Academic year
2020/2021 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LMJ360 (AF:330181 AR:175484)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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The course, as part of those specifically related to the Languages and Literatures taught in the LLEAP degree course of study, is founded upon and expands the knowledge of the linguistic, literary and cultural heritage of Great Britain already acquired in the LCSL course of study. It is meant to constitute the basis for the development of the students’s capacity of original development of ideas and autonomous research activities.
Aim of the course is to deepen and expand the knowledge and understanding of the British literary tradition in its linguistic, literary and historical implications, and to promote the students’ capacity to read its crucial canonical texts and assess their meaning on the background of the cultural and historical realities they refer to, and of the whole national tradition which inspired them. Through the exercise of the interpretation of classics, the students will develop their critical abilities and independent capacity of judgement, together with their consciousness of the social and ethical responsibilities implied in their passing judgements and forming evaluations. The students will reach an advanced level of capacity of expressing in English the range of their cultural and literary acquisitions in an appropriate and competent language, of arguing critically about them, and of communicating them clearly to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
All the abilities and skills in the English language, and the competence in English literature and culture acquired in the LCSL degree course in English.
Title: "Ancient Heroism and Modern Greatness in the Culture of the Novel: Walter Scott, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy ".
The course traces the influence of Scott’s historical novel in shaping – and determining the fortune of – the English regional novel from George Eliot to Thomas Hardy.
In Waverley, the first European historical novel, Walter Scott staged and investigated the historical clash between the old feudal loyalties of ancient Catholic Scotland and the new virtues of modern Hannoverian England, thus entering the crucial debate about past and present brought to urgent actuality by the events of the French Revolution. In the rural setting of George Eliot’s first novels and of Hardy’s Wessex novels ancient forms of life co-exist with, and often clash against, the more modern styles of life dominating the great tradition of Victorian urban novels. In tracing the continuities between Scott, Eliot, and Hardy particular attention will be paid to the ethical, historical and political issues of the modern process of rethinking and reformulating the idea of greatness of the ancients to adjust it to the social reality of modern life, and to the problematic contribution of the puritan tradition to that process.
Students should aim at reading as many as possible of the novels on the Syllabus before the course begins.

N.B. As all the other LLEAP courses, this course will be taught in English.

Primary Sources (To be read in English, and only in the editions “Penguin Classics” or “Oxford World’s Classics”.):
W.Scott, 'Waverley', ed. C.Lamont, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.
G.Eliot, 'Adam Bede', ed. S.Gill, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1985.
G.Eliot, 'Il velo sollevato', a cura di E.Villari, Venezia, Marsilio, 2010 (Translated by E.Villari, with parallel English text)*
T.Hardy, 'Tess of the D’Urbervilles', ed.T.Dolin and M.Higonnet, London, Penguin, 2003.
T.Hardy, 'Jude the Obscure', ed. D.Taylor, London, Penguin, 1998
Secondary Sources:
E.Villari, 'Narrativa, storia e costume: Walter Scott', in 'Storia della civiltà letteraria inglese', diretta da Franco Marenco, Torino, Utet, 1996, vol. II, pp .477-96.*
I.Duncan, 'Waverley', in 'Il romanzo', a cura di F.Moretti, vol.II Le forme, Torino, Einaudi, 2002, pp. 135-142.*
E.Villari, 'La resistenza alla storia nei romanzi giacobiti di Walter Scott', in AA.VV., 'Storie su storie',Vicenza, Neri Pozza, 1985, pp. 5-30.*
E.Villari, 'Romance and History in 'Waverley'', in ‘Athena's Shuttle. Myth Religion Ideology from Romanticism to Modernism', ed. F.Marucci and E.Sdegno, Milano, Cisalpino, 2000, pp. 93-111.
R.Ashton, 'Provincial Life Revisited: ‘Adam Bede’ 1858-9', in R.Ashton, 'George Eliot. A Life', Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1997, pp. 188-217.
Creeger, G.R., 'An Interpretation of ‘Adam Bede’ ', in Creeger, G.R. ed., 'George Eliot. A Collection of Critical Essays', Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall, 1970, pp. 86-106.
E.Villari, " ‘Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult’.'Adam Bede' e il realismo di George Eliot" , in "Studi sul Sette-Ottocento offerti a Marinella Colummi", a cura di Silvana Goldmann e Serena Fornasiero, Venezia, Edizioni Ca' Foscari Digital Publishing, 2015, pp. 253-265.
E.Villari, “ ‘Il vizio moderno dell'irrequietezza’. Saggio sui romanzi di Thomas Hardy”, Bari, Adriatica, 1990.*
E.Villari, “ ‘La fatale ostilità tra carne e spirito’. Paganesimo, cristianesimo e tragico moderno in 'Tess of the D’Urbervilles' e 'Jude the Obscure’ ”, in P.Tortonese, a cura di, 'Il Paganesimo nella letteratura dell’Ottocento', Roma, Bulzoni, 2009, pp.205-28.*

General Reading:
G.M.Young, 'Victorian England: Portrait of an Age' (1936, reprinted several times)
A.Sanders, 'The Short Oxford History of English Literature', Oxford, Clarendon, 1994.

(* Erasmus or Joint Degree foreign students may refer to the lecturer if they need a different syllabus, or a syllabus in a different language)

Students who can’t attend lessons should refer to the lecturer for additional set texts and secondary works.
• Advised further reading available online.

Starting from the reading and translation into Italian* of a passage from one of the five classics on the syllabus, the exam will be devoted to evaluating first the student’s capacity to understand the passage in all its linguistic, literary, and cultural details, and then his/her capacity to comment on the passage in English in an appropriate language, in a larger discourse involving the whole novel, other passages from the same novel or from the other novels on the syllabus, and in the light of the problematical issues (related to the history of the period and to their implied ethical, social and political questions) discussed in class or in the critical texts on the syllabus.

* Erasmus or Joint Degree foreign students will not be required to translate the passage into Italian but to paraphrase its content in English.
Lectures, class discussions, seminars.
A special Seminar, with debates and discussions involving both students and professors, will be held by professor Franco Moretti (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) in the Spring Semester 2021. It is the third of A Cycle of three Seminars ( Seminari Annuali LLEAP 2018/2019, 2019/2020, 2020/2021 ) on the studying and teaching of literature. This year special subject and dates will be soon advertised , and the Seminar will be an essential addition to this course as part of the 2019/2020 teaching activities for all the LLEAP Students.


This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

This programme is provisional and there could still be changes in its contents.
Last update of the programme: 08/07/2020