Major English Novels

Charles Dickens portrait.

Charles Dickens. Photograph, J. Gurney & Son. 1867. Location: Biographical file. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ61-694. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.)


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As Taught In

Spring 2004



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course studies several important examples of the genre that between the early 18th century and the end of the 20th has come to seem the definitive literary form for representing and coming to terms with modernity. Syllabi vary, but the class usually attempts to convey a sense of the form's development over the past few centuries. Among topics likely to be considered are: developments in narrative technique, the novel's relation to history, national versus linguistic definitions of an "English" novel, social criticism in the novel, realism versus "romance," the novel's construction of subjectivities. Writers studied have included Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Samuel Richardson, Lawrence Sterne, Mary Shelley, Jane Austen, Walter Scott, Emily and Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Joseph Conrad, H. G. Wells, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Salman Rushdie.

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Related Content

James Buzard. 21L.471 Major English Novels. Spring 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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