Poetry and Prose 1660-1800
English 306Y, Fall Term 2001
MWF 3-4, 236 NB

Professor (first term): Dan White
Office: 296A NB, x. 8-5291
Office Hours: Wednesday 11:00-12:00, Friday 4:00-5:00
E-Mail: dwhite@utm.utoronto.ca

Course Focus: This course provides a survey of Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature and culture. Among the developments witnessed by the years 1660-1800 were the revival of English drama, the proliferation of print culture, the beginnings of Enlightenment consciousness, the rapid expansion of the British Empire, and the revolutions that gave birth to our modern political order. In the context of scientific progress, the ethical imperatives of a commercial empire, and revolutionary upheaval, writers of the period produced powerful works of literature across a range of genres and styles. We will explore this range as we study the cultural and literary development from the Restoration and the Augustan periods to the Age of Sensibility and early Romanticism.

Requirements and Grading: Your grade for the year will be divided as follows: scansion quiz (September 19, 5%), first-term paper (due Dec. 3, 1500 words, 20%), first-term test (December 5 and 7, 20%), first-term class participation (5%); second-term paper (due date TBA, 2500 words, 25%), second-term test (date TBA, 20%), and second-term class participation (5%). Please submit your papers titled, double-spaced, paginated, and stapled. Late work will be penalized one part of a grade (A- to B+, B to B-, etc.) for each day late. Before writing your papers, please consult "Papers: Expectations, Guidelines, Advice, and Grading."

Resources: To access some of these useful resources, you must either log on through a University of Toronto server or configure your browser to use the proxy server (instructions).

Texts: The following texts have been ordered for this course:

On this syllabus, readings are labelled either "L" for Longman or "C" for Coursepack.

Section I. Introduction, Enlightenment, and Neoclassicism


September 10

Introduction; Literary periods and genres; John Taylor, the "Charge" with which Taylor, tutor at the Warrington Academy, prefaced his lectures (C)

September 12

Reading poetry: Exercise on Shakespeare's "Sonnet 146" (handout); Lesson on meter: Paul Fussell, from Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (C), and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Metrical Feet: Lesson for a Boy" (C)

September 14

Exercise on Shakespeare's "Sonnet 146" (continued); OED definitions (you may need to access the OED through the proxy server)


September 17

Historical Background, "Political and Religious Orders" (L xxv-xxx), "The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century" (L 1979-2002)

September 19

Scansion quiz; Sir Isaac Newton, from "A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton ... containing his New Theory about Light and Colors" (C)

September 21

John Locke, from An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (L 2630-35)


September 24

John Denham, "Cooper's Hill" (L 2859-67)

September 26

John Dryden, "Alexander's Feast" (L 2114-19) with in-class selections from Handel's setting

September 28

John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester, "The Imperfect Enjoyment" (L 2196-98), "A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind" (L 2199-203)

Section II. Restoration Drama and the Early Novel


October 1

George Etherege, The Man of Mode; or, Sir Fopling Flutter (L 2205-70)

October 3

Jeremy Collier, from A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (L 2271-73); Steele, Spectator No. 65 (L 2273-75); John Dennis, from A Defense of "Sir Fopling Flutter" (L 2275-79)

October 5

The Man of Mode (continued)

Guest Speaker:  Patrick Young, director of upcoming production of The Man of Mode, Theatre Erindale (March 21-30, 2002)


October 8

No class - Thanksgiving

October 10

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (L 2150-93)

October 12

Oroonoko (continued)

Section III. Literature of the New Economy: Satiric, Topographic, Didactic


October 15

Dryden, "Mac Flecknoe" (L 2103-108)

October 17

Bernard Mandeville, "The Grumbling Hive" (C)

October 19

No class


October 22

Perspectives: Reading Papers (L 2311); Richard Steele, from Tatler No. 1 (L 2321-23); Joseph Addison, from Spectator No. 1 (L 2323-26); Eliza Haywood, from Female Spectator Vol. 1 (L 2326-28)

October 24

Getting, Spending, Speculating (L 2332-34); Addison, Spectator No. 69 [Royal Exchange] (L 2334-37); Steele, Spectator No. 11 [Inkle and Yarico] (L 2337-39); Daniel Defoe, from A Review of the State of the British Nation, Vol. 1, No. 43 [Weak Foundations] (L 2340-41)

October 26

Alexander Pope, "Windsor Forest" (L 2478-89)


October 29

Pope, from "An Essay on Man" (L 2526-35)

October 31

Anne Finch, "The Introduction" (L 2141-43), "A Nocturnal Reverie" (L 2668-69)

November 2

Pope, from "The Dunciad: Book the Fourth" (L 2546-57)


November 5

Swift, Gulliver's Travels, from Part 3 (L 2392-401); Letter to Pope (L 2447-48)

November 7

Swift, Gulliver's Travels, from Part 4 (L 2402-47)

November 9

Swift, "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift" (L 2374-86)


November 12

John Gay, The Beggar's Opera (L 2571-616); Video, The Beggar's Opera, Act III

November 14

Gay, The Beggar's Opera (L 2571-616)

November 16

William Hogarth, "Gin Lane" (handout)


November 19

Stephen Duck, "The Thresher's Labour" (C)

November 21

Mary Collier, "The Woman's Labour" (C)

November 23

Mary Leapor, "An Essay on Woman" (L 2147-49)


November 26

Thomas Gray, "Sonnet on the Death of Mr. Richard West" (L 2682)

November 28

Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (L 2685-88)

November 30

Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (continued)

Conclusion and Review


December 3

First-term paper due (1500 words); review for first-term test

December 5

First-term test, part 1

December 7

First-term test, part 2

Daniel E. White