Eighteenth Century Literature and Romanticism

Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Eighteenth Century Literature and Romanticism

  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Successful completion of introductory level English literature study.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content:

    This module explores the major authors and literary themes of the ?long? eighteenth
    century, from around 1700 to about 1820.

    Texts are read in chronological order, starting with some of the satirical poetry and the
    early novels from the first half of the century. The relationship is considered between
    satire and society, and ask why the novel came into being at this time. The ?Age of
    Sensibility? is then explored, reading sentimental poetry, prose, and drama to explore
    what was meant by that important term, ?sensibility?, and considering the politics of
    sensibility as it revealed itself in anti-slavery debates.

    Discussion will focus on the work and career of Oliver Goldsmith, who wrote in all three
    genres and can in many ways be seen to typify the period, especially in the shift from
    satire to ?politeness?. The later eighteenth century was an ?Age of Revolution?. Radical
    ideas such as women?s rights found their best expression in the work of Mary
    Wollstonecraft, whose Vindication of the Rights of Woman is a founding text of modern
    feminism. And it was an ?Age of Biography?: Boswell?s Life of Johnson and Godwin?s Life of
    Mary Wollstonecraft, and their impact on later generations are discussed.

    In the second semester, the poetry (and some prose) of the Romantic era is studied,
    considering the extent to which it was a natural extension of the Age of Sensibility, as
    well as some of the ways in which it was a new departure. Key themes will be the
    aesthetics of ?taste?, identity and the idea of the ?Romantic self?, and the literature of the
    Romantic sublime.

    The Long Eighteenth Century: an Introduction, Jonathan Swift: Satire and Society ,
    Alexander Pope: Satire and High Society, Daniel Defoe and the Rise of the Novel #1,
    Samuel Richardson and the Rise of the Novel #2, The Town and the Country , The
    Sentimental-Satirical Novel, The Eighteenth-Century Stage, The Politics of Sensibility: the
    Antislavery Debate, Mary Wollstonecraft, Feminism and Radical Enlightenment,
    Biography and the figure of the Man of Letters.

    The Romantics: Who, What, When, Where, Why? , The Revolution of Taste 1:
    Wordsworth, The Revolution of Taste 2: Coleridge, The Romantic Sublime,
    Romantic Selves, European Romanticism 1, European Romanticism 2, John Keats,
    Percy Shelley, The Byronic Hero.

    Lectures/workshops and seminars

    1. an unseen take-home exam (50%) - mixture of short, factual questions, close
    reading exercises, and a short essay.
    2. Essay of 2,500 words (50%).
    an unseen take-home exam - mixture of short, factual questions, close reading exercises,
    and a short essay (100%)
    STUDY OPTION 3: Essay of 2,500 words (100%).

    Study Option 1 = Whole Year
    Study Option 2 = Autumn
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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