English 250 - Winter, 2017

Romantic Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Simpson, David
CRN: 44095
Time: M 12:10-3:00
Location: 120 Voorhies
Breadth: Earlier British


    Politics, Criticism, Literature.

    Romantic literature was produced during a period of extraordinary political crisis: the French Revolution, rebellion in Ireland, and extended global war are just three of its primary signifiers. Extraordinary claims were made by and for literature: as an agent of revolution or social change, and/or as an alternative to violence, and/or as a utopian projection, and/or as an always-coopted medium serving vested interests. The course will explore the demands made upon literature and literature's responses, examining works by (among others) Wordsworth, Shelley, Blake, Scott, Hazlitt, Edgeworth and various political theorists (e.g. Burke, Paine, Wollstonecraft).
    Since many of our texts can be read online or in inexpensive used copies or downloads, students may access most of the reading in whatever way is most convenient. Some of the less available texts will be available at the bookstore. I will make some other items available as we move along, perhaps in a course reader.


    One substantial paper (c. 20 pages) due at the end of the quarter. Attendance at all classes and one short presentation.


    Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent
    Walter Scott, Waverley
    ed. Marilyn Butler, Burke, Paine, Godwin and the Revolution Controversy