Romantic to Victorian Literature 1789-1901

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Module code


  • Level 2
  • Semester 1
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%
  • Thursday Evening Tutorial Available


The texts studied in this module form an introduction to one of the most appealing, varied and accessible phases in the recent history of English Literature. The work of the great Romantic poets is read along with a series of 19th century novels which link closely with the themes and moods of the poetry. These novels bring out, in fact, the powerful strand of Gothic Romanticism which is the counterweight to the social realism of the Victorian novel. At the same time, the module helps strengthen still further the reading skills the student has been developing.


Dr Michael Morris

Teaching staff

Dr Michael MorrisDr Nicole DevarenneDr Jodi-Anne GeorgeDr Timothy Morris, Dr Daniel CookDr Keith Williams plus occasional English tutors.


This module is delivered through two weekly one-hour lectures plus weekly one-hour tutorials over eleven weeks.


This module is assessed as follows:

  • 15% Seminar lead (15%)
  • Practical Criticism 1500 words (35%)
  • Essay 2500 words (50%)


Primary texts:

You will need your own copies of the following seven books which contain all the basic reading for the module. For the six novels, you are encouraged to buy a scholarly edition with introduction and notes. 

  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, volume 2, ed. M.H. Abrams, Stephen Greenblatt, et al. 8th edition. (W.W. Norton, 2006)
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Jane Austen, Emma
  • Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
  • H.G. Wells, The Island Of Dr Moreau
  • Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

The poetry to be studied is to be found in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, vol. 2. The lectures on poetry will touch on a variety of poems by each poet, but there is likely to be special emphasis on the following poems:

  • Robert Burns, the selection in the Norton anthology, with special emphasis on ‘Holy Willie’s Prayer’ and ‘Tam O’ Shanter’
  • William Wordsworth, the Norton selection from Lyrical Ballads
  • S. T. Coleridge., The Ancient Mariner, ‘Christabel’, ‘Kubla Khan’
  • William Blake., Songs of Innocence and of Experience
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H. 
  • John Keats., Odes and ‘The Eve of St Agnes’
  • Robert Browning, ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ and ‘My Last Duchess’ 
  • Christina Rossetti, ‘Goblin Market’ and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ‘Jenny’

Access the online reading list system