nl en

Philology 6: Late Modern English


Admission Requirements

Successful completion of Philology 1, 2 and 3 or similar courses.


Letters, journals, memoirs, presentments, wills, recipes and newspapers: these are all different text types the study of which aims to illustrate the use of English other than that commonly found in printed documents. In this course, we will read a large variety of texts to study the English as it was used during the Late Modern English period (1700-1900). We will focus on differences between these texts and printed documents, as well as from present-day Standard English. In addition, we will look at texts by men and women, as well as by people from different sociolinguistic backgrounds, including people who were practically illiterate. We will concentrate on spelling, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and style of writing, and in doing so we will make use, wherever possible, of databases that are available online. We will also compile a small corpus which we will analyse with the help of the concordancing program WordSmith Tools.

Course Objectives

This course builds on experience acquired during the first two years of the BA curriculum in English philology, particularly as it regards the history of the English language. At the end of the course students will have a good insight into the nature and language of different text types from the Late Modern English period (1700-1900), and of their relationship with the more standard printed texts of the time. They will be able to analyse and identify the typical textual and linguistic characteristics of these text types, and apply their skills when writing a BA thesis in the field of Late (or Early) Modern English.


The timetable will be available from June 1st on the Internet.

Mode of Instruction

Two hour seminar per week.


Presentation and active course contribution (25%), final essay (75%).


This course is supported by Blackboard. Students should sign up before the beginning of the semester.

Reading list

  • Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade (2009), An Introduction to Late Modern English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


Students can register through uSis.

Register for ‘Contractonderwijs’ via:

Contact information

English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or mail: