Brief Description of Course: A survey of the early development of English fiction within its literary, cultural, and socio-economic contexts. We will devote considerable attention to the “rise of the novel”—the rapid emergence of this genre in early-eighteenth-century England. And we will explore the role and influence of women writers, the complex interactions of comic and sentimental modes in English fiction, the popularity of the “gothic,” the rise of historical fiction, and many other topics. Alongside eight canonical novels, we will read a range of para-literary materials, including jokes, proverbs, short erotic novels, criminal biography and repentance narratives, folk-tales and animal fables, one-act farces, and even an early version of the Punch and Judy show.
Required Reading: Defoe, Moll Flanders, ed. Rivero (Norton); Richardson, Pamela, ed. Keymer (Oxford); Fielding, Tom Jones, ed. Keymer & Wakely (Penguin); Burney, Evelina, ed. Doody (Penguin) ; Sterne, Tristram Shandy, ed. New (Penguin); Lewis, The Monk, ed. Anderson & McEvoy (Oxford); Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, ed. Knapp & Boucé (Oxford); Austen, Persuasion, ed. Kinsley & Lynch (Oxford). M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms (Wadsworth).
It is important that all students use these texts, which will be available at the Bob Miller Bookroom, 180 Bloor St W. In addition, a short course reader (CR) will be available from the University of Toronto Bookstore.
First Three Authors/Texts: Defoe, Moll Flanders; Richardson, Pamela; Fielding, Tom Jones.
Method of Instruction: Lecture/Discussion.Method of Evaluation: One short quiz; first essay (2000 words); in-class two-hour first-term test (2 hours); second essay (2000 words); in-class second-term test (2 hours); participation, including timely completion of all readings; active and informed participation in discussion; and cooperative work on peer-review exercise.