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Augustans and Romantics


This course draws together two periods of English literary history that have traditionally been seen in strong contrast - an antithesis which was frequently underscored by critical manifestos issued during the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries.

The course explores what appear to be the important distinctions, but also considers continuities that may exist between the two periods.

The topics you may study include:

  • Prose and verse satires of the early eighteenth century.
  • The emergent novel.
  • Attitudes towards the language of poetry.
  • Romantic poetry; author-based studies.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should now:

  • Have a detailed knowledge of a range of Augustan and Romantic texts.
  • Have acquired the knowledge and skills to identify the key formal and thematic of the literature of the period
  • Be able to demonstrate critical understanding of how this period and its genres are related to relevant cultural and historical contexts.
  • Have a critical understanding of the historical development of a number of literary genres (including satire in prose and verse and the emergent novel).
  • Be able to employ appropriate interpretative models and critical terms to read the different texts studied on the course.

Essential reading

You may choose to study works from the following:

  • Swift
  • Defoe
  • Gay
  • Pope
  • Thomson
  • Richardson
  • Fielding
  • Sterne
  • Gray
  • Goldsmith
  • Sheridan
  • Blake
  • Wordsworth
  • Coleridge
  • Keats
  • Austen