English 185B - Winter, 2019

Women's Writing II

Class Information

Instructor: Roy, Parama
Time: TR 10:30-11:50
Location: 118 Olson


    English 185B: British Women’s Writing II: 1800-1900

    Nineteenth-century Britain and its empire saw an efflorescence of women’s writing across a range of genres–fiction, poetry, and every form of discursive prose. In this course we will focus for the most part on the major female novelists of the century–Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Charlotte Brontë, and Mary Elizabeth Braddon. But we will also read the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Toru Dutt, the prose of Mary Martha Sherwood, Sara Stickney Ellis, Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Lynn Linton, and Frances Power Cobbe, and the short utopian fiction of Roketa Sakhawat Hossain. This course will explore the varied and complex ways in which nineteenth-century women writers attempted to create, maintain, and contest the concept of femininity (and of feminism). It will do this by thinking of these authors and texts in relation to the following issues and figures: gender and genre; education and bildung/formation; work, vocation, money, and inheritance; courtship, marriage, bigamy, and divorce; domestic saints, fallen women, female criminals, female monsters, and madwomen; empire and missionary activity; and female authorship and gendered reading publics.


    Attendance and participation; forum posts; quizzes; 4-5 page paper; 7-8 page paper; take-home final.


    Pride and Prejudice, ed. Donald Gray and Mary A. Favret (4th edition) , Jane Austen
    Frankenstein, ed. J. Paul Hunter (2nd edition), Mary Shelley
    Jane Eyre, ed. Deborah Lutz (3rd edition), Charlotte Bronte
    Lady Audley's Secret, ed. Natalie M. Houston, Mary Elizabeth Braddon
    Sultana's Dream : And Selections from the Secluded Ones, ed. Roushan Jahan, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain