Literature & Society, 1750-1900 - EN52029

Quick Facts

  • Postgraduate
  • 40 Credits
  • Semester 2
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • ** This modules will not run in 2014/15**

Module Details

The module explores the interplay between the nationwide perspectives of social philosophy and the more individualistic concerns of literary culture in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It offers students a chance to make broad connections across the period, at the same time as providing them with in-depth knowledge of principal theoreticians of culture in these decades and their major works.


Dr Daniel Cook



Coursework makes up 100% of the assessment, as follows:

  • 'Literature review' or annotated bibliography of approx. 2,000 words (30%);
  • Research essay of not more than 5,000 words (70%)


Emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary works can be read in conversation with, and in opposition to, social theory, with each seminar structured around close readings of an example of each style of writing.

[no reading]

The Natural Man
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality (1755); William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads (1798) (extracts)

Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) (extracts, to be provided)

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African (1789)

William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1789-94)

Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)(extracts, to be provided); William Godwin, Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798) (extracts, to be provided)

Hannah More, Strictures on Female Education (1799) (extracts, to be provided); Jeremy Bentham, Chrestomathia (1816-17) (extracts, to be provided); Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814)

William Hazlitt, Table-Talk: Essays on Men and Manners (1821) and The Plain Speaker (1826) (extracts, to be provided)

Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy (1869) (extracts, to be provided)

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (1848)

The End
Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (1927); T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land (1922)


Access the online reading list system