ENG324Y -- Fiction, 1832 - 1900

May 2001 - August 2001
Instructor: Ann-Barbara Graff
Office: TBA
Office Hours: TR 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. or by appointment
Class Meeting Times: TR 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Site Map
Course Description
Required Texts
Recommended Text
Some thoughts on how to write an essay?
English @ Erindale
Contact information
George Hayter, Queen Victoria (1863)
National Portrait Gallery

| First Essay Topics | Second Essay Topics |

Course Description

Brief Description of Course: This intensive course provides an introduction to the Victorian novel. We will focus our attention on some of the preeminent novelists of the period, attending to issues of style and form as well as to how the novel participates in Victorian debates about poverty, sexuality, morality, change, justice, nation-building, and imperialism. We will study how the Victorian novel helped an emergent industrial society imagine itself into being.

Our progress through the period will be roughly chronological. We will study Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (Oxford), Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights (Penguin), Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton (Broadview), Anthony Trollope's Barchester Towers (Oxford), Mary Elizabeth Braddon's Lady Audley's Secret (Oxford), Charles Dickens's Great Expectations (Broadview), Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone (Broadview), George Eliot's Middlemarch (Penguin), Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Broadview), George Gissing's The Odd Women (Broadview), and--time permitting--Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure (Braodview). We will read William Makepeace Thackerary's Vanity Fair (Oxford) in instalments. In order to situate these works in their social, political and aesthetic contexts, we will supplement our literary readings with a variety of non-fictional writings from the Victorian period, ranging from public health reports to medical case studies, to contemporary essays, political speeches and reviews.

All texts are available at the St. George Campus Bookstore. If you have a copy of the text already (or if you find a cheap copy in a used bookstore), don't worry about the edition. The editions I have selected are usually the most readily accessible and/or the most helpful (with editorial appendices). In the case of most of these texts, you will be reading them in other courses in later years, so it is advisable to buy a copy that will hold up under the stress. To help defray the cost of the books (and because of the quality of the editions), I have ordered a number of books from Broadview Press. Broadview offers a promotion whereby you will be charged for 3 books when you purchase 4. I have asked that the four most expensive texts (Mary Barton, The Moonstone, Jude the Obscure, and The Odd Women) be shrinkwrapped for this purpose.

Required Texts

Texts (click on image for the author's main Web site)

Ann-Barbara Graff

Course Reader


William Makepeace Thackeray

Vanity Fair (Oxford)

"Before the Curtain," the Preface to Vanity Fair


Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, (Penguin)


Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights (Penguin)


Elizabeth Gaskell

Mary Barton (Broadview)


Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone (Broadview)


Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Lady Audley's Secret (Oxford)


Charles Dickens

Great Expectations (Broadview)


Anthony Trollope

Barchester Towers (Oxford)


George Eliot

Middlemarch (Penguin)


Robert Louis Stevenson

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Broadview)


George Gissing

The Odd Women (Broadview)


Thomas Hardy

Jude the Obscure

William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair (Oxford)
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (Oxford)
Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights (Penguin)
Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton (Broadview)
Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone(Broadview)
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley's Secret (Oxford)
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (Broadview)
Anthony Trollope, Barchester Towers (Oxford)
George Eliot, Middlemarch (Penguin)
Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Broadview)
George Gissing, The Odd Women (Broadview)
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (Broadview)

Films will be recommended or screened when available.

Recommended Texts

M.H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms (Holt)
The University of Toronto's Glossary of Literary Terms Prof. Greig Henderson


Two tests; two essays; two short responses; participation

How to Write an Essay?

Go to "Some Thoughts" page.


Useful Pointers to e-Texts

English @ Erindale

English Department Web Page

Contact Information

Last Updated by Ann-Barbara Graff -- February 2001