ENG324Y1Y - L0201

The Victorian Novel


Tuesday 10 am - 12 pm

Thursday 11 am - 12 pm


C. Schmitt

E-mail: cannon.schmitt@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course

Dull and stifling in the popular imagination, the Victorian era was in fact a time of massive social, political, and technological upheaval. The period was deeply shaped by feminism; by Marxist and other critiques of capitalism and class-based social organization; by the increased visibility of non-normative sexualities; and by the advent of anti-colonial and anti-imperial movements. Novels not only reflected these concerns in their pages, they actively contributed to them. In addition, literary form itself underwent startling changes. The wholesale remaking of fiction often attributed to the modernism of the early twentieth century began in earnest in the middle of the nineteenth. An immersive encounter, this course aspires to do justice to Victorian novels in all their thrilling diversity and complexity.

Required Reading(s)

Novels by Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Elizabeth Gaskell, George Gissing, Thomas Hardy, Olive Schreiner, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde.

First Three Authors/Texts

Gaskell, Mary Barton; Eliot, Adam Bede; Dickens, Great Expectations.

Method of Evaluation

  • In-class participation
  • In-class presentations
  • Occasional short writing assignments
  • Two longer papers
  • One each term