English Literature, 1745-1800

English 560, Spring 1999

Jack Lynch

Go directly to:

January -- February -- March -- April

Office: (973) 353-5279x516; 516 Hill Hall. Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 11:30-12:30, and by appointment (appointments are always good).

Home: (609) 750-1263 (before 11 p.m.!).

E-mail: jlynch@andromeda.rutgers.edu (the best way to reach me).

Listserv: lynch560@andromeda.rutgers.edu

Course Requirements

English 560 involves the following responsibilities on your part:


Eight books -- Johnson's Rasselas (Oxford), Boswell's Life of Johnson (Oxford), Walpole's Castle of Otranto (Oxford), Sheridan's School for Scandal (Dover), Sterne's Tristram Shandy (Oxford), Burney's Evelina, Equiano's Narrative, and Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience (Dover) -- are available from the Rutgers Newark Bookstore in Bradley Hall. The remainder of the readings are available in a photocopy pack from Affordable Copies (68 Halsey St.); many are also on reserve in Dana Library and on-line.

Reports and Annotated Bibliographies

Each student will be particularly responsible for the readings on one day of the semester, producing and distributing (on paper or by E-mail) a short annotated bibliography of relevant criticism and then beginning class with an oral report of between fifteen and twenty minutes. The report should begin with a very brief discussion of the annotated bibliography the student has prepared, giving a quick overview of the major scholarship on the topic. Thereafter, the report's job is to start the day's discussion; the topic is anything relevant to the day's reading material. Feel free to read a short (two-page-ish) prepared report, to speak from notes, or to extemporize -- whatever makes you comfortable -- but be both informative and engaging. A good report will raise as many fruitful questions as possible and get discussion rolling. The best way to start a discussion is to have something specific to say about a broad topic. These are not research projects; you needn't do any outside reading. If you feel some outside reading will improve your ability to start conversation, feel free. Anything else that will help -- handouts, short readings for the rest of the class -- is welcome and encouraged.


This class has a mailing list called lynch560@andromeda.rutgers.edu; all students are required to have an E-mail account by the send of the second week of classes and to participate in the discussions on the list. Although I have the greatest sympathy for those suffering from technological nightmares, don't expect to use computer problems as an excuse for not doing the reading or writing. If you have a computer problem, contact me as soon as possible.


Final grades will be based on the following:

Schedule of Class Meetings

Wed., 20 Jan.
Introduction (class business, &c.).

Wed., 27 Jan.
Samuel Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes, Ramblers 12, 32, and 60, Idlers 60 and 61; James Boswell, The Life of Johnson, pp. 19-36, 118-63; Northrop Frye, "Towards Defining an Age of Sensibility."

Wed., 3 Feb.
Samuel Johnson, Rasselas and Rambler 4; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 166-77, 181-89, 209-16, 240-43.

Wed., 10 Feb.
Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard and "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College"; William Collins, "Ode to Evening" and "Ode on the Poetical Character"; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 43-97.

Wed., 17 Feb.
Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village; Charlotte Smith, selections from The Emigrants; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 590-603.

Wed., 24 Feb.
David Hume, selections from A Treatise of Human Nature; Edmund Burke, selections from Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and the Beautiful; Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 403-24.

Wed., 3 March
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 272-325.

Wed., 10 March
Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, pp. 1-193 (vols. 1-3); James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 379-89, 686-701. FIRST PAPER DUE (eight to ten pages).

Wed., 24 March
No Class.

Wed., 31 March
Laurence Sterne, Tristram Shandy, pp. 195-539 (vols. 4-9); James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 344-53, 538-43, 732-48.

Wed., 7 April
Frances Burney, Evelina, pp. 1-225 (through vol. 2, letter 19); James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 764-76, 827-35.

Wed., 14 April
Frances Burney, Evelina, pp. 225-323; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 1203-19, 1234-37.

Wed., 21 April
Olaudah Equiano, Narrative; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 579-82, 876-86.

Wed., 28 April
Christopher Smart, selections from Jubilate Agno; William Cowper, selections from The Task; William Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience; James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, pp. 105-107, 424-28, 1275-1304, 1374-1402. SECOND PAPER DUE (either a new paper of eight to ten pages, or an expansion of your first paper to fifteen to twenty pages).