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Philology 5: Late Modern English


Admission requirements

Successful completion of Philology 3 or equivalent.


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 analyse relevant texts with the help of the concordancing program WordSmith Tools, available in the Lipsius computer labs.

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, but also on the linguistics courses. 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 is available on the BA English website

Mode of instruction

Seminar (2 hours a week)

Course Load

The course load of this course is 280 hours.

  • hours spent on attending classes: 26 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature/preparing weekly assignments: 144 hours

  • time to prepare for oral presentation and the writing of a paper (including reading/research): 30 + 80 hours

Assessment method


  • Presentation

  • Weekly contribution in class and Blackboard

  • Final paper


  • Presentation (15%)

  • Weekly contribution in class (10%)

  • Final paper (75%)

Students will have successfully passed the course if the average course mark is a 6 or higher.


If the final grade is 5 or less students will have to resit the insufficient course component(s). Students may not resit the weekly contribution in class (10%) or presentation (15%).

Essay review

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the final results, an essay review will have to be organized.


Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.


There will be a Blackboard module for the course where the weekly programme and other relevant information can be found. Students will be expected to post weekly comments and/or questions on the basis of their reading. These comments are part of the mark for their weekly participation in the course.

Reading list

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

  • Additional reading material (texts and background reading), available through Blackboard or in one of the reading rooms of the University Library.

Important: Students are expected to have a copy of An Introduction to Late Modern English from week 1 onwards, since it will be used for the weekly reading.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Students other than from the BA English Language and Culture studies need permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.


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