Early Modern Women's Literature

English 360, Autumn 2007

Jack Lynch

Course Description


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Office: (973) 353-5279 x 516; 516 Hill Hall.

Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 2:30–4:00, 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: earlymodernwomen [at] andromeda.rutgers.edu (for the whole class).


Course Requirements


Schedule of Class Meetings

Wed., 5 Sept.
Introduction: Class business, &c.

Mon., 10 Sept.:
Elizabeth Cary, The Tragedy of Mariam, act 1.
Wed., 12 Sept.:
Cary, The Tragedy of Mariam, acts 2–3.

Mon., 17 Sept.:
Cary, The Tragedy of Mariam, acts 4–5.

Wed., 19 Sept.:
No Class: I have to give a lecture in Philadelphia.

Mon., 24 Sept.:
Margaret Cavendish, The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World, part 1, in Paper Bodies, pp. 151–230.
Wed., 26 Sept.:
Cavendish, The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World, part 2; A True Relation of My Birth; selections from CCXI Sociable Letters; and selections from Female Orations, in Paper Bodies, pp. 231–51, 41–85, 143–47.

Mon., 1 Oct.:
Aphra Behn, The Widow Ranter, acts 1–2.
Wed., 3 Oct.:
Behn, The Widow Ranter, acts 3–5.

Mon., 8 Oct.:
Behn, The Fair Jilt and poems. First Exercise Due: Using EEBO (through the Library's Web page), examine the first edition of one of the works we've read so far, and in two or three pages comment on how the modern printed edition differs from the early version.
Wed., 10 Oct.:
Katherine Philips, "Against Love," "Content, to My Dearest Lucasia," "Friendship's Mystery," "Happiness," "On Controversies in Religion," "On the Death of the Queen of Bohemia," "Orinda to Lucasia Parting," "To My Excellent Lucasia, on Our Friendship," "To My Lucasia," "The Virgin"; Mary, Lady Chudleigh, "To the Ladies"; Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, "Adam Pos'd," "Nocturnal Reverie," "The Spleen" (all available on-line).

Mon., 15 Oct.:
Mary Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, part 1 (pp. 49–126).
Wed., 17 Oct.:
Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies, part 2 (pp. 127–236).

Mon., 22 Oct:
Eliza Haywood, Fantomina (available on-line).
Wed., 24 Oct:
Haywood, Fantomina. First Paper Due.

Mon., 29 Oct:
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, selections from Letters, nos. 1–34 (available on-line).
Wed., 31 Oct:
Montagu, selections from Letters, nos. 35–58.

Mon., 5 Nov.:
Sarah Scott, Millenium Hall, pp. 53–171.
Wed., 7 Nov.:
Scott, Millenium Hall, pp. 172–249. Second Exercise Due: Two multi-volume anthologies of poetry appeared in 1755, A Collection of Poems in Four Volumes: By Several Hands and Poems by Eminent Ladies. Using ECCO (through the Library's Web page), spend about a half-hour examining the presentation of the poems in each anthology, and write a two- or three-page compare-and-contrast essay noting the differences and similarities.

Mon., 12 Nov:
Anna Laetitia Barbauld, "An Address to the Deity," "The Mouse's Petition," "To A Lady, with Some Painted Flowers," "Verses on Mrs. Rowe," "The Rights of Woman," "Eighteen Hundred and Eleven" (all available on-line).
Wed., 14 Nov.:
Ann Yearsley, "A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave Trade"; Anna Laetitia Barbauld, "Epistle to William Wilberforce"; Hannah More and Eaglesfield Smith (?), "The Sorrows of Yamba; or, The Negro Woman's Lamentation" (all available on-line).

Mon., 19 Nov.:
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, chapters 1–7.
Wed., 21 Nov.:
No Class: Friday schedule.

Mon., 26 Nov.:
Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, chapters 8–13. Third Exercise Due: Using ESTC and WorldCat (through the Library's Web page), trace the publication history of any of the book-length works on the syllabus. In about two pages, comment on the relative popularity of the work in each decade from the time of publication to the present.
Wed., 28 Nov.:
Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent, Preface and "An Hibernian Tale" (pp. 1–37).

Mon., 3 Dec.:
Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent, "History of Sir Conolly Rackrent" (pp. 38–97).
Wed., 5 Dec.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, vol. 1 (pp. 3–89).

Mon., 10 Dec.:
Austen, Pride and Prejudice, vol. 2 (pp. 89–158).
Wed., 12 Dec.:
Austen, Pride and Prejudice, vol. 3 (pp. 158–254). Final Paper Due.