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

Undergraduate Course: The Novel in the Romantic Period: Gender, Gothic, and the Nation (ENLI10375)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course surveys the novel in Britain at a crucial stage in its development, namely the decades after the French Revolution in 1789. In this period the novel's formal resources were developed in innovative ways in response to the intense ideological struggle prompted by this event, raising radical questions about women's role in society, the future of slavery, repression and political violence; new conceptions of national history and culture underpinned reaction against this revolutionary spirit. The course juxtaposes feminine and masculine versions of the Gothic, 'Jacobin' and 'Anti-Jacobin' fictions, domestic novels and historical novels, to introduce students to this period's transformation of the scope and style of the novel as a genre.
Course description This course will introduce the student to the history of the novel in a crucial stage of its development. Each week the student will think through questions about particular novels in three broad areas: the formal aspects of these fictions (narrative voice, focalization, plot structure etc); their thematic relation to the historical/political contexts in which they were written and published; and the connections between formal developments and political ideologies. The student's route through these issues will fall into three (chronological, but also thematic) stages. After an introductory seminar, three weeks will be devoted to fictions from the 1790s, written in the context of the fierce 'revolution debate' sparked by events in France. The last of these texts, Mary Hays's Memoirs of Emma Courtney, introduces the student to the role of gender in the defence or critique of social hierarchies, and the second three-week section of the course continues to explore women's writing, first the groundbreaking Irish 'national tale', and then by Jane Austen. In this part of the course, the student will be able to identify the role played in these novels by the categories of nation and gender in addressing the social and political questions explored in the previous three weeks.
At this point the student will submit a term essay (2,500 words) on the material covered so far. Research for this essay will consolidate, and expand in a particular direction, the knowledge acquired in preparing for and contributing to seminar discussion.
The last three weeks of the course turn to Scottish fiction and Scott's transformation of the 'national tale' into the 'historical novel', and responses to this from other Scottish writers. The structure of the course will thus put the student in a position to understand the gender politics of these male-authored texts, as well as their more obvious national and social commitments, and to trace the connection between all three.
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) OR 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) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For students who took First Year courses prior to session 2021-22, a pass in English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) or Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) is an acceptable equivalent to Literary Studies 1A and 1B.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  36
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2000 word coursework essay (30%) submitted mid-semester;
plus 3000 word final essay submitted during exam period (70%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the course a student will be able to demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of English Literature: essay-writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning.
  2. By the end of the course the student will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the political debates about ideas of nation in the novels of the period.
  3. By the end of the course the student will be able to distinguish the various genres and modes of fiction published in this period, and discuss the relation between them.
  4. By the end of the course the student will be able to analyse the relationships between gender, nationality and political ideologies as these are constructed by novels in this period.
  5. By the end of the course a student will be able to demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on a variety of critical and methodological approaches to Romantic period prose fiction.
Reading List
Ann Radcliffe. A Sicilian Romance (1790). Edited by Alison Milbank, Oxford World's Classics, 2008.
Mary Hays. Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796). Edited by Eleanor Rose Ty, Oxford World's Classics, 2009.
Matthew Lewis. The Monk (1798). Edited by Nick Groom, Oxford World's Classics, 2016.
Elizabeth Hamilton. Memoirs of Modern Philosophers (1800). Edited by Claire Grogan, Broadview Press, 2000.
Anon. The Woman of Colour (1808). Edited by Lyndon J. Dominique, Broadview Press, 2007.
Jane Austen. Mansfield Park (1814). Edited by Jane Stabler and James Kinsley, Oxford World's Classics, 2008.
Walter Scott. Guy Mannering (1815). Edited by Peter Garside, Penguin Classics, 2003.
James Hogg. The Three Perils of Woman (1823). Edited by Antony Hasler and Douglas S. Mack, Edinburgh University Press, 2002.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Seminar: 2 hours per week for 10 weeks;
plus attendance at Autonomous Learning Group for one hour each week - at time to be arranged
KeywordsNovel,Gender,Gothic,Nationality,Romantic Period,French Revolution
Course organiserDr Alexander Freer
Course secretaryMrs Anne Budo
Tel: (0131 6)50 4161
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