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Literature 3B: British Literature: Eighteenth Century


Admission requirements

Successful completion of Literature 1A, 1B and Literature 2 or equivalent.


Literature 3B is a survey course, covering developments in British poetry and prose fiction during the eighteenth-century. The works in question will be read within various aesthetic and historical contexts and will be discussed in light of key concepts such as enlightenment, reason, decorum, the self, faith, the public sphere, sensibility and the imagination. Because the novel is such a dominant literary form in our time, extra attention will be paid to the genesis and development of this genre in the course of the eighteenth century. Other topics covered are stylistic and thematic developments from Neoclassicism through Sensibility towards Romanticism.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students will have a firm general knowledge and understanding of the major stylistic, structural and thematic developments in eighteenth-century British literature, within various historical contexts. They will also have further developed their academic research and writing skills.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website

Mode of instruction

A weekly two-hour seminar

Assessment method

A 1200-1500 word essay, containing a small research component and presented according to the MLA stylesheet (20%) A mid-term exam during the October study/exam week (40%) An end-of-term exam during the December exam week (40%) The resit exam (combining both the mid- and end-of-term exams) for this course will be in January 2013 ### Blackboard

Blackboard will be used to make various study materials available to students and to post announcements. See Blackboard

Reading list

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Penguin)
Henry Fielding, Joseph Andrews (Oxford World’s Classics)
William Godwin, Caleb Williams (Penguin)
Stephen Greenblatt et al (eds.), The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 8th edition, Vol. I and II; or, Volume C en D (New York/London: Norton, 2005)
Sharon Hamilton, Essential Literary Terms (Norton)
Ann Radcliffe, A Sicilian Romance (Oxford World’s Classics)
Samuel Richardson, Pamela (Oxford World’s Classics)


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Co-ordinator of Studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.