18th Century Literature

In introducing students to the poetry, prose and drama of the eighteenth century, our emphasis will be on the energy and inventiveness which characterise the literature of this deeply divided period. The first term which covers the literature of 1700 to 1740, will focus of the varied achievements of Augustan satire (Pope, Swift, Gay) and on the development of formal realism in the early novel (Defoe, Richardson). In the second term (post-1740), we will pay particular attention to the work of Jane Austen, but will also look, more generally, at parody and the comic novel (e.g. Fielding and Sterne), and at the taste for Gothic and sentimental fiction.