1983)
J. Paul Hunter, Before Novels: The Cultural Context of Eighteenth-Century English Fiction (Norton, 1990)
Richard Kroll (ed.) The English Novel: 1700 to Fielding Vol 1; and Vol 2 Smollett to Austen (Longman 1998)
John Richetti, The English Novel in History 1700-1780 (Routledge, 1998)
John Richetti (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth-Century Novel (Cambridge, 1996)
Jane Spencer, The Rise of the Woman Novelist from Aphra Behn to Jane Austen (Blackwell, 1986)
William Warner. Licensing Entertainment: the elevation of novel reading in Britain, 1684-1750 (California, 1998)
Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (Chatto, 1957)


This module is at CQFW Level 6