Joseph M Butwin
Literature in an era of revolution that also sought continuity, when culture faced redefinition as mass culture and found in the process new demands and creative energies, new material and forms, and transformations of old ones. Readings range from works of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Shaw, to Dickens, Eliot, Hardy.
We will examine the apparent paradox of extraordinary Progress and unparalleled Poverty in mid-Victorian England through a reading of fiction, political prose writing and poetry. Readings include Hard Times by Charles Dickens (1854) and a variety of texts that help to explain the context of Dickensí novel, including selections from Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present (1843), Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1848), Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor (1851) along with a section on poems by Tennyson, Browning (Robert and Elizabeth Barrett), and Matthew Arnold. We will look at the art and architecture of the period. Lecture, discussion, short essays.
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