“Well behaved women seldom make history,” as they say. Nor do they often make it into the pages of novels where we’re far more likely to find scheming women, defiant women, abandoned women, seduced women, dangerous women—and an occasional good one, too. As we read and discuss important examples of what has become one of, if not the most widely read literary genre today—the novel—we’ll pay particular attention to the role played by women and consider such questions as: Why are they called “novels”? Who wrote them? Who read them? Who narrates them? What are they likely to be about? Do they have distinctive characteristics? What is their relationship to the time and place in which they appeared? And, most of all, why do we like them so much? Authors might include: Daniel Defoe, Frances Burney, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Thomas Hardy, Sylvia Townshend-Warner.