The English Novel before 1900

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Module code


  • Level 3
  • Semester 1
  • 24 places
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%


This module introduces you to the work of some of the most influential authors in the history of fiction, from Defoe to Dickens, and explores the rise and development of the novel in relation to other established genres, such as social satire, biography, travel writing, the mock-heroic, fairy tale, comedy of manners, bildungsroman, and the like. This module features a penitent prostitute, a male heroine (as it were), a murderous monk, gothic parody, intrusive narrators, a madwoman in an attic, a demonic bride, escaped convicts, and much more!

  • Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders(1722)
  • Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740)
  • Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews (1742)
  • Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy (1759-67) (extracts)
  • Ann Radcliffe, The Italian (1797)
  • Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1818)
  • Charlotte Bront—ë, Jane Eyre (1847)
  • Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1861)


Dr Daniel Cook


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


  • Weekly journal/alternative (25%)
  • Close reading essay (25%)
  • Research Essay 3,500 words (50%)


Access the online reading list system