ENGL 334 A: English Novel: Later Nineteenth Century

The Trouble with Men and Women

Meeting Time: 
TTh 10:30am - 12:20pm
THO 135
Joseph Butwin
Joseph Butwin

Additional Details:

English 334 Spring 2015 Professor Butwin
English Novel: Later Nineteenth Century

The Trouble with Men and Women

In the midst of the disastrous Boer War (1899-1902)—their Viet Nam—it was revealed that 60% of young British men did not qualify for military service. A clear crisis called down official reports on the “Physical Deterioration” of the British male even as some of the same sources emerged from the 1890s with quite another impression of the robust British female. She was riding bicycles in bloomers; she was playing tennis; she was demanding the right to vote; she was dubbed “The New Woman.” New women and dilapidated men left some unhappy observers with the same impression: that Britain was going to the dogs. Both types brought words like “Decadence” and “Degeneration” into public discourse. And both generated a fascinating range of fiction, journalism, and drama which will guide our reading. We will begin with the controversial and popular Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, A Doll’s House (1879; introduced in London, 1889), short fiction by “George Egerton” (Mary Bright), Evelyn Sharp and Ada Leverson (1893-1896), a section of George Gissing, The Odd Women (1893) along with all of Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890-91),Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (1894-95) and Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim (1899-1900). None of these preoccupations would peter out in the 20th century but they would change their shape after the catastrophe of the next British war—1914-18—and the passage of women’s right to vote in 1919.

Henrick Ibsen, A Doll’s House. Dover Thrift Edition isbn 0486270629
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Signet Classics isbn 9780451530455
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure, Penguin Classics isbn 9780140435382
Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, Penguin Classics isbn 9780141441610
All other readings posted on Catalyst.

Catalog Description: 
Examines the high water mark of the realist novel, as well as its fragmentation into popular genres like science and detective fiction and the emergence of literary modernism. Possible authors include: George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Marie Corelli, Olive Schreiner, H.G. Wells, and Joseph Conrad.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 11:20am