• ‘Modern' concerns in nineteenth-century literature: class, gender, science, spiritualism, crime, technology, sexuality.
  • The form of the novel, the short story and the poem
  • The literary movements of Decadence, Gothic, and the fin de siècle aesthetic.




In lectures, tutorials, and guided reading exercises (individual and group), students will learn how to study, analyse and talk about representative late nineteenth-century writing, employing central literary and rhetorical terminology. These exercises that aim to hone students’ observation and reading skills will be complemented by writing exercises where students learn to form an argument, employ critical sources and frameworks and, on the whole, structure an essay. 




We will meet once a week, for a 3-hour session on Mondays 9.30-12.20. The first two hours will consist of a lecture and group exercises. After the second hour, the group splits up and only one half of students stay behind for the tutorial. Here, we discuss in a smaller group and in more depth certain topics further but also do some hands-on work on how to read literature and structure and write an essay. We will form 2 tutorial groups in the first week of the semester. Tutorials will begin in Week 2. Each student will attend 4 tutorials in total.




Essay 1: 40%, Essay 2: 45%, and participation mark: 15%




Students are expected to get a hold of copies of the following texts.

  • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales of Terror (Penguin Classics)
  • H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (Penguin Classics)

Please note that hard copies of the texts may be required for in-class essay exams, so I highly recommend you purchase or borrow these texts, which have been ordered in the bookstore and should also be available in the library.
The other texts will be reproduced in the course handbook:

  • Louisa Baldwin, ‘Sir Nigel Otterbourne’s Case’ (1895)
  • Sheridan Le Fanu ‘Carmilla’ (1874)
  • Rosamund Marriott Watson ‘Ballad of the Werewolf’ ‘A Ballad of the Bird-Bride’ (1889)
  • H.G. Wells, The Time Machine (1895)
  • Edith Nesbit, ‘The Third Drug’ (1908)
  • May Kendall, ‘Lay of the Trilobite’, ‘Ballad of the Ichthyosaurus’, ‘The Philanthropist and the Jelly-fish’, ‘Woman’s Future’ (1887)
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’, from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Course Reader:

  • The course pack is available for sale at the Lending Services counter (Main Library, 2/F) at HK$111.00 per pack. Please make sure that your enrolment has been approved before purchasing the course pack. No refund can be arranged.



Last updated: 24 October 2018