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EN245 The English Nineteenth-Century Novel

***This module is running in 2017-18 but the information below has not been updated yet. Full module information and reading list will be added by 31st August***

This is a Pathway Approved Option for the English Pathway and one of the Distributional Requirement options for the Theory, World and North American Pathways.

Course convenor: Dr Michael Meeuwis

Tutors: Waiyee Loh, Helena Goodwyn

2016/17 - seminars: Monday 5-6:30 Room H543, 1Thursday 13:00 - 14:30 and 18:00 - 19:30 (evening class - some students will have to attend this due to numbers) Room H507. Friday 14:00 - 15:30 and 15:30 - 17:00 Room H501.

Objectives and Outline Syllabus: This module aims to explore the form of the novel and the ways in which it develops in the particular context of nineteenth-century Britain, responding to rapid social change - and the possibility of revolution - and the correspondingly shifting understandings of class, gender, sexuality, nation and culture. We shall focus particularly on taxonomizing and defamiliarizing the genre of the novel, and in particular the "social novel": a form that sought to at once entertain, enlighten, and convince its readers. Novelists studied will include Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Oscar Wilde.

Please find an updated syllabus, as of 9 January, here. This syllabus covers the Loh and Goodwyn sections. Students in Michael Meeuwis' sections, please find your schedule attached here.

* Please note that seminars start in Week One *

Teaching times:

The course format will definitely be 1.5 hour seminars to be held weekly, reading week excepted. There will be two lectures in term two of the course, times and locations TBD. In term one there will be an electronic lecture that will discuss essay writing.


Hi all. You received emails about this, but please note the following lecture times for the first semester:

Tuesday 29 November



LIB1 (note not the same room as previously--this room is in the library)

Week 10:

Tuesday 6 December

MICHAEL MEEUWIS on the course to date


OC0.02 (this is in the Oculus, the new Teaching and Learning building)

Term Two Lectures:


Tuesday 24 January, 17:00-18:00, S0.21

WAIYEE LOH on Neo-Victorian Fictions

Tuesday 21 February, 17:00-18:00, S0.21

Method of assessment:Two x 2,500-word essays plus a 2 hour examination. Note please that the first essay will be due in week ten of the first semester; students should make their plans accordingly.

Information on the submission of essays can be found here.

The second course essay is due in to TABULA on Tuesday 2 May at noon.


There are no required editions, but most of the texts are available in Oxford World's Classics and given the choice you should go for these editions. Students are in particular urged to find editions that will give them information about unfamiliar terms and concepts presented by the novels; you will need to be active hunters after historical information, and this process is made much easier by a well-edited edition that will do this work for you. In any event you should have an edition available that will allow you to participate in class, and have this edition available at every class.


The reading load for this module is comparatively heavy, as many of the novels, while very rewarding, are also very long. It is therefore a REQUIREMENT of taking this course that you read at least two course novels during the summer vacation. Given the structure of the Warwick term, I would strongly, strongly suggest reading more.

If you would like to undertake some secondary reading, useful starting-points would be:

Deirdre David, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel (2001)

Francis O'Gorman, ed. A Concise Companion to the Victorian Novel (2005)

Raymond Williams, The Country and the City (1973)  

Michael Meeuwis, December 2016

Ford Madoz Brown Work 

Ford Madox Brown, "Work"

First essay topics, 2016/17 (distributed via email 18 Oct.)

Essay topics

Subsidiary links for first essay topic texts:




Second essay topics, 2016/17 (distributed via email 30 January)

Second essay topics

Sample 1st-class Essays:

1. Landscape

2. Tess and Wuthering Heights

3. Female Relationships

4. Getting On C.19th Lit

5. Foreign Spaces

Click here for lectures:

2016/17 Lectures

Michael Meeuwis on writing on novels

Andrea Salleri on Oscar Wilde

Michael Meeuwis on Realism and Records

Maria Cohut on The War of the Worlds

2015 lectures:

Space and Gender lecture

Lectures from previous years:

Houses lecture

Trollope Lecture

Nation and Narration lecture