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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jamie E Oldham
ENGL 200
Seattle Campus

Reading Literary Forms

Covers techniques and practice in reading and enjoying literature in its various forms: poetry, drama, prose fiction, and film. Examines such features of literary meanings as imagery, characterization, narration, and patterning in sound and sense. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

*Angels and Demons*: The Home in 19th-Century Fiction

For Victorian writer John Ruskin, home “is the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from all injury, but from all terror, doubt, and division. In so far as it is not this, it is not home.* The notion of a domestic sanctuary that could and would protect its inhabitants from the anxieties of the outside world was a powerful structuring myth in the Victorian era. However, luckily for the student of nineteenth century literature, the Victorian home was rather more porous than Ruskin’s description would lead us to believe: the worries and struggles of the factory, the poorhouse, the brothel, the public house, the teeming streets, etc., all found their way across the threshold to bask in the glow of the Victorian hearth. The novels and short stories we will read in this course all meditate on the concept of home just as fervently as Ruskin does, but with one key difference: All of the homes in them will open wide the doors to *terror, doubt and division* and will give us all the fodder we need to talk about hauntings, ghosts, crypts, prisons, insanity, murder, vampires, and decadence. Readings will include introductory material by John Ruskin, Coventry Patmore, and Isabella Beeton, and from there, we will move on to works by the Hardy, Stoker, James, and Wilde. Our texts are mainly British, but we will also look to Poe and Melville as masters of these sorts of representations. This course satisfies the University’s W-requirement, and thus students will be responsible for writing and revising two 5-7 page papers, as well as writing weekly 300-500 word response postings on our Go-Post site.

Course Packs will be available at Ave Copy at the beginning of Winter Quarter.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jamie E Oldham
Date: 12/10/2009