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COURSE NAME: "English Literature II: The Enlightenment to Romanticism "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Shannon Russell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 10:00-11:15 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

A continuation of the survey begun in EN 230, this course deals with works by major British writers in the period 1660 to 1832. Approximately equal attention is devoted to writers of the Restoration (excluding Milton) and 18th century, and to writers of the Romantic Movement.

A continuation of the survey begun in EN 230, this course deals with works by major British writers in the period 1660-1832. Approximately equal attention is devoted to writers of the Restoration (excluding Milton) and the 18th century period and to writers of the Romantic movement. The course may thus debate, in particular, the relative values of conservative and revolutionary impulses in relation to romantic and classical literary productions - eternal alternatives that underlie so much of man’s speculative and creative activity.  This period witnesses the restoration of the monarchy through to a return to the idea of revolution; a re-instatement of the rights of the king through to the formation of the rights of man -- and woman.  Attention is given to the particular ways in which this literature and its writers are embedded in and respond to the political, religious, economic and aesthetic interests of their cultural moment.  The course also charts the development and flourishing of a variety of literary genres including the rise of the novel. We end the course with a reading of a seminal text for both romanticism and modernism: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.



Students will gain a good basic grounding in the literature of the period from 1660 to 1832,  as well as the historical moment out of which it emerged. They will learn to be attentive to literature as a production of a particular set of cultural factors that they will be expected to understand. Students will be exposed to a variety of genres and will advance their knowledge of literary forms and figures through their readings. As always in literature courses, the development of critical faculties and sensitivities to language and its meanings, as well as the enhancement of their own writing skills will be an outcome of this course.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Broadview Anthology of English Literature The Age of Restoration and the Eighteenth CenturyBlack et al.Broadview Press 978-1-55481-047-5  
Broadview Anthology of English Literature The Age of RomanticismBlack et al.Broadview Press 978-1-55111-404-0  
FrankensteinBlack et al.Broadview Press1-55111-308-2  

2 Essays 25% each 9-10 pagesTwo typed essays of 9 to 10 pages conforming to MLA style.50%
Mid-Term Exam 15%
PresentationStudents will be assigned a topic related to the reading for the day. They will be asked to present their research findings in a some form of visual/digital presentation (powerpoint, flip snack, prezzi etc.), which will help the class to understand the context of the reading assignment. Please be attentive to the written components of your presentation as well as the visual elements, and provide a bibliography of the resources consulted. 5%
ParticipationParticipation is mandatory. As part of the participation mark, reader response assignments may be given.10%
Final Exam 20%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


Attendance is mandatory. Students who miss more than three classes  -- whether absences are justifiable (religious holidays, illness, funeral attendance) or not -- will be required to produce an additional five-page essay assignment to be arranged with the instructor and due no later than the last week of classes, to avoid an overall reduction of their final grade for the class. Final grades are reduced by one grade level (an overall final grade of A- will change to B+, for example) once absences exceed three in a semester.  Should absences exceed six, students will be asked to withdraw from the class or will be required to do additional work beyond the extra essay assignment, to justify their participation in the course.  It is advisable to notify the professor by the beginning of the second week of classes, if you know you will be absent from class for religious or other reasons. Two late arrivals count as one absence.

Exam absences:  You cannot make up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until December 9, 2016. 
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.



For a more detailed description of the course schedule, readings and other materials please consult the Moodle course. 

Course Key to sign up for the Moodle is:  EN231Fall17


(case sensitive password)




Tues. Aug. 29

Introduction to the Course and Requirements

Civil War and its fall-out -- viewing from Simon Schama's History of Britain series


Thurs. Aug. 31           Last Day to Add/Drop

Margaret Cavendish Poetry selections, Selection from The Description of a New World, call the Blazing World and The Convent of Pleasure pp. 3-31.

Samuel Pepys's Diary selections about the Great Fire of London pp. 112-23.

Note: Wherever available read Broadview’s “In Context” material

Background reading: Broadview Introduction to The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century




Tues. Sept. 5   Sign-up for Presentations

John Bunyan selection from The Pilgrim’s Progress


Thurs. Sept. 7

John Dryden "Absolom and Achitophel"

1 Seminar: The Popish Plot and the meaning of the Biblical references in “Absalom and Achitophel” 



Tues. Sept. 12

Aphra Behn Orinoco

2 Seminar: Aphra Behn: Writer or Spy?


Thurs. Sept. 14

William Wycherley The Country Wife

Background Reading: “Print Culture, Stage Culture”

3 Seminar: The restoration of the Theatre and cultural attitudes to it. What was it like to attend a play? Who went? What went on off-stage as well as on-stage?  


Tues.  Sept. 19

Daniel Defoe Selections from Robinson Crusoe

4 Seminar:  Who was Friday in Robinson Crusoe (our excerpt doesn't have his story)?  Consider his racial, cultural and religious significance in light of British imperial attitudes.


Thurs. Sept. 21 Rakes and Sluts?

Eliza Haywood's Fantomina and excerpts from the works of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (Look at Rochester In Context on the website). Aphra Behn's "The Disappointment"

5 Seminar:  Reputation -- literary and sexual -- and the woman writer:  the case of Eliza Haywood


Tues. Sept. 26 

Read the selections from Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea;  Mary Astell's "A Serious Proposal to the Ladies" and "Reflections Upon Marriage";  Lady Mary Wortley Montagu "The Reasons that Induced Dr. S to Write a Poem Called the Lady's Dressing Room"; Jonathan Swift's "The Lady's Dressing Room,""Epistle from Mrs. Yonge to her Husband," and "The Spectator No. 573".

6 Seminar: Coffee House Culture 


Thurs. Sept. 28 FIRST ESSAY DUE

Jonathan Swift Selection from Gulliver's Travels

7 Seminar: Political references in Gulliver's Travels. Who was Walpole and how did he change English government?


Tues. Oct. 3

Selections from Samuel Johnson in The Rambler, The Idler and the Dictionary; and excerpt from James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson p. 135

8 Seminar: Hogarth and his pictures of life and human nature

Thurs. Oct. 5

Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (Restoration Anthology)

Mary Prince The History of Mary Prince A West Indian Slave Related by Herself (Romantics Anthology)

Background reading: “Colonization and Slavery” on the Website and Contexts: The Abolition of Slavery in the next Anthology Age of Romanticism

9 Seminar: Slavery and the Anti-Slavery Movement in Britain


Tues. Oct. 10 

Alexander Pope "The Rape of the Lock"


Thurs. Oct. 12

Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto

Edmund Burke’s writings on the sublime

Thomas Gray "Elegy on a  Country Churchyard"

10 Seminar: The eighteenth-century concept of the sublime  



Tues. Oct. 17

The Labouring Class Poets: Read excerpts from Stephen Duck, Mary Collier, Mary Leapor and Elizabeth Hands

Robert Burns "To a Mouse," "A Man's a Man for A' That," "Robert Bruce's March to Bannockburn," A Red, Red Rose,""Auld Lang Syne"

Cowper from The Task Book 1: The Sofa

Oliver Goldsmith "The Deserted Village"

Thomas Gray "Elegy on a Country Churchyard"

11 Seminar: What are Land Enclosures and what was their social impact on the changing social landscape of 18th century Britain?


Thurs. Oct. 19




Tues. Oct. 24

William Blake "Songs of Innocence and Experience"

Background Reading: French Revolution and Napoleonic Era (Website)

View excerpt from Simon Schama's History of Britain series: Forces of Nature

Thurs. Oct. 26

Read selections from Anna Laetitia Barbauld "The Rights of Women", "Washing Day," "Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, A Poem"; Charlotte Smith "Beachy Head"; Mary Wollstonecraft "Maria or the Wrongs of Women"; Felicia Hemans "The Homes of England," "Women and Fame"; Mary Robinson "A Letter to the Women of England," "The Negro Girl"; Letitia Elizabeth Landon (L.E.L.) "Love's Last Lesson".

Background reading: Women and Society p. 100ff

Friday Oct. 27 (Makeup day for Thursday Nov. 23)

Mary Wollstonecraft  Read selections in the anthology

12 Seminar:  Mary Wollstonecraft and Tom Paine during the French Revolution -- ideas on the Rights of Man and the Rights of Women


Tues. Oct. 31

Coleridge "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Frost at Midnight"

Thurs. Nov. 2

Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey"; "Michael"; "I wandered lonely as a cloud";

"Ode: Intimations of Immortality"; "My heart leaps up"


Tues. Nov. 7

De Quincey's Confessions of an Opium Eater

Read In Context: “India and the Orient”

13 Seminar: Drug-taking in the early nineteenth century and British attitudes to the Orient


Thurs. Nov. 9

Read Selections from John Keats: "La Belle Dame San Merci" "Eve of St. Agnes" "Ode on a Grecian Urn" "Ode to a Nightingale" "To Autumn""Ode on Melancholy"



Tues. Nov. 14

Percy Bysshe Shelley "Mask of Anarchy" "Adonais"

14 Seminar: The Peterloo Massacre and what it meant in terms of shifting political and class relations


Thurs. Nov. 16

Deflating romantic pretensions  SECOND ESSAY DUE TODAY

Lord Byron -- selection from Don Juan



Tues. Nov. 21

Mary Shelley Frankenstein

15 Seminar:  Scientific theories informing Frankenstein 

Thurs. Nov. 23 NO CLASS




Tues. Nov. 28

Mary Shelley Frankenstein

Thurs. Nov. 30

Mary Shelley Frankenstein


Summing Up and Review


Final Exams December 4-7