We will investigate the rhetoric of the novel in language, plot, structure, character and narration; its developments in the representation of places, events, sexual identity, and states of mind; and the evolution of the role of the novel itself as the great chronicler and critic of a changing society, and an increasingly expanding readership. In exploring the relation between the novel and society, we will look at fictional representations of and attitudes to topics such as money, social class, empire, the family and sexuality. We The novel developed and perfected forms of fictional realism, and this course is also interested in the history, ideology and aesthetics of realism, and alternatives to this dominant mode. 




The senior course gives students an opportunity to examine a literary genre, analyze its rhetoric and study its development. It will deepen their knowledge of literature and the expressive resources of the English language, and help them to a better understanding of history and of the roots of modernity. They will further practice and improve their skills of critical reading and analysis, oral discussion and argument, and thoughtful and effective writing. They will also be given some opportunity for guided but independent research. The chief objective is to help students to further develop their communicative skills and intellectual discipline, and to consolidate and extend their awareness of the cultures of other people, times and places, and thus to enrich their own.




We will meet twice a week, for a 2 hour lecture, and an hour-long small group tutorial. There is also an ongoing Moodle forum for information and discussion, where students can share their views and questions with each other and with the course teacher. Important supplementary material will also be posted on the Moodle. There is thus a substantial interactive element to this course. And of course students are encouraged to also consult the course teacher/ tutor in regular office hours or by appointment.




Course assessment is 100% coursework comprising one short reflection paper (20%); one annotated bibliography exercise (20%); one research paper (45%); tutorial participation (10%)

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment. 




Core texts:

Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (1722).
Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740).
Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews (1742)
Frances Burney, Evelina (1778).

Image result for Daniel Defoe Moll FlandersImage result for Samuel Richardson PamelaImage result for Henry Fielding Joseph AndrewsImage result for Frances Burney Evelina

A critical reader containing critical scholarship, as well as relevant excerpts from other novelistic texts will also be available.



Last updated: 13 July 2018