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ENGL 4320: Sampling the Eighteenth Century
Spring 2019

Dr. Paula R. Backscheider
9082 Haley Center
(334) 844-9091

Sampling the Eighteenth Century

This course offers the opportunity to sample the kinds of literature being written in a century characterized by change, scandal, war, high fashion, and love of beauty. Writers actively experimented with how they could entertain and teach, attract readers, influence social change, and learn to make a living by writing as commercial publication replaced the old patronage system. It was a time of contradictions, of enormous wealth and great poverty, imperialism and love of the English fireside. A number of genres that are important to us were invented in that time, including the novel, criminal biographies, congregational hymns, musicals, comedies, and children's literature.

Requirements: Active class participation; short, primarily oral responses; a paper; and a mid-term and a final exam.

Required Books:

Custom Broadview Course Text (in Haley Center Bookstore) - The Broadview Anthology of Restoration & Early Eighteenth-Century Drama, ed. J. Douglas Canfield and Maja-Lisa von Sneidern (Broadview Press, 2018).

Frances Brooke, The Excursion (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1997).

Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (New York: Penguin, 1982).

Sean Shesgreen (ed.), Engravings by Hogarth (New York: Dover, 1973).



10: Introduction; Hogarth, "Marriage a la Mode" (Plates 51-56); "Pit Ticket" (Plate 93); "Beer Street" and "Gin Lane" (Plates 75-76)

15: *Eliza Haywood, The Mercenary Lover; Hogarth, "The Rake's Progress" (Plates 28-35)

17: *Jane Barker, Love Intrigues; Hogarth, "Evening" (Plate 44)

22: +Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield. Expert Analysis of a Character.

24: Continued; Hogarth, "The Harlot's Progress" (Plates 18-23)

29: +Frances Brooke, The Excursion. Expert Analysis of a Character.

31: Continued


5: Continued. Paper due on your character.

7: *Poetic Paraphrases of the Psalms by Elizabeth Singer Rowe, Joseph Addison, and Sternhold and Hopkins; *Joseph Addison, part of Spectator, no. 465; *Thomas Ken, part of "Awake, My Soul."

12: *"There is a Balm in Gilead"; *"A Mighty Fortress is Our God" (3 translations); *"Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," Ludwig van Beethoven and others; *Isaac Watts, "Joy to the World."

14: Hymn Reports

19: *Henry Purcell, Britons, Strike Home; *James Thomson, Rule, Britannia; *David Garrick, Heart of Oak; Introduction to Invasion Plays

21: Mid-Term Exam

26: *Frances Brooke, Rosina

28: ^Edward Neville, Plymouth in an Uproar (London, 1779; 44 page edition)


5: ^Frederick Pilon, He Would Be a Soldier (London, 1786)

7: Continued

19: +Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer

21: ^Elizabeth Inchbald, Wives as They Were, Maids as They Are (London, 1797; second edition)

26: Continued

28: +George Etherege, Man of Mode


2: Continued

4: Research day on Actors and Actresses.

9: Reports on Actors and Actresses.

11: Continued

16: +Richard B. Sheridan, School for Scandal

18: Continued

23: *James Janeway, Token for Children (1676), Examples 3 and 12; *Elizabeth Singer Rowe, "Letter 3," Friendship in Death; *Charlotte Smith, "The Hedge-Hog," Conversation 2, Conversations Introducing Poetry.

25: ^[Oliver Goldsmith], The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes (London, 1772)

26: 3:00 p.m. Final paper due.

29 April, 4-6:30 p.m. Final Exam. The final exam is required.

+ Required text; available in AU Bookstore in Haley

* Available on Canvas

^ Available on ECCO