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COURSE NAME: "English Literature II: The Enlightenment to Romanticism"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Shannon Russell
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 8:30 AM 9:45 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. This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students in 200-level literature classes are required to produce 4-5,000 words of critical writing.

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, students will develop critical faculties and sensitivities to language and its meanings and will develop their writing skills as well as their ability to produce effective oral presentations.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Volume 3 The Restoration and the Eighteenth CenturyBlack et al.Broadview PressISBN: 9781554810475 / 1554810477   Almost Corner Bookshop 
The Broadview Anthology of British Literature Volume 4 The RomanticsBlack et al.Broadview PressISBN: 9781554813117   Almost Corner Bookshop 
FrankensteinMary ShelleyBroadivew PressISBN: 9781554811038 / 1554811031   Almost Corner Bookshop 

First essayThe first essay must be 2,000 words (about 8 pages), typed and conform to MLA style guidelines20%
Mid-Term ExamThe mid-term exam will include passages for identification by author and title. You will be asked to provide commentary on some of these passages.15%
Presentation PRESENTATIONS: Presentations are related to the reading for the day. Students are asked to present their topic using a selected visual or digital presentation (powerpoint, Prezi, etc.) which will help students understand the historical or cultural 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. Students should speak for 10-15 minutes. (10%)10%
ParticipationParticipation is mandatory. As part of the participation mark, reader response assignments may be given.10%
Second EssayEssays must be at least 2,000 words (about 8 pages).25%
Final ExamThe final exam will cover material from the entire semester.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 will receive an overall reduction of the grade by 5% for for each additional absence.  Where a third absence involves a meaningful conflict (see below) students will be required to produce makeup work. Should absences exceed six, students will receive a failing grade for the class.  Students must notify the professor by the beginning of the second week of classes if they know they will be absent from class for religious or other excusable reasons. Two late arrivals count as one absence.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 must notify the instructor in writing by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 

 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. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. 

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.





Introduction to the Course and Requirements
Civil War and its fall-out -- viewing from Simon Schama's History of Britain series

Thurs.    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. Sign-up for Presentations
John Bunyan selection from The Pilgrim’s Progress


John Dryden "Absolom and Achitophel"

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

Friday (Makeup for Thanksgiving holiday, November 23)
Aphra Behn Oronooko

Seminar: Aphra Behn: Writer or Spy? 


William Wycherley The Country Wife
Background Reading: “Print Culture, Stage Culture” 

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?   


Daniel Defoe Selections from Robinson Crusoe 

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.

Seminar: Coffee House Culture



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"

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


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".

Selections from Samuel Johnson in The RamblerThe Idler and the Dictionary; and excerpt from James Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson

Seminar: Hogarth:  Pictures of Life

WEEK 5 First essay due this week


 Jonathan Swift Selection from Gulliver's Travels

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


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

Seminar: Slavery and the Anti-Slavery Movement in Britain 



 Alexander Pope "The Rape of the Lock" 

Seminar: Pope’s social circle and his complicated background. The real-life story behind the poem.


Horace Walpole The Castle of Otranto



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"

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






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


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

Mary Wollstonecraft  Read selections in the anthology

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


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



Read Preface to Lyrical Ballads from the first edition and the 1800 and 1802 editions. Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey"; "Michael"; "I wandered lonely as a cloud"; "Ode: Intimations of Immortality"; "My heart leaps up" 


 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"



De Quincey's Confessions of an Opium Eater
Read In Context: “India and the Orient”

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


Percy Bysshe Shelley "Mask of Anarchy" "Adonais"

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


Tues. Second Essay Due
Deflating romantic pretensions  
Lord Byron -- selection from Don Juan

Seminar: Byron’s love life and death

Thurs. No class: Thanksgiving Holiday 



Mary Shelley Frankenstein


Mary Shelley Frankenstein


Mary Shelley Frankenstein

Thurs. Summing Up
Final exam