English 189 - Fall, 2022

Seminar in Literary Studies

Topic: Queen Elizabeth

Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
CRN: 32114
Time: MW 12:10-1:30
Location: 248 Voorhies
GE Areas: Writing Experience


In this small seminar (capped at 15), we will study Elizabeth I as a writer, a ruler, a figure dominating the imaginations of her subjects, and a continuing cultural obsession. We will begin with a discussion of how historical fiction and popular representations depict the queen. What, we will ask, is our own investment in Elizabeth and Elizabethans? To understand what these fictional accounts emphasize and ignore, we will then turn to biographies of the queen, her own speeches, letters, and poems, and crucial contexts for some of the most important writings.


Student preparation and participation will be crucial to the seminar's success (30% of the grade total). Students will regularly start and guide discussion; weekly writing will motivate and reward keeping up with the reading. There will also be some short research exercises and a final research paper.


Elizabeth I: The Novel, Margaret George
The Life of Elizabeth I, Alison Weir
Elizabeth I and Her Age, Donald Stamp et al