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August 29, 2003

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Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 301J
Phone: 813-974-9496

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ENL 6236:Eighteenth-Century
Women Authors

    Fall 2003
    Time: Tuesday 3-5:50p
    Room: CPR 343

      This course has been designed to meet the following objectives:

    • Introduce major female authors and their texts circa 1660-1800

    • Construct a literary, critical and historical context for women writers and their works

    • Complete significant original research project concerning the above

  • Required Texts

  • Electronic Media

  • Schedule

  • Assignments

  • Related Sites

Required Texts

Writing Women’s Literary History, Margaret J. Ezell, Johns Hopkins UP, 1996

Eighteenth-Century Women Poets: An Oxford Anthology, ed. Roger Lonsdale (Oxford UP, 1990)

Behn, Aphra, Oroonoko and Other Writings, ed. Paul Salzman (Oxford UP, 1998)

Eliza Haywood, The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless, ed. Christine Blouch, Broadview Press, 1998

Lennox, Charlotte, The Female Quixote, ed. Margaret Dalziel, Oxford UP, 1998

Burney, Frances, Evelina, ed. Susan Kubica Howard, Broadview, 2000

Smith, Charlotte. Desmond, ed. Antje Blank and Janet Todd, Broadview, 2001

Barbauld, Anna Letitia, Selected Poetry and Prose, eds. William McCarthy and Elizabeth Kraft, Broadview 2002

Recommended Text

Women and Literature in Britain, 1700-1800, ed. Vivien Jones, Cambridge UP, 2000

Electronic Media

For an general introduction to List-serv and Internet functions, see USF Academic Computing Home Page.

Class List-serve: All members are required to participate in the electronic list. Each week one student will post his or her critical paper to the list; the rest of the class will post thoughtful responses to the paper and the reading for the week. This forum is also open for other relevant discussions. For further information see the description of class assignments.
My website: information on class, assignments and links to other important sites on literature, etc.

Eighteenth-Century Research References An extensive list of eighteenth-century scholarship and resources available at our library.

(All assignments must be read in full before the date of discussion.)


Date Class
Aug. 26 Introductions/Assignments
Sep. 2 Ezell, Writing Women’s Literary History
Jones, chapter 8, “(Re)Discovering Women’s Texts” by Isobel Grundy
Judith Phillips Stanton, “Statistical Profile of Women Writing in English from 1660-1800.” In Eighteenth-Century Women and the Arts, edited by Susan E. Lorsch. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988 (on reserve)
Sep. 9 Aphra Behn, Oroonoko and Other Writings
Recommended: Jones, chapter 3, “Women and Race: ‘a difference of complexion’” by Felicity Nussbaum
and chapter four in Virginia Woolf’s A Room Of One’s Own
Sep. 16 Lonsdale: Introduction and poems by Ann Finch, Mary Barber, Elizabeth Singer Rowe
Recommended: Jones, chapter 10, “Women Poets of the Eighteenth Century” by Margaret Ann Doody
Sep. 23 Eliza Haywood, The History of Betsy Thoughtless Introduction and Vols. I-II
Sep. 30 Eliza Haywood, The History of Betsy Thoughtless Vols III-IV
Recommended: Appendices to the volume and Jones, chapter 4 “Women’s Status as legal and civic subjects: ‘A Worse Condition than Slavery itself’?” by Gillian Skinner
Oct. 7 Lonsdale: poems of Mary Leapor, Lady Mary Wortley Montague, and Anna Seward; selected letters of Wortley Montague and Seward (handout)
Recommended: John Duncombe’s, The Feminiad (LION)
Oct. 14 Charlotte Lennox, The Female Quixote
Recommended: Jones, chapter 1, “Writings on education and conduct: arguments for female improvement” by Katherine Sutherland
Oct. 21 Anna Letitia Barbauld, Selected Poetry and Prose
Recommended: Jones, chapter 2, “Eighteenth-century Femininity: ‘A Supposed Sexual Character,” by Harriet Guest
Oct. 28 Frances Burney, Evelina, Introduction and Vols. I-II
Nov. 4 Frances Burney, Evelina, Vol. III
Recommended: Appendices to volume and Jones, Chapter 5, “Women in Families: the Great Disinheritance,” by Ruth Perry
Nov. 18 Lonsdale: poems of, Charlotte Smith, Helen Maria Williams and Mary Robinson
Nov. 25 Charlotte Smith, Desmond, Introduction and Vols. I-II
Dec. 2 Charlotte Smith, Desmond, Vols. III-IV
Recommended: Appendices to Volume and Jones, chapter 7 “Women and the Rise of the Novel: Sexual Prescripts” by Ros Ballaster

Graded Assignments

Weekly Postings to class list-serv (14) 25%

In-class presentation/ annotated bibliography 30%

15-20 page research essay 40%

Attendance, participation 5%

This syllabus is subject to change.

** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.

Related Sites


  • Jim May's Bibliographies -- C18-L This selective checklist, partially annotated, enumerates printed sources for studying the period 1660-1820 published since 1988. It combines the lists of bibliographic tools compiled by Jim May for the September 1998, January 1999, and May 1999 issues of the East-Central Intelligencer, the newsletter-journal I edit for the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
  • 18C Bibliographies on-line Maintained by Jack Lynch, one of the many excellent on-line resources on general studies in eighteenth-century scholarship.
  • Eighteenth-century Women and Poetry Bibliography for an undergraduate course on 18thC Women and poetry by Professor Percy at University of Toronto.
  • Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Feminist Bibliography: Some Selections
  • Women and Eighteenth-Century English Literature, Part One A Checklist of General Resources, with Some Entries Relating to Earlier Centuries, to the Colonies, and to Other Nationalities By Martin Maner, Wright State University
  • Women and Eighteenth-Century English Literature, Part Two A highly recommended bibliography, partially annotated, of secondary sources. This list of books and articles is provided as a resource for scholars studying women in eighteenth-century England. You may download it in Microsoft Word or Rich Text format in order to carry out full-text searches using your word processor's "find" function. Please cite this page if you make scholarly use of it.

Website with useful links on 18th Century Women Authors

  • Early Modern Women Site maintained at University of Maryland, this link provides a comprehensive link of web resources, some of which are websites and some online sources that may be restricted -- but we may have these through USF libraries. This site also contains brief annotations for each site.
  • Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies Online Research Resources Maintained by the University of YOrk, this site provides links to relevant catalogues, bibliographies, databases, general 18thC resources,projects, institutions and societies, e-journals and e-texts archives, as well as a list of sites organized according to research interests, e.g. Gender, Women's History & Writing

General Sites on Women's Literature

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