ENGL 2286 Town and Country in Victorian Fiction (Spring: 3 )
The realism of the Victorian novel, in all its variants, was an attempt to encompass the experience of the individual within the context of society. But what was society? Was it a web of individuals (as in the work of George Eliot) or an agglomeration of changing social, economic or cultural forces (as in Thomas Hardy)? Could the tensions around gender be uncovered in the rendering of the micro-society of a country house (Wilkie Collins) or an operative ideology such as utilitarianism be exposed in an allegorized version of the city (Dickesns)? We will be exploring these and other questions in a class during which we will be reading eight novels from a period of historical change from the rural to the urban as the industrial revolution led people from the country to the town.
Instructor(s): James Murphy
Last Updated: 24-Jun-17