Course Descriptions

ENG 3351

Victorian Literature

Christine Chaney

TuTh 12:50–2:50 p.m.

Some of the greatest and most popular stories ever written come from this fascinating age.

The Victorian period (1837-1901) is "the great age of reading," according to most scholars, where everyone from Queen Victoria to the poor chimney sweep were reading the novels and stories of the time by the handful. These defining literary tales helped those Victorian readers make sense of ther restless and changing age -- a time period very like our own, in fact, struggling with both progress and tradition, prosperity and unrest.

And like our century, too, Victorian culture was shaped by social networks, large and small -- from the vast city with its embracing, stifling web of streets to the mirrored web of the family relationships in the home and the drawing room.

It is also the age of "the new" where children's literature, science fiction, and the detective novel were first invented. Even early filmmakers are said to have shaped the very first movies based on Victorian novels by Dickens.

Join us, then, in investigating this "distant mirror" of so many ideas and issues relevant to our own culture today, too -- and some of the greatest stories you will ever read.

Texts: will include David Copperfield, Jane Eyre, North and South, and The War of the Worlds

[And here is a YouTube link to a fan's enthusiasm:  Dickens Tribute ]

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Jane Austen
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