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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2008

E 328 • The English Novel in the Nineteenth Century

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35280 MWF
9:00 AM-10:00 AM
PAR 304

Course Description

What is "Victorian" about the Victorian novel? What does the novel tell us about the way "Victorians" perceived themselves and their place in Britain, the British Empire, and the world? Is there a difference between the nineteenth-century "English" novel and its Scottish and Irish contemporaries? Among many other things, the Victorian novel concerned itself with questions of identity: national and imperial, economic and social, religious and gender. People accustomed to finding their predetermined place in the social order began to see themselves as part of larger groups with common interests: owners and workers, landlords and tenants, men and women, Whigs and Tories. In this class we will test Disraeli's famous characterization of Victorian Britain as "Two Nations," one wealthy and complacent, the other dispossessed and menacing, will be a starting point for examining the Victorian novel's quest to find a stable basis for personal and social identity in the midst of bewildering change.

Grading Policy

Weekly response essays 20%
1 oral presentation 15%
2 take-home examinations 30%
1 paper proposal (250-500 words) 5%
1 final paper (7-8 pages) 30%


Sir Walter Scott, Guy Mannering
William Thackeray, Vanity Fair
Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
George Eliot, Middlemarch
Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge


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