Dr. Morillo English 650 Dr. Morillo

English Romantic Literature

Tompkins 103


T, Th 11:20-12:35


The course offers a fairly comprehensive introduction to Romanticism in England, focusing on those works by major canonized authors that any Romanticist is still expected to know, plus some works from the currently expanding Romantic canons and a taste of the most recent scholarship and disputes.

Course Requirements:

3 short 2-4 page papers, one of which is a book review of a recent scholarly work selected from the reserve readings; 1 short oral presentation on the reviewed book; 1 final 15 page paper. Subscription to and participation on the class listserver, eng650. Regular attendance, engagement, and participation in discussions.

For the final paper, you will select from one of the four topics and readings after the syllabus heading "candidates for the romantic canon." You will pick a work or series of works, as necessary for the length of the paper, and write an essay in which you explain what your selected work(s) add to our understanding of this important era of English letters-- what we have come to understand as canonical Romanticism-- in order to argue whether your work(s) should form a crucial addition to the Romantic canon, a recommended reading, or are best left out of the canon. This engages you in a very real, current issue in Romantic studies, for as more works have been added some have wondered, "Just what is Romanticism (or a Romanticist) anymore?" Consider not just the ideas but the artistry as well. Is there an identifiable Romantic aesthetic? You will need to refer to other works you've read to make your comparisons concrete, and you are encouraged to explore books and essays that have attempted to define and explain not just individual authors, but Romanticism as an "ism" (for example Abrams, McGann, Ellison, Henderson). You may dispute the very idea of canons and periods, but bear in mind that the more everything written in the Romantic period (roughly 1780s to 1830s) is included, the less the label Romantic retains any explanatory or classificatory value. If periods are pointless, what information is more important to learn and teach?

Required Texts

British Literature 1780-1830, Mellor & Matlak eds.

William Wordsworth, The Prelude 1799, 1805, 1850, Norton ed.

Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, Penguin ed.

William Hazlitt, Selected Writings, Penguin ed.

An Account of the Mutiny on HMS Bounty, selections to xerox

Complete JPGs of Blake's engravings for Marriage of Heaven & Hell,

from http://www.aa.net/~urizen/blake2.html


Th 1/9 Introduction

T 1/14 Mellor & Matlak, Introduction to "The French Revolution and the Rights of Man; Burke from Reflections, Wollstonecraft from Vindication, Paine from Rights of Man (9-25); Coleridge, "Once a Jacobin Always a Jacobin"(713); Wollstonecraft, Progress of the French Revolution (415- 420); Byron, " Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte" (896); Shelley, "Feelings of a Republican on the Fall of Buonaparte" (1062)

Th 1/16 Blake, Songs of Innocence/ Songs of Experience (all the selections)

T 1/21 Blake, Marriage of Heaven and Hell(287-293); complete plates from Blake website, see above for URL

Th 1/23 Wollstonecraft, from Vindication of the Rights of Woman (371-412)

T 1/28 Coleridge, "Frost At Midnight" "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison"

First short paper due.

Th 1/30 Coleridge, from Biographia Literaria, all selections (745-759); Hazlitt, "Mr. Coleridge" (in Penguin ed.); Robinson, "To the Poet Coleridge" (352)

T 2/4 Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey"; from Preface to Lyrical Ballads 1800 (573- 580); Dorothy Wordsworth, from Journals (660-663)

Th 2/6 First read around. Choose from Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth

T 2/11 Wordsworth, The Prelude 1805 version, Norton. Books 1-2

Th 2/13 Prelude Books 3-5

T 2/18 Prelude, Books 6-8; Mellor & Matlak, Sublime & Beautiful (134-138)

Th 2/20 Prelude, Books 9-10; Hazlitt, "Mr. Wordsworth" (Penguin ed.)

T 2/25 Prelude, Books 11-13; Hazlitt, "On the Knowledge of Character" (Penguin )

Th 2/27 Barbauld, "Eighteen Hundred and Eleven" Second short paper

T 3/4 Scott, Ivanhoe (Penguin ed.)

Th 3/6 Ivanhoe cont.

Spring Break

T 3/18 Ivanhoe cont.

Th 3/20 Ivanhoe concluded

T 3/25 Byron, "Darkness" (919); Manfred (927-945)

Th 3/27 P. Shelley, Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude (1054-1061)

T 4/1 Second read around: Byron & Shelley

Th 4/3 Shelley, The Triumph of Life (1156-62)

T 4/8 Keats, "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" (1257) "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles" (1261); Lockhart, "Cockney School of Poetry" (159-61)

Th 4/10 Keats, "Ode to Psyche" "Ode to a Nightingale" "Ode on a Grecian Urn" "Ode on Melancholy" "To Autumn" (1295-98;1308); letter selections (1261-1276)

Candidates for the Romantic Canon

T 4/15 Muted Voices: John Clare, "I Am" "The Peasant Poet" "The Mores" "Pastoral Poetry" "Winter Fields" "Cottage Fears"(1250-1253); Felicia Hemans "The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers" "The Graves of A Household" "To the Poet Wordsworth" "Casabianca" "Evening Prayer at a Girl's School" (1225-27)

Th 4/17 Slavery, Abolition, Romanticism: Mellor & Matlak (53-82); Barbauld, Epistle to Wilberforce (169); More, Slavery, A Poem (206-210); Yearsley, A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave Trade (263-67); Edgeworth, "The Grateful Negro" (546); Equiano, Narrative of the Life (192-9); Mary Prince, History of Mary Prince, a West Indian Slave (869-880)

T 4/22 Revolution and Romanticism Without France: William Bligh, from An Account of the Mutiny on HMS Bounty

Th 4/24 Peculiar Plants and Poetry: Erasmus Darwin, from The Botanic Garden, The Loves of the Plants (109-111)

Final Paper will be due during finals week