The Victorian Novel (LIT4320.01)

Brooke Allen

In this class we will cover almost the entire Victorian period in England, starting with Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, published in the year of Queen Victoria’s accession (1837), and finishing with Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). Between these two, we will read major novels by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), Thomas Hardy, and Anthony Trollope. The class will place special emphasis on the social and cultural questions raised in the novels: poverty, industrialization, social unrest, utilitarianism, gender roles, crime, politics, the church. Supplementary readings will include works by Henry Mayhew, Friedrich Engels, Jeremy Bentham, and others. There will be midterm and final papers, as well as frequent quizzes, tests, and written responses.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Please submit writing sample to ballen@bennington.edu by November 15. Class lists will be posted outside the Literature office on November 27.
Credits: 4
M 2:10pm - 4:00pm; Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, Four Credit, Literature, 4000, Brooke Allen, Monday and/or Thursday Afternoons.