ENGLISH 360 - The Rise of the Novel
Section: 001
Term: FA 2018
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course explores developments in early English fiction in the context of 18th-century British and Irish social history. We will be especially concerned with the way the genre attempts to map the connections between private domestic life and the public world of law, politics, and national affairs. Sexuality, family structure, and the descent of property – these are often seen as the great topics of the novel. But how are these “private” matters shown to interact with society? With national and international affairs?

As we trace the emergence of the novel as a new way of knowing the world – our first example is Defoe – we will also explore how and why the conventions of formal realism were so strongly challenged by Henry Fielding and Laurence Sterne. A somewhat different mode of skepticism appears in Samuel Johnson’s Rasselas, a philosophical novel that brings to bear all of Johnson’s formidable intelligence on questions of truth, desire, and illusion. Here the challenge to “realism” is broadly religious and existential.

We will conclude with the remarkable surge of women writers that marks the latter half of the eighteenth century: with Frances Burney’s brilliant satire about a young woman’s coming of age, Evelina; with the invention of the multi-generational historical novel (in Maria Edgeworth’s Castle Rackrent); and with two masterpieces by Jane Austen. We will read both Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.

Course Requirements:

Grades will be based on one brief paper (4-5 pages, worth 25%), one medium-length research paper (about 15 pages, worth 35%), and a mid-term exam (worth 20%). Class participation will count for the remaining 20% of your final grade.

ENGLISH 360 - The Rise of the Novel
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Fielding Tom Jones
ISBN: 9780393978629
Moll Flanders : an authoritative text, contexts, criticism, Author: Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731., Publisher: W.W. Norton 2004
ISBN: 9780393965940
Tom Jones : the authoritative text contemporary reactions criticism, Author: Fielding, Henry, 1707-1754., Publisher: Norton 1995
ISBN: 9780140439885
Oroonoko, or, The history of the royal slave, Author: Behn, Aphra, 1640-1689., Publisher: Penguin 2003
ISBN: 9780199536931
Evelina : or, The history of a young lady's entrance into the world, Author: Burney, Fanny, 1752-1840., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2008
ISBN: 9780192834706
Tristram Shandy, Author: Sterne., Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks 1998
ISBN: 9780192835635
Castle Rackrent, Author: Edgeworth, Maria., Publisher: Oxford university press 1999
ISBN: 9780143036234
Pride and prejudice, Author: Austen, Jane, (1775-1817), Publisher: Penguin Books L 20
ISBN: 9781551116013
The history of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia, Author: Johnson, Samuel 1709-1784, Publisher: Broadview Editions 2008
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