ENGLISH 121 [21]

British Literature:  Romantic, Victorian, and 20th Century

Section 5, 2-3:15pm TR, Beverly Taylor, GL 304

Office Hours: Tues 1-1:50pm, Thurs 1-1:50pm and by appointment in GL 501


Home.gif (856 bytes)                                       Related Links.gif (1072 bytes)



“We are only here once.  We’ll never be here again, and we have to be as alert to the beauty and urgency of that as we can be, and that’s part of the function of literature.”




 Honor Code:  In this class, by presenting oral material or submitting written work bearing your name, you implicitly affirm that you have abided by the letter and the spirit of the University’s Honor Code in preparing it.  If you have any questions about how to acknowledge resources, please talk with me.


Writing assignments

  1. You will have one 75-minute exam, on 3 October. 

  2. In addition, you will write two essays (each 5-10 pages long)--the first is due on 17 October, and the second on 30 November.  We will discuss the nature of these papers and possible topics in class.  Be forewarned:  Your papers will be evaluated in terms of both their content and their writing style, so plan ahead to give yourself time to revise your prose. 

  3. Throughout the semester you may also write, in class, brief comments on previously unannounced questions or topics.


Attendance, your responsibilities, and grades:  This is not a correspondence course or any form of distance learning experience.  Attendance and class participation are necessary, and you will receive a grade on attendance and participation that is equal in weight to a grade on a test or paper.  It is imperative that you prepare for class and participate regularly.  If you have difficulties during the semester which interfere with your ability to participate fully, please talk with me. 

Department policy suggests a failing grade for a student who misses more than 6 classes on a TR schedule.  NOTE: I will not grade written work submitted by phantom students who do not attend class regularly; you cannot pass the course by skipping classes and sending in written assignments anyway.  If you are unable to attend class regularly, you should drop the course; if difficulties arise after the deadline for dropping, you should see an advisor or dean in Steele Bldg. about withdrawing from the class. 

Your grade will have 6 components:  (1) 75-minute exam; (2 & 3) papers; (4) class attendance and participation; (5 & 6) final exam.


 Final Exam:  Monday, 11 Dec., 4:00-7:00 p.m.  The exam (composed of essay topics) will cover all works on this syllabus.  Please bring blue books.



Aug 24:  Introduction to the Romantic Period

       29:  William Wordsworth: She dwelt among the untrodden ways; Lines Written in Early Spring; I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (and Apr. 15th entry from Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere Journals, pp. 396-98); Simon Lee; We Are Seven; Preface to Lyrical Ballads; Michael.  Cultural Issues: Edmund Burke: from Reflections on the Revolution in France.  Mary Wollstonecraft: from A Vindication of the Rights of Men.  Thomas Paine: from Rights of Man.

       31:  no class (instructor attending a conference)

Sept 5: Wordsworth: Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey; from The Prelude—Book First, Book Fourth (The Walk Home from the Dance. The Discharged Soldier)

       7:  from The Prelude--Book Fifth (The Dream of the Arab), Book Fourteenth (The Vision on Mount Snowden & Conclusion: “The Mind of Man”). 

     12:  Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Frost at Midnight; from Biographia Literaria—ch 14 & ch. 17; Kubla Khan

     14:  The Rime of the Ancient Mariner; Christabel

     19:  Jane Austen: Plan of a Novel.  Percy B. Shelley: Ozymandias; The Cloud; To a Sky-Lark

     21:  Ode to the West Wind; Mont Blanc; Hymn to Intellectual Beauty

     26:  John Keats: from Endymion: The “Pleasure Thermometer”; La Belle Dame Sans Merci; The Eve of St. Agnes; Lamia

     28:  Ode to a Nightingale; Ode on a Grecian Urn; Ode on Melancholy

Oct 3:  Exam on Romantic period

       5:  Introduction to the Victorian Period; Elizabeth Barrett Browning: To George Sand (2 sonnets), from Aurora Leigh (from Book 1, from Book 5); Sonnets from the Portuguese (4 sonnets).  Cultural Issues: Sarah Ellis, from The Women of England; Coventry Patmore, from The Angel in the House; John Ruskin, from Of Queen’s Gardens; Dinah M. Mulock, from A Woman’s Thoughts about Women; Florence Nightingale, from Cassandra

     10:  EBB: The Cry of the Children [also read excerpts from The Children’s Employment Commission, First Report of the Commissioners, Mines, pp. 1562-64; and Henry Mayhew, from London Labour and the London Poor, pp. 1576-77]; The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point; Mother and Poet

     12:  Alfred Tennyson: Mariana; The Lady of Shalott; The Epic (including lines 170-440 of The Passing of Arthur)

     17:  The Lotos-Eaters; Ulysses; Tithonus.  Paper #1 due.

     19:  Fall Break—no classes

     24:  Break, Break, Break; from In Memoriam (Prologue, # 1-8, 13-14, 21, 28-30, 39, 48, 50, 54-59, 78, 84, 93-108, Epilogue); Crossing the Bar

     26:  Robert Browning: Porphyria’s Lover; My Last Duchess; The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church; An Epistle Containing the Strange Medical Experience of Karshish, the Arab Physician

     31:  Fra Lippo Lippi; Andrea del Sarto; Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came

Nov 2: Charles Dickens: Hard Times

       7:  Hard Times

       9:  Introduction to the 20th Century; Ezra Pound, In a Station of the Metro (p. 2008) William Butler Yeats: The Lake Isle of Innisfree; The Rose of the World; When You Are Old; Adam’s Curse; A Prayer for My Daughter

     14:  Leda and the Swan; Lapis Lazuli; The Circus Animals’ Desertion

     16:  The Second Coming; Sailing to Byzantium; Byzantium

     21:  Virginia Woolf: The Mark on the Wall; A Room of One’s Own

     23:  Thanksgiving—no class

     15:  James Joyce: Araby.  D.H. Lawrence: The Horse Dealer’s Daughter

     28:  T.S. Eliot: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock; Journey of the Magi; The Waste Land

     30:  The Waste Land.  Paper #2 due.

Dec 5:  The Waste Land.  Seamus Heaney: Digging; Punishment; The Skunk.  Concluding remarks.


Final Exam:  Monday, Dec 11 @  4:00-7:00 p.m.  Please bring blue books.