A handful of great novels from a golden age in English fiction, 1800-1900. We’ll study Jane Austen’s Emma (1815), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847), Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1860-61), and Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891). Topics will include: the evolution of realism; legacies of Gothic fiction; women’s place and power in society; issues of social class, love and courtship; the novel of character development (Bildungsroman). Some attention will be paid to the historical context in which these works were written, but the main emphasis will be on learning to read some classic texts with insight and appreciation.
In keeping with its CI-H designation, this class will include substantial work in critical writing and will feature at least one student oral presentation.