“Romantic”in the title of this course refers to a period, not to a genre or an attitude. The period from 1780-1830 is a complex and important one, full of great canonical figures (like William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, and John Keats) as well as a crowd of interesting minor ones. The period includes one of the great flowerings of lyrical poetry in the English language, as well as the emergence of the historical novel, the Gothic novel, and the novel of manners. If you take this course you can expect to read a lot of poetry and a fair amount of prose as well. The course anthology and my lectures will furnish some historical background to help you put the reading in context and hear some of the intricate conversations as well as the sometimes stormy debates taking place among these writers. We will devote much time in class to reading poems (great poems!) slowly, carefully, and as fully as we can.
There will be frequent quizzes and short in-class writing exercises, plus two formal essays, a mid-term, and a final exam. Attendance is mandatory.
- THE LONGMAN ANTHOLOGY OF BRITISH LITERATURE, VOLUME 2A: THE ROMANTICS AND THEIR CONTEMPORARIES, edited by Peter Manning and Susan Wolfson, fourth edition
- Jane Austen, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
- Mary Shelley, FRANKENSTEIN.