English 130 - Winter, 2022

British Romantic Literature

Class Information

Instructor: Hulbert, Annette
CRN: 44408
Time: MWF 2:10-3:00
Location: 118 Olson
GE Areas: World Cultures Writing Experience


This class will examine the Romantic period as a time of revolution, reaction, and redefinition. We will study literature produced by writers energized by the ideas of revolution and the radical Enlightenment: William Blake and Mary Shelley, Phillis Wheatley and William Wordsworth, Mary Wollstonecraft, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and Jane Austen. Percy Shelley?s claim from his ?Defence of Poetry?that the literature of the Romantic period ?has arisen as it were from a new birth? gives us some idea of how these writers understood themselves to be shaping a distinctive period in literature and history. We will begin by reading a selection of poems that emerge out of the movement to abolish the slave trade and discuss how these poems frame the literature that follows in the turbulent period after the French Revolution (1789. We will then examine Romantic ideas about the relationship between the individual and nature, focusing in particular on how Romantic literature shaped many of the environmental ideas that remain with us today. We will discuss the ideas circulating about human rights, gender, and sexuality during the period, and we will end by studying how the incredibly popular gothic novel raises questions of social class and literary taste.

A note on texts: All of the texts for the class will be available either on Project Gutenberg (Gutenberg.org) or on Canvas. However, I encourage you to purchase a good print copy of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (the 1818 edition), Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. D, ?The Romantic Period? (any edition of this anthology will be suitable).


●Discussion posts and quizzes: 30%
●One 4-5page paper: 25%
●One 5-6 page paper: 35%
●Final exam: 10%


The Norton Anthology of English Literature, volume D
Northanger Abbey, Austen