ENGL 548:

Victorian Literature


Fall 2013

Prof: Dino Franco Felluga

Office: HEAV 430

Hours: M,W,F 1:30-2:30

E-mail: felluga@purdue.edu

We will have three goals in this class: 1) students will come out of the course with a stronger understanding of poetry analysis, including the use of scansion to support theoretical arguments; 2) we will come to understand the major genres and issues that affected poetry from the Reform Bill to the turn of the century; 3) and we will gain a snapshot of the current state of the field of Victorian studies by reading essays by winners of NAVSA’s Donald Gray Prize from the last ten years, along with essays from the two projects I am currently in the process of completing: BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History and the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature.

The class is arranged chronologically, so another thing we will do is pay attention to the historical sweep of the period, aided by BRANCH.  As a result, we will read early Tennyson, Robert Browning, and Elizabeth Barrett in Weeks Two, Three, and Four, then return to those poets when we read their later, long works Idylls of the King, Ring and the Book, and Aurora Leigh, respectively. 

Required Texts

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (Oxford UP, at Von’s Books)

Primary Material on our shared Dropbox folder

Aug 21 (Week 1)—‘Truth is beauty, beauty truth’

  1. BulletWilliam Wordsworth, Prospectus to The Recluse (wr 1798-1814, pub 1814)

  2. BulletWilliam Wordsworth, The Prelude, Books I, VI and VII (wr 1798-1839, pub 1850)

  3. BulletLord Byron, Manfred

  4. BulletJohn Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode on Melancholy"

  5. BulletPercy Bysshe Shelley, "Mont Blanc," "England in 1819," and “Ode to the West Wind”

Aug 28 (Week 2)—I built my soul a lordly pleasure-house

  1. BulletAlfred Lord Tennyson, "The Poet," "The Poet's Mind," "Lady of Shalott," "Mariana," “To—. With the Following Poem,” "Palace of Art," “Ulysses,” and "Supposed Confessions of a Second-Rate Sensitive Mind"

  2. BulletMartin Hewitt, “Why the Notion of Victorian Britain Does Make Sense”

Sept 4 (Week 3)—This world's no blot for us

  1. BulletRobert Browning, "An Essay on Percy Bysshe Shelley," "Porphyria's Lover," "My Last Duchess," "Fra Lippo Lippi" "Andrea Del Sarto" and “A Toccata of Galuppi’s”

  2. BulletDante Gabriel Rossetti, “The Blessed Damozel”

  3. BulletBRANCH: E. Warwick Slinn, “On Robert Browning’s Men and Women

  4. BulletEncyclopedia: E. Warwick Slinn, “Robert Browning”

  5. BulletLinda K. Hughes, “What the Wellesley Index Left Out: Why Poetry Matters to Periodical Studies”

Sept 11 (Week 4)—Here you come with your old music

  1. BulletRobert Browning, continued, and poetry workshop

  2. BulletWilliam Butler Yeats, "Leda and the Swan" (pub 1928)

  3. BulletPoems in Progress: "Leda and the Swan"

  4. BulletCaroline Levine, “Strategic Formalism: Toward a New Method in Cultural Studies”

Sept 18 (Week 5)—When our two souls stand up erect

  1. BulletElizabeth Barrett, “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point,” "To George Sand" (both "Desire" and "Recognition") and Sonnets to the Portuguese (selected)

  2. BulletBRANCH: Elsie B. Michie, “On the Sacramental Test Act, the Catholic Relief Act, the Slavery Abolition Act, and the Factory Act”

Sept 25 (Week 6)— I am a coward, and know it

  1. BulletArthur Hugh Clough, "On Recent English Poetry" and Amours de Voyage

  2. BulletBRANCH: Alison Chapman, “On Il Risorgimento

Oct 2 (Week 7)—What is all this juice and all this joy?

  1. BulletMatthew Arnold, Preface to 1853 Poems, "Maurice de Guérin," "Resignation," "Empedocles on Etna" (conclusion), "The Scholar Gypsy," "Thyrsis" and "Dover Beach"

  2. BulletCatherine Robson, “Standing on the Burning Deck: Poetry, Performance, History”

October 9 (Week 8)—An ignorance of means may minister/ To greatness, but an ignorance of aims/ Makes it impossible to be great at all

Proposal Writing Workshop

Oct 16 (Week 9)—this is living art

  1. BulletCoventry Patmore, The Angel in the House (excerpts)

  2. BulletElizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh

  3. BulletStefanie Markovits, "Verse Novel" (Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature)

  4. BulletAndrew Miller, “Lives Unled in Realist Fiction”

Oct 23 (Week 10)— Eat me, drink me, love me

N.B.: class time to be rescheduled

  1. BulletChristina Rossetti, “After Death,” “Dead before Death,” "In an Artist's Studio," "Winter: My Secret" and "Goblin Market"

  2. BulletEncyclopedia: Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, “Christina Georgina Rossetti”

  3. BulletHerbert F. Tucker, “Rossetti’s Goblin Marketing”

Oct 30 (Week 11)—For men at most differ as Heaven and earth,/ But women, worst and best, as Heaven and Hell

  1. BulletAlfred Lord Tennyson, Idylls of the King (selections in Houghton and Stange); “The Epic”/"Morte d'Arthur"; and “Charge of the Light Brigade”

  2. BulletBRANCH: Stefanie Markovits, “On the Crimean War and the Charge of the Light Brigade”

  3. BulletEncyclopedia: Beverly Taylor, “Medievalism”

Nov 6 (Week 12)—You like not that French novel?

  1. BulletGeorge Meredith, Modern Love

  2. BulletAdela Pinch, “Love Thinking”

  3. BulletBRANCH: Kelly Hager (Simmons), “Chipping Away at Coverture: The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857″

Nov 13 (Week 13)—All these few things/ I know are true

  1. BulletRobert Browning, Ring and the Book, “The Ring and the Book,” "Pompilia," "The Pope," and “The Book and the Ring”

Nov 20 (Week 14)—I and this love are one, and I am Death

  1. BulletDante Gabriel Rossetti, "Jenny," “The Orchard-Pit,” and The House of Life

  2. BulletRobert Buchanan, "The Fleshly School of Poetry"

  3. BulletThe Rossetti Archive, especially "Pictures" and "Double Works"

  4. BulletEncyclopedia: D. M. R. Bently, “Dante Gabriel Rossetti”

Nov 27 (Week 15)—we have had enough of action, and of motion we

  1. BulletThanksgiving Vacation

Dec 4 (Week 16)—I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God

  1. BulletGerard Manley Hopkins, "Author's Preface," "God's Grandeur," "Spring," "The Windhover," "Henry Purcell," "As Kingfisher's Catch Fire," "Carrion Comfort" and "No Worst, There Is None"


Course Description and Schedule