Reason and Passion: 1700-1799 (TRU2012)

30 credits

Welcome to Reason and Passion - the eighteenth-century literature module. Over the next eleven weeks we will experience the wit, excess, and sheer oddity of literature in this period. It was a time that saw the birth of modern society in market capitalism and financial crashes; the growth of secularism and materialism; the mass consumption of novels, poetry, and plays; and the emergence of popular politics and global imperialism. And yet it can be a strange and disorientating place for modern readers: the literature seethes with hyperbolic emotions, writers experiment with new radical new forms, and everyone seems to be fascinated by decay and corruption in all its forms. This module will guide you through the literature, culture, and history of Britain and Ireland, from the urbane neoclassicism of Pope at the beginning of the century, to the wildly violent and pornographic Gothic of Matthew 'Monk' Lewis at its end.