British Romanticism: prose (archive)

Course title: British Romanticism: prose
Instructor: Martina Domines Veliki, PhD
ECTS credits: 6
Language: English
Duration: 4th or 6th semester
Status: elective
Course type: 1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of seminar
Prerequisites: Introduction to English Literature
Course description: This module aims to engage students at a high level of scholarly rigour with the key themes, ideas and concerns of British Romanticism and with the wider historical, cultural and political contexts out of which they emerged. We will depart from the socio-historical contexts (Scottish Enlightenment, French Revolution, women rights) and a selection of texts which were central for the lively public debates of the period. We will then continue with the representative prose texts covering the gothic novel, the Scottish historical novel and Romantic life-writing. Primary readings will be balanced with critical essays.

Course requirements: continuous assessment (midterm and final exam, final paper, class attendance and participation).

Weekly schedule:

  1. week: socio-historical context, from the Scottish Enlightenment to English Romanticism, excerpts from Edmund Burke: Reflections on the French Revolution, Thomas Paine: Rights of Man, Mary Wollstonecraft: A Vindication of the Rights of Women
  2. week: gothic novel – genre development (Horace Walpole (1764)The Castle of Otranto)
  3. week: Ann Radcliffe (1794) The Mysteries of Udolpho
  4. week: Marry Shelley (1818) Frankenstein
  1. week: Frankenstein, cont.; chosen scenes from the movie Frankenstein (2004) dir. Kenneth Branagh
  2. week: historical novel, Scottish national identity
  3. week: Sir Walter Scott (1814) Waverley
  4. week: Mid-term exam, academic writing skills, topics for seminar papers
  5. week: autobiography, Romantic confessional narratives (from St. Augustine to Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
  6. week: Thomas de Quincey (1821) Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
  7.  week: Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, cont.
  8.  week: James Hogg (1824) The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
  9.  week: Dorothy Wordsworth (1800) The Grasmere Journal
  10.  week: final remarks
  11. week: End-term exam

Reading list:
Primary literature:

Horace Walpole (1764), The Castle of Otranto
Ann Radcliffe (1794) The Mysteries of Udolpho
Marry Shelley (1818) Frankenstein
Sir Walter Scott (1814) Waverley
Thomas de Quincey (1821) Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
James Hogg (1824) The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner
Dorothy Wordsworth (1800) The Grasmere Journal


Reader with selected critical essays

 Secondary literature:

– Anderson, Linda. Autobiography. New York & London: Routlege, 2001
– Broadie, Alexander. The Scottish Enlightenment: The Historical Age of the Historical Nation. Birlinn, 2001.
– Clery, E. J. Women’s Gothic: from Clara Reeve to Mary Shelley. Tavistock, 2004
– Crawford, Robert (ed.). The Scottish Invention of English Literature. Cambridge UP, 1998
– De Groot, Jerome. The historical novel. London, New York: Routledge, 2010
– Duncan, Ian. Scott’s Shadow: the novel in Romantic Edinburgh. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007
– Eakin, Paul John. How are lives become stories: making selves. Ithaca, London: Cornell University Press, 1999
Olney, James. Memory and Narrative: the weave of life-writing. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000
– Punter, David (ed.) A Companion to the Gothic. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2008
– Smith, Joanna M. (ed.) Frankenstein: complete authoritative text with biographical and historical contexts, critical history and essays from five contemporary critical perspectives. Boston: Bedford Books of St Martin’s Press, 1992
– Smith, Sidonie, Julia Watson (eds.) Women, Autobiography, Theory: a Reader. Madison: Unversity of Wisconsin Press, 1998
Townshend, Dale. The Orders of Gothic: Foucault, Lacan and the subject of Gothic writing, 1764 – 1820. New York: AMS Press, 2007