Many have thought the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) the great age of the English novel. We will begin with Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, published in the first year of the Victorian Era, a novel full of the social concerns that obsessed Dickens and his contemporaries. We will move on to Middlemarch by George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), a powerful examination of the plight of the gifted woman in mid-Victorian England. We will read The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler’s brutal send-up of nineteenth-century bourgeois manners and morals; Thomas Hardy’s tragic masterpiece The Mayor of Casterbridge; and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, a classic of the decadent 1890s.
Corequisite: Students are required to be in attendance at all Literature evenings and Poetry at Bennington events (typically on alternating Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm).
Interested students should submit a writing sample by May 6, 2015. Class list will be posted May 10.