Scholars tend to label the period between the Renaissance and the modern era as the long 18thand 19thcenturies, meaning that they span from around 1680 – 1830 and 1775 – 1910, respectively, and that so many literary movements and cultural changes took place during these interim years that a narrower title is difficult to come by. In this course, we will examine these formative cultural and literary developments chronologically, dividing the course into four roughly sequential periods: The Enlightenment and Restoration Literature; The Rise of the Novel; Romanticism; and the Victorian Period. We will identify and contextualize the principal characteristics of each of these movements/periods, reading representative texts and examining their relationship to those texts that preceded or were contemporaneous with them.As such, this course foregrounds the movement, the changes, and the continuities from the neoclassicism of authors such as John Dryden and Alexander Pope through the emergence of the novel in the writings of Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, and Samuel Richardson to the Romanticism of William Blake, William Wordsworth, and John Keats to the Victorian era developments of prose and poetry by writers such as Alfred Tennyson, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. At the same time, the course places these literary developments alongside the transformation of the English nation. Over the course of this period, the modern United Kingdom emerged. From a monarchical government, it shifted to a parliamentary democracy, as its borders expanded formally to include Scotland and as its empire grew to its height at the end of the 19thcentury. At the same time, the British Isles were the site of unprecedented social and economic upheaval through processes of industrialization and urbanization. Intellectually and philosophically, this era saw the emergence of modern science and the displacement, to a large extent, of Christianity and tradition as the foundations of truth. In a variety of ways, writers responded to and helped to spur and foster these changes that define modernity, and in the process of doing so, they helped to create literature as a new discipline distinct from yet parallel to religious, philosophical, and scientific pursuits.
Days of the Week:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
- Level of Difficulty: All Levels
- Size: One-on-One
- Cost: Free
- Institution: Saylor
- Topics: Literature