Studies in Romantic Literature Syllabus

ENGLISH 382 (Fall 2003)

Dr. Timothy Brownlow
Office 232, English Department
Local 2122
Office hours: Wednesdays 5:00-6:00
In Duncan: Tuesdays 1:30-3:30
Duncan Writing Centre: Thursdays 1:00-3:00; Fridays 11:00-1:00


Wu, Duncan, ed. Romanticism: An Anthology. Second edition with CD. Blackwell, 1998.
Ballaster, Ros, ed. Sense and Sensibility. Penguin, 1995.
Summerfield, Geoffrey, ed. John Clare: Selected Poetry. Penguin, 1990.


The period we are studying is of immense complexity; trying to "cover" it in 39 hours is like taking a three-week coach tour of Europe—arrive Paris 11:30 a. m. Lunch at La Bagatelle, skip into the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, on to see Monet's water-lilies, coffee on the Champs Elysees—6:30 p.m.: coach leaves for London (notice Notre Dame floodlit on left as we leave).

You will find my style anecdotal, inter-disciplinary, and assuming a more-than-nodding familiarity with history. Like the Oxford English Dictionary, my explorations are based "on historical principles." Initially, you may be confused, but by the fifth or sixth week, discernable shapes should be emerging from the mist. There will be an expected minimum of reading, but you will be encouraged to follow your hunches and interests: you will be examined on the Mona Lisa and Monet (to continue the Grand Tour analogy) but if you fall in love with the paintings of, say, Berthe Morisot, you are free to tie them into the main theme.


I am aware that many of you will already have had a heavy day before our class. I have tried to include as much variety as possible—there will be extracts from videos, musical interludes, group work, as well as more formal lectures. In addition, a series of coloured overheads has been designed to follow up the themes of each class; these will be shown from 9:00 onwards. At 9:25 in each class, you will be given a 5- by- 3 index card and asked to comment on your evening's learning. These cards will act as a running commentary throughout the term, as well as providing invaluable feedback for me, and will be the basis of your participation grade (part of your final mark).



Essay of approx. 1500 words, due October 1
In-class writing on October 15
Group work on women writers, presented November 19
Research paper, min. 2000 words, due December 3
Participation, including index cards


[Page numbers refer to Duncan Wu's Romanticism: An Anthology (Blackwell, 1998)]

3 September                Quotations.
Introduce each other.
Go over outline.
Mindmap on the word "Romantic."
Overheads: introductory.
Index card.

10 September              STORM and STRESS
Video: "The Fallacies of Hope" (extract)
The Revolution debate: Richard Price, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Helen Maria Williams, James Mackintosh.
England since the Restoration (1660): the evolution of liberty.
Words, words, words and their dates.

17 September               LANDSCAPES and MINDSCAPES
The Riparian Muse: river poems or streams of consciousness.
Thomas Warton, p.3; Charlotte Smith, p.35; W. L. Bowles, p.155; S. T. Coleridge, p.450; Wordsworth, p.414; Wordsworth, pp.265-269.

24 September                PICTURESQUE and SUBLIME
   Hogarth's  Line of Beauty
   Edmund Burke, p. 5; William Cowper, p.11; Anna Seward, p.18; Mary Robinson, p.122; Ann Radcliffe, pp.157-8; Coleridge, pp.551-555; Wordsworth, pp.300-324 and pp.329-332. Wordsworth: "Preface to Lyrical Ballads." Pp.357-366.

1 October                      SENSE and SENSIBILITY (theme)
   Dr. Johnson and Boswell
   Hannah More, pp.27-30; Anna L. Barbauld, pp.22-25; Mary Wollstonecraft, pp.140-146; Dorothy Wordsworth, pp.431-440; Lady Morgan, pp.593-595; Thomas Moore, pp.617-619.

8 October                      SENSE and SENSIBILITY (novel)
   Read the Penguin text and be prepared to talk about it. If possible, rent the video version with Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant.

15 October                    CLASSICAL and ROMANTIC (musical interlude)
   6:30- 8:00   In-class writing; see assignment # 1.
   8:15- 9:30   Beethoven: "The Artist as Hero."
   N.B. The second part of this class will take place in the theatre of Building 356, Room 109.

22 October                   DELIGHT and MELANCHOLY
  John Keats: Sonnets; Odes, pp.1056-1064; 1080; Letters.

29 October                   INTEREST and PRINCIPAL
 Shelley: "A Defence of Poetry." Pp.944-956.
  Lord Byron: "Dedication to Don Juan." Pp.752-755.
  Byron on Wordsworth and Coleridge.

5 November                 INNOCENCE and EXPERIENCE
  George Crabbe: "Peter Grimes." Pp.37-44; William Blake: "Songs of Innocence and of Experience." Pp.60-84.
  Blake as artist.

12 November                RUSTICS and SOPHISTICATES
   Ann Yearsley, p.50; Robert Burns, pp126-134; Robert Bloomfield, pp.174-177; James Hogg, p.419; John Clare, pp.973-990.
  Find your own favourites in the Penguin edition.

19 November                MILKMAIDS and BLUESTOCKINGS
   Your choice of women writers.

26 November                VISIONS and REVISIONS
  Writer's block.
   The myth of Romantic spontaneity.
   Three versions of "Dejection: An Ode." Pp.495-504; 507-511; 544-558.
   What is Romanticism?