Course Description ^top
subject area: English literature
reading: A. Behn, Oroonoko, or, The Royal Slave(1688); D. Defoe, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719); S. Richardson, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740, excerpts); H. Fielding, An Apology for the Life of Mrs Shamela Andrews (1741), Joseph Andrews, or, The History of the Adventures of Joseph Andrews and of his Friend Mr. Abraham Adam (1742); F. Burney, Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World (1778)
Paul Cobley, Narrative. London and New York: Routledge, 2001 [New Critical Idiom].
Brean Hammond and Shaun Regan. Making the Novel. Fiction and Society in Britain, 1660-1789. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Richetti, John J. (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth-Century Novel. Cambridge, et al.: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
It is a resilient critical myth that the novel was 'invented' (or launched) with the publication of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe in 1719. In this course, we will investigate the 'invention' of the novel, but we will start a little earlier, with Aphra Behn's Oroonoko (1688), a text that can be read as a romance, but also anticipates the novel. We will look into the development and theory of the genre and then focus on key texts (Robinson Crusoe, Pamela - and Shamela, Evelina, Joseph Andrews). At the same time, we will situate the novel in its critical and cultural contexts (such as slave trade, colonialism, and gender) and analyse the genre conventions (a realistic depiction of middle class life, the bildungsroman, and the picaresque novel) of the early novel.
All course members are expected to join an expert group that is responsible for the structure of one session.
Reading List ^top
You should be aware that attending this course entails a heavy reading load. You should therefore have finished reading at least (!) Oroonoko and Robinson Crusoe by the beginning of summer term (preferably more).
We will cover the primary texts in the following order:
Norton Critical Edition: ed. Joanna Lipking, ISBN 0393970140
Norton Critical Edition: ed. Michal Shinagel, ISBN 0393964523
Norton Critical Edition: ed. Home Goldberg, ISBN 0393955559 (includes Shamela)
Norton Critical Edition ed. Stewart J. Cooke, ISBN 0393971589