English 178 - Fall, 2021

Topics in Nations, Regions, and other Cultural Geographies

Class Information

Instructor: Tinonga-Valle, Jennifer
CRN: 32333
Time: MWF 10:00-10:50
Location: 118 Olson
GE Areas: Writing Experience


Reading the English Country House

From Austen's Pemberley to Bronte's Thornfield Hall to Ishiguro's Darlington Hall, England's country estates have appeared in literature again and again. In this course, we will explore the evolving landscape of English country house literature and its continuing appeal for readers and writers. Much more than simply a setting, country houses form a unique geography as both a network of estates throughout England and as individual seemingly self-contained economic and social systems. In our readings, we will trace the tight-knit communities and expansive webs of relations formed by, around, and within these houses and their surrounding estates. We will consider accounts of this world from varied perspectives and in different literary genres, including eighteenth-century poetry, estate improvement guides, servant memoirs and personal diaries, a Regency novel, a Victorian ghost story set in a rural estate, an Edwardian detective novella, and a classic country house mystery. We will end the course by discussing the afterlife of the real and imagined English country house in American short stories, television series, and as British heritage sites.


Short Paper
Longer Paper
Quizzes, Short Assignments and Course Engagement
Mapping Project or Journal
Final Exam


Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
The Hound of the Baskervilles and "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", Arthur Conan Doyle
Canvas Course Reader: Poetry, first-hand and historical accounts, short stories, short plays, critical readings