General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title History of British literature before 1900
Language English
Module lecturer prof. dr hab. Liliana Sikorska
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of English
Semester 2022/2023 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 15-HLBP1-AMU-PIE-11


Module aim (aims)

The major aim of the lecture in History of British literature after 1900 is to extend the students’ knowledge of literature as well as to present the most important aspects of the historical, social, cultural and literary contexts, in which the texts discussed during the lectures were created. The lectures facilitate the understanding of the literary works and develop students’ ability to interpret them. After attending the lecture in the summer semester, the students should know the major trends in British literature, the most important writers of particular literary periods and their major achievements. They should also be able to present their ideas in a written form. The participants should be able to analyze source materials in English. 

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Good knowledge of English; Knowledge of literature representing other cultural and linguistic regions. 


Week 1: Renaissance Comedy: Types and examples  

Week 2: Renaissance history plays and tragicomedies  

Week 3: Puritans and their literature: John Milton and John Bunyan   

Week 4: Restoration: Introduction, John Wilmot’s (earl of Rochester’s) poetry  

Week 5: Theatre and drama of the Restoration  

Week 6: Philosophical and cultural foundations of the Enlightenment  

Week 7: The beginnings of English novel: Formal realism and the first novelists  

Week 8: Anti-novels and other parodies  

Week 9: The Gothic: Art, literature and architecture  

Week 10: Pre-Romantic poetry  

Week 11: Lord Byron’s poetry  

Week 12: Romantic novels: Conventions and themes, Frances Burney, Jane Austen, Maria Edgeworth and Sir Walter Scott  

Week 13: Romantic novels: William Godwin, James Hogg and Thomas Love Peacock  

Week 14: Introduction to Victorian culture: Industrial Revolution and Darwin’s evolutionism in literature  

Week 15: Victorian realism: Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray 

Week 16: Victorian poetry

Reading list

Alexander, Michael. 2000. A History of English Literature. New York: Continuum. 

Barron, W.R.J. 1990. English Medieval Romance. London: Longman. 

Fraser, Hilary with Daniel Brown. 1996. English Prose of the Nineteenth Century. London: Pearson Education. 

Kelly Gary. 1996. English Fiction of the Romantic Period. London: Longman. 

Leggat, Alexander. 1998. English Drama: Shakespeare to the Restoration, 1590-1660. London: Longman. 

Mehl, Dieter. 2001. English Literature in the Age of Chaucer. London: Longman. 

Parfitt, George. English Poetry of the Seventeenth Century. London: Longman. 

Poplawski, Paul. (ed.). 2008. English Literature in Context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Sikorska, Liliana. 2007. A Short History of English Literature. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie. 

Sikorska, Liliana (ed.). 2007. An Outline History of English literature in Texts. Vol. 3. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie. 

Swanton, Michael. 1987. English Literature before Chaucer. London: Longman. 

Waller, Gary. 1998. English Poetry of the Sixteenth Century. London: Longman.