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EN3165   'Loose Baggy Monsters': The Rise and Fall of the Victorian Novel

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm Mon

In spite of what Henry James's famously disparaging characterisation of Victorian novels as 'loose baggy monsters' might suggest, the novel was, without a doubt, the dominant cultural form of the Victorian period. From the prudent and proper to the rude and risqu?, and from the 1830s to the fin de siƌcle, the Victorian novel was, in its own time, a capacious, malleable and contested form of cultural production, and one which continues to resist easy categorisation today. On this module we will explore the rich heterogeneity of the Victorian novel through close examination of works by a range of canonical and non-canonical authors. We will examine the changing shape of the novel throughout the nineteenth century (from the sprawling 'monstrosity' of the triple-decker to the compact neatness of the proto-modernist aesthetic of the 1890s), as well as the range of novelistic genres that proliferated at this time (including realism, sensation, the industrial novel, Victorian gothic, horror, adventure, and science fiction), and consider the ways in which the cultural, social and political values of Victorian Britain are both encoded and contested in the novels of the age.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass EN2003 and pass EN2004

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2-hour seminar, and 2 optional consultative hours.

Scheduled learning hours: 20

Guided independent study hours: 280

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 50%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr C Gill
Module teaching staff: TBC