19C Novel in English

During the 19th century the novel provided a
range of authors with a genre that reached an ever-widening readership and
garnered much critical attention, either praising its innovations or condemning
its degenerate status beside more traditional, classical literary forms.

This course
will treat the novel’s development in Britain and America, as it reflected the
trends of Romanticism, Realism and (in Britain) Victorianism. Its appeal to a diversity
of audiences, and its increasing adaptation by writers as a form that could be
molded to the needs of its author will be considered.  We will cover a selection of novels that are
distinctive in illustrating the genre’s versatility in reflecting literary
movements,  representing significant
historical or socio-cultural issues, or documenting individual lives, and reaching
more readers due to its accessibility of form and language.

should be willing to make the necessary effort to complete reading assignments
when due.  This will facilitate their
engagement in the class dialogue, and enrich their comprehension of the course
theme.  It will also make the required
reading in the class less a solitary endeavor, and more an experience that
incorporates both the private and public dimensions of being a reader.  Needless to say, it will also bolster student
performance on the evaluative measures listed below the texts to be covered,
which are as follows:

Jane Austen’s Persuasion

Anne Brontë’s Tenant
of Wildfell Hall

Charles Dickens’ Great

Frederick Douglass, Narrative
of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Herman Melville’s Billy

Virginia Woolf’s The
Voyage Out

(Texts will be
ordered through Revolution Books)

Evaluation (With assignment
percentages toward Semester Grade)

  • Two 4-page essays, one of
    which may be rewritten for a higher grade (30% avg.)
  • Midterm and Final Exam,
    each with in-class component and take-home essay (20% per exam)
  • Miscellaneous brief
    writing assignments and/or quizzes (15%)
  • Participation (10%)
  • Consistent attendance with
    penalties for exceeding allowed absence limits (tba)