Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LT002P (AF:381143 AR:256890)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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This course is an introduction to the major artistic and literary phenomena of 19th Century England, also considered with reference to the European context. It is addressed to students of the literary-cultural Curriculum of LCSL, and it will build upon their knowledge in the field of study acquired in the previous year. The study of novels and essays will enhance their skills in textual analysis, in understanding historical and cultural contexts, and in the acquisition of critical language. Classes will be mostly taught in English and the students’ active participation will be encouraged.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will hopefully learn:

1) to read, understand and translate novels and to relate them to their historical and cultural contexts;
2) to analyse critically a literary text;
3) to make autonomous judgements;
4) to show in academic writing that you can think critically about the topics discussed and that you can back up your points with evidence.
Students must be fully proficient in English. They are required to have certified English proficiency at level B. (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
They are also expected to be familiar with nineteenth-century English literature.
Public and domestic spaces in Victorian Literature

The course explores the form of the Victorian novel and its development in the 1850s in Britain, accounting for the rapid social changes that involved the industrial society and the relationships between social classes, genders, and regions. We shall study some novels, poems and short fiction written in the decade 1847-1857 and some essays on the industrial context. We shall deal in particular with the representation of spaces (i.e. the factory, the countryside, the city, the home, the prison, abroad) that underwent radical transformations, for their narrative implications and as modes of self representation.
1. The literary context:
Philip Davis, The Victorians, Oxford: OUP, 2001 (capitoli 5 e 7: “Conditions of Literary Production”; “Variety in the Early Victorian Novel”)

2.a Novels to be read in the original (Penguin Classics oe equivalent):
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton
Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit

2.b Passages from:
Elizabeth Gaskell, Life of Charlotte Bronte
Charles Dickens, Hard Times
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South
Friederich Engels, The Condition of the Working-Class in England 1844

3. Further reading:
Andrew Sanders, “The Short Oxford History of English Literature”, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 399-422(High Victorian Literature); pp. 468-71; 476- 78 (Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature).
Beth Newman, “Introduction: Biographical and Historical Contexts”, in "Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre" , ed. by Beth Newman, Boston, New York, Bedford Books, 1996, pp. 3-14.
Sandra M. Gilbert, Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. New Haven, London, Yale University Press, 1979, p. 360.

I materiali di approfondimento presentati a lezione saranno caricati durante il corso nella piattaforma Moodle.

Letture integrative per gli studenti non frequentanti
F. Marroni, “Come leggere Jane Eyre”, Chieti: Solfanelli, 2013.
Sandra M. Gilbert, “Plain Jane’s Progress”, in Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë, ed. Beth Newman, Ibid., pp. 475-501.
Susan Meyer, “Colonialism and the Figurative Strategy of Jane Eyre”, in New Casebooks Jane Eyre, pp. 92-129.
F. Marucci, Dickens, Milano: Edizioni universitarie di Lettere, Economia, Diritto, 2021, pp. 7-46; pp. 155-162.

Students will be assessed by a final written exam either in Italian or in English consisting of:

1) one open-ended question on the Victorian historical/cultural/literary context;
2) two critical analyses of two given passages drawn from the works indicated in the primary sources;
3) one short translation from English into Italian

Non-native English speakers are not requested to do the translation. They will write a critical analysis of the given passage.
Front lessons and class discussions
Ideally, students should read the novels indicated in the primary sources before the beginning of the course in order to increase their participation in class discussions.
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 15/09/2023