Reason & Passion: 1700-1799 (TRU2012)

StaffDr James Kelly - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module intends to give students a broad overview of the period in question. In particular, it aims to offer a reflective sampling of major genres and modes, and enable students to respond to the texts in light of knowledge of the conventions of those genres and modes. The module also aims to historicise its texts, introducing students to current critical thinking and debates on the relationships between contexts and texts.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate informed appreciation of specific eighteenth-century literary texts and authors.
  • 2. Demonstrate an appreciation of essential eighteenth-century literary history.
  • 3. Demonstrate an informed appreciation of the relation between eighteenth-century literature and important historical and intellectual developments of the time.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate an ability to analyse the literature of an earlier era and to relate its concerns and its modes of expression to its historical context.
  • 5. Demonstrate an ability to interrelate texts and discourses specific to their own discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history.
  • 6. Demonstrate an ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary texts.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Through seminar work, demonstrate communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups.
  • 8. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, a capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose.
  • 9. Through research for seminars and essays, demonstrate proficiency in information retrieval and analysis.
  • 10. Through sitting their final examination, demonstrate proficiency in the use of memory and in the development, organization, and expression of ideas under pressure of time.

Syllabus plan

Week 1 – Pope and Montagu: satire

Week 2 – Daniel Defoe Moll Flanders

Week 3 – Swift, Montagu, Leapor

Week 4 – Eliza Haywood and William Hogarth

Week 5 – Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

Week 6 – Edmund Buke and the sublime

Week 7 – Thomas Gray and antiquarian poetry

Week 8 – William Blake and radical poetry

Week 9 – Sheridan’s School for Scandal and the C18th Stage

Week 10 – Elizabeth Inchbald’s A Simple Story

Week 11 – Matthew Lewis, The Monk

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities11Lecture (11x1hr)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities27.5Seminar (11x2.5hrs)
Guided independent study250.5Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
ECCO Essay assessment1,000 words1-6, 8-9Written comments

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay502,000 words1-6, 8-9Coversheet (written) and verbal
Exam502 hours1-6, 10Coversheet (written)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-4,6referral/deferral period
ExamExam1-4, 6referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Primary reading:

The Norton Anthology of English Literature Vol 1 & 2

Daniel Defoe Moll Flanders (OUP)

Tobias Smollett The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (OUP)

Edmund Burke An Enquiry into…the Sublime and Beautiful (OUP)

William Blake Poetry and Designs (Norton)

Elizabeth Inchbald A Simple Story (OUP)

Matthew Lewis The Monk (OUP)

Additional primary material (i.e. poems) will be supplied via the ELE site


Selected secondary texts

James Chandler and Maureen McLane (eds), The Cambridge Companion to British RomanticPoetry, ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Thomas Keymer and Jon Mee (eds), Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1740—1830 (CUP, 2004)

Roy Porter, English Society in the Eighteenth Century (Pelican, 1990)

Liza Picard, Dr Johnson’s London: Life in London, 1740-1770 (Phoenix, 2001)

John Sitter (ed), The Cambridge Comapnion to Eighteenth-Century Poetry (CUP, 2001))

John Richetti (ed), The Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth-Century Novel (CUP, 1996)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Departmental ELE page


Project Muse

Eighteenth Century Collections Online

British Periodicals, Collections I and II


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Etexts provided through ELE

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Eighteenth century literature, British Literature