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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Romantic Poets and their Readers (ENLI10359)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn this course, we will examine how Romantic poets responded to the challenges and opportunities offered by their social, political and commercial environment.
Course description Week 1 Introduction

Week 2 Hannah More
Village Politics

Week 3 William Wordsworth
"Preface" to Lyrical Ballads; "Old Man Travelling" (1798), p. 636; "Resolution and Independence", pp. 663-65

Week 4 Samuel Taylor Coleridge
"Kubla Khan, or, a Vision in a Dream" (1816), p. 792-94; "Effusion 35 (The Eolian Harp)" (1796), pp. 747-48; "Frost at Midnight" (1798), pp. 754-55; "This Lime-Tree Bower, My Prison" (1800), p. 780.

Week 5 Anna Letitia Barbauld
Eighteen Hundred and Eleven, A Poem (1812), pp. 105-11

Week 6 Thomas Peacock
The Four Ages of Poetry

Week 7 Percy Shelley
"A Defense of Poetry" (pp. 652-60)

Week 8 Essay completion week

Week 9 Lord Byron
Childe Harold (1812-17), Cantos One and Three, plus "To Ianthe"

Week 10 Percy Shelley (cont.)
"The Mask of Anarchy" (p. 644), "England in 1819" (p. 652), "Ode to the West Wind" (p. 628)

Week 11 Letitia Landon
"The House where Roscoe was Born", "Macau", "The Chinese Pagoda", "The Improvisatrice"

The Romantic period, usually defined as roughly the period from 1780 to 1830, witnessed the emergence of the first truly mass audience for poetry. For the first time, poets addressed not a courtly audience, an audience of subscribers or an elite metropolitan audience, but a massive, anonymous, socially diverse and geographically distributed readership. Literacy rates increased markedly in this period, and the total number of books in circulation exploded. These developments produced what historians of reading have theorized as a "reading revolution" in which "intensive" reading was replaced by "extensive" reading. They created conditions of print saturation, in which it becomes meaningful to speak of Britain becoming a "print culture". And they irrevocably altered the relationship between readers and writers. On one hand, a new volume of poetry could sell thousands of copies and reach readers across a wide social and geographical range. On the other hand, the relationship between writers and readers became an attenuated, commercially mediated one. In this course, we will examine how Romantic poets responded to the challenges and opportunities offered by this social, political and commercial environment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) OR English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) AND Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) AND Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025) OR Scottish Literature 2A (ENLI08022) AND Scottish Literature 2B (ENLI08023) OR English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) AND Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops are not considered for admission to this course. Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having 4 literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
In addition to the skills training common to all English Literature Honours courses (essay writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning) this course will aim to develop in students the ability to:
- Identify key aspects of how Romantic poets imaged the role of the poet in society
- Describe the evolution of publishing, marketing and reviewing poetry in Britain from the late eighteenth to the early nineteenth century
- Identify and analyse rhetorical strategies developed by Romantic poets to address shifting audience formations
- Articulate how distinct paradigms of reading exist in tension in the work of some Romantic poets
Reading List
- Altick, Richard, The English Common Reader: A Social History of the Mass Reading Public, 1800-1900 (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1957).
- Bennett, Andrew, Romantic Poets and the Culture of Posterity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
- Christensen, Jerome, Lord Byron┬┐s Strength: Romantic Writing and Commercial Society (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993)
- Erickson, Lee, The Economy of Literary Form (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).
- Franta, Andrew, Romanticism and the Rise of the Mass Public (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).
- Klancher, Jon, The Making of English Reading Audiences (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987).
- Mole, Tom, ed., Romanticism and Celebrity Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
- Newlyn, Lucy, Reading, Writing, and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception (Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2000).
- Raven, James, The Business of Books (New Haven, CN: Yale University Press, 2007).
- Raven, James, Helen Small and Naomi Tadmor, eds., The Practice and Representation of Reading in England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
- St Clair, William, The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).
- Williams, Raymond, Culture and Society: 1780-1950 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1958).

Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Seminar; also one hour per week (autonomous learning group at times to be arranged)
KeywordsRomanticism Poetry Literacy
Course organiserDr Thomas Mole
Tel: (0131 6)50 4283
Course secretaryMs Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
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