Module Identifier EN30730  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Damian Walford Davies  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Mrs Carol M Marshall, Dr D Kevin Mills, Dr Richard J Marggraf-Turley, Dr William G Slocombe  
Pre-Requisite EN10120 , EN10320  
Course delivery Lecture   30 Hours 30 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours 10 x 1 hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  75%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2,500 word essay25%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. 

Learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate a detailed knowledge of a range of texts drawn from the period 1789-1900;

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

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

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


This module aims:

1. to introduce students to a range of poetry, fiction and non-fictional prose from the period of the French Revolution to the Fin de Siecle;

2. to locate this writing in the literary, socio-historical and cultural contexts in which it was produced and read;

3. to encourage students to reflect critically on the texts chosen for special study;

4. to encourage students to explore the relations between literary texts and between texts and their contexts;

5. to encourage students to familiarize themselves with recent critical debates about nineteenth-century literature.

Brief description

This module on Romantic and Victorian literature does not attempt to survey the whole of the extraordinary output of this the first information age, but instead seeks to introduce students to some of the range and diversity of writing in Britain from the period of the French revolution through to the fin de siecle. The lecture and seminar programme will situate this dynamic body of writing in the various contexts of its production: political radicalism, electoral reform, industrialization, consumerism, urbanization, imperial expansion, and the changing role of women in society.


Texts and Topics

1. Romanticism and Romantic Poetry
Wordsworth and Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads; Keats, selected poems.

2. Romantic autobiography
Thomas De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium Eater

3. The continued rise of the woman novelist
Jane Austen, Persuasion

4. Victorian Fiction
Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son

5. Victorian Poetry
Tennyson, Maud; the dramatic monologue; selected Victorian women's poetry

6. Fiction at the fin de siecle: the rise of the short story
Conan Doyle, selected Sherlock Holmes stories

Lectures and seminars

Lectures: This module will have three lectures per week. Some lectures in each of the six blocks outlined above will focus on key texts (see below), others will use the key texts as the focus for the consideration of broader contextual issues.

Weekly seminars: will focus on seminar texts (see below).


Students are required to:

1. Submit one essay of c. 2,500 words with detailed reference to AT LEAST ONE of the Romantic texts taught in the first half of the semester (i.e., up to and including Jane Austen). There will be both text- and more general topic-based questions. The essay will contribute 25% of the module mark.

2. Sit a three hour examination at the end of the semester, in which students will be required to answer TWO questions, choosing one from each section of the paper. Section 1 will consist of questions on the Victorian texts taught in the second half of the module (i.e., post-Jane Austen). Section 2 will consist of general questions on nineteenth-century literature, and will require you to answer on AT LEAST TWO texts. (In this section you may write either on Romantic texts, or on Victorian texts, or on both.) The examination will contribute 75% of the module mark.

There must be no overlap of material either (a) between the essay you have written and the examination answers, or (b) between two examination answers. Taken together, your essay and your two examination answers should demonstrate knowledge of at least FOUR authors.

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (2002) Lyrical Ballads Wordsworth Poetry Library
John Keats (ed. John Barnard) (2003) Selected Poems Penguin
Jane Austen (ed. Gillian Beer) (1998) Persuasion Penguin
Thomas De Quincey (ed. Alethea Hayter) (1986) Confessions of an English Opium Eater Penguin
Alfred Lord Tennyson (ed. Aidan Day) (1991) Tennyson: Selected Poems Penguin
Charles Dickens (ed. Valerie Purton) (1997) Dombey and Son Everyman
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (ed. Iain Pears) (2001) The Adventures and the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes Penguin


This module is at CQFW Level 6