English Biography and Autobiography
in the Eighteenth Century
English 318, Autumn 2004
Go directly to:
Office: (973) 353-5279 x 516; 516 Hill Hall.
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30-11:30, and by
appointment (appointments are best).
Home: (609) 882-4642 (before 10:00 p.m.!).
E-mail: jlynch @
andromeda.rutgers.edu (the best way to reach me).
Listserv: biography @
andromeda.rutgers.edu (for the whole class)
- Written Assignments: There will be two papers,
the first of around 1,500 words (six pages), the second of 2,000
(eight pages). There are also four short on-line exercises (we'll
discuss these in class).
- Final Exam: A short final examination will include
identification of quotations, close reading, and short essays.
- Attendance: Almost any excuse, given in advance
(in person, by phone, or by E-mail), will receive my blessing.
Absences not excused in advance will be frowned upon, and your
final grade will be lowered by half a grade for each unexcused
absence. The same policy applies to late papers: I'll grant
extensions, but only if you talk to me before the due
- Computing: Some essential information will be
available only electronically. All students therefore
must have an E-mail account by the end of the first
week of classes, and must be able to use the World
- Plagiarism: It should go without saying, but
all work in this class must be your own. Handing in
someone else's work as your own will result in an F for the
course with no second chance, and may result in disciplinary
action. I encourage you to use outside sources, but you
have to cite anything you didn't write yourself. If you have even
an inkling of a doubt about what's legitimate or how to cite
something, see me before handing in the paper.
- Readings: The following books are available from New
Jersey Books (not the Rutgers Bookstore):
As always, I've worked hard to find the cheapest reliable
editions in print. I give the approximate list prices; secondhand
copies and discount vendors should let you cut your expenses
substantially. Many readings will also be available on-line; a
few will be available only on-line.
- James Boswell, Boswell's London Journal, Yale, ISBN:
- James Boswell, The Life of Johnson, ed. Chapman,
Oxford, ISBN: 0192835319. $19.
- John Bunyan, Grace Abounding with Other Spiritual
Autobiographies, ed. Stachniewski and Pacheco, Oxford, ISBN:
- Frances Burney, A Known Scribbler, ed. Crump,
Broadview, ISBN: 014044033X. $15.
- Olaudah Equiano, The Life of Olaudah Equiano, Dover,
ISBN: 048640661X. $2.50.
- Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, ed. Masur, Bedford,
ISBN: 0312404158. $15.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Confessions, ed. Cohen,
Penguin, ISBN: 014044033X. $13.
Schedule of Class Meetings
- Thursday, 2 Sept.
- INTRODUCTION. Class business,
- Tuesday, 7 Sept.
- Selection from Theophrastus, Characters: the Ironic
Man, the Garrulous
Man, and the Flatterer;
from Parallel Lives (abridged).
- Thursday, 9 Sept.
- Selection from St. Augustine, Confessions;
Jacobus de Voragine, "The
Life of Saint George," from The Golden Legend.
- Tuesday, 14 Sept.
- John Bunyan, Grace
Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.
- Thursday, 16
- Bunyan, Grace Abounding (continued); The Narrative
of the Persecution of Agnes Beaumont, in Grace
Abounding, pp. 191-224.
- Tuesday, 21 Sept.
- Selections from John Aubrey's Brief Lives: John
Shakespeare, and Robert
- Thursday, 23 Sept.
- Selections from The Complete Newgate Calendar: Jack
Sheppard and Jonathan
Wild. ON-LINE EXERCISE
- Tuesday, 28 Sept.
- John Locke, selections from An
Essay concerning Human Understanding; David Hume, A
Treatise of Human Nature, book
1, part 4, section 6; Samuel Johnson, Rambler
68, and Idler
- Thursday, 30 Sept.
- Samuel Johnson, selections from The
Life of Savage; David Hume, "My
- Tuesday, 5 Oct.
- James Boswell, Boswell's London Journal, pp.
39-140. ON-LINE EXERCISE
- Thursday, 7 Oct.
- Boswell, Boswell's London Journal, pp.
- Tuesday, 12 Oct.
- Boswell, Boswell's London Journal, pp. 235-333.
- Thursday, 14 Oct.
- Boswell, The Life of Johnson, pp. 19-97.
- Tuesday, 19 Oct.
- Boswell, The Life of Johnson, pp. 131-216.
- Thursday, 21 Oct.
- Boswell, The Life of Johnson, pp. 271-337, 379-95.
DUE (around six pages).
- Tuesday, 26 Oct.
- Boswell, The Life of Johnson, pp. 764-79, 827-35,
862-80, 942-76, 1207-17.
- Thursday, 28 Oct.
- Boswell, The Life of Johnson, pp. 1239-45, 1301-46,
- Tuesday, 2 Nov.
- Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography,
- Thursday, 4 Nov.
- Franklin, Autobiography,
- Tuesday, 9 Nov.
- Frances Burney, A Known Scribbler, pp. 53-139.
- Thursday, 11 Nov.
- Burney, A Known Scribbler, pp. 139-99, 229-32, 251-54,
- Tuesday, 16 Nov.
- Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative, chapters
1-6. ON-LINE EXERCISE
- Thursday, 18 Nov.
- Equiano, The Interesting Narrative, chapters
- Tuesday, 23 Nov.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions, books 1 and
- Thursday, 25 Nov.
- NO CLASS: Thanksgiving
- Tuesday, 30 Nov.
- Rousseau, Confessions, books 3 and 4.
- Thursday, 2 Dec.
- Rousseau, Confessions, book 8.
- Tuesday, 7 Dec.
- William Wordsworth, The Two-Part Prelude
- Thursday, 9 Dec.
- Wordsworth, The Two-Part Prelude (continued).
DUE (around eight pages).