The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.
–Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost (I.250 -55) (1674).
I, like the arch fiend, bore a hell within me;1 and, finding myself unsympathized with, wished to tear up the trees, spread havoc and destruction around me, and then to have sat down and enjoyed the ruin.
–The Monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818)
To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.
–Walter Pater, “Conclusion” to The Renaissance (1872).
Lectures: Mondays & Wednesdays from 10:15 to 11:30 in MB-3.210
Tutorials: Wednesdays from 9:15 to 11:00 in MB-3.265 (Section X), MB-1.301 (Section Y), and MB-3.255 (Section Z)
This course surveys British Literature from the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, through the Augustan and Romantic eras, to the end of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1901. Through the course theme “Revolutions” we will focus on how literature of the period treats questions of authority, freedom, heroism and beauty. Paying special attention to the figures of authority and rebellion, and to notions of stability and change, we will read representative works of poetry and prose dealing with the conflicts and pendulum swings between tradition and novelty, old and new, realism and idealism, doubt and faith, and individual and community.