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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Lauren M Grant
ENGL 329
Seattle Campus

Rise of the English Novel

Study of the development of this major and popular modern literary form in the eighteenth century. Readings of the best of the novelists who founded the form, and some minor ones, from Defoe to Fielding, Richardson, and Sterne, early Austen, and the gothic and other writers.

Class description

As Jane Spencer, and many other novel historians, note “Eighteenth-century England witnessed two remarkable and inter-connected literary events: the emergence of the novel and the establishment of the professional woman writer” (viii). Using excerpts from Spencer’s The Rise of the Woman Novelist as our critical starting point, we will trace the novel’s development as a dominant and respectable literary form in the eighteenth century. We will also pay close attention to the way authors speak to one another through literature. How do our authors revise, critique, or continue one another’s novel projects? Is it possible to delineate distinctly masculine and feminine novel histories? Or, are the projects of male and female novel authors intimately intertwined?

Our primary emphasis will be on close readings of each text, but we will also supplement our discussion with presentations on eighteenth-century literary history and culture and very brief critical excerpts from Jane Spencer and Ian Watt.

Aphra Behn, The History of the Nun Eliza Haywood, The British Recluse Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders Samuel Richardson, Pamela Henry Fielding, Shamela and Joseph Andrews Frances Burney, Evelina Jane Austen, Persuasion

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Assignments will include presentation duties, short response papers, a final exam, and a 7-10 page final paper.


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 Lauren M Grant
Date: 02/01/2012