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Fall 2013 Course Descriptions

English 3805 Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature

Section 001       CRN 90808
Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature:  "Style Matters"     1530-1645 TR

The South Korean phenom Psy rides an imaginary horse in his trademark dance. The dance exemplifies “Gangnam Style.” In the outrageously popular 18th-century novel Tristram Shandy, too, men ride equally imaginary horses, or “hobby-horses.” Each hobby-horse embodies a particular style. We will open this class with questions linking popular styles in the eighteenth century with popular styles in our contemporary moment.

What does it mean to have style? And what does it mean to be in style?

How do we recognize style—in people, in music, in literature, and in the world around us? What makes style distinct? Why is it so important to defining both pleasure and class distinction?

Style is crucial to literary form. It arguably made the careers of the biggest writers in the eighteenth century: Daniel Defoe, Eliza Haywood, Samuel Richardson, Laurence Sterne, Horace Walpole, Frances Burney, and Jane Austen. We will investigate different kinds of literary style as we trace the development of narrative forms over the course of the eighteenth century. (Group 3A)