Scottish and Irish Literature - EN41027

Quick Facts

  • Level 4
  • 30 Credits
  • Semester 2
  • 24 places
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • A pre-1900 Century module.

Module Details

This module introduces you to the leading writers of Scotland and Ireland chiefly of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, and Robert Burns (in poetry), Maria Edgeworth, Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson (in fiction), and Oscar Wilde (in theatre), along with early modern balladeers.  In addition to examining these important authors on their own terms, we will consider the influence of lesser known writers on Scotland and Ireland's Celtic and Gaelic traditions. 

We will also focus on the development of a number of historical themes, including the unions between the Kingdoms of Scotland and England and Ireland, and the ongoing threat of Jacobitism; dominant aesthetic fashions such as sentimentalism; and perennial literary concerns such as food, blood and wine.  Above all else, we shall consider the impact of Scottish and Irish writers on a host of major literary genres, including the Ballad, the Fairy Tale, Historical Fiction, Crime and Fiction, and the Gothic.


EN31001 (Level 3 version of this module)


Dr Daniel Cook


The module will be taught by one weekly one-hour lecture and one weekly two-hour seminar over 11 weeks.


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

  • One 3,500 word essay (50%)
  • One 3,500 word essay (50%)


Primary Texts (Please consult with Dr Daniel Cook before purchasing)

  • The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse, ed. Robert Crawford and Mick Imlah
  • Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent (1800)
  • Tobias Smollett, Roderick Random (1748)
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four (1890)
  • Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)

Access the online reading list system

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should have acquired:

  • A solid grounding in many of the key texts and contexts in Scottish and Irish literature before 1900,
  • An appreciation of, and critical perspective on, what is distinctive about Scottish and Irish writing in English,
  • An understanding of the relationship between Scotland, Ireland and English literature,
  • An understanding of literary and critical terms such as sentimentalism, the ballad, the Gothic, and the like,
  • A continuing enhancement of personal-development self-awareness commensurate with final year of an Honours degree.