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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Thomas Frank Lockwood
ENGL 498
Seattle Campus

Senior Seminar

Seminar study of special topics in language and literary study. Limited to seniors majoring in English.

Class description

The Rise of the Novel: Richardson and Fielding

A seminar reading of two great novelists of the English eighteenth century. The vivid fictional “histories” Richardson and Fielding produced between 1740 and 1750 made those years the most brilliant and decisive decade in the history of the English novel. All this began with Richardson’s strangely ridiculous but compelling story of Pamela, which in turn called forth Fielding’s rude burlesque Shamela and then Joseph Andrews. The same pattern of collaborative antagonism and rivalry appeared in 1747 with Richardson’s great work Clarissa, followed then by Fielding’s Tom Jones. And there is our reading: a lot!—but I have a plan for covering the texts part of the time slowly and intensively, part of the time faster and more swimmingly. We read the whole of the amazing Clarissa: a serious undertaking but a powerfully absorbing experience once you surrender to it, like being abducted by aliens. We will give due consideration also to the critical topic of the so-called rise of the novel, as understood both then and now. Some points of emphasis from the social and cultural period history will be sex, marriage, class relations, and law. No background in the period literature assumed. (Open as senior seminar to undergraduate students by permission of professor.) Please feel free to get in touch with me for more information (tlock@u.washington.edu).

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 Thomas Frank Lockwood
Date: 11/02/2009